George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

The real effect of the new hours rules

| August 04, 2013

Since the new hours of service went into effect, it’s become increasingly difficult to find a parking space in a truck stop after 7 p.m. Seven is the sweet spot for shut-down time if you’re driving days and have long miles to cover. You can start again at 5 a.m. and the eight-hour milk-and-cookie break falls right around lunchtime. We’ve been making short days of it, stopping around 5 p.m., so George’s 70 spreads out and we don’t end up with a 51-hour reset. It’s aggravating to have to restrict our time. We now travel in the heat of the day, with a million other people, and hit rush-hour traffic at about the time we start looking for a place to park at night. It’s inconvenient, it’s stupid and it’s in no way safer for anyone. God forbid you don’t make that 1 a.m. shut-down. Your entire schedule is shot if you don’t.

George is adapting, but he doesn’t like it, and it’s most definitely costing us money. He’s certainly not the happy trucker he has been in the past — no one really seems to be. The entire climate on the road has changed so much in the past year and a half, it’s not as fun as it was when I started riding, things are grittier and people are worried. It breaks my heart to watch the government destroy an industry in the name of “safety,” and it makes me mad that we allow them to do so. My Granddad always told me people will only treat you as ugly as you let them, and I feel like it’s time to stop letting Washington treat us ugly.

Tighty whitiesAnyway, speaking of ugly, I watched a grown man run around a truck stop parking lot in nothing but his tightie-whities the other night. (Honestly, I didn’t know how else to segue into what this post was originally supposed to be about, before I got all pissed off about Washington. I apologize for the confusion.)

As I mentioned before, the truck stops are pretty full at night. There’s a lot of circling, a constant parade of tired truckers, who are all thinking, “If I hadn’t had to take that stupid 30-minute break earlier today, I would have made it here before all the spaces were full.” Consequently, people are parking in more and more inappropriate places, and squeezing way too many trucks into lots. But we’re definitely safer. (This is sarcasm.)

We noticed a couple of guys taking the dreaded end spot, and it wasn’t only the end spot, it was the corner end spot, the one where some idiot inevitably tries to force a rig into the diagonal space in between the corner spots at 3 a.m., usually tearinf the front end off of something. George remarked something like, “Poor bastards, I’d park on the ramp before I’d park there”, and we went to bed.

Sure enough, 3 a.m. rolls around and we hear yelling and commotion outside the truck. I peek out the curtains and am met with the sight of a big, hairy white man in his panties, running after a truck that was dragging his front end away. George didn’t even get up. He grunted and rolled over, leaving me to consider the image of this angry man, charging around the parking lot with his bumps and squiggles hanging out. Suffice it to say, I did not sleep well.

The moral of this story is the people who make the rules of the road should have to witness a grown man running around in his underwear in the middle of the night before they go and make everyone try and park at the same time. That, and never take the end spot.

  • L L W

    This is what happens when people who know nothing about trucking.stick their face in too something they know nothing about. Maybe shutting down for a while might be what its going to take. and parking where the hours end and its blocking traffic where ever,and the police threaten
    you to move it,cite the federal law about the H O S and tell them to take it to DOT and make them find you a safe and proper parking spot. My thought when people get pissed off enough over this.and start crying enough Things will change. And start telling your electted officials how the cow eat the cabbage

  • Hwy star

    You all have it wrong, break every rule you can as often as you can. If we can get 11 million people to do that they will quit enforcing the law, just like they do for illegals

  • Jimmy the Greek

    I spent 84 hours in a tank farm in St Rose La the detention time was over $ 4000.00 theyhad me back on to a contament pad and pumped out of the back of the trailer ( 53′ van ) i had 16 tote tanks and 18 drums . as they were loading the tanker ship they were blending what was in my truck into the pipe going to the ship , I could not drop the trailer and had to stay with the truck in case it needed to be moved , there was a port-O-can about , fifteen feet in frount of the truck I had some food 2 gL of water and every time they went for food , they got some for me , I have a condo , the three that were doing the work slept on the seats on the pickup trucks , one of them would sleep and the other two would keep a eye on everything . The bill for the truck is nothing that size ship had to be running 30 to 35,000 per day ,

  • Jimmy the Greek

    In Europe they do it right ! they turn it into a big party , They block the highways thay rase all sorts of hell and have a good time ,

  • Jimmy the Greek

    That’s when the union was good , Back then they took names and kicked arss , They broke a lot of things , lol

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Washington is not big on texas right now , lol

  • Jimmy the Greek

    the only way to go !

