Trucking companies should pay the truck driver by the hour. If ever in doubt if driver pay should be by the hour, take a look at the long line-ups at the border crossings. It becomes clearly inevitable, when crossing the border, especially at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor.
When crossing at this port recently, headed to the Louisville Truck Show, I had a grim reminder of how truckers are treated like second class citizens.
The lack of service to truckers is clearly evident at the border crossings. The lineup for trucks entering the U.S. was roughly 4 miles long and moving incredibly slowly. The booth open for cars however, had virtually no waiting time at all at U.S. customs. They rolled freely and quickly through customs and onto the interstate.
Truckers Spend Too Much Time Waiting
I was impressed with the patience of the truckers, who sat in their rigs, resigned to a wait of a couple hours, just to reach the customs booth. However, they didn’t really have much choice.
Perhaps this kind of treatment happens to truckers so often that they’re just getting accustomed to it and just roll with it. I sure hope that’s not the case.
Are truckers unknowingly encouraging this level of service, by putting up with it?
If it had been doable or practical, I wouldn’t have blamed any of those trucks for making a U turn on Huron Church Road, the road leading to the Ambassador Bridge, to get out of that ridiculous line-up!
Pay Drivers For Their Time
Not only is the lack of service the problem, but the most of the truckers are sitting in those line-ups for free. What REALLY needs to happen? It’s not rocket science…. pay the driver by the hour, for long delays such as this.
Some delays are unavoidable, but that still shouldn’t mean the trucker ought to donate his time and equipment (o/o) for free.
Driving a truck nowadays is no longer a matter of losing a few minutes here or there in traffic or at a shipper’s loading dock. It’s not a big deal for the minor delays.
In the past number of years however, with more cars on the road, the delays due to construction and heavy traffic volume are more and more frequent, and slowing the trucks down for hours and hours at a time.
Trucker Pay Structure Needs Reform
One thing that is inevitable in business is that nothing stays the same forever. If you’re going to stay in business, you’ve go to adapt to the changes.
The trucking industry has not done this as far as compensating drivers for their time and work. And that’s where our driver shortage begins.
Construction workers, plumbers, electricians get paid by the hour and all get overtime. Most are home every night and don’t need to spend serious money each week, to eat when on the road. All of these workers make better money than truckers.
All that pales in comparison to what some of these CEO’s of big trucking companies are paid in salaries. There’s still money in the trucking business, don’t be fooled…. it’s just not distributed fairly.
Thanks But No Thanks
I heard an ad from Werner Enterprises out of Omaha, NE on the radio the other day, where Derek Leathers, CEO of Werner thanks all the truckers for their skill and dedication.
“Well that’s just great Derek, but as they say in the movie Jerry McGuire, :Show me the money”.
Flattery and praise is nice and all, but I’m sure there’s not a trucker out there who wouldn’t rather take a pay increase, rather than a pat on the back.