if an ad asks drivers to do “whatever it takes” to get loads delivered, should i work for them?
Response from Vicki:
While we certainly understand the desire of trucking companies to get freight moved from Location A to Location B in a timely manner, there are aspects of life that should never be compromised. Let’s look at a couple of “whatever it takes” situations that truckers face seasonally or daily.
If your life was in the balance, would you risk taking a load somewhere? Such might be the case if weather conditions turn treacherous. On our snow chains page, we cited the real-life example of a trucking veteran who shut down rather than attempt to drive in bad weather. The driver felt that lives would have been in danger had she driven during hazardous weather conditions. The trucking company fired her but she was later vindicated.
Would you be willing to work more hours than you are permitted to work in a 24-hour period under the federal Hours of Service regulation in order to deliver a load, no matter what it took? Some drivers may be so desperate for a paycheck that they are willing to do so, but that kind of compromise comes at a price. Not only do you risk becoming involved in a fatigue-related truck accident, but you could risk losing both your job and your trucking career permanently.
Once a trucking company knows your weakness — and that you are willing to do “whatever it takes” to get a load delivered — they have the tool with which to manipulate and exploit you. If you’re willing to do this “little thing” over here, then you’re likely to do a “slightly larger thing” over there. The compromises become increasingly larger, the risks become increasingly larger and the costs can be enormous.
Can you imagine sitting in a courtroom, having to face the family of someone who died because of an accident that you helped cause because you compromised? Don’t let this happen to you!
Be extremely careful about taking a job like the one you have described. If you actually end up on a job interview, we recommend that you go prepared to ask the recruiter some hard questions. Pop a hypothetical situation or two on him/her and ask how he/she would respond. The answers you receive will tell you what you need to know.
Remember that when someone on the inside of a trucking company asks you to compromise, you have the responsibility to stand up for what’s right. If you carry out the compromise that you’ve been asked to make, who will bear the brunt of that compromise if things go bad? You will! (See the section on our low clearance page about a time when I had to stand up for what was right, Mike agreed, we were punished for it, but later things worked out fine.)
Although it may not always seem to be the case, I remember what Proverbs 22:1 says: “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.” Do not compromise your good name just to earn a paycheck. There are other jobs. Do your work diligently and you will succeed.
I wish you great success in finding a truck driving job that does not require you to compromise. When you find that job, Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.