Triple the trouble

In an ideal world we’d be get­ting triple the pay for driv­ing a B-triple. Un­for­tu­nately that’s not the case

Owner Driver - - The In­ter­stater -

“It must be said there are some com­pa­nies pay­ing the right money.”

THIS YEAR is as good as any to de­bate, de­bunk and de­mys­tify the facts about B-triples. We were all told about the ad­vent of the new stain on the fab­ric of truck­ing. We were sup­posed to be­lieve they would be the same as we were conned into be­liev­ing B-dou­bles were to be used as in de­pot to de­pot only. Well, surely we have ac­cepted that we were made fools of with that naivety.

We also be­lieved all that other crap about “only the most highly trained and skilled would be driv­ing them” and the old “only the most up to date, tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced equip­ment would be used”.

What they should have said was, “we are go­ing to make a pig’s pic­nic out of this open slather, ill con­ceived, lack­ing de­tail in re­spect to OH&S, and doomed to be­come the next flawed and neg­a­tive sit­u­a­tion that the driv­ers are left to deal with out on the high­way”.

Let’s start with the rates of pay vari­ances be­ing dealt with first. Many have not seen an in­crease in their kilo­me­tre rate be­cause of that old ch­est­nut, “you’re al­ready be­ing paid over and above the Award”. Wrong!

Hope­fully there isn’t any­one out there that still be­lieves that that is even re­motely the truth. So for those that are adding an ex­tra cent per kilo­me­tre in the fool­ish be­lief that it is enough, think again; then do the math. It equates to a grand sum of $10 ex­tra per 1,000km. So then it’s simply a mat­ter of “why am I tow­ing an­other ‘A-trailer’ with 12 pal­lets of profit increasing cartage, while not even be­ing paid enough for my ef­fort and skill to hook it up and un­hook it prop­erly, let alone tow­ing it around”? Plus, there are the 12 more tyres that could blow, at least an­other 24 cur­tain straps to op­er­ate, six more gates to lift in and out, plus an­other six or more load­binders to se­cure. Then there’s maybe even an­other fridge mo­tor that needs fu­elling or might even hold us up be­cause it’s the one that shuts down out in the op­po­site di­rec­tion of the near­est me­chanic.

You might be say­ing to your­self about now, “Well, that’s the same as with any B-dou­ble”. But no, you can still do 100km/h in a B-dou­ble of course, but our new in­come-re­duc­ing B-triple ac­tu­ally means the same kilo­me­tre rate of a truck do­ing 100km max­i­mum le­gal speed has now been cut by at least 10 per cent, or in the case of the 48 cents per km, cut by 4.8 cents ev­ery kilo­me­tre we drive due to only be­ing able to drive at 90km/h max­i­mum. Is it start­ing to make sense?

WAGE THEFT

We are be­ing ripped off! Put an­other way, we are vic­tims of wage theft. But it doesn’t fin­ish there, be­cause not only are we not get­ting paid ev­ery cent that we earn, and are en­ti­tled to, and even harder than driv­ing a shorter com­bi­na­tion, along comes the added prob­lems of try­ing to find a longer park­ing spot. Heaven for­bid that we might need to park in one of the thou­sands of towns we nor­mally drive through, and feel the need to spend our money in their busi­nesses or seek a de­cent meal, or med­i­cal at­ten­tion, a chemist or even a laun­dro­mat.

Yet, through no fault of our own, we have been thrust into a quag­mire of so many more worse case sce­nar­ios be­yond our pay grade, all be­cause truck driv­ers, par­tic­u­larly in­ter­state driv­ers, have been conned even fur­ther. It must be dis­cussed out in the open, with the CEO, with the com­pa­nies and the truck own­ers/em­ploy­ers.

Mind you, to be fair, it must be said there are some com­pa­nies pay­ing the right money, the Award, the de­cent ones, the ones worth driv­ing for, the ones that have less trouble find­ing de­cent driv­ers – the ones pay­ing hourly, or at least a fair rate that re­flects the skills base that is ex­pected to main­tain a safer work­ing en­vi­ron­ment. In other words, a “Safe Rate”.

The bot­tom line is, if you are not be­ing paid at least 20 per cent more when driv­ing a B-triple or a two-trailer road­train, then you are hav­ing your dol­lars stolen from you and your fam­ily.

All the best for 2019.

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