I would like to know when our government is going to quit downing the trucking industry; we drivers move America. If it wasn’t for us, government would not have toilet paper to wipe their butts. They keep taking from us — passing more and more laws against us and for what ? Revenue.
They have gotten so greedy, a man can’t make a living anymore.
Then they pass new laws on sleep problems, restless legs, overweight [conditions]. Now they want our cell phones, CB radios, truck radios, TVs, game machines and all, just over sleep.
… The government [will] be taking about 5 million drivers out of work. When they take our radios and things, then nobody will drive. I can promise one thing: if the drivers would ever become one and shut the trucking down, government would be in a world of hurt and our country, too.
But truck drivers don’t have the guts to like in the old days — to stand up for themselves. So they let companies and the government do them wrong.
So when our government puts us out of jobs, more and more will be homeless. Then they will be happy and people like me will be on the streets with no hope.
It’s really sad; we haven’t had a good president who cared more for the people since JFK and Martin Luther King.
Now everyone we have had except for Bill Clinton has done nothing but rob the American people blind with taxes, war, fuel prices [and] just plain greed for themselves.
How does the government keep American people off their backs while they pass all these laws? Fear, racial, and as long as all the people keep falling for it and keep fighting each other and not really see who is messing this world up it will never end. God might as well come and clean the earth away.
— Lawrence Reed
Driver says truckers bilked out of millions, HOS icing on the cake
I am writing in response to a letter sent in from Craig Duysen of Missouri Valley, Iowa, in which he gave many facts to support his claim that the current Hours of Service (HOS) regulations place compliance before safety.
I must say that I agree with many things Mr. Duysen has put forth in his article. However, I think the HOS is just one jagged little facet on the stones being hurled at us drivers.
I have not been driving for very long, about five years all told, and I am college educated. I have seen, heard and experienced some really nasty things out here that trucking companies are doing to screw us drivers, and yet no one seems to give a hoot. For example, the new per-diem allowances were put in place by the government to be a supplement to our incomes, not a substitute for them, and yet across the board I see companies adopting this practice as policy. Companies are also making this per-diem allowance mandatory not optional and I think a lot of drivers see this as helping them, but in the long run it will be kicking them right in the seat of the pants, and here’s why.
Companies have lowered our rate-per-mile and substituted that allowance to make up the difference. It allows companies to save a ton of money by paying out less in payroll taxes, state and federal unemployment, Social Security, and Medicare. What does this mean to us the drivers? Let’s say you get laid off, have an accident, or go to apply for a loan — all of those benefits have been significantly reduced because the maximum benefit works off of your gross taxable income. Since your wages were reduced by 10, sometimes 20 cents per mile, so was your gross taxable income. So what does that leave you with if you get injured on the job and go to apply for disability, or unemployment, or you go to apply for a loan? Not squat when most drivers make between 30 cents and 40 cents per mile. Your gross taxable income has been reduced by one-third to two-thirds of what it was. How’s that for a kick in the pants?
And let me tell you, when you are injured and can’t work, that little bit of income disability or workmen’s comp provides you with means the world to your family to put food on the table and help pay the bills – you will need every bit of it.
Now to add further insult to injury, there are some companies out there that are not only making this policy mandatory, but also charging their drivers a 2- to 4-cent-a-mile administration fee just to process the per diem on your check. I have actually experienced this. And what really ticked me off was when I did some math to see what the company I was working for was making off that 2 cents per mile they were charging us.
With 2,600 team drivers, each truck was making 4,000 miles split between drivers. So 2,000 miles per driver times .02 = $40 per driver. If the company had 2,600 drivers and 65 percent of them were forced to take this per-diem, that’s 1,690 drivers, and at $40 a week the company’s take was $67,600 a week. That’s $67,600 a week my friends. Boy, would I like to be the administrator making that salary. That comes out to $67,600 times 52 weeks equals $3,515,200 per year; 3.5 million dollars a year out of our pockets and into theirs for what, the ink on the check?
So the company is not only saving on payroll taxes, Social Security, unemployment and Medicare, it is also turning this into a 7-figure revenue. So honestly now, tell me, who is this per diem benefiting? That’s right, the companies, and there is nothing that you and I can do about it except watch our hard-earned money once again be stuffed into someone else’s pockets. That’s right I said our hard-earned money, because that per diem is federally funded, which means it’s tax dollars from you and I, friends.
Last but not least, when you go to file your taxes, you can no longer itemize your deductions if they are above and beyond the $59 a day allotment because you were forced into claiming the maximum $59 a day by your company.
Any way you want to look at this it is wrong and a misuse of American tax dollars. I am beginning to feel like we are nothing more than livestock out here to be bred and fed for the slaughter. The per diem was never meant to be put into the pockets of these companies, but once again, just like the fuel surcharges, we the drivers are getting the short end of the stick.
— Tony Boswell
Kansas City, Mo.
Trucker: large companies couldn’t care less about training
I will never be called a fan of Dan Rather. However, in response to the debate regarding the piece on his Oct. 20 program by Clayton Boyce I have to respond.
What planet is Mr. Boyce on? Has he been out on the road in the past 10 to 15 years? The roads are loaded with unsafe drivers.
Many as a result lost jobs in the aerospace industry starting in the mid ’80s.Yet for what ever the reason the quality of drivers is poor at best. Why? Large companies like one in Phoe