Sunday, September 5, 2010

Trucking in the U.S.A.: Where the Accent is Russian

The Russians come to trucking with some tradition — it is very much the way their huge ancestral nation, with its system of badly maintained roads, takes delivery of its necessities. Indeed, many may have come over to join relatives in the U.S. after the global financial crisis in the fall of 2008 depressed the Russian trucking industry: out of the more than 10,000 companies that operated in Russia before the crisis, only around 8,000 survived. "This did cause something of an exodus among Russian truckers," says Antonina Kamchatova, spokeswoman of ASMAP, the Russian trick drivers' association. "So anyone who could, through the help of relatives or whatever, went across the Atlantic in the last couple of years to look for work."

As with all immigrant groups trying to make it in America, there are problems to do with acculturation and, more seriously, the law. Many drivers demonstrate limited English-speaking and comprehension skills; some have trouble reading Latin script. A few that I have talked to admit that they are much more used to reading Cyrillic. To work as a trucker in the U.S., an individual must have a Commercial Driver's License, which requires that a driver "read and speak the English langauge sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records."



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I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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