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Author Topic: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?  (Read 1112 times)

allniter89

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2019, 10:50:59 PM »

I drove otr 1989-2009. I think it's 40% stupidity & 60% inexperienced. The mega fleets need drivers now so they rush new drivers thru training. The reason the mega fleets need drivers now is they mistreat their drivers. They make it hard for the driver to get home for a few days off, dispatch forces them to run unrealistic schedules.
I've read driver turnover for these companies is 70%+.

Most drivers I know are retiring early, it's getting too dangerous to live on the road with all the new inexperienced drivers. I follow a truck drivers forum, they have a thread reporting trucking accidents. At least one major accident a day, many are drivers running full speed into stopped traffic like a construction zone. I think there are too many distractions for the driver, cell phone, satellite radio, tablet or even laptops being used as they drive down the road in an 80k weapon. When I drove all we had was a cb & am/fm radio. The cb was a real help then, you could talk to other drivers about anything not just trucking. A good conversation will make the miles fly by. I've left home in Crestview, FL & drove to Memphis, Indiana. (600 miles) only making stops for a quick 10-100 & get a pop. I think the difference between old school drivers & the new inexperienced drivers is we drove b/c we wanted to & they drive b/c they have to, its only a job to them, we were proud of the job we did. I still miss trucking 10 yrs after I retired but reading about the carnage on the hwy no way Jose.
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signalman

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2019, 08:34:11 AM »

I watch a YouTube channel called Smart Trucking.  While I'm not a trucker personally, it has always interested me.  I thoroughly enjoy his videos.  Much of what allniter89 was saying is mentioned by the host.  However, he also mentions that large carriers like Swift, CR England, Knight Express and others actually make calculations of overall profitability.  They are aware that some drivers will be involved in accidents.  But as long as the percentage of drivers who get involved in wrecks is low enough, it's still a profitable venture for the carrier.  He also notes that these large carriers actually lobby the trucking industry for less regulations and even quicker schooling for new drivers.

Long story short, don't expect things to get better.  At least that's what the host of the fore-mentioned channel asserts.

swhuck

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2019, 07:16:59 PM »

I drove OTR and short haul 1994-1999. From what I saw then and can see now, it takes all kinds. I doubt things have changed much.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2019, 09:51:41 PM »

I'm going to argue that no, truck drivers are not becoming more and more stupid, at least in an overall sense, since the '70s. Using deaths resulting from accidents involving large trucks as a sort of proxy measure, as seen in the chart below, a clear downward trend appears.

Source

There has been an uptick since about 2010, however. That said, this measure isn't perfect. I recall reading somewhere that about 70% of all crashes involving trucks are not the fault of the truck driver, although I may have read that on a truck-driver forum, so who knows.

There's a tort lawyer TV ad in my city that states that 26% of all accidents involving trucks are the fault of the truck driver. That actually seems pretty honest to me considering that A) The ad is aimed at people suing trucking companies while B) the number is so low. If you know how to add, that means 74% of trucking accidents are the car drivers' fault or they are no-fault. Which also means that the lawyers should be upfront about not taking the case if there's nothing there.
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sprjus4

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2019, 10:57:58 PM »

To answer the OP, yes.
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allniter89

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2019, 12:31:59 AM »

To answer the OP, yes.
Explain please
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kalvado

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2019, 07:26:46 AM »

The truck routing comment the presenter stated, after showing the photos, went along the lines of (paraphrasing), "Why the trucks drive through town when they could've either gone on the stabilized road embankment or taken other roads outside the town center; I have no idea."  The latter part of that statement would certainly imply that the routing was GPS generated.  It is worth noting that the truck routing was not discussed in the lessons-learned portion of this particualr presentation (such may have been done more privately).
Playing devil's advocate for one second, it's possible that the contractor transporting the beams was taking said-route due as they did early on in the project carrying other construction equipment and/or embankment fill material; i.e. was in auto-pilot & didn't realize that they could use portions of the unopened road to get to their site.  Nonetheless, construction vehicles going through towns is one thing; going through with oversized cargo (the overpass beams) is another.

COrrect me if I am wrong, but oversized cargo routing is not decided by the driver on the road, but has to be checked out in advance, and a permit is issued for the specific routing.
The way this sounds to me is that certain routing was permitted at the beginning of construction, and used throughout. Why rerouting to road being build didn't happen? As a wild guess: approaches were not good for oversize cargo. Insurance didn't authorize semi-built road use. Single permit was issued, and applying for changes were more of a hassle than it worth. Combination of all above.

But a trend I clearly see lately is a similar one: degradation of engineering quality, both related and unrelated to roads. And IMHO you provide a good example of that....
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PHLBOS

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2019, 11:47:29 AM »

Correct me if I am wrong, but oversized cargo routing is not decided by the driver on the road, but has to be checked out in advance, and a permit is issued for the specific routing.
It is my understanding (there might be more to such) that permits for such are typically done for roads that have posted vehicle height and/or weight restrictions placed on them with PERMIT REQUIRED wording on them.  Such wasn't the case here.  The roads in the town centers in question did not have of the common overheight/weight restrictions that I'm aware of; then again, trucks carrying overpass beams are not too common in that area.  This was not a case of an overheight vehicle hitting a low overpass or an overweight vehicle causing a structure to deteriorate or collapse.  Rather such was a routing through town centers rather than around/bypassing it. 

Insurance didn't authorize semi-built road use.
Wouldn't such defeat the purpose of any construction vehicle activity inside a construction site... roadbed in place or no roadbed in place?  By the time the beams were being delivered to the site; most if not all of the embankments were placed & settled.  The only likely item(s) not yet present on the embankment was the paving courses.

While I couldn't find sufficient/applicable construction photos showing the then-unpaved embankments of the US 202 Parkway via a Google Images Search; I did come across this one for another Route 202 construction project in Arizona... the South Mountain Freeway that shows vehicles (one of them carrying an overpass beam) utilizing an unpaved embankment.


https://dmt55mxnkgbz2.cloudfront.net/900x0_s3-44682-W-AZ-051_19-CH-4.jpg
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webny99

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Re: Are Truck Drivers becoming more and more stupid?
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2019, 12:10:35 PM »

To answer the OP, yes.
Explain please

To answer the question posed in the thread title:

Yes, and it's because of the labor shortage in the trucking industry.
With fewer qualified truckers and ever-increasing demand for them, something has to give, so when hiring they're settling for people who aren't as passionate about being on the road. Individual truck drivers certainly aren't becoming more stupid in real time, but in the long term, as good drivers retire and are replaced, the average truck driver certainly is becoming "more stupid" as far as driving techniques, being cognizant of others on the road, etc., etc.
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