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Truck Driver Business

The Pay Structure, Compensation, and Benefits of Being a Trucker 

Perhaps you have thought to yourself that a career in trucking would make sense. You have so many reasons to speak with a driver recruiting professional. We will cover a few bases that studying for the certification as a CDL driver makes sense. Trucking school usually lasts between three weeks to six months, but the length of time depends on the type of CDL, the student’s ability, and whether you enrolled in a part-time or a full-time program. 

The Pay Structure

Depending on the trucking company that you drive for, you have three ways to get paid in trucking: 

  • Pay by the mile
  • Pay by the load
  • Pay by the hour

Usually, drivers who deliver in the city receive pay by the hour. When the work picks up, you have the chance to earn overtime. In general, long-haul drivers get paid by the mile. That means you want to take on the longer hauls because you will receive a bigger paycheck for it. Unfortunately, this type of pay loses money when you sit at a delivery dock or get stuck in rush hour traffic or wait for a load because no new miles get added to the odometer. Owner-operators usually receive pay by the load. The contracting company will pay the driver a set percentage for the load delivery, which is generally much higher. 

Which trucking job you should take on depends on your individual goals. For example, if you want to come home every night, then you might pick a trucking job working in the city or statewide. With jobs like this, you come home every night, or you get to go home close to every night. People who want higher pay would choose to be an owner-operator, and they have the other advantage of having their freedom. Finally, you have income by the mile. This trucking type is advantageous to those who want to travel to the nation. They don’t necessarily have a wife and kids, which affords them the luxury of seeing the country. The trucking advantage is that it’s highly flexible, and you can start with one type and later switch to another. 

Compensation

What does a trucker earn each year? Owner-operators can earn over $200,000 annually, but they must pay many expenses with it, cutting 70 percent of the profits. The average trucker earns $43,680 per year. However, you have many experienced truckers who make between $80,000 to $100,000 per year. How much you earn depends on the type of trucking that you choose. Hazmat trucking, for example, earns between $54,832 and $71,202. 

Before you choose a type of trucking, you might want to look at a few factors like:

  • Required education
  • Demand
  • Certifications
  • Salary
  • Years of experience required
  • Risk of the work

Understanding all factors can help you to make an informed decision. Depending on the compensation arrangement, you could earn bonuses and overtime pay. However, you have to exercise some degree of caution with rewards because some unscrupulous trucking companies have ways of wiggling free of them. Acquaint yourself fully with the terms and conditions. Beware of any bonus that sounds too good to be true. Look for the fine print in the sign-on bonus if you can find it. You have to know what the company expects in return because no trucking company hands out free money. 

The Reason for Bonuses

Bonuses exist because trucking companies face a crazy shortage, and the 94 percent turnover rate costs them thousands of dollars every year. Offering incentives help companies keep reliable drivers that they desperately need; how the bonus works will depend on the company. As a new CDL driver, don’t sign on with a company thinking that will be the only requirement. In most cases, you must meet more than one condition to receive your bonus. 

Beware of “chargeback” bonuses. You don’t even want to sign up for this type of bonus. Like with insurance and commissions, they sometimes put a clause in for a “chargeback.” In other words, the company pays you the bonus originally, but if you fail to meet the terms and conditions, the trucking company can demand the bonus back, leaving you on the hook for the cash. Considering how some companies offer as much as $10,000 sign-on bonuses, the result could leave you with a $10,000 debt. 

The other trick to beware of with sign-on bonuses comes from how they might lower your salary. Do the payments remain the same, even with the compensation? Look at it from all angles because some trucking companies use this to entice truckers without any intention of paying the bonus. 

Why Become a Trucker?

Why should you get an education as a CDL driver? First, schooling takes far less time in most cases than other forms of knowledge. You can start earning within seven weeks to six months instead of two to four years. On top of that, you can usually trust that one of the trucking companies will hire you because of the truck driver shortage. Many trucking companies will pay for your schooling. You sacrifice a percentage of your pay until you have paid for the schooling, but this route ensures that you have a job right out of school. You don’t have many other professions that offer a deal like this. 

The other benefit of being a trucker comes from how you get to see the nation. Speak to any veteran trucker, and you will find how they have driven in up to 48 states. Because you haul freight from one state to the next, you see a lot of the nation. The destinations that always intrigued you become available at your fingertips. 

With driver recruiting, people choose a trucking career that comes from how widely available the jobs are. You can get a job in trucking quickly because of how you have a widespread driver shortage. In 2018, experts estimated the deficit at 60,000 drivers. Because of this ever-widening gap, you can negotiate better benefits and higher pay. You have more power in the negotiation.

Many experienced truckers don’t stick with a single trucking company for long because of trucking companies looking to hire the best talent. They continually offer better bonuses, better perks, and higher pay to bring in some of the best from other companies. 

This should hand you an outline of the pay structure, the compensation, and the benefits that come with being a trucker. Truckers keep our nation’s economy running smoothly. In every disaster, from hurricanes to pandemics, truckers deliver medicines and goods to ensure that everything continues to run smoothly. You receive some incredible benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and liability insurance. No matter what you choose, a career in trucking comes with plenty of benefits.

