Trucking’s Biggest Problems and How to Solve Them with Mike Lombard
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In this episode of Everything is Logistics, host Blythe Brumleve interviews Mike Lombard, owner-operator of Lombard Trucking, about the good, bad, and ugly of the trucking industry. 

Lombard shares his family's history in the business and his personal journey to becoming a driver. They discuss the challenges facing drivers in the supply chain industry, including the impact of the pandemic and perceived driver shortage talking points that lead to misinformation about the true problems in the trucking industry.

The listener will learn about challenges faced by truck drivers, the impact of AI on the industry, the importance of retention and treating drivers well, and issues related to truck parking, fraud, and division among drivers. The podcast also discusses the focus on identity politics in the information and service economy, the potential risks of AI and supply chain compromise, and the importance of finding solutions.


[00:01:11] Family history and career choice.
[00:03:21] Restoring Lombard's Brand.
[00:07:31] Hair tests for CDL companies.
[00:10:11] Driver manager issues.
[00:12:17] Trucking company's diverse services.
[00:15:07] Driver Managers and Employee Retention.
[00:19:41] Driver turnover rates.
[00:21:09] Walmart's treatment of drivers.
[00:24:59] False driver shortage narrative.
[00:27:27] Life on the road.
[00:30:16] Workplace surveillance and efficiency.
[00:33:09] Paying drivers for their time.
[00:35:57] Inefficiency of loading docks.
[00:39:30] ATA's control over the industry.
[00:41:56] Autonomous trucks and control.
[00:45:31] The future of trucking.
[00:47:35] State governments forcing truck driving.
[00:50:24] Trucking company benefits.
[00:53:22] Carrier options for truckers.
[00:57:42] Changing the trucking industry.
[01:00:00] Driver's worth and rebellion.
[01:06:19] Trucking companies and health.
[01:08:48] Health and Productivity in Trucking.
[01:11:43] Work-life balance for truckers.
[01:14:44] Driver turnover and wages.
[01:18:35] Staying Fit on the Road.
[01:21:23] Truck parking as a growing issue.
[01:23:46] Truck parking and safety.
[01:26:48] Eastern European crime syndicates.
[01:29:46] Control of the supply chain.
[01:33:01] Solutions for CDL drivers.
[01:35:49] Complex problems require complex solutions.



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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:00

LinkedIn presents welcome into another episode of everything is logistics a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I'm your host Blythe Brumleve. And I'm happy to welcome in Mike Lombard, he is the owner operator over at Lebar trucking who is currently leased on over at Warren transport,we're gonna be talking about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly within the trucking industry.It's a long overdue conversation on this podcast. We've had drivers on the show, you know,previously, but it's been a while and 2023 has has been challenging to say the least for folks in supply chain drivers are no exception to that. So we got a lot of hot topics to get into. So Mike, welcome into the show.

Mike Lombard: 0:48

Like so glad for you to have me here. And I will say I am a thinker of free. So

Blythe Brumleve: 0:53

that's why we wanted to have you on because you're, you've been blowing up on social media, you got your own podcast, you've been a driver for a while. But before we kind of get into that, take me back to the days of before you became a driver, what was the what was the reason that you wanted to become a truck driver.

Mike Lombard: 1:11

So the the main reason why I wanted to become a truck driver has everything to do with my family, my family's history. My grandfather was one of the owners and a driver of the original lumbar trucking,which was the business that started it officially incorporated in 1923. By my grandfather's grandfather, Nicky and his brother John, who started the original Lombardi brothers Incorporated, and eventually grew to one of the largest motor carriers in the Northeast. They had, you know,terminals from Baltimore to Maine. They you know, they were a Teamster affiliate like they were a union gig. And they had a really great brand for the city of Waterbury, that they were kind of like identities Waterbury, Connecticut, you know, they provided an identity for that city, they were a great employer great jobs, drivers spent 30 years there had pensions. So they had an iconic brand throughout the city, I can I could probably go back to Waterbury, Connecticut right now and just off sheer last name,possibly be in contention to win when, you know, when when a mayoral race, if I really wanted to, because that's, that's the type of city Waterbury is they have names that kind of stuck with that city, who have become like brands, because these families had been there, you know, essentially, they're a part of what made the city so great to begin with. And so, the company itself was so you know,was known to be a great brand,people love them, you know, they made the the economy well. So that positive brand, is really what I wanted to try to bring back. And it was always in the back of my mind, I'd gotten out of the Marines in 2012. And I knew I wanted to be in business,for myself, but it took me a while to figure that out, and it didn't take and then in 2017, I started to get into logistics working for a wholesaler, a plumbing and heating wholesaler.And that's when I started to learn about, you know, more in operations and dealing with trucks and shipping and receiving. And I think that that's what just led me towards the inevitable, you know, sent,you know, taking Extreme Ownership of what I want to do career wise. And my wife and I,we moved to central Texas, and I was going to launch a trucking career, I didn't have the sights of being an owner operator, like on my eyes at first. But the first thing I wanted to do was reestablish myself. So I got into trucking, and that's what it kind of did. And I, what I've been trying to do sense has been kind of restore that brand of lumbar, of, you know, in my actions in what I do. So, you know, what I do in the industry is, you know, I, I make the content I make and I, I am who I am to try to restore that brand,and to make lumbar to name in the freight world again.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:42

And so when you have the unique perspective of seeing transportation and shipping on both sides, so you kind of have that that real world experience of being of knowing where the the gaps are with the way that drivers are being treated in this country and at shippers and warehouses all over the country. What I guess lessons did you take from those days of working on the on the receiving end of things into your your role today?

Mike Lombard: 4:10

Well, it's funny,because when I, when I talked to those guys, I asked him how their jobs work, because I would speak to local drivers and guys who came from over the road. And I would always ask him about how it is. And it's funny, even back then they would bring up issues such as parking around the area.And I would never think about it, especially for the guys who drive the day cabs, because they wouldn't talk about it as much.But guys who came in who did have sleepers and stuff they would always mention about how Oh, come on up here is really tough, and stuff like that. And I'd be like, Oh, really, you know, and I wouldn't know much about it. And it's funny, I never even thought about these things until you know I you know, I'm asked to remember when I when I worked at these places,talking talking with these guys,but mainly, like, what people loved about the going to the warehouse that I was at was they were in and out Like, whenever they came to a warehouse like ours, which is like more of a smaller one, it wasn't like a big shipping and receiving places is like a plumbing and heating wholesaler. Like if drivers had to come there, they know that they're just bumping the dock, couple things going in, or a couple of things coming out because we would be replenished by these day cabs,regional drivers to out of a distribution center in New Hampshire, that would come down to Connecticut. And this guy, I mean, he loved his job, because he would just, he came and saw us twice a week. But every like when he liked his type of job was he was when he showed up to work, he was already loaded, he would leave drive down to New Haven, unload, and he'd be unloaded in 30 minutes, and then he's gone. And then he'd get back home. And he's home early.And that was his shift. So like,I got to see actually how, you know, a good distribution center would run their trucks from from that company. So especially on the local side of things when it comes to scheduling time off,you know, his availability to find parking what he was making money wise, upward mobility. So and I got to see that from the receiving end before I even got into the truck myself.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:07

And so what was I guess the So you moved to Texas, and you decide to, you know, become a trucker? What was that process look look like for you? Did you go to CDL? School?Did you i What does that process look like?

