Swift In Cab Camera

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Paul, it's easy to see why you're upset about this. You're misguided when it comes to one simple fact - nothing about that truck is yours.

Is there nothing you consider private when living in your truck?

You mean living in their truck.

But, how do you prevent a possible upload of a private conversation while off duty in your living space?

You leave the truck if it's that super critical. And again, it's their living space, not yours.

I believe that an off duty, otr trucker, whose job, for all intents and purposes, necessitates that he/she reside in their truck/sleeper berth when off duty has a reasonable expectation of privacy while off duty in that space, similar to your expectation of privacy in a dressing room, bathroom, locker room, etc..

The truck is not at all similar to hotels or gyms or locker rooms. At those places you are paying for the privilege of renting someone else's space for yourself so you've paid for the right to privacy. Again, you don't own the truck and you're being paid to be there. They have every right to monitor what's going on.

Chickie even said:

Agreed. Sleeper is your home

No, it's not. It's their truck. If you buy the truck then it's yours.

Paul, you have all kinds of options. You can get a hotel room, buy yourself a truck, find a company that doesn't have cameras, or accept the heightened expectations that come with working for one of the larger more successful carriers. But you're never going to win the argument that you should be given privacy while being paid to use someone else's equipment, even if you're living in it.

And you're also never going to counter the argument that having a camera on you is going to make you a better driver. It certainly will. It will do that for everyone, myself included. Everyone becomes more attentive when they know they're being watched and won't get away with anything. That's human nature.

Not only that, but that camera might save your career someday. Can you imagine how many careers were hurt or ruined because someone on the highway set up a driver for an insurance fraud or screwed up and caused an accident that the truck driver was wrongly blamed for? There's no way to even put a number on that kind of stuff. Ask your safety manager about how many times they've caught someone committing insurance fraud against their trucks over the years. Every major company has a long list of such incidents and they always have ongoing investigations into others they suspect were setups.

So if you suspect someone may be out to get you, you're right, but it isn't your own company. There are people on the highway right this moment executing a premeditated insurance fraud. You may very well be their next target.

Over the years I've had dozens of close calls caused by someone else's dumb mistake. Fortunately none of them resulted in accidents but if they had it might have been extremely difficult for me to prove it wasn't my fault. It would have been my word against theirs and without any sort of proof it almost certainly would have appeared to be my fault.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Paul J.'s Comment
member avatar

I tried to bow out of the discussion, but it’s too interesting to look away when you keep it going. So, just a couple quick points. First, much of what you said to me is irrelevant b/c, as I have said, I acknowledge my employer’s right to monitor my job performance with a camera or any other way they see fit. I have no problem with a camera pointed at me while I am working. And, I go home when I go off duty. I don’t live in the truck. I'm involved in this discussion simply b/c it's an interesting topic to me.

Paul, it's easy to see why you're upset about this. You're misguided when it comes to one simple fact - nothing about that truck is yours.

The only thing about this discussion I find upsetting is the blasé attitude many here have about personal privacy when they are off duty. Someone equated wanting some privacy while off duty with doing something wrong. Weird.

You mean living in their truck.

So, if someone else owns a given space, then you have no expectation of privacy there? Really? Can a company put cameras up in the bathrooms and locker rooms at the terminal? Do drivers not have a reasonable expectation of privacy there either?

Why exactly does a company need a camera active and facing the driver when the truck is shut down and the driver is off duty, anyway?

There's an easy fix. The camera could shut down when the driver goes off duty. Or, at least the driver facing camera and audio recording goes dormant while driver is off duty. (Please don't try to tell me that that would be beyond our technology!)

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The only thing about this discussion I find upsetting is the blasé attitude many here have about personal privacy when they are off duty

I don't think it's a blasé attitude about privacy. I think it's a good understanding of the fact that they have a job that entails an inordinate amount of responsibility. You're camping out in someone else's $150,000 tractor and trailer and guarding $100,000+ in freight. The company wants to monitor what's going on. It's not like they're requiring you to stay in the truck every second of your life or they're implanting chips in your brain to monitor your thinking. They're simply monitoring what's going on inside and outside of their own equipment while it's too far away for them to see for themselves.

I mean, why wouldn't you carry your argument beyond audio and visual monitoring and into other things people might like privacy with like doing drugs? Why can't you go smoke marijuana in your free time or take someone else's prescription pills if you're not driving the truck, wouldn't you say? Wouldn't you say that's none of their business what you're doing when you're not on duty?

I personally would say it is their business because this job requires someone who is both willing and able to handle far more responsibility than most people would be willing or able to handle. So if they say "no doing drugs if you're going to work for us" then it's no drugs or you simply aren't the right person for the job. That's the level of monitoring that comes with doing a job that entails such a high level of responsibility.

Obviously we all get what you're saying about wanting privacy in your personal life but when you're in their truck you're not only in the realm of your personal life, you're in the property of your employer.

This entire conversation to me is really about whether or not a person is willing to accept the responsibilities that go with this type of job. I would never hold it against someone that they want privacy. I live way out in the hills by myself for exactly that reason. But if I choose to accept a job where people's lives and a lot of money are at stake I would do so with the understanding that there are sacrifices to be made.

