Unfortunately, for this advocate, and for many of her followers, we've seen the darker side. We have seen why the stereotypes are there. We have seen why truckers have become third class citizens.
As many know, not just truckers in my little group. Brokers, recruiters, corporate leaders, house wives, military personnel, up-and-comers, friends back home, and many more watch what goes on with trucking, due to the fact that I fight so hard for this industry.
I've invested blood, sweat, and many tears for this industry and my lifestyle. I go through plenty of headache and Lou and I both have the days where we talk about how a "normal" life would be. But, in the end, this is our passion, and this is what we strive to keep going every day.
As many of you do, we ensure our truck and trailer payments are made, we ensure that our insurance and taxes (the many that there are) are paid, and that we take home money to pay our bills and living expenses. We negotiate for the best rate possible, get overstressed when a load cancels, and just try to do the best with what's out here.
So, if we're all striving for survival and to keep the life we love so much, why is there no unity?? Why is there no respect for us? And why do I tell some of you I am not your voice?
Let's take a look at the last week. Today would be the perfect starting point. I wake up and am starting to turn on my phone as I climb into the cab. I hear Lou ask, "Am I really seeing that?" Sure enough, a company from a large fleet is right there, in the middle of the parking lot, urinating between the truck and the trailer. I blew the air horn, and he promptly stopped. Now, if I was the car at the other end of the parking lot, what would I think about truckers when I saw that (he was that visible)? The driver who was doing that was not but 500 feet from the exit, and from his physique, could've used the exercise.
What can he do different? If you're too lazy to walk to the truck stop, at least use a bottle and dispose of it properly.
Proper disposal: Pour the urine in the grass and re-use the bottle or throw empty bottle in a dumpster or trash can. If there's no grass, throw the bottle in a garbage can and throw away. You can even pour the urine down the toilet (that's where it would go anyways) and throw the bottle in the trash can in the restroom.
Improper disposal: Dumping the urine or the bottle of urine in the parking lot. Dumping the urine or bottle of urine in the fuel island (I've seen one actually pour it on the fuel handle, and was shocked when I came out of the truck). Dumping your urine or urine bottle ANYWHERE but where it should be (i.e. examples in blue) is improper.
There is a group I was added to on Facebook. It was supposedly a support group for truckers. This group hoodwinked many. It is a slanderfest that has went after me, Richie Acosta, Highway Hank, and any others they can. They're vile, and have since started a page "All Truckers Are Rapists." Many in this group belong to a mega-company, Swift. I truly believe it is a good thing I don't judge the whole based on a small or large amount, as this case should be. There are other companies on there, including Decker. If this is any indicator of what is supposed to come in this industry, there is no hope! These are vile, jealous people who should've never left the elementary playground. It is worse than anything I've heard on a cb. My best suggestion to clean up this aspect of the industry is if you've in charge of supervision at ANY trucking company, large or small, is to start a ghost profile. Watch these drivers of yours, who represent your company, and help us take out the trash.
Let's now progress to fecal bags (also referred to as shit bombs) and trash from inside the truck. How many times have you ran over a fecal bag? You know the one, it was thrown out two days ago, has been sitting in 100+ the entire time, and when you run it over, not knowing was inside, the smell of death and decay hits you like a linebacker at a football game. This is disturbing from a professional standpoint, and needs to stop! There are plenty of garbage receptacles in the parking lot. Quit being lazy, and use the restroom in a restroom. If it can not be helped, throw the trash away properly!!
This goes for your normal trash also. I shouldn't be able to get a trash meter reading from your passenger door or your dash. It disgraces you and your company. (Companies are starting to take action on this sort of thing. I found out after one of my drivers called me, and we offered to help clean up his hoarding.) Clean up your truck. It is your home. It is your office. It represents you. It represents your company, and can affect your contracts. If you have a bag of trash, put it in a receptacle. No one needs to be your mother out here and clean up after you.
The major problems in this industry are large, and many. If I went into every issue at play in full detail, you'd be reading this for six hours instead of 15-30 minutes. I will make a list though. Maybe, some day, we can make the list dwindle to one or two.
1. Slander and jealousy
2. Improper knowledge of events, issues, and laws
4. Professional courtesy
6. "Paid to see the world" mentality
7. Close mindedness to others due to race, gender, religious/spiritual
preference, sexuality, age, etc.
8. Discrimination based on company. (Everyone has to start somewhere)
9. Unwillingness to help your fellow brother/sister when they are broke down, need help with a load, etc
10. And many, many more
Plain and simple, we must police ourselves to get rid of the trash, figurative and literal, in this industry. Unity will not be achieved until the industry is cleaned up. This used to be a family out here on the road. Even I know those days. Now, there is only cliques. We must clean up, and rebuild. Rebuilding with only good guys, old school people, left is our only hope. Until then, we are on the edge of hopelessness.
Till next time, keep the sunny side up.