Tag Archives: truck driver compensation

Truckers need working conditions which foster their own personal well-being & safe driving behavior.

Editor’s Picks from Trucks.com include these recent articles:


  • All these programs are funded locally and don’t rely on federal dollars. Nagrani said federal green truck grants, for example, will amount to just one tenth the level of what California offers and are split among all 50 states.He expects continued interest.

    “Everybody wants clean air regardless of what the Trump administration has said,” Nagrani said.  Alternative Fuel Trucks Abound at Industry Show, But Buyers Sparse, JERRY HIRSCH MARCH 17, 2017 EDITOR’S PICKS, TRUCKING TECHNOLOGY, Trucks.com

Will truckers be provided with working conditions which foster their own personal well-being as well as safe driving behavior?

Side guards on trucks could provide fuel savings and save lives by preventing deadly side underride.

Does everybody want safer trucking? Do we?

Good news: Electronic Logging Devices Mandate Has Survived Court Challenge; Required by 12/2017

Good news! One of our original AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition requests has been upheld in court to be required by December 2017. Electronic Logging Devices to monitor truck driver hours on the road instead of paper log books:

ELD mandate survives court challenge

Now, I hope that the Hours of Service rules will be finalized with truck driver input as to the best way of structuring them. And I hope that there will continue to be work done to eliminate the reasons that paper log books didn’t work to begin with. Because this important technology will not solve everything.



Tired Trucker Roundtable


Tired Trucker Roundtable: If we plan it, they will come. Can we pull it off?

Even though our efforts to improve underride protection are far from being finished, I would like to also tackle the project of organizing a Tired Trucker Roundtable. The only problem is that I have not yet identified any sponsoring organizations or potential facilities for holding such an important event.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition were the co-sponsors with AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety of the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016. However, at this time, they are not in a position to participate in a similar fashion with a Tired Trucker Roundtable.

Exactly what am I envisioning with this Tired Trucker Roundtable? Let me try to summarize the highlights:

  1. Over and over, truck crash tragedies occur which seem to involve tired truckers.
  2. Of course, it is harder to measure driver fatigue than DUI — after the fact.
  3. Some of the solutions to this problem have included logging driver hours in paper log books (too often unreliable and, in our crash, never seen by us or our attorney or DA) and more recently rulemaking (currently in a lawsuit) has been issued to require electronic log books.  ScanWashington DC 151Washington DC 156Washington DC 152
  4. These log books are to be connected to the official Hours of Service (HOS) requirements for truck drivers regulated by DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  5. There has, of course, been ongoing debate about what is appropriate for the details of these HOS. A virtual and ongoing political tug-of-war which leaves the truck drivers in a confusing muddle and truck crash victims in the grave.
  6. I have read comments from and had “discussions with” many truck drivers who are convinced that these HOS rules need to have the input of truck drivers who are experienced with what works for them.
  7. Of course, the problem that should probably involve other players than DOT agencies — like the Department of Labor and  the Department of Health & Human Services (CDC/Public Health) — is that it is to a great extent a problem of how truck drivers are normally compensated (by the mile) and their great difficulty in making a living wage without a great toll on their health.
  8. And it must definitely include various sectors of the trucking industry–carriers, shippers, brokers, independent owner-operators.
  9. Government regulators.
  10. Sleep apnea may also be a factor for many.
  11. In general, their occupation involves long hours of monotonous driving which can lead to not just falling asleep but microsleep which can be as bad or worse than driving DUI.
  12. Trucks take longer to brake but are traveling along with the rest of the traffic — posing a hazard to us all, especially when you add in the factor of the geometric mismatch (not merely a weight difference) of the height of the crush zone of the front of passenger vehicles vs the height of the lower edge of trucks. Underride protection (even what is currently legislated) is too weak and ineffective.
  13. And really, driver fatigue is not just a trucker problem — now is it?
  14. Fatigue, of course, is not the only problem; distracted behavior needs to be discussed as well, and other factors of what might make a truck driver inattentive and not ready to react in a timely manner to avoid tragedies.
  15. Let’s not forget the road system and things like electronic signs to alert drivers of upcoming traffic back-ups or law enforcement actions to divert traffic or teaching drivers how to respond, etc.
  16. And, of course, safety technology — to alert drivers when they are in microsleep or crash avoidance systems (but still, then the driver has to react to the surrounding circumstances) and DON’T FORGET underride protection, parking for truck drivers who do need to take breaks but so they don’t create hazards in their parking location, conspicuity, side mirrors.
  17. I’m sure that I have forgotten something; but I hope that you get the idea!

