George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Hours changes premium: $300 down, more to come…

| July 15, 2013

So we’ve completed our first ten days on the road under the new hours of service. I’m going to be really honest here and say we didn’t start this with an open mind. George was mad about it from the beginning. But he follows the rules, and always has, so we set out to see how it would go.

As of the 10th, we’ve lost approximately $300 due directly to the new laws. Two good loads had to be turned down because George wasn’t able to do a reset and didn’t have the hours to get them to the final on time without it. We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time dragging short loads around just to be able to make enough money to break even out here. George went into long-haul because he does just that, long-haul. That’s how he schedules his hours of service, and always has.

Before I get the “You should have planned better” comments, let me suggest that those of you who feel good planning is the answer to everything obviously live in an alternate universe. One where you’ve never sat at a shipper with a 8:30 a.m. appointment and waited until 5:30 to be loaded. You’ve also never run into traffic and been hemmed up for hours because of a wreck or construction. Good for you. Now back to the real world.

Gubmint controlThere is absolutely no benefit to the new rules. They obviously have very little to do with safety and a whole lot to do with government control. It’s been my experience in life that when the gubmint says they’re doing something to make you “safer” you can replace the word safer with more controlled and get a more accurate idea of what they really mean. The 30-minute break disrupts our day and causes us to be on the road 30 minutes longer every night, making finding a parking spot harder. George says it actually makes him more tired to sit for 30 minutes because he’s sitting there stressing out about losing 30 minutes of his day.

I sincerely hope someone in Washington comes out of their stupor and realizes the people they’re hurting are the ones who followed the rules in the first place. People who cheat will always cheat, and they’re laughing at your new rules while they continue to cheat. If you’re concerned about hours of service, then mandate eLogs — don’t slaughter the industry by keeping the professional driver, who follows the rules, from being able to make a living. Governments don’t regulate people into submission, they regulate them into a revolution.

We don’t tell you how long you can lay up and sop your gubmint gravy, don’t tell us how to schedule our day.

  • No Reform

    yep that 30 min “break”..where you sit and look at the clock for 30min…is it time yet?? Waiting to fight your way back on to the interstate? What a total Joy. They think some guys are going to lay down for a restufl “nap”?? And pass out and wake up 2hours later? Xlnt idea! If you pull off somewhere at NIGHT for this “break” you are Asking to get robbed. There isnt always a truckstop available for this ignorant “break”.
    If it happens to be SNOWING..it should be even More fun!

  • No Reform

    Another 150 hours per year that company drivers will NOT
    be paid for too. Adding THESE hours of UNPAID TIME to the Countless Loading dock UNPAID HOURS..it is a Wonder why would anybody want a Job like This??

  • William McKelvie

    THANKS WENDY! Finally someone else besides the bad guy McKelvie states the truth. Hope you do not mind if I forward this to my congressional representatives office, who is on the transportation and infrastructure committee. Thanks.

  • Jason Haggard

    This is the true impact of the new HOS rules, yet we still have people running around claiming that proper trip planning will remedy the problem. After further digging into it you will find that the vast majority of people claiming trip planning is the solution you will find that those people run approximately 8-9 hours per day. If I eliminate 2 hours per day then I would about $200 per day so how is that addressing the issue?

    You cannot implement all encompassing rules like this and expect everyone to still be able to remain profitable. As George and Wendy have found out at even a $300 loss per week at only 45 weeks of running per year that’s a $13,500 loss which for many is a years worth of truck payments or approximately 28 tires or 3,500 gallons of fuel. Why should anyone be willing to just lay down and accept that? Would you be accepting it if someone just walked up to your bank and removed thousands of dollars from your bank account? I seriously doubt it but hey, if that’s what you want to do then feel free to do it but don’t try throwing the rest of us under the bus because you don’t want to stand up for yourself.

  • No Reform

    Plan?? If you “planned” to get into a TRUCKSTOP fro your 30 minute “break” at anytime past 4pm local time..good luck. It can take an Hour inside a crowded truckstop just to find a spot and get backed in. So we are supposed to take this “break” maybe at earlier when we arent even tired? What a great law. The Insight of these mental Giants!

