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Todd Dills

Restart watch: Whoopi doesn’t get it either

| June 17, 2014

Off-duty hours

Add the New York Times editorial board to the long list of mainstream media organizations who’ve misrepresented what exactly the bipartisan amendment to the DOT funding bill in the Senate would do to truckers’ hours of service rules. To the NYT’s credit, they got a little farther than “rolling back the hours rules” in their description of what the restart-change rule would do (unlike National Public Radio’s All Things Considered program, as I wrote over the weekend – though the Diane Rehm Show, says owner-operator Jeff Clark, did a better job with it) — i.e. suspend the restriction on 34-hour-restart use to once per week and the requirement that it must include two 1-5 a.m. periods. Erroneously, they painted the amendment like it was doing away with the 34-hour restart altogether. 

Related

Rocky restart for hours rules

The new hours of service rules began being enforced this week, despite resistance and pleas of concern over cost and productivity from drivers and the industry at large.

The NYT board also went much farther than NPR, taking the opening that the recent tragedy in New Jersey seems to have presented to mainstream news organizations around the country for some trucking villification. To wit, here’s their headline and deck: “Drowsy Drivers, Dangerous Highway: The trucking industry wants to weaken safety rules.” 

Related

Introducing ‘Drivers for the TRUE Safety Act’

In November Chris Gadarowski launched the "Drivers for the 'TRUE Safety Act'" Facebook page as a grassroots gathering point for those in favor of the bill’s call for an independent hours review attendant to a rollback of changes made last July.

Attention NYT: There are a lot of people out here who believe the changes that have been proposed in draft legislation may actually, on the contrary, “strengthen safety rules,” or at the very least give back a little more of the choice professional interstate haulers enjoy most: which is the ability to drive when rested and sleep when tired, exercising the best discretion on that score free from the pressure to move that is in some cases a result of the rules themselves. (There are several other related problems with the hours of service, in the view of others, but we’d be here for days if I kept on going, and I’ll say it’s true that the rules are there for a reason, of course, and their one-size-fits-most simplicity is something to be desired, if it doesn’t always work out that way…. I’ll stop for now.)

Related

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

As with Anne Ferro's now-infamous blog post about the Congressional efforts relative to the restart, NPR's report on hours makes it sound like an attack on the entire rule is at issue.

If any of the reporters out there would like to know what the Collins amendment in the Senate actually would do, please read this story.  If you have further questions, check out the linked stories in this piece for background — if you still have questions, email me and I will get back to you pronto: tdills [at] randallreilly.com. 

That goes for Whoopi Goldberg, too, who in a “Whoopi’s Rant” installment on her YouTube channel expressed outrage that Senators wanted drivers to get less sleep. As former trucker Marc Mayfield wrote to me earlier in the day, “Whoopi doesn’t get it” either.

Check out her rant below, and you can watch it on her channel via this link.



  • guest

    The Safety Zealots do have some strength in their arguments as Good veteran Drivers are leaving this idiot gabage heap of chaos called trucking. They are being replaced by inexperienced clowns…who are now going to “Try Out” this truckin stuff….ta see the country etc. Yippee …here they come…..Thousands of mexican truck drivers up here also..who certainlly dont care about anything but themselves and MONEY……it is going to get Alot more dangerous out here with Newbie truckers giving it a Whirl……Everytime ya go to a crowded truckstop we can see the carnage where a Newbie has ripped off the front end of somebodies rig…..its kind of amusing really……experienced journeymen are leaving in large numbers….not that these stupid “Rules” will turn a Newbie into a Pro…..but the Zealots desire more restrictions…..and Monitoring….like a Prison On Wheels……watching the driver all the time….which will further drive experienced journeymen with self respect……out of trucking.

  • DragonHalo99

    I drive in a lease for crs that was acquired by swift recently. While getting some sleep in a swift yard a newbie who had just upgraded tore open the passenger side of my truck and most of my trailer a few weeks ago. Had to park at the swift yard there for a 10 hour because i didnt have enough time to get home for home time. The guy that tore open my truck barely spoke english and didnt have a good reason for why he kept backing up. At least swift paid full price to have my truck repaired. Another thing is latly central trucks are wrecking alot in my fleet. How is it so hard for people to use there mirrors ugh.

