Holding Trucking Companies To The Rules

Topic 19767 | Page 1

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Sam C.'s Comment
member avatar

Its been a while since I posted on here but I wanted to check if what I want to do was smart trucking or career suicide. For the last year I have been with a guaranteed pay company and I love it. I have been forced to break the rules of trucking a few times and drive when I was out of hours. For each of these instances I have taken pictures of my qualcomm and wrote down the dates and times just incase. I feel that at this point I should be able to tell my superiors No when they call me and tell me I have to go get this load when I have no hours left. Ive tried to get them to message me on my qualcomm and tell me I had too but they always call after I send the message stating Im out of hours. Ive even thought about recording the phone calls. NowI feel stuck, do I continue to break the rules and put my career at risk or do I tell them no and put my job at risk? BTW, these arent a few min here and there instances. I have driven over 2 hours to get a load and my superiors have adjusted my clock to make it look like I wasnt driving. The biggest overdrive was when my qualcomm went out and they used it to there advantage to get a load cross country asap. Drove 18 hours in 1 day.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

It's not just your job at risk - but YOUR FREEDOM.

If you get in an accident, while cheating the clock - YOU are the one held responsible.

It's one thing to squeak a few minutes here and there - and entirely another to do 18 hours of drive time in a day.

I would:

A - Start looking elsewhere, you have over a year of safe driving (I assume) which will open many (if not all) doors for you.

B- DO ALL COMMUNICATIONS ON THE QUALCOMM. They want you to bend or break the rules - MAKE THEM PUT IT IN WRITING. It's the ONLY WAY that you will have recourse for a COERCION CLAIM, if you refuse to violate the law and the retaliate (firing, etc.).

3 - See #1 - START LOOKING NOW.

Remember - it's not YOUR JOB BUT YOUR FREEDOM AND FUTURE. If you fell asleep at the wheel while doing your 18 hour marathon, and plowed into a school bus (or Tracy Morgans limo) - you would be more worried about COMMISSARY MONEY, than a job.

And after you do get a new job, please let us know who this company is - so we can advise our members to RUN (RUN FOREST, RUUUUN!) away from them.

Rick

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.
LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

I personally would tell them to go pack sand. Report it along with your evidence to the DOT & FMCSA. But that is me.

Or you can just say no. You can't make me move and I am not moving.

No matter what you decide, cover your 6 with extreme prejudice. Make sure you come out smelling like roses.

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

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

Get in a wreck while violating HOS and it will really be career suicide.

If you stay with the company and decide to record the calls make sure you inform them you are recording. In Oregon it is illegal to record conversations unless BOTH parties are aware and approve it.

No one can force you to run illegal. You are the one in control of that rig and if you say no then that ends it. You can always call a DOT officer and explain to them what is going on.

I am going to echo Rick though, you need to be looking for your next gig. If you get busted skirting HOS you are the one that will pay the fine, do the time, and endure any other challenges.

Its been a while since I posted on here but I wanted to check if what I want to do was smart trucking or career suicide. For the last year I have been with a guaranteed pay company and I love it. I have been forced to break the rules of trucking a few times and drive when I was out of hours. For each of these instances I have taken pictures of my qualcomm and wrote down the dates and times just incase. I feel that at this point I should be able to tell my superiors No when they call me and tell me I have to go get this load when I have no hours left. Ive tried to get them to message me on my qualcomm and tell me I had too but they always call after I send the message stating Im out of hours. Ive even thought about recording the phone calls. NowI feel stuck, do I continue to break the rules and put my career at risk or do I tell them no and put my job at risk? BTW, these arent a few min here and there instances. I have driven over 2 hours to get a load and my superiors have adjusted my clock to make it look like I wasnt driving. The biggest overdrive was when my qualcomm went out and they used it to there advantage to get a load cross country asap. Drove 18 hours in 1 day.

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.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Sam, please pay very close attention to what Rick wrote. You current company cannot force you to run illegal. That is your decision, not theirs. If you chose to run illegal, you unfortunately are responsible and accountable for that decision, not them.

Look for another job... In the mean time if they request you to run on a zero drive clock again, make sure you document everything. If you have a Qualcomm or like system, communicate with freeform message text so there is a record of it. I rarely suggest this, but you need to refuse to run illegal. Push it back on them. But be prepared...they might let you go.

Start looking and applying:

Trucking Company Reviews

and

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Sam, the one who gets in trouble is the person holding the steering wheel. You know the HOS rules, and so should your boss. You can't blame anyone else if the Law asks you about it.

At Swift, there was a time I was running out of hours (on my way home no less), told my DM. She asked me to keep going. Well I did, till I had about 30 minute left to drive 200 miles.

I pulled into a truck stop and shut down. An hour or so later, a Swift driver bobtailed in to get my trailer. I never heard a peep from my DM about that.

Also, on your QC Time screen, there's a place where you can have your complete logs emailed to your own email address. Better than photographs.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I agree with everyone as far as not driving past your hours. It's not worth the endless legal grief you would get yourself into over a few measly hours of driving here and there.