Mike Lombard: 6:20

Yeah, so to get my CDL? Well, I had to go through all the rudimentary processes of like changing my license over to the state of Texas and stuff.But what I did was, I looked for, I looked at companies who would obviously like pay for your CDL, because I didn't know I had no idea about getting a CDL. In hindsight, if I had, if I did, if I didn't know what if I can go back, I probably would have maybe taken out a student loan myself and picked a CDL school to go to knowing full well that depending on whatever jobs you get into a lot of companies will offer tuition reimbursement, which is actually just probably still taxpayer dollars. But what I did was I,you know, had looked online for companies. And I had found, I actually had to find a and I don't, I don't mind saying this,because I'm open and honest, I was looking for companies that specifically didn't hair test,because I probably still had some remnants of marijuana and my hair from the time of when I wanted to get my CDL because I had, you know, marijuana could stay in your hair for I don't know, up to three months, and I had stopped. And I stopped smoking weed for a couple months. And I was like, Well, I didn't want to risk it. So I found companies that didn't hair test. And and I know this is it's got to be on the podcast,people need to know because this is important, like the fact that there are hair tests for these companies. I mean, to test for lifestyle is just something I don't agree with, like you're not testing habit, like hair tests or testing lifestyle. And it's just, I think it's a huge invasion of privacy, especially as states have legalized things medically, you know, more than half the country, but that's a different conversation. So I found Pam transport, they pay for your CDL school. And so I went through them went through their application process, which was done online, I, you know, I qualified for them. I didn't have any, like tickets or DUIs.And they paid for me to go to a TDS, which was in Killeen,Texas, it was about 45 minutes away from where I was living.And I went to that school. And there was a couple other people who were there who are also going to work for PAM, that I was there with. But there was also people at that school,there's three people I was in CDL school with who were sent there by Texas Workforce unemployment. So these people were essentially told that if they didn't go to CDL, school,they would they would lose their benefits. So it's almost like the state of Texas, the state,the government forced them to become truck drivers. And I kind of find that a little weird, you know, and it's interesting, and it's crazy. The road we've gone to, you know, so much I've learned since since meeting,guys like Gordon having conversations on, you know, some of my show about like, you know,hiring practices and stuff. But yeah, so this guy sent the right employment. But, you know, I got my CDL didn't get an automatic restriction. By the way, I can drive a 10 speed manual for the drivers listening, I'm not a phony. And I started working with Pam. And it was, you know,this is the CDL milling industrial complex. This is a company where you're 100% of number. They don't you know, I would talk to my driver manager on the phone. And then I would have a question, and I would call back in five minutes. And they wouldn't know who I was,they would need my driver number to get me and I'll never forget that there's nothing. There's probably nothing more that'll make you feel more like alone.Like when you're like in the middle of nowhere, when you know when you're in Montebello,California, and you have a question about a certain trailer number. Or say you do have an issue with a trailer because whenever you come to trailers,like especially for dropping hooks, they could be damaged,and you talk to them on the phone, get off the phone and be like, ah, yeah, I forgot I had this question. And then you call them back and you're like, hey,so and so it's me, Mike Lombardi again. And they'd be like, Oh,what's your driver number? And it's like, we and it's just not fun. had minutes have passed before we spoke. And it's like you don't know my name. And that's what it was always like,and they would always shuffle you around. Like, I would switch driver managers like, almost like kind of regularly like at one point in time, when I was at Pam, they put me on this dedicated run that went from there was somewhere in Ohio, and went between two cities Huber Heights, and I forget the other city. And it was like this run for I was moving like Coca Cola.And I was doing it. And I was told by my driver manager, hey,you're gonna help on this lane for a couple of days. And I was like, okay, and I did it for probably a week and a half. And at one point, I was like, hey,you know, what's the deal here?When am I gonna be taken off this? And like, I was actually assigned a new driver manager wasn't even told that I was. And they were like, Oh, you're just on this lane. Now. I was like,well, this lane would be great.If I lived in Ohio. I was like,but I'm out here. Like, what do you what are you guys trying to do? Like, I want to be making less money, because that was restricted on the miles. So like, my miles got cut, because they put me on this lane that needed more trucks to run. And it's like, well, my mileage was reduced, because it was a dedicated lane. I was like, Why didn't that nobody even had the conversation with me? They weren't like, Hey, we've got this lane opening up, you'll get X amount of miles per day per week. Like I wasn't, I wasn't told that at all. They just threw me on that lane. And we're like, Hey, you're gonna you're gonna, like that was it? It wasn't until I was like, Hey,why am I still here? You know that I'm on this. And it's just like that. So that's seeing like these, the these mega carriers work as a whole. I eventually got myself on this Walmart dedicated run, which, which wasn't bad. And the reason why it wasn't bad is because I was in theory working for Walmart.At that point, I was just on their rules. Like, I didn't talk to my driver manager at all, I just dealt with Walmart, like when I showed up to work, it was the closest thing you can get to being a driver for Walmart, I would just show up to the DC check in, they'd be like, Hey,you're gonna grab trailer 1234Over here, it's gonna go down to this store in over uncomfort,Texas, and then you're gonna grab an empty and you're gonna go to new Caney. And then that and then you'll get your next trip from there. And it was awesome. Because I was working because at that point I was on Walmart's how Walmart runs their supply chain, and not how Pam and the mega carriers do. But from there, I ended up meeting a kid who worked for a small carrier out in Northwest Arkansas r&r solutions,phenomenal company, they're actually not just a trucking company, they have their own warehousing, they have their own warehousing, they do a lot of IT stuff, they almost have trucking almost as like a just another part of their business to serve customers in a way because they'll do it disposition. So they had like 25 trucks, 2530trucks, small, you know, small carrier, they can This is when I saw the good side of how a company can treat somebody for a company driver, they would, they got me home, whenever I wanted.I went to multiple weddings back in the northeast, I would go visit friends in Phoenix, like as things would come up, it was like, it was very great laid back. They, you know, they, they never bothered you essentially,you know, you can run the miles you want it as long as it worked. If you lived in Florida,or something like that, it would be harder for them. But me living in Texas, it definitely matters where you live definitely as a factor of what company you work for, but they were great. And then can't you know, it kind of came to the decision, you know, where I was kind of I wanted to get at this point, I felt confident that I think I can get into business.And I have a business partner,good friend of mine. He's my accountant. And we you know, at the beginning of 2022 made the decision Hey, like, Yeah, let's do this. And so we started looking at buying a truck and it got really hectic, but we got the truck, but what's what was awesome about getting the truck is, you know, I did a lot of research, get my own authority versus leasing on. And I did a lot, but I kind of saw, I saw what the lower risk was at that point. And the company I was working for as a company driver.When I told them I was buying a truck, this is how great they were, they were like, Hey, we used to have owner operators,we'd love to help you get started. And so I least signed with them at first and I used to but you know, I was on every load board. They let me use every load board for free. And you know, they let me use a 53foot drive. And for three, we had a good contract setup at 20minimal expenses. And that's where I tried to learn the game.And then towards the end of 2022saw the writing on the wall with the spot market spot market was really teetering. Like there wasn't really a holiday peak,especially for Drive and stuff.And I said I kind of need to make changes like I definitely can't say doing van. I had a guy over at Warren transport a friend of mine. I talked with them about wanting to run flatbed and they had you know I lobbied my case for it. And you know, I had unloaded and loaded pipe trucks at a previous job and said hey, I can do this. You know, give me the securement training they brought me on and that's what I've been doing since I've been with Warren for the past six months moving agriculture like John Deere tractors, oversize loads,combine conveyor belts, like all sorts of stuff. So that's kind of been the trucking journey,you know, in a hole. So that was a little little winded, but that's that's where that's what got me to know

Blythe Brumleve: 14:56

you hit on a bunch of things that I'd like to kind of expand on a little More so so first of all, the driver manager for folks who may not be familiar, your driver manager is what you're essentially the,from what I understand it's the first person that you're almost assigned to. As soon as you complete CDL school, they're the ones responsible for you know,making sure you're taking care of and you have everything that you need. And they're really like your point of contact your your closest, I guess, maybe like work friend in the office.Is your driver manager. Is that accurate?

Mike Lombard: 15:27

Oh, yeah. Like with Pamela, you're not going to talk to anybody else you they do have, there's this one guy who I think is their boss, who will call you like monthly. And I think that it's like probably part of their, it's probably part of their employee retention. I imagine they do because he would call like once a month and just be like, Hey,are you happy? Like stuff like that? And they like they'll do check a you know, I remember they would do checkups. But yeah, like any questions you have when you send a Qualcomm message or when you send any like, yeah, they're who you talk to, for everything.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:56

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Mike Lombard: 16:43

Oh, they just the personnel staff would change so much, at least that I saw,because I remember towards the end of my time at cram transport, my original Driver Manager ended up yeah, getting a promotion. And she worked, I think on the maintenance side of things now. So if you had a breakdown, because I remember I had something I had a DPF sensor go on me. And I remember like having like calling a breakdown or somebody, and it was her who picked up the phone, and I recognized her, she didn't recognize me. And it's like, so that they'll have personnel that it will move all the time. And then all of a sudden, you'll get a call and be like, hey, so and so you know, over here now I'm your driver manager, and it just hits Yeah, because, you know,you'll have home time coming up or you'll be doing XYZ and it's just so hard to you know, it's hard to coordinate. It's, like I said, you can the vibe I got the vibe you get is oh, I'm a number here. Like, they look, I imagine they're looking at a board of you know, and they have trucks,you know, truck numbers, and they just kind of move around to different columns. Like here's Joe Christina signs or whatever,you know, they'll have a list of names of DMS and they just like move the trucks over to name after name based on the demand of where they need trucks to go.And that, you know, I just it's like, as if they don't realize like, oh, there's there's a human operator in that truck.That's like the vibe. Like I immediately got and there's a lot of people there's drivers who will probably share that sentiment because especially at these bigger companies, you know, the the Warner's this Schneider's like it's just these companies that run in the 1000s of units. That's just how they,how they operate.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:11

Have they always been like that with the way that you know, treating drivers as a number per se? Have they always been like that? Or is this just the nature of you know, maybe the industry growing really fast? And they can't keep up? But what are your theories behind why they treat drivers is the number.

Mike Lombard: 18:27

What's crazy is I don't you know, base, you know,just off my experience, I don't know if that's the way it's always has been, because you know, you'll talk to older guys who say it used to be different.But in reality, what's crazy is,is pre pre ELD mandate and stuff. And even priests like cell phones, so to speak. So even if we go back early2000s 1990s, who like maybe they were less treat you like a number because you didn't talk to him as much. Now, there's all this surveillance technology on top of you, where you feel is where they where they have all this access to all of your data,your location, where you are your hours, where you're going,they have all this access to your data, yet they still,there's still this disconnect of treating you like a number or back in the day, they barely would contact you. And guys, you know, the turnover was so lower,and it was you know, it was probably people describe it as a little bit better. So it's like,I'm curious to if it was always like that. But I think the data is in the turnover rates at some of these for at some of these companies, you know, we're looking at these major companies with turnover into the, you know, into the triple digits at some point. So was it Oh, it wasn't like that 1015 20 years ago? I'm not sure.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:41

And that kind of leads me into my next question because the upper echelon of driving jobs and from what you know, anecdotally from what I see on tick tock and you know, other social media platforms at Walmart is really the upper echelon as far as like everything that you could want to get out of a truck driving job and that is the ultimate goal. is too dry for Walmart? Is that a safe assumption?

Mike Lombard: 20:03

I'd say it's definitely one of the safer assumptions now, even on Twitter. I mean, we've been engaging in conversation with,with more Walmart drivers that Walmart drivers, and a lot of this information has gotten out there. And like you said,Walmart being this upper echelon of what a company should be.It's all over, you know, tick tock has become the place for drivers. And Walmart drivers have been coming on there and telling people, Hey, this is what we're getting like Walmart's getting PTO. Like this is our schedule. And you know how it is it's regional, you know, that they're big. They It's crazy to think that of all companies, it's Walmart, who's Yeah, because Walmart's technically not a trucking company. When you think about it, Walmart is in the retail business. And you know, they're the ones who are out there,treating the drivers with like the most respect, and respecting their own time giving the PTO,the benefits, the better pay,all that sort of stuff. I'd say personally, like when it comes to a job, unless you love flatbed, unless you love a different type of niche freight.Like, if you're just into trucking, because you'd like to truck, Walmart's definitely become the job to be they become the the model of our carrier should be I said it on a previous I said it on a previous show that essentially, they're there. They've they became exactly what should have happened to carriers post deregulation, you know, but instead it has become the spiraling, you know, race to the bottom that, you know, you know,it turned it Yeah, turn into this just, you know, race to the bottom, as opposed to Okay,let's, you know, let's maintain the standard of the standard of what the job was pre deregulation and Walmart,Walmart

Blythe Brumleve: 21:44

always had, I guess, the best perception are the best reputation when it comes to treating drivers? Or is this something that they've grown into or evolved into?

