What Would Life Be Like Without Trucks? We’ll Find Out When Truckers Strike April 12

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In January I wrote on the abundance of bare shelves in the United States and what might be causing that. During my interviews and research, I realized just how many problems there are in the nation’s shipping industry. At the root of it is government over-regulation, which is causing many people to leave the trucking profession because they can make a more steady income and be at home working even a simple fast food job. It seems that most any trucker I talked to had seen a reduction in wages and were having to work harder under trying conditions.

As a result, some truckers have decided to shut down their rigs on April 12 in protest and to raise awareness of the issues they are facing.

The upcoming truckers’ strike could have widespread effects.

A one-day strike is not going to cause disruption to a lot of people.

The concern is if the strike goes on longer. It would also be foolhardy to ignore the major issues our country’s shipping industry is experiencing. That is not going to go away without some serious work and people being able to meet each other halfway.

A strike on April 12 could turn into a bigger movement that means the next strike hits harder and causes supply issues that everyone might feel. Let’s look back on a previous shut down for a lesson on how out of hand things can get.

Here’s what happened during a trucker strike in 1973.

This is not the first time truckers have felt the need to protest.

The Independent Trucker Shutdown during the 1973 oil crisis was a large protest and should serve as a cautionary tale.

It occurred before my time, but plenty of you reading this may remember the skyrocketing oil prices of 1973. The price of oil led truckers to strike due to high fuel costs. This was a much larger and united shutdown than the one planned for April 12 has any hope of being.

On December 3, 1973, JW Edwards ran out of gas at 10:00 pm after struggling to make his run amid fuel rationing. This blocked Interstate 80. JW got on his CB radio and eventually, other truckers stopped to help him out. Within an hour the protest had grown to hundreds of semi-trucks. In just a few hours truckers across the country were blocking the nation’s roadways, essentially shutting them down and causing traffic jams 12 miles long.

The strike lasted three days but remember that this was in a day and age when 70% of the countries’ goods were hauled by independent truckers. Now there are more companies that own fleets and just hire drivers.

That they had the numbers to get the government to listen was a major difference than what is going on now. The protests were largely peaceful except in Ohio when some truckers decided not to comply. The Governor deployed the National Guard and used tear gas.

For a while, the peace would last. The dealbreaker came when it was clear that now that government officials had calmed everyone down, they were in no rush to fulfill any of the promises they made. The brief strike did not cause a big enough supply disruption.

Protests started again and this time they took a darker turn. On December 13th and 14th another shutdown occurred but this time a lot of truckers started to harass and even turn to sabotage when other truckers refused to shut down. Tires were slashed, vehicles were shot, and one driver was even stabbed!

This was not the end either. As the protests entered 1974 some independent truckers not only shut down, they blocked roads and even started throwing bricks off of overpasses.

A resolution came in February 1974 when truckers were granted the right to add 6% fuel surcharges to their bill and they were guaranteed that truck stops would be given fuel priority so that they did not have to compete for rationed fuel supplies.

While it is good that truckers gained a voice, it was not without damage. As a result of the shutdown and strikes, 100,000 truckers were laid off, several people died, and the public experienced supply disruptions.

A lot of people do not remember these events well because they happened 46 years ago. Even those that do remember the oil crisis of 1973 often just remember how it affected them personally. People will say they remember not being able to get gas and not much else. This was before the age of instant info and being able to follow a story in real time on your phone no matter where you are.

The Black Smoke Matters movement is leading the strike.

The April 12 shutdown is well known in the trucker community. Most of the credit for organizing the shutdown and spreading the word for trucker rights has been attributed to a group called Black Smoke Matters.

The members of Black Smoke Matters have been very kind in allowing me into their Facebook group and answering my questions.

However, there are some in the trucking world that have accused members of being dangerous and even warning that they have the potential to be terrorists when pushed. Statements like this are not really that helpful. It is very easy to say that someone that is angry is capable of doing something terrible. Accusatory statements such as these could be made about anyone reading this post. We are all capable of doing bad things.

My experience with Black Smoke Matters is that they are a mixed lot of people. There are husband and wife teams that drive trucks full time. There are industry veterans that have been on the road for decades. Some drivers are fairly new to the game and are questioning their future.