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Good One !

  • Jerry L. Pike

    I have run legal from day one and it has worked just fine. It is a fallacy to say you cannot make money in this industry unless you break the rules.
    Yes shippers and receivers are a problem but my philosophy has always been this, the load was booked (in most cases) based on 2 or 3 hours of loading. I tell dispatchers and now agents right up front, their customer has 3 hours to get me out before I start tacking hat extra time onto the delivery time. So, if it takes 4 hours to load me, I will now deliver one hour later than the original appointment so they need to contact the customer and move the appointment.
    It is NOT the driver’s responsibility to make up for poor loading practices. AND if everyone would begin doing this, shippers and receivers would begin to get the message, “If we want on time delivery, we need to be faster at loading.” I have never had a problem with this.
    It is like a T-shit hanging on the wall at the school I went to said, “What is the hurry, they will still need it when I get there.”
    So again the ball is back in our court. If people want to keep “covering” for shippers who take unreasonably long times to load, then we will keep having this issue. If we start tacking the long load times on to the delivery time and let the receiver know upfront why the load will be later than they wanted it there will be some policing going on between shippers and receivers.
    Bottom line, it is your neck that will be in the noose if anything ever happens. Accident attorneys today are really good at going back a year or more in a driver’s logbook who has been in an accident. All you have to have happen is for them to find one time two years early that your log was off and they will make the argument (successfully) that you would not have been in that spot at that time if your log had been correct and so even if their client crossed the median and hit you head on and the accident was clearly their fault, they will win a judgment against you because you would not have been there at that time for their client to hit you.

  • Jerry L. Pike

    Just don’t ever have someone run into you as their attorney will get access to your logbooks and even if their client was 100% at fault for the accident, if it is found you fudged even once on that log, they will make the claim that you would not have been there at that time for their client to run into and win a big judgment against you.

  • Jerry L. Pike

    The hubbub about the 30 minute break is that too many drivers out here are not happy and less they can complain about something. Like you said earlier, they were probably already taking 30 minutes sometime in their day and it was fine but now that they HAVE to, oh it is such a big problem. Time for a bunch of folks to grow up and quit complaining and just do your job safe and legal. If we all would do that, the safety groups would be less inclined to push for tighter restrictions.

  • Jerry L. Pike

    The correct read on the rule is that you cannot drive after you reach 8 hours since coming on duty without first taking a 30 minute break. It is just like the 14 hour rule in how that time is counted, it includes all time from the time you came on duty. So if you come on at 7 AM, you cannot drive after 3 pm without taking a 30 minute break. If you take a 30 minute break at noon for lunch then you can drive up until 8:30 pm without having to take another 30 minute break.
    The only beef I have with the rule is that they should now make it a 14.5 hour rule instead so we don’t “lose” that 30 minutes out of work day.

  • Jerry L. Pike

    It was to appease the safety groups who wanted to have the 34 hour restart taken away all together. They came up with some convoluted math that we could work more than 80 hours in an 8 day period by working. Not sure how. 2 34 hour restarts would be 68 hours, 5 10 hour breaks outside the 34 hour restarts is 50 hours bringing the total time off in that 8 day period to 118 hours leaving 74 hours to work. So, wow, we get 4 extra hours by doing 2 restarts in an 8 day period.

  • Jerry L. Pike

    Shutting down will gain nothing (it was tried before and nothing came of it), will worsen our image in the public’s eye and cost you revenue.

  • Ken Nilsen

    Actually I only read it and post to correct the really poor information that overdrive allows you to post.

  • Ken Nilsen

    I see you have no basis in reality for your comments.

  • Ken Nilsen

    Wow! Spoken like a well trained street thug…probation officer lose you?

  • Ken Nilsen

    So true. The only requirement is to have today plus the previous seven.

  • Ken Nilsen

    You also cannot have 3.5 million sets of rules for how each driver runs his business. 20 years ago you could only run 70 hours in 8 days. That has not changed. You can now drive a longer day than you could then because then you could only log 10 hours per day not 11. You could not drive after 15 hours on duty now it is 14. Very little has changed in 20 years. Sure there have been tweaks to the rest breaks and the addition of the 34 hour restart. But, the number of hours you can actually work in a week has not changed. So, no big deal. What company does your significant other drive for? Are you tied to only one or 2 chains to fuel at? Nothing says you must take breaks at only approved fueling stops. If you will pick up a directory and learn where a lot of the independents are it is amazing the places you can find to park. You just have to work a little harder at it.