  • Wendy Parker

    That $300 a week represents a little more than half our truck payment. We will not be able to make half a truck payment, as the bank frowns highly upon half payments, so we will have to let things like health insurance go. Oh yeah! We CAN’T let our health insurance go…we’ll be taxed for that TOO! It’s becoming painfully evident that the government wants no part of working for yourself. The owner/op is hammered at every turn. And what are the alternatives? Going to work for the company who pays the exact same thing they paid ten years ago, some of them less. I am truly, truly, truly concerned about the future of this business.

    It’s imperative we get the word out to the general public, they really don’t have a clue. I have petitioned people in the spotlight, over and over again, to please take up the cause of the American trucker. If some whacked-out starlet gave as much of a crap about where she gets everything she touches in her life as she does stray cats, we’d at least get a public platform.

    Unfortunately, dealing with our government has ceased to be effective, because they no longer view the United States Constitution as a true and valid document. The climate we live in is that the general public will believe every word that comes out of Mariah Carey’s mouth, but can’t fathom where their tampons come from. If you have a twitter account with ten million followers, you’re a God and you have power in the form of the media and the media rules. If Mary Hart endorses you on Entertainment Tonight, you’re a freaking Midas.

    I’ll let Jason handle congress, I can’t stand the thought of immersing myself in a room full of such filthy, evil liars and cheats. God bless you for going there, and God bless you for doing what you do. Watch your back, brother.

    I’m going to continue to see if we can’t get someone like Ellen DeGeneres (who consequently, is getting richer every day selling dog food that is hauled around by you-know-who) to just mention us, preferably before she posts the ever important cat pictures, on her show.

    I respect what you do out there. I could not do it myself, as I would have planted a Freightliner directly into someone’s face by now. I make fun of a lot of things, and try to laugh a lot about the industry, but I’m in no way slighting it. God bless the trucker.

  • http://www.lifewithnofixedaddress.com/ Life With No Fixed Address

    Like you and George, I did not go into the new HOS rules with an open mind, but we also play by the rules. So, 15 days in and I am not happy.
    The 30-minute break is penalizing me for my routine of taking several short breaks because it is a countdown clock. It is not, as described, a 30 minute break after eight hours on duty and/or driving. This eight-hour clock does not stop when I got off duty, like the driving clock.

    It is a 30 minute break from the minute I start my day, which is different. Now when I stop for 15minutes, which takes at least 20 by the time I am safely off the road and parked, the clock is still ticking.

    And to the trip planning comments, we have been stuck in traffic, gone six miles in 1.5 hours which put us up against the break. In Canada, there are few truck stops, so most places to stop are dirt lots with no facilities, which makes this break difficult. As a team we have found it difficult to find a place in the middle of the night for a break.

    With more drivers trying to do eight and nine hours a day, it is making for less movement in the truck stops. And, is this a trend??? a Road Ranger/Pilot I passed in IL on the weekend is limiting parking to THREE hours.

    It also penalizes us because we drive 58 mph. We use up
    more hours sooner driving slower which is one reason we use the 34-hour restart.

    Because we are Owner Operators, and a team, and have other profit points than the rate per mile of the company driver, I won’t know the financial impact until the end of the month.

  • Wendy Parker

    Just last night we had to stop one exit away from our final and take a 30 minute break. We were literally 5 minutes from the final, where we intended to shut down for the night, and had to stop on the exit ramp (which is so incredibly dangerous, as you well know) and sit for 30 minutes. It was probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever done in my life, and that’s saying a lot.

  • Chaser

    Wendy,
    I commend you for your wit and understanding of the ” New HOS ” though the BOZO’s in Washington Never will. I have contacted my Texas Congressman regarding this very subject—and have received Zero Response. They DON’T care. So, What is the solution? We Truckers realize the only way to bring this to the Publics attention is a slow down or complete stoppage of freight….Yet WE are the one’s hurt more by doing such a thing. It’s a complete Cluster F*&^^%. Perhaps it was planned this way. Just my 2 cents and Thank You for keeping me laughing.

