Nodding At The Wheel

Topic 1940 | Page 1

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Hookemhawk's Comment
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Safety is the priority. Sometimes I'll get started at 5 am and by 6 am I feel like it is midnight the next day and I have to pull over for a power nap. In reality, what is the companies outlook on this? Your dm? Will the Qualcomm go into overload?

How do you think a trainer, who needs you to be moving his/her truck, would act in this situation?

How about if you were a new co- driver on a team truck?

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.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
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In the end, as long as you still manage to make your appointments on time then it doesn't matter. But this is a problem.

Even rookies can last over an hour driving, so I don't exactly think this is acceptable. You either need to build up your stamina or catch up on sleep. You're constantly going to be in a situation where you do not have the time to nap after an hour. Having said that, I think you need to kick this habit because it will eventually ruin your day.

Now I'm not trying to be harsh. But we drive long hours each and every single day. Needing a nap after your first hour after you woke up does leave me scratching my head though. If I was a trainer and my student always did that I would have some serious doubts about him.

The companies don't monitor you that closely. You can go for a nap all you want. But if you're going to be late for appointments because you needed a nap then it'll be a problem and your DM will have to babysit you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with stopping for a quick nap on a day you have plenty of time on. Whenever I night drive, I usually always stop for a nap in the middle of the night, but that's night driving.

Your trainer will definitely not like it. They can't put food on the dinner table without that truck moving so essentially you're taking money away from him. But if you're tired and don't feel safe driving then your trainer has no say in it. Safety is #1.

The bottom line is, you need to build up your stamina to driving. These naps might frustrate your trainer but then again, you're a rookie so it might be expected. But when you're on your own, you have got to last longer than that.

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.
ThinksTooMuch's Comment
member avatar

Daniel is right. But I'd like to offer another solution. Different people are more alert at different times of day. I do fine during dawn, but at dusk I feel tired even if I just started driving or took a nap or even if I've been at home the last 3 days! You need to learn how your body works. Perhaps early morning is not good for you. Try starting at 7:00am instead, or whatever time. If this is a constant issue after driving for only 1 or 2 hours... then you may have a problem being a professional driver in the long run.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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This wouldn't be as big of a deal back in the day when everyone was running paper logbooks and you could just lie all the time. And there was no such thing as the 14 hour rule.

But nowadays with electronic logs and the 14 hour rule you can't stop for naps quite as easily or often as you used to be able to. You're going to run out of hours and get in a bind that way.

What ThinksTooMuch said about being more alert at certain times of the day is a very big thing. Circadian Rhythms. For instance, I've always been a morning person. Most people are not. I'm up voluntarily between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. every day and I jump out of bed ready to go. I've known a lot of people that can't get out of bed before 10:00 a.m. and you wouldn't even want to talk to them before noon. Everyone is different. So you should also try scheduling your days around what feels natural to you as often as possible. It won't always be an option, but when it is it would benefit you greatly.

It could also be an issue of blood sugar levels. Try eating something little when you first get up. Even a small granola bar or something might be just the thing to balance out your sugar levels. My mom and sister can't go too long without eating or their blood sugar levels get out of whack and they feel real lethargic and sick.

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.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

What every one said before me was right on the money..but I am going to offer up my $.02. You could possibly have a sleep apnea issue. This is a condition that causes you to stop breathing in your sleep and makes you wake out of deep restful sleep in order to cause you to start breathing again. You won't remember waking up, but you will feel tired and foggy when you shouldn't necessarily be that way. Again, just my thoughts...

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Hookemhawk's Comment
member avatar

It could also be an issue of blood sugar levels. Try eating something little when you first get up. Even a small granola bar or something might be just the thing to balance out your sugar levels. My mom and sister can't go too long without eating or their blood sugar levels get out of whack and they feel real lethargic and sick.

I think Brett May have nailed it here. I thought about the last few trips I have made. If I left the house without eating, I did get groggy about an hour down the road and struggled until I got something solid into my stomach. If I made breakfast I was fine. I guess I'll have to fuel myself everyday before spending much time on the road.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I guess I'll have to fuel myself everyday before spending much time on the road.

Yeah try that and see if you get good results. But Roadkill has an excellent point also. Sleep Apnea would cause you to be inexplicably tired a lot. Unfortunately the testing for it is expensive. But for those who have unknowingly lived with it and then had it diagnosed & treated it was a major life-changing discovery.

So if eating seems to cure it then awesome! If not, Sleep Apnea would indeed be worth looking into.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Hookemhawk's Comment
member avatar

I might get that test sooner than later. When I get to the physical part of training I think they might want to test me for Sleep Apnea. I'm carrying a little extra, but noticeable, around the waist. (33 BMI) and an 18" neck. I tested negative 10-15 years ago, but that is history. Hopefully it doesn't happen, but if it does, It won't catch me off guard.

Thanks to everyone for your comments.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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