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SQUEEKY2's avatar

Hypothetical question, In your opinion what would happen in North America if all transport trucks stopped rolling for 7 days?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (3758 points ) January 3rd, 2014

If the trucking industry just totally stopped for 7 days , what do you think would be the result?

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55 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Riots… Massive food shortages. Total disaster. The National Guard would be called in and would be ineffective. The NRA would bilk more members.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@johnpowell ah so the trucking industry is extremely needed, so why do alot of people look down on truckers, and why are they not paid better if they are needed so much, rates for drivers have barely moved in twenty years,I don’t even get over time for rolling on a holiday, and I am in a union.

ragingloli's avatar

@SQUEEKY2
Because lorry drivers constantly murder prostitutes.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@ragingloli why are they laying in the road?

ragingloli's avatar

To answer your question, the rate of murdered prostitutes would go down drastically.

JLeslie's avatar

I thought they made decent money? What’s the average salary?

Pay is not primarily based on how important the job is, it is determined by market forces. If there are a lot of people who can do the job the pay is usually lowish. If only a few people can do it they get paid well.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@JLeslie WesternCanada is short just over 40,000 drivers, and I heard the states were in a massive shortage of transport drivers, new blood isn’t taking it up,employers are trying to recruit foreign nationals to do the joj and keep the rates low.

JLeslie's avatar

I see. Well, part of the perk is better weather! Especially if you come way down to the southern part of the US or out in the west coast. Might be an easy way for papers to live here if it interests you. I expected the salary to be a little higher I must admit.

jca's avatar

Chris Rock’s brother is a truvk driver, and he always says that we underestimate the work and value of truck drivers.

ragingloli's avatar

Lorry driving must be one of the most boring jobs ever.
You sit behind the wheel all day, with nothing to do but to stare at the road ahead, and listen all day long to the repetitive music on your shitty FM radio. You can not have a family, friends, or hobbies, other than fapping to petrol station porn mags, filling your belly with cheap beer, sleeping, and murdering prostitutes.
Only the lowest of society would want to do that.

jonsblond's avatar

I understand how important truck drivers and farmers are for our survival and I respect their presence on our highways. They get a bad rap because of stupid stereotypes. (see above)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Where is the documentation for the companies hiring foreign national ( sounds like union hall gossip )? Truckers getting a sponsor in the USA and an employment Visa sound a little far fetched.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Tropical_Willie been on the news a few times,in DOT checks they stopped one guy who had only been in the country 2 days then out on the road with a 2 trailer 63.5 ton rig on moutain highways .

SQUEEKY2's avatar

HEY,HEY we are getting away from the question, now what would happen if they stopped for 7 days?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Sounds like they would only need two days to bring the foreign drivers.

My local gas stations get two deliveries a week, panic would drain the tanks in one afternoon. The rest of the things people use are delivered the same way.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh right, the main question. It would be bad. Stores would have empty shelves, gas stations out of gas. Within 4 days people would be freaking out especially if there had been no warning, no time for people to prepare.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

And when I said North America I was including Canada, do you know that a billion dollars worth of consumer goods rolls in both directions across our borders daily,personally I don’t think it would take 7 days to bring North America to it’s knees.
maybe it’s time people really realize how important that industry really is.

JLeslie's avatar

Again, it doesn’t matter much how important. It’s the same problem with teachers salaries.

johnpowell's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 :: My uncle was a civil engineer and that went to shit so now he drives a semi. The pay is shit considering the hours he works. Really, knowing the stories he has told makes me really scared to be in a car when a semi is around. As for the shit wages. Because they can is the best answer I can come up with.

Truckers need a Strong Union. They are so vital to our economy and need a decent wage. These aren’t kids working at McDonalds for t-shirt money.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@johnpowell Your totally right but both our Governments have bent over backwards to defang unions, I have been a union member for over 18years and as said in an earlier answer I don’t even get paid over time for working on a Holiday.

YARNLADY's avatar

The country would come to an absolute standstill. As mentioned above, there would be massive rioting and possibly the end of our standard of living.

1TubeGuru's avatar

If the big rigs in North America were stopped for 7 days everything would come to a abrupt halt.

glacial's avatar

It would probably not impact my life all that much. It would make certain things more expensive, and I would shift my buying preferences accordingly to local products. Which is actually a good thing. Better for the environment. I don’t particularly need to be eating strawberries in January.