Mike Lombard: 21:54

I think they definitely evolved into it.Because pre Walmart shining, it was the you know, it was the union outfits that were the better jobs, because they came with, you know, they came with regular pay raises, they came with seniority, they came with better scheduling, the pay the benefits, like the health insurance, it was, you know,before Walmart, it was the, it was the unions who are really,you know, the the better, better employers to work for,especially back in like the 60s and 70s.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:23

And I'm not sure if you if you know the answer to this or not, but I would be curious to know how long Walmart has had company drivers, or if they've used through pls in the past, like,you know, some major other retailers. So I would be curious to know how long that they've had company drivers versus you know, just using like a three PL I want to

Mike Lombard: 22:41

say it's been it's, like I said, I can't speak on this exactly, because,because I think Sam Walton himself was a driver. Oh, wow.Like he like he was he was in Detroit. And like, I think that that's where the respect for drivers comes from. Because I remember when I was pulling Walmart's out of Seymour,Indiana, they had they had a big picture on a wall of Sam Walton,outside one of their trucks,like in a gate and like, you know, it was like this kind of like a motivating picture on the wall they had about basically how crucial the job of being a trucker was, like, you know, it was like a motivational picture of like, how awesome you are to drive for Walmart. And like it had a picture of Sam Walton it had it like some quote he said,about how the business doesn't run without the trucks and about how they're the most integral part. So it's like they I think they've had company drivers,essentially, since the get go.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:32

Yeah, I just did a quick Google search. And this is you know, about his pickup truck, but it definitely has the impression that he has always cared about that, you know, Walmart founder, Sam Walton has always cared about you know, the drivers in said he continued to drive an old beat up, you know, f150, despite being able to afford any vehicle he wanted, quoting, or he was quoted as say, What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in a Rolls Royce, when it comes to his vintage truck, and then there's other you know,memorabilia about, you know, it his his leadership and, you know, the Walmart museum with drivers being a central focus.So that's really cool to, to hear the the ins and outs,because I would, I would have assumed that a big company like WalMart would have succumbed to the other things that you know,other big carriers that some of the mega carriers, as you said,you know, have affected them that Walmart would be affected by that as well. But it seems like they they found a really nice niche for themselves and just treating drivers with respect. Who would who would have thought in that regard? So I guess my next question is because we kind of talked about a little bit about you know,recruiting because recruiting and retention seem to be the hot button issues, and maybe, well,maybe not hot button issues, but recruiting drivers in particular, you know, the infamous we have a driver shortage that has never ever really existed that's promoted by sociation like the ATA Boom,really, it should be more of a stronger focus on retention because it sounds like the company that you worked for for a while, if they would have treated you as a person instead of just a number, then you would have stayed with them, thus making their CDL investment and hiring investment in you worthwhile. Would you say that retention is something that that more companies should be focused on?

Mike Lombard: 25:26

Like, undoubtedly,it's a retention issue. Yeah.And I'm glad you mentioned the ATA and their false narrative,and their agenda of pushing this driver shortage narrative,something they've done for over a decade. And it's so funny, and the data proves time and time again, that it's false yet, you know, there's all this stuff on the, you know, there's so much fact checking, and, you know,you know, independent fact checkers out there who love to call out misinformation. And I'm curious why it's not on every tweet of every news article that continues to, you know, be able to get away with posting about this 80,000 trade, you know, I'd love to know what, where the fact checkers are on that,because it's been proven time and time again, that it's just not true. This is all related to retention. But you know, that the fact checking stuff, that's a whole other argument, I'll have to take it up with Elon on Twitter, but it is retention.And you could see this in the rest of the working world, you can see this in, you know, the tech industry is really big on their recruiting retention and what they offer for employee benefits, what they offer on the job, that you know, the things they offer. You know, you see this at even the company, I worked at the wholesale I work that they offer things like profit sharing, that you get,and that you know, vest and invested in things into your retirement fund. There's so many, you know, other industries everywhere, you know, whether it's working in, like, you know,the tech industry is big on it,because they're all about recruiting top talent. Like if you want top talent, you need to be offering something at your business, your business or your company, or else why aren't they going to go work for the next guy. And we're seeing this happen now in the industry,except what's what's really happening is what these companies are offering drivers is so bad, they a lot of them quit the industry altogether,there's a shortage, your shortage comes from people just quitting the industry altogether, because it's not worth it. Because what you know,the hours worked and what they're putting in isn't worth not being home, the pay, you know, the disrespect being treated like a number. I mean,even down to, you know, in,like, even sometimes it's not so much the pay, but the benefits like being away from home, we're at this point, now we're being away for long periods of time.Look, for some people, I get it,some people want that life and to choose it, that's great. This isn't for them. We're talking about the standard, we have to look at things on a macro scale.Like I know drivers who live on the road, there's married couples who do that, where they'll just, you know, kind of do the RV Life where they'll buy a truck, husband and wife run as a team. You know, they live they live on the road. There's people who do that. But that's not what sustaining our economy. That's not the you know, that's, that's not how freight is moving at all times. Like, yes, there's a small 10% of people who will live on the road. But for the most part, as a career, these people are out for three weeks at a time. You know, when it comes to retention, like I said most major carriers there. They don't offer PTO until after you've worked there for a year,mind you working there requires you to be out two to four weeks at a time. So you're not home on weekends, you're not like you have you know, there's so many qualities of life, you don't get, you know, you have to live on the road. Essentially, their home time is one week out for one day home. So it's like so if you want four days at home, you essentially stay out for four weeks. And then so for doing that for staying out possibly for most people like when I was with Pam, I would stay up four to six weeks at a clip. So you do that you don't even get any PTO until after a year. And then the PTO you do get is one week.And it's not a week worth of what you'd get driving because you can you can hammer 3000miles in a week. Even in a govern truck at Pam transport.I've gotten 3000 mile weeks before, you know if you run out your clock and everyday and do a reset. So they're not paying you what you can do for a week, they had just set off this 40 hour scale paid at like $15 An hour or something or $18 an hour. So they pay you only for 40 hours.So they're not even paying you for actually a full week, full week worked. And this is the standard across so many of these companies. And you know that they you know, and during this whole time you're working where you're at, you know, you're at the shippers and receivers for sometimes two to six hours,you're not paid for that, you know, so that cuts into your miles your be written to the electronic log your be written to this surveillance technology,like new driver facing cameras,you have all this stuff that's put on the driver. And, you know, they wonder, you know, how come nobody's staying, they went, you know, why are they leaving? Well, you know, I can tell you for what, you know,companies like if you want top talent, you need to offer you know, top benefits and pay and that and what's happening is since the top talent, or you're not retaining talent at trucking companies that that's going to route that that That all has a cost that rolls out to your safety. So you're gonna have less safe drivers on the road because they're all gonna be newer. And this is just a cost that rolls on to the consumer.Because that level of turnover eventually makes its way to the grocery store shelf, whether people like to admit it or not.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:16

And so when we talk about, you know, all of the, I guess the, you know, the mass surveillance that's going on with drivers in particular,is there any kind of data and reporting for like, you know,warehouse like unloading time loading time? Or is there any kind of, I guess, come to Jesus moment for those kind of employees that because I would imagine that if they increase their efficiency of, of loading and unloading trucks, that they would get more product and they would become more efficient, the store would become more efficient, like, why are those same, I guess, surveillance technologies being placed on those workers as well. And I'm not advocating for any kind of surveillance technology. But if they're going to use data, in one way, I'm just curious if if you have any insight as to why they're not using that data and surveillance, and other ways where it could be more impactful?

Mike Lombard: 31:03

Well, it all has to do with it has to do with the stakeholders in that transaction. So the carrier's already been paid for the job done. And the shippers and receivers have all been paid,the person in the middle, the driver is the only one who suffers. So that one driver who had to wait for six hours and the macro scale to these people,it doesn't really matter,because the SIRT the goods are being sold, and the services are being transported one way or another, and that transactions already been made. So there's no incentive, it plays anywhere to,you know, to incentivize the shippers and receivers to either load or unload faster, because it doesn't matter either way.And so when it comes to so do I think that implementing some sort of timers or ELD on shippers or receivers is the answer, but we're at? No, I don't think so. I mean, if companies do, I'm sure there are companies that probably, I mean,I know when I worked for that wholesaler that distribution center in New Hampshire, the,you know, the VP of operations up at the DC if trucks were at doors for like longer than 45minutes, he would, he would, he would absolutely like blow is blow his head off. You'd like why, why is this door sit? You know? So still, you know, why is this trucks loaded door like he would hate it, I'm sure that there are warehouses that do probably have timers on that stuff. And they time like how long trucks are at docks, and they probably have that data,what they do with it, I don't know, it's definitely not the norm. But we've we're coming to the point now where, hey, the government may need to actually step in. And I know people balk at that in the in the Libertarians of the world, you know, you know, why do that keep the government out of it? Well,the government's got got into it. The government's in it.Either way, they're already here. And what it's doing is it's it's causing, it's causing mass turnover, it's causing safety issues. It's completely unfair to, you know, to the largest stakeholder, the industry, the driver. And so if you do something like pass legislation that's currently floating around the house, the guaranteeing overtime for truckers that if you have to pay these drivers for their hours,work and hours sitting at these receivers, that's the incentive for shippers and receivers to then go, Okay, we can't have these trucks sitting or else,you know, they're going to want to renegotiate rates. Because the carrier's then going to go,Hey, we're going to need, you know, you guys are going to need to pay us more money. So we can pay these drivers more than that minute. That's so that's gonna get the shippers and receivers in the shippers receivers are gonna be like, okay, hey, what if we actually, you know, no matter what, if they're not out of here in an hour, then we'll,we'll figure it out, if that's the incentive they need, they need something, it's gotten to the point to where they need an actual kick in the butt from the government to do it. And all it really involves is just paying people for their time worked,which happens in every other industry, you know, any, like if you went to any other people consider trucking blue collar,if you try to tell a pipe fitter, a welder, a plumber, or somebody that they're gonna have to be at a house or they're going to be there at a certain time, and they're not going to get paid for it, but they have to be there. They'll Absolutely,like they'll rip. They'll be ripping Matt about that. But for driving charge for that somehow.Yeah, they're gonna charge it for you. They're 100% gonna charge it for you. If you need a road call. If you have a truck break down and I had to get a road call once because I had a I had a hose, a coolant hose go on that road, call your you start paying for that road call for that mechanic come to you the second from when that truck leaves his house. Like that's when the timer starts. So that's for a road call mechanic. How come that doesn't happen if I'm at a shipper receiver. I'm not saying the second I bumped the talk, like, Oh, you have to pay me from that starting minute that that's just unrealistic.But if once we're getting at the90 minute mark, and you know,things in things aren't happening, if you're at a place like I said, I've been at grocery DCS Elizabeth, New Jersey, I was there for six hours. And I was there for six hours because they unloaded me in 45 minutes, but then they needed to, they needed to count all the stuff. That transaction is between the shipper and the receiver. Number you loaded that material. They sealed it themselves. They didn't want me to seal it so that I carried the freight, the driver carries it.There's no if there's a discrepancy and the quantity has nothing to do with the motor carrier that's between the shipper and receiver, you don't just get to freely keep a driver there and waste my time. You know, and I can't build that back. Even as an owner operator,I can't build that back. Yeah,you could shake the broker down for detention, if he's going to give it to you. But that's a losing battle. Like I've tried to shake brokers down for detention time and time again.They don't they don't give a crap. I had this happen with a guy with Nolan transport group,this guy I would I blew his phone up for two weeks, and this guy, and then he and then he had the nerve. Once when I asked him for another load to, I offered,I threw out a rate and he dropped it down $500 cheaper. I said, Hey, man, don't you think you owe me for the six hours I had to spend at this heb DC? And he was like, oh, that's that's my bet on that. Sorry, man can't go above this. It's like, what are we doing here? You know, it,you know, that's from the owner operator side. And I know, I'm kind of going off. But, you know, back to the original point circling back, the incentive now is at this point of, yeah, we probably need to do something that's going to help drivers out. And I think you'll incentivize shippers and receivers to speed things up,because it would force it's the rising tide that lifts all boats.