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Truck Driver Business

The Growing Trucker Shortage Means That Thousands of Jobs Available 

According to a 2019 American Trucking Associations (ATA) report, the industry has been experiencing a shortage of truck drivers for the past 15 years. That shortage was estimated to be about 20,000 back in 2005. Today, that shortage is estimated to be about 59,000 drivers. That shortage of drivers is currently centered around the long-haul, cross country, and industry segments. Truck drivers move 70 percent of America’s freight. With the rise of online shopping and just in time inventory and delivery strategies, that percentage is unlikely to fall significantly any time soon. 

Competition between trucking companies for the limited supply of available qualified drivers has been so fierce at times that some companies actively poached drivers from each other. Indeed, that poaching even led to a court battle that yielded a $15.5 million judgment against one major trucking company. According to industry insiders, several factors drive the qualified driver shortage, a shortage that is likely to grow without robust driver recruitment. These factors include: 

  •  An aging workforce approaching retirement 
  •  Demand growing faster than supply
  •  Comparatively few women drivers
  •  Regulatory issues
  •  Work conditions
  •  Lifestyle concerns
  •  Other employment options at a similar wage

 Driver Shortage Leading To Better Opportunities

This ongoing truck driver shortage makes industry leaders take a closer look at the day-to-day issues truck drivers face and consider how to resolve those issues. There’s a lot of work behind the scenes to increase this industry’s attractiveness, reducing driver turnover and driver loss. Many of the major trucking companies are working extra hard to attract and keep qualified drivers. That means that thousands of truck driving jobs are available and that trucking companies strive to make these jobs better opportunities overall. 

Trucking Companies Increasing Pay

Truck driving, especially long-haul, can be a tough job. Some days are fraught with hassles and delays, including long waits for unloading, difficulty finding a place to park to sleep, and, of course, traffic. Weather, road construction, and road food add to the list. Add in lengthy periods away from home and family, and it’s no wonder that many cast their eyes on jobs with comparable wages that, though they come with their hassles, allow them to be home daily. 

The industry has seen aggressive increases in pay and in signing bonuses in the past couple of years, with some of the big trucking companies planning further increases this year. Team drivers saw even more premium pay and bonus increases than solo drivers in many companies. With team driving, two drivers make up the team. When one completes their allotted drive time, the other takes over. Many couples do this successfully, eliminating one of the main long-haul trucking lifestyle drawbacks – too much time away from their significant other or spouse. 

With this year’s new pay increases and bonuses, some Schneider National drivers are now being paid over $90,000 per year. This trend toward increasing pay is an essential part of relieving the industry’s shortage. There are some great opportunities out there for qualified drivers with clean driving records. 

Working To Reduce Hassles

The trucking industry is working to improve some of the working conditions that hurt drivers’ productivity, reducing their driving time and thus their paychecks. One key area of delay is loading and unloading. Drivers often arrive at their destination and have to watch their allowable work hours tick away while waiting for their cargo to be unloaded. Companies are striving to reduce those wait times. Many companies are upgrading trucks and equipment to increase driver safety, comfort, and convenience. 

Excellent Opportunities For Women

As noted by the ATA, despite being almost half of the workforce, just under 7 percent of truck drivers are women. Some companies have focused driver recruitment efforts on increasing their number of women drivers. In those companies, women make up about 20 percent of the workforce. The trucking industry as a whole welcomes women drivers, especially with shortages expected to continue to grow over the next decade. Right now is an excellent time for women thinking about the benefits of a career in the trucking industry to start taking steps to make it happen. There’s good money to be made.

Tackling Entry Barriers

Another aspect of the trucking industry that industry leaders are taking a close look at is the barrier to entry. Trucking driving school can be costly, which can be a real issue for people trying to break into this profession. Some companies offer CDL training, trucking driving school programs, and paid, on the job training programs. Other companies pay for CDL training or truck driving school and recoup it in small payments from future paychecks. Not only does this eliminate the cost barrier, but it also solves a common problem, new trucking school graduates often face – finding a job without driving experience. 

Age is another entry barrier that trucking industry leaders are working to address. The legal minimum age for interstate truck driving is 21. Many industry leaders are backing legislation to change this. The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE) Safe Act seeks to set up an apprenticeship type of program for drivers 18 to 21 years old, as explained by the ATA in its 2019 report. These programs would feature 400 hours of training, including 240 hours of supervised driving. The goal is to decrease the driver shortage while increasing the pool of highly trained, safety-conscious, and otherwise well-qualified drivers. 

Now Is The Time

It’s a great time to get into the trucking industry. The increased demand for trucking services and the shortage of qualified drivers means thousands of jobs are waiting to be filled. The current focus of industry leaders on improving pay and working conditions means that these aren’t just jobs. They’re opportunities to build a career able to finance the American dream. Driver recruitment is on the upswing. Don’t miss a great opportunity.

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Truck Driver Business

5 Bright Future Forecasts for Truckers and How The Industry Is Adapting to Coronavirus Challenges

The trucking industry is no stranger to adapting to new policies and procedures. The Coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges that have required rapid change across the industry.

Just as we were settling into the relaxed HOS regulations, they change again. Just as we got comfortable with the open roads offered by fewer cars, society starts going back to work.

The economy will soon begin its recovery as people return to normal. So, what does that mean for the future of trucking?

JOB MARKET

The Coronavirus pandemic has closed the door on new drivers entering the market. Most states have required their driver licensing agencies to severely reduce operations. As many as seventeen states have shuttered them completely.

The President and CEO of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association states that nationwide, we are seeing a 40% decrease in March For the number of new CDLs issued. The CTVA forecasted the number of new drivers entering the market will be reduced by 90% for April and 70% for May.

