Safety should be priority in scheduling deliveries
Freight should move based on safety, not shippers’ priorities for just-in-time and not on unnatural hours of service rules. I’m not sure if carriers are forcing as many loads on a driver as they can or if shippers are trying to save warehouse costs. My carrier gets loads off a load board. Sometimes those loads are on the board for only a minute but other times for days.
How can a load stay on a board for days but when you accept it, suddenly it has to reach its destination quickly, even if you’re unable to do it legally or physically? I’ve accepted many loads that post one delivery schedule and then change to another, quicker delivery time after acceptance.
One serious problem is the trucking industry’s attempt to put all drivers on the same level of performance. In my case — a driver with Type 2 diabetes — the HOS rules put my healthy schedule in jeopardy. I have always treated my health as the barometer for when I should rest and when I should drive. My endurance is most likely different from a 23-year-old’s, and I probably have more than some 75-year-olds. The HOS rules work on an average and do not reflect individual needs. We need to stop moving freight based on regulators’ decisions. Instead, we should move it based on what each driver can do safely.
JOHN SCOTT | Owner-operator | Morris, Ill.
“My mother told me that if I didn’t study in school, I’d end up driving a truck: Sounded good to me, still does.”
— Owner-operator Bill Taylor, Enfield, Conn., on Overdrive’s Facebook page
“The day you think you know everything about driving is the day to quit, and I’m still learning.”
— Warren Clark, 63, at the Holland division of YRC reception honoring his 3 million safe miles, as reported in the Chattanooga Free Press.
What’s the biggest problem facing owner-operators?
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Allied Van Lines company driver
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Baxley, Ga. | Atlantic Coast Carriers company driver
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E-mail your letter to the editor to Lucinda Coulter at LCoulter@rrpub.com or mail it to Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403.
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