Call Us : 866 390 3888

Email :

Archive for March, 2013


Drivers Urged to File DAC Complaints with FTC

Posted by Comments Off on Drivers Urged to File DAC Complaints with FTC

Post to Twitter

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission

The on-going false DAC reporting by motor carriers against the professional truck driver continues as we hear from drivers on a near daily basis.

As awareness of this issue has become greater in the past few years, further steps have increased in the support of drivers to help combat this “blackballing”  of drivers by certain motor carriers.

Our Stop False DAC Reporting petition remains in place as we reach for 5,000 signatures in order to present to Congress as future viable evidence pertaining to the DAC reporting services.

Recent comments include:

  • “False information has ruined my ability to obtain employment. 16 years of accident free and no tickets. We have to stop this! it’s all I know how to do.”
  • “I haven’t been able to get a job for a year and  I am sure it has to do with false info on my DAC report.”
  • “I am a CDL driver that also has been wrongfully done by former trucking companies that has made incorrect reports on my DAC.”
  • “Hire Right has and continues to allow former employers to input false information on drivers DAC reports, the dispute process is hard to navigate, and the length of time to resolve can cost a person an opportunity to gain employment. And it only takes an employer seconds to ruin someone’s life.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is encouraging truck drivers to file DAC report complaints with their agency through their online Complaint Assistance Form. Although the FTC does not help to resolve individual DAC complaints, by filing the complaint with the FTC, it can help detect patterns of wrong-doing, and lead to investigations and prosecutions such as the recent lawsuit brought against HireRight by the FTC and the Department of Justice. In this case, HireRight was ordered to pay $2.6 million for numerous violations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The DAC Report Class Action Registry is another registry that has been established by the Workers’ Counsel, a California based employee rights law firm with the same goal: by drivers sharing their DAC complaints with the registry, they will work on identifying groups of drivers who have similar claims against common trucking companies in order to increase the chance for further class action suits.

DAC, which stands for “Drive-A-Check”, is used by many trucking companies for the purpose of “willfully and maliciously reporting false information against professional drivers, either in retaliation for seeking better paying trucking jobs elsewhere, or for any number of other fraudulent, anti-competitive reasons.”  

Truck drivers with inaccuracies on their DAC reports who have received no assistance from HireRight in the removal, are now urged to contact the FTC .

© 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Social Bookmarking

Post to Twitter

Technorati Tags: dac, DAC report class action, employee rights, false dac report, Federal Trade Commission, FTC, HireRight, truck drivers, trucking

Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Drivers Are True Collateral Damage of CSA

Posted by Comments Off on Drivers Are True Collateral Damage of CSA

Post to Twitter

The premise of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA program was to finally hold both motor carriers and truck drivers accountable in adhering to the established safety regulations in place for the trucking industry. It was in fact, described by many, as a good thing for the industry as Rickey Gooch of Justice for Truckers points out that the FMCSA had stated that their intent with the CSA was to “greatly raise shipping prices and to force bigger pay for drivers.”

It is no secret that for decades, motor carriers have pushed professional drivers into situations that have caused them to blatantly disregard the FMCSA’s Code of Federal Regulations. However, in all fairness, there have been many drivers as well who have purposely set aside the regulations, but for the most part, the reasons why between carrier and driver have all been for very different reasons.

A high majority of trucking companies have and continue to place the movement of the freight above and beyond the safety of the driver as well as the regulations. Dispatchers continue to assign loads to drivers who do not have the hours available to perform the job within the limits of the FAR’s.

Mr. Gooch points out, “Dispatchers have been one of the least regulated entities in the transportation industry. The temptations for dispatchers to over motivate drivers to deliver loads that are mathematically impossible to deliver have been ignored for the most part by carriers.”  (Ref: Today’s CSA Update).

This form of dispatching has less to do with temptation, but rather the standard mode of operation for most motor carriers. When choosing between customer and driver safety, the customer most often will come first. The majority of carriers operate this way in complete indifference to the regulations due to the fact that they have been able to so for decades. The majority of drivers who have disregarded the regulations have and do so, for the most part, for a difference reason, mainly in fear of losing their job.

