Trucking – The Nature Of The Industry Part 2

In my job, I work only Fridays to Monday. I work ON CALL during my time away from the office by carrying my work’s Crackberry Phone. Calls are unpredictable.

I received a call from a driver in distress. He had arrived at a Grocery Store Distribution Centre. He was going to be late and was about 3 hours late. He had driven nearly 3000 KM to get to this location.
The appt time of the delivery was scheduled by the Grocery Store Distribution. Though the run wasn’t illegal in timing. It didn’t allow the driver to casually drive and stop to see the sites. The driver used every legal waking hour to drive.
Without any delays… he would be on time. However… coming nearly the full way across the Northern United States hitting the nasty weather last week, he was delayed due to weather. On top of that… he was delayed at the USA Border. The Grocery Store Distribution Centre didn’t provide the right paperwork for this driver. The driver lost 5 hours of driving time waiting for all of this mess to clear up.
The driver loosing that much time would cause him to really keep on track. The driver knew he would be late, so calls were made to the Distribution Centre and they said not a problem. It’s typical for Grocery Distributions to Load and offload in the evenings. The message of him being late didn’t get passed on down the line.
In the end, 4 days of non stop driving. The Grocery Distribution Centre refuses to offload the driver because he is 3 hours late. They are pretty damn lucky he was only 3 hours considering all the driver had endured. Including wasting 5 hours at the border which was the fault of the Grocery Store Distribution Centre.
It’s now 2:30am on a Saturday Morning. I have a very upset driver on the phone. I speak to the company and they will not budge on their rules considering all the driver went through. It’s not like they were closed… RULES ARE RULES! I asked who I could speak to about over turning this rule for this driver considering the circumstances… I have to speak to HEAD OFFICE, oh by the way, they are only open between 9 – 5 pm weekdays.
My driver turned away at a place that ordered him to be there. For product that they required in the first place. Without consideration of traffic, weather, issues along the way. The company is so freak’n arrogant to do this.
The driver was sent to a nearby truck stop… and now has to wait 3 days in the parking lot there before this company will entertain offloading him.
I tell you this… because this is one of the main reasons why I got out of driving a truck. Absolute arrogance on behalf of the companies who hire trucking companies to move their stuff. This driver now must sit and run a truck for 3 days to keep warm. He must deal with the prostitutes that bang onto truck doors in the middle of the night.
There’s one major store that is north American Wide that I refuse to support. Just because their shipping is so arrogant. You can have multiples of this one store in major cities. One store is set up for midnight receiving while the other is set up for day only. So you think you can blaze through the city to deliver all of the stores, but its impossible…. Because of the hours set up and then you have to make an appt for what they have available. You are virtually powerless!
So now while this guy on the dock said no… He went home to a nice warm house with his family… my driver is sitting in a parking lot for 3 days. Away from home, in a strange neck of the woods and no options to leave the truck due to breakins that happen in parking lots, especially when loaded.
I love trucking, I love transportation, but I sure wish some of these big companies who control us would be held accountable for a situation like this….
Next time you are in a grocery store or whatever… think about how that product came to be… and don’t think for a minute that everyone that ever touched that box along its route was treated fairly.
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