YARNLADY's avatar

@glacial Milk, bread, toilet paper, soap, and pet food are just a part of the things we all count on, plus all retail stores would shut down, putting thousands of people out of work.

glacial's avatar

@YARNLADY Human beings are far more resilient than this. Our hair would not catch fire. We would adapt. I can make my own bread, I don’t need to be drinking milk, I buy soap locally anyway. The only thing on your list that is an actual necessity is toilet paper… and somehow, I think we’d figure out a solution.

The retail stores most threatened by truck transport being shut down are the big box stores. Smaller retailers would adjust, but the Walmarts wouldn’t. That’s okay by me.

What we would lose is our conveniences, not our necessities.

johnpowell's avatar

@glacial :: There is a lot of I in your response. Think about that for a few seconds.

glacial's avatar

@johnpowell Was I not clear? I began by saying I was describing how it would affect me personally. But on a larger scale, I think North America would survive this (entirely contrived, unrealistic, and hypothetical) disaster.

Are people reacting negatively to my opinion because they think I don’t appreciate truck drivers? Of course I appreciate truck drivers. But the question is about how we would handle having them disappear. I’m just saying that we would survive. What’s wrong with being optimistic about the human race?

YARNLADY's avatar

@glacial Yes, of course we would survive, at least many of us. However, I wouldn’t because I am dependent on various medications which I must take daily. If it only lasted 7 days, I would probably be OK in that respect, since I keep at least a months supply on hand at all times. However, if I was deprived of the meds for some reason, I would probably only survive a few months or a year or two.

I’m thinking that I probably wouldn’t need the blood pressure or cholesterol meds because the issues would be entirely diet/weight controlled, but the thyroid medication is essential.

Kardamom's avatar

Trader Joe’s would be closed : (

filmfann's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 How much do you make a week?

glacial's avatar

Wait, this is only for a week? Jeepers, we can survive a week no problem. It would cost a few people a lot of money in the short term, and a lot of people a small amount money in the long term. The powers that be would be incensed.

In other words, if you’re considering a strike because your pay is unreasonably low, I don’t think it would be unethical, but it would be effective as long as you can’t get fired en masse for it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

My point was to try and get people to realize how important the trucking industry and truck drivers are to North America and it’s everyday life.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Well, lots of guys with secret underground bunkers would bring out the illegal arms and go on a rampage. Amtrak would have to cut a lot of their runs so rail freight could increase, Mayflower would do a lot of side business. Air freight would get a huge boost. The roadways would become lots less congested, and so, safer.
Truck drivers are important, but not irreplaceable. I lived with a truck driver for a couple of decades. I went on some runs with him. It is a changed business. It will get downsized a LOT over the next couple of decades.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers as for increased rail traffic, you still need trucks to get it to and from the rail road,air freight might increase as well but it is a lot more expensive than trucking,and you still need trucks to and from the air ports.
As for any decreased in the industry is because they can’t get good qualified drivers,I work for a pretty good company and they would put another half dozen trucks on the road tomorrow if they could get good drivers..

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

It won’t downsize just because of drivers, though there are quite a lot these days who don’t take as much pride in their job as in past. Times are changing. Transportation is changing. Fed Ex and UPS deliver pretty much all my purchases these days, except groceries. As the world becomes more energy concious, transportation of all sorts will see changes. Like I said, the changes won’t be overnight, but they are coming. OTR will become mostly local. The truckers will be needing to keep their noses clean. I will be glad to see the ones who ignore safety and courtesy go. I had to travel across ⅔ of the country a couple of years ago. I used to make such trips more often. This time I was terrorized through two states by truckers. At first I thought it was because I was driving a rickety old panel truck and afraid to drive faster than the limit. After a while though, I realized they were just doing it to anybody. People in cars forced to the shoulder, RVs boxed in, trucks driving in a pack using all lanes, forcing people to speed or pull off. If I had a gun with me I would have really come unglued on somebody. There are a lot of truck drivers out there doing damage to the reputation of freight haulers.
You are probably one of the drivers like my dad, dedicated and skilled. It made him kooky sometimes, after enough decades doing it. There were times when he should have switched out to something else for a while. It is important to not forget you are not Highway God, and that other people are counting on you to keep your head.

filmfann's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Yes, truck drivers are an important part of our lives, as are migrant workers, utility workers, firemen, policemen, teachers and factory workers.
You didn’t answer how much you make a week. I thought truckers were well paid.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

For the hours we put in ,we are not, I put in 56 hours in four days,does that not seem like a lot of hours in that time frame?

jca's avatar

How many hours and what’s the pay for those hours? If you don’t want to put your hours and pay, could you please put what starting pay would be?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Here in Canada you can only legally put in a 14 hour day,but alot of drivers lie about it and put in more, starting wage companies will say is from 16 to $18 an hour but that is a huge lie on the companies part, they say they pay that but 99% of runs have a set trip rate and the company will state that it will take said amount of hours to do it, problem is those rates are based on a perfect trip,example no wait times, little to no traffic,no breakdowns,ect,ect and how often does one have a perfect day?

eno's avatar

Good riddance.

