Greetings My Fellow Drivers,
My name is Pat Hockaday, they call me JoJo.
As I sit here tonight I’m thinking of you, your families and the sacrifices We OTR Drivers must endure.
I mean no insult to any of you my Brothers and Sisters but I’m going to call it like I see it.
We OTR Drivers have allowed things to get out of control!
We have Divided Ourselves and the Carrier Associations Have Taken Control.
We OTR Drivers have listened to those who have everything to gain by teaching Us what they want Us to know!
By seeking more available working hours and flexibility, as the carriers want, we are only providing a CHEAP Labor Force That Makes THEM Money.
Trucking goes beyond reasonable competition to the extent that We All, Drivers and Carriers, have become Predators in our way of thinking and conducting business.
For those old timers such as myself who have worked our butts off, long hours spent running outlaw miles came naturally as hard work meant reaching the American Dream of comfort and security for ourselves and our families.
Be honest with yourselves!
Are you ever going to truly achieve the American Dream AND IF SO, would you have been a part of your families lives while striving to do what is best for your family?
Sure, some of you have done well and many think they are doing well as it is our nature to believe that we have lived successfully.
Our productive lives matter if to no one else but ourselves.
We are Honorable, Hard Working Men and Women that do best tending to our own business.
We live and work in solitude taking care of ourselves and our families.
Our job is and has been to produce pieces with On Time pick up and delivery.
We Are Dedicated to Our Jobs!
We run the road to Earn a living, a work style that should support a lifestyle.
As a work force, have we Drivers made any progress?
Our Pride and Dignity tell us that we have but the numbers tell a different story.
Average annual earnings of a truckload Driver as used by the ATA:
1980 @ $25,287
2000 @ $41,446
2016 @ $41,340
We produce more today and earn less than in years past but our pride tells us that we are making a good living.
We Know Something Is Wrong but we fail to look at ourselves!
After all, we do our jobs as We Were Taught so it can’t be US………………………
The pendulum once swung between labor and management as a means to find neutral ground.
Today we have “take it or leave it” jobs and lease contracts.
We talk of the “Free Market” as though it is a given that the market is Free and Uncontrollable.
I see that We are coming out the losers in a Controlled Market.
We Are AT Work/Working when we are manning Our Work Stations Anywhere USA.
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations Govern Us 24/7 when we are preforming the duties of Our Jobs!!!
We have been taught that We have the Freedom do as we please when we are logged “Off Duty”.
When I’m 1,000 miles from home stuck in a truck, I sure don’t have the Freedom to do As I Please!
“It’s part of the job” many Drivers say.
“A job is something one gets Paid To Do” I say.
There is a Big Difference in having Freedom to Do As We Please when we are on personal time off (waiting to be engaged) as compared to having the Liberties the Job Affords Us when we are working Our 24/7 Jobs (including being engaged to wait).
The Carrier Associations have successfully and intentionally taught Us that we are only working when we are producing pieces.
We are not supposed to know that our time has value.
TIME IS MONEY!
We OTR Drivers have failed to understand our jobs!
We have been granted the privilege to operate on the Public Roadways provided we comply with the regulations.
The carriers have been granted the privilege to operate on the Public Roadways provided they comply with the regulations.
These Privileges May Be Taken Away!!!
We as Drivers have agreed to the terms and conditions of holding and working under a CDL license.
The Carriers have agreed to the terms and conditions of operating commercially in order to have Operating Authority.
We Drivers and Carriers operate at the pleasure of the People, PERIOD.
These privileges may be revoked if we fail to comply with the regs, PERIOD.
Regulations and Guidances have been altered to coincide with what we have been taught further endorsing what the Carrier Associations want Us to believe.
The Carrier Associations KNOW that Employee Drivers are under the carriers CONTROL.
The carriers REQUIRE all 24hrs of a Drivers workday be in compliance of the FMCSR’s.
Title 29, § 785.7 of Federal Labor Code (Partial)
The United States Supreme Court originally stated that employees subject to the act must be paid for all time spent in “physical or mental exertion (whether burdensome or not) CONTROLLED or REQUIRED by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer and his business.”
Does Milage Pay Compensate YOU for ALL of YOUR Time On The Job???
We old timers were once able to abuse time effectively for our purpose only due to our complete disregard to the the law.
Many times back in the day I found myself hanging my head along with several other Drivers as we collectively asked “WHY Do We Have to Break the Law to Earn A Living???”
I now find myself hanging my head because of the legacy I have brought forward…………………..
The so-called Drivers Shortage FEEDS a Profitable Business Model that Floods the Market With OverSupply thus maintaining a CHEAP Drivers Pool!
We are being played for FOOLS and the continual revolving door of Drivers Holds US Down as we have to compete against inexperienced and underpaid newcomers that only last a few years!
Our pay has been Stagnant since 2000 BECAUSE We Do As They Taught Us, Giving Them What They Want, A CHEAP LABOR FORCE!
More pieces produced = more income or so We Have Been Taught.
REALLY, We Produce More and Earn Less with each passing year!