Truck drivers who refuse to violate HOS rules or to operate the CMV in a way that would violate a Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Regulation are protected from any kind of retaliation by the trucking company, under the STAA, 49 U.S.C. Section 31105. However, this law seldom sways carriers from continuing to terminate drivers for doing just that. Therefore, even today, as both driver and carrier face the enforcement of the CSA, drivers’ are still taking their chances against the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, rather than facing employment termination in a fragile job market.  Even so, professional commercial drivers are proving to be the true collateral damage of the CSA.

As news releases report that commercial vehicles are being shut down by the FMCSA, the numbers are most often misleading as it pertains to the number of vehicles and not the number of actual companies. A report from May 27, 2011 shows that 315 commercial buses were removed from the highways due to safety issues; In September of 2008, news reported that 1,200 buses were placed out-of-service due to regulatory violations and just today, 03/25/2013, bus company, Rimrock Trailways and Rimrock Stages was shutdown due to the same reasons.

Most recently, trucking company, General Trucking Inc., was given a shutdown order after finding a company-wide practice of violating federal safety regulations, including disregarding driver qualification requirements by dispatching unqualified drivers, inadequate monitoring and controlling of driver compliance with hours-of-service requirements, and dispatching and operating unsafe vehicles which were grossly overloaded; a clear example of how drivers are responsible as well as maintaining safety regulations, yet remain silent in reporting due to fear of termination.

In the example above, where 315 buses were shutdown, 127 drivers also faced the order and as the 1,200 buses were placed out of order, 225 drivers faced the same fate. As the CSA continues its wrath on the bus industry, it is only a matter of time before the agency will turn its focus on the trucking motor carriers. Both driver and carrier have responsibility in public safety: the carrier is to adhere to the regulations as it applies to the driver and the driver must adhere to their responsibility for reporting such infractions by the carrier.

The media likes to report large numbers such as 1,200 because this number looks good; however, it is the number of  vehicles, not “companies.” One carrier can have thousands of vehicles, but which looks better for the news?

  1. “Officials shutdown 1,200 commercial vehicles today …” or
  2. “Officials shutdown 2 companies today …”

As carriers continue to abuse the system by ignoring the regulations set-forth by the FMCSA and intimidating their drivers to do the same in fear of losing their jobs, one company with 1,000 vehicles could face a shutdown causing 1,000 drivers to pay for the infractions of one carrier.

Rickey Gooch sums up his message to carriers this way:

“Do you really believe the DOT will let all of the illegal dispatcher actions continue on and there will never be a judgment day? Do you really? Do you think that the DOT would be talking about our dispatcher problem if they were not going to take action against owners, dispatchers, safety managers and drivers? You have been keeping the records for them to do it with. The DOT is coming and just don’t be surprised when you and your staff are not ready.”

Drivers must stop holding back in standing up for their rights when faced by the common pushing by carriers and by those drivers who continue to show disregard for the rules. Either way, sooner or later, when the CSA catches up with their carrier, they will find themselves out of a job, making them nothing more than collateral damage.

© 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Social Bookmarking

Post to Twitter

Technorati Tags: CSA, FMCSA, hos, hours of service, jobs, justice for truckers, motor carriers, Rickey Gooch, termination, truck drivers, trucking companies

Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Top Four Reasons Qualified Truck Drivers Call It Quits

Posted by Comments Off on Top Four Reasons Qualified Truck Drivers Call It Quits

Post to Twitter

Losing Qualified Drivers

Losing Qualified Drivers

For the past thirty years, the turnover rate among truck drivers and the problems associated with motor carriers retaining drivers have been studied by the industry.

Over a span of at least three decades, the second largest industry in the nation has been unable to figure out the reasons why experienced, veteran truck drivers are quitting the vocation.

Today, the problem has worsened as more career CDL drivers are calling it quits and never looking back. The industry likes to refer to this as a truck driver shortage, just as they have done in the past.