Blythe Brumleve: 36:13

I was gonna say, Why? Why are they taking you know, so long, six, eight,you know, sometimes 10 hours to get you unloaded? Is it just,you know, the inefficiencies within their operation? Or they're, they're trying to just,you know, is it just taking them that long to count merchandise?Or are there other reasons that factor into

Mike Lombard: 36:30

so sometimes it's definitely the counting of merchandise, because that's not every, that's not every single load. But I don't know what takes so long. Because even like, because when you go to these places, especially since COVID, you know, you're not you're not allowed in, the check in process is very, very separated, like, you know, I,like I encourage anybody, like,just go on tick tock and search like, truck driver waiting. And you'll find guys who will be like, and they'll it'll just be like a clip of videos like one hour, two hour, three hour, and they won't even know you know,some of these DCS are ones like the like Walmart and Amazon, you have to drop the trailer and a door, unhook from it, go to a staged parking area, and then they'll call you, the Walmart DC and Bentonville, Arkansas, the headquarters the Belly of the Beast, I went to deliver there once and this wasn't when I was pulling Walmart's like I said being a Walmart driver good delivering to a Walmart DC, you know, not so much there's a sign right on the door. And big caps are not on the door on the glass window, it says we have four hours from when you give us your paperwork to unload, you do not come back, you know within that time, like just off the RIP set.Like that's the standard of setting a tone. Yeah, they set the tone with a piece of paper printed out with black bold letters, we have four hours from when you give us give us your paperwork. So it's like you what power do what power do I have,at that point? Like how do you how do you negotiate that? What can I do to get out of there quicker? At this point, like there's nothing anybody can do to reduce the time? It's one of those times where nope, maybe the government needs intervene be like, Hey, you want to keep these people waiting? Well, it's affecting the turnover in the industry. And, you know, it's it's a cost to consumers. So you're actually gonna have to start paying drivers for their for their waiting time. And if you don't, then, you know, we'll either stop pulling out of this DC or something. I think it brings people to the negotiating table, at least because the conversation is not happening.The conversations happening on the lumbar trucking show in the everything and logistics podcast, the conversation needs to start happening between these shippers, receivers, the carriers, and the government or else like I said, eventually the turnover booth becomes unsustainable.

Blythe Brumleve: 38:38

And that I would think that there would be the you know, the the ATA, as we mentioned earlier, or some of these other associations, I would think that that would be front and center for them to be prioritizing because it affects everyone, it affects everyone throughout the entire supply chain. So why let these inefficiencies you know, which sound almost like power trips more than you know, just tried maybe just overworked individuals, because at first,you know, I hear about these these stories, and I thought they were like you said more COVID related. You know, a lot of people wearing a ton of hats like trying to get their job done, you know it, maybe it's not all their fault, but when you set the tone as your time doesn't matter and my time does,I think that there's a larger issue at play. And I would think that some of these associations would be prioritizing that and I'm curious, is there any theories as to you know, why they're not going after, you know, some serious issues that affect everyone versus you know,some of these other issues that are just non existent. Like you said, you know, the made up driver shortage has been perpetuated for the last decade.

Mike Lombard: 39:43

Well, yeah, so for the for the ATA, they don't care about this at all, because this is how they maintain control of and maintain the majority control of the industry. If they can keep the turnover high, and they can keep the the drivers and they can keep the drivers essentially The non unified, the more you know, the more they can keep them divided, the more they can keep them arguing the more they can keep them just in this meat grinder, that it's way easier for them to control because the ATA doesn't speak on behalf of drivers. If they did,then, you know, we wouldn't have issues like parking, we wouldn't have these retention, the ACA has been around for 90 years.What do they do? What what what do they actually do for jobs, if they as an organization? You know, in the they're the ones with the large, they have the largest amount of lobbying dogs to government, they've been around for 90 years, why do we have all these problems, if they've been around for essentially, the history of the entire trucking in this country,why they have these problems,they all they care about is control because the ATA is just an arm of these large companies.And all these companies are, you know, publicly traded mega corpse that also, you know, have other they have shareholders who happen to work in our government. And so it's just this vicious circle of between,you know, the government, the ATA and these large companies,they need to make sure that they can do what they can to make things you know, at the the most ruthlessly profitable for them at the cost of actual people's jobs.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:12

And it almost sounds like you're more incentivized to keep the problem going instead of to actually fix it.

Mike Lombard: 41:17

Oh, yeah, that's exactly that's exactly. And they plan on doing that. And, you know, some people may disagree with me, but there's an organization out there called America without drivers. And they're doing this and they keep the problem going, they do not want to fix these problems like parking, pay retention, they don't want to fix these because there's so much money invested in the tech to remove the truck drivers out of the vehicle. So that's that's the overall end goal is that there's so much money involved in technology,billions of dollars to get drivers out of the truck. So because at that point in time,when they're able to remove the driver from the vehicle, you've removed the, they're able to seize control the operation. So the people who can afford that technology, who can drive trucks without drivers will only be seven to 12, major companies,your nights with Warner Schneider, so only the large companies, all the medium sized carriers and down, even the guys who own 50 100 trucks, they'll never be able to afford it.Because the technology is so expensive. And it's basically the holy grail of what they need, that all the big companies will seize control the industry.And essentially what would happen is trucking would go the way of the railroads, where it's only owned by very few companies. And then we're at a point to where the federal government has ownership of the supply chain. People think that sounds tinfoil hat and people think it's conspiracy. But when you look at the when you look at where some of these people work you when you look at Elaine Chao, will you use it was Mitch McConnell's wife being involved with too simple, when you look at these people who are on all the, you know, the board of directors for these mega carriers and the people who were the ATA people all came from and who they're all invested with,it's all it's all very much connected into this one wheel.And that's, that's what they're doing, they need the problem to keep going. So that way, they're they're continually incentivized to get the drivers out of the trucks sooner, because that's what will happen if we don't get ahead of these issues, if we don't get ahead of the tech. And if we don't get ahead of just making this a better career for people for generations to come.That's the biggest thing. You're talking about a job here. That is the number one job for high school educated males in all 50states in the country. And you know, when you talk about eliminating that, the societal backlash, and I think the the the knockdown what it will do to the to the overall economy would be would be detrimental. But it allows the ATF, you know, that's just the casualties of war to these people. You know, it's all just for them to maintain control.

Blythe Brumleve: 43:41

And so for I guess he kind of hinted to it with the tech side of things. So autonomous vehicles have been touted for years and years. I mean, admittedly, I've been to conferences and events where you see these big autonomous vehicles, a lidar cameras that are on the side of them are admitted I archeological fan. So I LIDAR technology is truly fascinating to me. And to see some of this technology up close in person is, is very impressive. But I still don't see a world where that truck is driven without a driver inside is that is that what you feel like is happening with the driver position is that that you know, these a lot of these big companies would rather just have no drivers, and they foresee a future where it's just all autonomous vehicles all the time.