Think about someone with top secret clearance. You think you have it bad? They're not even allowed to go home to their own house and speak freely with their own husbands and wives and children! They are required to keep secrets permanently from the people they love and cherish the most. They can't even turn to those people in times of need because they can't divulge the information they would have to divulge for anyone to understand what they're going through.

So to me it all comes down to whether or not you're willing to accept everything that comes with the responsibility of doing the job properly and safely. If you're unwilling to put up with the monitoring then you're simply unable to do the job. That's all there is to it.

And you have to realize where I started from in trucking. I started in this industry in '93 when there were no Qualcomm units in our trucks. There were no computers monitoring my driving. There were no electronic logbooks tracking my time. There were no GPS systems tracking my location. And there were no cameras on me. But this is a new day and age with technologies that allow companies to monitor things they couldn't monitor back then and they're going to take full advantage of it. There are lives on the line and big money at stake. No one is going to bank on hope or trust as a business strategy when the technology is available to allow them to hold people accountable for their actions.

Again, I get what you're saying about your privacy in your off duty time but you simply can't consider it your private space when it's owned by someone else and you're being paid to be there.

And one final thing - you're being monitored everywhere you go in public by cameras and microphones. Every store, every restaurant, every movie theater - everywhere you go publicly you're being monitored and most of the time you're off duty. Is that ok with you? Couldn't you easily make the argument that you have the right to your privacy?

Me personally, I've never been arrested for anything in my life. Why am I being monitored when I'm in public?

As a driver I never got in an accident. Why should I be monitored when I'm in my employer's truck?

This privacy thing will never have a clear line of distinction. But in this case you're talking about personal privacy while you're being paid to be in someone else's vehicle doing a job that entails great responsibility so I really can't even find much of a gray area there to defend your argument.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Paul, you weren't "here" last year when Swift rolled out their cameras. Many drivers went wild, promising to quit, or put on aluminum foil hats and stuff. Swift's President and COO, Richard Stocking got on videos to talk about it. The whole introduction stressed the privacy part, including, from Mr Stocking: there's no live video feed from your truck, and you can put a cap on the camera when you're off duty.

But you still push the privacy thing. Yes, the camera has that green or red light glowing all the time, Big Brother style. But no one even wants to see what's going on "after hours".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Driver's Comment
member avatar

From Randy Quaid's quote in independence day, "I'm baaaack"., and how appropriate.

Paulj, I believe that we are on the same page and you should raise your flag high.

When I originally posted this message , I received some heat. Some of the responses were, it's just a camera. They are doing it at all the companies. If you want privacy, just go behind the curtain. If you don't want someone to listen to your private conversation, you probably are doing something wrong. My thoughts were how complecent Americans have become.

I honestly thought am I the only one that values privacy, until PaulJ came along and started stirring up the pot. I think many may only be thinking of personal privacy, it is much more that.

I value our constitutional rights, which includes our right to privacy. If a police officer wants to search my house, they better have a warrant. If I am asked to search my personal vehicle, I want to know the probable cause. If I am asked if I am an American citizen at a border check point (personal vehicle), my response is "am I being detained, if not I would like to go now."

If I wanted to live in a country that does not value our rights, I would move to Russia. This is what makes america great and different from other countries. I don't own a firearm and personally would lIke all of them to be confiscated from the USA because the are "unsafe", but will fight for anything that restricts guns, because it is our constitutional right.

We know that our right to privacy is being eroded. From NSA with Snowden and more recent example is the government requesting encryption keys to unlock iphones.

This might be just a camera in a truck drivers truck, but where does it go from here. Are we going to have cameras in bathrooms, cars. Let’s have the government put some cameras in our houses to make sure we are not doing anything wrong. And if we do, we can get some government coaching.

Anyway, from another poster explaining that the dash cam has been allowed by the courts. This is the law and must be accepted. This battle has already been lost. Just like drivers are unable to travel with guns. Once we step into the truck, we give up certain liberties. I accept that because that is the law.

However, for my part I have sent an email to my local ACLU. I invite people out there to really think about our amendments and defend them.

Here is a quote from Benjamin Franklin that I think is appropriate:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

The popcorn's getting stale now.

miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

Your legal right to privacy only extends to where you have a reasonable expectation of such. When you are on your employer's truck, and they have informed you that there is a camera there, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

If you are at home, and you have your doors and curtains closed, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. When you are in your sleeper and you have your curtain closed, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That's how it works.

Paul J.'s Comment
member avatar

Your legal right to privacy only extends to where you have a reasonable expectation of such. When you are on your employer's truck, and they have informed you that there is a camera there, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

If you are at home, and you have your doors and curtains closed, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. When you are in your sleeper and you have your curtain closed, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That's how it works.

I think this discussion has run its course, but to this I would only respond that a curtain does not guarantee that private conversations or sounds will not be recorded and uploaded.

I, for one, (and alone here, I'm guessing) would love to see an otr driver take this up with a lawyer that specializes in privacy rights. I think it would make a fascinating case.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar
I think this discussion has run its course...

YES!!! I think it's time to respectfully agree to disagree. To each his own. Until next time...

thank-you.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh, by the way - we have a list of companies that have cameras and those that don't. We keep it updated as new information comes in:

Trucking Companies That Use Driver Facing Cameras

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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