Tenstreet, a recruiting website for truckers, says student hiring fell 35% in almost 2 months. The hiring rate for experienced drivers is down almost 30%

When these licensing agencies begin to open again, we will likely experience a surge in the number of new student drivers and trainees. An increased supply of truck drivers means driving jobs may become harder to find.

TRAFFIC INCREASES

In an April 2020 release, the American Transportation Research Institute states 87% of survey respondents have experienced shorter traffic congestion delays. The roadways have been all but cleared due to the Coronavirus pandemic’s stay-at-home measures.

Average truck speeds have increased with fewer commuter vehicles on the road. Research shows…

…Click here to continue reading.

 

 

 

 

MORE INTERESTING ARTICLES:

FMCSA is Changing HOS… Again! 4 New HOS Rules

 

Uber Freight and CloudTrucks Give Truckers New Opportunities

 

8 Ways Truckers Relieve Stress During the Pandemic

 

CSA Score Reduction, How to Challenge FMCSA Crash Rulings

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Truck Driver Business Trucking News

Trump Ensures Safety of Truck Drivers with PPE donation

Trump Ensures Safety of Truck Drivers with PPE donation

Truck drivers are heroes of the American continent, particularly during this period of the COVID-19 outbreak. For months, they have been leaving their homes to deliver supplies to families at all times during the national crisis.

They connect every grocery, manufacturer, hospital, business, and the community. However, truckers and drivers recently complained about putting their lives on the line as they serve the people due to a lack of protective equipment to protect themselves against the coronavirus.

In effect, they sent a direct appeal to the Trump Administration to offer them quick turnaround tests for the virus, treatment strategies needed, and personal protective equipment (PPE). In an unprecedented move, the president donated 1 million masks to the truck drivers.

The Demand for Truck Drivers Has Become a Nationwide Phenomenon

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation has seen “panic buying,” which has tripled the work of truck drivers. Across the US, hand sanitizer sales, for instance, witnessed an increase of 228% within the first four weeks of March, compared to last year’s statistics.

Business Insider also reported that during the first two months of 2020, the sales of flu, cough, and cold products across the top 80 online retailers in the US grew by 198%. Virus protection items and canned foods similarly jumped 817% and 69%, respectively.

But everything, from hand sanitizers to pharmaceuticals, has been moved through truck driving. Of course, foods and drinks as well as toiletries are moved by trucks before they arrive at consumers’ doorsteps, hospitals, or the big stores.

Without truck driving services, most people would go homeless, hungry, and naked during the pandemic. They are doing their best to ensure there is less social contact with those who are not in essential duties so that they get all their necessities in their homes.

In order to support the relief efforts by the government during the emergency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it has temporarily lifted the 1938 trucking safety law, which restricts the number of hours that truck drivers spend on the road.

Some of the types of loads that have been exempted from FMCSA’s law include:
• Emergency restocking foods for stores
• Supplies, equipment, and persons needed to establish temporary housing, isolation, and quarantine facilities related to the crisis response
• Persons designated for isolation, quarantine, or medical purposes
• Medical equipment and supplies related to diagnosis, testing, and treatment of coronavirus
• Equipment and supplies needed for sanitation, community safety, and prevention of the COVID-19 transmission
• Persons needed to provide emergency services during the crisis

Truckers Receive 1 Million Masks

In collaboration with the president Administration, the FMCSA is distributing 1 million face masks to truck drivers. FMCSA has been working closely with other relevant stakeholders in the transport industry, including motor carriers to deliver the protective face masks.

Out of the 1 million masks, 800,000 are to be distributed across 8 states: Texas, New York, Illinois, Georgia, California, Arkansas, Indiana, and Nebraska. The remaining 200,000 face masks are to be distributed to motor carriers, who would then deliver them to drivers.

The acting FMCSA Administrator, Jim Mullen, acknowledges the efforts made by the country’s commercial drivers to deliver supplies and goods to businesses, homes, and hospitals every single day. He noted that the protective masks would help truckers to remain healthy and safe while they continue to support the economy during the crisis.

In further response to the crisis, FMCSA has taken an unprecedented move to support the motor carrier industry and the country’s supply chain, through several measures. This includes taking steps to enable drivers to get their commercial driver’s licenses, ensuring that rest stops and truck parking are open 24 hours a day, and making a declaration of the national emergency service hours.

Trump Recognizes the Efforts of Truck Drivers

The President recognized the significant role of truck drivers in the American economy. During a White House event that took place on April 16, the president thanked the country’s truck drivers for ensuring that the people received essential goods and services, referring to them as “lifeblood” of the economy. Asking whether they would switch their jobs for anyone, he went ahead to call drivers the “heroes of the nation’s great struggle against the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Naming the event “Thank God for Truckers,” the president described all truck drivers as foot soldiers who are carrying the nation to victory as they are playing a significant role in vanquishing the virus. He invited several drivers to his podium, giving them the chance to share their personal stories of working during the pandemic and how the product delivery process has changed.

Stephen Richardson, a professional driver working with Triple G Express, Charlton Paul, who is serving at UPS Freight, and Tina Peterson, all spoke about their experiences during the pandemic.

During the crisis, truck drivers are expected to maintain good personal hygiene and ensuring that their vehicles are clean while also keeping social distancing from people to ensure their own safety.