I have never once heard anyone discuss protesting in any violent way or act like that is the answer to the problems they are facing. There are some very angry people in the group and they can express themselves with a lot of gestures, name-calling, 4 letter words, etc, but that does not mean they are planning violent acts if they don’t get their way.

At the same time, if numbers of supporters grow and strikes happen after April 12, the potential for things to get heated may grow. The previous trucker shutdown in 1973 shows the potential is there. Hopefully, things won’t take a dark turn as they did in 1973.

I want truckers to have good working conditions, a decent wage, and respect. Truckers have to fight a lot of stereotypes and that can make it hard for their concerns be heard and taken seriously. My observations of the group tell me that the hostility and anger of some make it hard for issues to be discussed. Like so many movements, too many people are concentrating on their differences more than they should and what they have in common, less than they should.

There are also a lot of people that have worked very hard to raise awareness about trucker issues but I think a lot of people are not holding their breath waiting on changes to regulations and a return to decent pay.

Slow roll protests are gaining momentum.

I learned that there have been some small protests called “slow rolls” that are attracting some. A slow roll is when a group of trucks cruises together in solidarity at a given location.

These smaller events are leading up to a strike on April 12. Leaders of the movement want workers’ rights and an end to the electronic logs that are causing so many problems. Truckers are being urged to not haul anything on April 12.

The question is just how many truckers plan on staying off the road April 12 and what will happen that day may determine if strikes will last longer. While the strike is just planned for a single day,  emotions will be high among a crowd that feels that their livelihood is being taken away.

Slow rolls may be more common after the strike on April 12 since they can be organized quickly throughout the country.

There are several concerns truck drivers want to see addressed.

Self-driving trucks

Some people believe that self-driving trucks will pick up the slack, but they still have a lot of issues that need to be improved before they can be unleashed at a great volume on the nations’ highways. They are out there but not in numbers that really make a big difference at the moment.

Electronic Logs

Truckers have always had to keep their time sheets and records but now the government thinks they need to do it for them. The idea is that electronic logs prevent drivers from staying on the road too long and posing a safety hazard to everyone. The reality is that they are so restrictive that they make no allowances for if someone is setting for 5 hours waiting to be loaded. That is time that they cannot be on the road. This is especially harmful to the income of drivers that get paid by the mile.

Trucker pay has been slashed

There are a lot of different views when it comes to trucker pay. On one side you have drivers that say that due to electronic logs telling them how to do their job, shipping broker fees, warehouse loading times, etc, they are getting paid a lot less than they ever were or should be. On the other side are people saying that people driving a truck should not expect to make an income over 100K per year. Some feel that truckers were getting overpaid in the past and now think they deserve to always make that.

The issue of pay can get very complicated but one thing that is for sure is that pay has gone down a lot on average, with some drivers reporting over $1,600 per month in lost wages.

Lack of parking and a hot meal

While truckers are expected to pass a physical and maintain a minimal level of fitness for a CDL license, it has become hard for them to maintain health and fitness with the lack of healthy food options on the road. If they are lucky they can get a fast food meal but in the course of my research I found truckers that have so little food options for a hot meal on the road that they pretty much are living on gas station hot dogs, that is if they can find a gas station that will allow them to park or that has the space to offer in the first place.

Yes, there are other food options at gas stations but it really depends on the station. Many gas stations are nothing more than gas pumps with candy stores attached, and no one will stay healthy living off of that. Those that live in food deserts often experience a similar lack of access to healthy food and you can see it in the general population. Type 2 diabetes used to not be so common, especially among younger people in the USA.

If a trucker gets some medical conditions, they can have their license revoked and lose their way of making a living.

Amenities and parking are hard to find

Some trucks have more amenities than others but that often comes out of the pocketbook of the driver and not the company. It is a bit much to expect a driver to have enough groceries for days at a time in their truck and to not have a hot meal. Grocery stores often have no truck parking Would you want to just live on cold cuts and whatever you could throw together? When there is nowhere to stop to fix a sandwich or cold meal, it is not even really an option. A trucker getting a ticket means trouble at the home office or money out of their already stressed pay.

