Truck Safety Group Urges Purges Of Drug Abuse Drivers

Topic 25896 | Page 5

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I don’t know where your stream of rhetoric is coming from

Well I'm happy to tell you where I get my knowledge from. I've spent 25 years in the trucking industry, including 15 years as a Top Tier Driver. I've also spent 10 years as a mentor helping countless thousands of people get their trucking career underway, including yours.

I've worked closely for the past 10 years with both private schools nationwide and many of the largest, most successful carriers in the country trying to learn how they operate, learn the traits of those who succeed and those who fail, and learn all I can about the various paths into a successful career in trucking so I can better advise people with their decisions. I'm on a first name basis and in regular contact with various company owners, high level company executives, operations managers, safety managers, school directors, and recruiting managers.

I also have 15 years, and counting, as a very successful business owner.

I've also been a very successful investor in the stock market for almost 30 years, following the business world very closely and educating myself on what it takes to be successful in the business world and gaining the best possible understanding of economics on both a small and a large scale. I managed to take a very small amount of money and turn it into a nestegg that financed the entire second half of my mom's life after my dad passed 30 years ago.

But I have to admit, in all my years I somehow never learned all the things you're teaching me today. Where did you learn all this stuff? You must have vast levels of experience and a tremendous resume in the business world. I honestly did not know all of this was true:

  • Big corporations don’t give 2 hoots what the public think
  • Insurance companies give discounts because they bought into the material that a PAID 3rd party tester wrote about on the product they were PAID to evaluate. DUH!
  • Has a single insurance company executive ever driven a truck with one of these crappy, lousy systems. NO!!!!!
  • Name one shareholder or High powered corporate executive actually cares about public opinion? The bottom line is ALL that matter
  • Safety is NOT their primary concern
  • Claiming safety is nothing more than a ruse.
  • the companies fighting for [deregulation] wasn’t thinking about the big picture and what it would cause
  • I am saying using the guise of safety is BS!!! NOTHING MORE, PERIOD!!!!

This has really been an eye opener for me I have to admit. The knowledge bomb you've dropped on us here has been a revelation.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, did I detect a slight note of sarcasm in the last part of your comment?

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Much of that sounds like it is pulled directly from a Bernie Sanders campaign speech!

shocked.png

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Patrick, you have got to be torturing your own sense of logic to actually believe the things you claim. My experiences are exactly like Brett's - long years in business, plenty of experience in the stock market, and quite a bit of exposure to people in the trucking business. None of what you say sounds even remotely logical.

You claim corporations don't care about safety or public opinion. How in the world can a publicly traded business operate like that? Where would they find stockholders? How would they avoid business crushing lawsuits? Nothing you're saying has any logic to it. It all sounds like these modern day socialist politicians trying to stir up hatred for anyone who has been successful. You even threw Donald Trump in there. Really?

You've really gone way out there.

Your experience with a small company whom you've already stated can't keep up with proper maintenance sounds much more like an operation that doesn't care about safety or public opinion. You're simply not using your head. You're arguments are all emotion based with no real knowledge or thought put into what your saying.

I work for a huge corporation. Everyday we are bombarded with safety reminders, and required to do additional training each month, all of which is safety related. We even get paid extra if we maintain certain metrics that show how safe we are. Imagine that - a corporation, who could care less about safety or public opinion, being willing to layout a ton of extra cash that they don't have to just because they want their employees to be safe.

I honestly don't know how you came to your conclusions, but you're not going to find any agreement with those of us who understand the nature of competition and free markets.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

I wasn't going to say anything but ,after yesterday's almost mishap by 2 truckers going down the I 84 I agree there is no reason to be going 85 or better on the roads. I just got another thank you for being 100% on time delivery. This is the 3rd one in a row. So my speed and planning hasn't hurt me getting to my appointments on time. But those 2 guys kept passing each other back and forth. Of course they didn't do it when Oregon state police were around.

As far as big companies trying to push small ones out of business, I don't think they are. They strive to keep their particular fleet running and their drivers happy. What could be wrong with that.

America was built on competition that is why we are able to be strong through strength of character and togetherness. Yes we have our political, and religious differences but as a whole we stick together.

Patrick I served, you served and many on here served our country. We still have the best of the best out there protecting our freedom and our way of life.

Raptor

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy's Comment
member avatar

Raptor i 100% agree on the 85 and i dont think that was his point but i 100% disagree big business is always trying to gobble up all the small businesses and i think that is every bit as much or more in trucking just look at how many smaller fleets the megas have bought out and or put out of business some would say its the american way or american dream for those megas i being a small town boy from little town usa just dont like that part of our culture while i fully understand it and how and why it happens it just leaves a monsanto kinda taste in my mouth

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Guys, one of the most critical aspects of being in business is that you've got to stand on your own feet. It's really easy to lay some sort of blame on the "big boys." We can accuse them of buying out the little guys, but nobody holds a gun to the little guys head. He sells out because he saw an opportunity to make money by selling. Why don't we moan and groan about the little guys being so willing to sell out?