  • William McKelvie

    HOW HARD IS IT?? DOES WHOOPI SLEEP FOR 34 HOURS OR MORE??? THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ABOUT, MOST OF US HAVE LONGER THAN 34 HOURS OFF DURING A RESTART. HOW STUPID IS WHOOPI NOT TO SEE THAT??? DOES SHE NOT REALIZE THE MORE TIME YOU SIT AROUND DOING NOTHING IS WHAT MAKES A DRIVER TIRED. THIS IS NOT ABOUT LACK OF SLEEP, IT IS ABOUT CUTTING THE HOURS THAT A DRIVER HAS AVAILABLE TO WORK DOWN, THUS CUTTING INTO HIS OR HER PAY. THE NEXT WEEK BECAUSE OF THE 168 HOUR RULE, THE DRIVER CANNOT TAKE THE SAME DAYS OFF AND WORK THE SAME NUMBER OF HOURS, IF HE/SHE WANTS A RESTART. THIS IS NOT COMMON CORE MATH, THIS IS REGAN MATH, COMMON CORE DOES NOT WORK FOR TRUCKERS.

  • William McKelvie

    My response, posted it on the youtube site as well

    Hi, I think you are a very smart woman, but very misinformed on this issue. As truckers we are not asking for less sleep. What we are asking to get the very ruling that was the same exact amount of previously required hours, restored. Do you disagree that 34 hours of rest is not 34 hours of rest? The new rule says we must have the hours, but now must also include two periods of 1AM to 5AM in a row. So unless a driver or owner lands on that magical hour of 1AM to start that restart, it will automatically mean more hours of sitting around idly doing nothing. Now, let’s think logically. A 34 hour break is a 34 hour break, right? So to what advantage does adding the requirement of the 1am to 5am twice in a row, do for a driver? For most of us, and I do speak for many, all it does is first off ram us right into rush hour traffic the morning of the break end. What would you rather have, Chicago at 5AM or Chicago at 3AM? 3 AM would be my choice, less traffic. That goes for any major city. The second thing it does is actually make you more tired, sitting around for let’s say 40 hours. Why 40? Because most places I go shut at 4 or 5 pm. Do the math and that most certainly adds hours to my restart. Again, sitting around for more time makes one more tired. Nobody should have to do a study on that, that’s pretty much common sense. Now, let’s also look at the 168 hour ruling. Say what? Yes, that is right, a driver MUST work 168 hours before they can get the next restart. Say again? Yes, that is what the new ruling is, 168 hours must be worked before the driver can get a new restart. So a driver who gets done on a Friday and normally goes home to rest, well the next break will not legally start on that same day the next week, the hours just do not legally add up. So that literally destroys that drivers normal work week, if he normally takes weekends off. Everyone still with me? Now to make more things confusing, once our day starts and we have 14 hours to complete the day. That is dealing with traffic, construction, weather, accidents, shipper and receiver delays, freight agent paperwork bottlenecks and anything else that might rear it’s head for the day. Now, in the old days, we had FLEXIBILITY. We have asked, I know I have asked directly, and so have others repeatedly, for this flexibility like we used to have before these new rulings, and we have been told we are insignificant and our request for this flexibility is denied. I can assure you that WE have our act together Ms Goldberg, it is the FMCSA that does not and has made things more dangerous while screaming to the general public it is all about safety. Now since I have brought that up, let’s examine that ELD machine that Ferro screams mandate it and our roads will be safer. FYI, that walmart truck that just got into that very publicized tragic wreck, had one of those machines. Sadly and I do mean VERY sadly that did not prevent that wreck. So you tell me, why is FMCSA chief Anne Ferro demanding that mandate be carried through? Especially since the big companies that use those machines have been caught manipulating drivers hours of service, red handed? So please do not accuse us truckers as a whole of not having our stuff together, while our requests to make things better for ALL of us as a nation that travels these roads together goes unheard and discounted. I would be more than happy to meet with you and speak to you one on one and tell you exactly what is going on in my industry if that is your desire. I speak regularly on CenterLane Show and am frequently quoted in Overdrive magazine publications. So I am not scared to speak the truth about my industry, I assure you of that.

  • Wendy

    I really thought she had been dead for years. I guess she finally found a way to make herself pertinent again. Any attention is good attention when you’ve got your head in your ass.