Now all I need is for some others (in addition to truck drivers) to catch the vision and help me out with planning this thing — finding sponsors, a facility, speakers, resources, etc.

Let’s collaborate together. Let’s make it happen. Let’s be amazed at the results.

Tired Trucker Roundtable

The latest reason to do so: Semi driver was inattentive, distracted when he hit family’s minivan in I-80 crash, State Patrol says

Truck Driver Compensation. . . one trucker’s perspective

Read the thoughtful conclusions of various truck drivers on driver compensation, including this:


“Further regulations are nothing more than compounding a problem with more problems. The trucking industry itself can be the one to ensure safer highways and further correct many of the issues faced within the industry, without governmental action to impose additional regulations:

  • Develop and implement their own Entry Level Driver Training AND Hiring Standards
  • Increase driver wages which have remained stagnant for the past 25 years which add to drivers pushing for more miles in anticipation for a livable pay check
  • Develop a professional treatment toward their drivers, respecting the current rules in place as they relate to HOS rules, driver fatigue and drivers’ lawful rights
  • Stop the intimidation, harassment and retaliatory behavior against drivers to work toward ending the industry’s “Us against them” mentality
  • To further campaign and promote highway safety by providing educational resources directed at the general public in order to cultivate a deeper understanding and awareness for autos as it relates to sharing the road with the big rigs

As safety groups continue to play a major role in the addition of regulations placed on the industry, often these groups display a supportive approach for the drivers. Safety groups have called for better pay for drivers; they have voiced their concerns for the need of safer parking areas and appropriate rest time for drivers; they have expressed interest in the need to stop forced dispatching, causing the driver to be pushed beyond the boundaries of safety.

By all ways and means, the industry itself has been its own worst enemy. If the industry would step up and implement the solutions to the problems, would the government then have any reason to intervene on behalf of safety groups and attorneys? If the industry is so fearful of the CSA, safety ratings and interventions from the FMCSA, and is truly concerned about a driver shortage, why is it not possible for one of the world’s largest industries to create the solutions to the problems that they have allowed to continue for decades?

This industry must stop casting blame in all directions toward the FMCSA, professional drivers and even the general public, all for the sake of corporate greed. They must finally face these issues which they have generated over the years which in return, have forced the government into the equation with such actions as HOS, speed limiters and ELD’s.

Here is another one:

“Can a reasonable argument be made using existing laws and regulations to create laws and regulations to transform this industry from a piece work pay system to an hourly based system for employee Drivers?  https://www.facebook.com/TruckersUnitedUSA/posts/1578458142421756


For more interesting conversations on this topic, go to this page:


Just saw this one: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/walmart-guilty-of-not-paying-millions-of-dollars-in-wages-federal-judge-rules-10313678.html

Trucking Minimum Liability Insurance & Trucker Wages. . .A Facebook Conversation

A Facebook Conversation on Trucking Minimum Liability Insurance AND Trucker Wages. . .

Truckers United Just got off the phone with my Congressman’s office. Have all of You made that call yet? Us Capitol switchboard; 202-202-3121
Higher liability insurance is not needed as only 1% of claims today exceed the current $750,000 minimum. Company Drivers, This affects you also!!!

