Truck Safety Group Urges Purges Of Drug Abuse Drivers

Topic 25896 | Page 1

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DaveW's Comment
member avatar

In a move that might at first glance appear to be counter-intuitive in light of the driver shortage, a trucking group is calling for the purging of at least 300,000 drivers -- but their main concern is public safety, as this is the number of drivers they estimate are un-caught illicit drug abusers.

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Some points I can agree with, but several I personally cannot.

65 mph for all CMV? Nationwide on all interstates? I fear the right lane would never move due to the gridlock this would promote.

Nothing in the safety suggestions or observations about banning cell phone use while driving. I feel that would do more to prevent accidents on the roads than anything else in the article.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Interstate:

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

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Let’s cut to the chase, the ONLY thing the trucker Alliance is concerned with is doing everything in their power to make it impossible for small trucking companies to survive. Either by increasing vehicles costs or limiting earning potential.

I am sure many of those companies were probably involved with pushing for deregulation in the 70s. Now, they are pushing for more regulations since it didn’t work out the way they thought it would. They are just trying to fix their mess up and make it impossible for the little guy.

Let’s call a spade a spade.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Let’s cut to the chase, the ONLY thing the trucker Alliance is concerned with is doing everything in their power to make it impossible for small trucking companies to survive. Either by increasing vehicles costs or limiting earning potential.

I am sure many of those companies were probably involved with pushing for deregulation in the 70s. Now, they are pushing for more regulations since it didn’t work out the way they thought it would. They are just trying to fix their mess up and make it impossible for the little guy.

Let’s call a spade a spade.

WHOA! Someone really fell under the spell of the "plight of the small guy" with their recent experience at a little company, eh? Wow.

Come on, man. Be serious. First of all, that's an absurd statement to say the only thing they care about is wiping out the little guy. I guess you're saying the little guy is being treated unfairly because they've always cared so much about helping out the big guy, right? Please. It's competition. Everyone is fighting to survive.

Their stated mission is this:

1. Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) – Support the expansion of ELDs to apply to all large commercial trucks, regardless of the commodity, length of haul, or whether the trucks operate in intrastate or interstate commerce.

2. Truck Speed Limiters – Require speed limiter devices (already installed on most trucks) be turned on and set to a national maximum truck speed limit of 65 mph.

3. USDOT Drug Test Requirements – Truck driver applicants should verify no drug use for 60 days prior to submitting a job application.

4. Public Liability Insurance – Motor carriers should be sufficiently self-insured or if fully insured, maintain liability insurance that fully compensates the medical expenses of large truck crash victims, as Congress intended in 1980, when it passed this requirement.

5. Onboard Truck Safety Technologies – Motor carriers should actively test and install Advanced Safety Technologies, (ASTs) including, but not limited to: lane departure warning systems, forward collision mitigation systems, automatic emergency braking, roll stability controls, and other emerging ASTs that prove effective in avoiding large truck accidents.

6. Driver Hiring and Training Programs – Utilize extensive pre-employment screening processes and ongoing driver training, such as coaching drivers with forward facing camera technology when applicable.

7. Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – Support the immediate implementation of a database clearinghouse, which Congress mandated in 2012, so that employers can know if a truck driver job applicant has previously failed a drug test at another company.

I can see why the little guy wouldn't want those things. How could they cheat on their hours? How would they be able to lie to their insurance companies about hiring someone who failed a drug test? How would they be able to attract drivers with trucks that run 80 mph?

If you want to bring out the truth then let's do it - the truth is that the little guys have gotten away with far more cheating throughout the years than the big guys could ever dream of. The big guys are being watched closely all the time to make sure they're in strict compliance. The little guys often fly under the radar and get away with anything they can.

Not only that, but this industry is hyper competitive. You put together that entire alliance and they still don't make up 10% of the trucks on the road. So it's not like there's no room for the little guy. There's tons of room. Give me an example of any other industry where the top 20 players only comprise 10% of the industry's revenues. Good luck with that. Trucking is wide open when it comes to competition.