Mike Lombard: 44:31

They definitely see it that way. And now the ones who are here, there's a lot of gas lighters out there who are trying to say, Oh, I don't ever have a truck, and they're doing that with photographers now too, when it comes to AI because the people who are really on the firing line first now accountants, photographers,graphic designers, and they're trying to say, oh, we'll always need to, we'll always need them.We're gonna need a human to check and that's, you know,that's all you know, smoke and mirrors, and they're doing the same thing with trucking. Oh,it's still gonna need a human operator. We can't get people to stay in the seat to drive the truck and they're going to expect To now probably drive down the wages and you're gonna have a human being in the truck and do nothing, and then be and be away from home and they're not even going to drive it at all and have no autonomy,they've released autonomy from the truck, the operators just going to sit there in the sleeper, and literally do do nothing, you know, or if anything, they're gonna stay in the driver's seat with their hands off the wheel and just be able to snap to for an emergency. Like, all of a sudden, after, you know, the trucks been moving for 14 or 15hours or something like that,even the thought of that is unreasonable. The definite main goal is to remove the driver from the vehicle, they look at it, as you know, they a driver salary to these companies is pitched as a it's a part of their budget sheet, it's an operational cost, they think the salary, they just call the salaries back to that number thing, mega carriers look at drivers as just a number. They see their salaries as an as a as a, you know, an operational costs when really that operational costs is a salary that goes to a human being who buys homes, has kids buys food and is a participant in this economy and in this market. And eventually, when you do this with this technology, eventually you're going to run out of people's money to start take like because you're going to want them to keep consuming.Well, when you've taken the jobs away of photographers,journalists, graphic designers,truckers, like I said, number one job of high school educated males in all 50 states and America, when you eliminate that job, where do they spend their money? Where are they supposed to go? How do you repurpose them? You can't just you know,and what are you gonna do,you're going to come to learn to code. Eventually, eventually,the coders are going to be out of a job, eventually, the coders are going to be taken over by the AI. So no, I hate to sound very slippery, slopey and doom and gloom. But this is just why I'm so passionate about solving these issues, and how, you know,if the American people knew about these issues, and realized how just unsafe and satisfactory they were, because in other industries and other jobs, if they couldn't do things, like if you couldn't go to the bathroom at your job, you know, if you weren't allowed to use the bathroom, I'm sorry, you can't use the bathroom, we're actually not letting the accounting team use the bathroom anymore,because a couple of the accountants were really dirty.This is something drivers, this is something women drivers deal with on a daily basis, oh, we,we don't let drivers use the bathroom because a couple of made of dirty, you can't park here because they make it dirty,you know. So just to the point where going to work, and coming home from work as a truck driver. So starting, starting and stopping your day, and doing regular things throughout your life is become a roadblock. If this is in any other industry.streets would be you know,people would be revolting people would be rioting. But like I said, they've driven the floor down this race to bottom with bringing in truck drivers. We're at the point now where state governments are forcing people to go to truck driving school.And when you could do that, when you can keep the talent turning over, when you can keep the talent pool low, you know,you're not going to have any pushback, and you're not going to have people who are going to stand up for the job, because they don't really care.

Blythe Brumleve: 47:51

What do you mean by the state forcing people to become drivers? Is it more like a work release program? Or how does that work?

Mike Lombard: 47:59

Oh, like I said,like that I mentioned that earlier about how when I went to CDL school, three people were there sent by the unemployment office, they said, you know,we're gonna cut off your unemployment, if you don't go to CDL school, because the CDL school itself is, you know, tax is taxpayer subsidized. And so they just said, you know, these,they just send these guys there for free. But that's how they threaten them to get them off unemployment. So they're, in a sense, being forced to become a truck driver, they're not being forced to go to school for anything else. But they're being forced to go to school being a being a truck driver. That's what I mean by like the state forcing people to do it.

Blythe Brumleve: 48:34

Yeah, that's I've never heard that before. I would assume that maybe you would, you would have an option to choose from a variety of different trades to pick which one you would like the most but if you're being forced into one and only that that definitely sounds like some lobbying efforts that are going on there.

Mike Lombard: 48:50

The ATA and their agenda and its consequences.

Blythe Brumleve: 48:53

Are there any companies besides Walmart that are doing a good job of treating their drivers with respect and to make it to an attractive career that you know allows for that retention of the driver for you know, 30 years? Like like you said before?

Mike Lombard: 49:11

Yeah, it's the company I used to work for r&r Solutions. They're great like most of the drivers there have stayed for five plus years. The only reason they left is they wanted their Yeah, they wanted to get their own truck and you know, move freight for some friends they made connections to it that way, which is good you know, you any employer encourages that. Like I said,you know, r&r was so nice when they found out that I bought a truck they wanted to help it that's that's a sign of a good company of when you're going to is when you're going to quit they want to help you get to the next level. They love that you know, they love that and so then them as is how they operated,you know, what their pay scale was, what their PTO was, you know what you know what their bonuses were, you know, their their mileage or safety bonus is just how they treated you with you know, the absolute you know,the utmost respect when I was there for orientation gave me a company car to drive around paid for the hotel from Gonna stay at like the, you know, when they were still waiting on some paperwork, they, you know, they wanted me to get paid. So they let me drive one of their day cabs and do local routes. And you know, so they'll get you know, they'll keep rolling get you moving. But another company I really want to give a huge shout out to is a company called Central Oregon truck lines,they're they're a flatbed company. And they have employees not paid by the company who posts on tick tock quite often about what their paychecks are.And they go into detail about what they're paid what they're paid per mile, how they get raises their torque pay, they are a flatbed company, they give you the option of wanting to drive a 10 speed manual. So they're not forcing you into trucks, maybe you don't want to be in so that they you know,they want guys to be in trucks they want that you'd like to,you know, they give them they give them like the most autonomy they can, which is the biggest thing is like giving the driver the autonomy, but then on the same way, they're what they have for benefits and PTO. And what you know, however close if you're if you live in a certain area, you could probably get home every week, you know, I there's a I'm in a Facebook group where somebody was talking about how they had a load get canceled, I was supposed to take them home, and Central Oregon paid for their flight home, you know, to be home for Memorial Day weekend, things like getting a rental like paying for their rental cars, if they had a breakdown, like insane stuff,the company essentially bends itself over backwards for their drivers. And this is coming from their drivers. And I had one of their drivers on my show, who went into detail about how that's that's why he's there.Like, he wanted to buy his own truck too, and kind of do his own thing. And he just came to the decision of why would I want like when he went when he did you know when he put his paycheck versus what he'd get as owning his own truck. And then the benefits of how often you can go home, you know,everything like that when he weighed the options. He's like,I'm better off like, my quality of life is better here at this specific company. So Central Oregon truck lines, I have to give them a shout out. And I'm sure there's many others. And I know that there's others, I always like talking to people on my show who have good companies to talk about. Because it's,it's you know, I know that information is hard to find,when it comes to finding a good company to work for. It's either, you know, it's either through word of mouth, or meeting people. And you know,you're not going to find them online. Because if you search best trucking jobs, the ones that come up are the ones that just pay the most amount of money and SEO S

Blythe Brumleve: 52:24

Yeah, they've hacked the SEO system in order to make that happen and make for their I guess their listing to appear higher. I know all too well about those those different tactics. Um, but separately, I will say that another trucking company based in in Dallas,Texas, or Yeah, it is Dallas,Texas, b2b transport, full disclosure with a client of mine, but they are very rare in that they have a five star review on Google and they create a ton of great content for their drivers, they're always, you know, preaching, you know, a culture of safety. So there are some out there, but I've always just wondered, you know, why they're, what kind of benefits are being structured at some of the smaller carriers versus the larger carriers? And how did those compete, but it sounds like the larger carriers are kind of, or the smaller carriers are almost with their benefits and the things that they actually care about, you know,there's a lot of lessons that could be learned there, you know, by from the bigger companies on behalf of,

Mike Lombard: 53:22

and it's, it gets really tough because with with finding that good respectable carrier, because then we get into the argument of 1099 versus W two, and some people think that you can pace possibly pay less in taxes off a 1099. But there are a lot of small carriers out there who are kind of, you know, fly by night, they have older, you know, older model equipment. And they, you know, they just kind of need guys and trucks and Yeah,they'll, they'll treat them right and run them whenever they want. But there's still no benefits there. There's no retirement, there's no 401k there's no, you know, there's no pension or that, you know,there's no, you know, there's no PTO really, you know, so they'll pay these guys, because I see it all the time, especially, it's probably in Texas, you know,there'll be guys who have, you know, eight trucks, they're pulling containers out of Galveston or what have you, and they'll pay you 70 Something cents per mile or something.But, you know, there's no PTO,there's no, like, there's,there's still no incentives to it, it's, I wouldn't have a reason to go do that so that a lot of people will sell, a lot of people will maliciously recruit of saying we'll pay percentage, or we'll pay you1099 At X amount of cents per mile. And it's like, but you're still running yourself into it's not sustainable as a career.Like it's not that's not where you want to be career wise.Because most people eventually have families. Most people want houses. And when you're a 1099guy, it's really hard to get a house. So it's like that the way the structure is set up for where guys where people can go work or how they work is really tough.

