Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Husky Boys In The Big Rig

A lot of truck drivers are overweight. Period. It can, it seems, go with the territory. Long hours sitting, bad (and overpriced) truck stop food........just a general unhealthy lifestyle.

There is an ongoing saga in my company where a man of certain girth has to get his weight under a certain (morbidly obese) level. A couple of months back the man had to be carted off in an ambulance in west Texas and his load "rescued." Needless to say this took a bit of work but as with most things trucking, it worked out. (The customer wasn't particularly happy that their load was to be late but I really didn't give a rat's ass). As it turned out the man had some sort of stomach episode which took him down. OK. These things can happen to anyone right? Read on........

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened with this particular driver. He has been hauled off in an ambulance from the yard, has had numerous other health related episodes. and has been involved in more than one spectacular crash. I actually worked for the same company years back and vividly recall a non coherent phone call I received from him right after he ran over a stalled vehicle on the freeway outside of Atlanta. It was hard to believe that he was not canned - that would have been a no brainer in other trucking firms I worked for.

Now this gets interesting. The company required that he take a DOT physical after his latest episode involving emergency services. He passed. The powers that be then determined that he get under a certain weight before being allowed back in the truck. It appears they are betting that he is not going to hit the target weight and will just eventually go away. They (human resources, legal, corporate dweebs) have been very careful to make clear that he has not been "terminated" but is required to lose weight to get back in the truck.

As noted, it is readily apparent to any observer that the company is betting that he won't pass. Pretty obvious assessment of the situation if you ask me and, on a personal note, I am not particularly interested in seeing this driver back on the road with yours and mine. He is a menace in my humble opinion.

That being said, a part of me is rooting for this guy to do something. Simply losing the weight would seem his best option - that would place the ball in the company's court so to speak. It would be my guess that the powers that be will try to find something else to keep him out of the truck. And they will.

I guess it would be best to conclude that the corporate types are on the fence. Since they have made it clear the driver is not "fired" and at the same time keeping him out of the truck it seems that they believe they are in the "right" here but still a bit afraid of a discrimination lawsuit.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

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