Swift Speeding The Trucks Up!!

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Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

When I drove tankers we were governed at 59 mph. One of the drivers gt a new truck which he deserved, he had such an impeccable safety record for our company. Also the speed limit in California is 55, but he was given the truck before it was governed. He brought it back after the first shift and told the mechanic to govern it, it goes to fast. Now when your hauling fuel you take it a lot more seriously than you would dry van or flatbed or reefer. Not saying that caution is still not warranted but with a fuel tanker lets say more dangerous. Anyway to my point, yes you can be happy if you want to about the increase in speed, but remember it won't make any difference in the long run. The safety of driving a 80,000 pound missile going down the road, with thousands of 4 wheeler' s in and around you, you have the responsibility to keep them from injury not the other way around.

I just didn't just drive tankers, I drove doubles and triples and flatbeds also. When most states (not California), increased the speed for trucks, to 65 mph, they also looked for those truckers who would abuse the speed increase and hammer down on them. So if safety isn't your concern, then maybe a speeding ticket will be.

I'm done with this foolishness. Nine pages of exhausting tit-for-tat, I've seen the folly of how drivers who speed. It isn't pretty.

Rookies-

You'll never convince me that driving 3 mph faster is that great of a thing.

Experienced drivers-

Thanks for being the rhyme of reason.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Travis M.'s Comment
member avatar

Rookies-

You'll never convince me that driving 3 mph faster is that great of a thing.

Experienced drivers-

Thanks for being the rhyme of reason.

There are clearly drivers, loads and conditions where driving a faster speed is acceptable and will provide an edge. Will some push it too far? You bet. Stopping everyone because of a few is probably the right thing to do. But it would provide an advantage.

Brett coaches us to be efficient with on duty time by combining fueling with pre-trip. His conclusion is that the extra 15 minutes per day will add up and create noticeable improvement in time management.

An extra 3 mph for 5 hours in a driving day is an extra 15 minutes of driving time. Can it always be done safely by all drivers will all loads under all conditions? No. Accident statistics support your claim that speed is a bad thing.

Slow speed is also not always a good thing. If you can't accelerate to avoid a conflict, you have no chhoice but to slow down. You're already below the speed limit and slowing down further will cause bunching and accident potential behind you.

But all that is a different arguement than will it create an advantage.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Travis’ first post...who “considering a career” wrote this:

double-quotes-start.png

Rookies-

You'll never convince me that driving 3 mph faster is that great of a thing.

Experienced drivers-

Thanks for being the rhyme of reason.

double-quotes-end.png

There are clearly drivers, loads and conditions where driving a faster speed is acceptable and will provide an edge. Will some push it too far? You bet. Stopping everyone because of a few is probably the right thing to do. But it would provide an advantage.

Brett coaches us to be efficient with on duty time by combining fueling with pre-trip. His conclusion is that the extra 15 minutes per day will add up and create noticeable improvement in time management.

An extra 3 mph for 5 hours in a driving day is an extra 15 minutes of driving time. Can it always be done safely by all drivers will all loads under all conditions? No. Accident statistics support your claim that speed is a bad thing.

Slow speed is also not always a good thing. If you can't accelerate to avoid a conflict, you have no chhoice but to slow down. You're already below the speed limit and slowing down further will cause bunching and accident potential behind you.

But all that is a different arguement than will it create an advantage.

Really? Interesting first post. Travis to what experience do you base your conclusions? According to your profile, you aren’t in school yet. No offense intended, but you appear to have no commercial experience.

Curious, how then can you make this claim: “Driving faster gives you an edge”?

“Clearly”? When?

Please provide examples that you personally have experienced in a class 8 combination vehicle relevant to all of your points. Not quoting an internet post or what you heard, but real-world experience. For topics like this, experience matters far more than an opinion. And Brett? Not the Brett we know here at Trucking Trurh... Is he your instructor?

That said; an extra 3mph will not make a measurable improvement in productivity or raising income potential. It will not! Dreaming!

Reread the entire thread and realize (as Trucking Truth’s Brett pointed out) it’s only the inexperienced drivers offering a counter argument. Raptor was a driver for a long time...his reply is relevant, concise and correct. Listen to him!

I have 65mph available through adaptive cruise. Where do I set it? 63. Why? Because that setting minimizes the amount of “mixing-in” with other vehicles. (Turtle’s reply is comparable) I safely manage my space more efficiently and effectively in this fashion. It also maximizes fuel economy. They like us to average 7ish mpg; set at 65 and that average will decrease to less than 7.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
If you can't accelerate to avoid a conflict, you have no choice but to slow down.

