TruckingIndustry.news

Savannah Truck Drivers Speak Out Against Employers

by Jana Ritter - Published: 6/03/2015

Last month 18-wheelers were blamed for three separate recent accidents in Georgia that killed twelve people, including April's tragic crash that  killed five Georgia Southern nursing students. Now Port of Savannah truck drivers are speaking out. Not only are they tired of being thought of as public enemy number one, they’re even more tired of being an “afterthought” in the very industry they work in.

                                                           Truck Drivers Speak Out

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At a news conference Tuesday morning, the group of Savannah truckers started their public protest saying that unsafe working conditions and long hours on the road are to blame for the recent truck accidents in the area. They also add that low pay and trying to meet unfair company demands also contribute to an unsafe work environment. Last year,  NBC news also aired their inside investigation into companies forcing drivers to spend long hours on the road and some even forcing their drivers to falsify logs.

“We shouldn’t be struggling. Everybody’s struggling, in the industry everybody is taken care of but us,” said truck driver John Jackson. Teamsters Local 728 spokesman, Jerome Irwin Sr., was also present at the news conference. “These drivers are driving and put under pressure to make loads that they can’t deliver on. Instead of companies telling drivers to reschedule loads they tell the drivers, you’ve got to make it,” he said.

The Savannah truck drivers are furthering their fight with their own plan of action to call on state regulators to step in and take control of the situation. They’re also calling for the US Department of Transportation to enforce regulations requiring trucking companies to limit the number of hours they can require their drivers to work. “They need to get tougher on these companies. Give them some kind of guidelines to go by. Give them some kind of system,” said Jackson.

While there are many truck drivers who prefer not to be regulated and would rather be given the freedom to determine their own hours on the road, based on how they feel at the time, driver Carol Cauley isn’t one of them. She said that without regulations companies are more inclined to pressure drivers to keep going even when they’re fatigued and that is what leads to dangerous road risks for everyone.

                                                              Truck Driver Fatigue

“I actually have friends I know that have told me that they’ve fallen asleep on the road, and I’m like please slow down and they’re like well, I have to take care of my family.” Cauley said. She also wanted to make it clear that herself and other truck drivers are sincerely concerned about the families involved in the crashes.

“Don’t make the drivers get out there and go back and forth when they know they’re out of hours and that’s what the trucking companies are doing…. And our hearts go out to the bereaved families and we pray nothing like this ever happens again,” Cauley said in her public address.