  • Martin

    Maybe if thug, jackboot cops & DOT officers wouldn’t illegally wake up sleeping drivers, that would be a good start- enforcing their own rules. Dontwakemeup.org

  • jesse wood

    whoopi goldbitch is a very liberal racist who have nothing better to do than look for a way to get headlines and her blackass face on television. she don,t know shit about trucking and because of assholes like her is the reason i sold my truck and retired after 38 years of driving a truck and she probably has never even sat in the passenger seat of a truck let alone know anything about a truck

  • Deez Nuts

    You sold your truck because of Whoopi Goldberg? That was dumb. Also you called her a racist and then made a comment about her “blackass face”. I’m starting to understand why you got out of trucking. Hope the retirement/cross burning is working out for you.

  • Gil Wortsmann

    Odd that the New York Times has no idea what is happening “downstairs.”
    Well I could say that years ago when the NEW YORK TIMES was upstairs and the trucks and shipping end was downstairs (and half way into 43 and 44 streets.
    The printing and shipping end were moves to 2 separate terminal, one in New Jersey and one in Queens, New York.
    This was a bonafide private trucking company, close to perhaps a thousand drivers, a fleet of the latest tractors (some sleepers,) Interstate deliveries of the newspapers, with drivers sleeping in motels.
    There was a superb safety department headed by Richie
    Schactzel, under who guidance THE TIMES won many safety awards.
    My son and I were outside vendors(consulting driver trainers.) for many years.
    No artificial training. We went with each driver on their regular trips for 2 days, sometimes overniters, where The
    Times put us up in motels. In the airlines it is called “recurrency training.” We had been doing this on an irregular schedule since 1974.. In 1996,we were called back again to redo the drivers again. And this time we were getting the original drivers, again, and their sons and brothers and nephews.
    My son liked this position and queried me, “You mean we get paid for this?” He enjoyed the positive acceptance of our being in the cab.

  • jesse wood

    this is to deez nuts i sold my truck when i quit trucking because of the asshole like whoopi that don,t know anything about trucking making the stupid rules also mr nuts i posted my name unlike you and she do have a BLACKASS FACE and you probably do to

  • Deez Nuts

    Your mom likes it and that’s all that matters.

  • jesse wood

    the the way the spooks are always talking about their mothers because the don,t know who their daddys are

  • Deez Nuts

    You sound pretty dumb right now, calling people spooks and whatnot. Oh by the way the 30′s called, they want their words back.

  • James

    Not because of Whoopi,personally,but because of idiots with HER uninformed,racist mindset. Not a DUMB move at all-there are a LOT of drivers getting out of Trucking,and a substantial reason is because people who don’t drive professionally,and don’t care enough to even TALK to professional drivers,are the ones creating law after law after law that adversely affect the professional drivers’ livelihoods.

  • Deez Nuts

    Trust me driver, I understand what you’re saying. I just like to rattle the cages of small minded people sometimes. Trolling can be fun, when used correctly.

  • Deez Nuts

    He called me Mr. Nutz, bless his heart.

  • USMC 69-75

    Whoopi is a smart (woman)? Now that is a hoot.

  • USMC 69-75

    Or you just like clouding the issue…..when done right!

  • USMC 69-75

    That’s easy Martin. Just don’t answer the door, your off duty, out of hours. They can kiss gritts!

  • USMC 69-75

    How far do you live from the terminal? If your bob tailing home, that’s a legal.

  • steve

    Its only legal if the company says you can do it.

  • Todd Dills

    Jesse, racist commentary has no place here.

  • nheaf09

    Talking in all caps really gets your point across.

  • USMC 69-75

    If you own the truck, go for it!

  • Archerone

    A lot of the larger carriers won’t allow this.

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    And bring the white sheets with him.

    Racists are all idiots.

  • USMC 69-75

    That’s their truck…they can control the truck, you should have a car there or a family member to come pick you up. But if you are at a foreign terminal, then your stuck, most of the time they’ll let you bobtail to a motel. If not then I’d be looking for a different company.