But I would also add that in my opinion you should take an easy and light approach to the topic with dispatch. Just be cool about it and say,

"Look, I know there are a lot of guys who are willing to break any rules necessary to get as many miles as possible, but I'm just not the guy to do it. I know what would happen to my career and my license and possibly my freedom if I got caught and I'm not willing to risk it. I'll run as hard as the Feds will allow, but I'm not going to risk everything in my life just to run a few more miles here and there when I'm already running a ton. So I'm gonna stop when I'm out of hours so I still have my career and my freedom many years from now."

And leave it at that. No need to report anyone, no need to get in a big chesty battle with anyone, it's almost certainly no big deal. They might get a bit annoyed for a few minutes but then they'll know your position and they'll work with it.

There are indeed a ton of guys who will break the rules to keep running. In fact, back in the day everyone would laugh at you if you didn't. If you even mentioned the hours you had available to drive people would laugh and pat you on the back and say, "Well welcome aboard, rookie! How long have you been out of school?"

Because everyone cheated back then. We all did. That was just how it was done. The logbook was considered a fictional piece of literature by everyone. It was a game of cops and robbers, like Dukes of Hazard, and everyone played along.

So to this day there are a lot of drivers that are more than happy to break the rules and a lot of office personnel that will allow it. But that attitude has changed a lot and now there are far fewer than there used to be. So I don't think dispatch will think much of it. They'll understand you're just not that kind of driver and they won't bother you with it.

I don't think you'll need to look for a new job. I don't think it will need to turn into a big shouting match. In fact, I would call them as soon as you can and let them know this before you get into a position where a load will be late and they're putting the pressure on you. I don't know how often you get back to the terminal , but this would also be a good conversation to have face to face. That's not necessary, but it's a pretty big topic so that might be a good idea.

Take the approach that you're all on the same team working at the same company. Don't approach it as a battle of you against the office personnel. You guys are all making a living moving freight. You're not asking them to break Federal laws to do their job, and you don't want them asking you to break Federal laws to do yours. You don't care how other drivers handle it, but keeping it legal is how you're going to handle it.

I wouldn't threaten them or take any drastic measures. I also wouldn't put anything on the Qualcomm to try to strong-arm them or embarrass them, you know what I mean? Just play it cool, talk to them about it on the phone or in person, and see if you can come to a simple understanding. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to.

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.

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.

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.
Cornelius A.'s Comment
member avatar

That is right , these people can not ask you to brake the rules for them . No one is worth you getting into trouble.

Cornelius A.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett you need to get into some consulting. A lot of my clients are sweating because they have never used Qualcomm and boy are they scared about how time management. They don't know if their drivers will be able to cope with it. I have directed a lot of them to TT so that they can learn a thing or 2 on that.

I agree with everyone as far as not driving past your hours. It's not worth the endless legal grief you would get yourself into over a few measly hours of driving here and there.

But I would also add that in my opinion you should take an easy and light approach to the topic with dispatch. Just be cool about it and say,

double-quotes-start.png

"Look, I know there are a lot of guys who are willing to break any rules necessary to get as many miles as possible, but I'm just not the guy to do it. I know what would happen to my career and my license and possibly my freedom if I got caught and I'm not willing to risk it. I'll run as hard as the Feds will allow, but I'm not going to risk everything in my life just to run a few more miles here and there when I'm already running a ton. So I'm gonna stop when I'm out of hours so I still have my career and my freedom many years from now."

double-quotes-end.png

And leave it at that. No need to report anyone, no need to get in a big chesty battle with anyone, it's almost certainly no big deal. They might get a bit annoyed for a few minutes but then they'll know your position and they'll work with it.

There are indeed a ton of guys who will break the rules to keep running. In fact, back in the day everyone would laugh at you if you didn't. If you even mentioned the hours you had available to drive people would laugh and pat you on the back and say, "Well welcome aboard, rookie! How long have you been out of school?"

Because everyone cheated back then. We all did. That was just how it was done. The logbook was considered a fictional piece of literature by everyone. It was a game of cops and robbers, like Dukes of Hazard, and everyone played along.

So to this day there are a lot of drivers that are more than happy to break the rules and a lot of office personnel that will allow it. But that attitude has changed a lot and now there are far fewer than there used to be. So I don't think dispatch will think much of it. They'll understand you're just not that kind of driver and they won't bother you with it.

I don't think you'll need to look for a new job. I don't think it will need to turn into a big shouting match. In fact, I would call them as soon as you can and let them know this before you get into a position where a load will be late and they're putting the pressure on you. I don't know how often you get back to the terminal , but this would also be a good conversation to have face to face. That's not necessary, but it's a pretty big topic so that might be a good idea.

Take the approach that you're all on the same team working at the same company. Don't approach it as a battle of you against the office personnel. You guys are all making a living moving freight. You're not asking them to break Federal laws to do their job, and you don't want them asking you to break Federal laws to do yours. You don't care how other drivers handle it, but keeping it legal is how you're going to handle it.

I wouldn't threaten them or take any drastic measures. I also wouldn't put anything on the Qualcomm to try to strong-arm them or embarrass them, you know what I mean? Just play it cool, talk to them about it on the phone or in person, and see if you can come to a simple understanding. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to.

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.

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.

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.
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