SURVEY: Is Abused Driver Syndrome Real?

Many people in the trucking industry are talking about Abused Driver Syndrome and whether or not it exists. For many truck drivers, this ‘syndrome’ is very much real, but, for others in the trucking and fleet industries, this subject seems over-hyped.

In April of last year, Tony Keller of Combined Transport Logistics uploaded a video to YouTube about “the Abused Driver Syndrome”, a term he coined to describe a driver’s behavior after being systematically abused by his or her employers.

In the video, Keller explains his confusion when he noticed the remarkably high turnover rate for truckers in the industry. When he asked different people why so many drivers change jobs so frequently, the most common response he found was, “Oh, that’s just drivers.” However, when he talked to actual drivers, the real reasoning behind the high turnover rate came to light: drivers couldn’t trust fleet companies because of the way they typically treat their drivers.

Some examples of driver abuse Keller gives in the video are cheating drivers out of pay, yelling or cursing at them, harassing them into violating their hours-of-service and not maintaining safe equipment. In the new ELD Mandate released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there is a section devoted to driver harassment prevention. The section strictly prohibits carriers from forcing drivers to violate their hours-of-service limitations.

While Abused Driver Syndrome isn’t an officially recognized term, many drivers in the trucking and fleet industries seem to agree with Keller’s statements in his video. Others believe the relationship between drivers and carriers is more complicated than that. What do you think? Share your answer in the survey below.


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