Being an owner operator is a serious step that many drivers go into without doing their homework. Once into the world of business it can overwhelm some to the point that they take drastic measures to repair the damage and make things worse. We see it all the time in the industry, a driver buys a truck and becomes a business owner. They now have choices for their load assignments and some start to get picky on what they haul or where they go. They start getting behind on payments or maintenance and get so far behind that they resort to hauling a load that will bring in quick cash with major consequences if caught.
No doubt you heard the tragic story of the driver that was hauling a load of people that was caught after a Walmart employee noticed suspicious activity when the driver went to buy some water. One hundred people were found in the back of a trailer with ten of them now pronounced dead with possibly more as days go on.
The details of this case are just being released so at the time of this article we don’t know the reason that this driver decided to take a load of this magnitude. It has been stated by many enforcement agencies over the years that almost every time someone takes a load such as the one mentioned above it is for financial gain. The truck driver was driving a custom truck that the driver had taken months to buy from a custom truck shop that is also now being investigated about the purchase.
The reason I assume this driver made a wrong decision on how to catch up in financial situation is due to the facts of the story. Professional smugglers don’t buy custom trucks as a truck like that will bring unwanted attention to the driver. The driver has been mentioned as a nice person and spent months going back and forth to buy the truck. That sounds like a lot of work to lose it all hauling illegal goods.
If you are thinking of becoming an owner operator realize it is a big step to going into business. Unfortunately business is an up and down proposition and many get into trouble. There has to be an evaluation to what will change a situation and whether a load is worth taking. This is for the driver to decide based on their own internal judgements. Anything illegal should certainly be off the option table and not something considered to bring finances back in line. The driver in this case assuming the scenario is as mentioned would have been better to declare bankruptcy than to do what he did. He is now looking at years in jail, possibly the death penalty and much more. Any companies associated with him from his lease carrier to the shop that built the truck are all under scrutiny due to his actions. No load is worth that type of action.
You can read the full story here to date at this website. https://www.ksat.com/news/custom-truck-shop-blasted-online-for-selling-semi-truck-to-human-smuggling-suspect-owner-says
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com