We Can NOT Afford to Operate In Full Compliance of the Regulations and that is why we want Less Regulation!
“Less Regulation is the answer as the regulations Cost Us Money” ???
Complaining about the regs instead of doing something about the pay is why we are stagnating!
Less Regulation = More Available Working Hours = Over Capacity = Less Income.
The regulations provide Us with a degree of security as they place a controlling mechanism over the amount of Supply available to the fluctuating market.
Without the regulations the market would be flooded with yahoos doing as they please placing us all in danger!
Piece Work Wages ALLOW THE CARRIERS to Flood the Market With Capacity BY NOT Paying Their Drivers FOR THE TIME Under Their Control!!!
Less Regulation GIVES THEM More Available Working Hours Under Their Control Which Allows THEM to Further Manipulate the Market!!!
Bottom Line, They Profit and WE STAGNATE!!!
Federal Labor Code is purposely being ignored!
Title 29, § 785.7 Judicial construction. (Continued)
Subsequently, the Court ruled that there need be no exertion at all and that all hours are hours worked which the employee is required to give his employer, that
“an employer, if he chooses, may hire a man to do nothing, or to do nothing but wait for something to happen.
Refraining from other activity often is a factor of instant readiness to serve, and idleness plays a part in all employments in a stand-by capacity. Readiness to serve may be hired, quite as much as service itself, and time spent lying in wait for threats to the safety of the employer’s property may be treated by the parties as a benefit to the employer.”
There are undeniable laws in this world that simply exist.
1 + 1 = 2 and there is no denying it.
Demand will always be met provided conditions permit.
High Demand creates increase in Supply.
Low Demand requires a decrease in Supply.
The Value of Supply is dictated by the available amount of Supply pending the requirements of the markets demand.
OverSupply in the Market Stabilizes the Value of Supply at the Low End!
We Drivers and the rigs we operate ARE Supply.
The laws of Supply and Demand Can Not Be Altered while they can be manipulated to the favor of those who have the Power to do so.
The Carrier Associations HAVE THE POWER When We Support Their Desire for MORE Working Hours and Flexibility!!!
The Carrier Associations are Controlling Your Free Market With Your Help!!!
Simply put, We Drivers are a Dime a Dozen as we continue fighting the Carrier Associations fight for them for Their Profit!!
It is Up to We Drivers to Balance the Free Market!
For Us to Allow Piece Work Wages to be Paid to Employee OTR Drivers is for Us to create the need for less regulation.
Employee OTR Drivers have sold their Time in exchange for the possibility that they may have pieces to produce.
168hrs under the carriers control for How Much???
Electronic Logging Devices Are OUR Enemy ONLY because WE HAVE PERMITTED the Carrier Associations to design and implement how ELD’s will function.
We Played into their hands and Gave Them Control over the ELD Project!
Why Are We Fighting Against A Device That We Could Use To Make Us Money???
Do YOU really believe that the carriers wanted to give up their PROFITABLE Outlaw Ways???
They Are Using US to make these Black Boxes Profitable For THEM!!!
We should ALL be able to AGREE On Our Need For MORE Money.
Our Time Has Value but we only see Pieces Produced as having Value.
WE DO NOT HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR TIME!!!
Detention Time, Lack of Parking, Unforeseen Events and Unreasonable Demands are DUMPED into OUR Laps for US to Manage while being held accountable to Time Based Regulations.
Our solution is to help Them Profit by Demanding More Flexibility???
We Want More Hours to Work???
We have Gobbled Up Flexibility and Available Working Hours every time they have been granted to US and WE STILL CRY FOR MORE!!!
The carriers are stuck with ELD’s just like We are.
They want Us to have More Flexibility and Hours to Work for THEIR PROFIT.
Why Aren’t We Earning Enough to Work In Full Compliance???
Are We IDIOTS???
Can We Not SEE that OUR Profits are only Diminishing by giving them what they want, More Working Hours and Flexibility???
Flood the Market with Available Working Hours and the Value of an Log Book Hour DECREASES.
Again, Average Annual Earnings of a Truckload Driver:
1980 @ $25,287 would be $74,687 in 2016
2000 @ $41,446 would be $58,757 in 2016
2016 IS AT $41,340 AND WE ARE STEADILY GOING DOWNHILL!!!
The Carriers Associations have gone out of their way to instill this Piece Work train of thought upon All Of Us!
Could it be that having Us think this way is profitable for them?
Could it be that Our Pride has gotten in the way and We Can’t See That We Drivers Are Being Played For FOOLS???
For the past 20yrs We have complained about the regs to the advantage of the carriers.
The Numbers Prove That We Have Accomplished NOTHING!!!
We OTR Drivers are the only ones who can turn this boat around and it will take Most Every One of Us To Do So!!!!!!!!
Are the Regulations the problem or is the Real Problem That We can Not Afford to Operate In Compliance of the Regulations???
We Could All Operate In Full Compliance IF THE PAY WAS ADEQUATE ENOUGH TO DO SO!!!
Pat Hockaday (JoJo)