When Tony Keller went to work for Oregon-based Combined Transport, as someone new to working in a business focused specifically on trucking and logistics, he had a hard time understanding why turnover was so high.

The attitude he got when he started questioning why some drivers had 14 or 15 companies in their job history was essentially a shrug and the comment, "Oh, that's just drivers."

After investigating further and talking to drivers, he decided that it wasn't surprising drivers behaved that way -- that like anyone who has been systematically abused, they had lost the ability to trust any fleet employer.

So the Combined Transport general manager took to YouTube recently with a video explaining what he has dubbed "Abused Driver Syndrome."

"I feel compelled to start my thoughts on this subject with a sincre and profound apology to every driver in the industry ... for how you've been treated," he says.

Keller says drivers "have been systematically and repeatedly abused by the trucking industry," as well as by shippers, consignees, dispatchers, mechanics, the general public, regulators, inspectors and more.

Drivers, he says, start each new job wondering how this new comapny will abuse them. Will they cheat drivers out of pay? Yell and curse? Not maintain safe equipment? Not enforce detention rules? Tell drivers to run illegally?

"Like anyone who suffers from abuse, it changes how you behave," Keller says.

While ultimately this is a recruiting video, talking about how CT has transformed itself over the pst three years to end the abuse of drivers, it's a powerful message that no doubt has many drivers nodding their heads in agreement.

What do you think? Drivers, do you think you suffer from "Abused Driver Syndrome"? Fleets, what have you done to end "Abused Driver Syndrome" at your company?

About the author
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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