  • Marianne Waldron Karth Please take the time to read what I have to say about liability insurance–after losing 2 daughters, In Memory of AnnaLeah 1995 to 2013 and Mary Lydia Karth 1999 to 2013 AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13), in a truck crash. See More

  • Truckers United Marianne Waldron Karth, First and foremost, I am Deeply sorry for your loss! I Will take time to better understand your point of view as it is valid! At a glance I noticed that the cost of inflation is part of the reasoning behind the desired liability increase. The FMCSA has also raised certain fines due to inflationary increases. I suppose this would be fine if freight rates kept up with inflation. They have not as there are those who are paying little more today than they were in the 80’s. There are novice Drivers on the road today earning pennies more a mile than I did when I started driving in 89. I have a paycheck stub of an experienced co Driver who in 1978 earned .23.5 cpm. Accounting for inflation, that would be about .80cpm today. 50cpm is very hard to come by today. We have novice Drivers earning .25cpm today. We have mega companies paying their lease Drivers .90cpm + a meager fuel surcharge. The megas cost of operation last year averaged $1.64 a mile. These guys are self insured and they want insurance premiums to go up because it will affect them positively as it strains the rest of us. When I spoke to my Congressman’s office I tried to make them aware that our cost of doing business keep going up up up while our income has been stagnant for 25yrs or more.I think that OOIDA has suggested that a catastrophic fund could and should be set up to handle the the instances that exceed the current minimum. Mamm, I AM sympathetic to your concerns. I am also aware that we Drivers are having to work within a punitive system trying to force safe behavior instead of devising a system that pays Drivers to Be Safe. I do believe that there is an answer to be found if WE Work Together. Maybe I should have said “Higher liability insurance is not needed. We should consider creating a catastrophic fund to address the 1% of claims that exceed the current minimum”. I do appreciate your contacting me.
    • Marianne Waldron Karth Thank you for taking time to respond. I don’t think that it is an either/or situation. I am also advocating for improvement in truck driver compensation. I hope to promote sitting-down-together to discuss WIN/WIN solutions. Who profits and who pays the price for the status quo? http://annaleahmary.com/…/driver-sees-wages-synonymous…/

      What is the answer to making sure that truck…
    • Marianne Waldron Karth Many “truck safety issues” are social and public health problems and they should be addressed as such so that individuals (Victims & their Loved Ones and Truck Drivers) do not pay the heavy price or bear the entire burden for resolving these issues.
      Truckers United Tilden Curl had written an article that I am vaguely familiar with as it’s been almost a year since I first touched on it. This article pertains to the megas ability to self insure and how that affects freight rates. Tilden and I spoke last Friday but I haven’t had a chance to download the article for review. Once done, I would be happy to share it with you. I only remember that Tilden’s approach made sense to me at the time. Tiden, Allen Smith and I are OOIDA members. Speaking for myself, I don’t believe that OOIDA is the enemy here. We, the membership, are pennies fighting against Dollars that will do whatever it takes to increase their profits. Yes, this is America and that is their right, but at what cost to those like you and me? I only desire that reasonable steps be taken to protect all. Thank you Marianne Waldron Karth
      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
      Apparently OOIDA says , “…protect the legislation halting FMCSA’s rush to raise insurance requirements.” – See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=29127#.VW5Vas9Viko
      But this has not been a “rush;” it has been discussed and studied for some time now:  http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Financial-Responsibility-Requirements-Report-Enclosure-FINAL-April%202014.pdf

Possible Study By FMCSA To Study The Way Truckers Are Paid

I hope that nothing gets in the way of a proposed study by FMCSA:

“. . . the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is pursuing plans to study whether the way truckers are paid leads to unsafe driving habits, rule-breaking and deadly crashes.

It’s an important study. It’s one that could open the door to federal regulations that determine how drivers are paid, if not how much. And, more significantly, it could lead to safer highways.”