Truckers News Staff | May 01, 2010

‘Fuzzy Math’ Goes Beyond Greed

I enjoyed Editor Randy Grider’s March column “Fuzzy Math” but was confused by the last paragraph. When you said “the limits” in the very last sentence (“When drivers no longer have to push themselves beyond the limits to earn a decent living, the problem will finally be solvable”) to what were you referring?

“Greed” is a word with a lot of negative connotations, and anytime you use it in the place of “justifiable need” it takes on the form of insult or accusation.

Finally, to set hours-of-service rules requiring free American men and women to be required to give detailed legal documents showing exactly where they have been in the last seven days, and for how long, to every petty officer of the government merely upon request (or face extreme consequences!) is the ultimate insult to the supposed Constitutionally protected freedoms of being an American.

Unsolvable problem, fuzzy math, indeed.

Al Holm, Glendale, Ariz.

Editor’s note: By “the limits,” Grider was referring to both driving past the mandatory limits in some cases as well as unpaid work like waiting to be loaded and unloaded that forces some drivers to try to make up for lost driving time.

CSA 2010 detrimental to roadside service?

Last week I was in Sugarland, Texas, and found the taillights not working on my tractor during a pretrip. To be honest, since it was daylight and I was hooked to a trailer if it was not for CSA 2010 I would have driven to a repair facility. But with CSA 2010 I’d risk getting negative points against me and the carrier if I happened to be stopped for a roadside inspection. I don’t move anything with any defects and wonder how many other drivers have the same attitude.

I waited seven hours for a repair truck to show up. Luckily this had no serious consequences on my schedule. I had two days to go 700 miles. But I wonder. Will more reluctance of drivers and carriers to move equipment with defects result in road services being overburdened, causing longer response times and higher rates? Will there be more missed appointments because extra time is spent waiting for road service? Will some carriers still push drivers to run with defective equipment?

I know of a carrier that was known to be strict on compliance encouraging drivers to join a legal service to “protect” their CDL. Not hard to see their real motive there: They want the drivers to pay for a service to avoid points being assigned to the carrier for driver violations. Many drivers feel that not many will actually be disqualified by the FMCSA. Rather, their carrier will terminate them before they reach that level of points and no other carrier will touch them. With CSA 2010 going back two years, which driver do you think will be most likely to commit a violation now, an experienced driver with points already against him or a new driver with no violations yet? I think the driver with previous violations and his CDL in jeopardy will be much more cautious.

Rick Gaskill, Owensboro, Ky.

Where credit’s due

After many years of reading TN I must confess that this is the first time I paused long enough to read the I’m Just Say’n column. I found the entire page of advice full of depth and discernment and probably very helpful to all who inquire. Perhaps in some small way Carolyn might be encouraged by my letter, and yes, contrary to her short biography I believe she is a very nice person.

R.D. Longmeier, Wallula, Wash.

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