Sunday, May 4, 2014

You Will Pay

Nothing is in your house that wasn't somehow or another placed on a truck at one time or another.  When it was placed on this truck, the truck owner was paid.  The truck owner set a rate that he or she felt was reasonable.  This rate was based on a few things such as fuel prices, maintenance costs, driver pay, and the competition's rates.  There is a value here that goes into the price of freight which is not easily calculated:  The pay to the driver to make driver's quality of life worthwhile.

As the lives of drivers are being inundated with electronic recorders, constant surveillance from the Department of Transportation, and local law enforcement, there is another factor which has crept into the lives of truck drivers:  lack of parking.

While the daily hours a driver is allowed to work is being cut short so that he or she will be safer behind the wheel, the places they can park are becoming fewer and fewer.  It really doesn't matter why this is happening so much because the parking lots and unused strips of local roads where trucks aren't allowed are many in number.

When I first came out here almost 20 years ago, trucks could practically park anywhere in the country so long as the truck could fit and be able to navigate in and out of the parking lot.  This made it possible to park somewhere other than a truck stop to take in the local sights or enjoy whatever the local area had to offer.  It's normal for a new business in a remote area or even in the suburbs to allow truck parking.  I see it all the time when a business is starting out.  Trucks bring in business.  And then, just like clockwork, as the business starts to do better, they erect truck parking bans around the property.

Truck drivers who enjoy their lives, charge less money for their service.  The more enjoyable the job, the less money needs to change hands.  Parking lot owners complain about the cost to repair light poles, pick up garbage, and repair damaged asphalt when they start to ban trucks, but is it really cost effective?  Is it possible that the reason there is a driver shortage is partially because life on the road is becoming more and more daunting?

Perhaps the next time you go to the store to fill your cart with anything, you might think about the prices you pay a little differently knowing that if the truckers were happier, the money in your wallet might go a little further than it does.

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