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Thread: The Evolution of a Career to a Sentence

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    Super Moderator Old School Proud mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey's Avatar
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    The Evolution of a Career to a Sentence

    This is going to cover probably the last 35+ years of the transportation industry. I have seen this evolve from a career, one that you actually needed to know someone of importance in order to get the job, to today... Where you can't bribe anyone to take, especially seasoned veterans, with $500 to $5000 sign on bonuses, or promises of acoutrements to make your job appear to be better than the next.


    How did we get here?
    Back in the 1970s if you wanted to get a job as a truck driver, you really needed to know someone with Union ties. Whether a friend or acquaintence, relative or someone in your social network, would have to put in a good word, or if you were lucky get you an application. Trucking was a career choice. Not a position of last resort. It was a good job, paid well, and could make an honest living for yourself and your family. If you worked hard, and put in the effort to learn how to work safely, and keep customers happy, you had a job that could last a lifetime. I was fortunate enough to work my way from a construction trade, to a driver for a construction company, and then to air freight and local cartage. You could work hard, make a lot of money and enjoy benefits many people wished they could get. It was a respected career choice. Everyone paid their dues to get to the job you wanted. Long hours, nights, weekends, holidays, and in every season of the year. Roasted your ass in the summer and froze your ass in the winter, and you learned quickly the importance of the maintenance of the eqiupment in the winter, because if you brokedown, you had to walk to a coin telephone, if another driver didn't stop to help. Towing trucks was a last resort, and spare tires were on all the trucks, with a lug wrench and jack behind the seat. Flat tire? Change the tire and get back to work. Drop the spare off at the garage and get a new spare. It was very hard work, but if you were smart, you could avoid 99.9% of the bull, if you not only learned from your experiences, but from the experiences of other drivers.


    ... to be continued

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    Super Moderator Old School Proud mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey Doctrine in Old School Teamster Ways mikey's Avatar
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    So just about everyone that has over 25 years in the industry knows, we all did an interesting „apprenticeship” that was tough, learned a ton, and loved every minute of. Every day was a new adventure. New rail yard, different assignments, different customers that you bent over backwards to try to capture.

    So at this point we have thousands of different employers, coast to coast, interlines every day, because, „we don't go there” was everyday a trucking ballet of wheres the freight going. Air freight was handled by thousands of cartage companies and air freight forwarders, ocean freight, was minimal at best, mostly moved by the string of NVOCC's for the LCL moves, SeaLand, OOCL, Maersk, and the small number of ocean lines. Cartage in Chicago was fabulous. Every driver was always friendly with another. Lunch was always, what ever you wanted. Most guys had a long lunch, most at their favorite coffee shops, or usual parking place near a park of forest preserve, where coin telephone access was nearby. Some of us even found the best taverns in the city that had the best sandwiches or specials, and drinking a beer at lunch was no big deal. Life was good, and now you know you landed your dream career.

    Then comes deregulation. The beginning to the end.

    Panic by everyone in the transportation industry. Who's going to make it, who isn't. Guy told me that after awhile, there might be four or five big companies, all the mom and pop operations would be gone in 10 years. The interline docks, and the union halls were buzzing about who was hiring and who was laying off. What companies, quit maintaining equipment. It didn't take long for so many to fold, others held on for awhile, others just faded away. The best way to tell who was next was from the little loud mouthed prick from Livco. He always had the first news because they bought up all the surplus trailers before the companies closed. The freight was there, just the way it was handled was changing. The in house contract carriers, like Signal and Leaseway were feeling the pinch in a new concept called Just-in-Time delivery. Distribution and warehousing was starting to soften, because the trucks were bypassing the cross dock and warehouse operations, to directly to the customer, Just in Time to replenish manufacturing lines, and assembly lines. Signal had a huge operation on the southwest side, layoffs, and eventual abandonment, of not only theirs, but for hundreds of public and private warehoused coast to coast.
    This is where all the bullshit began.
    Appointments, for pick ups and deliveries, were more widely being required, with an delivery window already determined, if you're late, could be a couple of hours to next week.
    Now the whole thing became a competition. Whoever best performed at their pickup and delivery game, got the business. The highways became an underground racetrack. Not that it was underground, it was because everyone became in a hurry to make appointments. Courtesy, safety, and common sense went out the window, because if you didn't make the appointment window you agreed to they could not pay you, even though you had nothing to do with the delay.


    ... to be continued

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