Isn't Regulation A Good Thing?

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NeeklODN's Comment
member avatar

The way I see it, the freight has to be moved either way. If we are limited to 11 hours a day driving, it allows for a better schedule and more rest. Maybe freight is moving slower because of regulations? But wouldn't that drive the demand up therefore increasing the revenue in the industry and money in drivers pockets? Why are these people striking? Why would they want to risk their lives and others by driving tired? Isn't it smarter all around to have regulations in the industry? Enlighten me.

Hobo's Comment
member avatar

The way I see it, the freight has to be moved either way. If we are limited to 11 hours a day driving, it allows for a better schedule and more rest. Maybe freight is moving slower because of regulations? But wouldn't that drive the demand up therefore increasing the revenue in the industry and money in drivers pockets? Why are these people striking? Why would they want to risk their lives and others by driving tired? Isn't it smarter all around to have regulations in the industry? Enlighten me.

What you're talking about doing by enforcing an artificial handicap on hours is handicapping supply. The better schedule you mentioned is based on your needs not the needs of the market.

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

You are correct. When the eld mandate went into effect, the rates nearly doubled overnight. It stayed very high for about seven months.

People saw how much money they could make and there were record numbers of new startups, expanded fleets, and new equipment ordered.

With the huge number of people in the industry it drove the rates back down and with how fragile the market is, the rates got really low. We didn't even get a Christmas uptick this year. The rates stayed very flat. Prepare to have a lot of places going out of business.

There's not really a lot of people striking. They're the vocal minority that the media keeps on covering.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

We'll be talking about this strike issue a good bit in the coming months, but I think Business Insider really summed it up well.

Strikes don't usually succeed without a union — but a group of 15,000 truckers are hoping to prove the opposite

First of all, let's be clear about one thing......owner operators hate electronic logs because it prevents them from cheating and trying to run extra miles. The reality is that you can run a ton of miles with ELD's. Look at the moderators and other experienced drivers here on our website - they turn as many miles on ELD's as a human being should be allowed to turn. Many of them consistently turn over 3,000 miles per week.

I never used ELD's. My entire career was paper logs. I was able to cheat all I wanted. You know what I figured out after a while? If you drive more than about 3,200 miles per week consistently you're not going to get enough sleep to recover properly and you're going to burn out. I think anyone who drives those kind of miles consistently would agree. I can go as hard as anyone. I'm highly motivated and ambitious. But you need a certain amount of sleep in order to recover fully, and driving more than that simply won't allow enough sleep.

So there's no reason in my mind to say that ELD's are a problem.

The real problem lies with some of the logbook rules themselves, especially the split sleeper berth and the 14 hour rules. I have no Earthly idea how the 14 hour rule sounded safe and logical to anyone. Sleep experts seemed to focus on how many hours of consecutive sleep a person needs daily while discounting the importance and effectiveness of splitting that sleep up between a solid block at night and a nap during the day. They also discounted the importance of the thousands of studies done over the years which determined that productivity and safety drops off steeply after 8 consecutive hours of work, which is what led to the labor acts mandating overtime after 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.

Taking short breaks throughout the day, including one with a short nap, makes for a far safer, more alert and attentive driver. The 14 hour rule should be eliminated and the split sleeper berth should be put back to the way it was many years ago where you could split the sleeper berth time into two sections totalling 8 hours with each one a minimum of 2 hours.

I agree with the points made in the Business Insider article:

  • The "Black Smoke Matters" name isn't attractive to left-leaning, socially minded people who might otherwise support the strike
  • Their [Black Smoke Matters] messaging addresses nitty-gritty details that the public might not understand about trucking — like the ELD mandate, hours-of-service laws, and rest-stop parking.
  • The number of truckers talking about striking is way too low to have any impact
  • The public isn't going to agree that doing away with ELD's makes any kind of sense, and I don't agree myself

The idea of having a strike just sounds dumb to me. It isn't going to accomplish anything. The trucker stereotype in this nation for decades has been a bunch of dumb, loudmouth, grumpy, obnoxious rednecks and that's exactly the type that always seem to make the most noise in this industry. Calling yourself "Black Smoke Matters" and demanding the end of technology used to monitor driving times just doesn't sound credible to most folks at all.

I also find it odd that they'd even try to get the Government to eliminate ELD's. Seriously, on what planet does it makes sense to allow paper logs when an ELD is more effective? You can turn a ton of miles using ELD's. They should be focusing on getting some of the logbook rules revised instead of pretending ELD's are the problem.

