Drivers Hold the Key on HOS Compliance
Recently the FMCSA has held five discussions on the hours of service, an ongoing effort on their part, with no regard to safety for drivers or the motoring public. The drivers that attended said they need more flexibility in the 14-hour window.
Drivers felt that the 14-hour window needed to be extended to allow time for them to nap en route. Let’s see, if you are coming off a mandatory 10-hour off-duty rest period or a 34-hour off-duty restart rule, why would you need an extension for a nap? This could be accomplished in the existing 14-hour window. Example: Drive five hours, one hour for lunch, two-hour nap, drive six hours. Do the math! This equals 14 hours, also known as running compliant to the hours of service. This creates a healthier work environment for all drivers and safer travel for the motoring public, a subject which seems to be lost in the many discussions pertaining to the hours of service held by the FMCSA.
Now, let’s get into “non-compliant” and “unsafe” operation. A representative from the American Trucking Associations stated that, from their standpoint, the hours of service were working well. Of course they are! As long as drivers continue to falsify their log books by logging off duty for all required on duty not-driving, non-paid work time to make up for lost time, these unsafe conditions will continue. Add to this any en route delays logged as off duty, which multiplies this unsafe practice.
Drivers, whether they know it or not, hold the only key to solve the HOS problems. All drivers should start logging and operating compliant to the hours of service, which would put the ball in the court of the motor carriers, shippers, receivers and brokers. It would be very interesting to see what would happen then!
Drivers: Stop letting the motor carriers, shippers, receivers and brokers make out your log books. Be a true professional and log compliant. It will give you peace of mind that you are doing your job or operating your business safely and compliant to the hours of service. And you won’t have to worry about CSA 2010.
David B. Gaibis Sr., New Castle, Penn.
Oh my god, I have been robbed!
I used to haul chickens and turkeys. One place — in fact, many places — I went to would try to come up short on their count. See, I always counted my load and always made my appointments, and whoever would unload me had no problem with my count, but many (not all) places would tell me I was short on my product. Now I have been driving 28 years and always made a point to keep my name good with the owner-operators I drove for. I needed them like they needed me.
When [receivers] would argue with me I would get out the words I knew they did not understand:
Oh my god, I have been robbed! Can you please call the police for me, and the police will have to call the F.B.I., because this is an interstate and tri-state federal routed truck route I drove on and now this is a federal report that needs to be reported, please please call the police. Get all my turkeys down and bring them back to the back of my trailer, and they will have to be numbered by the police and shoot I will be here all day long. Oh yes, please call the owner of this plant. I have to let him know what is happening so I will have to tie up this dock all day, and he’s got to know that this is federal transport of stolen goods and shoot I’m so mad! Please call the police now!
They always tell me to wait, and they get my bills and start counting all the boxes and go inside the freezer like they are showing me something and then all of a sudden they have made a mistake on the adding, and they all look stupid. And then I am told my turkey count was right.
Last turkey load I took to the same place they did it again, and there were 4 guys working and a boss. They came up short 16 turkeys.
As I can see that would mean three turkeys each, and it was just before Thanksgiving Day.
I started to go into my worry act and one of the guys remembered me after they told me about my count and signed my bills and said, “You will have to pay for them, huh?”
I was pissed, and the one who recognized me was watching me on the dock getting upset and louder to draw a crowd — and maybe the owner.
The one boss who was on with the three others told me that he was going to add them all again up on their adding machine, and if he can not find them, then he will go into the freezer and count them all by himself.
He was sitting down, and I was sorta next to him, looking at him, and he was just carrying on about that adding machine, and banging it.
Well, he got it going and sure enough he found my turkeys and re-signed my bills with the count as it should have been: “right.”
I was pulling out and closed my doors, and I then walked around to the front office and asked to speak to the owner. He came out and I went inside his office and told him what just happened on his docks and also told him I wonder how many other drivers have been coming up short with their loads as they tried to short me for their turkey day? He was honest to our Lord and wanted to know who they were and whether I would report their company, and I told him the names and told him that I have a CB radio and will let all the drivers know about his company and that’s good enough for me.
I called the company, and they said that their drivers were coming up short at that company and told them they will not come up short anymore. They thanked me much.
Suzi North, Chandler, Okla.
What have you done to prepare for CSA 2010?
Educate, educate, educate. … I think our drivers have a pretty good understanding of the CSA 2010 Program.
— Toni T.
Our company had us take the quiz and read all the material on CSA 2010 a few months ago. They are updating us on any changes monthly. All we can do is keep our equipment up to snuff and do everything the way we have been in the past.
— Audrey S.
I don’t like the way the new drivers drive or all the bull that is going on. I liked it better the old way, when everybody got along and did not cut you off or tell on everything that somebody does. But just like the railroad and the airlines the government ran them into ground where the little man does not have a chance. And trucking is on the fast track along with them.
— Steve S.
I have tried to learn everything I can about it so I don’t have something jump up and bite me in the butt.
— Jamie R.
Absolutely nothing. Used the info on paper for toilet paper. Does it come in a softer version?
— Shawn L.
Changed to a looseleaf logbook and slowed down.
— Gi’ants P.
Not a thing. If good drivers are doing their jobs it should not affect them. Bad drivers? Well, you caused this, so have fun with it. Wouldn’t hurt the industry to lose some careless drivers.
— Scott K.
Haven’t done anything special. We’ve educated ourselves, but nothing will change in this truck. … safety first.
— Beth Z.
We will continue business as we have in the past, good pretrips and taking care of our truck. We have zero points going into this, and we plan on this trend to continue.
— Linda C.
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What are you most thankful for this year?
“Just to drive. I haul cars, but, still, just to have some freight and keep the wheels turning.”
— Marlin Smith, San Antonio, Texas, driver for GNS Auto Transportation
“Health. My family. Life in General.”
— Andy Butler, Bushnell, Fla., owner-operator leased to Landstar
“My health. Being able to do my job, do it safely and get home and see my family.”
— Linwood Mills, Durham, N.C., driver for PAM Transport
“Having a job. I know a lot of people who are unemployed, so I’m just thankful for a job.”
— Julian LeBron, Orlando, Fla., driver for U.S. Express
“Life. The economy is still down, but I’m still making a living.”
— Richard Fletcher, Columbia, S.C., driver for Stans Transport