Driver Linda Allen’s Breaker-one-nine moment goes for broke radioing the FMCSA.
Linda Allen has a sweet gig: She hauls ice cream. But she finds some of the issues in trucking don’t exactly melt her– from safe parking, and automated trucks, to inconsistent broker rates, experience has taught her that there are some definite challenges in the industry.
Linda loves what she does. But it hasn’t always been easy. When Linda went to get her CDL, she encountered high level disrespect from her trainer; he didn’t think women should be in the trucking industry.
She explained that her trainer was hostile at times– when she went to test for her CDL he removed the duct tape guides that aid those trying to pass. “Let’s see you do it now,” he said.
But Linda overcame.
And today she’s thriving…and she’s helping other women to succeed in the industry. Linda leads a call with a group of 35 women that are new to trucking: primarily, they talk about issues they’re facing as new drivers.
One issue in particular stands out– safe parking. It’s an issue no matter who you are in the industry. It’s an issue that consistently ranks in the top 5-6 driver concerns. And for women especially it’s a challenge that deeply resonates.
But whatever the day-to-day challenges, Linda tells women this is a great career for them. For her, “the money is good.” And she thinks the industry is doing great things to expand to include women.
In particular, she mentions the organization Women in Trucking (WIT). She likes their mission to help women transition into trucking and resolve issues they specifically face.
Outside of the issues specific to women, Linda is concerned about automated trucks and broker rates. She explained at a recent FMCSA town hall that she’s seen rates manipulated, with nothing that drivers can do about it.
Going for Broke: Broken Broker Rates
Linda says there is no way for drivers to know whether or not they have been cheated by a load rate. If a trucker asks for a particular freight rate, then they are often black balled and can’t get more loads.
She questions why the government can track logs that put a burden on drivers, but they can’t require load rates to be inputted by brokers?
In response to Linda’s concerns, the FMCSA’s representative added that on top of inconsistent rates, he has seen identity theft on the rise among broker issues.