The basic hygiene measures that have been advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO) include:

  • Washing hands with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Putting used tissue in a bag or bin immediately
  • Sneezing or coughing while covering the mouth
  • Avoiding making contacts with unwell clients
  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers when not in a position to wash hands.

 

More News for Truckers:

CSA Score Reduction, How to Challenge FMCSA Crash Rulings

Safety Managers’ Relief; The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Speeding Tickets Jump Drastically during COVID-19

Logistics Layoffs; How the Industry is Shifting

If Truckers Stop, We All Stop

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I Am Zeus Truck Driver Business

CSA Score Reduction, How to Challenge FMCSA Crash Rulings.

This article was written for truckers and motor carriers.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • FMCSA rewrites the rules after listening to Motor Carriers
  • 93% of eligible submissions ruled non-preventable
  • Not at fault? Challenge FMCSA Records

Click here to read more.

Categories
Truck Driver Business

The Coronavirus & Trucking

The coronavirus or Wuhan virus first started in Wuhan, Hubei, China, but this virus’s disruption to global markets and the global supply chain can’t be understated. Authorities confirmed over 90,000 cases, and the number grows daily. Because of the rising epidemic, many countries have banned travel to and from China altogether. The spread, however, continues at an unprecedented level. 

Widespread Shockwaves across the Globe

An estimated 40 percent of shipments coming to the United States entered from China within the last month. After the goods arrived in the United States, trucks and trains hauled these shipments across the nation to different businesses that ordered it. Within the last six weeks, a decrease in the number of imports has led some to believe that a slowing economy could soon take place. The impact on the East Coast has been felt on some level, but most economists still can’t predict where this might lead. Plenty of other activity clouds the actual data, which makes it difficult to discern. 

How Far Could This Lead?

As of right now, we still haven’t contained the Cornavirus. On February 1, 2020, we had 12,000 cases of the Cornavirus, but that number has grown to 90,000 as of March 3, 2020. That should give you an estimate of the sizable impact this virus has had. The worst part is that its influence could grow in the coming days as it continues to spread. The reason for the drop in freight volume comes as a result of a direct loss of production in CNY. Because we still haven’t contained the effects of the impact, the results could worsen in the coming days. 

Cases within the United States

On March 2, 2020, 100 cases of the Cornavirus were confirmed, and six people had died within the United States as a result of the virus. This slowdown sent freight volumes into a free fall, and most experts believed that it wouldn’t recover soon. Looking at the Cass Freight Index, one of the most important North American Transport measurements, shipping volume dropped 9.4 percent since January 2020, and that shows us the most significant drop in freight volume since 2009. 

Chinese workers have begun to trickle back into the factories to return to work, and they have started to do air shipping to make up for the lost time. Still, a tidal wave of devastation could soon be headed for the United States, where the Cornavirus hits the American public hard. We could quickly see a surge in demand that will bring up the other part, but as those in transportation get sick with the virus, it could lead to further problems with getting freight shipped around the country. 

Operating at Lowered Output in the Factories

The lower output in the factories has led to a shortage of supplies. Carter’s Inc, a children’s clothing supply store, has said that some of the travel bans on China have wreaked havoc on their production schedule, and this could delay the delivery of some of the products come the autumn season. 

Even though many of the products get manufactured in the United States, you have some components that get produced in China. This has led to a shortage of components for manufacturing, which will have an impact on the profits. 

How It Could Impact Trucking

Once container services come back online, the flood of raw materials and parts will hit the North American Ports. As this happens, domestic truck transportation could tighten up, and this leads to higher prices for freight shipping. That sounds great, but the freight demand will most likely weaken as the virus takes hold within the United States. We’ve only witnessed what the problem looks like within the context of China, and the virus has only begun to pick up speed within the United States, which could have some unforeseen consequences. 

Most analysts believe that we will see a v-shape recovery where the shipping demand drops for some time, but it will rise back up after a duration. Experts remain optimistic, but a level of realism continues as we know how this could have a real impact on things. 

Fear of a Recession

A recession on a global scale could hit as the number of Cornavirus cases continues to spiral out of control. What happens within the next month will determine how we look at the 2020 economy going forward. If we can manage to contain the spread of the virus, we will see a better outlook than if the virus continues to spread in an out-of-control fashion. The problem with a globally connected market comes from how if even one country suffers, we will feel it at the foundations even in our nation. 

Some of the latest countries to have an issue with Cornavirus include:

  • South Korea
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan

The number of cases in South Korea could already exceed 5,000, and Iran gives an estimate, but most believe the cases to be much higher than the statistics provided. One of Iran’s advisors, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, died of coronavirus, which should paint a picture of how bad the spread has been within that country. We have to fight this together on an international level because of one when one country suffers many casualties, and it can spread to other nations. Not to mention, what happens in other nations can affect our own. The Dow dropped 3,500 points, one of the most significant weekly point losses since the 2008 crisis. 

Preparing to Deal with the Corona Virus

We have to expect the impact as not an “if” but a “when” it will happen. Preparation could go a long way to handling some of the ill effects on the United States economy. Unfortunately, truck drivers for Amazon and Walmart said that they hadn’t received guidance on how to deal with this inevitable problem. More than 9,000 truck drivers have said that they received no communications with Amazon or Walmart. 

Both of the companies have a massive network for transport, and they depend on truck drivers to move freight. While they told all employees to avoid all non-essential travel, truckers have a unique job where that isn’t possible. 

