- Truck drivers can have difficulty finding employment due to a lack of qualified applicants and experience.
- The median yearly wage for truck drivers is lower than average, making them vulnerable to employer exploitation.
- Remain updated on industry wages and actively network with other experienced truckers to ensure fair pay.
- Get a trucking lawyer to negotiate contracts, understand industry regulations, protect rights in employment disputes, & file insurance claims.
- Continuous upskilling is essential for staying competitive in the industry & maximizing earnings potential.
Truck driving is a challenging and demanding career, with many rewards waiting for those willing to put in the time and effort. However, it can be hard to break into the truck-driving business despite its positive aspects. According to a recent American Trucking Association (ATA) survey, nearly three-quarters of new drivers surveyed said they had difficulty finding employment due to a lack of qualified applicants. Nearly one-fifth said they had been denied job offers because of insufficient experience or qualifications.
Furthermore, truck drivers must often work long hours to meet delivery deadlines and ensure customer satisfaction. Over half of the surveyed truck drivers reported working more than fifty hours per week on average, with one in four saying they often worked over sixty hours per week. Long hours can lead to increased fatigue and safety risks. Driver fatigue was responsible for almost 30 percent of all large truck crashes in 2018.
Remain Updated with Industry Wages
Truck drivers often get mistreated regarding wages due to their limited bargaining power. Most drivers are contracted, meaning they do not have access to benefits such as health insurance, retirement funds, and other labor protections. As a result, truck drivers are more vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers who can take advantage of their lack of job security.
Furthermore, wages for experienced truck drivers remain relatively low compared with other high-skilled professions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics, the median annual salary for truck drivers was $48,310—considerably lower than the median yearly wage for all occupations ($52,134).
Staying informed about industry changes and current truck driver wages is essential to ensure you get what you deserve as a truck driver and avoid potential employer exploitation. One way to do this is by actively networking with other experienced truck drivers who may be more aware of prevailing rates in the market.
Additionally, online resources such as Driver Know How and American Trucking Associations (ATA) publications can provide valuable insights into recent pay trends and available jobs. Finally, it is crucial to maintain a current Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) since outdated licenses may disqualify you from specific jobs or lead to discrepancies in pay rate comparisons with other qualified applicants.
Get a Trucking Lawyer
Getting a trucking lawyer is essential for any truck driver who wants to ensure they receive the wages and benefits they deserve. A trucking lawyer can provide legal advice on various issues related to the industry, such as contract terms, wage disputes, safety regulations, employment rights and responsibilities, and more. Here are four areas where having a trucking lawyer can help you remain stable in your career:
A trucking lawyer can help review contracts from employers and negotiate better terms for the driver. This includes ensuring that all parties understand their obligations and rights under the agreement and arranging for better wages and other benefits such as paid holidays or overtime pay. You can maximize your earnings potential by having a knowledgeable legal representative.
Understanding Industry Regulations
The truckers industry is subject to numerous regulations from federal and state governments. A trucking lawyer can help explain these regulations and inform drivers of their obligations. This includes understanding restrictions on hours worked per week, maintaining up-to-date licensing requirements, abiding by safety standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and more. Having a knowledgeable legal representative to explain the law can help drivers make informed decisions about their work life.
Protecting Your Rights in Employment Disputes
Truck drivers are vulnerable to exploitation due to their lack of job security. A trucking lawyer can provide sound legal advice regarding wage disputes with employers or other grievances, such as discrimination in hiring or promotion practices. They can advocate for drivers who have experienced unfair treatment at work, helping them receive compensation for lost wages or other damages incurred during employment disputes.
Filing Insurance Claims
In the event of an accident, while working as a driver resulting in injuries or property damage, insurance providers may dispute claims from drivers or deny payments altogether due to ambiguities around applicable laws and regulations covering commercial vehicle accidents. A trucking lawyer can advise on obtaining appropriate compensation from insurance companies by filing claims or lawsuits should negotiations fail between parties.
Continuous upskilling is an integral part of being a successful truck driver. By regularly taking classes and learning new skills, truck drivers can ensure that they remain marketable in the industry. This helps to increase their chances of landing higher-paying jobs and better job security.
Given the industry’s high turnover rate, staying current on trends and technology is essential for maintaining a competitive edge. Truck drivers must demonstrate their capabilities with the latest technologies, such as electronic logging devices (ELDs), advanced safety systems, and other industry-specific tools. This may require additional training courses or attending seminars hosted by industry organizations such as the American Trucking Association (ATA).
Truck driving is an essential profession, but it also carries risks. These tips can help ensure your truck driving experience is safe and rewarding.