Trucks: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Trucks: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

John Oliver explains how truck drivers get paid, how they often don’t, and how companies exploit them to increase profits.

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44 Responses

  1. RapisGames says:

    This is very personal to me. My dad is a truck driver and he’s been talking this stuff for years. I’m glad John Oliver mentioned this.

    • Basilisk DS says:

      Praying for some “John Oliver Effect” on this one. Everyone who sees this should call their representatives!

    • slodkoejka says:

      I do not defend trucking companies in ANY way by the way. In fact, all of my friends constantly complain how trucking companies screw them over by falsifying loading documents by lowering the gross amount paid by the client (the company that ordered transporting its goods). Many of these trucking company owners are greedy b@stards. They take 10-11% of the gross without much of a work (there is not much they do except for having a license to conduct this business; otherwise, a truck driver could have taken the job directly without any broker) and STILL rob the drivers of their hard-earned money (and I mean it, this job is hard; whenever I travel out of state, I start falling asleep from the boredom of driving; can’t even imagine what professional truck drivers go through). For instance, a client pays $5,500 for the transportation, to screw the truck driver, the company shows him a fake invoice with a $4,500 (from which the company takes 10-11% commission + pockets $1,000). This practice is very, very common. It is capitalism, it is greed, it should be regulated of course
      But nevertheless, many claims in this video are farfetched and absurd

    • slodkoejka says:

      There is no perfect system. I do understand and feel for the truckers who have to waste their time for hours waiting for the cargo to load and other activities. But a per hour pay is also OUT OF THE QUESTION!
      I guarantee you that late deliveries will skyrocket if truckers start getting hourly wages. Forget about getting your items on time then
      I live in NYC and I often get UPS deliveries way past 8 p.m. Once, got a delivery at 10 p.m. And it was not a peak season (like Christmas). Why? Because they are paid by the hour. They don’t care and are not in a rush. Especially, when overtime is by law 1.5 times of the pay

    • sailaab says:


  2. Sambath Rang says:

    As a truck driver of 15 years, this is the most accurate reporting of trucker life by far, thanks for educating and entertaining the public with this reporting John.

  3. Ian says:

    It’s not a “driver shortage”, it’s a “drivers self worth surplus” that’s happening. And I’m all for it 🤙

    • metall says:

      @Jackson G ya, but not really, that’s not a real number, but okay sure, your a trucker right?

    • Jose Sanchez says:

      @audiochicky In my experience, benefits all depend on the company. I don’t know enough about benefits, other than “lease operators” and owner operators have to get their own. There is at least one company offering lease operators insurance that is comparable to their company drivers.

      Having said that; higher pay tends to come with greater headaches. Either in the form of specialized freight or dealing with worse equipment.

    • audiochicky says:

      @Jose Sanchez Does that include benefits, though? Because if not, that’s another big expense coming out of your pocket. And driving can be rough on your body.

  4. Paul Mcgee says:

    As a pilot I’ve heard about the “pilot shortage” for years. What it really is, is a shortage of smart people willing to work for shitty pay

    • A YouTuber says:

      And the giant barrier to entry that is a private -> commercial pilots license, instruments ratings, plane certs, etc., and then have crappy pay for the first 500-1k hours of flying before getting something actually decent in pay but still crap since paper work, transit to/from plane usually doesn’t count, often stuck in other places when family at home, and then after another 1k hours actually properly have a good paying job and stuff. I’d rather just take the ton of money invested and get a normal job, house and car, will probably be fine.

    • Nerdnumberone says:

      Most labor shortages boil down to people not willing to do a job for the compensation that industry is willing to provide. There are some cases where insufficient educational opportunities or a changing market makes it so there is a short term shortage while kids are trained up to fill a newly expanded need, but when there is enough demand and compensation offered, people will be drawn to the occupation in time.

    • Akshay Anand says:

      Yet somehow the executives on top are making millions and billions… For doing what exactly? Doing shitty things to cut costs is easy. Why do they need to be paid so much for that?

