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Truck Driver vs. Trucking Company – Who Is To Blame

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I posted frequently the last month on the deadly nature of tractor-trailer accidents. The posts are meant to be informative and show the dangers of these sometimes 80,000 lbs behemoths as they travel our interstates and highways. I would be the first to say that most truck drivers are good honest hard working Americans simply attempting to provide for their family. There are exceptions to that rule when drivers are caught using drugs and alcohol in an accident but for the many miles driven on our roads, these truck drivers are simply trying to earn a living.

So you may be wondering what goes wrong? What causes these hard working Americans to sometimes push these death machines to their limit whether by speeding, inattentive driving and/or dangerous driving. I would unequivocally state that the vast majority of the time it’s the trucking company. See these truck drivers are not making millions of dollars and in fact many barely make the median incomes of their state. They are more often than not pushed to make absurd delivery times by their bosses which requires them to speed, drive over the legal limit of hours and do other things they wouldn’t normally do but for the overwhelming desire to put food in their families mouth.

After all this, you the reader may be wondering why is a trial lawyer seemingly defending truck drivers? I wouldn’t call it so much defending as its stating the realities of over the road truck drivers. These men and women don’t want to cause you harm but they are pushed to the brink by the companies.

I was talking recently to a tractor-trailer driver who pretty much stated what I did above. He mentioned that there have been times in his decade long career that he has been given delivery times that are unattainable but for him breaking the law. In every instance he was told by a company authoritative figure to make the delivery. This is the same man who told me a week ago he had less than $150.00 to feed his family for the next two weeks. Now tell me, is he going to make this run? The answer will usually be yes when you have mouths to feed.

5 Comments

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  1. Paul says:
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    Thank you for defending the driver, the idea that a driver can “simply” do his job is far from the truth – too often companies, especially now, put the fear of unemployment in a driver forcing him to take too big of risk to safety. In the end what little money is made is not worth the time away from family, lack of sleep and the rick of losing the CDL license due to running illegally.

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    Paul:

    Thank you for your comment. You make a great point about employers putting the fear of unemployment in a driver forcing him or her to take “too big of a risk to safety.” This is what must stop.

  3. Eric G says:
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    The DRIVER is in charge of WHERE the Combo is moving and WHEN it is moving.
    WEATHER and other factors dictate WHEN Drivers will travel as well as accidents, wrecks, construction, etc.

    The DRIVER is held responsible for every negative action that occurs on the road regardless of who said what has/had to be done when which is why most dispatchers will not put such demands on communication devices like Qualcomm, Aether, etc., but only directly to a DRIVER on a cell call or land line communication.

    Loosing ones license is trivial when compared to killing some other person or family due to believing the “every load is hot” stupidity.

    There is no load so hot it has to cool off in a ditch, in a space at a scale house or in a wrecking yard.

    A load when picked up late (usually the fault of the load planner or c.s.r. or both) WILL DELIVER LATE. There are very few exceptions.
    MOST dispatchers, load planners and c.s.r. people HAVE NEVER DRIVEN much less ridden in a truck therefore they have no conception of how the day to day DRIVING is done.
    They merely see 2 points on a map, when at all.

    IT IS BETTER TO DELIVER LATE THAN NOT AT ALL!!

  4. Jeff K says:
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    Having the truck drivers blame dispatchers for unsafe drivings is as invalid an excuse as those who claim “I was only following orders”. The truck drivers are the licensed professionals who know how to drive safe and have a duty to drive safe.

  5. paul says:
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    hello l am an aussie truck driver and we have the same problem down here. l run a 12hour log book and drive b/doubles from victoria to queensland 1790klms one way we are expected not too put pick ups and drops in our book {up to thee or four of each} and still run all night, when l complained about running hot hours l was pulled into the office and was dictated about how bad the industry was and do it or loose it. so its not new any where, good luck