 Some of the ways that you can stay safe as a trucker, however, include:

  • Washing your hands
  • Not shaking hands
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Wear a surgical mask

Looming Impact

We will most likely see an increased impact on transportation because of the Cornavirus. Our logistics industry was already beginning to feel a slump, and this could only exacerbate and add to the problem. This virus spreading could derail our economy, or if it wrecked the economy of another big country like China, it could have an impact on our economy indirectly. Most economists believe that it won’t take much to kick us into a recession.

In the middle part of February, China brought its entire economy to a grinding halt, and most experts believe that it will take time to understand the full implications of the Chinese economy. Depending on the extent of the damage from the Cornavirus, we could see pledges like cheap tax credits, tax cuts and other government aid to help small firms survive this upcoming event. Job growth already looked weak in this sector, which could be brought even lower because of the coronavirus. 

Sources:

 https://www.freightwaves.com/news/coronavirus-may-give-trucking-another-headache

 https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-walmart-amazon-truckers-guidance-2020-3

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-impact-seen-prolonging-u-s-freight-slump-11582832476

 https://www.ttnews.com/articles/economists-fear-possible-recession-coronavirus-spreads

Categories
Truck Driver Business

New CDL Law Aims to Keep Truckers in Check 50 Percent Drug Test Increase

Why will more drivers have more random drug tests in 2020? Most likely, this new legislation comes as a result of more truck drivers testing positive for illicit substances. The new changes could add $50 to $70 million in increases to the expenses of the industry, but the long-term goal will be increased highway safety for everyone. The FMCSA ordered a 50 percent increase in drug tests for increased safety.

Changes Going into Effect

The changes will implement on January 1, 2020. Random drug testing will rise from 25 percent up to 50 percent more. Considering the increase, it means that 2.1 million random drug tests will be administered in 2020. An FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing Survey in 2018 showed how a one percent increase in positive tests had taken place. Because of that survey, the FMCSA plans to increase testing by as much as 50 percent. 

Impacting New Driver Hires

This could have a negative impact on the new driver hires because of how it will slow down the process of putting drivers on the road. Let’s say that you have a driver that wasn’t registered. This could slow down the process of him getting hired because the fleet can’t run a full query and get consent. In fact, fleets couldn’t hire new drivers until January 6, 2020, because of how they had to be registered. 

Learning More About the Law

At a minimum, you will need to do random drug testing at 10 percent, but a drastic increase could be on the books. Some fleets may not want to comply with these new laws, but you do have some dangers to not implementing them. For example, the FMSCA can easily check who has been doing random drug tests and reached the annual minimum. They will look at the DOT numbers to determine who remains within the law and who doesn’t.

How to Minimize Disruption

The biggest problem coming to fleets comes from how the new regulations can interfere with the actual job of truckers. It becomes more tedious when you have to comply with a bunch of laws and regulations, which is why many truckers dislike it. 

Some of the ways to minimize disruption include:

  • Limited query consent form for driver
  • Identify the head of drug and alcohol procedures
  • Register with the clearinghouse

While we could see a drastic increase in highway safety, the compliance-based workflow will also see some shifts and changes to it. This could complicate and slow down the hiring process if the right measures don’t come into place. 

Startling Statistics

On average, 120,000 CDL drivers face a violation annually. Because the FMSCA realizes the impact that such laws will have on driving, they have said that drivers can wait until January 6, 2023, before they will have to file inquiries with the clearinghouse before granting CDLs. The goal is not to slow down the logistics industry but to improve it with the minimal impact possible. 

Why Companies Perform Random Drug Tests

It doesn’t matter what company you go to. You will first have to pass a drug test. Random drug tests have also become a part of this industry because of the devastation a truck driver high on drugs can wreak. 

Some of the drugs that they test for include:

  • PCP
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates

Why You Shouldn’t Take Drugs

Occasionally, you see a trucker brag about how they do drugs and still get away with it on the drug tests. You have one problem with this: If you get into a crash, trucking companies automatically administer a drug test. They do this to please the insurance companies. In any accident with a fatality, they will administer a drug test, even if the driver isn’t cited. In addition, if they find you with any drugs in your system, they will use this against you. 

What Happens When You Fail a Drug Test?

We’ve talked about how random drug tests could increase in 2020, but what happens when you test positive for drugs in trucking, or you refuse to take a random drug test? Based on a system known as return-to-duty laid out by the Department of Transportation, you will have to see a substance abuse professional. You will have to pass six random drug tests by your substance abuse professional for you to get back into trucking. That can take up to a full year. 

Not to mention the consequences that come to the carrier. For example, if you get arrested for driving under the influence, this will have an impact on your federal carrier’s safety ratings. That can mean having a negative impact on how well your company can get insurance to cover all the drivers. In addition, if you get into an accident while under the influence, the following lawsuit against a smaller company can put them under. 

What Could’ve Prevented This Problem

Back in 2016, the legislature wanted to pass a law where drug testing in the hair was mandatory. That, however, didn’t pass. With urine drug tests, the problem comes from how you need a lot of them to screen drivers. With hair drug testing, illegal substances will remain within the body for a lot longer. Hair follicle tests can check for drugs for up to 90 days. If the need for clean drivers becomes increased, we could see more using hair drug tests because of the greater reliability of them. 

The Issue with Marijuana Usage

While marijuana may be legal to use in some states, truckers, like airline pilots, could still lose their job for smoking it. The issue comes from how the drug has a negative impact on safety. In fact, studies have shown how chronic users of marijuana have five times the likelihood of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Their medical costs tend to go up by three times as much, and they only work at 67 percent efficiency, which means they have a lot of absences. 