With real estate near the highway at a premium and businesses facing thin margins, it can be hard to convince someone that the extra space is best spent on parking rather than selling the space for another business or that they should spend money on a much larger lot for their business so that truckers are accommodated.

It is a real problem that our shipping system is set up on a trucking system but our highways and the supporting network are not on the side of those actually hauling the load.

There is no doubt that it would be expensive to make more stops for trucks. This is an expense that a lot of private businesses cannot handle, especially when they cannot be sure how fast they will earn anything back. While truckers can insist they would utilize a business if it considered them, the current economy is enough to make some small businesses suspicious. Sometimes there is also no way they could accommodate if they wanted to simply due to lack of space.

There are other challenges associated with the trucking industry.

I have heard that there is a trucker shortage and I have also heard from truckers that this is a myth that is perpetuated a variety of ways. For example, some trucking companies that do not provide adequate pay and benefits say there is a shortage when really no one wants to work for the pay and conditions they provide. I can see how this could be part of the equation but it is hard for me to completely discredit the idea of a shortage simply because there are a lot of qualifications required to be a trucker that a lot of people cannot meet.

The pool of qualified people is much smaller than it once was due to the opioid epidemic and the general poor mental and physical health of much of the population. A trucker may be hauling a load worth $1 million and his truck may be worth 200K as well. You are not allowed to drive a semi if you have some things on your record.

Despite popular stereotypes and snobbery, they don’t just turn anyone loose with that kind of value on the highway. Truckers have a lot of criteria they have to meet to be deemed worthy.

Truckers are not united on a lot of issues. Opinions vary but the one thing that is clear is that if we are going to continue to have people behind the wheel, some things are going to have to change.

I read an account of a strike supporter getting a lot of grief from another trucker for putting ribbons on his truck that showed he supported the April 12 strike. The fellow was asked if he really thought they were going to accomplish anything and called the strike supporter various curse words before flipping him off and hitting the road.

This is a common occurrence among workers in the industry. Those who do not support a strike may feel that things are wrong but also that striking is just going to bring a lot of negative attention to the profession or make it harder on them in some way, such as angering those in charge of the trucking industry.

A recent article in Business Insider interviewed some truckers on both sides of the issue. Some people that drove trucks had the opinion that truckers that were going to strike were only thinking of themselves and that strikes would just affect those that have no say in how truckers are treated or paid.

There are things the general public needs to consider.

While all truckers clearly have concerns about the current state and future of the industry, there is enough division to make it quite difficult for those with power to take notice. I watched a video where truckers expressed frustration because a high-ranking government official told them that they could not take up an issue that only had the support of 7% of the reported workforce.

I am not saying that 7% number is accurate, but the actual number of supporters is low enough that it is hard to deny that with the current state of the affairs in the country today, the issue of trucker rights is not a priority for the government.

More numbers are needed for a major difference to be made.

The April 12 shutdown could have serious consequences.

The effects of the April 12 shutdown could be increased support and more widespread protests. Supply disruptions could happen during an extended situation. My hope is that solutions to the issues truckers are facing will be found and that violence, supply disruptions, and layoffs are not the end result.

What do you think?

Do you think the April 12 shutdown will help truckers get some of the changes they want? Do you think the strike will end up lasting longer, or that additional strikes will follow?

About the Author

Samantha Biggers lives on a mountain in North Carolina with her husband in a house they built by hand. When not writing she is working in the vineyard, raising Shetland sheep and growing gourmet mushrooms. Her writing mostly appears on Backdoor Survival and Lew Rockwell. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Samantha Biggers

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  • Here in South Africa in the last couple of years there where a lot of agencies looking for experienced truck drivers to move over to the USA. The shortages in the USA and Canada is real. Even in SA, as their is now “new blood” entering the workforce due to various legitimate reasons.

    We are also quite familiar with strikes and Unions. If the government does not want to listen, officials don’t care, then the next step is peaceful strikes and or a go-slows.

    But violence never gets anyone very far, even less so in raising legitimate trucking industries problems.

    PS. FWIW … the same problems the truckers are facing in the USA, the rest of the worlds truckers face, sometimes even worse. It is not a USA problem, it is a problem brewing all over because most officials and other road users have NO idea what will happen if trucking stops overnight.