Joel Collier
Joel Collier
I'm on electronic logs & bring home anywhere between $1,100 & $1,400 a week, home every night 90% of the time. I have no problems telling dispatch that I don't feel safe to drive. They don't like it obviously, but not a damn one of em has ever driven a truck before. Hell, one of em moved a bobtail the other day, put it in FIRST GEAR on a dirt lot & dumped the clutch. I laughed so hard, I cried.
Trucking Unlimited
Trucking Unlimited
Haha!
Adam Vogel
Adam Vogel
You take home over a grand a week at NFI??
Joel Collier
Joel Collier
Yep.
Joel Collier
Joel Collier
.45 a mile, $16.50 per stop, stop pay double on weekends, 2,700 miles a week. I'll let you do the math. And home every night 90% of the time, but only cause I choose to stay out sometimes.
Daniel Kettlewell
Daniel Kettlewell
Reading these comments make me really realize how many drivers there are that need to SERIOUSLY take a look at who they are working for. Your the ones driving the truck......if you don't feel safe, or you don't have the hours, grow a set of balls and tell them that you aren't doing it.......loads CAN BE rescheduled. If they theaten to fire you.....no big deal....call in the DOT on the company......your the ones in control. I guess i have been VERY fortunate.....been driving over 19 years (all with the same company, this is the ONLY company i have driven for) . Our company is good.....if you can't do it legal, they DO NOT want you to do it......if you don't feel safe driving when the roads are bad, they say for you to park it......the driver is in control. LOADS CAN BE RESCHEDULED We work on percentage, so we aren't scrambling to get all the miles in that we can. (why anyone would work for mileage pay is beyond me) , Freight rates keep going up....so does our pay.....life is good.
Trucking Unlimited
Trucking Unlimited
Well said!
Brandon Ackerman
Brandon Ackerman
You better be getting a percentage of 4 to 5 dollars a mile.
Daniel Kettlewell
Daniel Kettlewell
We run on percentage of GROSS WEIGHT......NOT MILES We are STEELHAULERS..,.not DOOR SLAMMERS Who in there right mind would work for mileage pay? I can make more money only driving 1500 mile per week than you can running 3200
Daniel Kettlewell
Daniel Kettlewell
I see he has worked for JB HUNT & CR ENGLAND.......guess thats why he can't understand the percentage concept
Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson
I think there are a lot of so called drivers that need to find another profession. Too many secretaries out here driving trucks!! 22 yrs of blood, sweat, and tears put into a profession that is slowly being taken over by indignant disrespectful race car drivers that could care less about the baby in the car in front of them. But are quick to blame someone else for there short comings as a "professional driver". I was taught by real truck drivers who are unfortunately not around anymore. Now were stuck with highway heroes with 2 weeks experience out of a truck driving school! Please!! More to it than sitting with your foot on the dash, eating a subway, and watching a movie. While herding your 18 wheeler down the highway. My rant!
Kevin Duplantis
Kevin Duplantis
If we are going to talk about hours of service, let's stop paying drivers by the mile and start paying by the hour!
Joel Collier
Joel Collier
I wish that would happen. At my mileage & stop pay rates, I've figured it out that I'm making roughly $30/hr.
Stephen Christensen
Stephen Christensen
EXACTLY......Driver should be treated the same as any other worker in this country....OT after 40.....
Daniel Jackson
Daniel Jackson
It wasn't the company driving the trucks involved in those accidents, it was the drivers. Grow the f up and take responsibility for your own actions
Jon Heine
Jon Heine
You need to regulate your self.not get the government involved.if employers want more say no its that easy
Ku Yang
Ku Yang
E-log your limited....open logbook keeps the Trucking industry alive and the economy running or else every1 be waiting on that load...prices go up etc. TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMY
Charles Danler
Charles Danler
You are in control nobody makes you do anything yes i drive truck
John Leeds
John Leeds
If everyone wants elogs why are their so many accidents involving trucks with elogs I don't think elogs are the answer
Warren Wylds
Warren Wylds
The guy that killed the 5 nurses had a speed limiter and a ELD
Ron Bowers
Ron Bowers
Hos has nothing to do with it's your own responsibility to be safe either you want to work or you dont just remember that load you don't haul someone else will to make a better pay check some ppl have goals to reach and others well your just others
Joshua Smiley Contreras
Joshua Smiley Contreras
I've been told to keep running after I'm out of hrs before. the simple solution to that is to tell dispatch who's behind the wheel and who's life is at risk with others on the road
Robert W. Day II
Robert W. Day II
I've been asked that before and know drivers say no and then looking for another job. Dispatch will say don't like it look elsewhere
Joshua Smiley Contreras
Joshua Smiley Contreras
That's fine with me I don't mind looking somewhere else but it's messed up they treat drivers like shit cause we all can be replaced
Christopher Trumm
Christopher Trumm
Except when every DM says that back to you. This isn't just a 1 company issue, it's an industry issue. Every company I've driven for says the same upfront... safety safety safety but I'm currently sitting because I denied a 1600 mile load for hos and could run 1200 miles but can't get anything more than 380 miles now. If I were a company driver on hours, fine. I'm not and stacking 2 x 300 mile loads with any kind of load and unload time... your done, hope you enjoyed making enough to pay fuel and your truck and insurance but eating is a luxury. I won't run illegal and sometimes pay the price. And btw, ever try to buy a home with 8 jobs in the last 3 years? Banks don't care why you job hop, just that you do.
Joshua Smiley Contreras
Joshua Smiley Contreras
As a company driver they tried to push me running illegal but I just gave them 9hrs a day for bitching to much about it sure at times I would go that extra mile and run 3-4 hrs after service now owning your own rig that would be a different story I'm sure
Jerry Hellard
Jerry Hellard
Bullshit if you can't make money and run legal your not doing something right teamster shut up quit crying cause you got to work for a living
Brandon Ackerman
Brandon Ackerman
Logs rush you. You have to match your schedule with others. I am looking for a company that pays by the hour. Not no punk 15 dollar an hour
Gary Rogers
Gary Rogers
I once worked for a company that had brand new Qualcomms , but still insisted on paper logs, mmmmm
Ken Boeck
Ken Boeck
Exactly, Jerry Hellard, your point on,
Samuel Lee
Samuel Lee
UNIONIZATION NOW.
Frank Lee Bishop
Frank Lee Bishop
Definitely agree with the just say no but i have been in the position many times where im told to do it or loose ur job and when u pay 1400 in support thats not an option lolol...theres good and bad with the elogs for sure ...unfortunately we will all have em one day
Christopher Trumm
Christopher Trumm
Sucks when you are blacklisted for denying a load due to safety and the company says you have an 8% deny of loads so you only get 300 - 400 miles a day until you fix that number. Not going to make money with that. Then when you job hop because of that who is going to take you seriously? Been there done that... most drivers I know on paper stay that way to maximize their time (don't show load and unload, or the like) not intending to be illegal but certainly stretching the truth just a little. I run e logs now vs. Paper and actually get my hours off now instead of not counting tarp time or strap time... but I don't get the straight 11 hours driving that I was able to show on paper (less $). Maybe they should start seeing where companies short drivers instead of making the drivers the bad guys?
Brandon Ackerman
Brandon Ackerman
Your late you're company gets hit with a fee a strike with you and your company. You loose time time is money that's what they say. I was in Chicago got stuck in a log jam and was late by 38 min. Had to set for 24 hours no pay
Robert Gibbons
Robert Gibbons
They should go after reamsters in NJ
Brandon Ackerman
Brandon Ackerman
Bottom line we need to be paid for all work. Not some of the work. When you are paid on production your pushing it and rushing to make dead lines. Also who really shows 100% of the work they do. There's a reason why drivers like fast trucks and paper logs. They can work more hours and run more miles. There are a lot of delays out here we should be able to take are time. Remember safety is number one. But working 2 hours a day for free is crap.
Christopher David Grandy
Christopher David Grandy
ELog are great you just need to manage your time better last weeks pay check 2,400 all legal
Eddie Baker
Eddie Baker
With what I do, hos enforcement would mean less money. I say leave the enforcement alone, and let the drivers do their on thing
CH Thornton
CH Thornton
You see the way these port drivers drive ? They need to be regulated worse than anyone.
James JT Jordan
James JT Jordan
Bunch of sidewalk sissies. Don't know their own limitations, cojones not big enough to say no. Butt not big enough to getter done. I think they need a job at McDonald's .!! Lol From a 40 year driver. 35 as an O/O . How many government regulations, or programs have you seen that worked? Or were beneficial to anyone? It's up to you to be a safe and productive driver. Take a real look at yourself, are you really worth more money ? Make the changes in yourself that makes you worth more. Then move on to where your paid more . If you force someone to pay everyone more no one benefits.
Carter Shaw
Carter Shaw
I don't need more government ass bags telling me how to do my job. I've been trucking a very long time. I will light my truck on fire before I let someone put elogs or a governor at even a camera in it. Didn't need a babysitter when I was 10 and don't need one now.