I honestly cannot think of one time in 15 years of driving that I was able to accelerate a big rig to avoid any sort of trouble on the highway. How fast can you accelerate, and how slowly is trouble going to develop that you can accelerate out of the way of it?

You can get on the gas lightly to help gain traction in certain types of slides, but there are two problems with that:

1) Modern day traction control won't let you apply the throttle if the tires have broken loose

2) If the roads are in that condition you probably shouldn't be bumped up against the governor at maximum speed anyhow

In theory, what you said sounds legit. In reality, a big rig is never going to accelerate out of trouble. You can mash the gas and a loaded truck isn't going to gain more than 1 mph per second. That's not going to accelerate out of anything.

There are clearly drivers, loads and conditions where driving a faster speed is acceptable and will provide an edge.

Look at how you spend your time for an entire week and tell me you couldn't save yourself time on pretty much every load you haul. Linehaul guys tend to get on the gas and stay there the entire run with only their 30 minute break. Almost no one else does that, because no one is consistently on that tight of a schedule, even when hauling JIT (Just In Time) freight.

Stopping everyone because of a few is probably the right thing to do

That's not really what's happening. They're governing trucks to save fuel for everyone, and to keep speeds down for everyone. I don't care if you have 150 years of driving experience, the laws of physics still apply to you. It eats more fuel and it's more dangerous to go faster. There are no exceptions. So it's not a matter of hurting everyone because of a few bad apples. It's safer and more fuel efficient for everyone to run at governed speeds.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

David D.'s Comment
member avatar

Just a perspective from a friend of mine that owns a small trucking company with her husband. She recently had a driver quit because her husband woundn't turn his truck up past 70 mph. Her comment to me was "he doesn't drive any place where the speed limit is over 70 so why should I turn his truck up?" The other comment she made was if he got in a wreck and was going 75 mph where the speed limit was 65 or 70 how would she explain to the judge/opposing lawyer why his truck was turned up to 75. The answer is "There isn't a good reason!" I know everyone hates that lawyers run the world (actually they don't, but that's a whole different post) but that's the world we live in.

Travis M.'s Comment
member avatar

Of course you're correct. I have no experience as a commercial trucker.

For what it's worth, I thought I was agreeing with you although I'm sure you don't really need or want my support. I know you don't want my opinion.

My mistake, I did assume that Brett was the author. Here is the reference to the 15-minute savings I referred to. I'm not a trucker (yet) but I took this to mean that an extra 15 minutes a day is worth thinking about.

CDL Training Materials => High Road Training Program => Making The Most Of Your Available Hours - Page 108

Combine Tasks
...
Combining tasks is an excellent way to save on time. In fact, there's one trick which could save you 15 minutes or more every day? Wouldn't that be beneficial? Heck, 15 minutes saved over the course of 7 days is an extra 1hr and 45 minutes.
...
Perform your fueling and pre-trip inspection at the same time.
...

And, from Brett's response to my post,

Look at how you spend your time for an entire week and tell me you couldn't save yourself time on pretty much every load you haul. Linehaul guys tend to get on the gas and stay there the entire run with only their 30 minute break. Almost no one else does that, because no one is consistently on that tight of a schedule, even when hauling JIT (Just In Time) freight.

I'm certainly not a linehaul guy but doesn't that seems to support the idea that an extra 3 mph under the right conditions would be an advantage for some operations. Small advantage, no doubt. But on the order of a 15 minutes advantage for the day - for the right driver under the right conditions. I'm just combining concepts, here.

I poorly referred to trucks not accelerating. I only meant that being able to go a little faster seemed like it would have other benefits even if it wasn't used to travel more miles in a driving day. I now understand that there are no such situations.

My apologies for sticking my neck out. Lesson learned. I'm going to count that as my first lesson on my path to becoming a driver.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
My apologies for sticking my neck out

No need to apologize. This topic is a good example of theory vs reality. In theory, a lot of things seem to matter. In reality, most of these things make very little or no difference, and the positive gains you might get in theory are often wiped out by the negative consequences you may face.

Maximizing your available time is critical for a driver who wants to turn as many miles each week as possible. So doing things like combing your fueling with pre-trip can help. There are no negative consequences for something like that. Getting things done during your mandatory 30 minute break is another good example. You want to make the most of your time.

But a difference of a few miles per hour in the grand scheme of things isn't going to mean much of anything when you look at the realities you're facing out there:

  • heavy traffic
  • bad weather and road conditions
  • multiple stops each day for various reasons
  • long waits at customers
  • slow climbs when loaded heavy going up mountains
  • breakdowns
  • mental fatigue from passing more people and having to manage following distance

....etc.

