The World seems to be in a mess lately with war happening across much of the Globe and the economy on a roller coaster ride like never seen before. Employees are striking left and right trying to survive and politicians are weaving through human rights issues on a daily basis. The trucking industry is not exempt just our issues are different.
Carriers have been trying to increase wages for years and it has led to what we call “Driver Inc” being rampant in our industry as drivers try to make the most money they can. Carriers involved in a Driver Inc model of employment are avoiding paying employment taxes and drivers don’t realize they are not protected for wages or employer abuse operating under that model. Many drivers sign up to work under Driver Inc as it looks like they will make more money but end up losing money because wages are deducted if an incident happens, there is no protection.
Road safety is a huge problem across North America but certainly in Northern Ontario and Western Canada. Drivers are being run off the road by other drivers and this is causing a major issue on our roadways for other drivers. Accidents are up 71% according to transportation stats and we used to blame the car drivers, but trucking is at the heart of much of it. People are driving with little or poor training and driving as though they are in another country with no regard to the safety of others. There are a number of petitions going around for drivers to sign to get politicians to improve our roads and enforcement.
Drug use is up across the board in many industries, but we are seeing an up tick in trucking. The legalization of cannabis over the years has caused more people to use the drug and reports from a recent Fitness For Duty Summit with DriverCheck revealed statistics that show more positive tests are being seen in the industry. They are now looking at new ways of testing to see the level of drugs in a person’s system to help get a better gauge on fitness in the workplace.
Human trafficking is a major issue across North America and the trucking industry is leading the charge in awareness against this crime. The crime comes in different forms from sex trafficking to labour trafficking and more. Wrapping trailers with different messages making the public aware of the problem has been very effective. Lately the OnRoute Service centres have come on board wrapping a trailer in conjunction with a school, but also have taken it a step further by playing a PSA message on their screens and poster campaign throughout their facilities.
We have a lot of work ahead of us to get our industry back to where it belongs and should be. We should command the respect of other motorists as being the trained professionals that we are and that means improving our training in the industry. We all need to do better from drivers to carriers to enforcement personnel. Trucking is a great industry, I know I have been in it for over 40 years.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is the host and producer of The Lead Pedal Podcast and owner of Lead Pedal Media. He has been in the trucking industry for over 40 years and has spent 25 of them behind the wheel. The Lead Pedal Podcast focuses on business and career information for people in the trucking industry. Listen to the podcast on your favourite podcast channel or visit www.leadpedalradio.com to learn about all of the services.