    Truckers all over the world must stop and say “ENOUGH!. Help us to ensure the smooth running of countries industries and economies”.

    Strike peacefully and be heard, get the message out for talking is not working, not in the USA and not in the rest of the trucking world.

  • Most drivers I know arent striking, the companies have been hiring immigrants in the south so fast, most drivers for 3 major companies are struggling for hours. more fear mongering.

    • Well BS (and you chose your name well), I’ve had the “Privilege” of being involved in the Trucking Industry and you get what you pay for. Soon enough we will all see how cost cutting the transportation business will be like applying a tourniquet on your leg. It will HURT and you may lose your leg.

      Everything you eat, drink, wear and so on comes from a TRUCKER hauling it. Even your drinking water is made safe by truckers hauling weekly deliveries of water purification chemicals to your cities and towns. As dangerous as chlorine and such is do you want Illegal Immigrants driving that load through your neighborhood? There is a REASON that drivers require so much ongoing vetting to insure the safety of both the other traffic from multi-TON Loaded Trucks, as well as reliability and safe delivery of Just In Time Cargoes.

      BTW illegal immigrants are also politically active. Do you think they can not be “inspired” to do strikes of their own for political issues?

      Prepare for bad times SOON friends. This is only one of many snowflakes falling on the potential avalanche of bad decisions. Someday in HINDSIGHT (for the English poor under standers that means AFTER it Happened) we can point out that “Trigger Point” everything went to hades. Then it is way too late to whip out your Amazon Credit Card to ask Truckers to deliver you emergency supplies.

  • I tried trucking – twice – running flatbeds which is a LOT of hard heavy work tarping and strapping loads. There are tons of issues out there for truckers. Sleep schedules that change every single day and severe sleep deprivation (UNSAFE). Pressure to get there on time OR ELSE. Nowhere to park, nowhere to eat, getting stuck overnight or a weekend or longer in dangerous locations. How would you like to drive to the slums of Detroit and then park there for 10 hours overnight because it’s illegal for you to drive until you do? Then there’s dangerous aspects like driving accidents because a car pulls in front of you and you can’t stop 80,000 pounds on a dime, or sleep deprivation-caused accidents, or falling 14 feet off the top of a load, etc and even more etc. Anyway if you compared to a 40 hour a week job I made about $11 an hour. But since I was working mostly 16-18 hour days it actually goes way way below minimum wage. There ARE very good and high paying trucking jobs, but they are very few and landing one is near impossible. Needless to say I’m not a trucker anymore. Thank you for addressing the trucker issues. And to everyone – stay away from the big trucks! They can’t see you and they can’t stop! Get out of their way, don’t tailgate them, and don’t ride along next to them. They’re like aircraft carriers and need a lot of space around them to be manuver and be safe.

  • MEXICAN truckers driving dangerous JUNK full of aliens WIN AGAIN!!!
    the scum will flood in to fill the gap.
    HOORAY for MEXICO, they are the SCABS NATIONWIDE treat them as such?

  • I always get annoyed by people posting just to hear themselves when they haven’t the slightest clue on a subject but feel the need to throw around the bs.
    I haven’t the slightest idea what’s happening with our truckers, but I support them 100%. They bring us almost everything we use on a daily basis. Thank you truckers!

  • This is the kind of real information of possible threats to our way of life that I scour the internet daily for.
    Thank You

  • Truckers striking because they’re only thinking of themselves? Who else is going to consider them if they don’t value themselves? I say shut it down for a week & we’ll see who cares. An , no, I’m not a trucker but I do eat at least one hot meal a day – something truckers deserve; especially when there are high price lawyers on TV bragging about their encounters with Big Trucks!

  • Truckers are really undervalued. I had an interesting conversation about a month ago with my neighbor who happens to be a hauler. He said people don’t see the whole picture. Because of “the just in time” delivery system, there is a fragile system being stressed by too few drivers and no stock in the backroom of stores. He said you buy an item and the system orders it from the warehouse, who in turns orders from the packaging plant, who orders from the source. But because we have so many driver vacancies, trucks are getting to the store later. So now what we can’t see is the products/food going bad/rotting at the warehouse as it isn’t getting shipped fast enough. In turn the packaging /processing plant is grinding down and isn’t calling for shipment from the field/source. So you see bare spots on the shelves at all stores. How long before it becomes evident to the shopper? Who knows. It is starting to get interesting.