    • T M says:

      Nursing shortage too. There plenty of us, but working in a hospital for little money in conditions that are dangerous to the nurses and their patients isn’t appealing

  5. Julia Red says:

    This is what the truck protesters need to see. Liberals fighting for them and making people aware of how America being run like a business is keeping them poor by design. More like this Jon!

    • rakninja says:

      @Anthony Riggins that “freeloading for veteran’s education benefits” is the biggest horseshit anyone could believe. these days, that’s almost always the GI bill, and we fucking paid that ourselves.

    • Creativo4ever * says:

      @Bob Cruz ….in the trucker case, yes….neither party has been of much use. But the Dems, as you suggest, favor some rules and regulations….the GOP wants, at most ‘delf” regulation ….what a crock There should be a maximum of wait time for loading at docks/intermodal/warehouses, say, two hours after which time needs to be paid for. Stricter health and safety regulations should be mandatory and the GOP never advocates for them.

    • Anthony Riggins says:

      @Creativo4ever * I’ve literally had someone tell me “you’re welcome” for their tax dollars because I got scholarships to go to school and called me a freeloader because I later got veteran’s educational benefits after serving in the army. A lot of it isn’t just voting against their own interests. It’s also voting against the color of those they think are freeloaders.

  6. thefatman69fude says:

    As someone who is in this industry. This is depressingly accurate.

    • thefatman69fude says:

      @Pastafarians, UNITE! (P.U. for short) no there’s definitely a shortage. And the turn around rate is that high now. Things have changed. My grandfather was a truck driver and he always used to talk about how great a job it was until the 80s hit. Then it just kept going further and further down hill.

    • Jenny Johnson says:

      Right?? 💔😭

    • Goobcutus of Borg says:

      @LNSS well, for many companies, to get detention pay is extremely hard to get. When I worked for Werner years ago, I had to fight with them every time to get detention pay and still rarely got it. And I’m sure they charged the docks for it, but it rarely ever got to the drivers. There are a ton of predatory companies out there and most of them are the mega companies that use new ppl in the industry and don’t care if they never drive again, just as long as they have a constant flow of recruits. They don’t lose money on new recruits hiring them because they get money from the government for every recruit that they hire.

    • james cooper says:

      @Kumar G I am a registered libertarian and I normally try to vote for those candidates. If there is none available I vote independent. If none of those I try to do a little research on who is left.

  7. Tecpaocelotl Castillo says:

    My dad is a trucker since 2000 and he’s going to retire this decade. He’s saying it’s getting worst.

    My dad is a contractor and goes for companies that aren’t asshole. Sadly, not many.

  8. Dave E. says:

    If you watch this show all the time you’ve probably noticed similarities between the way certain corporations treat their employees like garbage and refuse to pay a fair wage. Well it’s not just a few corporations it’s every corporation and when they aren’t screwing their employees they’re screwing their customers. Anyone telling you that Unions are bad is your enemy.

  9. Fellzer says:

    My grandpa died on March 31st of this year. In his possession was the original BJ and the Bear semi truck.

    Before he got Ill, he was actively using it for trucking. I rode with him across country one summer and every single stop we made, people came up to him to talk about the truck.

    RIP Grandpa Craig 🚛

    • Elizabeth says:

      Great story, and sorry for your loss.

    • Fellzer says:

      @Colin Horne He just passed and I don’t think anyone in the family is currently concerned about his assets but it’s in his possession. He was driving it for his son’s trucking company (my uncle). Seeing as how my uncle’s family is into that sort of thing, I imagine the truck will (and rightfully should) go to him.

      Edit: Just to clarify, the truck was not in any sort of accident. Sorry if I’m not coming off clear on that. Gramps was in a home for the past 6 months or so and not working. He definitely didn’t have to work but he was just that kind of guy. It probably bothered him a bit that he had so much downtime at the home.

    • Jenny Johnson says:

      That is epic. I lost my grandmother around the same time. It’s hard to lose someone who lives so large. Take care.

    • Colin Horne says:

      What became of the truck?

    • Rachel Mary says:

      Thank you for sharing! That’s a really cool memory to share 💕🐒

  10. Julia Red says:

    “Its not a labor shortage its a profit shortage” could be used to describe every single industry in this country. People would happily do nearly any job but they are not going to do it for peanuts

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