  • Wendy Parker

    Yes, because I’m sure the editors need your help explaining my humor and opinion. You fit in well with the new regime, where no one is allowed to speak out or have a different point of view. Apparently, you’re one of those people who don’t really understand satire and sarcasm, so you feel the urge to correct it, and that’s fine. I’m flattered you took time out of your busy policing schedule to help me see the light. Keep up the good work!

  • Ray

    Well, they can only fire so many drivers before there is no one left to fire, or hire.

  • Ellis

    We could get a lot of attention if we just started working a normal 40 hour week like the rest of the country and demand overtime pay.



  • Rick VandenOever

    The union is part of the problem now, in bed with the politicians.

  • lazo

    block the oilrafinaries and no truck will drive after 2 days. strike starting. 5 days and your demands r good. it happened in england, it can happen here

  • lazo

    born ready

  • lazo

    does it matter if you stand still for 30 min on the ramp 1 mile away from the shipper or 1 hour eurlier on a parking lot? the point is you cant make it in 8 hours and need 8 hours and 5 min. paperlogg dont seems toi have these problems, electronics and you get hanged up.

  • lazo

    detroit is bankrupt….many will follow

  • Jimmy the Greek

    You realy don’t have to take the brake , just log it ,

  • Jimmy the Greek

    You got that right lady ! look at cops no one looks at there hours and they work more hors on extra jobs some times than they work for the police dept. they are running around in a state or city owned car with a gun .

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Bankruptcy ! I guess that’s how its spelled, gets that done and gone .

  • Jimmy the Greek

    I used to rip the pages out treet it like it was a loose leaf , you can keep the seven and the page and thats all the man on the road has a right or need to see a driver can burn his copies after 30 days , i can do that after one year ,

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Like the Jersey truck center in carnry , or in the back of the US 1 diner in linden , or the mass 10 ,

  • Jimmy the Greek

    I t would take 30 mit’s to park walk in , find the craper and get back to the truck . there is your break .

  • Jimmy the Greek

    How the hell do you eat in 5 mit it takes that long to get coffie and order your food , This ain’t the jail house boy, ain’t no one going to eat ther’s and try and take yours , lol



  • Bill Landsborough

    You’re wrong! I receive their magazine every month and it is FULL of legal actions performed that month that protects and supports truck drivers.

  • Pingback: Regulatory Round-Up: Short-Hauls Exempt from HOS - Freight Talk Blog - DAT



  • Brad

    They can only jail you if you are the leader of such an event. Most of the big companies run legal with e-logs already. We have to shut down! Only way we’re going to get anyone’s attention. The big companies don’t care cause they’ve found a way around all these regs via the “lease purchase” morons. They’ve eliminated all the overhead and pushed it onto the naive driver who thinks he or she will actually own the truck in the end. What a laugh!

  • RalphMalph

    Actually, only need one segment of our industry to Drop the Anchor

    ……….. stop hauling fuel, the Country comes to a halt !

  • surely

    Shut down was always the answer but drivers do not stick together. They are good at complaining but action is different. We shut down in 1978; again in 1980, but the few of us that did shut down couldn’t change the problems. When asked drivers why; “Ill lose my job”; “Have bills” etc. In 1980, just bought a brand new truck and new twins. Wasn’t easy, but didn’t lose truck, house or twins!! Until drivers stick together, nothing will happen.

  • William McKelvie

    Sure do love the jail you and fire you comments so far. Give me a break. How many of you guys sit around for days waiting on loads or to do a 34? Give me a break already. Honestly. Thing is to slow down, like the Italians did. They did it right. Get past the petty bullshit, and let’s do something for each other. Otherwise you can expect MORE regulations and more stupid stupid dumb n dumber regulations, like the CSA crash junk that is still not straight. Choose your path, but choose wisely. Choose to sit on the porch and bark? Or choose to set aside small differences and make an actual change. The choice is yours, but remember if you choose to sit on the porch and bark, and more regulations come, you only have yourself to blame for it.

  • Jack

    That’s because u don’t make money and prob a lazy fuck strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.