The double-billion burger they refuse to eat

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Hey y’all, guess what?

ELD’s aren’t a brand-new, outer-space idea someone just came up with yesterday.

Thin mint?Thin mint?

I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s totally true. You know if I’m lying I tell you. Believe it or not, there are fleets who have employed both ELDs and speed limiters for more than 10 years. You know what we call those fleets? (Hey now, this here’s a public market, watch your mouth, son.)

We call them some of the worst safety ratings in the country.

This is the absolute truth, and since it may cost someone their job, I will be vague about it. I once had a safety director from one of these aforementioned fleets tell me, “If you’re in a parking lot and one of our trucks pulls in, get the hell out of there.”

That was their safety director. You know, the person who has to sort through the “critical events,” one by one. He literally had to put out fleet-wide messages to tell people where their side mirrors were. Again, that’s not a filthy lie. I wish so bad it were, my teeth ache.

I’m gonna use some of that spiffy collegiate math, and go on to extrapolate some half-truths for you.

Let’s just use 15,000 trucks as a base number. In ten years’ time, there would be no problem mathing out a billion miles between the 15,000. There wouldn’t be enough zeros in the universe to math out how many drivers those 15,000 trucks churned through, so we’ll just say a billion, since the churn rate at most of these fleets is more than 100 percent.

So, considering those billion miles driven, with magic clocks and speed limiters, shouldn’t the safety ratings of these fleets be stellar? Spectacular, even? I mean, borderline unicorns and rainbows? So freakin’ good people make memes about it?

And if the financial advantage to having a magic clock is so great, shouldn’t all those drivers be making bank? Like, buying islands for fun, and populating them with colorful tropical birds?

Oh wait. We forgot the driver part.

See, when you math for real, you have to take into consideration all the factors. And when you divide the billion drivers by the 15,000 trucks, it becomes so apparently evident what the actual problem is, even Virginia Tech couldn’t make it look good.

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This is the double-billion burger the American Trucking Associations and the FMCSA, and all the pointy-headed fruitcakes in D.C. — who would rather write letters to their peers about purchased and sliced-and-diced data than look at the real problem in the trucking industry — refuse to eat. They won’t even take a thank-you bite. The actual driver is completely left out of their equations, and that’s why their equations are wrong.

When you math, you math all the way, or it doesn’t make sense to math at all. Pro-ELD propaganda does not address the true safety issue in the industry, and that is the sense that every driver is disposable. There’s always another. (Thin mint, sir? No thank you. Bring me a bucket.)

Enjoy your burger. Would you like fries with that?