  • norman ott

    What the f dose she know about anything, stupid mop head

  • rickahyatt

    Whenever I see the occasional article regarding a semi related accident,
    it strikes me that the driver is ALWAYS cited, and NEVER is there any
    reported investigation into the truck’s maintenance, or lack of it. Was
    this accident caused by faulty brakes?
    Having worked that kind of off-road, small company type driving for
    quite a while, let me fill you in. First of all, since the work is
    largely seasonal, the truck takes a lot of abuse, these smaller
    companies are going out of business to larger interests, and much is
    government funded, insurance scams are the norm.
    And most of these jobs I was sent to by the Work Center.
    In other words, the owner gets quietly rich through the insurance
    payments on a crashed truck. They deliberately seek out poorer drivers
    desperate for work – Who will accept being underpaid what they were
    originally promised, and look the other way when the pay vouchers do not
    state “Hours Worked,” but by the “Load,” instead. So, if the driver
    drives fatigued overtime to get extra loads, whatever paperwork he
    dutifully turns in are tossed.
    If he’s fool enough to do so. And the pressure to do so is not subtle.
    Trucks are fixed only enough to run, and a good driver doesn’t need
    brakes that much, anyway, except in an emergent situation. There are
    more of these rigs on the road ready to fall apart in front of you than
    you know. I’ve seen entire wheel assemblies come off – Usually on dirt
    roads, belly dumps full of gravel suddenly open, and, once, I had to use
    a flashlight in my mouth to see the speedometer. The rest of the
    instrument panel simply didn’t work.
    If the tanker is improperly HAZMAT placarded, the owner doesn’t care –
    The driver gets the ticket and points off his own insurance rating.
    That truck’s lighting system blinked like a Christmas tree – Headlights,
    too. The owner had rewired it wrong. Sometimes, if one is a
    trouble-maker, they’ll do things like that on purpose. Like having the
    mechanic spray the steps with lubricant. I threw my shoulder out that
    way, but didn’t go to get stitches. Their promised medical benefits
    never materialize. It’s kind of America’s own slave trade (Outside
    WALMART).
    One owner on a local Federal highway job deliberately leased trucks,
    like with faulty clutches. Telling the novice drivers they didn’t know
    how to shift. And when the clutch blew, he would fire them. But rehire
    them the next day if they paid for a brand new clutch. Then he left
    town with the paychecks one day, even though I’d tried to tell
    authorities in writing in advance.
    The drivers ALWAYS get the blame. And having a CDL is a special
    legislative punishment designed by politicians who get off on passing
    heavy fines on some despicable social caste. Everyone hates truck
    drivers. So one can be extra fined even in one’s own car when cited.
    It’s really kind of a political Hate Crime. So, such drivers never
    complain, of course.
    So, if in any such accident, do you think the driver will point these
    things out? Do you think the cops even ask? Do you think the
    Politicians turn a blind eye?
    Of course, the cost of being an attempted whisteblower is immense. I
    got set up for a mickey and a DUI at a local prominent bar-and-grill,
    and the Prosecutor offered 8 days in jail as it was my first ever
    offense.. I got six months, most of blamed upon my anti-Obama web site.
    An extra long driver’s suspension, and my career as a driver
    effectively ended. So I live on Food Stamps and church hand-outs, now.
    On at least four occasions did such owners tamper with my brakes,
    especially, in such manners in a technical way I did not know until
    later, but could have been downright fatal to me and/or others.
    Were it not that I have some other past military-related issues
    on-going, and if I’d been allowed to, I would have just done something
    else with my time. But I’ve had no choice.
    The bottom line is: Why would our politicians and authorities allow this
    to go on? What have they got against Wyoming small businesses? The
    main cause of this is the legislated super-high insurance costs they’ve
    been targeted with.
    Do you remember when former County Attorney Cindy Delancy wanted to
    target drivers who had HAZMAT endorsements? Theose drivers – Every gas,
    oil, chemical, etc. shipment – would have needed “Psychiatric Exams,”
    cancelable at any time by Homeland Security, for any political reasons
    whatsoever.
    Amazing how being a whistleblower falls into that category in this Obama
    age.

  • MN Driver

    I take what Whoopi is saying completely different than all of you here. To me, it appears as if she’s in support of a driver needing more sleep, not less. Meaning, don’t work us to death and keep us up and going for 14 hours a day, driving/loading/unloading/waiting. It’s not safe. Let us get the rest we need. She’s talking to the people in Washington making the rules, not the drivers who abide by them.

  • Judy Keith

    VERY WELL SAID!