Blythe Brumleve: 54:50

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Mike Lombard: 56:30

Yeah, I'd say it's, it's definitely a part of it, it that's where that's where it eventually led itself to.Because the reason why I wanted to start making content was to tell my story, because I was learning about trucking from other people's stories. At first, I started driving, I was like, I don't want to put myself out there. You know, I don't really, you know, I don't want to embarrass myself, you know how, you know, the Internet can be ruthless. I didn't want to fall victim of any, you know, I didn't want to 100 people calling me a dumbass or I did it wrong, or you're stupid. But then eventually I was like,Well, you know, what, if I could share my corner of things that can help because that's the thing I saw other problems people were having. I was like,Well, let me put my story out there and start just telling about, you know, talking about what my day to day is. And then as that, you know, as I kept talking about it, I kept learning. And then I kept seeing the issues. And I was like, well hope. Now wait a minute, I feel as though I kind of felt obligated, like, hey, we need to talk about this stuff. Because I don't think this is right. And I don't think we're in a, you know, in a sustainable, I don't think we're in something that's sustainable. And then I got my own truck and learn even more just about things going on in the market. Like you just it just absolutely exploded, like you know, burst Bust the doors wide open, I'm learning so much.And I just met so many more people that that's where it is now. It's like, hey, I want to start having these conversations with as many people as I can,and get, you know, get this content out there. And along the way, I can rebuild my brand alongside of it. Because I come from the I come from a good place of trying to unify rather than try to diversify and split the issues. And there's, there's things I think people can come together on in this industry is,hey, we could probably fix parking, truckers probably deserve a little bit of a raise.And hey, also they're doing a job that can kill you, like so we're at this point, to where,you know, the job itself isn't the healthiest job requires living on the road requires you having to do things like you know, maintain, you know,maintain your your healthy eating, you're sitting for long periods of time, which isn't good for you, all of that are factors into this recruiting and retention because when you are,you know, when you are unhealthy when you are not taking care of yourself, you are not as coherent and not as likely to self advocate for all the issues around you. And for all, you know, for by any sense of this,when you are in a position to where you are, you know,unhealthy, weak and docile,you're not going to think you do deserve these things. So you just have passive aggressive,you know, or projections outward. So they don't care they think is oh, I'm going to wait at the shipper receiver. While I guess that's life, I guess I deserve this. And that's where it goes. And so that's another part of reason why I twisted content is because I've been going through a health, a health journey, and a health and fitness journey and trying to become the best possible version of myself in that during that pathway. I've just learned that personally, I know my worth. And so in being over the road and staying physically fit and doing things like training to run full marathons in that in during this journey, I've realized that I'm worth more you know, I've realized that I deserve more I'm not just a truck driver I'm lumbar you know like that.That's who I am and what I bring to the table like when I'm out here delivering your freight like I'm the face of you know I'm the face for Warren transport when I'm delivering certain the freight but I'm also the face for myself my own brand and that applies to every single driver. Like they need to realize that hate fit fit right now or not. Hey, you are actually worth more you're worth100% At more, so when it comes to truck parking, when it comes to you getting more pay, yes,these drivers deserve it. So I come at this from the foundation of, hey, if we start taking control of our health, personal excellence, this is for drivers.And this is really for anybody,your personal excellence as a person is the number one rebellion and all this, because I've ever really start to come together on their health and fitness taking care of themselves becoming elite versions of themselves. Because when they do that, they're gonna want to know more, as I like, it happens in this health journey.Because as your physical health improves, so does your mental health. And all I want to do besides, you know, be healthy and workout is I just want to keep learning, learning about what brokers to do, learning about what the customer service department doesn't want,learning about what every role does, so I become better. So that way, when push comes to shove, I know, I know what you guys are talking about, I know,I'm worth more, I'm not just a truck driver, and when I in so and that's why I'm making the content I do from the position I do, because I want other drivers to know, dude, you're you're worth you're worth it, you guys are worth it, you're better than how the government's treating you, you're better than how the shippers and receivers are treating you, you're better than how these mega carriers are treating with you. You know, you know, a lot of guys, you go on tic tac toe, say I'm the lifeblood of this country, I'm a driver, I do this hard job, I do this, okay, do the hard things as well to keep yourself you know, elite and mentally and physically fit. And then see,you know, how they how they treat you then see like you when you become a force to be reckoned with, they're not going to keep you know, they're not going to push you over. Like I said they like it. And this is a societal thing, they want you weak, they want you to retire,they want you sick, they want you dependent, they're doing that with the labor industry of the trucking market, they're keeping them weak, because they're at the, they'll just quit, you know, they like they're just quitting and the more they keep quitting keeping it going, the better. So the number one way that start improving today, you know, some of these things, start doing the hard things get fit and take care of yourself. And that's kind of where I am Mike, you know, I stand on the platform of that with my content. And then with that voicing and talking about the issues at hand, like parking, like pay, you know,like these big carriers in the OTAs agenda. And it's just it gives me a solid grounding to,you know, really speak on this stuff from

Blythe Brumleve: 1:02:18

and I love that you brought up the fitness aspect of it, because I remember very early on, you know, during COVID When, you know, I had heard from this epidemiologist that was on, you know, Joe Rogan program, and I was taking notes,because he was talking about how you know, how COVID had impacted China and how it impacted smokers more than anything. And that, you know, with the US and he was specifically asked what do you think that COVID is going to impact, you know, the US in the same way, and he said, it's going to hit us worse, because of the obesity epidemic that's gone on in this country. That's almost not almost it's definitely celebrated now. And he was giving so much you know,he his advice was to make sure you get enough sun, and to work out and stay fit. And hopefully you will be okay. And I remember listening to that podcast, like in March of 2020. Right when everything was, you know, the shit was hitting the fan. And I told him I was already pretty fit. But it was a much more of a conscious effort to try to control what I can control. And those since then just been sort of, you know, industry after I guess institution after institution is just so the trust level is so low nowadays that I am so thankful that I was able to listen to different opinions early on during that crisis,because I felt like it really saved my mental health. It saved our families mental health, and and just the concept of ownership of your own health and journey and how that can lead to a more positive outlook on life.Because there's so much unhappiness now that is just permeates throughout the entire country on social media. And I wonder if I do wonder if that has a strong, I guess effect,the lack of working out the lack of going outside the lack of taking care of yourself, if that is by design, you know, by the institutions at large, you know,not to put on a tinfoil hat theory, but I do firmly believe that, you know, the, what you just described of what's happening to truck drivers is also happening to at a large scale, that the population of the US where you are just put into this bucket of they want you to be dependent on the state instead of being that self reliant sort of, you know, the,the concept of what Yeah, I guess sort of makes a you know,an American and American is kind of, I guess where I'm trying to go is you need some self ownership. You need to be able to take accountability and taking care of your health first and foremost sets you up with that strong foundation to take care of every other stressor in life. That is going to be eventually thrown at you. Yeah,

Mike Lombard: 1:05:01

I couldn't agree more. And it's funny you say that about whoever that epidemiologist was because I'm sure him saying that in an interview probably garnered negative attention from mainstream narrative. It

Blythe Brumleve: 1:05:13

was taken down from YouTube, the whole nine and I thought this was such a nuanced conversation. Why would you, you know, bad mouth that it was clearly by design?

Mike Lombard: 1:05:22

Yeah. And it Yeah,it says a lot about, you know,how people view that that's why that's why like, and I take that phrase from Andy for Sela, who has said personal excellence is the number one rebellion because being fit at this point is now a stance of rebellion against that, because there's a narrative being pushed that you don't have to be when really that's untrue. And it turtles

Blythe Brumleve: 1:05:43

celebrated to it celebrated being being obese.And that's like, you're gonna die 20 years earlier, because of this, why are you listening to this?

Mike Lombard: 1:05:51

Yeah, I'm not saying go out there and berate people for being you know, being obese. Like I said, I was, you know, I was 275 pounds at one point. And, yeah, I wouldn't like it if, you know, I wouldn't, I don't want to be absolutely bullied. But there's also like, I also don't want to be lied to like, like, if a doctor ever told me that, hey,you're on the right path, you're good to go. You could sustain this, you know, for the next 100years, if you want to live for another entity like No, at that point. It's not. But that's where it's where it's headed in regards to the trucking thing,if if health and fitness. And this is how, you know, the mega carriers don't care about health and fitness, because if they did care, they would create an environment, the employee environment for drivers would be encompassed around it, like they would be encouraged, like, all they'll say, and, and they do this all the time, because CSA scores talk about driver fitness is something on CSA scores. And so they give the rhetoric of,oh, you should exercise for 30minutes a day, it's in sleep eight hours a night. And it's like, and they tell you what you should do. But it's not about you, it's like, well, I can tell you what to do to I can tell you to do things, and this is how you stay healthy. But you need to, you need to create the environment where that's the norm. So these companies, they do nothing in regards to health and fitness, you know, like what just went just down to the to the parking level, like the fact that this This job requires you to sometimes Park in strange parts of town, or WalMart parking lots or something like that. The environment for the truck driver doesn't even encourage, you know, this sort of this, you know, this sort of healthy lifestyle, the amenities that are around for truckers never doesn't support this lifestyle, the food that's at the truck stops. So, so at the largest scale, set, the largest scale from the these top retail truck stops on down, they sell you unhealthy food, the trucking companies don't care. They don't you know, they don't encourage you to grocery shop, they don't pay for you to have an air fryer in your truck. They're not trying to tell you, Hey, this is what a diet is. You know, they don't have nutritionists working for their companies. They don't invest in any of this. So if they so if they did care about the health and wellness of their drivers, they would do something about it. We have companies that I have a I was just talking to a girl the other day, she said that the health insurance from our company pays for a year subscription of peloton find me a trucking company that does that, no, find me a trucking company that has you know, a gives you HSA or discounts to go to chiropractors or for the free yoga streaming or something like that. It's not like that's the thing it needs to be taken care of yourself. And in the health and fitness, it needs to be the crux of any employer because let's face it, where you're at your employer more than you're with your own family. And so your employer needs to have at some your employer is an influence on your life. Now,it's not like you just clock in clock out, maybe it used to be that way in the 80s. But guess what work comes home with everybody, people are very into their careers or career driven at this point. So and these,these companies know that a healthier and more fit employee,and well taken care of unhealthy employees going to be more productive, more alert and better at what they do more passionate, perform better. And the same thing applies to truckers, if you want to keep them let you know, eventually,it becomes unsustainable for the driver, they fail to do T physical, you know where whatever pathway to go. These drivers alone, even if they make it their whole career, they probably won't make it to retirement, they like average,you know, the average age of retirement, the US is 64 The average life expectancy of a truck driver is 61. So even if you no matter what, whether you quit the trucking industry, or you stay in or whatever the odds are, you're not going to you're not even going to make it so you worked all your life, you know,for these people who kind of took advantage of you. And, you know, in you know, we're just supposed to thumbs up that it's okay, because people are just casualties of it. Like I and I hate to sound doom and gloom. I trucking as a whole as a career has repurposed me in so many ways. In fact, you know, if you talk to me over three years ago,I wouldn't have this level of passion. I wouldn't be this fired up. Because, you know, I wouldn't care that much. I would just be caring about you know,getting I've worked I worked twice as much as I've ever worked like in my life, some weeks, and I'm doing more producing content training for marathons, helping other drivers with their fitness on the first format, I'm doing so much more with with less amount of time,trucking has done that, for me,it's, you know, it's such a career that's motivated me in a certain way. But I know there's problems we just need to fix,because I want to, I'm trying to leave the world a better place than, you know, when I got it.That's what I'm trying to do.Like I came into something, I want the next generation of truckers to succeed, thrive and do well. And there's things along the way that we need to fix, or else they're not going to be able to have it.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:10:38

So with you creating content, yeah, I think you just celebrated your 69th episode, obligatory nice comments in there. And so you have the you have the privilege of being able to talk to several different people within the industry, you know, leaders,truckers, you know, when I say leaders, I mean leaders that,you know, within the organization inside the company,and also drivers as well, other folks from, you know, that surround the industry. So if you were to give advice to other carriers out there who want to recruit better drivers who want to retain them, once they actually get them through the door, what kind of things have you seen from other companies?Or maybe even some of these mega carriers that that should be implemented? Is it? Is it a fitness program? Is it full benefits from the day that you start? Is it you know, I guess,I don't, I don't know what they could do about truck parking,because it's such a, you know, a unique situation for every city and state and local and location. But what are some of those things that some of these smaller carriers could maybe take advantage of and start offering their drivers and maybe some of the mega carriers or like, what what would be that that pathway to writing some of these wrongs,

