The Lesser-Discussed Struggles of Drivers
Everyone who knows about trucking knows it can be a hard job. Drivers have to contend with a lot, both from long-time problems in the freight industry to new regulatory measures that change how things work.
The obvious struggles of drivers come from things like questionable pay and hours, especially compared to what the industry once offered. Highly discussed regulatory changes such as the upcoming ELD mandate are also clear-cut winners on the list of driver annoyances.
But what about the small problems that never get much discussion? Though their lack of coverage may make them seem trivial, these issues still have a major effect on the lives of truckers.
Consider something like the mandatory 30-minute rest break. This is often lost in conversations dominated by topics such as the 34-hour restart rule. But requiring drivers to take a break within their first eight-hours of driving is seen as an unnecessary and burdening by some.
The controversy surrounding hours-of-service becomes even more complicated when things like delays are considered. Drivers who deal with lengthy waiting periods from shippers and receivers see their available work hours slowly being eaten away, making it harder for them to come out ahead financially.
Drivers have voiced their concern about long-time problems like deteriorating infrastructure, but not all the issues come when trucks are in motion. Sometimes finding a place to park is just as much of an issue. Many locations ban heavy trucks due to the damage they can do to pavement and the amount of space they take up. Without trucker-friendly parking areas, it is impossible for drivers to find a safe and hospitable location where they can take a break.
What about traffic? It seems that skilled truckers find similar problems from both the motoring public as well as inexperienced commercial drivers. Aggressive or careless drivers put truckers in danger. While commercial vehicles are often looked at as more accident-prone, they can also be a larger target when accidents occur.
Trucking is a varied industry. There are a plethora of problems drivers deal with, ranging from small to substantial in their severity. Contending with the frustrating aspects of the job is a daily task for drivers, many of whom hope bringing awareness to their issues will help lead to solutions.