I am a Training Manager, Lead Instructor, and Driver of many commercial vehicles for over 20 years.
I truly understand the point-of-view from all of the other drivers that have commented. I see a lot of understandable frustration from all aspects, as well as first-hand witnessed events in my company.
I understand the point-of-view from DOT and FMCSA, but what has always been the problem is all of these legislators and government officials are nothing but "armchair quarterbacks" in their attempts to reduce the costs incurred by collisions on the road. Don't get me wrong, safety is first and foremost. This responsibility is not only on the shoulders of the driver, but on the companies that employ Drivers. But fatigue is not caused only by hours worked, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or when you rest.
Let's see..... We as Professional Commercial Drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to being on the road. UNDERSTOOD! We do that!
What about the other drivers? Pass your initial driving test................That's it. No continuing education, no health standard requirements, no driving re-certification.
I found it unbelievable here in California that the "behind-the-wheel" test was roughly ten minutes up and down the street with a few turns here and there, and now your a driver with minimal restriction until you turn 18.
My point being.....We as Commercial Drivers must compensate for those drivers that have been released (thinking they have nothing else to learn) and make sure we can counter their unsafe actions. That brings on a whole other factor, Stress. On top of that stress, if we don't compensate for that other driver regardless of traffic laws or right-of-way, we as professional drivers are held responsible. I have seen it in the courts fall that way many times were the common driver commits a stupid act, causing an accident with injury or death and the Commercial Driver is held responsible due to the fact that he/she should have compensated for their inept ability. So stress contributes greatly to fatigue.
But hey, the government knows what they are doing???? Lets restrict the professionals rather than holding all drivers to accountable standards.
Now on a side note.......We will always hear about changing legislation when it comes to freight transportation and its drivers. They will change the rules to "be safer", then companies will complain that domestic goods are not being supplied according to the demand and cost are increasing, thus affecting the economy. The lobbyists will come in and get things changed back. Never will the true issues be corrected properly.
So be prepared to be frustrated and confused.
After two or three years of no moving violations. Drivers are graduated to a master CDL. They then throw the log book out the window. They become in control of their own driving habits. If a driver is found guilty of a moving violation...he must go back to logging his hours for a period of time. Maybe a year or two. With today's technology this should not be a problem.
Do away with the 34 hour restart, do away with the 60/7 day and 70/8 day work week and just do a simple 365 days a year or 366 days a year for leap year at a non-stop 11 hour driving 14 hour on duty day. Simple math and simple calculations. If you work a little pass midnight and take your 10 hour break and start again and it turns out to be 14 hours driving, good. you still had your 10 hour nursery sleep break that these idiots in DC require.
When I started driving we were under 70 year old rules.
I hated the recap. Why should a week ago today determine today's activities.
But. Being able to break up your hrs was great. That versatility was awesome.
I've driven tired more now with this 14 hr rule than I ever did when we could break our hrs up.
To this day I still get my job done no matter. If there's a storm across Wyoming coming any old hand knows you go. In my mind more dangerous to wait for storm to hit and then share the road with everybody.
But like my grandpa who drove 55 years always told me "they will make a liar out of you". and they have.
But I've got 2.5 million miles accident free underneath me and feel like I don't need babysat.
I'm an owner operator so I don't necessarily answer to a dispatcher though I may answer to a packing plant or a feedlot or even a grocery store at times. But I have no problem telling someone no It can't be done. And I've never lost a job over it. I'm reliable and tell it straight. If I can't make it people are comfortable it couldn't b done.
As far as no rules. That would be great but highly unlikely.
I want 34 restart available at all times. I need to be able to break my day up how I need. Not how some political committee sees fit (which reminds me of a story I read when all this started changing years ago about a truck school graduate that had worked for Schneider national for about 4 months and was testifying as part of Americas road team before these committes on what he thought we needed as an industry. That was laughable)
There should b no 70 hr work week. If I was working a job in my hometown great. But when I run out of 70 hrs a few or even two hrs from home I will go home. See they just made a liar out of me. Do I stay in truck that I can't idle to b comfortable and sit for 34 or long enough to pick up hrs or do I go home.
I won't tell you but I know what I will do.
They need to focus on coercion of companies and dispatchers and training oh new hires. The days of hiring kids off the farm that could drive are gone. Everybody needs a chance to start somewhere so I'm not against new guys. But they need to be trained how to drive, chain up, share the road and courteous manners and some not all need taught good hygiene.
And the DOT needs revamped. I'm tired of the gotcha games i.e. Indianapolis Indiana. They dog the hell outta trucks through there. If pulling over a Mexican for being a Mexican or lumping all Muslims as terrorists is profiling how come they can pull me over without cause other than I'm a truck driver. PROFILING!
At the Heber Ut port of entry on us 40 I got accused of lying on logbook 2x in same stop. My Bol and fuel receipts ( time and date stamp) all matched and they even called the outfit I was pulling for to see if all legit. The man second in command who was in civilian clothes for the state was working ther that day though I didn't know him at the time. I called state to complain and actually got him on phone when he revealed he was there and seen this happen though didn't stop it. He was professional enough and had the port worker call my cell phone and issued an apology.
But that's what we get to deal with.
Drivers know your rights. If you don't know them you don't have any!
