Skip to comments.Truck Drivers Not Revved Up About New Safety Rules
Posted on 06/30/2013 5:44:40 PM PDT by matt04
The federal government thinks long-haul truckers like Bryan Spoon need more rest.
But with the Department of Transportation's new rules forcing drivers to take longer breaks and cut back on hours behind the wheel, Spoon thinks the government has created a solution looking for a problem.
"I wish the government would just quit trying to fix something that's not broken," he said on a recent rest stop in Columbia, Mo., after hauling a load of construction materials on the 48-foot Great Dane flatbed behind his 2009 Volvo 780.
"If I get any more breaks out here I won't be able to make a living," he said.
Starting Monday, drivers like Spooner will have to stick to a schedule that requires taking a 30-minute break in the first eight hours of driving, cut the maximum workweek to 70 hours from 82, and "restart" those 70 hours with a 34-hour break once a week.
The rules are part of a program by the Obama administration to make U.S. highways safer by reducing the number of truck accidents and fatalities. The program also includes a safety rating system that shippers can review when they chose a new carrier, with the goal of prodding the trucking industry to further improve the safety of its drivers and equipment.
"The updated hours of service rule makes three common sense, data-driven changes to increase safety on our roadways and reduce driver fatigue, a leading factor in large truck crashes," said Anne Ferro administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which issued the rules, in a statement.
Ferro was not available for an interview.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...
The less hours these drivers can work the more people the Companies will have to hire.
Another Obama plan to put more people to work, by screwing over those already working.
IOW, "Mind their own business"
Those truckers are hard-working people if they cannot afford a 30-minute lunch break in the first eight hours of driving. The 70 hours per week (let alone 82!) are also not easy; that's 10 hours of work every single day! Something is wrong with the industry if people are forced to work that much.
You will pay more at the store for items trucked. Get ready for some inflation ...
Teamster plan to get rid of the Independent contractor. The killed the last American cowboy.
Is it not conceivable that these drivers WANT to work longer hours? By doing so, they can make a better profit.
I was a seaman for 34 years and regularly worked 100+ hours per week for months on end. When you are away from home and/or family, you do not mind working long hours to fill the time that you would spend on those endeavours.
What road trip doesn’t involve lots of driving?
The 70 hours per week (let alone 82!) are also not easy; that’s 10 hours of work every single day! Something is wrong with the industry if people are forced to work that much.
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Let me take a stab here and say you have NEVER been self employed or worked Heavy Construction.
Unless of course you ‘forgot’ the s/.
I was thinking the same thing as you are. Glad I read all the comments first.
“That was when my wife was upset because I worked a 129 hour work week.”
You must have cheated space time by working a 129 hour work week.
They have to cut the workload for U.S. truckers so there’ll be work for the illegal Mexican truckers who are now allowed to travel our roads...
Something is wrong with the industry if people are forced to work that much.”
I presume you’ve never been self employed or had your own business. You would understand the plight of the independent trucker if you did. There is no one bank rolling them. They drive and haul or they don’t have any money to pay the license, taxes, insurance, fees, gas, oil and maintenance for their trucks. Then on top of that most of them have a family they are trying to support.
You would not believe the fees some states charge truckers. Large companies can absorb them or add to their rates, independents can’t do that.
Probably not uncommon for someone like say, a farmer. 168 hours in a week, 5 hours sleep a night, 18.5 hours of work a day.
70 hours is an easy week, when you’re running your own business.
Okay, that’s the trucker’s point of view. Now how about the point of view of non-truckers?
A 70 hour workweek in a dangerous job that requires maximum alertness is perfectly reasonable. If you ask me, it should be 40. And it’s jaw-dropping that the old limit was 82. Are you kidding me?! I’m sharing the highways with the WALKING DEAD? So they can make more money?
It’s not okay for airline pilots to fly as much as the want without resting, and it’s not okay for truckers. If they don’t sleep, they aren’t just risking their own lives — they’re risking mine.
They don’t own the highways and they don’t have that right.
But I consider my work easy. I only need to sit in front of several computers, move the mouse, and press keys on keyboards. I cannot compare that to the work of a trucker. In my job I can stop and relax at any time, and then continue. A trucker needs far more time to stop and to start again. He cannot even take a random exit - it may be not safe for his truck. If I make a mistake, it's not a big deal, I press Backspace and correct the problem right away. If a trucker makes a mistake, it may be hard to extricate his remains. Our jobs are not even comparable.
I'm not against people being free to work as much as they want. However it becomes a problem when an industry requires a worker to work 82 hours to just make ends meet. It's just not healthy for the worker and his family. He shouldn't have to work more than 40-45 hours per week simply to survive. If that's the case, the trucker's labor is undervalued. Are there too many truckers? Are there companies who charge far below the average, thus dragging the average down?
The mexican truckers that have taken over the industry in california win again!!!
Those mexican trucks don’t comply with anything!
Go stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!!
The independants are starving already!
And 129 hours in a week is not more than 18.5 hours per day. If you have a wife and young kids and you know you can’t work for 2-3 months a year you get it done when you can.
That was a long week for me. I generally only worked about 100-110 at the time.
Just curious if you know any truckers, if so, go ask them about their job/hours/taxes/fees etc etc.
If you don’t, perhaps you should learn a bit more about the industry before making a comparison that is really not accurate.
