I am writing regarding to Bowling Green Freight, a trucking company from my home town. I began working at this company 2 yrs. ago, and at first I thought that I had made a good decision. I had only 1 yr. experience at that time and they gave me a chance to work for them through the week and be home with my family on the weekend.
I was making good money after about 6 mons. in, and when they realized that I was always on time, and they could depend on me when there was nobody else, they began to push me harder and harder. Soon I was getting less and less sleep, and running more and more miles. I was physically and mentally exhausted, but I still did what made the company happy.I didn't want to piss them off and have to settle with very low miles, so I did what they told me to so that I could feed my family.
I realize that there are alot of truck drivers that experience this everyday, but in my case My life and the lives of innocent people were put in danger on numerous occations.
"Example" I was involved in an accident in PA. last yr. when they had a big snowfall. There was black ice every where and when I came accross a bridge I lost control and jackknifed, I had jarred my whole body, and was extremely tired, and sore by the time that I made it back to the office in woodburn. As soon as I walked in the office at around 10:00pm, I was ask If I was alright, and I responded that I was very tired, and sore, then they said, "well we are sorry but we need you to run right back up that way because we have a load that has to be delivered earily that morning". I told them that I did not think that I could safely take the load, and that I was out of hrs. on my log books.
I was then told that they had no one else and I really needed to take the load. Well I did take it, and I made it there and back safely, but I honestly don't know how.
It wasn't long after that incident that I was brought into the office and showed how to cheat the log books,so that it looked as if I was taking my 10 hr. breaks. After that they were having me doing my runs, and any other runs that nobody else would run.
I was honestly lucky if I was getting 4 to 5 hrs. a day through the week that I could rest.
I eventually got a dedicated run about 2 mons. ago. I was having to run from Franklin Ky, where I picked up my load,and had to take it to Buffalo Ny,where I unloaded, reloaded, and had to come straight back to start all over. I was running this 3 times a week. I would start on sunday at 10:00am and had my three loads done by friday night between 11:00pm. and 1:00am. Anyone who does the math can see that there is no way in that length of time that I was getting ten hour breaks, I was lucky to get 3 to 5 hours.
As if it wasn't bad enough that I was being illigally ran everyday,I started getting popped for repair, and tow charges, on their company truck when something went wrong. Example, They would have me bring the truck to my home because it saved time since I was always right back out, well at this particular time I arrived at the house on Friday night, and was leaving back out on sunday morning, My family and I went out for lunch on that saturday, and when we returned we found the truck was smoking, I immediately grabbed the fire exting. and put it out. It was the wiring, something that I had no control over, but of course they had to make an excuse so that I would have to pay for tow charges,so they popped my pay check for an outrageous amount.
They claimed it was because the truck was at my house.
Another example is when the batterys in the truck went bad and they eventually went dead, their repair man came to my house, and again, I was charged, and my pay check was popped.
They also owe me for numerous tows that I paid while out on the road. They would put some back on my checks, and say that the rest would be on my next check, but I never received full reimbursment.
This company cares about nothing but themselves, and how much money that they can suck out of their drivers.
Two weeks ago I had to have a tooth cut out, when I returned home from the doctor I called the BGF office to inform them that I had been prescribed narcotic pain medication and was in alot of pain. They told me that they would check to see if they could get the run covered, but if they couldn't find anyone then I would have to go. Well guess what? I received a phone call about 20 mins. later and was told that there was no one else, because 8 people called in. I did the run but I suffered untill I made it to Buffalo Ny.
After that my wife insisted that I started looking for another trucking company to work for before something horrible happened to our family or someone else.
Well that brings me to where I am now. See during all of that fast running, and not staying as alert as I should have,I received several speeding tickets, and now have several points off of my license. As a result of trying to keep the company happy, and my family feed, I now have no job, because on friday April 22, 2005, Bowling Green Freight let me go, saying the reason was that I had to many points off of my license, and that it was company policy. Safety man Jim Farmer stated that the company would get into trouble if I was allowed to stay, because of their policy. I guess that they felt that I had made them enough money, and that they couldn't afford to lose any.
"Hell" They joked around the office every time that I came in saying that I paid for the add on that they had just added to their tin building.
My wife had a conversation with Jim Farmer (the safety man) the day I was fired. When he told her that he was letting me go due to loss of points on my drivers license, because it was company policy, she ask him if it was not also company policy to make sure that the drivers are getting the accurate amount of sleep required by law. He told her that that was between my husband and dispatch.
She then ask him if he was not supposed to be safety over dispatch as well, and if he was not supposed to make sure that the drivers were being safely ran. He responded yes, then he hung his head, and said that he thought alot of my husband. My wife told him you should think alot of him after he's made this company all of the money that he has, and risked his life and the lives of others by running when he was told, just so he wouldn't get a bad run, or have you all find an excuse to let him go. Jim Farmer agreed and just walked away.
If there is anyone who reads this that is even considering taken a job with BGF, please reconsider, or you will probably end up where I am, looking for a way to fight back.
I did hear that the company is being suied for something similar,which led to an accident.
I will now tell everyone, drive safe, get the accurate amount of rest,and no matter what the trucking companies tell you, or how hard they push you, drive legal, cause you are the boss out on the road.