MAN UP, YOU BLOKES
I’ve been in transport for a few years now. I started when log books were handed out as a pair, overloading was the norm, and the general expression was ‘she’ll be right’.
You started in a truck that had gears – that was after you did your time on a forklift and learnt how to load first, get used to weights and how pallets sit when you launch it round a corner. The first truck was always a rust bucket that took a fair while just to make a mile! And that’s how we did it – by learning and getting taught right and wrong.
I look at transport now and it is run by money-hungry grubs. It’s all about power – money and power.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still love what I do. I still get a kick out of backing into a dock in one go, seeing that not one bit of freight has moved after two days of travel.
After I wash my truck, I just stop and stare at it. Shiny wheels and straight pipes, and don’t forget the loud jakes in the Burnley tunnel – it’s a must.
I even hope that in another 15 years I will still be doing this, but I see how it is now and don’t hold out much hope.
I look at the posts on Facebook and I fail to see how these are grown men and women saying what they do. They whine, complain, and act like children. Public Facebook attacks on people they don’t know, insulting the company that pays them for their work, and they call themselves Facebook warriors. Facebook babies more like it. There is a great saying that goes ‘if you don’t like it, quit’.
But they don’t quit. They would rather complain and carry on like a $2 hooker that only got paid $1. They won’t go to Sydney because they don’t like it. Suck it up princess. You take the job, do what you’re told. They don’t like logbook rules, so how about you move states where you don’t use one or go local? They don’t want to be away, so go local. They want more money? Well, find a job that pays more!
If you actually know how to work a logbook correctly and to your advantage, you can do 17 hours a day. Who in their right mind would want to do more?
If you find a company that pays for the work you actually do, you will run legal and earn more. Big companies that pay well – all they do is pay the driver for what they really do. They pay for all distances travelled plus drops, and some pay three hours to wash a prime mover.
If drivers actually worked together they would have more control over transport than what they realise. For example, ‘John Smith Transport’ has a bad habit of pushing drivers to the extreme. A few hours’ sleep here and there is all they get. So one day the drivers get together and come up with a realistic agreement and all sign it. They give John Smith CEO a week to discuss and agree and come to terms with it. But CEO decides to call their bluff and does nothing at all. So at the end of the week the drivers park up and say to the CEO they have had enough. WE run legal or not at all. AND you pay us accordingly. John Smith CEO then has two options; Fire all his drivers for refusing to run illegal and find a whole new bunch to replace them in the next hour, or comply and suck it up.
Electronic work diaries are just around the corner. With them comes legal running, which will mean no more undercutting of others’ work as well. You can’t undercut if you have to pay drivers to do what they should be paid for!
Insurance companies make it impossible for new drivers to start, yet there is a driver shortage. Of course there is, new blood can’t catch a break. And when they do, all they want is shiny bling bling and go hard or go home. Then they listen to their ‘peers’ of today, and they go right back to acting like children along with the rest of them.
I believe transport can either improve from here or go backwards dramatically. If drivers don’t pull their fingers out of their arses and drop their egos for five minutes then there is no hope of it ever improving. Times change, it’s as simple as that.
TV used to be black and white. Now it’s colour and has internet. Nothing stays the same, and the transport industry, especially the drivers, need to accept that. Man up, band together and show these companies that walk all over them that they are nothing without us. ‘Chick Transport’ ((Name and address withheld by request))