I owned a small business for years. I got offers to sell out several times. I wasn't willing. I put together a business plan that allowed us to serve some of these big companies that should have been my competitors. I found ways to help them that benefitted both of us. We became allies. It didn't work with everyone, but it worked well enough to stay in business and thrive on markets that I basically created myself. Innovative thinking is critical in business.

In a commodities business like trucking, innovation is a tough nut to cut, but it's still there for the right people. J.B. hunt is famous for pioneering new markets and ideas in trucking. They started really small and are now one of these "big guys" that people like to hold disdain for.

Here's the bottom line: In trucking the strong will survive. This class warfare talk is silliness in my opinion. Business is a rough sport. The creative thinking guys win. No small companies sell out when they're making a killing. There's usually a reason why they are willing to go away, and it's usually because they already know they are going away no matter what they do. They couldn't play at the level required.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

OS I agree with you, however that is not always the case. Alot of mom/pop business’s are passed down and the heirs either didn’t want the business or couldn’t make it. I have seen this time and time again. It’s sad but too many of the younger folks want instant gratifaction. The headstone company I worked for sold out to a international company because the dad was ready to retire and his 2 boys didn’t want to carry on as dad had done. They saw instant dollar signs and jumped on it. I don’t know of any, but research would probably show there are some small trucking companies that went out the same way.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Alot of mom/pop business’s are passed down and the heirs either didn’t want the business or couldn’t make it.

Oh, I definitely agree with that. I've seen that happen a lot. I even bought a business in that situation. The man that started it passed away, and the heirs didn't have any desire or skills to keep it going.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Jeremy, I totally get what you're saying about small, family owned businesses struggling to survive in commodity industries like logging, farming, trucking, etc. For so many people the ultimate dream would be to own a small family business doing something you really love and make great money doing it. That way you have the best of everything - you're in control of your own destiny, you're making great money, and you're living your dream lifestyle.

We have a very romantic view of this, for good reason, but the reality of these family businesses is not what most people seem to think. Even way back in the day before the big industries stepped in and became major players in the game these small family businesses never made much money. It really was more about living the lifestyle you loved than it was about making good money.

Dairy farming is a classic example and everything about it applies to trucking and other commodity industries. I watched a nice show on PBS about the history of dairy farming in Vermont. If you look at the numbers it's clear that the number of dairy farms nationwide has dropped drastically throughout the decades as the size of the average farm has increased. Here's a perfect chart from an article called Got Milk? Possibly Not For Long If Policies Continue Hurting Dairy Farmers' Bottom Lines demonstrating that:

0628527001560946348.jpg

Here's another great chart from an article called Size matters – Production costs on US dairy farms showing that as the size of the dairy herd increases, the cost of production per unit decreases:

0332624001560946789.jpg

Both are super basic examples of how scaling larger makes an operation more efficient in any commodity business. This certainly applies to trucking.

This is where the romantic notion of the "thriving family farm" breaks down. Small commodity businesses never thrive. They never have. Even 80 years ago you had advancing technologies that forced massive changes to the way farming was done. There's a truck stop in the Midwest that has an old truck from the 1940's and the original letter that the farmer wrote to the car dealership.

The farmer said he was really happy with his new truck because it used to take him 3 days with a team of 3 horses to take a load of hay to town, but now he can take 3 loads in one day with his new truck.

Imagine how horrified his farming neighbors must have been! I'll bet word travelled 100 miles in every direction within a week of this guy taking his first hay to market in his new truck. It was a total game changer. Bigger tractors, bigger trucks, bigger plots of land, larger herds - commodity industries have always been an endlessly changing game where the smaller less efficient guys are constantly being squeezed out by the larger more efficient guys. You either constantly evolved to stay in the game or you died a slow, torturous financial death. This was no different in 1940 than it is today.

You absolutely must understand the business you're getting into and what it's going to take to survive, and hopefully thrive, for the next 10 years and beyond. In any modern commodity business it's extremely simple to do that. You have a huge amount of historical data that can easily be projected forward for 10 years or more. You can look at charts like those I've posted above until the cows come home (see how I did that?) to understand the profits and capital expenditures you can expect based on the size of your operation and the technology you intend to employ.

What's interesting to me is the sheer quantity of people willing to put their hat in the ring as a tiny entity even though it's plain to see a tiny entity has no chance of making very much money in a commodity business.

According to Wikipedia article called Family farm:

In 2012, the United States had 2,039,093 family farms (as defined by USDA), accounting for 97 percent of all farms and 89 percent of census farm area in the United States

According to Trucker.org Reports, Trends & Statistics:

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of June 2017, the number of for-hire carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration totaled 777,240. Of those:

  • 91% operate 6 or fewer trucks
  • 97.3% operate fewer than 20 trucks

continued........

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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