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Drivers Cheated Out of Hard-Earned Money
Foley
3 mins read

An L.A. Times article began by identifying the trucking industry’s current crisis as: “It cannot find enough people to sit behind the wheel.” Although change is hard for people to do, do you think the time has come to change the way truckers are paid?

Some may ask themselves why this issue is so important to solve. Maybe other industries are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers, too, but they’re not making a fuss about it.

It’s important to know that the driver shortage is not just affecting one segment of the transportation industry. All of the gears need to work together in order for stuff to get where it needs to be.

“The shortage is most acute in long-haul operations,” according to the L.A. Times article. “However, it is now affecting short haul and regional carriers as well as drayage trucks that do short hops between say, a railhead and a nearby port. The driver shortage also hurts other transportation modes such as ocean shipping and rail, which rely on trucks to carry their freight “the last mile.””

It seems as though carriers are trying to offset the shortage by doing things for their drivers like sign-on bonuses, more guaranteed home-time, and paid training, according to the L.A. Times article.

But are those things enough? As truck drivers continue to retire without replacements to fill their seats, the driver shortage will continue on. According to the L.A. Times article, we will see a shortage of 240,000 drivers by the year 2022.

What is at the root of this problem?

“The most important [cause] however, becomes obvious if you ask drivers directly,” according to the L.A. Times article. “They’ll say the problem is how they get paid. Not how much, but how.”

To change the way drivers get paid would mean switching to an hourly-based approach rather than by the mile. Would that help?

“Because payment is by the mile, warehousers and others don’t respect drivers’ time,” according to an unidentified driver, quoted in the L.A. Times article. “Any inefficiency in their operation – and even from my own carrier – is soaked up by the driver at no cost to anyone else.”

Is it time for that to change?

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