Letters From Readers
HOURS AND IDLING REGULATIONS
I don’t understand why everyone is so surprised that there is a shortage of good, experienced, safe drivers. First, the fiasco with the hours-of-service rule and now the anti-idling regulations.
Is idling a God-given right? No. But there really isn’t another feasible solution for driver health and comfort. Onboard generators are much too expensive, and shore power is just about non-existent. And while shore power could be used for an electric blanket, what can it run to keep a sleeper cool? We’ve tried the 12-volt fan route, and during summer in the desert, it doesn’t work.
At a truck stop, we don’t like to hang out in the driver’s lounge because there is too much smoke. Yet we are being told that if we want heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer, we must put up with a smoking environment.
I would like to see some of these “experts” spend a night sleeping in an unheated sleeper in January in Maine. And then spend a night in an uncooled sleeper in August in the middle of southern Texas. I’m sure they would not be too happy and certainly not well rested!
I’d also like to see all drivers follow the HOS rules – including those who are pulling fifth-wheel RVs. These drivers are untrained and can drive as long as they want. Why is it that only drivers holding CDLs need rest and regulation?
More drivers are going to leave the trucking industry before all this ends. If there is a shortage now, it is only going to worsen. It’s just too expensive to be an owner-operator or small-fleet owner.
We are seriously thinking of selling our trucks and getting out of trucking. One more owner-operator company forced out of business. And after more than 30 years!
A QUESTION OF IDLING REALITIES
I just read “Idle now, pay later” in your December issue. I guess this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Who came up with this? You cannot idle your truck during the winter to stay warm or during the summer to stay cool while you rest. Your article stated even those with Pony Pack auxiliary power units had been fined in one state.
Day after day, I see cars, trains and all types of combustion engines idling. Now, someone sees revenue and decides to fine those who are trying to work and live in a decent environment.
What if I lived in Alaska? Do I shut my truck off at 55 below zero so some bunny hugger can be happy? What is going on in this industry, and why are people not looking at all the facts? How many warehouse and dropoff points have plug-ins to keep your engine warm during cold weather? None. Truck stops rarely have them, and I know of no place that is even equipped to handle the massive amounts of trucks that need air conditioning during the summer and heat during the winter.
Will someone please get real and quit all this stupidity?
Broken Arrow, Okla.
In my 27 years as an owner-operator, this is what scares me the most. When I pull in to park at night, all I want is a good night’s sleep. I wake up coughing, can’t breathe, my eyes watering and swollen, gasping