This week my wife lost her job as a teachers' aide. She held that position for 31 years. They said that they had “eliminated” her position. Meanwhile the district kept several other aides with less experience on the job. They also make less money and work without the same benefit package. I believe that they let go of experience to save a few bucks.

That is backwards thinking. It places cost above value. We do this in the trucking industry as well. The last statistic that I know of, places the average career length of an over the road driver at 3.2 years. That includes experienced drivers like me who have been out here for close to 30 years. Putting pen to paper and you soon realize that if 9 drivers come and go within a year – added to me and you can come up with a 3.2 year average. That means that for every 30 year driver out here we may have 9 rookies.

Experience has value, in teaching and or trucking. It has value in every profession. It seems to me that the bean counters are not very good at logic. At the very least, they are being short sighted. One accident or mishap saved, can pay for a lot of experience. Think of the millions that have been paid out for single accidents and compare that to how much more money an experience drivers cost than a rookie.

Remember the incident where a rookie driver collapsed a 6 ton bridge in Paoli, Indiana. I don't think that happens to an experienced driver. Once that driver's plans went awry she compounded the problem. Experienced drivers know that plans often don't pan out. Experience teaches us not to panic. We all make mistakes. Experienced professional drivers don't compound them.

It wasn't that long ago when we had an incident on a Milwaukee bike path. A semi truck followed a GPS onto a bike path. Eventually it got stuck on a pedestrian bridge. The fine was only about $579.00, but I wouldn't want that towing bill. Experience teaches us to smell a rat. The experienced driver would have noticed that something wasn't quite right, as the GPS was telling them to get on a bike path. The professional driver might get out of the truck and walk around and not compound the issue before proceeding down that bike path.

Experience teaches us to look at the long view. An experienced professional driver avoids mistakes. We go unnoticed. No one notices when things go right. The same goes for teachers. Teachers can help turn a student's life around. That student can become a productive member of society compared to the child who did not have “that” teacher who becomes a drain on society. Some accountant somewhere is patting themselves on the back for saving a couple thousand dollars, in the meantime they could be costing society millions let alone lives. How much is a human life worth?

Comments (2)

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

Read These Next...


Just a Splash

August 08, 2013


Dangerously Distracted

February 07, 2016



Thanks sasquatch. Rox is fully vested in her pension at work - so we well be fine. What I see is a complete lack of respect for the experience that she has developed over the last 31 years. As drivers - I see experience as an asset - not a cost.

May 09, 2017 13:47:28 PM

Jeff, I'm very sorry to hear that Roxane had her position eliminated. Yes it does seem that the bean counters don't see past the figures on the spread sheets in front of them and that's the case in so many companies. It's all about the dollar right now, not the dollars down the road. I see it regularly at my place of employment. They will do anything to save pennies up front but spend millions on the back side to fix the problems. Doesn't make a bit of sense to me.

May 09, 2017 9:14:54 AM