There is a crisis in the trucking industry that practically no one will speak of, surely in fear of being labelled “racist.” Well, I have no such fear, so I’m going to tell it to you as I see it and live it every single day.
Trucking is being completely overwhelmed with foreigners. Foreigners from lands that do not speak our language, do not know our road signs, do not understand, nor care, about our laws. They seem to have no interest in learning any of these things.
Long held “traditions” of proper truck driver etiquette are completely lost on these people. They wouldn’t care even if they did know of them.
To be fair, new drivers are not taught a great many things and often behave in the same manner, but the difference tends to be that newer American drivers seem to have some semblance of desire to “fit in” with their American counterparts.
The foreigners tend to form their own companies and hire their own people. They speak their native tongue and are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with.
Foreign drivers are the worst examples when it comes to backing and parking. They just cannot seem to carry out the simplest of these tasks. They tie up the fuel lines worse than others by leaving their trucks for long periods of times. They’ll be more likely than others to park blocking others in. If a truck is sitting on the CAT scale without a driver, 99% of the time, it is a foreign driver who has walked inside and left it there.
When it comes to driving, it’s worse. They’ll pass on the right. They’ll pull off shoulders onto the freeway/interstate into full speed traffic without a care. They’ll ignore construction signs that advise which lane is closed, and try to race other trucks to the lane closing – or perhaps they never read the sign at all. They’ll drive excessively slow. They’ll enter the interstate at slow speeds with no regard to traffic. The list of the dangerous tendencies could go on and on.
Foreign drivers are, quite simply and without any question, the most dangerous drivers on the road. They have, in large part, completely ruined this industry.
BUT, let’s look at a bigger picture — and that’s the industry itself. These dangerous individuals wouldn’t have jobs if it weren’t for demand. Not enough Americans want this job of OTR driver. Capitalism drives demand and since we live in a democratic society, this is what we have.
There is also the aspect of truck driving schools, community colleges and company training programs. They are sending massive numbers of these foreigners into the trucking industry. Schools make their money off the backs of foreigners wishing to get into an industry in the USA that’ll make money for them and their families. Even community colleges, who we would think would be neutral, are into the $$ numbers game – they have to pass enough students through to keep their programs viable. Carriers just want to put meat in their seats. None of these (prove me wrong — email me) take the time to actually teach these foreigners more than the basics — and the foreigners need more than basics. They’re foreigners. They typically do not understand many things about our road systems. Many of them have not so much as driven a car in the USA for any length of time, yet there they are, in truck driving class. No school or college (prove me wrong — email me) seem bothered by this. They need additional information, guidance and training that they do not get. Many barely get through the written DOT tests and do so by memorization and repetition, rather than comprehension. The same often goes for these people passing the physical DOT testing to get their Class A. But, once they’ve managed to do so, the schools and colleges are finished with them and they’re on the roads with the rest of us.
This would perhaps be the logical place to discuss 3rd party DOT testing; ie, the testing of people administered by state-trained folks, rather than DOT officials. Many states have adopted this, and it can work, however, it also opens a door to fraud.
We must also look at enforcement. Right in the DOT regs it states a driver must be able to communicate in English and this is most definitely NOT enforced. Bad to law enforcement – YOU are NOT doing your job here. The Federal Government is failing miserably, and we need to ask why. Are you in bed with big carriers? What is your problem with enforcing these regs? You are quite fond of enforcing plenty of other regs, many of them entirely stupid and useless — yet not this reg.