FMCSA Takes A Look At Assault, Harassment Of Female And Minority Drivers

Topic 26160 | Page 1

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DaveW's Comment
member avatar

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a notice into the Federal Register yesterday announcing the agency will be undergoing an investigation to "understand the prevalence, seriousness, and nature of the problem of harassment and assaults against truckers."

FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Very interesting. I think if people are honest this will be an eye opener to alot of folks.

I had some personal experience with this I will share the circumstances, not those involved.

A lady got into trucking for many the same reasons alot of us do. She knew nothing and did her own research, that she thought was pretty good.

She signed with a fairly large carrier that advertised they were very female friendly. She went through their company sponsored schooling and did very well.

She went through orientation and things still went great. She was told by the company they have a shortage of female trainers, that she could elect a male trainer. She is the type that sees the best in everyone. Glass half full type of person. She was assured the company strongly vetts all the trainers, espically males that will train females. She thought ok, this should work.

She got on the truck for her training. Which typically takes 3 weeks. The male trainer was married with small children. She felt comfortable with the situation based on this information. The trainer was also a lease operator with the company.

The first couple weeks went ok, she didn’t get alot of seat time. She thought ok, he knows what he’s doing. After all she is brand new and he is a trainer and leasing a truck.

Starting the 3rd week she was notified her miles were a little low and her training may have to get extended. She expressed concern to her trainer. He assured her it would work out.

Well long story short after 5 weeks her miles were too low and he flat told her if she wanted to stay on his truck for awhile they could turn some great miles and what explict things he desired from her.

As soon as she denied his advances all of a sudden her skills seemed to diminish and he recommended additional training. With him of course.

She contacted me and I told her she needed off that truck immediately to contact her training dm and get out of that situation. She was so nervous, about alot of various aspects.

She got removed from his truck and flown to the company main terminal. She was called in and the company wanted an explanation in detail. I told her to tell them the facts. Don’t lie about anything, but don’t embelish anything either and let happen what will.

She has gone on to be a very good rookie driver with the company and even been praised by safety on several occassions.

I have never run across the trainer and god willing I never will.

This is just one individual situation. My guess with my background is they will end up digging up a problem more pervasive than compaines think. My hope and prayer is no one has to endure this type of behavior.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.
DaveW's Comment
member avatar

Very interesting. I think if people are honest this will be an eye opener to alot of folks.

Thank you PJ, that was interesting. And I agree that FMCSA is going to get an earful.

The stories that will be the most tragic are the ones where a female trainee suffers abuse, like you illustrated, at the hands of a male trainer but feels she has to hold her complaint for fear of failing the training and possibly losing her chance to drive. I put the blame squarely on the companies that want to turn a blind eye to the issue. On paper, virtually all carriers take a strong stand against workplace abuse, but in practice many would rather not know what's going on. Predator trainers know this, and that's why the problem is so prevalent.

My solution is twofold:

Do not put a female trainee with a male trainer in a position to be living together in an 8x6 box for weeks on end. Period. It's just not right.

Or, barring the difficulty in that because there are no or few female trainers, the minute the male trainer makes the least little gesture or comment that makes the female uncomfortable she should report him. The company will probably blow it off the first time with a warning. But the female should complain time and time again until the company gives her a different trainer. Then the next female that ends up with this trainer should do the same thing. Eventually the company would finally get the message and pull his trainer status.

Do this enough times, and the trainer/trainee dynamic within the industry would change ... for the better for the female trainees, as predator trainers would get weeded out.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Do not put a female trainee with a male trainer in a position to be living together in an 8x6 box for weeks on end. Period. It's just not right.

Sadly - if that were the case, females would likely never get trained - or suffer incredible wait times while waiting for a female trainer, there JUST AREN'T ENOUGH in the industry to support the number of women coming in. And a company can't FORCE current women drivers to become trainers. Though they can create financial incentives to do so - but it becomes a double-edged sword. Do you pay women trainers markedly MORE, and discriminate against male trainers?

There were some big lawsuits a number of years back at one (or two) of the megas. They payed big settlements/judgements for harassment cases. So they stopped allowing females to be trained by males to reduce the risk. Then they got sued for not hiring female drivers, because they didn't have anyone to train them. So they re-instituted male trainers, with some sensitivity and harassment training.

It got a "little better" after that (at least at the majors), but no doubt is still an issue across the industry. It is ENDEMIC - but not necessarily EPIDEMIC.

What FMCSA can actually DO ABOUT IT - except kicking the can down the road, remains to be seen. I doubt very much though. There are already numerous legal remedies available for harassment and discrimination - both at the state and federal level.

You would figure in the age of #metoo and femnazi-ism - that these idiots would figure it out and leave the women be. A majority of male truckers are respectful considerate people - but it's always the few bad azzholes that shine a negative light on the entire industry. And it's obviously not just trucking, but the public in general.

You can't look at a women nowadays, or even go say hello to a stranger (never mind flirting) - without being accused of stalking or harassment. Conversely - most mature adults will take a "blow off" gracefully and move on. The other idiots will make rude comments and actually harass. But the issue cuts both ways in the hypersentive PC culture we are currently in. There's a difference between being friendly and being a harasser - but the line has grown so thin, that people are being forced to look at their shoes all the time, for fear of being LEGALLY HARASSED themselves.

I'm not saying this isn't an issue. Just not sure culturally, it's going to get solved anytime soon. There will always be idiots in the world. And in the industry, any trainer that's guilty of this behavior needs to either NOT be a trainer or get canned.

There's also "anecdotal evidence" or women trying to use their "feminine wiles", as a substitute for substandard performance in the trucking skills area.

The issue of harassment and female drivers is not as bad as it used to be - not as good as it COULD BE - and I believe any "study" due to the small sample size is going to be skewed in the direction of those that HAVE BEEN harassed outnumbering those that haven't. And it's my belief that there are many more women that have successfully completed training with ZERO ISSUES in recent years, than those that have HAD ISSUES.

Rick

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

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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