Truck driver

Protecting Your Well-being as a Truck Driver

It’s not surprising for trucking companies to find illegal ways to pad their profits. As a truck driver, you shouldn’t let them earn money at the expense of providing you with proper working conditions.

The trucking sector finally topped the $700 billion mark in 2017, marking a 3.5 percent growth from the previous year. A booming economy and a growing population are the driving factors behind the impressive turnover.

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous companies find ways to underpay their drivers in an attempt to boost their traffic margins. As a truck driver, you deserve fair treatment and compensation from your employer, and you should not settle for less.

Don’t Operate Unsafe Equipment

Indeed, truck maintenance cost can be on the high side, but that’s no reason for an employer to stick you behind an unroadworthy truck. Not only is operating such equipment illegal; it’s also a health risk as it increases your likelihood of getting into an accident. It raises the possibility of getting cited for reckless driving. Even if you don’t get into a crash, the citation ruins your driving record and burdens you with an expensive fine.

Operating such equipment can destroy your career. If your employer is reluctant to keep the fleet in great shape, you have a legal right to refuse to drive the truck. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act covers such a refusal, so your employer can’t retaliate against you for refusing to violate safety regulations. If they do, you can consult a truck labor attorney in Washington and sue them for breach of contract.

Don’t Be Overworked

Truck driving in the sunset

Naturally, more deliveries result in higher revenue. However, the company shouldn’t grow their bank balance at your expense. Employees shouldn’t be pulling the graveyard shift so that they can fit more deliveries into their schedule. Legally, you shouldn’t drive for more than 11 hours a day or more than 60 hours a week.

Your working day, inclusive of fuel stops, breaks, and meals, shouldn’t be longer than 14 hours. Your safety depends on being well rested and vigilant when on the road. An employer should not coerce you to work more hours, which can endanger your life. You have a right to raise such grievances with your employer without facing any consequence.

Don’t Be Underpaid

Most employers fail to appreciate that there’s a biting shortage for certified truck drivers. Such companies hope to pad their profits by undercutting their drivers’ pay. While the pay scale varies depending on a myriad of factors, you’re entitled to fair pay.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that many drivers make at least $13.22 an hour. If you feel that you’re underpaid, you can fight this injustice by seeking legal advice from a credible lawyer.

The trucking industry in the United States boasts revenue of $700 billion annually. That means there’s enough money to go around for all players, including the truck drivers. Therefore, you need to stand up for your right to fair pay and professional treatment as you work for various companies in the sector.