Don’t Get Screwed | Episode 25


It’s a dangerous world out there for truck drivers and not all dangers are on the road. If you want to see me get fired up, start talking to me about ways truck drivers and trucking company owners get taken advantage of. In this episode I cover some of the more common ways I have seen drivers and owners being taken advantage of.

What to Expect From Episode 25

There are a lot of ways I see people being tricked and taken advantage of. Just like wild animals warn you by making some kind of noise or physical display before they attack, most predators in the trucking industry give warnings too. Below are some of the things that are warning signs you should watch out for. During the episode Craig and I go into more detail and give some examples. Hopefully, listening to this episode will help you avoid these traps.

They Try to Make Themselves Look Like the FMCSA or DOT

There are several different ways they try to do this:

  • They use symbols in their marketing material that looks like an official government symbol. The FMCSA/DOT’s official logo is below. If you see another logo claiming to be the FMCSA, be very careful.
  • They use a phone number that is very close the the FMCSA toll-free number.
  • They use acronyms in their names to make them sound official.
  • They call and say they are from a name that sounds a lot like the DOT so it sounds like they are a department of the DOT, for example, when they call they say, “I’m from DOT Compliance.”

The official logo for the US Department of Transportation

 

They Use Scare Tactics

Here are a couple of the more common scare tactics I see:

  • They scare you with huge fines or being put out of service. Those things can happen, but companies that use that as their main marketing tactic should be carefully researched to make sure they are legitimate and not price-gouging you.
  • They send you emails or regular mail that says final notice.
  • They say you need to pay for their service now or the price will increase.

How Do You Protect Yourself?

Do some research. There are plenty of websites that you can use to help you be safe. My favorite is to use Google reviews. You have heard me talk about this with shippers. I use it for companies I am going to do business with too. Don’t just look at the star rating, read some of the reviews.

No company out there will have a perfect rating, but ratings should be high and the reviews people write are what really tell the story. Try to look at reviews for several companies that provide the same service and factor their rating along with the price they charge to determine who you will use.

Facebook has ratings and reviews too. Other rating services like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Trust Pilot are rating companies businesses subscribe to too. Their ratings can be helpful, but I always take them with a grain of salt because the company they are rating has paid them and I have had too many bad experiences with companies that they rate highly to take them at face value.

How Do You Avoid Scams?

I’d love to hear what you do to keep from getting scammed, let us know in the comments below. Good luck and be careful out there.

FMCSA Regulations

During this episode I talked about getting pulled over for speeding and an officer incorrectly trying to cite me for an hour of service violation and the importance of understanding the FMCSA regulations. You don’t have to have them memorized, it’s just important that you understand them and know where to find them. Here are some helpful links:

If you know the basics you can go to the website and search on the page for exactly what you are looking for. In my situation I just went to the page for the Hours of Service regulations and did a page search (Control + F for find) and looked for adverse, since the officer was questioning my use of the adverse driving conditions exception.

I was able to find the part that discusses adverse driving conditions, which I showed to the officer and he did not push it any further.

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