  • Ed

    The science has surpassed George Orwell’s wildest imagination and today, this very minute, there is a company called “Skybox” that is launching “off the shelf” components assembled here in the US and launched into orbit that will enable HD photography of every square inch of the earth at any given time and by anyone who wants to hire them. That is happening TODAY, and not in some distant sci-fi novel by Ray Bradbury. The point is that us drivers are under ridiculous scrutiny and our heads are suspended under a heavy razor sharp axe that could fall at any second. I have been in this business for over 20 years as I have followed in my family’s footsteps so I have been there through no regulation enforcement and now OVER REGULATION enforcement.

    If the EOBR’s don’t get passed into law ( and I don’t see how they could be made into law anytime soon because of their numerous flaws and drawbacks) then you will still have to be vigilant in recording your location and activity because the logbook is being used in court to hang drivers by the neck. Regardless of the EOBR, drivers today and in the future will have to adhere to the HOS and this will result in numerous missed appointments, OOS violations, and angry customers.

    Even the outlaws will be reigned in soon and no one will be able to dodge the logbook. The real problem isn’t so much the EOBR, but the HOS themselves. Until recently the logbook was called a comic book and the penalty for log violation was a slap on the wrist.

    Solution:
    We should have leeway for things like road closures and malfunctions of our equipment, or at the factory (I.E. broken forklift or injured employee at the docks). There should be different HOS for each different type of operation (regional, OTR, and teams). This “one size fits all” HOS regulation doesn’t work and if the EOBR has one redeeming quality, it will be the exposure of just how bad the HOS really are.

    Truckers can’t strike because they can’t form a union thanks to the Sherman Act. Back when the Sherman Act was created, the Robber Barrons like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and whoever else sought to dominate the marketplace with forced labor and market manipulation, were strangled by the Sherman Act. Today however, the powers that be in D.C. and the CEO’s of the USA, are using the Sherman Act to stop us from organizing. So until this is changed (NEVER) we will just keep complaining and trying to bill customers more and more while we fend off cut throat drivers who don’t care about anyone else but themselves.

    We are all in this together. There is no more independent truckers in the USA. We are all being screwed equally. It makes no difference who you drive for or where you go or what you haul. If you have a CDL and operate a CMV in the USA, you are truly in the hot seat today and thanks to our ridiculous laws that we the taxpayer have paid for, we are the ones on the wrong end of the barrel. In essence, we have shot ourselves in the foot and have no one to blame but ourselves. If you want to make a difference, join OOIDA. There is simply no other way. The deck is stacked against you and no one really cares.

    No one cared about migrant farm workers in California either until Cesar Chavez came along. No one cared about where their lettuce came from, just like no one thinks about where their toilet paper comes from. It just magically appears on the shelf at the local convenience store.

    We are a service industry and if we can’t organize, we will stay on the ground with the boot of the powers that be at our throat. Amend the Sherman Act, craft laws that allow us to organize, and then we can get paid for our time and treated with a little respect and dignity. Freedom isn’t free just as getting paid for your time and respected for what you do isn’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter. It will be taken from you like candy from a baby by the CEO’s and Senator’s in D.C.

    They control everything and they call the shots. As long as they do, nothing will change. After all, there is nothing in it for them, so why should it?

  • Ray

    Truckers couldn’t organize a backyard BBQ, so it’s unlikely they’ll do anything to organize something that will benefit them. They’d rather just bitch about it on websites like this. They need to do what OOIDA recommends – “Run Compliant” and “Don’t Haul Cheap Freight” – do those two things and you’ll see big changes, because the companies you haul for will know you’re serious about not being screwed with.

    But, since they’re not going to do either, they may as well just go back to crying about the money they’re losing. Ultimately, it’s their own fault since they keep electing officials who are in bed with the very corporations who control what they haul and how much they make hauling it.

  • No Reform

    Yep..good way to have a RUN UNDER accident or get Robbed.

  • No Reform

    All of us are Laughing to keep from Crying these days..with More weird rules sure to come.

