It breaks my heart every time I hear it, and I hear it often, drivers being held hostage over the road. I am not talking about gunmen, but it is not far off. I am talking about companies that do not respect a drivers home time. It is a form of kidnap as far as I am concerned. Home time is the hard earned precious few days off a driver gets, it is generally one day off for each week they are out driving, if they are out for 4 weeks they go home for 4 days.
Think about how frustrating it is sometimes to be held up late for work an hour or two, now imagine you were held up at work for 3 weeks.
Some companies will keep a driver out weeks or sometimes even months beyond the promised time to get them home. The drivers do not want to rock the boat as they don't want to compromise future loads, and they can not just head home at their free will because it is grounds for termination and will mar their record for years to come, Drivers just have to wait and hope the next load will be homeward bound.
Drivers miss big family events all the time because the companies just look at the bottom dollar and have a total disconnect from the driver, drivers are just numbers, not humans to these companies. Not only are important dates often missed, but often times during this coveted home time, drivers are called by their companies begging them to get back out to pick up a load before the days off are done. Pressuring them to give up a day or two of this time to catch up on life and family for another load.
It angers me more than a misfire on a perfect shot when a driver that is solid gold at his job and gives the respect of a 2 week notice to a company and that company decides to keep the driver out for weeks beyond the date arranged to leave. These companies know the drivers do not want to risk a "declined load" mark on their record, or so they just keep running them with no recourse.
In an attempt to let people know what it is like for over the road drivers, I am heading out with Jim Palmer Trucking driver Allie Knight.