The loss of fuel mileage and the increased danger involved with going a few miles per hour faster along with the realities I just mentioned mean that increasing speed really isn't one of the safer or more efficient ways of saving time. It's not that it would never help. It's just that you have to see the big picture and realize that increasing your speed probably isn't going to help much in the grand scheme of things and could have significant risks and inefficiencies that go along with it.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I want to throw a personal example in here for illustration. I have always taught folks to maximize their driving time. That is the secret to being productive and making the most money at this career. The hardest part to get across is the concepts that allow you to get the most done each week. It's really all in how you operate, not in how you drive.

It's things like communicating accurate information with both your dispatcher and your customers so that you're not wasting time sitting and waiting on them. It's the ability to move your appointment times up so that your week is run in an efficient manner, allowing you to get more loads run than the folks who don't bother with all that important communication.

There are sacrifices some drivers are willing to make that others ignore. I may sleep parked at a customer's gate while other truckers enjoy the convenience of the nearby truck stop. Consequently I'm the first one unloaded, and I'm the first one out of there onto the next load. The folks behind me are burning their 14 hour clock for no good reason. It's all these subtle things you do out here that help you stay at the top levels of production.

I'm governed at 62 mph. I'm one of those trucks that gets passed all the time, and yes, even the Swifties are passing me now days. I would put my production levels up against anyone's. Just this week my dispatcher sent me a message expressing his appreciation about how I handle my job. This is a direct quote: "You have no idea how much I appreciate a grown man being able to take care of everything on his own. Aahhhhh, if everyone was as solid as you."

I was at the end of my seventy hours today when I finished my backhaul load. Take a look at the numbers here on my logs. This is a very typical work week for me.

0523947001542344196.jpg

That was done completely within the legal limits. I ran 3,527 miles.

We had several drivers on the specialized fleet I'm in get fired recently for cheating on their logs. My dispatcher called me to tell me about it. He was frustrated by the loss of these drivers, and he was going on about how the guys who've been doing the cheating still weren't putting up numbers like I do.

The concepts for success at this have nothing to do with the speed of your truck. It's all bound up in your ability to make things happen in your favor. Each of us has to take the necessary steps to make that happen. We may each develop our own methods and practices. There's no cookie cutter approach that is superior to another. Most drivers never seem to realize how critical their decision making process is in the outcome of their results. They tend to lay the blame for their shortcomings on their dispatcher. That's why we have this completely unproductive culture of "us against them" in trucking. It's so counter productive that we've started thinking if we could just drive faster we could make some money.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jeff J.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry to interject a comment on this from a newly licensed CDL driver but I was trying to relate to the responses. For 15 year's I've worked in EMS. When I first started in this field I was so excited to have the lights and sirens on and to be able to exceed the speed limit. Granted it was to help people in need but over the course of my career I found out that speed can kill. I saw it frequently. So I spent 2 months going over calls where someone drove to a distant hospital with lights and sirens vs. those that drove within normal speed limits. The ones that drove with lights and sirens saved on average 2 minutes vs those without the lights and sirens. Everyone thought that there was going to be a greater gap in time saved but when analyzing the results it was determined that due to the increased speed and extra caution that had to come into play while going through the stop lights very little was gained. This doesn't include the increased risk in safety of those driving with the lights and sirens. We decided to limit the amount of uses for the lights and sirens of which included the increase in authorized speed limit of an additional 10 miles per hour.

I can understand that someone would be excited to have the additional speed to pass or whatever reason they have but remember that as speed goes up so do the risk to you and others. As to the money side of the issue for me the idea of making more money sounds nice but I'm coming from a different background then some, remember. Don't take this the wrong way, no amount of money is worth risking my life or those around me. Please don't take this wrong. I'm just giving my point of view and after seeing so many deaths for stupid reasons I focus on safety.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

Jeff K.

You hit the nail on the head! Good reply. Safety first. I was heading Cal highway 99 empty, so I could go a little faster. My flatbed was doubles and it started swerving a little. I backed off and was at 53 mph and it was doing fine again. I had only had my license at time for about 3 weeks. Well i'm driving down the road another 20 minutes and a truck comes up on my tail and he was moving really fast. An independent trucker. To get to my point, I get another 10 minutes down the road and I (and other trucks get pulled into a weigh station by CHP's. They had the driver in handcuffs. It freaked me out. This guy was lucky that he didn't kill anyone or himself.

No increase in speed will convince me that it is for the better good of this industry!

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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