channel 19

Todd Dills

‘Restart’ hits the mainstream; rhyming couplets for the road

| June 14, 2014

If you happened to be listening to National Public Radio’s marquee afternoon news program All Things Considered on Thursday (I was on the highway between Cottondale, Ala., and Birmingham with the radio on catching up on the Iraq chaos and…), you would have been subject to a report that ran along lines quite similar to the now-infamous blog post by the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration I wrote about Tuesday. What the report was about was the Congressional attention to the 34-hour restart — though that was also a phrase you won’t hear used in it.

If you didn’t know better, as with Ferro’s mentioned screed, from hearing the report you’d think Congress wanted to throw out all the hours of rules for an entire year. You can hear the full report here.

If our polling of readers on OOIDA’s call for Ferro’s resignation is any indication (results below), I suspect you’ll be none too happy with it.  

Ferro resignation poll capture

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The NPR report proceeds, of course, with a lead about the case of Walmart driver Kevin Roper, who has most recently pleaded not guilty to the charges against him that stemmed from the high-profile accident that killed one and injured comedian Tracy Morgan. Repeating allegations that Roper was “allegedly” awake for 24 hours prior to the accident, NPR raises the old spectre of “tired truckers” to head up their report. The cynics among readers see the Walmart accident as the death knell for restart reform, given the obfuscation it’s getting in the press, following Ferro’s lead. 

A wild week in trucking, no doubt, complete with phony Twitter feeds (purporting to be Kevin Roper) and more bizarro stuff. But hey, Walcott’s right around the corner, isn’t it. Anybody have plans to be there? 

A little poetry for the road from reader Joel Tye
I hit our Facebook page with this short piece from Tye, sent in a direct message to the page, last night:

We travel these roads mile after mile.
We deliver our freight and give them a smile.

We sit and wait for hours on end.
Just to wake up tomorrow and do it again.

We leave our family and our home.
We stay in our trucks for weeks all alone.

We do this job to feed our friends.
For them our love it has no ends.

We don’t have a nine-to-fiver.
We are the American truck driver.

As more than one put it in the ensuing commentary, “Amen…” 

  • guest

    Nice poetry for such a pathetic and tragic waste of a life. Sitting at some shipper for FREE??? Away from your family?? For WHAT? This poem suggests some romanitic under current..and actually the JOB is for a Self Mutilator…..barely a minimum wage job….what is so Glamorous?? it is for a Moron today. Way back in time it was interesting….Today it is simply a waste of Time..and when the “driver” finally sees The Light….he will half to spend alot MORE TIME developing a REAL career….unless he wants to Rot away at The Pilot with 3rd world non english speaking unpatriotic criminal aliens. lol.

  • West Virginia Girl

    You appear to be rude, crude and obnoxious. I can’t imagine what outstanding career you must have!!

  • driver

    if you hate your job so much then go flip burgers.

  • fred99

    And where would you get your groceries and everything else if it weren’t for us “morons” you moron.

  • vrahnos

    This is the kind of person that make us all look bad.He or she is no driver and doesn’t drive the hwy;s like we do or have done.So it is nothing more than a troll there speaking.Go ahead I am used to it.Been hearing folks like you out there for years.Just scum that doesn’t know what it is talking about.

  • Jeramie Reed

    Ferro MUST go!!!! HOS rules need to be rewritten from SCRATCH!!! Driver training reform MUST happen! I am referring to NON CDL driver training MUCH more so than CDL training, although it needs some work also. Such as mandating that someone with under 5 years exp CAN’T be an instructor/trainer. Tell the Libs to grow thicker skin and bring back the “Blood on the Hiway” series/style of vids shown in Drivers ED in the very BEGINNING!!! Remove the current learners permit parents teaching kids system and replace it with PROFESSIONAL drivers education/training. Then make the car drivers penalties so stiff that they won’t even contemplate breaking the rules! Do something stupid, LOSE your lic PERMANENTLY!!! Driving is a PRIVILEGE!!!! NOT a RIGHT!!! If you truly care about hiway safety this is the ONLY way to get there.

  • Kandy

    This is an issue that will never cease. Everyone needs to realize drivers drive because that part of the job they totally love. The com ain’t comes in when the are restricted to makings no money let’s say you work at Walmart 3rd shift and no freight came in to stock shelves but you were there waiting all night. And he manager comes up to you and says we didn’t get any freight to unload so you won’t be getting paid for tonight. The trucking industry is the only industry where unless that truck is moving they don’t get paid so instead they sit and wait. Checking in constantly to see if they can get loaded or unloaded all the while not resting then because they have sat 8-10 hours go ahead and drive because that’s he only way to make money so it’s not the reset, hours of service or outer that’s keeping sleepy drivers on the road it’s not paying them for working not driving. Start paying drivers for working not driving they would log correctly, sleep adequately. And eliminate accidents. If drivers really logged how they are supposed to when at a shipper or receiver instead of in sleeper when not. They would make less then minimum wage. Hey would make less then a waitress without the tips.