    • Since retail stores have cut the amount of back stock on hand at any time, many if not most will see effects within one or two weeks max. And don’t forget that EVERY business that uses “stuff” will be effected. Businesses won’t get office supplies. Pharmacies won’t get medications. Hospitals won’t get food, linens, oxygen, cleaning supplies or THEIR medications. Builders won’t get lumber, plumbing or bricks. Schools won’t get food, new books, and other equipment.
      If there is a prolonged strike, there will be a ripple effect within days, and none of us will be unaffected.
      I wish I had had the money to stock up on more necessities while I had the chance.

      • One or two weeks?!? Try one or two DAYS! Heavy snow this past winter caused delays with interstates being shut-down, it was evident within hours that Walmart was running short, started seeing bare shelves at the grocery stores the next day and things weren’t back to normal for a week AFTER deliveries resumed. Trucks are literally the life blood of retail in this country, and vital for every industry out there.

  • I don’t want to hear their BS. Their complaints are completely unwarranted. Truckers have market conditions so good that companies are offering double bonuses to join and stay onup to $10k because of the shortage of drivers. Companies are competing for experience drivers by increasing pay rates etc. all BS!

    • I have a friend who team drives with her husband. If you are not a trucker then you have no idea what they go through to get your Cheetos to your local 7-11. Those bonus $igning dollar$ are because the industry is desperate to find good people. The money is not being made by drivers, but by the people manning a desk, and moving loads to another wholesaler while they take a percentage of the profits.

  • Self-driving trucks should be the least of your worries. This will NEVER come true. Not on public roads, anyway.

    • I hope you are right about that. I personally do not trust a truck to make a moral decision or have enough AI awareness to react in time to respond to situations that require split-second decisions. Also, who is liable if a self-driving vehicle causes injury or death? Is it the vehicle or truck manufacturer? The fleet owner? There are countless issues with self-driving vehicles. It is scary to think that some self-driving vehicles are already on the road. Thanks for reading!

      • The thing is, a AI can make a decision, and a more accurate one, millions of times faster than any human. It can also make a morally decision more accurate, than the majority of humans … IF it has been programmed to do that.

        The problem therefor is not the AI driving trucks or cars, it is the humans that programmed it that may have missed something, or altered the logic the AI uses, till it starts learning by itself. And it is not science fiction, AI’s are already learning.

        Humans learn from their mistakes, and yes, people died in the learning processes and some decision humans made where morally corrupt. But AI’s are not allowed the same path of learning for it scares us to death – and I do feel very uncomfortable with AI’s taking over certain tasks.

        And as you touched on, worldwide the question is: Who is liable if the AI driven vehicle causes damages? One industry is already looking deeply into the problem, the insurance industry. Follow them to see where this can lead.

        • An additional problem is that computers can and do get hacked all the time. If a terrorist group hacked into the GPS/ guidance system of even one company, say UPS, they could have thousands of suicide vehicles on the road within seconds. How do the police or even military cope with the sheer volume of something like that?

  • I did not finish the article. I stopped at the idea expressed that if only 7% of the workforce is affected that it is not enough for the government to get involved….

    Really??? When all our food distribution and medical supplies, and so much other this country depends upon is run by truck?

    This is not rocket science, guys. Trucks not running for ANY reason can shut this country down.

    • Sadly enough 7% of a specific occupation showing active support for a cause is not enough for some government officials to listen to. I did not mean 7% of the entire workforce but 7% of truckers. I am not saying it is right or just but it is the unfortunate reality we live in. I have listened to truckers say that their government officials told them that they could not bring up their concerns with that low of a percentage. Sorry to hear you stopped reading the article but thanks for getting as far as you did. 🙂

  • THE SHELVES OF THE STORES would have to be empty for months ,before any of the braindead people in america would even notice,then they would freek out and panic,Thats the way americans are,hot or cold,you’ve got four generations of the dumbest bastards on earth running everything now,NOTHING CAN BE FIXED till their ALL removed from this world…Hopefully a BIG WAR is coming that will do exacty that,it will take a 90% population reduction to even think about fixing anything….