Disqualifying truck drivers through this system could be a precautionary measure that helps trucking companies to save on the costs. Experts estimate that it saves up to $14,000 for each occurrence. That’s big savings as a company. 

Making It Harder for Drug Users

In the past, if a trucker failed a drug test, they might not face as serious of consequences as today. In 2016, the legislature passed a law where motor carriers had to report information about drivers to the clearinghouse. Anyone who tested positive for drugs refused to test, or they went through a rehabilitation process that will get reported to the clearinghouse. In this way, they could also see if the driver had been re-hired on with another motor carrier. That became a common way for drivers to get around the system. 

While the law first got implemented on January 1, 2020, it could take a couple of years before it fully goes into effect. For example, little progress has been made as of right now for building a database of offenders. They likely pushed back the deadline to get everything in order, but they most likely won’t repeal it entirely. The legislature has shown little appetite to repeal this law completely. Fleet executives, however, will still want to keep their eyes on this law in the coming days and months because it could change things in big ways. 

Sources:

 http://www.alltrucking.com/faq/drug-testing-trucking-companies-what-you-need-know/

 https://www.ttnews.com/articles/fmcsa-increases-random-drug-test-rate-50-2020

 https://www.truckersforum.net/threads/losing-cdls-over-a-drug-test-once-have-the-job-randoms.92413/

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Truck Driver Business

Why the Failures of Trucking Companies Could Increase

With a fear of losing their jobs, Missouri truckers have banded together to protest outside the state capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. Irate truckers took to the streets to convince the state government to pass a bill that would stop self-driving trucks from taking over the highways in Missouri. As of right now, the technology hasn’t progressed far enough to pose a threat to truckers, but most of them see this as a threat to their livelihoods. 

Protecting Careers

Many truckers have driven for trucking companies their whole lives, and with the arrival of this new technology, it could put thousands out of a job. Mike Moon, a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, has said that he has drawn up a bill that would keep autonomous trucks from driving in the state of Missouri. Moon also sees it as a safety issue with heavy machines operating solely through the mind of a computer prone to errors. 

Missouri Doesn’t Stand Alone.

Legislature already believes in protecting the jobs of truckers, and 29 states have come together to pass laws that will regulate autonomous vehicles. This includes the neighboring state of Illinois, which has set a code to monitor these cars through regulations. However, many haven’t passed laws that will ban them altogether, like in the state of Missouri, but you do have several that have. 

Billy Bogar, a chief member in the protest in Jefferson City, expresses concern that as these trucks take over the highway, it will put a strain on him for putting food on the table. That’s why he and other truckers have banded together to fight against the advancement of self-driving technology. Bogar has stated that a big step forward will be having a bill put forward that will regulate self-driving vehicles at the least.

Who Attended?

Truck drivers came together to raise awareness of this problem with broad implications. In attendance, you had 20 industry stakeholders and nine trucks present at the rally to bring awareness to the dangers of driver-less semi-trucks. Truckers have a lot of power when they come together to unite against this problem. Through mass protests, they could block highways and even seize up the economy if their demands weren’t met. We shouldn’t make any mistake about how this technology has already arrived. In one case in Colorado, a driver-less semi-truck was tested from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. The testing has only grown in scale ever since.

Looking at the Big Picture

You have an impact that comes to the big picture that you must consider. With 3.5 million truckers delivering freight on the road today, we can’t afford to have that many people out of jobs all at once. The impact on society, infrastructure, and labor could send us into a severe problem. This impact will stretch beyond the road. It raises an important question like how much of society are we willing to surrender to AI and autonomy. What role will this play? 

Not Over Yet

Some don’t believe that autonomous trucking will spell the end of work for truckers because of how you still have other aspects that truckers will need to account for. For example, truckers will have to stay behind the wheel because this is heavy machinery. They will still need to monitor it to watch over it. Not to mention, they will even need someone who can load and unload the truck—autonomous driving won’t account for that. That shows that this fear surrounding driver-less technology could be unfounded.

Already Beginning

We have already seen the propellers for autonomous driving in motion, as many of the new trucks already come with autonomous driving features. For example, some trucks today will warn you if you have come too close to another car. The technology will also send you warnings if another vehicle has come into your blind spot. Still, at the end of the day, the truck driver remains in control. The autonomous technology still hasn’t advanced far enough to where it could replace truckers altogether—at least not yet. Not to mention, when you operate a crane or heavy machinery of any kind, you generally want someone behind the technology to prevent a disaster from unfolding. No matter how much technology we get, robots can’t replace the thinking mind of a human. 

What Will the Future Look Like?

Some truckers worry about the kind of future that this newly emerging technology might bring. You have a few possible scenarios depending on how the government sets up the legislature. Some truckers like Bill Bogart believe that it will lead to the annihilation of trucking jobs. On the other hand, you have the other people who say that while this technology will change the way truckers work, it won’t destroy their jobs because this type of work will always be needed. As long as demand at the stores exist, the need for freight will also live. 

Some believe that with the introduction of this technology, it could mean trucker riots and civil unrest as hundreds of thousands lose their jobs. One person believes that legislation could be the answer. For example, self-driving companies could be taxed as a way of providing severance pay for truckers who lost their jobs. You might also see more people entering into college because of how many of the jobs that once didn’t require college are being automated out through technology. 

