Do You Ever Wonder
by, 09.06.2008 at 10.29 AM (1119 Views)
I don't work weekends. I have volunteered to at my company for extra hours, but nothing has materialized yet (though it's hardly a bummer in any sense of the word, I wouldn't mind some weekend work once in a while). So, I'm sitting here, at home, at my computer desk, drinking coffee and musing over the things I read on this particular site.
So many people wanting to get into the trucking industry, and so many people already in the trucking industry - wanting to get out. And even more that don't really want out but wish there was something better in terms of finanicial opportunities in the trucking business.
I just wonder why everyone is so drawn to these giant companies that almost religiously treat their drivers - quite poorly. How many drivers have I happened upon in my travels that are working for smaller companies, getting the miles they want, are treated fairly and well, and are loving their jobs? A lot, I can tell you. It seems over time that many drivers get tired of the long haul stuff - being out on the road forever - that happened to me as well. Then there's those that will be perfectly content to call the inside of their truck home - for the rest of their earthly life, or at least as long as their medical card can be renewed.
I was thinking that from now on, whenever I meet a driver working for a smaller company who is happy with it, I would take down the name of the company and start posting those things on the forum.
I have worked for the big companies - I don't get the allure with them. I mean - probably a lot of people won't be able to start out without going through them, that's pretty much a given. But what about all the rest of you guys out there? What does a big company afford you that a smaller company - where you are more like a person than a number in many cases - can and will treat you so much better? Or actually care if you are making money or not?
Don't you owe it to yourself to at least look into some of the "claims" about these other kinds of companies and talk to their drivers, if possible and find out for yourself?
Now, I don't want to be a hypocrite. I am working for a giant company right now. It's one-of-a-kind as far as I'm concerned, though, in terms of the trucking industry. It's not a trucking company, it's a company that sells products and has a huge fleet of trucks and drivers to deliver that product to - mostly construction sites. I have benefits to beg for. Right now, I have over 60 hours of vacation saved up - and they don't disappear after the beginning of the year, it carries over and I earn X amount of hours for vacation per month. I have 1 of 3 personal days left and 1 of 2 floating holidays left, plus 5 days worth of sick pay left as well. Not to mention paid holidays - 6 of them per year. I get off whenever I want to - literally. If I want to take 2 weeks off - I can. My company will find a way to fill my spot if necessary - either with a temp driver or just bring a driver over from another store. I tend to save up my vacation hours so that I can take an extended period of time off of work once per year - while still being able to take a day off here and there whenever I want or need to.
I thought I best disclose that I am working for a large company simply for the fact that I am touting the benefits of working for smaller companies - and again - there aren't many trucking companies that I know of in the sense of being a giant company that treats it's drivers like it does any other employee.
I value my job, and yet I still have the sense that nothing is ever permanent. The construction industry is tanking right now, and though our company is staying afloat, there is a freeze on hiring - nationwide - new people and at the beginning of the year, 10% of our workforce was laid off. Yet, with all of that, I got a merit pay increase and I am getting a bonus next month - a pretty good one too.
What about you? Do you ever take a good, long look at what you're doing now and think about where you want to be in 5, 10, 20 years? Life is so temporal - it's short - is it worth wasting away for some inferior company that doesn't value you and the hard work and effort that you put forth - seemingly going unnoticed? I know the feeling well. I worked my *** off for every company I have ever worked for - driving or not - and with these big trucking companies, I don't think they give a rat's - you know what - that you are doing everything you can to get the miles you need for the pay you deserve to stay afloat. If there was ever a need for reform, trucking companies and the way they pay and the amount they pay their drivers is definitely at the beginning of the particular line.
I always wondered about the free work I was doing for them. You know - waiting to get loaded or unloaded, fueling, all the stuff that you do on a daily or almost-daily basis that you DON'T get paid for? If it were ever possible, I am a proponent of hourly pay for everyone. Not everyone is on that bandwagon, but I have to say that it's a good feeling - right now - knowing that everything I do for my company is on-the-clock and I am getting paid for it. Not only that, but my company appreciates the hard work I dole out for them on a consistent, daily basis. It doesn't go unnoticed - which is why I get the raises and I get the highest amount of bonus available for my "tier" of employment level. I'm even being considered for promotion.
I hope you have taken some time in your busy life to think about where you're going with all of this - in terms of driving and what kind of life is it going to be in 10 or 20 years from now if you're stilll doing the same thing. Life is too short to be working for inferior companies........