A Different View Point Of Governed Trucks

Topic 22646 | Page 1

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Diver Driver's Comment
member avatar

So many times on this site there are new comers who ask about, and make decisions on what company to go with based on how fast / slow a company's trucks will go. It's always said "fuel mileage" is the reason. I'd like to offer a different view point.

Ok, so let's all look at our past work history. In my case it was the Navy and then commercial diving. Inboth cases, I had to go through some sort of specialized training, where you learned some pretty deep (pardon the pun) stuff. After schooling; you think, "Hell yeah, I got this! I'm on top of the world!! Then, cold truth sets in. You're just another FNG, and your real training is about to begin.

Imagine my surprise, when it took almost 3 month before I even touched the water. I was good enough to wash a diver's wet suit, and that was it.

So here you are, your class A license is so new, that the plastic is still hot from the machine it came out of. You hire onto a company, and attend their orientation, and do what amounts to a VERY SMALL amount of time teaming with a trainer.

You're ready now, right? No no no, not so fast..... you went through training in July.... You have ZERO time in the snow and ice.

How much mountain driving do you have ? Have you been down Cabbage, Grapevine, Truckee, how about Fancy Gap ? These are all things that take time to learn, and you most likely have to do it on your own, using the tools that your trainer should have given you. (Your trainer did teach you, right?)

So getting back to your company and their trucks. The major carriers, are pretty much self insured. That is how they can afford to take you right out of school, and why the smaller "good companies" require experience.

So here you are again, turned loose in an (say it with me) 80k lb tractor trailer. With little to no experience, in Chicago rush hour....

The carrier is balancing the fact that they need drivers to deliver freight, and trying to deliver it safely, and with as little wear and tear on the trucks possible, plus not go broke, paying for the fuel.

Fact: These trucks can be tuned to over 600 hp, and a **** ton of torque

Fact: The more hp and torque you put to the wheel, the more your drive train and tires are gonna be at risk for damage/ wear

So again, the carrier has to balance the cost / efficiency / safety.

I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts, if you ask any old timer, or moderator on this site, they will tell you that their first couple of loads was pretty nerve racking. Trying to manage their hours, getting the load to the destination on time, etc.

Now add in the turn over rate....

It just makes sense from all points of view for the company to restrict the performance of their trucks. From keeping you safe, to keeping the trucks from getting tore up.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Diver, your post here is a great explanation of why only after proper training can someone coming in off the street handle an 80,000 pound, 2 story building scooting down the highway. But your title about trucks being speed governed is misleading here.

I agree with your thoughts that pulling this rolling monster down an interstate is not for straight newbies. And as in diving you don't just slip on a helmet and jump in, or step into a truck's cab and start the engine.

Suggest a new title, and if Brett sees it he may be able to get better clicks for this post.

Interstate:

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

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Well as far as talking about the trucks being governed I'll add some interesting and relevant thoughts to this.

For starters, the trucks are indeed governed to make sure they get better fuel mileage. That's one part of it. The other part is safety, but not in the way that most people might expect.

At first thought you might wonder, "Why is going 62 mph so much safer than going 67 mph? It's not like the stopping distance is that much greater if you increase the speed a few miles per hour." That's true.

The biggest difference between a truck going 62 mph and one going 67 mph is your speed relative to the other traffic on the highway. When you're going 62 you're rarely going to be catching up with anyone. Probably 95% or more of all vehicles on the highway are going to be travelling faster than you.

That is going to do three major things for you:

1) It's going to limit the opportunity you'll have for tailgating someone. Keeping a large following distance in my opinion is probably the most important defensive driving tactic there is if you had to name just one as being most important.

2) It's going to prevent you from having to change lanes to pass people all the time, and unsafe lane changes are one of the major causes of accidents.

3) It's far more relaxing to be going slower than most people than it is to be going faster than most people. You don't really have much to worry about. You're not catching people and having to pass them all the time. You can just kick back, put it on cruise control, hang out in that right lane, and do your thing. This is going to limit the amount of mental energy you're expending which will allow you to stay awake and alert for longer.