Truckers Do More Than Driving

Let’s say that automated driving took over entirely. Truckers might shift into a role where they might secure the cargo, provide customer service, and maintain the trucking logs. You won’t see any of these tasks becoming automatized for the time being. Truckers will still have a responsibility to handle this type of job.

Naturally, when your livelihood gets threatened, you feel the need to protect it. However, this may not be the answer because of how technology will continue to advance either way. It will be extraordinarily hard for anyone to hold back the development of technology. Instead, anyone who feels threatened by this newly emerging technology should take measures to grow as individuals. They can use it as an educational opportunity to shift with the times and become better and stronger individuals.

Categories
Truck Driver Business

Truckers Want to Ban Self-Driving Trucks in Missouri

With a fear of losing their jobs, Missouri truckers have banded together to protest outside the state capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. Irate truckers took to the streets to convince the state government to pass a bill that would stop self-driving trucks from taking over the highways in Missouri. As of right now, the technology hasn’t progressed far enough to pose a threat to truckers, but most of them see this as a threat to their livelihoods. 

Protecting Careers

Many truckers have driven for trucking companies their whole lives, and with the arrival of this new technology, it could put thousands out of a job. Mike Moon, a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, has said that he has drawn up a bill that would keep autonomous trucks from driving in the state of Missouri. Moon also sees it as a safety issue with heavy machines operating solely through the mind of a computer prone to errors. 

Missouri Doesn’t Stand Alone.

Legislature already believes in protecting the jobs of truckers, and 29 states have come together to pass laws that will regulate autonomous vehicles. This includes the neighboring state of Illinois, which has set a code to monitor these cars through regulations. However, many haven’t passed laws that will ban them altogether, like in the state of Missouri, but you do have several that have. 

Billy Bogar, a chief member in the protest in Jefferson City, expresses concern that as these trucks take over the highway, it will put a strain on him for putting food on the table. That’s why he and other truckers have banded together to fight against the advancement of self-driving technology. Bogar has stated that a big step forward will be having a bill put forward that will regulate self-driving vehicles at the least.

Who Attended?

Truck drivers came together to raise awareness of this problem with broad implications. In attendance, you had 20 industry stakeholders and nine trucks present at the rally to bring awareness to the dangers of driver-less semi-trucks. Truckers have a lot of power when they come together to unite against this problem. Through mass protests, they could block highways and even seize up the economy if their demands weren’t met. We shouldn’t make any mistake about how this technology has already arrived. In one case in Colorado, a driver-less semi-truck was tested from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. The testing has only grown in scale ever since.

Looking at the Big Picture

You have an impact that comes to the big picture that you must consider. With 3.5 million truckers delivering freight on the road today, we can’t afford to have that many people out of jobs all at once. The impact on society, infrastructure, and labor could send us into a severe problem. This impact will stretch beyond the road. It raises an important question like how much of society are we willing to surrender to AI and autonomy. What role will this play? 

Not Over Yet

Some don’t believe that autonomous trucking will spell the end of work for truckers because of how you still have other aspects that truckers will need to account for. For example, truckers will have to stay behind the wheel because this is heavy machinery. They will still need to monitor it to watch over it. Not to mention, they will even need someone who can load and unload the truck—autonomous driving won’t account for that. That shows that this fear surrounding driver-less technology could be unfounded.

Already Beginning

We have already seen the propellers for autonomous driving in motion, as many of the new trucks already come with autonomous driving features. For example, some trucks today will warn you if you have come too close to another car. The technology will also send you warnings if another vehicle has come into your blind spot. Still, at the end of the day, the truck driver remains in control. The autonomous technology still hasn’t advanced far enough to where it could replace truckers altogether—at least not yet. Not to mention, when you operate a crane or heavy machinery of any kind, you generally want someone behind the technology to prevent a disaster from unfolding. No matter how much technology we get, robots can’t replace the thinking mind of a human. 

What Will the Future Look Like?

Some truckers worry about the kind of future that this newly emerging technology might bring. You have a few possible scenarios depending on how the government sets up the legislature. Some truckers like Bill Bogart believe that it will lead to the annihilation of trucking jobs. On the other hand, you have the other people who say that while this technology will change the way truckers work, it won’t destroy their jobs because this type of work will always be needed. As long as demand at the stores exist, the need for freight will also live. 

Some believe that with the introduction of this technology, it could mean trucker riots and civil unrest as hundreds of thousands lose their jobs. One person believes that legislation could be the answer. For example, self-driving companies could be taxed as a way of providing severance pay for truckers who lost their jobs. You might also see more people entering into college because of how many of the jobs that once didn’t require college are being automated out through technology. 

Truckers Do More Than Driving

Let’s say that automated driving took over entirely. Truckers might shift into a role where they might secure the cargo, provide customer service, and maintain the trucking logs. You won’t see any of these tasks becoming automatized for the time being. Truckers will still have a responsibility to handle this type of job.

Naturally, when your livelihood gets threatened, you feel the need to protect it. However, this may not be the answer because of how technology will continue to advance either way. It will be extraordinarily hard for anyone to hold back the development of technology. Instead, anyone who feels threatened by this newly emerging technology should take measures to grow as individuals. They can use it as an educational opportunity to shift with the times and become better and stronger individuals.

