Solo OTR Work Hours Vs Personal Time

Topic 21445 | Page 2

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Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

As Errol said, the HOS , Hours of Service, that govern us are so much easier once you are living them. Our days are rules by 2 things. Freight and HOS. Those 2 things determine everything.

HOS becomes second nature very quickly once you are living by them.

I have an idea. If you really want to understand HOS, grab a free logbook app like keep trucking for your phone. When you go out to start your car in the morning to go to work, log "on-duty - 'pretrip'". Remember to give yourself 15 mins prior to leaving for the required Pretrip. Log any time driving as on-Duty - driving. Log any time working as On Duty - Not driving. Any breaks you get at work you log off duty for. When you get back home from work, don't forget to log On Duty for your post trip. Then log yourself Off Duty for your 10hr rest break. It will be an eye opening experience.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

It should be said though that i not only get hotels, rent cars and see local attractions, and meet up with trucker friends along the way.

whether i do this on a 34 or with a load depends on the load length.

Steak Eater's Comment
member avatar

Rainy, so if my math is correct from my earlier post (in a “day, 10 hours rest + 9 to 11 hours of driving = 3 to 5 hours remaining for time at shippers / receivers, trip planning, maybe some personal time etc) would it be correct to assume that on pure driving days you have a few more hours available to yourself because there is little on duty time other than driving?

Is there often some slack in your load delivery schedule? I would have thought companies would schedule things pretty tight to keep pushing productivity. Loads have excess time on them?

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Steak Eater asks:

Is there often some slack in your load delivery schedule?

rofl-2.gif

Actually, appointments range from "12/28 3:00pm" to "Deliver between 12/28 and 12/31". And it can be a thread-the-needle event to arrive in time with hours you can use. And sometimes you or your DM will know more about slack in your times. But you know if the wheels ain't turnin' you ain't earnin'.

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.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

You can't keep a schedule too tight or every time an unexpected delay happens you would be late. I personally like places that work on first come, first serve with deliveries having a NLT date. It gives you flexibility.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Is there often some slack in your load delivery schedule? I would have thought companies would schedule things pretty tight to keep pushing productivity. Loads have excess time on them?

Steak Eater, you've been asking some great questions, and it really is difficult to wrap your mind around this whole Hours of Service concept until you get out here and start working with it. Logistics is far from a perfect world, there are way too many variables involved in the day to day process of moving freight around the country. You've got so many things that can cause delays. There's traffic, weather, road construction, accidents on the interstates, schedules of operation at the places you are going, and a host of other things. One thing that often happens with a rookie driver is that they will assign them with loads that have a little extra time on them. That way you can start getting accustomed to how things work, and it also gives you a chance to maybe have a little less stress at the beginning.

The reality in this business is that they want to be as efficient as possible, but sometimes it is just next to impossible to make that happen 24/7. I am on a 2,300 mile dispatch this week. I started down in Louisiana and have (7) stops, or locations that I have got to deliver to. They are as follows:

North Collins, New York

Charlestown, New Hampshire

(2) in Farmington, Connecticut

Hamden, Conncecticut

Riverdale, New Jersey

Bridgewater, New Jersey

Whenever you have that many stops and that many miles, the variables just keep on piling up. I am taking a ten hour break right now in Dayton, Ohio. After that, even if nothing goes wrong on the next drive shift, I will get to my first stop in North Collins at 1530 (3:30 p.m.). The only thing wrong with that is that customer stops receiving at 1430, and they are very serious about that cut-off time. So, I will sleep in their parking lot (they allow this) and then unload in the morning around 0800 (8:00 a.m.). If you do the math you will see that I have an extra 6.5 hours over my required ten hour break that I will be spending at this receiver.

Continued...

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I personally like places that work on first come, first serve with deliveries having a NLT date. It gives you flexibility.

even so, prime sets appt times for us. So if the customer says rhey are FCFS, but my appt from prime is 1500, i better be there well before. However i do get window appts on occassion.

Steak Eater...here is an example. I picked up a beer load in St Louis on Fri 2100. It was to deliver in Salt Lake City on Tues morning. My boyfriend is teaming and caught up with me in MO. We drove across the state following each other while on the phone. We shut down at 0400. Before my hours came back, I got a message to repower another driver 450 miles away for her 1500 appt--- that was a whole 24 hours away. So i got to spend the day with my guy, had a good chinese buffet, and we both left out at 0400. I made it to my pick up, made the delivery then went shopping at walmart where i parked for the night. IF i wanted to, i could have gotten a hotel room after shopping cause there was a hotel right next door. There are some days when it is hammer down....but some days i drive 300 miles (5 hours) other i drive 10. depends on the appts and how i feel

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I can handle that extra time however I want to. I could stay right here where I am at in this comfortable truck stop and take an extra shower, or I could go ahead and leave, get myself there and enjoy taking a walk this afternoon while exploring an area that might have something interesting for me to discover. Maybe I'll just keep my lazy self in bed and watch a movie on my laptop. Maybe I will work on my education by attending some online courses. The point is that I can create time out here that is available for me to use as I wish, without being considered as not doing my job properly. The opposite of that is also true. There are plenty of times out here where I can get myself ahead of schedule by being in contact with my customers and moving my appointments around some so that the load can be done more efficiently, getting me finished a day or two early and onto the next available load, maximizing my income. Some weeks you will enjoy having some extra time on your hands. Other times you will enjoy taking a little break from the hustle of it all. Most rookie drivers are just kind of stressed with it all and rushing all the time, which can be exhausting. when they get their ten hour break, they need it to rest.