  • Ralph

    I do know a lot out there that fudge logs, but I for one when I log sleeper at a shipper/receiver, by God that’s where my ass goes. Only when I get the knock or call do I get out and get bills and close doors. Drivers need to be more “professional” now days and realize that money isn’t everything. Yes it sucks we run twice as much today and make half as much, but it sure isn’t worth anyone’s life over obtaining. And rushing only leads to trouble and mistakes. If everyone would consider that every car has someone they know or love in it, maybe it would sink in, but the greed of making a buck really gets to a lot of these steering wheel holders now days. That is how I refer to those who don’t have any idea what professionalism behind the wheel and over the road is all about, there just out here trying to get a pay check.

  • bigred

    Guest>>I would say you are a very lonely person if all you have to do in your lonely little world is comment about Truck drivers and US trying to make a living in this Jobless, government regulating, money wasting Democratic MESS. Two of the biggest types of employment in this country are Trucking and was Health care, this Demo Gov has done taken over one and is destroying the other just so they can enjoy the “PLUNDER” and waste that too.

  • Jeanette Kelley

    90 percent of who I see on the cell pine anymore are cars and cops. Most drivers have the wireless headbands for their phones. When will they get someone in that job who has actually driven or held a position in the industry??

  • Wendy

    It just amazes me when someone says trucking is not a real career. How the hell does this idiot think he gets his food, clothes, furniture, vehicle, fuel to run that vehicle, etc. Too many to list, because it’s everything you have in your house and what your house was built with dumbass. And also everything that you use to do your “Real” job was supplied to you by that trucker you call a moron. Let me see you get by one week without the men and woman truckers out there doing their job, which by the way, is one of the most unappreciated careers out there.

  • David Boone

    Rite now is the perfect time for us to start speaking out about the h.o.s rules and prove to the people about how the current h.o.s rules are what is causing all the fatigue related accidents because they are written in a way to cause fatigue I have been out here for 30 years and have driven under all 3 sets of h.o.s rules and what needs to be brought to the publics attention is the statistics about how with every change came more and more fatigue related accidents the only thing that was taken into consideration was the amount of money handed out to these people from special interest groups there is no common sense in any of the rules they didn’t take into consideration the human body clock at all the original set of rules was by far safer than anything we have now or ever will have the only rule that needed to be added to the original set of rules is the previous 34 hour restart other than that they should have never messed with them I no longer refer to the fmcsa as federal motor carrier safety administration I now call them the death highways administration because all they are doing is creating death and getting away with murder frankly I don’t think simply calling for her resignation is enough I think they should bring everyone in the death highways administration up on charges of murder and knowingly endangering our lives and the motoring public lives because of there so called safety rules

  • jojo

    Today’s Co OTR Drivers are paid a variable salary based on computer generated dispatch miles ran.
    Convert to a variable salary based on hrs AT Work.
    $7.25hr X 24hrs X 300days = $52,200.00.
    Isn’t this what a beginning Driver should be earning? Wouldn’t a system based on time instead of pieces promote Safety?
    There is a price to pay for safety yet only the Drivers are paying the price in stagnant wages.
    We spend so much and get so little in return pursuing all of these other means of achieving safer roadways when all we have to do is to convert to a time based system. Most all other industries have eliminated piece work systems as they only promote dangerous working conditions!
    Pat Hockaday jojo859585@ gmail.com

  • joe bielucki

    I believe NPR fired their director a few years ago for being too left wing. You have to figure a hatchet piece from them! Also NPR is on the verge of financial collapse but the US taxpayers keep feeding money to it, hmmm, kinda like Amtrak! NPR equals state radio “yes dear leader you are the best, give us more cheese”.LOL.

  • Robert

    You should change careers my friend its clear you believe the world should revolve around you and guess what it does not.

  • jan johnson

    Why don’t they put her incharge of the war. Give her a sence of better control. If she wants blood that would be a good place.

  • jan johnson

    You got that right we have a goverment that wants to control every thing when it can’t even win a war.

  • jan johnson

    It’s to bad your just a guest on here. I like to show you my world. And what its like to be old school driver. These young rookies really don’t have it yet. But come out come out and play with the real Mf that will have no problem wipeing your sorry ass!