  • Dave Nichols

    Folks, stop and think of the reality of a shudown or slowdown.. there is only about three days of supply in the retail food chain. less in the fuel supply chain. less yet in the movement of perishables. when the demand for transport service bumps against supply, rates will rise. if you dont take advantage, it is because you are not paying attention. We drivers have worked these 70 hour or more weeks for decades. It is time to change that and these rules will help us do it.
    sit back, run easy, stop when it is convient, net at the last minute and behave like an hourly union driver would. In a few months you will see the demand jump for trucks, but there will be none. The barriers to entry these days are just too high and you will find yourselves in control.

  • Bruce at 1600 Watch

    I like your idea David. Make the corrupt fools in Washington work for drivers by working the system they are fostering.

  • Bruce at 1600 Watch

    I easily earned more money driving in 1975 & 1976 at 25% commission than 90% of company drivers are earning today; 37 years later. Did trucks, tires, fuel, etc. get cheaper along the way or am I missing something?

  • Terry Massey

    Thank you Wendy for your comments, I have copied and am pasting to an e-mail to my Representative and Congressman , keep up the good work.

  • Jerry Greenberg

    WHOAA!!! Sure glad I retired 2 and a half yrs ago! I thought it was bad then, but, I didn’t realize just how bad its getting now. Sorry folks, I feel bad for you guys and gals out there just trying to make a decient living. Mabe you should consider working at your local Wal Mart?

  • MD

    Hey Washington D.C. I’ve got one for you…Lets put an E-Log in all vehicles across the country and as soon as you start your vehicle the clock starts for 14 hours that way everyone can ensure that they are getting enough rest for there next day…. That’s right, no more going to the club, going out to eat with your family, no part time secondary jobs, no night school etc. You do for some, you do for all. You idiots up there have not a clue in what you are doing in making these so called laws. Might as well put an orange jumpsuit on me, because it sure does become a problem when someone dictates to me when and how long I have to sleep for, or when I have to take a break…

    Here is my solution, I do a pretrip and drive for 1 hour to then check my load. Then I give you my 30. Now you can take it and shove it for all I care.

  • Bob

    EOBR’s All trucks all ready have them its called an Odometer Just give us a mileage limit EX 60 mph for 11 hrs= 660 miles for one shift Let us run the best way with rest brakes,loading,fueling no time limit when we reach 660 miles park it

  • dirty dan

    yea the 30 min break is stupide is it going to save someone’s life I don’t think so here we are jammed in a rest area or on a ramp and some one in a car run’s into icc bumper way to go FMC all this is that DOT will be in the rest area checking log’s

  • haller

    The people who formed these new rules went to college and I would assume have a master degree….
    Paul

  • gary d

    god forbid your company truck breakdown, I spent 5 days at a dallas terminal once with no pay.another 3 at one in Atlanta, two at one in indy, 3 at one in springfield ohio, and then all your safety meetings some lasting the whole day aren’t paid either.

  • FrustratedPatriot888

    The 30 min break period is a joke. If they wanted us to be safer out here, they would allow us the time to take a nap, if necessary, without penalizing us by the “non-stop” 14 hr clock. Prior to the implementing of the14 hr clock, if I felt tired, I would stop and take a short nap, wake up feeling refreshed and move on. Planning you day works only tot the point of elements under your control. As stated before, collisions, traffic jams and “life” happen…mostly at the most inconvenient times!
    Mr. Government, if you want everyone to be safe, mandate them to stay at home, sitting in a chair and do NOTHING in their life.

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    Correct you are, and that’s what the country of cAlifornia started the guardrail down the side of trailers, for the “educated” motorists

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    You sure said a mouthful when you said they are in bed with the corporations, that subject could go all the into the same sex marriage thingy lol

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    MMmmmmm, then the 687 mile loads could start to eat into the next days 14 hour deal, I think they should give drivers food stamps just for being a Truck Driver, seriously at least 50% of what it costs to eat like your on a camping trip….

