So we’ve completed our first ten days on the road under the new hours of service. I’m going to be really honest here and say we didn’t start this with an open mind. George was mad about it from the beginning. But he follows the rules, and always has, so we set out to see how it would go.
As of the 10th, we’ve lost approximately $300 due directly to the new laws. Two good loads had to be turned down because George wasn’t able to do a reset and didn’t have the hours to get them to the final on time without it. We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time dragging short loads around just to be able to make enough money to break even out here. George went into long-haul because he does just that, long-haul. That’s how he schedules his hours of service, and always has.
Before I get the “You should have planned better” comments, let me suggest that those of you who feel good planning is the answer to everything obviously live in an alternate universe. One where you’ve never sat at a shipper with a 8:30 a.m. appointment and waited until 5:30 to be loaded. You’ve also never run into traffic and been hemmed up for hours because of a wreck or construction. Good for you. Now back to the real world.
There is absolutely no benefit to the new rules. They obviously have very little to do with safety and a whole lot to do with government control. It’s been my experience in life that when the gubmint says they’re doing something to make you “safer” you can replace the word safer with more controlled and get a more accurate idea of what they really mean. The 30-minute break disrupts our day and causes us to be on the road 30 minutes longer every night, making finding a parking spot harder. George says it actually makes him more tired to sit for 30 minutes because he’s sitting there stressing out about losing 30 minutes of his day.
I sincerely hope someone in Washington comes out of their stupor and realizes the people they’re hurting are the ones who followed the rules in the first place. People who cheat will always cheat, and they’re laughing at your new rules while they continue to cheat. If you’re concerned about hours of service, then mandate eLogs — don’t slaughter the industry by keeping the professional driver, who follows the rules, from being able to make a living. Governments don’t regulate people into submission, they regulate them into a revolution.
We don’t tell you how long you can lay up and sop your gubmint gravy, don’t tell us how to schedule our day.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.