Everything you use has come to the store by truck, EVERYTHING.
Umm, they get paid by the mile.
I sure do now :-)
If you dont, perhaps you should learn a bit more about the industry before making a comparison that is really not accurate.
Thanks for the input from the Real World™. I guess I don't know everything. Fortunately, my opinions do not result in laws that other people have to live under.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration???
You don’t realize that the time waiting at the docks to load/unload is called work time. Some times you wait up to 4 hours to be loaded. You could be asleep in the sleeper, but that does not count and lots of companies are, (by state and local laws), requiring that you shut down your rig.
Try waiting to load/unload in Phoenix in the summer with no AC in the cab of the rig and waiting 3-4 hours. Most of the warehouses don’t have an air conditioned waiting room for drivers.
Some warehouses, (union especially), require the driver to either pay “lumpers” to unload and stack the load, or the driver must do it. Most of the companies, (England, Schneider etc.), won’t pay the lumper fee, that comes out of the driver’s pocket. All that time is work time, not driving time.
This leaves the driver with less time on the road to get to his next stop.
So, how many hours a day or a week should normal civilians be permitted to drive? Would it bother you to know that I've driven the Cleveland, OH to Tampa, FL route straight through several times. That's back when the speed limit was a sluggish 55. 18-19 hours driving, non-stop.
I'm not saying I wasn't pushing things a bit (I was a bit younger when I did that), but I also think it's downright silly to try to impose that much restriction on truck drivers. It's not about making a lot of money - it's about staying solvent. It's a very competitive business.
The only effect we'll really see from this new set of regulations is that the cost of shipping goods will increase 20% or more.
“However it becomes a problem when an industry requires a worker to work 82 hours to just make ends meet. It’s just not healthy for the worker and his family”
I ran a business for over 40 years and never put in less than 80 hours a week and many more a lot of time!
The vast majority of commenters, including the BLET and UTU in their joint comment, argue against the calendar day interpretation as inconsistent with existing railroad practice and harmful to railroad workers who will be unable to work previously acceptable schedules, and, as a result, they will earn less money.5 BLET and UTU argue that a 24-hour period of time off duty should be considered a break in the count of consecutive days, due to the severe effects that will flow from the current interim interpretation. The economic effects of the Interim Interpretation are discussed in detail in a comment submitted by an individual, which includes a schedule of trains for one crew in Needles, CA. The schedule appears to demonstrate that an individual working on a regular pool job may lose as much as $1,140 in an average month by operation of the calendar day interpretation...
you are incorrect.
it is some jerk private car drivers and some jerk private motorcycle drivers, and also some truckers, that are this problem.
i drive on a freeway all the time and i have to deal with truckers who cannot keep their rig in their own lane. both long haulers and locals.
If you are ‘comfortable’ at 40-45 hrs a week, fine.
You won’t find that in most private industry fields and I have NEVER worked that few hours since HS when I was putting in 20-30 hrs a week setting pins in a bowling alley, Navy didn’t keep track of hours, as a Construction (Asphalt Paving) Foreman/Superintendent/Manager 70-80 were slow time, granted seasonal but it doesn’t really even out in the Mid Atlantic region as you don’t lose that much time to ‘winter’, in my own Delivery Business (100%) one works when they can, I PREFERRED long distance in lieu of local dedicated routes, worked like a trucker but didn’t have all those regulations. However, I did know when to stop and what my limitations were PRIOR accepting the job. Even today, I keep my hand in it and run about 25 hrs a week on a couple of dedicated runs and will do an occasional long distance.
I personally think the GOVT was/is trying to force truckers into teams which will, in effect, shut down the IC’s and O/O’s but think the Unions are behind a lot of that also.
Good, bad or indifferent, I don’t believe I have EVER taken a ‘vacation’ other than maybe take the family to the beach, get them settled in, come back home, work the week (or so)in ‘peace’ and pick them up at the end.
Mind you, I am not ‘complaining’ I actually enjoy what I have done and am doing, some people just aren’t cut out for it BUT many more than you may think do the 60-80 hr weeks.
Accidents caused by heavy trucks have dropped for years They’re a small percentage of the total number of accidents each year.
I cannot believe the behavior of many drivers.
The most common dangerous one is passing, then cutting back in less than a car length in front of the vehicle they've passed, and often slowing down.
Why did they bother to pass?
Usually there's no one passing behind them and an open empty highway in front.
I've seen a lot of dopes doing this right in front of large trucks, with the trucker having to jam on his brakes to avoid a rear end accident that would be "his fault".
Whenever possible, I prefer to have at least one tenth mile spacing, preferably two tenths.
That way if I, or someone else screws up we have plenty of room to recover without involving other vehicles.
Totally agree with you, and I am a truck driver. 70 is to much 60 should be a maximum hour a week,if you can’t get by on the pay take your ass back to school or drive a tanker. I only work 11 hours a day and bring in 1500 a week. fatigue is the number one cause of deaths you risk your lives and others for a extra buck? get real people keep in mind we have families to come home to, what good does it do if you wreck because you are tired this is why the rules are in effect.
I work for the government and we hire private truckers to ship our instrumentation systems all over the country. To a man they have been pissed at the new regulations. They make their money by working long days. In my opinion these guys do a lot of hard work securing the load, then the actual driving is fairly light work and can reasonably be extended well beyond 8 hours per day.