Hug a trucker today

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Hug a trucker today

Postby Rico » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:34 pm

Just venting because I just got off the phone with my "baby" brother. He's been a trucker for nearly 20 years now, and it's only recently I realize and appreciate how hard a job he has.

Like most truckers he works on the average over 70 hours per week. Many of his hours are "unpaid" while he's sitting in shipper's parking lots sometimes 8 hours or more after specified load time (a whole workday for most average Americans!) . Truckers are not paid overtime.

First year median hourly wage for a heavy tractor-trailer driver -- $14/hr. After nearly 20 years of experience, the medium wage rises to a $18/hr. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job ... ourly_Rate

When I go to the store tomorrow and look over all that fresh produce, or pick anything else from the shelves from any store, I'll think about my brother and all the other truckers who made it all possible.
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Postby olywaguy » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:18 pm

Here is the most current information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Here's info from the state of Maryland if he lives near.
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Postby Rico » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:36 am

olywaguy wrote:Here is the most current information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Here's info from the state of Maryland if he lives near.

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. Surprisingly, the figures aren't that far off. BLS data (like most other government stats) tend to have a long lag time, and alot has happened in the industry (e.g. diesel prices) and in the general economy since 2007.

Either way I guess my point isn't so much about the wages, but how easy it is to forget how things happen. How many people do you think spend time in the grocery store, looking over all the abundance, and think about how all that good stuff got there?

There's a little ritual I have at work. When we have luncheons there's usually a prayer-blessing before anybody is allowed to eat. (That's a whole other issue.) After they're all done thanking God and Jesus for the food, I always add "and thank the trucker who delivered it."

Cheers!
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Postby foxeyes2 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:44 am

Yes we do need to thank the truckers who deliver our produce as well as those who picked it in the fields. They are usually the lowest paid people in the chain that brings us our food supply and yet they have the hardest job. When we sit down to eat it is good to take a moment and think about all of those who made it possible for us to have the food in front of us and realize that we are all connected and interdependent and that all these jobs have worth.
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Postby Cajun » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:09 am

And while we're at it, how about thanking the people who brought to market the oil/diesel that allowed the trucker to haul that produce in the first place :wink:

My point being - there are PLENTY of people who are associated with what's on your plate, even if you're growing your own vegetables (think fertilizer, seeds, potting soil, etc).

We're in this TOGETHER, and we all need to remember that fact - GROUP hug :D
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Postby madsglen » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:56 pm

Amen.

I'm often thinking about how all of our 'stuff' comes from. As a farmboy, I know firsthand how we get all that high fructose corn syrup and what it takes for people here in Seattle to get their 'soy lattes'. And often marvel at people who can live their lives thinking it just magically appears. As a guy who's milked my share of cows (and shoveled sh*t, too) I sometimes get irritated at those who complain about the cost of milk when those who work day and night to produce it struggle to maintain their livelihoods and are having to shut down their farms every day.

And as someone who is the brother of a trucker (who hauls 'hazardous waste' - a whole other conversation), friend to a fisherman ('The Deadliest Catch' has given me a whole new respect, let me tell you) and former partner to a railroad engineer I'm thankful for those who make my life easier. This 'economic crisis' makes me sad and it scares me sometimes to think how easily it could go the other way since all of those jobs and our way of life is dependent upon each other. When one goes, it greatly affects the others. Funny how much I hated my economics courses in college. Now it fascinates me.

So, to paraphrase Cajun, go out and hug a farmer, a trucker and yes, an oil producer, today!
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Postby nimby » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:44 pm

And yet all of these jobs are just as important in the chain as any other, yet pay scales vary so widely. If one link of the chain gets broken, we do not get our produce. Hardly seems fair.

Hmmm... was Carl Marx on to something? (I'm just sayin :wink: )
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Postby Earl Butz » Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:17 am

For sure. I've heard it said that no one in the world needs to starve to death. There is enough food. But distributing it is the problem.

I'd also like to thank the cows who provide all those tasty hamburgers. And pigs for their tasty bacon. And anyone who works in a meat packing plant. Good lord what a gross job.
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Postby Schlodesss » Tue May 12, 2009 5:00 pm

I've seen a few truckers and oilfield workers lately that i'd like to do more than just give a hug... lol..
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Re: Hug a trucker today

Postby FRE » Sat May 30, 2009 7:59 pm

Rico wrote:Like most truckers he works on the average over 70 hours per week. Many of his hours are "unpaid" while he's sitting in shipper's parking lots sometimes 8 hours or more after specified load time (a whole workday for most average Americans!) . Truckers are not paid overtime.

First year median hourly wage for a heavy tractor-trailer driver -- $14/hr. After nearly 20 years of experience, the medium wage rises to a $18/hr. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job ... ourly_Rate


I've also heard that truckers often have no choice but to work dangerously long hours. I couldn't do that - I'd be in danger of falling asleep while driving, and I know that some truckers do nod off while driving, causing accidents. Even if they don't actually fall asleep, their ability to drive safely is greatly reduced by such long hours.

Obviously there should be some changes, both to improve safety and as a matter of fairness for the drivers.
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Re: Hug a trucker today

Postby Rico » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:01 pm

I'm bumping this up only because just seconds ago I got off the phone with my "baby" brother. He's about 40. Now...I'm not a phone talker...hate talking on the phone, but I spent more time than usual with him just now. One time very recently I criticized him for not having his life together and for not being more organized. He pointed to his tractor and trailor, reminded me of his divorce and the kids he now sees only every couple of weeks, and then then said to me: "What do you expect? I live in a *$#*@# box!" Makes me appreciate truckers, the work they do, and my brother more than ever. Cheers.
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Re: Hug a trucker today

Postby barbie behavior » Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:56 pm

awww give your brother a big hug for me~ima find me a trucker now to hug!~its the little things that we sometimes tend for forget about. today will be hug a trucker day! :D
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