  • Dan

    My you are negative towards our industry. I completely agree that there needs to be massive reforms in hours of service and in how we are treated by our “customers”, I also agree thexperience and professionaere is a lot of other unpleasantness in our industry but by displaying this attitude if defines you as part of the problem not part of the cure.
    What we really need are safety rules writen by people who REALLY KNOW what life is like out here on the road. (read long career EXPERIENCED drivers) as well as “other concerned parties” but not exclusively by a bunch of reactionary idiot special interest groups and government legislators with ZERO real knowledge of our industry.
    A major safety improvement would be to hold shippers and recievers directly accountable for ridiculous delays and to get driver compensation that is commensurate with the level of experience and professionalism that we need out here to keep us all safe.

  • jan johnson

    Excuse me but $7.25 is mimum wage. I make on average by the mile $28.00 an hour. For 10/11. Hours a day while driveing. I don’t think that $7.25 will cut it. You better going try math class again. The number need to be $75000.00 a year.

  • David Boone

    I hate to break the news to you but if you are a o.t.r. driver you ain’t making that much because you don’t know how to convert miles to hours you are not simply on the job 70 hours per week you are on the job 168 hours per week and for the average driver they are making less than $ 6 per hour the average driver runs around 2500 miles per week and I am going to use my current rate for the example 2500 X $.38= $950 ÷ 168 = $5.65 per hour you are responsible for the truck from the time you leave the terminal till the time you return to the terminal

  • dave

    True stuff there.its amazing that u have a couple of bad accidents and all of a sudden we r all sleepy drivers. U will never have a perfect system and u will always have bad drivers but we aren’t all that way . want to talk about profiling this is a prime example of it.

  • old lady driver

    It has never been a ‘job’ it has always been a lifestyle. How many ever realize it. Money is just a reward for duty done, Anyone can be called a ‘professional’, it is just a label. They taught an Orangutan to hold the wheel in that old movie, it did not make him a driver!!
    When you care about what you do because you care about who gets blessed, then you have accomplished a goal. Driving a Class 8 semi and trailer is a huge blessing to a lot of people. Think about it.

  • jojo

    Sir, there is more than one way to run the numbers. If the average wage of a Driver is $38,000 a year then I would suggest that most all Drivers make less than $7.25 an hr per the method of computation that I use.
    $52,200.00 for an inexperienced Driver fresh out of truck school would be 27% more than the average income of today’s Driver.
    $7.25 X 24hr X 7days = $1,218.00.
    $1,218.00 / 3000mi = .406 cents per mile.
    I therefore contend that any Driver that is not making at least .406cpm with a guarantee of 30000 miles a week for every week spent AT WORK is making less than minimum wage!

  • jojo

    Dave, I appreciate the fact that you understand Time is Relevant.
    Back in the day when 1 minute = 1 mile and you could log 500/600 miles a day every day milage pay seemed a fair enough way to compensate Drivers.
    Times have changed drastically. The ATA companies and the Government have been working hard to implement ELD’s and speed limiters as a benefit to themselves.
    The Co OTR Drivers need to wake up and start woking together to achieve a standard of payment for the time that they spend AT Work NOT at Home. If something is not done soon I’m concerned that the Co OTR Driver will once again get the short end of the deal.
    I believe that we O/O’s would stand behind improving the wages of Co OTR Drivers. It stands to reason that rates would go up if the price of labor went up.
    Pat Hockaday jojo859585@gmail.com

  • jan johnson

    While i not going to hate informing you but I filed on my taxes last year 54′s if you can’t make more then 38′s you need to get the f*** back to the house and stay there. As a owner op I filed $260′s in 2013 so big boy head to the house your washed up. Can’t run a truck.

  • jan johnson

    My truck is payed in full title in hand. And my trailor to! So bite me.!!!!!!!!!

  • manyguestprease

    Here’s my trucking poem:

    I do this for money. I do this for money.
    I do this for money. I do this for money.
    I do this for money. I do this for money.

  • David S. McQueen

    It’s NOT Anne Ferro or any of the other department heads in the federal government. They take their marching orders from the White House and the cabinet members. Obama’s strategy of distancing himself from the governance of the USA and throwing the department heads into the volcano works quite well. The vast majority of people don’t think Obama has anything to do with the running of the Executive Branch of the federal government, but (trust me) his fingers are in every pie. You drivers who demand Ferro be fired are tilting at windmills; address your criticism at WHO BUILT THE WINDMILLS. Jeesh!!!

  • Phillip Shafer

    I made 120k last year as a o/o with an
    Elog. You trumpet the same tired cliche that a trucker can’t make money.

  • Sharon

    HOS!!! OMG Now heres A Subject I Hate To Touch, But Let Me Go There.. Its Gone Be Real Simple for All The Nutcases That want to Make Truck Driving There Jobs you know The Routine thing Get up in the morning brush ur teeth fight rush hour traffic clock in and do your boring whinning complaining Everyday Job about domething Are Someone.. Heres all a 17 year Vet Driver has to tell Ya..10/8 in a 24 hour Day was never Broken!!! Quit thinking Money and Greed and You Just Might get Real Safety!!!

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