It used to be that drivers enjoyed trucking, they respected it.
Now, it has turned into a quick way for out of work “people” to get money.
What I mean is, all these factory’s closing, and jobs going away, people have had years of expierience, some even went to school for many years to be able to do some of the jobs.
Well, the local plant closes, and they are out of a job.
They see a trucking ad, in a local newspaper where in three weeks they can be trained to be a professional truck driver, and earn $40,000.00 per year. Yea right, maybe in a perfect world this would be true. I don’t blame the schools for the problem either, they have to go by a states curriculum, in order to teach someone to drive a truck. Some butt wipe in Washington, sitting behind a desk, makes up this curriculum, he/she has never been in a truck let alone spent weeks in a truck. But yet they are qualified to say what the student must learn in order to pass a driving test. Which is a joke, in most states. But, you really can’t blame the schools, they are following what the state says to do.
Now this student pays this school, anywhere from $3600.00 all the way up to $7000.00 dollars to get a license. NOT counting, having to pay for the license at the DMV, which can run pretty high depending on what you have. Three week course is made up of part class room, and part yard, and part road driving, some schools offer a night driving part as well. What gets me is, in the state of Kentucky in order for one to be a driving school instructor, you must go do a background check from the local police department. Then you go to the DMV, and you take a written test, then you go out in your “personal vehicle” and take a road exam. I am not making this up, I know because I did it. If you pass (80% is passing) they authorize you through the state to be a qualified Truck Driving school instructor.
Still, don’t blame the schools if you feel you didn’t receive adequate training. You got your license, didn’t you? It’s not the responsibility of the school to teach you how your company wants you to log. Schools teach you what a log book is, and gives a general idea, of how to fill one out. The school is not to blame, if you get a ticket for an out of service violation. Remember, you passed the schools pretrip test.
Anyway, why I think the turnover rate is so high. This job is NOT for everybody, there are only a few people this job is right for. People that come into this industry, are used to being home every night, sleeping in their own bed every night, taking a shower and eating supper in their own house. You drive a tractor trailer for a living, if you can find a parking place, and don’t have to stand in line for a long time at a truckstop, you might get supper and a shower at a decent hour. Most times you don’t. Now the big problem also is drivers have to much time on their hands, to think.
What happens if you get a call from home, and say the refrigerator tore up, and the wife is all upset, but you are a thousand miles away? Add to the fact that you are mad at your dispatcher for a load he/she has given you. Also, you may have had to drive late in the night. Now it is early next morning, you may have gotten 10 hours in the bunk, but you didn’t get enough rest. After you get “pissed” on the phone you hang up, now the thoughts set in.
Stress, is a big factor as to why the turnover rate is so high as well. Truck drivers deal with a lot every hour of everyday while they are on or off duty. Just as I stated above, you get to thinking, and drivers have a lot of time to think. Movies help, if you get time to watch them. A cell phone is almost a have to have, at least you can call somebody and talk to them about your problems. All these things are not explained, or they don’t sink in to an individual’s head, until it is to late. Pay is another big problem, but not much you can do about it, for the first year or so, it is something you need to deal with.
All these thing’s and probably a lot more that I have not mentioned cause the turnover rate to be very high in this industry. Most of the time though, if a driver can last a year or so, then he/she may make a career out of driving. But, only a few survive and when the others quit and go home that company hires a bunch more and replaces the one that just quit, and the cycle continues.
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