I think Black Smoke Matters is their own worst enemy, which is often the case with the most vocal truck drivers. They tend to be obnoxious, their reasoning is poor, their message is disingenuous, their tactics make no sense, and they focus on all the wrong things. Even their name is utterly absurd. Making a play off "Black Lives Matter" shows a painful lack of creativity and common sense. It has no relation to the cause of Black Lives Matter and it conjures up images of old big rigs spewing black smoke into the air in a time where environmental issues are at the forefront. Duh! It even sounds dark and angry, which makes it hard for the general public to get behind.

We'll talk plenty about this in the coming months. I'm going to put together a podcast about this also.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Agree with you 100% Brett. Seriously.

NeeklODN's Comment
member avatar

We'll be talking about this strike issue a good bit in the coming months, but I think Business Insider really summed it up well.

Strikes don't usually succeed without a union — but a group of 15,000 truckers are hoping to prove the opposite

First of all, let's be clear about one thing......owner operators hate electronic logs because it prevents them from cheating and trying to run extra miles. The reality is that you can run a ton of miles with ELD's. Look at the moderators and other experienced drivers here on our website - they turn as many miles on ELD's as a human being should be allowed to turn. Many of them consistently turn over 3,000 miles per week.

I never used ELD's. My entire career was paper logs. I was able to cheat all I wanted. You know what I figured out after a while? If you drive more than about 3,200 miles per week consistently you're not going to get enough sleep to recover properly and you're going to burn out. I think anyone who drives those kind of miles consistently would agree. I can go as hard as anyone. I'm highly motivated and ambitious. But you need a certain amount of sleep in order to recover fully, and driving more than that simply won't allow enough sleep.

So there's no reason in my mind to say that ELD's are a problem.

The real problem lies with some of the logbook rules themselves, especially the split sleeper berth and the 14 hour rules. I have no Earthly idea how the 14 hour rule sounded safe and logical to anyone. Sleep experts seemed to focus on how many hours of consecutive sleep a person needs daily while discounting the importance and effectiveness of splitting that sleep up between a solid block at night and a nap during the day. They also discounted the importance of the thousands of studies done over the years which determined that productivity and safety drops off steeply after 8 consecutive hours of work, which is what led to the labor acts mandating overtime after 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.

Taking short breaks throughout the day, including one with a short nap, makes for a far safer, more alert and attentive driver. The 14 hour rule should be eliminated and the split sleeper berth should be put back to the way it was many years ago where you could split the sleeper berth time into two sections totalling 8 hours with each one a minimum of 2 hours.

I agree with the points made in the Business Insider article:

  • The "Black Smoke Matters" name isn't attractive to left-leaning, socially minded people who might otherwise support the strike
  • Their [Black Smoke Matters] messaging addresses nitty-gritty details that the public might not understand about trucking — like the ELD mandate, hours-of-service laws, and rest-stop parking.
  • The number of truckers talking about striking is way too low to have any impact
  • The public isn't going to agree that doing away with ELD's makes any kind of sense, and I don't agree myself

The idea of having a strike just sounds dumb to me. It isn't going to accomplish anything. The trucker stereotype in this nation for decades has been a bunch of dumb, loudmouth, grumpy, obnoxious rednecks and that's exactly the type that always seem to make the most noise in this industry. Calling yourself "Black Smoke Matters" and demanding the end of technology used to monitor driving times just doesn't sound credible to most folks at all.

I also find it odd that they'd even try to get the Government to eliminate ELD's. Seriously, on what planet does it makes sense to allow paper logs when an ELD is more effective? You can turn a ton of miles using ELD's. They should be focusing on getting some of the logbook rules revised instead of pretending ELD's are the problem.

I think Black Smoke Matters is their own worst enemy, which is often the case with the most vocal truck drivers. They tend to be obnoxious, their reasoning is poor, their message is disingenuous, their tactics make no sense, and they focus on all the wrong things. Even their name is utterly absurd. Making a play off "Black Lives Matter" shows a painful lack of creativity and common sense. It has no relation to the cause of Black Lives Matter and it conjures up images of old big rigs spewing black smoke into the air in a time where environmental issues are at the forefront. Duh! It even sounds dark and angry, which makes it hard for the general public to get behind.

We'll talk plenty about this in the coming months. I'm going to put together a podcast about this also.

Agreed!!!

