Sun-up in the oil patch, and: ’14-hour rule is the real issue’

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Updated Nov 3, 2021

Tx Oil Patch Sunrise 2017 03 15 14 17

I thought I’d take a minute to highlight one beauty of a scene from the Reader Rigs gallery, posted on Tuesday by John Reinhardt, a sunrise early-early in the oil patch in Texas “way out in nowhere,” Reinhardt wrote, north of Pecos. The hauler and his Freightliner were “waiting to be escorted six miles up a poorly graded well road to deliver poly pipe at a water storage facility used for drilling operations.”

I could think of a few more captions, but what about you? Put on your creative-writing hats, drivers, and get to work. Best caption gets a shout-out here on the blog … And a big thanks to Reinhardt for sharing.

Gary Carlisle, regular readers may remember, wrote what I think might be the best argument for revision of the hours regs, specifically the 14-hour rule, that I’ve seen. He added to that in the wake of my Monday post about owner-operator Scott Reed and Rich Wilson’s visit with Ohio rep. Jim Jordan. In some ways, his message will be familiar to most of you, but as always Carlisle speaks strongly:

I applaud Scott Reed and Rich Wilson for speaking out. Those willing to speak out are few and far between, but I can tell you there is a very large percentage of owner-operators out there that see the current 14-hour rule a menacing proposition which will be brought to bear by the coming of the ELD. … The 14-hour rule is the real issue. How can anyone with any sense prove the 14-hour rule is safe in a real driving situation? It is like many things that work really good on paper, but face the facts of what it takes to load, unload, and haul freight — it complicates the time element. The 14-hour rule penalizes any driver that needs a nap or rest break, whether in response to fatigue, health or other issues.

The economy and the industry cannot afford that penalty. The real problem that should be on the news and on the agenda for the politicians is the mounting economic effect and dangerous safety concern that this will have on American business and the American people. Freight rates will not go up immediately, but when the industry is saddled with greater expense and loss of productivity, it will eventually happen. Much like the EPA regulations that brought on [DPF] regen and the DEF generation of trucks have negatively affected trucks, the ELD/14-hour-rule will have a greater effect on expenses borne by not only owner-operators and the rest of the trucking industry.

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Borne, he notes, by the American economy. If you’ve not read it before, here’s Carlisle’s original 14-hour-rule argument, written in 2015:

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