Improving the industry

by Jimmy

Lets start with the improvements that have been made. First off the trucks are so much improved from the 60's and 70's. Remember cab overs? 36in sleepers and team operation? Spring ride power units and trailers?

No c/b radios,no cell phones, no qualcomms, incomplete interstate highways, axle scales in many states, as in stop, start, stop etc. Check calling twice a day at a certain time. Man was that fun if you were going thru a big city at check call time.

How about no card readers on the fuel island? Here's one you'll like. What did we have before private showers? Let me tell you. We had one shower room with 3 showers in a row and one bench to put your clothes on. You might say military style. You couldn't be bashful! Oh, and there were no showers for the ladies.

All these Flying 'j' truck stops have mostly been built in the last 15 years. Same with Pilots, Loves, Petros. There are some older than that. All the T/A's were 76's. All the 76's had sleeping rooms you could rent, but you had to use the public restroom. UGH!

If you delivered in Chicago, more than likely you were at some old rundown warehouse where you blocked the whole street to get into the dock. And we only had 40ft trailers. Then they allowed 42ft, then 48ft, and finally 53fters.

How's this, 73280lbs maximum weight in the central part of the U.S.. We called it the iron curtain.

So as you can see, things nowadays are much better. Can they get any better? Actually when the industry was regulated prior to about 1980, things were better. Most older hands will tell you that.

I think the co's should set rates to make a decent profit. And stick to it. The railroads, airlines, ocean freighters set rates and you pay it or you don't ship your product. Fed/ex, UPS set their rates. You pay it or not. It's up to you.

So we have better highways, nicer truckstops, much better equipment and communications, more modern warehouses, fully equipped condos to cruise with, weigh in motion scales, pre/pass, better get home policys, higher speed limits, truck washes and service centers a plenty, passenger ride along authorization, but still the turnover rate is pretty bad.

I say the problem is two fold. People getting into the biz don't have enough info to know what they are getting into and the trucking co's aren't doing all they can to keep the drivers happy. Look for my blog re: from managements eyes.

Just one suggestion for dispatch. How about a choice when dispatching loads to drivers. Something like "hey 457341, I have a Ca load and a Nv load and a Tx load. Which would you like?"

That's my two cents worth......Jimmy

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Jan 31, 2009
Dock delay
by: Jimmy

Hervy, this has been going on since the horse and buggy days. I honestly don't know the current rules, if there are official rules. I know when I unloaded at Wal-Mart distribution, they said they had 2 hours to get me unloaded, assuming I was on time for my appointment. Is 2 hours their rule or an agreement between carrier, or a federal rule? Don't know.

Same with Costco distribution. I know I have been to places where I was being jacked around by the shipper/consignee and was told by dispatch to have warehouse sign BOL and would get detention time but rarely did. Something about shipper has to agree to pay before driver gets it. Same with brokers.

I always wondered why the shipper/consignee did not have to honor the appointment, but the driver did. But then again, you have situations where the driver is late, or an expected 1 hour unload turns into a 4 hour unload because product was on floor instead of pallets. The intenttion may be honorable, but in reality, a little gremlin botched everything up.

I much prefer "first come, first served" situations. I do recommend driver contact with the warehouse directly,to feel them out and they do appreciate a heads up. You can discuss options and see if in case you're late, will they still unload you. Produce shippers are absolutely the worst place to load. 8-10 hour delays are common. Jimmy

Jan 30, 2009
Improving the industry: win win for all
by: Hervy

I agree Jimmy, so much has changed for the better as it should along with the advancement and application of technology.

The single most powerful changes that could be made next is low tech but high reward.

It's so simple to see yet companies are resistant to making real serious moves to address it.

Fair pay and treatment to drivers. (as opposed to squeezing as much out of them as possible )

The other would be to start a movement to force shippers and receivers to stop wasting the trucks time at the docks. (Well actually, I haven't done the research maybe there is a movement, all I know is that right now I can't tell)

Anyone, this would result in less log book violations, less stress, higher paychecks from more efficient work weeks not running illegally.
I mean the benefits go on and on for drivers, the trucking company and the customer if everyone would just work together to achieve this.

It could be a deal like: If you get to the company on time they will get you out the door in an hour if it take longer they pay x dollars, but if the trucking company is late for the appointment driver waits or company will be fined x dollars, with these exceptions, etc.

My point is . . .

If the whole problem (wasted time at the dock) is engaged with a win win attitude for the purpose of finding a solution instead of each party trying to get the most out of a solution to benefit themselves then a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached. Seems to me anyway.

Does anyone know if this being addressed right now or ever?

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