Tag Archives: truck driver wages

Wages in the trucking industry; A little rant by a truck driver.

Is it possible to address the problem of truck driver compensation? Would it lead to healthier drivers and safer roads?


Blindsided By Unexpected Loss; The many facets of grief

I recently returned from a trip to DC where Jerry, Isaac, and I joined with other families who had experienced unexpected loss by way of devastating truck crashes. At the Truck Safety Coalition’s Sorrow to Strength Conference we shared our stories with one another, attended workshops to learn more about truck safety issues and how to advocate for change, as well as participated in meetings on The Hill.

One of the workshops was on the topic of grief and I had made the comment that what we all experienced in our horrific, tragic losses made the grief more complicated because of the anger and frustration we all too often feel when too little is done too late to save (other) lives. It is sometimes hard to move on fully with, as they say, “a new normal” when you witness the seemingly calloused and indifferent attitude toward what should be preventable deaths.

Supposedly its a risk you take when you choose to get on the road, you know. Or, changes would not be “cost effective.”

In any case, I wanted to share an article which I read last year. It helped me process my feelings of grief at the unexpected loss I have felt after discovering in 2010 that many of our family members face challenges we had never anticipated with a progressive hereditary peripheral neuropathy (Charcot Marie Tooth or CMT). What they tell us is that it is not life-threatening, but it is a life-changer.

I had searched online and found this interesting article about the grieving of parents with disabled children, which could be helpful for any grieving person–no matter what their loss, The Impact of Childhood Disability: The Parent’s Struggle, by Ken Moses, Ph.D.:

I just now re-read it and noticed this statement by the author:  After working with parents of the impaired for many years, I have come to believe that I was given bad advice. I have come to believe that pain is the solution, not the problem.

That reminded me of something my 5 year-old granddaughter said earlier this year:

One day, Vanessa asked me (out of the blue), “Does pain fix sadness?

Me: “Well. . .?”

Vanessa: Runs off to play. . .

I don’t know. Will the pain which I am going through eventually “fix” my sadness? Is the pain a process–or at least a signal or indication that a process of healing is taking place? If I were not feeling the pain, would it be harder to complete that process? Will the pain ever lessen?

I have also known real peace in this season. It also comes and goes–seeming elusive. Comes mostly when I am focused on the promises of God–in word or song–like the song I sang at their funeral, In Christ Alone. I really believed it then and I believe it now. It just seems in stiff competition with the real pain.

Read more in that post, Real Pain, Real Peacehttp://annaleahmary.com/2015/03/real-pain-real-peace/

I was glad to see that Jerry and Isaac had an opportunity to tell our story themselves for the preparation of videos which I just discovered are now posted on the Truck Safety Coalition’s website:


Other families share their truck crash stories here: http://trucksafety.org/get-involved/personal-stories/ .

Just yesterday, I read a facebook post and comments by some of the TSC family members. They were commenting on how hard it was to get back into things after the conference in DC and how they struggled anew with the grief and sadness. It reminded me of how thankful I was for the comment made several times at the conference that we will not tell each other, “Get over it.” It is such a complicated grief; we will never fully get over it.

But, with hope, we will carry on because we know that someday we will see their face again:


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
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      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

“Driver sees wages synonymous with trucking safety”

What is the answer to making sure that truck drivers are not driving TIRED? I tend to think that it is a multifaceted problem and needs to be addressed accordingly.

Take a moment to read what these truck drivers have to say about this life & death matter.