    • Arizona are you out of your mind friend? The veneer of civilization is easily peeled away with “Mommy I’m HUNGRY”. And that is with what you and I would call GOOD Neighbors. Have you seen video of the Ferguson and Baltimore Riots? Maybe video of BLACK FRIDAY lately? A LOT of Angry folks out there ready to rumble, just need a spark like a lack of food?

      BTW NO Trucker will drive into a Rioting City. They remember what happened in the Rodney King LA riots where Truckers got pulled out of their rigs and beaten-murdered. Thus a riot over food shortages will blossom into bigger riots as NOTHING is coming in to soothe the rioters needs and demands.

      The VAST majority of Americans have less than 3 days of food in their homes. Very few can claim the ability to make something like meals for a week with out a grocery store run. I’m not talking about a milk run, I’m talking about basics like mac and cheese or such.

      The Just in time system is so fragile and dangerous even having dedicated NON-Striking Corporate Drivers will not help as EVERY part of the Food Supply Chain must work. There is NO Grocery Store or Big Box that has Producer to Store Shelves Corporate Drivers completely covered. ALL use independents and Trucker Companies and thus even a small strike can cause Pain and Potentially RIOTS.

      I’ve served in many war zones over the last two decades, as America has it’s fingers in every trouble spot. You DONOT want to live in a war zone. Even the strongest and best prepared can find themselves gut shot by somebody over a plate of food or a pack of smokes.

      You can prepare but Luck or lack of it still plays a part when violence is in the air. Don’t get me wrong preparing is a good idea but Mr. Murphy still rules. Stay GREY folks don’t get in the path of an enraged Elephant or a Mob.

  • Amazing how the Truckers are in the low pay high working hours. Sounds just like Teachers…. Two things that will keep our country going are at the btm of the wage scale. While Lawyers steal everything in sight. Pro sports make millions, now if Pro sports and Lawyers go away… who will miss them?? BUT, if Truckers and Teachers go away… THEY will be missed.

  • So far no slowdown at work, a truck was coming in as I was leaving this afternoon, work at a grocery everyone knows by name. As our drivers are corporate, not owner operators, I don’t know how it will effect corporate operations other than warehouse supply from vendors who do use owner/operators. No mention from corporate or local mgmt either so far. The slow rolling crap, however, is very counterproductive in my mind. Will be interesting to see how it goes.

    On a like note, I see that the USA has never produced more oil than today and yet gas is almost $3 a gal in my area. Bound to get worse if the truckers stay home.

    • One gallon = 3,78541 liters.
      One dollar = R 14.01 South African rands – and it is volatile at times.
      So one gallon in SA costs R 53.37 – at today’s conversion rate.
      Which means we pay $3.81 per gallon – that is IF the SA Rand holds against the dollar and IF the oil barrel price stays as is.

      This middle east meddling with oil prices and the world having to buy dollars to buy oil (PetroDollar), this nonsense must stop.

  • A question: what percentage of truckers are employed by say, the store they are delivering to, and what percentage is independent?

  • So truckers have a few “problems”?
    Tough. Who doesn’t? No job’s perfect.
    I’m on the road in my car 1000 mi/week. I can tell you that big truck drivers are the rudest, most selfish people on the road. They feel invulnerable in their massive trucks, so they treat other traffic like crap.
    Let ‘em strike. They’ll only hurt themselves.

    Every time a big truck going 63 mph passes another going 62, the world loses a half hour.

  • Still nothing. I can see 140 from here and it’s flowing as normal.
    Nothing on any media mainstream or otherwise.
    Anything anywhere else?

  • I think it would be very educational for all truckers (long haul, regional, local, company or owner-operators) to NOT drive anywhere in the USA for four days. That is all it would take to prove several points. USA is totally dependent on truck deliveries. You cannot be stupid and last in the trucking industry; the rules are many and complex. The pay rates are poor; the driving rules while supposedly for safety, some are actually stupid; the delivery rules ridiculous and over-the-road routes are sometimes very difficult for drivers. California the rules are especially complex and laws are draconian, plus there are so many foreign drivers (who barely speak English) on the roads now they are a danger to everyone around them. Plus, many of the trucks coming in from Mexico are mechanically unsafe. If you drive up north, the winter storms are brutal and dangerous. Local delivery drivers are often robbed and singled out by traffic police because the tickets are more expensive for truckers. Yes, I support the truckers.

