Ignorance and greed fuel fatigue
According to regulators and our industry’s “experts,” the 10-hour off-duty/sleeper provision is enough time for a solo driver to get sufficient rest after working 14 hours.
If that were the case, why would the two-hour split sleeper berth time even be mentioned in the 14-hour window for a solo driver?
What brain-damaged person came up with the eight-hour sleeper berth and two-hour off-duty time for team drivers? This only shows that the people making the rules and the ones going along with the new and old hours of service have no idea what truckers are going through.
The obvious reason for these unsafe regulations is the off-duty-but-on-call requirement of most motor carriers. A driver could be up, awake and working for 20 to 30 hours. This constant dispatch undoubtedly causes fatigue.
Unfortunately, inexperienced employees in our government, combined with the greed of big business, create a dangerous situation for all on a daily basis.
DAVID GAIBIS SR.
New Castle, Pa.
Mind your own business
To Annette Sandberg, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen:
Have you ever taken a trip in a truck? What do you know about managing hours for a trucker? Do you know all the responsibilities that truckers have?
Shut up and mind your own business. There is no profession that the government and people like you stick their nose into except trucking.
Why don’t you go after four-wheelers, who usually cause the accidents? Why don’t you pick on doctors who go into operating rooms drunk? They also put in long hours. How about the cops? They’re asked to do double shifts, and they carry lethal weapons.
My husband and I own a small company. We do five hours on and then five hours off, and that is the safest by far. You cannot sit in the driver’s seat for 10 or 12 hours straight unless you are dead.
We are sick and tired of being treated like dirt because of a few bad apples. We need to make a living.
PAYING FOR IRS FOUL-UPS
I read with interest “No more E-Z pay on vehicle tax” [Dollars & Sense, September 2005] and wanted to share my experiences with the heavy vehicle use tax.
A year ago, I did not receive my application as I normally would in July. Unfortunately I did not realize this until December 2004. When I paid the tax at the IRS office, they told me many people didn’t get their applications because they outsourced the mailings. I was liable for a penalty because of the late payment.
This year, I received the application and paid the tax, and when I received the proof of payment, the envelope came to me opened and glued together with two other envelopes containing other truckers’ proofs of payment. Luckily, all paperwork was intact and has been mailed to its correct recipients.
I don’t mind paying for my mistakes. I just don’t like paying for other people’s mistakes.
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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.