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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Truckers' rights: Why are drivers paid so little?


How much do truckers make?
Trucker salaries often include benefits rise annually
By Matthew Hall

There is a misconception around the transportation and distribution industries that driver’s have the lives of champions. Even though the job is not glamorous, many professionals still believe that truck drivers get high pay and benefits, while only working a few hours at a time. This misconception has lead people to believe that truckers and other transportation professionals have sustainable career choices. The truth is that they can have sustainable career choices, depending on who they work for.

Particularly with semi-truck delivery drivers, distributing product throughout the world, the work is often long and stressful. If you’re carrying chemicals, toxic waste, or explosive material, you need to be at the top of your driving game. On the contrary, these drivers are spending 14 hour days on the road delivering goods to customers and manufacturing facilities. Given the dangerous nature of the job, in conjunction with the long hours of operation (often unaccountable or paid for), truck drivers are not receiving enough pay.

Is $38,000.00 really that low?

Many people earn an average of $40,000.00 a year in gross wages for labor jobs such as driving, technician work, and retail or restaurant work. This may seem like respectable pay considering the
complexity of the work, but this misconception is the root of many problems in the industry.

Truckers rarely receive more than one day off during a week of work. Truckers account for approximately 12% of all work related deaths in the U.S. This is extremely high for a profession that only pays a minimal living standard. Although the level of entry is not extremely difficult, the hours can account for 14 hour days and long trips away from friends and family. If you calculate the actual pay based on the amount of work hours inputted, truckers only make about $9.00 an hour. In addition, due to the nature of the job, truckers are forced to eat meals away from home and are not compensated for travel meals. The bills could be high depending on where the individual trucker is stationed or delivering goods.

Salary jobs may seem like a truck driver is receiving more money, but all it's creating is an opportunity for employers to overwork employees and still pay them annual salary wages. In the case of truck drivers, men and women across the U.S. are being taken advantage of because of this technicality.

Finally, and most importantly, truck drivers are not able to exercise or use the health benefits that are provided to them because they are continuously on the road. The lack of physical activity and the uselessness of healthcare benefits make truck drivers subject to possible increased health risks as they age.

The bottom line

Given the long hours, time away from home, danger of the position, and future health problems associated with the trucking lifestyle, these professionals are not compensated as much as many would think. Mostly for their families, these trucking professionals should be able to receive higher wages and build more longevity in their careers, rather than being used and thrown to the waste-side.


About the author: Matthew Hall is a professional writer and marketing consultant for Driver Physicals, the #1 website for locating certified providers for your DOT physical. Matthew currently resides in beautiful Orlando, Florida. He spends the majority of his spare time with his family.

Image license: US-PD