Wheels of Justice
Congratulations – you still have a job!
I’ve heard it said the word “work” was chosen to describe what we do for a living simply because all the good four-letter words were already taken. If you are anything like me, I am sure there are days when you would not find that too hard to believe. Many times we feel that work often gets in the way of fun or what we really want to do with our time. We complain about how unappreciated or under-paid we believe we are and we harp about how “The Boss” has it in for us. Well, like it or not, the troubled economic times we live in may force us to change our attitude about work.
In case you didn’t know, truckload driver turnover rates fell to the lowest level since the ATA began keeping records in 1995. In addition, LTL driver turnover also fell to its lowest point since 2000. What, you may ask, is causing drivers to stay with their current employer instead of hopping from carrier to carrier as they have done in the past? The answer is simple: the economy.
Business is down and people are being laid off all over the country. If you are reading this and still have a job, congratulations! You have survived the first of possibly many rounds of layoffs. Take pride in this fact, as it generally means that you are a pretty good driver with a pretty good driving record. This is not always enough, however.
The first thing you can do to keep your job is to be a good driver. I know everyone thinks they are a good driver; however, I am talking about being a good driver in ways that matter to your employer. For example, drive with the goal of keeping your load, your truck and yourself safe. Be punctual and have a good attitude. If I have two drivers with similar driving records and the economy forces me to let one go, I will get rid of the driver with the bad attitude who doesn’t take pride in his work.
In addition, take steps to keep your driving record clean. Slow down and obey all traffic laws this year and every year.
In the off chance you let your guard down and receive a citation, hire an attorney and fight the ticket. You may not always win, but an attorney can often negotiate a deal to have the citation dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense that helps protect your driving record and is easier for your employer to swallow.
So read the Forbes list of the 500 richest people in America. If your name isn’t on it, get up and go to work, grateful to be employed. However, if you do find your name on the list of the richest people in America, please give me a call, as I’d like to borrow some money from you.
Jim C. Klepper is president of Interstate Trucker Ltd., an organization that provides legal defense protection to commercial drivers. Jim is a lawyer who focuses on transportation law and the trucking industry in particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking, and he holds his Commercial Drivers License.