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    You have an idea here Dave, only problem is the blood of “Truckers” are tougher than regular humans

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    I like his idea too, but the thing that makes a “Trucker” is the “Challenge” it’s just too hard to overcome the “Challenge” of get ‘er done…

  • Wayne Major

    According to something I read this weekend in the news the days of the truck driver will be over in 2025. They are working on Robotics to drive the trucks. we will become obsolete. I have been thinking of buying a couple of robotic trucks and letting them make me some money. The one thing I haven’t figured out yet is how the robotics will dislodge themselves from the wires and circutboards andTie down thos Flatbed / open deck loads?

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    A Men Brother, those new rules will let you get in at least two rush hours a day….

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    There is more than war with guns that cause PTSD the war on the highways cause PTSD too!!!!

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    Driving is a “Mental” thing.

  • Oscar

    I never followed the hours of service rules. Most of the time, I did not obey the speed limits either. Making it from the west side of Nebraska and popping out the east side in 5 hours. Even with all the cheating, I still had a hard time keeping a roof over my families head, and food in our bellies.

    Every person is different. I can safely drive about 14 hours catch a 4 hour sleep and be ready to go another 14. For those of you trying to figure this out, yes, I ran very odd times, and never the same times each day. But my 18 hour days worked for me. But there was still little money at the end of the week. Many times I would spend 2 or 3 days straight with nothing to eat and not have enough money to do anything about it.

    And you can’t say I didn’t work enough. I was out 5 weeks straight and off 2 days. I finally hung it up after a few years. Though I miss the road, I do not miss the stupidity of the politics and teenage girls with cell phones.

  • Senescence

    Once the cost skyrocket, the idiots in DC will be screaming about it because the people that put them there will be screaming and they will then consider changing the HOS again.
    I’ve sat in docks 8+ hours to get unloaded, waited 8+ hours to get loaded, always made my appointments and had to wait for the receiver to have an open door. I’m sure everyone can relate.
    Perhaps it’s time to do what BOZO suggested years ago and just shut down. 3 days should be long enough to wake the idiots up in DC but unfortunately, I doubt it, they have their head so far up the kazoo I doubt they could see daylight on a sunny day.
    Time to put people in charge of the HOS that ACTUALLY know something about the trucking industry instead of some “educated” idiot.

  • Midnight Rider

    I drive for grocery store chain. Teamsters union driver for 10 years. I have a steady 9pm start time. Current schedule started July 9th, I worked 6 straight days with Monday the 15th off. Had 40 hours off before logging on for my next shift and of course did not reset because I didn’t have 2 periods between 1 and 5am. Under old HOS I would have reset. My schedule does not give me a reset period until August 2 and 3rd. Already up against the wall on a force off in the next day or so. I am looking at losing a days pay already and this just started. Father of 3 and my wife is currently not working because its pointless for her to work to pay day care. They have virtually eliminated the possibility of any overtime days. This administration has got to stop sticking their nose into our wallets. Still trying to understand why the unions are supporting these guys. My dad drove over the road for 35 plus years, owner/operator, raised three kids on truck driving. Those days are gone. Just my 2 cents worth!

  • Jennifer Mathis

    very well said !!!!
    my husband seems to be an identical twin to yours!! he has the same thoughts on long hauls vs. shorts, and WILL ONLY consider “u do it by the book because u just do !!” and we then end up with the exact same concerns for scheduling and finding profitable runs !!!
    we are praying for the same results as well !!! that those grossly over paid stuffed shirts get there heads out of their a*** and wake up and realize what it REALLY takes to drive and maneuver in and around the road conditions that truck drivers have to actually deal with !!!
    i propose an idea !!! lets put a couple of these stuffed shirts in a truck with our truckers and have them to follow these rules that their are imposing on the drivers !! and then we see how long it takes till the stuffed shirts start signing another different tune !!!!

  • disabled trucker

    Use Social Media to get the drivers together!! Can’t strike, but a huge majority could declare vacation such as July 1st thur July 15th. Sorry about no bread or gas, my mental health needs a break! What can they do fire everyone or jail them? That would really the country!! Then drivers would be heard in Washington and every news program in the country. Bet ya’ change would come real quick!!!

  • Someday

    You have that so right. See how they feel when they can’t get bread, milk and gas. Also tie up all the highways and see how they like it then. All of us trucker should do that.