Mike Lombard: 1:11:50

I think it might have to change, they might have to change how they, how they route their trucks, they may have to change some operational things, some scheduling things,I think, create emphasizing work life balance is huge. So look,and I know that there's tough truckers out there, look, I've stayed out for seven, eight weeks at a clip before. And hey,I love being over the road. And when I just am trying to correct myself and save myself from the critics who are like, Well, if you don't like it, get a local job or something. But implement a work life balance for these over the road, guys create a schedule schedule that is healthy and sustainable for guys who are going over the road. But even for the local jobs, create a system, you're the carrier,the carrier does have the power to tell their customers to actually make a claim stand up for their drivers and say, Hey,this is how we're going to run our trucks, these are going to be the hours. So create a schedule that offers a work life balance, similar to how a lot of places are going work from home.And a lot of places are doing hybrids, and a lot of places emphasize or they're doing four day work week type stuff.There's other industries who are evolving to the work life balance of the talent market out there, trucking companies can do the same, they don't need to be stuck in this stuck in the passive trap of doing that and be like, well, we can't change it. So it's always been come up with a schedule of how you're going to route your trucks that would provide a driver, you know, based off of, I guess,data, extrapolated of how often drivers want to go home, and for how long and during which days,because obviously drivers want to be home around weekends,because that's when all their family and friends probably aren't working. So it's like figure out a schedule at that macro level of hey, this is how we're going to run off of the option for guys who want to live on the road shirt, but figure that out, you know, so figure out a scheduling, you know, we have all this access to unlimited hours is gonna say

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:41

that's where maybe AI can come in, and maybe help extrapolate some of that data and help these companies,you know, make it it feels like it just needs to be a larger priority. If you're going like you said, if you're going to place these large company wide discussions, industry wide discussions around, you know,work from home for day work weeks, you know, what does the modern work schedule look like?They shouldn't be happening in silos where the drivers are in one silo and everywhere on everyone else is in a completely different silo that those same perks have same benefits should be offered, you know, to all of your employees, and it's really baffling as to why that wouldn't already be the case. I would I would think that you know, from even like an HR or just a management standpoint, it would just make so much more sense to just have one pay benefits package it'd be able to offer that to all of your employees,whether that whether or not they're a driver or not.

Mike Lombard: 1:14:36

Yeah, no,absolutely couldn't couldn't be more spot on. And then next from there, I mean, offer a competitive living wage to these people. Like make like, you want these people to work there for excellent, like turnover has a costs, no matter how we want to view it, and I've learned from speaking with Gord McGill on this that the turnover for some of these mega carriers has been ingrained in their put into their budget sheets, like they count on the turnover, they've adjusted their entire business model to include the turnover.Like, that's how much they don't care about it, they just, they know it's a thing. So they've adjusted their whole business model and how they price all things to include the turnover.Imagine if they did, imagine if they just actually paid a living competitive wage, you know, to to people with things like PTO,you know, with, you know, with,you know, bonus incentives, and not, you know, and not referral bonus incentives, because, you know, some of these bonuses,because it's crazy, you know,some of these, even the local carriers, they were offering1015 $20,000 bonuses, but these bonuses were paid out over two years. And, like they did, like,they were predatory, like these bonuses, were almost predatory,to get people to sign on,because I can't name any jobs that you can start at where you get a $20,000 bonus. But then again, it's like, you know, some people get promotions where they get a bonus like that, but, you know, just be upfront with it with the pay. So on top of just making, you know, a better work,you know, work life balance,it's just, and it has to do with going in looking at the data,figuring out, okay, this is how we should schedule our OTDR.Guys, this is how we scheduled the regional guys, etc. And then from there is when you move to pay, like to start paying a livable wage look weak, but pre deregulation. And I'm not here to have the union argument or not, because I don't think we can go backwards. You know, and I come from a pro union sentiment, I don't really want to get down that road. But the thing is, before deregulation,drivers, for the most part, were paid a salary equivalent to six figures in you know, 619 60s and70s. term like, is based on inflation, like what drivers were making in the 60s and 70s,was equivalent to six figures today, that was the standard. So raise the standard of that peg.So if they were able to afford it in the 70s, I can tell you right now that Werner Schneider,these mega Goliath corporations,they can afford it now. Like the large companies, if they can afford it, then they can afford it now. And because it because ever since deregulation, I don't know things aren't becoming cheaper with the advancement of technology. And, you know,driving down as the wages gone,the wages have gone down in the past several years. And trucking anything been getting cheaper this past year? No, I don't think so. I think everything's gone up for everybody. So you know, the pay is definitely a good one. And then when you adjust their scheduling, yeah, I think implementing a culture of health and wellness. And this might piss off, you know, some of my progressive friends, but get rid of your VP of diversity and inclusion, and make a VP of health and wellness. Because that's what matters more, you know, your VP of diversity inclusion. Yeah, that's all fine and dandy, but that's going to,you're going to get the diversity inclusion by hiring good people. So that's a different argument, replace that position with the VP of health and wellness. And, you know, I'm not saying I'm not saying go down and send somebody, you know, have somebody bang on their truck and be like, Hey,did you do your push ups today?But hey, come up with workout programs for people let them know, hey, like, the truckers need to hear the hard truth,hey, this job is killing you sitting is the new smoking. And you know that that needs to be very, very emphasized, you know,upon at CDL school on training,hey, this job is actually killing it, it's bad for your blood, you know, you're here are the stats, then I'll go over the stats enough. And so I think implement, like the culture of the business needs to be surrounded by like, you want real people to get real results on their health and fitness.You've got to you've got to tell them the truth.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:18:28

Well, speaking of health and fitness, that's part of your career journey, as well as part of your your, your personal journey. What are some ways that that drivers can like you and others can stay fit while out on the road?

Mike Lombard: 1:18:41

Like it's, you know, yeah, I do work as an advisor on on the first format.And I didn't wear this t shirt intentionally, I just put it on because I found it. But yeah, I work as an advisor to help guys on a health and fitness app,which tracks their macros your macros being your calories,protein, carbs, and fats. And if that varies based on activity level, height, weight, so I can't calculate macros for people, but the app does use technology. And I help coach people on that app, which also has access to workouts, live streams, tracks, your steps and stuff like that. So I encourage anybody who wants like a help or like any sort of coaching, that you know, definitely feel free to come find me. I'd love to help you out. But all drivers really need to do what they need to do to counteract what they're doing is yes, so they definitely need to watch what they're eating. You shouldn't be, you know, at least monitor your calories. But you definitely need to be getting the right amount of protein, one gram of protein per pound of gold bodyweight. And that starts by eating whole meals. So you got to start cooking your own food.I use an air fryer microwave,but the number one thing people can start doing now is stop drinking full sugar sodas and going for at least one to 245minute walks per day and drinking a gallon of water.Anybody who's facing you know who is very obese anybody who's having a hard time, maybe pre diabetic, if they start incorporating one to 245 minute walks and just going to diet so ODA, their entire life will start changing from there it skyrockets people don't need to do anything crazy that it but the thing is, once guys second for those walks and they start seeing the results, they're going to want more, and they're going to want better for themselves they want to go,they're going to want to start running, they're going to want to start bringing out the Bowflex weights at the truck stop, they're going to, like it Burgoyne is into a whole bigger thing. Like, once you start making that progress, you want to do more, you want more for yourself, because you deserve it, you start feeling like you're worth it again. But that's the thing you didn't need to start just need to start, you know, instead of scrolling, you know, you could scroll while you walk.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:20:33

So there we've talked about, you know, all the issues that are going on within the industry, we talked about a couple of the good movements that are happening including the you know, the fitness sort of revolution, I think that's going on with a lot of different drivers, Mark Monera another you know, friend of the show and friend of yours as well he's he owns supply chain fitness, which is trying to you know, combat a lot of those preconceived notions as well as to you know,the importance of your health and how that impacts the rest of your life. And then you know,your family friends, work, all that all that stuff. But are there any issues in trucking that you know, are kind of you know, below the surface right now that you think will become a bigger issue in the years to come?

Mike Lombard: 1:21:18

I think I briefly kind of I've alluded to it along lines, but definitely parking is I think the kind of become the the biggest one especially as certain major metropolitan areas start to grow. Like what once were medium sized metropolitan areas, Austin, Texas being one you know, I live in Central Texas and this is where I'm, I'm seeing it I actually just spoke with a local news Kx and about a truck parking going on because Austin starting to see it as an issue. Even other places, you know, growing metros, like Raleigh, North Carolina,Charlotte, Toledo, Ohio, I mean set Florida's I think got it some of the worst I did a truck parking story with Fox 35, a couple months ago. And Fox 35,you know, spoke to, you know,Florida, D O T, about issues going on in Central Florida, as well as down in South Florida.And the, you know, the amount of parking that they're going to need just based off the growth of the Orlando area. And you know, the amount of people moving to Florida, Florida,yeah, when people move there,your consumption is going to go up, you're going to need, you know, the trucks come with it.And I really think truck parking is such an issue that people aren't ready for. And I know that there's some legislation floating around, you know,Congress about allocating money for money to states from the D.O. T for truck parking. And I know that the SEC, current Secretary of Transportation has definitely echoed the concern for it. So maybe it's not like it's so much under the radar.But the thing is, it's is it's an issue, that's they knew this was going to be an issue in the90s, you know, off of studies done in 1994. And 1996, they've known this is going to be an issue for a long period of time,it's coming to roost now,because what we're seeing is now the fatalities are happening,cars are hitting trucks on on off ramps that are parked there,the truck parking adds to the to the turnover. And a lot of this could be alleviated. Actually, a lot of the truck parking issues can be alleviated if the ELD mandate was was repealed,because the ELD the implementation of the ELD. Now,it's all science and research shows that when you add stress to the workplace, it affects workplace safety, no matter what, when, when, when something has been added, you know, like,like, you know, added stress to your job doesn't make things more safe, you know, so adding the ELD mandate to it and requiring ELD for people is an added stress level, which has created more tired drivers, more aggravated drivers, and drivers making riskier decisions, the FMCSA, personally, and intentionally added stress to the industry, making the industry less safe. And the fact that that narrative isn't seen by people is frightening, like our own government implemented something, which data now says has made the industry less safe,and more people have died because of it. And we're just going to keep letting it fly.And so, you know, I, you know,truck parking is an issue, is that underlying issue I'm talking about, but it can be solved in more ways than one by not, you know,