By the way, the reason that I chose to stop in Dayton was that I can spend that little bit of extra time here visiting with my oldest daughter who lives here. She is pregnant with our first grandchild, and this is a special time for her. I took the variables on this load to make some special time to see her and her husband while on my break. Do you see the flexibility and the beauty of that?

My point in giving you a real world example is so that you can see that you have some flexibility in this career. It really is a lifestyle, that you get to control. Certainly your loads will dictate many things about how you work, but your abilities to manipulate your schedule and your appointments will eventually come into play and you will learn how to maximize both your money and your pleasure while out here doing this. I often times change my appointments to maximize my profit out here, but I also sometimes take the time to do special things that are enjoyable to me. During the football season, I will sometimes make it a point to go to some local high school football games. I just really enjoy the atmosphere of a small town football game where all the locals are there cheering on their own kids in the game. There's nothing like it to me - and I will do that at times for my own pleasure and sanity.

We definitely have a rigid set of rules to go by, but there is a lot of flexibility in them once you learn how to master your own destiny. Trucking is truly one of the last career choices where you are still the captain of your own ship. Many truck drivers will disagree with that statement, but the truth is that they are jaded and bitter about this career, and probably would do better to just go ahead and get out of trucking altogether. Basically they have done a poor job of managing their career - they have reaped what they have sown. If you take the right approach to this, and learn to be flexible with your time and your opinions about "how things should be," you can make this lifestyle into a very pleasant experience all around. I am doing this as a second career, one that I don't have to do. I do it for the adventure of it all, and brother let me tell you, it has yet to disappointed me!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Haha! Rainy rudely interrupted me in the middle of my speech! She's from New Jersey, she can't help it! rofl-3.gifrofl-2.gifrofl-3.gif

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I can handle that extra time however I want to. I could stay right here where I am at in this comfortable truck stop and take an extra shower, or I could go ahead and leave, get myself there and enjoy taking a walk this afternoon while exploring an area that might have something interesting for me to discover. Maybe I'll just keep my lazy self in bed and watch a movie on my laptop. Maybe I will work on my education by attending some online courses. The point is that I can create time out here that is available for me to use as I wish, without being considered as not doing my job properly. The opposite of that is also true. There are plenty of times out here where I can get myself ahead of schedule by being in contact with my customers and moving my appointments around some so that the load can be done more efficiently, getting me finished a day or two early and onto the next available load, maximizing my income. Some weeks you will enjoy having some extra time on your hands. Other times you will enjoy taking a little break from the hustle of it all. Most rookie drivers are just kind of stressed with it all and rushing all the time, which can be exhausting. when they get their ten hour break, they need it to rest.

By the way, the reason that I chose to stop in Dayton was that I can spend that little bit of extra time here visiting with my oldest daughter who lives here. She is pregnant with our first grandchild, and this is a special time for her. I took the variables on this load to make some special time to see her and her husband while on my break. Do you see the flexibility and the beauty of that?

My point in giving you a real world example is so that you can see that you have some flexibility in this career. It really is a lifestyle, that you get to control. Certainly your loads will dictate many things about how you work, but your abilities to manipulate your schedule and your appointments will eventually come into play and you will learn how to maximize both your money and your pleasure while out here doing this. I often times change my appointments to maximize my profit out here, but I also sometimes take the time to do special things that are enjoyable to me. During the football season, I will sometimes make it a point to go to some local high school football games. I just really enjoy the atmosphere of a small town football game where all the locals are there cheering on their own kids in the game. There's nothing like it to me - and I will do that at times for my own pleasure and sanity.

We definitely have a rigid set of rules to go by, but there is a lot of flexibility in them once you learn how to master your own destiny. Trucking is truly one of the last career choices where you are still the captain of your own ship. Many truck drivers will disagree with that statement, but the truth is that they are jaded and bitter about this career, and probably would do better to just go ahead and get out of trucking altogether. Basically they have done a poor job of managing their career - they have reaped what they have sown. If you take the right approach to this, and learn to be flexible with your time and your opinions about "how things should be," you can make this lifestyle into a very pleasant experience all around. I am doing this as a second career, one that I don't have to do. I do it for the adventure of it all, and brother let me tell you, it has yet to disappointed me!

THIS is so true. "I control my time". Learn from Old School how to trip plan and manage time. By doing so i can rack up.the miles or slow myself down anytime.I want to. As a rookie i was exhausted, but listened to Old School. I learned quickly how to de stress....however....im a former postal worker from NJ with 4 siblings, so trucking stress is nothing. lol

Also, our trucks always need something..PMs, tires, alignments, APU issues, QC issues. You could have a brand new truck and will still.need something done. Our terminal is amazing so if i want some down time witbout it counting as hometime i can go into the terminal, get a massage or hair coloring, go shopping, get a hotel, go to the doctor, see a movie etc all under the guise of getting repaired. two birds with one stone. I recharge over that 34 to 48 hours then head out. and depending on the repair, i could get my hotel room paid and breakdown pay as well.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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