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    Most people won’t do what you do for a living

  • BunniRabbyt, retired Thank God

    There has not been an organized shutdown for years. What are you people waiting for the regulations over the last few years have been enough. When is it time to say enough already. OOIDA isnt behind shutdowns they like to YAK YAK at Washington and we see how that has worked. They dont listen. Either get together or go broke or be miserable. You need to make tough choices

  • eddy

    I haven’t seen one reply that understands the purpose of the new rules.

    The new rules are designed to put all freight on the railroads. It’s cheaper and uses less fuel. It has nothing to do with safety. The new rules are being driven by the likes of the UN, EPA and the global warming groups not the DOT.

    Organize truckers, good luck, shut down or refuse freight and you only hasten our demise.

    Sit in a truckstop in protest and you are out of site out of mind.

    Bottom line is if you vote democratic ballots you voted for this mess, get use to it.

  • MMarsh

    Wendy Wendy Wendy, I was with you until your last 2 paragraphs.

    If it was possible to regulate rest I could have even gone along with that, but you proved it wasn’t when you said, George says it actually makes him more tired.

    I’m not big on following rules simply because they are all lies, you proved that, but then you are going to throw people like me under the bus and call us cheats when you know the system don’t work.

    I became an independent for one reason, to be independent, not to be told what to do all of the time.

    If I was running an ice cream stand, would I have cops in my business every day checking to make sure I was doing everything right. Here is a little food for thought, I have no more intensions of hurting anyone with my truck than I do with my ice cream.
    I don’t cheat, I don’t choose to go along with a corrupt money grubbing lying system, and I would thank you to remember that when you write articles like this, you are representing all of us.
    39 year of this horse jit and now I even have to listen my own kind belittle me, no wonder we are where we are.

  • MMarsh

    I almost agree with you, with the exception of ooida’s idea, that would take to long and a lot of people would be starved out of business, it’s easy to say and how many say that they are doing that, and actually doing that. We are corrupt, we will say anything to make ourselves look good.

  • MMarsh

    The answer is simple when it comes to the teamsters and I was with them for 16 years so you know this is not BS. In the name of giving you more time off to spend with your family, is the union answer, but if you want the truth. If they can make the rules so you get more time off they will do it, because the more time off means they have to hire more people which is more protection money for the union.
    The union does nothing for you, everything that is done is done for the union. When you start thinking that way it all becomes very clear.

  • Midnight Rider

    MMarsh. Thanks for the comment glad it pushed a couple buttons somewhere! Obviously I’m not a huge union supporter. At the same time some companies need unions. Don’t agree with all the politics that go along with being a union driver but, believe it or not it keeps certain companies honest. In 2 seconds my company would have lower paid drivers with no benefits doing my job. That has already been proven by my company allowing outside carriers to take loads out of our facility. Not that we cant handle the work, or that we dont want it. We all get more than enough work. You have to know when enough is enough and take a break. I know a lot of the drivers that come in from the outside carriers and they are just trying to make an extra buck, cool with me. The unfortunate part is I pay for the communication and trusted honesty between company and union reps. Call me a fool. I ‘ve also seen first hand the bullshit that goes along with being over the road. It’s all truck driving! It’s in our blood.

  • Midnight Rider

    Take a deep breath MMarsh! Lol! We know Elogs are the work of the devil!

  • Fedup2

    I agree with that, we should all set days of the month to take vacations, and also insure these brokers understand we are tired of them adjusting loads that pay $4 a mile down to a $1.25 to us when ever they want and expect us to carry it. Oh hell no… I will set or deadhead before I do that. Everywhere we turn someone is trying to kill us in this business, yet we keep moving and complaining. Lets stop moving and take a stand. Mandatory minimum rate limits no matter what the miles are.

  • Fedup2

    That’s a true fact. We were robbed in Alabama taking this so called mandatory break….

  • Fedup2

    Dave has a point here also. We can do this. Use the system to your advantage, not as a negative against us but a negative against the neforcer and the makers of this rule. The brokers will be in a crunch as well, so will the shippers and receivers. The rates will be up to a fair paying load and we will benefit from all of this instead of suffering.

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