Beauty vs. Efficiency
“Cool looking… However, a 379 Pete, if driven 120,000 miles per year at legal interstate speeds, will consume over an additional $25,000 to $28,000 in fuel compared to an aero dyne style cab and chassis. And there is no way, so far, to get the fuel consumption down to profitable levels. If fuel continues to climb in price, these numbers increase dramatically.”
— Mike Dyster, of Chandler, Ariz., commenting on Bill Hall Jr. Trucking’s renovated 2011 Peterbilt on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyYwvBeCcUg.
Fatigued? Send a text, for the record
By following a few guidelines, drivers who are harassed by zealous dispatchers in the era of electronic onboard recorders can still get a good night’s sleep. I’ve spoken to truckers who were fatigued because of dispatchers’ calls requesting that the trucker drive another 50 miles. Others have told me that Qualcomm drives them crazy with messages requesting their whereabouts.
If you don’t have a Qualcomm system tracking you, send text messages to dispatch via cell phone, which keeps a permanent record, instead of voice messages. If you’re tired, text your dispatcher that it’s dangerous to drive until you feel better. Also, federal law requires parking until you feel safe to drive.
Carriers that push their drivers beyond the point of safety are ones to avoid. They may threaten to take away your load, but unless it’s for just-in-time delivery, that threat often goes unenforced.
Carriers interested only in the bottom line are also the ones that don’t maintain their equipment. Such practices are even more important with CSA 2010 now in effect and penalizing the driver for poorly maintained trucks.
Use of EOBRs won’t prevent truckers from bad driving practices. But if U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood or someone from the American Trucking Associations can tell me how EOBRs will make highways safer, I’m listening.
GORDON ALKIRE | Riley, Kan.
How will the new hours of service rule requiring two 1 – 5 a.m. rest periods during the 34-hour restart affect you?
“They do cause problems for oversized carriers because of certain rules we have to follow, like driving during daylight.”
ROBERT CURTIS | Owner-operator leased to Lone Star Transportation
Grand Prairie, Texas
“They are trying to cut us down to the point where we can’t make any money because of the hours.”
CARLOS WALKER | Blair Logistics Inc. company driver | West Point, Miss.
“It doesn’t bother me; safety is important. The brokers will cut back our time, but that will make the freight go up, so I don’t think it will hurt us too badly.”
JOHN GREENE | Owner-operator leased to General Transport
“The regulations are horrible, as is anything to do with the government. They make it impossible for owner-operators.”
Jim Williams | Owner-operator leased to Williams Farms | Geraldine, Ala.
“It’s going to hurt drivers. I drive Monday through Friday, but now I can’t work the same hours, so I won’t get paid as much.”
Steve Mullins | Owner-operator leased to Tryon Trucking | Hillsboro, Ohio
“The regulations are going to hurt the industry as a whole. Drivers will be stranded in different areas because they have to abide by the regulations’ rest periods.”
Kevin Merrick | Volume Transportation company driver | Atlanta
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E-mail your letter to the editor to Lucinda Coulter at LCoulter@rrpub.com or mail it to Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403.
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