Diver Driver, in a way I can relate to your experiences with diving. I've never been a diver but I've done a lot of complex and risky things over the years myself, and in fact just a few weeks ago I started training under some very well known and accomplished coaches to do some big alpine climbs around the world. I'm a newbie to high level technical rock and ice climbing so I'm in that "take it low and slow" rookie phase as I build up my fitness and technical skills. Fortunately I've followed the climbing world for a very long time and I know from the dozens of books I've read and documentaries I've seen just how complex it is and how many things can go wrong in any given moment. So I'm perfectly happy starting low and slow and working my way up over a long period of time.

Without a doubt people vastly underestimate trucking all the time. They really don't have an appreciation for how many things can go wrong in any given moment. Once you've been out there for a few years, if a person survives in this industry that long, you'll certainly have a much more profound awareness and appreciation for how fragile your safety is out there and how quickly things can suddenly go wrong.

Keeping the trucks limited to 62 - 65 mph is super important for safety and for fuel mileage. It's going to help a driver be safer and more successful, which is also going to help the company maintain a better safety record and have a better chance at long term success.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
member avatar

Perfect timing on this post guys....

I have been trying to get my teammate to join the forum, so far unsuccessfully lol

However, I just this minute made him read this particular blog. Especially the bit about tailgating and lane changes. I told him that maybe he would now understand why I constantly talk to him about these things in particular.

Once he was done, I again told Chris to join the site. My exact words; "These guys are great, their whole mission is to help newbies learn things the right way....you should try it out."

His response; " I'm not a newbie!".

I was absolutely gobsmacked! I guess it must have shown on my face as he asked, "What did I say?".

We have been on the road since January 24th this year; so the sum total of his experience is what, 5 1/2 months??? lol

My retort; "Chris, you are so, so, so a damn newbie. You are at the point that most pilots/ drivers go through early in their careers once they pass initial training and get a little experience. You drive with too much unfounded confidence and way too aggressively for your level of experience and the most dangerous thing is that you don't even know what you don't know!"

I asked him how , if I am still learning things after 10 years in the industry, does he figure he's got it all figured out?

He doesn't have an answer to that.....yet! lol

SMDH 😜😮😂

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
You drive with too much unfounded confidence and way too aggressively for your level of experience and the most dangerous thing is that you don't even know what you don't know!"

It's interesting because most people would think brand new drivers on day one are the most dangerous drivers out there, but they're not. In the beginning everyone takes it really slow and cautiously. In my opinion the most dangerous drivers on the road are the ones between 3 months and 2 years under their belt. They've done it just enough to figure out a few things and nothing big has gone wrong for them yet so it gives them that false sense of confidence that they understand everything and they have it all under control.

It's not until you've been out there 3 - 5 years that you've really seen a ton of completely unexpected and disastrous things happen out of the blue. Then you finally come to realize there's no such thing as a safe moment on the highway. There's no such thing as enough open space around the truck. There's no such thing as a safe speed.

Murphy's Law states anything that can go wrong will go wrong, but until you've been out there a few years you really won't appreciate just how many insane things can happen at any given moment without warning. I don't think "driving defensively" is a strong enough phrase. You almost have to drive paranoid.

When reading an article about flying the pilot said, "The average pilot is surprised when something goes wrong. A great pilot is surprised when nothing goes wrong."

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
member avatar

I don't think "driving defensively" is a strong enough phrase. You almost have to drive paranoid.

When reading an article about flying the pilot said, "The average pilot is surprised when something goes wrong. A great pilot is surprised when nothing goes wrong."

Great answer!

I'm stealing thise quotes too! Lol

Brilliant! 👍

Diver Driver's Comment
member avatar

I've heard more than one tale of a driver making it through their first winter, only to get in a serious accident in their second winter season ; All due to over confidence. I'll admit, I've had to reel myself in more than once because I could feel myself getting almost cocky. Not a good attitude to have out here.

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.
Jrod's Comment
member avatar

I've heard more than one tale of a driver making it through their first winter, only to get in a serious accident in their second winter season ; All due to over confidence. I'll admit, I've had to reel myself in more than once because I could feel myself getting almost ****y. Not a good attitude to have out here.

It's 'cause his stupid "starter company" made the ice less slippery the first year so he wouldn't be prepared when he finally left them for a GOOD company!

I read it on the internet, it must be true!

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.
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