In reality, the most common complaints by drivers today are still the most common of past decades:

  1. Low pay
  2. Not paid for work performed
  3. Lack of home time
  4. Over-Regulations

Low pay for truck drivers have been a major issue for years which began to creep into the business after the deregulation of the industry. Over time, it has become the top reason for all categories of drivers choosing to leave the profession. The average yearly pay of $34,000 is simply not seen as being enough to counter all the demands of the over-the-road trucking career.

Not paid for work performed such as detention time and various other so-called duties, have pushed many drivers into finally hanging up their commercial license and moving on to another position outside of professional truck driving. When, for example, a driver waits for seven hours to get loaded or unloaded and never receives the $15 per hour detention pay, $105 is a lot to be lost. Have this done several times in a month and one can see that the driver’s time is considered meaningless by the industry.

Lack of home time is a rather difficult reason for quitting, but nevertheless, is one of the top four reasons given by drivers. The mere term, long-haul trucking, signifies that home time is going to be minimal. As this job requires being gone for weeks and months at a time, the problem for the driver has more to do with downtime while out on the road, than it has with any other aspect. If the carrier is going to make the driver sit for three or four days without getting paid, they can at least have him or her sit at home. Failure by the carrier to fulfill the driver’s home time request is the main reason why drivers list this as the cause for hanging up their CDL’s.

Regulations throughout the industry continue to make the life of the professional trucker more difficult, cutting further into their ability to earn a livable wage. As an example, there are millions of truck drivers across the United States and all are different in their backgrounds, yet they are all expected to operate under the same hours of service rules: when they can drive, when they can sleep, etc. One single rule does not fit all parties involved and because of this and other regulatory factors such as the CSA, the industry is losing long-time, experienced veteran drivers and thus losing a significant level of professionalism and safety.

As Featured on Ezine Articles

© 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Social Bookmarking

Post to Twitter

Technorati Tags: careers, detention time, driver shortage, home time, regulations, truck driver pay, truck driving, trucking

Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Truck Driver Recruiter Wages Surpass Driver Pay

Posted by Comments Off on Truck Driver Recruiter Wages Surpass Driver Pay

Post to Twitter

truck driver pay

truck driver pay

Today, the average annual income for a commercial truck driver is roughly $34,000 and that is on a good year.

Various other truck driver jobs such as a local delivery driver averages $29,000 per year which is less than most social services workers.

As of January 2013, the number of people unemployed in the U.S. stood at 12,332,000 which is only 500,000 shy of meeting the maximum number in 1933 during the height of the great depression.

In a time of desperation, many look to long-haul trucking as a new, exciting and high-paying career. However, according to statistical salary averages, they may be looking in the wrong place.

Truck driver recruiter pay is surpassing driver salaries by nearly three times as much, depending on geographical area. One company is hiring truck driver recruiters by offering $400 per new-hire with the only stipulation being that in order to be paid, the new-hire must stay with the company for at least 14 days.

Examining the average pay for a truck driver recruiter within various cities across the United States, one can see how location can play a part in salary income:

  • New York City, NY = $85,000
  • Washington, D.C. = $77,000
  • Atlanta, GA = $76,000
  • Boston, MA = $74,000
  • Chicago, IL = $72,000
  • Los Angeles, CA = $70,000
  • Dallas, TX = $68,000
  • Houston, TX = $67,000
  • Detroit, MI = $66,000
  • Tampa, FL = $58,000
  • Tulsa, OK = $54,000

Of course, keep in mind that these figures only reflect the “average” pay for truck driver recruiters. There are recruiters in NYC earning income off of drivers as high as $142,000 per year and in Dallas as high as $112,000 for examples. Even in Tampa, Florida where earnings are usually low, recruiters with the best performance are pulling in as high as $97,000 for their recruiting efforts.

As in the company example above, at $400 per new-hire after fourteen days, a recruiter can earn $62,400 per year by hauling in just three new drivers per week and with the industry’s established driver retention plan still in place, there is never a shortage of new-hires for truck driver recruiters.

© 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Social Bookmarking

Post to Twitter

Technorati Tags: truck driver pay, truck driver recruiter, trucking, trucking wages

Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog