Lots of jobs in trucking, but drivers find it's a tough haul

  • Article by: ADAM BELZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 1, 2013 - 8:30 PM

With weeks or months away from home and wages lagging inflation, long-haul driving takes a different breed.

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martiankingJan. 1, 13 9:06 PM

Just like many other industries today, they would like everyone to work for peanuts, thinking if they can make the public desperate enough for work, they will do anything on the cheap for a paycheck. I've been a driver for over 24 years, and I am lucky that I work for a company that pays well and only do local runs. There is no way I'd want to sacrifice my home life and in many cases in other drivers, my health, to do it long haul. I would agree that the industry is overstating the problem of a driver shortage. What the real problem is, is the low pay, poor health benefits, and time away from home to make the job attractive.

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northhillJan. 1, 13 9:07 PM

Health Insurance is a huge issue for truck drivers.Many are either self employed(owner operators)or independent contractors which translates to no health insurance provided.They must either buy their own or have a spouse that has health insurance through their employer.For some drivers that is the only way they stay in the business.Many truckers make truck payments,buy their own fuel,pay for both health and truck insurance and spend long hours on the interstates.The romance of truck driving exists only in Country&Western songs,not reality.It is a tough way to make a buck.Have some empathy for that trucker driving at 3AM on I-94.

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michaeldugasJan. 1, 13 9:13 PM

Best year I ever had driving was 31,000, working 70 hour weeks and never being home. I went back to school for a real job.

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madtown5Jan. 1, 13 9:19 PM

$4 diesel and hauling brokerages dolling out work to the lowest bidder it is any wonder how drivers make any money.

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airbhgJan. 1, 13 9:25 PM

Typical in the USA..Work more, get paid less. Yet corporate America wonders why people don't spend money and buy their products. Hmmmmm??

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luzhishenJan. 1, 1310:11 PM

Going broke because your getting the shaft by the Best and Brightest? But there's plenty of talk radio to tell you how it's those unions, teachers, and welfare mothers responsible for it...(chuckle).

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FrankLJan. 1, 1310:35 PM

Seems like the solution is to use trains for the long haul, and trucks to deliver to the final destination. The driver's could work a regular shift and be home each night. Seems like a more attractive job, and probably attract new drivers.

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mc490maicoJan. 2, 13 4:39 AM

$19.83 my rear end,union guys which make good money barely make that,if you figure the actual hours worked,it comes out a little over minimum wage. I have 35 years behind the wheel and I make the same as i did 25 years ago.Why dont you go to a recievers yard wheir you sit for hours waiting to unload and ask the guys who really know how it is.

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nessmessJan. 2, 13 5:43 AM

Yes, it would make more sense to do a majority of long haul with trains and do medium to short haul with trucks. It's not totally a companies fault that truckers get paid so little.... ultimately, it's consumer demand for cheap products that drives pay down in every sector.

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mrblueskyJan. 2, 13 6:08 AM

You also need to remember it was $9 for a shower, I worked 20 hours a day, so 4 meals at $10 a meal. Want something to read? $10 for a magazine. Snacks, first aid supplies, books, cell phone bill, doesnt leave much money. I would be gone for a month, come home to get my check and it would be $126, yah, I spent the rest on food, showers and magazines, trying to live tight so I could make some money. You pretty much need a fridge so you can live off of sandwiches. I would go weeks without talking to anyone but a waitress. Got lied to all the time about why they cant get me home. I got sick of it. He gone!

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