Truck Driver Jobs In America
We continue the history of the driver of a tractor working in America. The driver speaks openly about the specifics of his work, his local view of immigrants, his salary and his relations with the police.
5 months already driving around the American roads. He passed and looked all over America. He felt the American famous heat, experienced pressure swings, saw the consequences of hurricanes and torrential rains. Despite the unusual climate, I will say one thing – you can live. And people here are also different: met and decent Americans, and not very pleasant “cowboys.”
When you meet with the American police
I want to talk about how our company was met by local forwarders: we parked 3 of our trucks in a common parking lot, and the seats became noticeably smaller, which obviously did not like our neighbors. One fine Monday we found that one of our trailers lacks two tires. Immediately checked the recording of cameras, placed along the perimeter – but to our surprise, we did not see anything there. Thieves knew where the cameras hang, I had to turn to the cops for help.
Of course, the policeman assured us that they would do everything in their power to find a thief. The boss began to explain that there were at least two of them, because it was almost impossible to remove two tires from a truck. But officer Tyler interrupted him, saying that he did not teach him to work. Then the officer filled out the documents, got into his 4-liter cruiser, which he did not muffle during his visit, lasting about 30 minutes, and retired. At the same time he left his business card and said that from this day they will come to our parking lot several times a night, which, in principle, we needed.
It was a bad Monday, the whole week I remembered for a long time. I was just put on a new truck, as the chief said, “for all the good things”, referring to all those sleepless nights, and the constant load that I suffered for three months. Then it became easier. Probably, it deserved the trust or just appeared someone new, who is loaded to the full. Yes, and for three months I, I can say, wiped here, found a common language with dispatchers (freight forwarders) and learned to use the log-book, which is very important if you do not want to give your day salary to a policeman.
Policemen come across different: some treat you with understanding when they see that a loaded truck is gaining speed before entering the mountain, and some are watching with hatred why they are hanging on because they see that you are a visitor. Such police officers are most often found in states that border Canada or Mexico, that is, where a large number of immigrants. Hearing the accent, the policeman is even more alarmed, and then you “get stuck” for 45 minutes at least.
Also Read: 5 Best Seat Cushions For Truck Drivers
For fines, only the driver is responsible
Another feature that I noticed is strict penalties for weight loss and neglect of road signs regulating the passage of tractors. If the permissible weight (80,000 pounds of the total weight of a truck, trailer and cargo) is exceeded by at least 1 pound, no policeman will forgive it. The amount of the fine depends on the state and the total amount of excess. If the odds are up to a hundred pounds, then the fine is limited to hundreds of dollars, if the odds are up to a thousand pounds, then the fine can reach several thousand, if above a thousand pounds – there is a court, a fine, and in some cases a prison. The same story with the restriction of the passage of tractors: if the sign prohibits the passage of cars above a certain mass, then the driver of a heavier tractor will receive a fine for the amount depending on the piece of land being eaten – it will be necessary to pay for each pereodenny foot. Again, the fine depends on the staff. For fines, the driver is responsible, and only him.
Fortunately, I did not learn all this from my mistakes. We have to work a lot, 15-17 hours a day, and to not fall asleep at the wheel, we call up each other and share our impressions, problems, anecdotes and, of course, consider each other’s money. From the last one does not get any better, and God forbid, Raymis will travel 4,000 miles a week, and I’m less. This will be the beginning of a cold relationship between me and the dispatcher, a lot of bad thoughts and skurted cigarettes. But you definitely do not want to sleep …
Let’s talk about finances
As for money, they are always small, but our drivers tend to drive 4,000 miles a week, working without days off. Thus for a mile pay $ 0.38 – $ 0.40. Plus $ 150- $ 200 for a simple while unloading cargo. Of course, not everything is simple, here you need to look at the weather, the market, and a good dispatcher. And in general, more often than those who want to earn and leave from here are strained. Such drivers often live in trucks in the literal sense of the word. They do not rent housing. Or, as in my case, rent a house with someone else. Those who have settled here, live with their family and do not think to leave, do not need these 4000 miles a week – they and 2000-2500 are enough, and for a mile they get a couple more cents, since they have been working in this business for many years.
As for taxes, everything is rather difficult, but I will try to explain in brief. Every week I get a check for which neither I nor my boss pay any taxes. At the end of the year, when it’s time to “strike the balance”, I must specify how much I earned in a year. Based on this amount, I have to pay 15% for health insurance and to the Social Security & Medicare pension fund, as well as the federal tax, depending on the amount of my income. It breaks like this:
$ 0 – $ 8,700 = 10%
$ 8,700 – $ 35,350 = 15%
$ 35,350 – $ 85,650 = 20%
$ 85,650 – $ 178,650 = 28%
$ 178,650 – $ 388,350 = 33%
$ 388,350 – and above = 35%
How much I will specify, for so much and have to pay. The question arises: does the state check payers for deceit. Checks if they have a suspicion that one account has been cashed in the bank, and the income indicated is different. This is where the mentality is checked!
And you immediately understand why the policemen are so wary when they start shaking you and checking you. And why so much dislike in the eyes of an elderly Texas driver in a cowboy hat nervously chewing a long-dead cigar that would never move his truck so that you could drive, because he’s on a “coffee break”. He, of course, could move the truck, enjoying coffee, but hearing the accent, he most likely will not do it.