Dear Owner//Driver

Owner Driver - - Owner/Driver -

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))

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