Blythe Brumleve: 1:24:24

not just more spaces. It's more just what is it

Mike Lombard: 1:24:30

once again, change the workplace environment and the scheduling for these drivers and how they can drive if they weren't be read into this like Tronic log, and they were running a certain schedule to where finding parking wasn't that much of an issue depending on how they were routed as in Hey, they can sleep at shippers and receivers or they could sleep at or they're being routed towards their terminals more like so it's just not a matter of spaces. Hey, let's remove some of the you know surveillance technology like the ELD mandate so that way when and they have a half an hour left on their clock, and they find themselves in having to go through Austin. They don't have to worry, you know, they don't have to worry about that 30minutes running out and having to have a DOD violation. So I mean, there's a lot of different ways you can check the parking issue. But at the you know, it's it's the one issue that not only is adding to the turnover, it's also once again, the consumer,the other highway users out there are at risk, because of,you know, the lack of truck parking. But other other underlying issues. You know, I'm sure I'm sure there are, I can't, I can't recall off the top of my head, because pay in part, because that's the thing,it's a spiderweb, we'll pay a parking or like to to, you know,to nucleuses or whatever. And then there's other stuff that goes out from there, right there. I know that there's a lot of fraud going on right now. And I like I said, you know, we can get into the eastern European mafias who operate, you know,their Chicago operations.There's a lot going on with, you know, I recently spoke with the President of Real Women in Trucking, which you have spoken to as well. Is there anyone?That's right, what Yeah, and she helps with an organization that has helped drivers who've been abandoned, because of these ghost log problems. And there are a lot of these eastern European outfits, who run motor carriers, with their own ELD technology, that they're able to kind of hack into it, and they're able to falsify locks to keep these trucks running. And I get, you know, there's probably some libertarians in the crowd who cheer cheer for that. And yeah, and even though, even though obviously, nobody would ever know, you know, people don't want to drive 20 hours a day. That's not the that's not the point. But, you know, they falsify these logs. And what's happened is they've sent drivers out when these drivers are sleeping or staying in hotels,somebody comes and steals the truck, or what have you and takes it from enrollment, and they don't pay them. I mean,there is a lot of other underlying issues like some of these eastern European syndicates, who are running very, you know, running these motor carriers that are operating outside of the rules and regulations, debate brokering too, and the fraud of double brokering that's going on all these different countries like Ukraine and so that it's that's definitely even that's on a macro point, you know, I'm speaking for for driver issues,for the most part, but industry wide, I mean, the fraud and crime between what's going on with double brokering is just another cost being rolled on to consumers wear like the fact that it's not the fact that is like we're talking in the news about target Bud Light, and you know, Rainbow T shirts, and not the fact the American people are getting ripped off by Eastern European crime syndicates,taking control of our own supply chain, like what do you think is more important target selling a rainbow t shirt, or in Bud Light? Or the fact that our supply chain is being compromised by Chinese technology companies and Eastern European crime syndicates?What's the better headline for

Blythe Brumleve: 1:27:55

those, those topics are too complex for I think the or it's perceived as too complex, they would rather just keep us and when I say they, I mean like the, you know,intelligence agencies, big corporations, the government,things like that they would rather keep us in fighting with each other rather than trying to tackle a big problem that they are not incentivized to solve,which kind of feels like a big theme of this show is that there are many problems that exist in this industry, and very few incentives to actually solve them. Unless you're actually running a good moral compass of a company that wants to treat people with respect and wants to you know, stick around for a while that that to me is the ladder is is the more of the American Dream versus the former.

Mike Lombard: 1:28:40

Yeah, now it is,it is pretty wild. And I do like how you refer to them as they because I mean, that's, that's the truth they want and they're doing it's the everything going on in the trucking industry is mirrored to what's going on in you know, with our politics that the ATA and the mega carriers want to keep drivers divided.They don't want them a grip because drivers can't even agree when it comes to this overtime for truckers act drivers are like well, well, I'm not paid by the hour I'm not paid by like they don't see the bigger picture. Like they've gotten truckers so divided. Drivers can't even agree to give themselves a pay raise. Like that's that's where they're at.And our media and the our politics is doing the same thing. They want to keep us they know that the American people,you know, we've sold our manufacturing overseas, we've sold our purpose, we're now this information and service, this information and service economy to where they're able to control us via the culture wars. So people in their own lives, they kind of they're not building things for themselves. They're not building things for their communities anymore. So they have to lay a stake in identity politics, because this is how they know well. If I support this ideology, then I'm actually helping the world. I'm actually helping my community if I stand up for this then I'm defending you know, I'm defending these these people all the while they're staying divided while the people at the very top maintain control of anything.And the meantime also what's going on is Yeah, are supplied Kane is in the midst of, you know, being compromised. Because even in the when we go even further into the AI step of things, you know, we just had a pipeline get hacked recently,like, are we going to keep the public blind to the fact that eventually when you take the drivers out, we're going to think that China or Russia isn't going to figure out the means to send a send them, you know, the next 911 isn't going you won't need pilots, you know, when you've got autonomous trucks and doing whatever, you know, you're not going to, you're not going to need it. And when you can control the supply chain, you know, where are we running sales at that risk. But yeah, now the meat, there's definitely a, you know, a syndicate in this country that wants to keep people divided. They're doing it in the trucking industry. That's why I feel like if you can, if I can, if we can fight for these issues, and we keep talking to them, in this in the trucking industry, like it's just it's one crack in the seams, it's,you know, because the transportation industry is a micro version of everything we're talking about with the media. And if we could solve the problems here, maybe maybe that positivity and stuff can spread to all the other stuff, we're talking about society and the media.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:31:02

And I think to that you just sort of bring this conversation home is your your part, you're you're not just talking about the problems,you're actually actively out there being a part of the solution, because that's where my biggest gripe is, with a lot of folks that complain online is that they will complain about the about the issue, but they offer no solutions unless it's those quick wins solutions that are easily palatable on on the back. And then you can move on to your life to the next thing to be fake mad about. But in sort of the modern day environment we do find ourselves in it is really encouraging to start seeing some of these independent independent media outlets, you know, coming to fruition, that are getting massive support, whether it's their sub stack, or whether it's, you know, my favorite news program is is breaking points, a big supporter of theirs. And other independent media,journalists who are shining lights are shining a light on these topics that, you know, we should be focused more on and included in that our shows like yours and mine that can talk about these issues and can talk about them for an hour and a half is kind of what we're our counter is out right now. And we're not beholden to a news program from a legacy news platform that wants to get us on for seven minutes at a time, get that sound bite and rushes out the door. So thankfully, we do have access to these types of platforms for now. So we can continue that hard work of of spreading awareness on on issues that that deserve to be talked about and deserve to be or have some kind of a solution to that problem. So, Mike, this was a great, this was a great discussion. I feel like we could probably touch on, you know, 10more things, but for the sake of the audience, we will cover those in a few and not in a few but in future episodes. So one last question, where can folks you know, follow the podcast,follow your work, you know, get signed up for a fitness program,all that good stuff?

Mike Lombard: 1:32:52

Yeah, I do. First and foremost, I definitely want to mention because you you mentioned finding solutions. So that's the thing at first, I was a complainer. And then from talking during the show, doing everything you just said with,you know, kind of just talking about the issues as the solutions have come up in the ideas and making my show and getting into content got me involved with an organization called CDL drivers unlimited.And they are a grassroots organization that's been two years in the making. And we we sent a It's, uh, you know, the people we send to DC are very popular on social media Lee and Lisa Schmidt. They go to DC and lobby. They were just there recently talking to the Transportation Research Board and handed them a packet with solutions on some of the things we just talked about, like the fraud of double brokering, pay a lot of that stuff. So that's been coming up to the solutions point is the real thing, you know, being proactive. So if you are a driver out there, you know, look at CDL D And look at what joining us there's a lot of resources for drivers out there. I'm, you know,helping spearhead their health and, you know, they're they're kind of health and wellness committee, and you know, talking about how drivers can stay healthy, but there's a lot of other things they're going to offer like mental health services, you know, and other business advice, but other than that, you can find me everywhere at Lumberyard trucking LM var D trucking. That's Instagram Tik Tok. You can find the podcast wherever you get your podcasts including YouTube, it's the lumbar trucking show. And yes,if you are a driver out there,and non driver if you're in the logistics world, or you could be anybody anybody listening, if you want somebody who sends motivational messages couple times a week can monitor you know, you know, can view what you're tracking what you're eating, give you some workout tips, download the first format,it's 12 bucks a month I pay to use it and I've had phenomenal progress and it gives a lot of services you can have me as your coach you search lumbar tracking on there. And I also want to mention that I've got a Facebook group LT supply chain fitness.So if you just want a Facebook group where people talk about meals and stuff like that, so I've started that, like I said,I'm trying to change the culture and how fitness is viewed in The logistics and trucking world so,but yeah, everywhere you can so but no, I appreciate you having me on I'm glad we were able to rip this long and for an hour and a half I definitely see for energy drink definitely brought it brought it out of me a little bit. But no, I can't thank you enough for having me on being able to be able to talk about this stuff. You know, just a Gord had told me this because I asked him the same question.When I had him on my show. I said, How do we fix this and he said, We got to keep talking. We got to keep talking. We got to keep at it. Keep having the conversations with as many people as we can admit and manifest the solutions and just keep just keep the message going. It's it's the only way to work.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:35:37

Very well sad,because in today's day and age,we are we're so accustomed now to instant gratification via social media. And so it's an important reminder to let folks know that complex problems require complex solutions. And they're not going to be immediate, but you got to be able to talk about it and you got to be able to work through it. So you said it best. So Mike, thank you so much for joining the show. We'll have to do this again in the future.

Mike Lombard: 1:35:59

Absolutely. Thank you again.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:36:01

Absolutely.I hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff in people get from point A to B.If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking, oh God,another newsletter. But it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus,we drop a lot of gems in that email to help the one person marketing team and folks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You could find that email signup link along with our socials in past episodes. Over at everything is And until next time, I'm Blythe and go Jags

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.