Still got air, train, and water transportation. And coming soon, drone transportation

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

You seem terribly frustrated, @SQUEEKY2. I am getting worried about you. You may be near or at that stage my dad sometimes reached, which I already mentioned. You might do well to find a way to substitute something else for driving temporarily. It might be difficult to do, but to be a safe trucker, it might be the important thing to do.
OTR is rough on the body; very rough. I know that trucker walk VERY well. How are your arms doing?
When I rode with my dad, while he was napping, I did laps around the rig.
I bet your rig gets regular checks and repair. How about you?

filmfann's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 You still haven’t answered the pivotal question: How much do you make?
You did give me a number for starting wages. What is the top wage?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Top wage is close to $40 an hour but that is up in the oil fields and expect to work 20hours a day, but as I said that is also a lie by the companies most pay by the job or trip,they state it should take (this) amount of hours and the they base the hourly pay to that but that is in perfect conditions and how often does one have a perfect day?
I never get a perfect day in the winter , and maybe if I am lucky once a month in the summer.
Plus why is it so important to know what I make? I make more than the starting rate and less than the oil field truckers go from there.

jca's avatar

@SQUEEKY2: It’s important to know what you make because at the top of this thread, the discussion veered toward what the salary of a trucker is, and the job market for truckers and and why more people don’t go into trucking. Since many people (like myself) may not know any truckers personally, we have no clue if the salary is something livable. When you talk about the oil field truckers, we have no idea what they would make, either.

I know truckers put in long hours and are away from their families for long times. I know what my salary is, and that it’s for a 35 hour work week. In thinking about other professions (not that I want another profession, but thinking about “I wonder what this other lifestyle is like”) the salary for those long hours that you put in is paramount.

mattbrowne's avatar

As long as electricity isn’t affected not so much as one might expect. It would take longer for people in cities beginning to starve.

I recently read a novel by an Austrian author about what happens when a European power outage lasts for two weeks. The results are devastating. Even nuclear power plants can run out of diesel for they backup cooling power.

Electricity is far more critical than delivery trucks are.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Grocery stores would be the quickest to empty out, if transport trucks stopped rolling and I would think the larger cities would be the first to notice.

filmfann's avatar

If truck drivers are averaging more than $30 an hour, it is a tough sell to say they are undervalued.
Is it your position that they should make more than Firemen, Policemen, Teachers, and Nurses?

jca's avatar

I didn’t read this yet, but it might be relevant to the conversation, especially regarding trucking.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/14/opinion/running-on-fumes-in-north-dakota.html?hp&_r=0

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@filmfann see that’s why I was reluctant to say anything about wages because I knew you would compare us to others, we are restricted by law as to how many hours we can put in , in a day those others are not,when they put in over time they get overtime wages ,truckers DO NOT heck we don’t even get paid at all most times when we go over our trip rates,remember I talked about trip rates, companies like to tell you if you do the trip in the hours they say you will make$$$$ problem is they base it on a perfect trip no wait times, little or no traffic, no break downs,how often does one have a perfect day, and and 2 to 3 hours over drives your hourly pay way down,and those other jobs you mentioned while other than maybe Policemen ,wouldn’t bring the country to a standstill if they stopped working for 7 days like truckers would.

jca's avatar

Also, policemen, firemen, teachers get pensions. Nurses may or may not depending on who they work for. Benefits for policemen, firemen, teachers and nurses are also good. I am guessing benefits for truckers are probably not the best.

filmfann's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I understand the idea that truck drivers need more breaks. And punctuation!
Guaranteeing them pay for play would seem like a no brainer in your next contract negotiation, but don’t consider a complete shut down of service as the only way to make your point. You end up hurting and alienating a lot of people.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@filmfann I could never achieve a complete shut down of the industry and that was never my intention of asking this question in the first place,I wanted to get a few points across to people of how important trucking ,and truck drivers are to the North American economy that means Canada and the U.S, EVERYTHING we have came or went on a transport truck at least once in it’s existence, and how under appreciated truck drivers are.

filmfann's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I really don’t know anyone who is fully appreciated. Teachers and Police get dissed by gangs and kids. Mexican workers are looked down on, yet they provide the most difficult labor in farming. Everyone has to deal with that.

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