Categories
Truck Driver Business

$54 Billion in the Digital Freight Marketplace

Some truckers have described the $54 billion digital freight market as the new Uber, but it has entered the trucking market. You may have believed that self-driving trucks were the biggest craze. A digital freight brokerage has turned into the latest buzzword around the industry as people have begun to use it for shipping and hauling freight. For those working outside the industry, the word has next to no meaning, but the word conjures up images of smiling truckers as they can ship freight easier than ever before.

Who Leads This Industry

Believe it or not, Uber has entered this market as “Uber Freight.” However, they’re not the only competitor in this business, and Transfix, a company valued at $800 million, has taken a big share of the pie. Experts list them as the fastest growing startup in this industry for the digital freight brokerage companies. While no one wants the comparison with Uber, many have viewed it as like how taxi drivers run out seeking their next customer. Transfix argues this as a weaker way of comparing emerging technology. That largely comes from the fact that this style of shipping will match drivers up with freight and overcome one of the biggest problems facing the industry: no trust. 

Looking at the Lack of Trust

Many problems have arisen from the lack of trust in the industry. First, they don’t believe the people when it comes to them saying what they’re going to do. You have a common problem where retailers, manufacturers, and trucking companies back out of contracts and fail to live up to their end of the deal as economic conditions shift. During one earnings call with USA Truck, the CEO praised the shippers who stuck with the contract. USA Truck took a beating in the last quarter, where they had their earnings slashed from $2.5 million to $1,000 in profit. It sounds unreal. Everywhere else, signing a contract becomes a legally binding document that keeps both parties honest. A lot of people have learned with trucking contracts, however, that they don’t have much for a bite if you don’t follow through with them. As a result, people back out of them all the time. This creates a general atmosphere of distrust in general. 

Volatile Market

The trucking industry currently suffers from a volatile market, and a number of trucking companies have filed for bankruptcy in the last year. They went belly up. In 2018, the trucking industry saw one of its most prosperous years as it added more than 100,000 jobs to the market. On a nationwide scale, 7.8 million people work as truck drivers, but sooner or later, the economy changes.

Putting Trust Back into the Market

Using a digital freight marketplace could inject trust back into it with all parties involved. Everyone receives more protection. Through automated technology like Transfix, you can get paired up with a load in 30 minutes. Compare that with traditional brokerages, and it takes anywhere from two to three hours. In some cases, a traditional brokerage will struggle to understand the location of the freight, the best way to budget, and other basic data points. They will identify the best way of making trucking more transparent for all parties involved. Through automated technology, you do away with many of the issues that can arise. Not to mention, you get real-time information on some of the essential aspects like:

  • Trucking location
  • Pricing 
  • Transactional information

Having this information restores trust in the trucking community and with third parties because everything becomes more available. When you have this type of transparency, it addresses the issue of trust in the community that has caused many of the other problems to occur. The other goal becomes about optimizing how repeat services happen with this technology. Transfix has paid special attention to these aspects within the trucking industry. 

Creating Better Outcomes

Everyone in the trucking industry seeks to create a better outcome. Adding transparency into the mix, people display a greater willingness to talk about some of the issues arising. In addition, people can express their objectives more clearly to achieve higher profits and lower expenses more easily. 

Emerging Technologies: Making Things Easier

As technology continues to advance, many aspects of society have begun a new transformation. The manufacturing processes and asset and inventory management have seen better communications capabilities because of IoT sensors. Meanwhile, machine learning and artificial intelligence has reached new levels of understanding. This drastically improves how a company can interact with the data given. Many people have described the pace through which these technologies have been emerging as extraordinarily frantic. As soon as one piece of technology comes through, you already have another useful software coming up the pipeline. The fast-emerging technologies have shifted how businesses operate on a fundamental level. 

Rethinking the Business Model

One of the advantages of this technology pulling through so fast comes from the fact that trucking companies now have more ways than ever before to turn a profit. Using the data acquired through the technologies, you can identify your weakest points to reinforce them. In this way, you continue to improve your company’s profit picture year after year. People saw technology as an unnecessary hindrance in the past. Today, your business hinges on the quality of your technology because you can improve much of the way things work. 

Will Digital Freight Disrupt the Market?

Many people wonder if this newly emerging technology will reinvent the way that trucking takes place. You have a couple of promising reasons for why it could change the industry. However, you have a few reasons why it could fail to cause a disruption. First, you have the tyranny of complexity that continues to plague this industry. You have many regulations that shippers have to follow to succeed and to avoid expensive fines. Many times, these shipments will be transported from one part of the country over to the next. This gives rise to problems with the origin and getting it to its destination. Coordinating everything will be essential for a successful project. 

Finally, this technology fails to consider crucial facts: Things go wrong with freight all the time when transported over long distances. How will technology address these issues? Without understanding these vital things, the developers at Transfix and other digital freight marketplaces will struggle to make it profitable because people will look elsewhere. 

How the Digital Freight Marketplace will Work

You have a few ways that this technology will operate. First, it will take many shippers and carriers and congregate them into a single place. Second, it will match up the shippers and the carriers with each other. Third, it provides people with solid tools that can be used to improve their business. Fourth, this will develop, maintain, and enforce the behavior so that it develops trust in the community.

This industry could eventually overtake the traditional brokerages because you have many benefits with using this technology for ongoing improvement. If this technology succeeds, it will either have to equal its rivals or, better yet, outperform its rivals. Whether or not it will achieve success, time will tell. Some people have high hopes for this technology because it will make things much easier for them to manage. Even if it doesn’t work right away, we could see improvements that will lead to the technology being adopted.