The trucking industry is unique; every day brings new challenges to everyone involved and there are many things that influence our day.
For the most part, that is what keeps us in the game: the thrill of the chase and the sense of achievement from accomplishing the impossible on a daily basis.
We do this because, believe it or not, we have a passion for this thing that we moan and groan about.
Most of us are in it for life, through the good times and the bad. The past 10 years have been good and bad, but the emphasis has been on the bad.
It has been a rollercoaster ride for an economy; one week there aren’t enough trucks and drivers, the next week not enough freight.
Then we have the added complications from regulations, emission controls, speed limiters, etc.
So, we have a passion for the industry, that’s a good thing yeah? Well yes, to a degree.
It allows us to be true professionals and get the job done, but it’s also a bad thing because it means that we accept things that we shouldn’t, just because ‘It’s part of the job.’
To do what we do every day, we have to overcome significant hurdles.
Today the hurdles may not be as hard to overcome on a physical level as those faced by our forefathers, but while the challenges we face are different, they’re no less difficult.
I would go as far to say that our forefathers had it a lot easier. Back then, hard work and stubbornness were as important as brainpower, but most of all they needed and had passion.
That passion laid the foundation for what we have today, but we need to direct our passion in a different direction so that we still have something to be passionate about tomorrow.
We now use our passion to overcome the many problems we face. Why?
We would benefit much more if we remove the obstacles that we face, rather than overcoming them.
Passion can accomplish this. Instead of letting people who wouldn’t know one end of a truck from the other dictate what we do, how we do it and what we do it with, we should have someone from our industry representing us and telling them what we’re going to do, how we’re going to do it and what we’re going to do it with.
Yes, I know there are groups out there that represent us and some of them have the right idea.
But for the most part, they stopped being effective a long time ago.
The passion has gone and they’re now full of career men. Harsh words maybe, but compare the passion that they exhibit with that of the early politicians and union leaders. Now it’s all about who can use the longest words to say the least.
The vast majority of legislation is both unnecessary and unwarranted.
It’s just regulation for the sake of regulation.
Politicians have to be seen to be doing something to justify their very existence, so they pick on the trucking industry because they know we won’t fight back.
There are many people within our industry with the passion and the drive to actually make a difference and turn things around. The bigger carriers have so much more to gain from proper representation, they have huge offices full of people, they have training programs and invest vast amounts of money into them.
Some of the training is just to keep up to date with new legislation.
Would it not be an idea to find some people from within our industry and get them to lobby on our behalf?
It sounds so simple, but I know that it’s not.
Obviously each and every carrier out there is naturally in competition with every other carrier, so getting them all to agree on the price of a free cup of coffee would be next to impossible, but there are issues that affect us all and these are the issues that proper representation could solve for the benefit of the industry as a whole.
By failing to do so, each and every one of us spends time and money on things that we don’t need to, so you could help yourself by helping everyone. Now that really is a win-win situation.