    • I agree, if the trucks ever stop rolling, America stops too. That being said, yes there are many rules for truckers to follow, and if they don’r like them they can stop trucking because they can and will be replaced.

      Just as you noted, many foreigners are trucking in America right now, for better or worse. One of the last foreign drivers I noted at work was someone from Iraq or Astan or similar shitehole, apparently gps speak arabic or farsi or whatever otherwise I can’t see these guys functioning at all. I mean this guy looked like he could have stepped from an alla akba isis video onto our dock.

      Anyway, my point is anyone can be replaced, me, you, truckers, and we will be. Right now they’re rolling out self driving trucks and this is going to be the death of the owner operator unless the owner operator can compete costwise, I foresee a future where people have jobs where they never leave their homes yet are driving or assisting driving a big rig via innernets.

  • My daddy tried to make me into a tradesman, but it didn’t take. I’m not super good working with my hands, except for growing stuff, both to look at and to eat. So I’ve pretty much been “white collar” all my life, making my way writing and teaching.

    You would think that people smart enough to graduate from a college would also be savvy enough to see how the world works. Sadly, that has not always been the case. Over the years, many of my co-workers have openly sneered at the very idea of folks becoming electricians, plumbers, HVAC, auto body, mechanics, carpenters etc etc. They did their best to discourage students who showed any such interest, not always using the kindest language either.

    I could never help wondering, did they never noticed that were working INSIDE a building? Ya know, one that had walls and a roof and doors and windows. Buildings that had lights which turned on and toilets that flushed and climate controls that kept us from melting in the summer or freezing in the winter. I’m not one to m ake waves at work, but it was all I could do to not slap them and then ask them:


    Was it the Keebler Elves? Was it shipped through a wardrobe from Narnia? Did it sprout up from the ground?

    I’m not saying whether or not these truck drivers are in the right. All I’m saying is, we need to stop taking people for granted. And for all the nay sayers out there, I need to ask, do ya like food? Do ya like tools and seeds and spare parts? How exactly do you think that stuff gets to your house?

  • A military guy I know saved his pay for 20 years, and bought a rig when he retired. He’s an owner-operator, and contracts with various trucking firms. He’s parking his rig and going fishing – he cleared a total of 9k last year working full time. He said he may move a load or two if the price is right, but for now he’s at a state park. Can’t blame him.

  • Immigration reform is coming, and it won’t be Conservative or Liberal it will be what the Corporations want it to be. The H-1B visa program is going to be expanded to allow a virtually unlimited number of foreign nationals to come here on ‘temporary’ work permits and take over jobs in construction, the oil fields, trucking, and food processing because the Bosses do not want to pay enough for an AMERICAN to live on. The Union Movement was born in strife and bloodshed, young Americans don’t have the grit to resurrect it, American workers are now far down the road to self destruction. Truckers on strike? Naw, they are just loading up on extra sides at the BBQ joint truck stop down the road from me.

    • and now it’s the night of April 14th. I’ve been perusing both left wing, right wing, and centrist media. WHAT trucker strike?

  • Last July I retired from driving. I first ran a big truck in 1968. Drove in 49 States and 5 Countries. I’ve made my Grandsons swear on a stack of Bibles that they won’t drive a truck I’ve got a pretty good idea what’s happening on “the long lonesome highway”. Today there is four times the traffic and 4 times the government regulations. The wages are about the same as in the 70s. Luckily I saved my money and was able to spend my last days eating, sleeping and walking my dog. This Country has better find a way to get QUALIFIED Drivers or a lot of people will be screwed. A good start would be having Safe and CLEAN. Rest areas! Good drivers that can speak English would be a plus. I could go on but others have already posted things that need to be said. To all my Brothers AND Sisters out there….be safe and keep the Shiny side up and the rubber side down!????. GOD bless you Driver. Rick OUT!

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