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Travels of a Trucker Dirty Jobs Done Dirt Cheap

December 22, 2011

Contest Winner from last Blog Post was Tracy S 🙂 Well that and she was the only one who posted a groovy song that I liked and keep forgetting about. So Tracy actually gets to choose her favorite 3 items from that list and the rest…well it will go to my children and hopefully raise in value one day 🙂

As a trucker who does a mixed bag of loads, some local, some long haul, some short haul, I see it all. Good paying jobs and crap paying jobs. Why is it crap you ask? Well you see I work for an owner operator for the company I am employed with. So I lose to the company who employs this Owner Operator a smooth 30% off the top of the price of the load. Then further to this after fuel and expenses the Owner takes his 70% and leaves me with my 30% of every job. Now Shadowlines, the company that I work for doesn’t charge the customer cheaply but they sure as heck pay cheaply by the time it is watered down to my cheque. So with that being said, it becomes a Dirty job done dirt cheap.

I had the chance to work in the last few weeks locally. The only problem is I’ve already shown what a great road warrior I am and thus I don;t get to stay in town for very long. I am off to some far flung mines like Mt Milligan and Gibraltar and other lovely places or picking up near Fort St John’s near the Yukon border. So working locally seriously does not pay with this guy. It’s as if I am burning the wheels and not getting anywhere. Well anyways, enough of my sob story, let’s get back to the story at hand shall we.

I had to work in town last week before I went gallivanting off out of town. It was a local job that started by me being out to Richmond to a company called Armtec which runs a Cement molding division and makes concrete of every shape and size for bridges and structures to panels for buildings and floors for buildings. I had to be there by 7:30 am so I had to start out about 4am since I had to drive to Langley from New Westminster, warm up the truck, drive to the Shadow Lines yard and then grab a trailer and head over to Richmond. Well I made it for 6:15am and I wasn’t due until 7:30am but my trailer was ready to go. The only problem being I was load #4 for delivery of 4 loads and I was #8 of 8 loads for that day. So I had to wait for the 2nd and 3rd delivery guys from the same company to go ahead of me. Well that being said my load was not due until 9:30am and then 1pm. So I arrive on the job site at 9:30am and wait and wait and continue to wait. By 11am I am unloaded on my first load and racing back to Richmond for my load number 8 which was due at 1pm. I picked up my new trailer and headed back to Burnaby to the unload site and arrived a little before 1pm and I can see they are behind. They are taking lunch and there are 2 trucks they are working on. By 2:30pm I am in the yard ready to be unloaded and they soon begin unloading me. I am finished at 4pm and ready to head back to the yard. I had been expecting to get off at 2pm that day and here it was 4pm and I was now fighting rush hour traffic to get back to the yard. By 5:30pm I was going home.

So anyways, why is this a dirty job done dirt cheap? Well let me tell you about a few weeks before this why I say these things. I had a few weeks before just gotten back from Kitimat so I had to reset my hours and I wanted home time. So at the beginning of the pay period I was off for 2 days. Then I was out the door on a Friday night to do a Castlegar run which lasted me until Saturday afternoon f you’ll recall. So I get back and I am home for the remainder of the weekend. Days 3 and 4 are now completed from the 14 day pay period. So Monday I sit home since there is obviously not enough work to call me in for. This makes day 5 of 14. Then I get a call in to come to the yard and do some work so I come in to work and I get one thing to do. Load the 2 empty 20′ containers on a double lock chassis flatbed and bring them back to Vanterm for reloading Grain. So I do this and come back and go home. Nothing else to do. This accounts for Day 6 of this pay period. Wednesday I am asked to come in and do a load over to the Island. It is already a late start so I waste Wednesday going to the Island and unloading and if you’ll recall I had to stay at the Ferry the whole day with wind warnings causing stoppages in sailings. So days 7 and 8 are cooked. I get back and Friday I do an unload of Soda Ash at the GVRD water treatment facility in Coquitlam so Day 9 is gone. Day 10 is off, Day 11 is off since they are the weekends. Day 12 is spent getting a wide load and heading out to Chilliwack where dispatch advises me to wait since they figure the load is reducible. Day 13 is spent returning the wide load back to the yard. Day 14 is off. My Grand net total for two weeks was only $855 and my Gross for that call out on Tuesday was $40. Not even worth my time or effort to even lift the phone up really.

So why do I tell you all this? Well I am sitting at home now looking for another job. Not in a hurried or oh my god I need a job type of way, but I am going to relax and enjoy the holidays with my children and then I will find another driving job which by now are so many crappy ones to pick and choose from. There were a variety of other factors besides the low pay that I received which I won’t go into too much great deal into, but let’s just say I have the same attitude employers use. Employers are under the belief that drivers are a dime a dozen and I too believe that employers are a dime a dozen. Tit for Tat.

Anyways, don’t worry, I am just taking a holiday for 2 weeks from trucking and I will be back in the saddle again blazing new tales and adventures. I still have lots of exciting articles I am working on so don’t dismay I will still be here. If you like reading my articles, please follow along with Google Connect or be sure to sign up with email. If you want you can also follow me along with twitter here:!/truckerofbc or you can follow me with my Facebook Page Travels of a Trucker here:

***New Contest*

$10 Pizza Pizza Gift Card

refer one friend to my blog who must do either one of these things: sign up by email or like my Facebook Page or both to get double entried. Please state in the comments on my blog whom you referred or who referred you (first name, last initial). Contest is closed Friday at 12 noon PST and I will need a few hours to do together the names on a spreadsheet. I need you to comment with a first name and last initial of whom you referred or if you referred yourself to cross comparison for validation. Your name will go on an excel spreadsheet and I will find some groovy program to pick the number.**** Pizza Pizza Gift Card is Canadian so I guess this makes it a Canadian only contest for now. I will come up with future contests later for my worldwide friends.

If you are a sponsor looking to promote or have a new product tested be sure to mail them here:

Roger Simmons

2130 8th ave

New Westminster, BC, V3M2T8



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