Road Life Getting Worse

| April 07, 2005

In my daily travels I see all too many truck drivers doing the most unsafe things imaginable. I am talking following too close (a serious moving violation), passing on the right in left lane-only construction zones (or vice versa) and forcing a fellow driver doing the speed limit to fear for his life! And the inconsiderate act of not considering the load and equipment differences when traveling near and sharing the road with other drivers.

You know a motor home is most likely out for a one- or two-week vacation and is not up to the task, so why push and crowd him/her? Or, why get on that wide load for going so slow when what he is doing is trying to keep the roof from blowing off someone’s new house before it arrives in high winds. And a tanker or doubles must take that curve ahead a lot slower than most units. Someone has to do a story on this. Get out there with a camera: I’d say 90 percent of the drivers out there are breaking the rules 90 percent of the time!

And then HOS rules. My comment is this. Ha ha haaa! They really did it this time! I hit a clock, so there is no way for me to get around the 14- hour rule. I used to take my trip and about half way take a long nap that was part off-duty lunch and part on duty not driving. After being up 16 hours, I often take a dispatch. Not so bad.

But under the new rules I can no longer sleep at all half way! Plus, if they call me eight hours into my rest, how did I get the required 10 hours of rest? I did not; I had one hour waiting on a van to take me to a hotel, then I went to eat, then I went to sleep and after less than six hours of sleep just when I was sleeping good, dispatch calls and says, “Come over here in two hours.” So I have to rush up, shower, eat and wait another hour on the van and hope I am on time. It’s worse!

Mike Clemente
Leavittsburg, Ohio


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