Our First Weekly *Ask Me Anything Friday*

Topic 21032 | Page 2

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MC1371's Comment
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Back to serious questions....

Brett, Do you think the upcoming ELD mandate will actually be a positive. *I'm thinking if shining a light on Detention times.

And it might actually either increase our Det pay when held at problem shippers. Or finally force the old Union, Lumper model to be brought into the current century.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

John M.'s Comment
member avatar

Do you have your own truck Brett or no and if so what kind? And what do you do now for work? I ask because since having started trucking I cant see myself doing anything else save for heavy equipment operator IE: bulldozers, trackhoe and such and still have the love for the job and enjoyment of it also that I do doing this, so I suppose it's more of do you find what you do now as enjoyable and fulfilling as trucking is?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Brett, Do you think the upcoming ELD mandate will actually be a positive. *I'm thinking if shining a light on Detention times.

And it might actually either increase our detention pay when held at problem shippers. Or finally force the old Union, Lumper model to be brought into the current century.

Detention at customers has been a big problem for decades. Everyone knows it's completely unnecessary and everyone wishes these customers would stop delaying everyone. Unfortunately no one has come up with a solution for it.

I think electronic logs are going to make this a bigger problem for smaller carriers than it used to be when they were running paper logbooks. In that way it might bring this to light a little more but it's hard to say. Even harder to say is what can be done about it. The competition is just too fierce in trucking. No company is irreplaceable. So if a company puts their foot down and demands retention payments, they'll either be ignored or replaced by another carrier. On occasion the carriers do get small payments for detention from some of these customers, but it amounts to less than 1% of a company's revenues. So no one is about to risk a valuable customer over what amounts to a tiny amount of money in the grand scheme of things.

The lumper model itself wouldn't be a problem if the lumpers were held to more efficient unloading times, though without a doubt the grocery warehouses with outside lumper services are the biggest cause of delays in the industry overall.

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.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Strangely enough, the ATA expects a 15% loss of production per driver with the mandatory implementation of elogs , yet they're still ramming it forward. I just read an interview with the CEO of US Express who was excited that it will be putting smaller companies out of business.

U.S. Xpress Sees Good Times Ahead

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Here's a quote from Eric Fuller, the current CEO of US Xpress:

“It’s really a big, big, big moment,” Fuller said of the end of paper logs, since ELDs will put an end to solo truckers bending the rules and exceeding their daily maximum legal limit on driving of around 450 to 500 miles.

And U.S. Xpress should be able to pick up business, he said, as smaller companies decide they can’t make a go of it anymore because of the ELD mandate.

Here is another interesting quote from Eric Fuller:

“For drivers — or even employees in general — trucking is not, especially with the new generation, the sexy place to go work,” he says. “It’s tough for us to attract the level of talent that we need.”

Notice he didn't say it's tough to attract just anyone. He specifically said "the level of talent we need". The reason I bring this up is because a lot of people who are brand new to this industry are under the impression that they're in demand. No one who is brand new at something which is difficult, dangerous, and complex is in demand. It's "talented drivers" - experienced drivers who know how to turn big miles safely and efficiently - they are the ones who are in demand.

When you're a rookie in this industry the best path to take to make sure you become one of those high demand drivers is to stick with that first company for a year, learn how to operate that rig, learn how this industry works, and keep that safety record clean. If you can get one full year in this industry at the same company with a clean safety record you'll be treated like a rock star by any company you approach.

However, if you overestimate your demand and jump ship every few months you're going to quickly find out that no one wants you. Once you've proven you're the type to leave at the drop of a hat your value becomes even less than a brand new driver who hasn't ruined their reputation yet.

Why is this such a big deal? Because as Eric Fuller also said in that same article:

It costs the company about $5,000 for every driver that it replaces

That's a big bet to put on someone. If they think you're going to leave soon anyhow they'd rather place that bet on someone else. So everyone should think about that before you decide to leave your company after a few months. You're really going to hurt your reputation by doing that.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
the CEO of US Express who was excited that it will be putting smaller companies out of business.

First of all, remember that business at its essence is a competition. Have you ever known a sports team that values losing? Do you criticize the New England Patriots because they do the best job of driving other teams out of the playoffs? That's what you do in business. You compete. Don't you think these smaller companies are doing all they can to steal business away from US Xpress? Of course they are. That's how the game is played.

Also keep in mind that there are indeed smaller companies out there running paper logs who will push their drivers to turn more miles than they can legally do. If you refuse to turn the big miles and run two logbooks they'll run you out of the place. So electronic logs are there to protect the drivers just as much as they are to protect the public at large.

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.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

I honestly had to laugh at his comment of only being legally able to drive 450-500 miles a day. Someone really should prep him a bit better but he was dead on in the rest of the article. Personally, elogs don't really bother me and as we've talked about before, the issue hamstringing people is the 14 hour clock. It is a bit frustrating though when you follow the money through the ATA and see why they're using lobbying power to press the FMCSA into new mandates while pretty much ignoring some things like training standards which desperately need to be addressed. There is still one bill yet to be voted on in the house which would delay the mandate for 2 years and call for an independent 3rd party to do a legitimate study to prove that elogs will indeed make things safer, which is the premise they sold the FMCSA on to begin with.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I honestly had to laugh at his comment of only being legally able to drive 450-500 miles a day

All I can figure is that he may have been talking about average daily mileage. 500 miles per day times 7 days a week is 3,500 miles which is about the limit you can turn with the current system.

It is a bit frustrating though when you follow the money through the ATA

I've gotta say, in 25 years in this industry I could never really make any sense out of the ATA. I really don't know who sets their policies or how they decide what to lobby for. I never studied them in depth, but as a driver I knew they weren't trying to do much of anything to represent me, personally, so I just pretty much ignored them.

Of course I've pretty much ignored any sort of politics my entire life so it only stands to reason I wouldn't follow what the ATA is doing anyhow.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
There is still one bill yet to be voted on in the house which would delay the mandate for 2 years and call for an independent 3rd party to do a legitimate study to prove that elogs will indeed make things safer, which is the premise they sold the FMCSA on to begin with.

It would be really hard to argue against them. Even though politicians have to say everything very carefully, no one is fooled for a moment by these phony-baloney arguments about electronic logs making things more dangerous or being unfair to certain people. Come on. It's 2017 and we're documenting our time on paper like it's 1937. At some point you just give up the fight and accept that life moves forward and electronic logbooks only make sense.

Now the 14 hour rule? That makes me steamin' mad. I am just appalled that the 14 rule exists. Worst idea in the history of truck safety in my opinion.

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.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Totally agree and that's my main objection with the ELD mandate. It was lobbied for and pushed specifically by the ATA which was formed initially by the CEO's of some of the larger carriers to be a political arm that they could use to steer the industry in their best interests. I've never been a big fan of that.

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