So. I think 34 restart. No 70 hr clock be able to break up workday 14 hrs whatever how I need. And retrain dot that they are cops not militia and I'm not a prisoner of war. Just the highway
I feel like we shouldn't even have a 70 hour clock I think it should be like any other job we should be able to work a 14 hour day every day either seven days a week five days a week or however many days a man wants to work just be limited to 14 hours every day and then take a 10 hour break
When the 34 hr restart was first instituted, they had that part of the HOS regulations right. Then, in response to outside influence, they blew it by adding restrictions in the way it could be used. They mucked things up again by messing with the old split sleeper berth provisions of 4 & 4 or 5 & 5 for teams. Then, they really messed up by instituting the 14 hr rule and added insult to injury with the mandatory 30 minute break which, in essence, just shortened up what could have otherwise been a meaningful nap. Along with that, they removed needed flexibility by doing away with the 2 hr adverse condition rule, which leaves drivers on the wrong sides of mountain passes, metropolitan areas and just "tricky" routes when adverse conditions are occurring. Then, every interest group in the industry started filing for special consideration: "These rules shouldn't apply to us, just everyone else" with many of those exceptions being granted. It became apparent to anyone who had any common sense (an uncommon virtue) and who also gave a hoot that the rules really had little to do with actual safety and everything to do with control for controls' sake. As the rules got more and more complex, for no good reason, compliance suffered which is resulting in greater efforts on the part of regulators to re-impose absolute compliance with their edicts (Enter ELD's).
In my opinion, much of the blame for the Tracy Morgan incident rests with the HOS rules and the electronic monitoring of every minute of a drivers' work day. Drivers are not machines, every one the same. Drivers are people with varying circadian cycles, comfort zones and needs, all of which are attempting to be bent to the whim of a regulatory scheme promulgated by persons with no practical experience in performing the task at hand. The rules simply haven't evolved with the highways or the equipment, and are far too restrictive in today's environment.
Hold the drivers accountable for their failings or obvious recklessness, but aside from that leave them alone to do their jobs! If they are adult enough to be given control of these vehicles, they should be considered adult enough to know when they are tired and need a break or a nap or a nights sleep. Let drivers drive when they're awake, sleep when they're tired, and adjust to conditions when necessary. Real safety -- coupled with driver health -- along with driver satisfaction and performance would all improve, providing real benefit to the overall health of the industry and country as a whole.
I say get rid of 70 hour rule...should be allowed up to 12 hours driving in a 14 hour period with a 10 to reset the 14....that's it.
I just want the gov't out of my life. I want to make money when I am awake, rest when I am sleepy, and go home when I want to. It is truly time for the Feds to concentrate on its constitutional duties, and stay the hell out of the way of people and their ability to make a living. Log books and scale houses should be imposed on ISIS not American truck drivers
my Father went into his own transportation business in 1929. we have lost one rig to accident but we have operated by our safety rules. safety cannot be legislated it has to be from the company down.
Agree with comments on this site. I retired after fourth plus years of OTR. When I started in the 1970's. Was not CDL Log book was all hand wrote. In the 1980's we had tacograph and had to match your logs. All the changes since. Driver's are not children. Dispatchers does enough being mom and dad. Work and live in your truck. Makes job a lot easier and some companies slow your better half with you. I enjoyed my time. Now all the stress on the younger generation we did not have. Be safe hope they will stop being big brother.
I say that it needs to be changed back to the it was in 2000 where you could go into the sleeper berth for atleast 2 hours Drive for 10 with 8 rest , but you could split the eight up and there was no 14 hr rule then . You could make your deliveries ,And at that time I was making .26 mile and taking home over 800. week now I make .38 mile and only make about 750. a week. You would think more per mile would equal to bigger Paycheck but thanks to the 14 hr rule that does not happen because companies are always looking to re power loads to get them on time delivery . Cause what Adult sleeps for 10 hrs , none , most only sleep for about 6 hours and then we sit up in the sleeper for 4 hrs and then when we get behind the wheel to drive it is not very long before we get tired and start drinking Energy Drinks or 5 hr Energy Shots . To try and stay compliant with the current DOT policies at hand. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I am just venting because I know none of this will matter for I am not rich and no one will listen to me. .....................
I dont feel its right that thiers people out there that think they have the right to tell me how in a one size fits all in thier minds how to run my buisseness and be my own employer to make a living they dont hold farmers to that rule they dont hold police to that rule .we cant force companies to get us out in time or receive us in time or prdict our luck if s tire goes or a part breaks or we have personal issues.ive been a driver for 32 yrs i have a great record but you policy makers have no clue the undue stress you create on the drivers with your one size fits all.you need to listen to the little company the little driver cause your never gonna get the real results of what truely happens to most of us.you are creating jetlag and dont see it.when you put a 1 to 5 off to restart show me the perfect sonerio everytime to get that.if a driver goes out here and wiwifull drives way to fast and way to long and kills someone hold them responsible not everyone.what im saying is your regulating to much instead of fixing the problems your looking in the wrong places for the fix.your killing good hard working that are away from thier family and friends people with your bullshit,so remember this when you cant get your inkpen that you use to sign these laws in it because you made rules that forced them out so it didnt get delivered.you take this industry down an this country is through.our military isnt big enough to do what we do cause you people shrunk that to.your not gonna work like we do and your not gonna make us work like you do or dont
I can't think of any other industry that fights to work more than 70 hours per week with so little return.
Once the restart provision came about, most weekends became 34 hours for way too many drivers.
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