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

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.
Chris L's Comment
member avatar

I know that I am still new to this industry especially since I’m still in School so please forgive my naiveté I read the article that Brett linked to and I have a couple of questions. (Italics font is quotes from the article) “Fewer than 10% of America's 1.8 million long-haul truck drivers are unionized. And independent truck drivers, called owner-operators, are outright banned from forming unions.” Wouldn’t that be the main incentive to become a Independent Owner Operator? The driver has chosen to be “Independent” not bound to a Company or Union? "At the top of the list is the electronic-logging-device (ELD) mandate, which came into effect in December 2017. The mandate requires truckers to keep an electronic log in their cabins to ensure they don't work for more than 14 hours a day or drive more than 11, in accordance with the hours-of-service law. Many truckers have told Business Insider that the federal mandate cut down on their wages, freedom, and safety." Safety: How? The Federal mandates came about because of increasing accidents from drivers who were found to be in violation of HOS. A good example was the Wal-Mart Driver who had the accident with Comedian Tracy Morgan in New Jersey back in 2015. I found a CBS News report on Youtube stated the driver had driven from his home in Georgia to a Wal-Mart DC in Delaware before his run started and according to the report, the NTSB stated the Driver was already in violation of HOS by the time he had gotten on the road. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50_DwdTvW1c Wages: Again, I’m a bit naive in this area but don’t most OO negotiate their fees up front before picking up a load? Freedom: Again, most OO set their own hours and work schedule? "And if Black Smoke Matters succeeds, it wouldn't be the first time naysayers were proved wrong. Between 1973 and 1974, independent truck drivers organized over CB radio to shut down trucking across the US for multiple days in protest of skyrocketing oil prices. Truckers won their demands after the shutdown, and the strike gave rise to the influential Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association." I remember when I was a kid hearing on the news about an Independent Truckers Strike, I think it was in the early 80’s OOIDA: I have heard commercials on Sirius about them I assume that the organization is an advocate for Independent OO. "The ELD mandate was one of the driving forces for organizing the strike, as many truckers said the electronic log forces them to speed against the clock." As I have seen in many posts here on the TT forum most successful drivers manage their time so that they stay within the HOS limit. "One of the many consternations ELDs have brought to truckers such as Franklin is limiting parking at truck stops. Because most truckers are now working around the same time every day, they're also populating parking spots at the same time. So, many truckers aren't able to find a place to park their truck and sleep at night." To me this is a classic Supply and Demand issue Truck Stops that can will expand to meet the needs( i.e. Parking) of the Drivers they serve. The ELD mandate has only been in effect for 14 months now it will take some time for the industry to catch up. I would bet that Truck stops / Travel Plazas that are currently planed or under construction have probably taken steps to address the parking issue. The again I could be wrong. The rest of the article goes on to talk about Organized Labor and it’s decline in long haul trucking starting in the late 70’s. I’m not a fan of Unions even though I was in one while I was a School Bus driver (It was a closed shop so if I wanted to work, I had to join). I believe that Organized Labor at the national level has their own views and agendas and that might not coincide with the views and agendas of Widget Makers Local One in Stump Jumper Georgia. Case in point is political views of the National Organization do not truly reflect the views of the rank and file members. So again, my opinions goes back to the original question Independent drivers / Owner Operators are this for a reason because they want to be independent. Will there be allot of Drivers who will shut down on April 12th there might be some but I don’t think it will be allot for the simple reason OO have to keep moving so they can get paid. Hopefully I’ll be out on the road by that time so I can see how it unfold first hand (knock on wood that I pass the NYS road test at the end of February)

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

OOIDA:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

In regards to the content of ELD implementation driving up rates, that's completely untrue. Trump's tariff war drove up rates as foreign manufacturers scrambled to front load freight into the country before the tariffs took place. The Christmas rush was diminished and freight during these winter months has been down and rates are lower. Several articles from watchdog groups predicted this run on the spot market and along with the series of natural disasters which rallied freight. They projected things fairly well and now freight is bouncing back and showing to be another good year with manufacturing being up, oil field work going crazy and other sectors seeing advances, none of which have anything to do with ELOGS.

Elog:

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.

Elogs:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

You don't think millions of truck drivers’ available hours being cut by electric logs has anything to do with rates rising? Ever heard of supply and demand? Lower the available hours, the higher the demand for them.

I believe that some freight was front loaded. But to say that enough freight was front loaded that lasted through the retail holiday season is crazy. Where did they store all this freight? The warehouses are all the same sizes as the year before.

Freight is fairly consistent meaning trips go 2 to 3 times a week for 8 months for example. You don't haul 200 truck loads in a month and then haul nothing for the rest of the year unless you're talking seasonal things like produce.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

You don't think millions of truck drivers’ available hours being cut by electric logs has anything to do with rates rising? Ever heard of supply and demand? Lower the available hours, the higher the demand for them.

I believe that some freight was front loaded. But to say that enough freight was front loaded that lasted through the retail holiday season is crazy. Where did they store all this freight? The warehouses are all the same sizes as the year before.

Freight is fairly consistent meaning trips go 2 to 3 times a week for 8 months for example. You don't haul 200 truck loads in a month and then haul nothing for the rest of the year unless you're talking seasonal things like produce.

Sid, you have no info in your bio. You talk as if you know this stuff for a fact. Are you an owner operator or a freight broker or something?

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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