I've been driving with a CDL since '95. Now, why in the world would I get in a truck with a trainer who has 30 days experience? That's right, you can become a trainer after 30 days with England. It's called a phase 1 trainer. Do you really think a seasoned pro is going to sleep alright with that kind of a driver at the wheel, just because he took an in-town job for 4 years, and now doesn't meet their criteria to drive over the road? And what about the motoring public? Quite frankly Mr. Maine Trucker, if you have to spoon feed someone to get them to treat you right, you are probably with the wrong group of people. I am a trucker. I am a professional, I'm told this by the company, law enforcement, (especially if anything goes wrong), and the DMV. Yet when it comes to the trucking company not getting their way, they will starve you out. They hold the loads and the dispatch of those loads over the drivers heads. At best, not having a level playing field for dispatched loads is unfair business practices, not to mention the, " If you lease a truck you will get higher priority on the loads dispatched" leasing program. Is this practice used by the trucking company "professional?" Where is the company's responsibility to be "professional?" If not to the motoring public, to all their drivers. In this area, they lack.
When a driver refuses a load, or has a problem with a load, this is what happens and why they sit. Each driver manger has about 100 drivers. When a refusal happens, or the business is closed and the delivery cannot be made, that driver goes to the bottom of the list. That means that all 99 drivers above him are dispatched until he comes to the top again, usually in 2 to 3 days. Along with his name, comes his last problem. He is deemed unreliable, and the driver manger looks for some table scraps to give him, where the load prioirty is not as high or as time sensitive. The paycheck for that week is shot, mama at home gets no money, and the driver wants to quit and go somewhere else to work.
With England, Werner, and Swift, company drivers get the table scraps. All the good loads with long miles go to the people that joined their lease program and leased a truck. The company driver 's are only used for the short, multi-drop loads, that people with a big truck payment and the five insurances they have to maintain financially every week do not want. (Would you want that $800.00 payment staring you in the face every week in this economy?)
With the company's blessing, they use the "company drivers" for those "short hop" deliveries, and hope they quit so they don't have to listen to their complaints. They prostitute the "trainees" coming out of their schools and drive them into the ground, paying them $63.00 per day, with few showers. The trucking company wants their freight to move the fastest and cheapest way it can. There is just something fundamentally wrong with the trainer sleeping, and getting the lions share of the wages that that truck is making, with the trainee slaving away at the wheel, making everyone else money but his own family. The trainee should be paid mileage from the start. Any driver who turns a wheel should be paid mileage, period.
The best thing you as a driver can do, or as a driver's signifcant other, is to report them to The Labor Board in your State, and /or, The Labor Board in the State the home terminal for that company is in. Also, the Attorney General's Office in the home state of the main terminal, for those of you who are owed money. It could be anything from a paycheck, to a shortage or overcharge from a lease, or any other kind of financial dispute. Yes, you are an employee. But you are a consumer as well. Let's face it. Until we band together, (something we are notorious for not doing), and sit down and plunk away at these keys, it will never change, and more people will get sucked in to these "unfair business practices." If you are a driver making a living, get your significant other to sit and plunk. I'm sure her story, as being the one trying to pay all those bills and feed the kids with that reduced paycheck at the end of the week, can relay how it really is. I was going to go to Werner, now I'm not. Thank you for your input. This is really a sad testament to what this industry has become. Shameful.