Yes, the large trucking companies want to see safety systems implemented in such a way that no one can get around them. They want to uphold better standards for drivers, and they want to improve the public image of the industry - electronic logs , stricter drug testing requirements, drug clearinghouses, minimum liability insurance, etc.

As a member of one of the little guys out there I can promise you the last thing you want to do is attract attention to the way you're doing business. Without getting into specifics you know what I'm saying is true. So don't try to say the little guys are the victims here. The little guys are the ones doing the most wrong and I'm certain no one would want to debate that with me.

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.

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.

Interstate Commerce:

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

Interstate:

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

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
They are just trying to... make it impossible for the little guy.

C'mon Patrick!

Those glory days for the independent truck drivers are over. It has little to do with the mega carriers flexing their muscle.

I think most truckers just don't understand the economics of a commodities business, so they vent their frustrations at the folks that do. These big companies know what you've got to do to be in this very volatile and complex game. Those who don't will inevitably fall by the wayside. It takes a lot of capital to be in a capital intensive business. That's the problem. The little guys just can't catch a break. They don't have the resources needed. They can moan and groan, and throw tantrums about being treated unfairly, but the fact is... business is a rough sport... you either man up and do what's necessary, or you console yourself by always screaming about how unfair things are.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I said the exact same thing when I worked at Wolding. When we had a discussion on their stance with the ELD mandate.

As I said all along, they are trying to squeeze out small companies. I don’t personally care either way. I will have no problem being employed. The name on the top of my paycheck is irrelevant. Their ONLY concern is too fix their mistake from the 70s (deregulation). It was deregulation that opened the door the the onslaught of the O/O. Now the big companies want them gone. It is what it is. The Trucking Alliance can parade around claiming whatever they like. In the end there is only ONE goal.

As I stated earlier, it is irrelevant whose name is at the top of my pay check. Either way, I will have a job and get paid.

Call things as they are. Larger companies can afford even thrive with further regulation. They have numerous drivers, so loads can be relayed. With massive fleets of trucks the fuel savings from a governed speed actually helps their economics. Force further log monitoring so the little guy can’t cheat. However, everyone one of these mega companies was built on drivers being creative with their logbooks. It is all about squeezing out the competition any way possible. Since the large companies don’t even make up 10% of the industry, every little company they can force to fold is more business to fuel their further growth. The big companies know what needs done. They know what holes to plug. They were built by committing the exact same violations. I’m not mad about it, but to parade around and say safety is the reason is a load of BS. As I said, let’s call a spade a spade.

Take Anti-collision systems for an example. They are more of a danger than a protection. They are constantly messing up and causing heavy braking at such things as the shadow of an overpass or reflectors in turns. On-guard and all the other various anti collisions systems are just garbage pure and simple.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
As I said, let’s call a spade a spade.

So far, you're not very convincing.

Try again. You crack me up being hung up on this deregulation talk. You can hear that silly stuff in any driver's lounge. I think it's total garbage. It's people finding something to hang their argument on because they don't really understand the economics of trucking.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Their ONLY concern is too fix their mistake from the 70s (deregulation). It was deregulation that opened the door the the onslaught of the O/O.

It's funny how people are always crying foul about the Government getting into our business, but when the Government steps back and opens the doors to free market capitalistism everyone cries foul again......or at least the people who can't compete cry foul.

It's true that the government used to set the rates for hauling freight and could dictate who could start a trucking business and who couldn't. It made it easy for an owner operator to make great money because they didn't have to worry about competing or being real efficient. The rates were artificially inflated and the market was artificially choked off. The supply and demand was skewed by the Government.

Once the rates started being set on the open market the real competition began, and along with it came continuing efficiencies and advantage of scale. Over time freight rates dropped relative to inflation, making it far less expensive to ship goods in this country, which helped the American people and American businesses thrive.

Trucking today is far more professional and far more efficient than it ever was before deregulation. Deregulation was a huge win for 99% of the U.S. population, but a losing proposition for those who couldn't compete as small entities in trucking.

I'm not sure how you could possibly skew things to appear as if deregulation was a mistake. Basically you're saying you would prefer a communist-style economy where the Government owns or strictly controls all business. Maybe we should regulate the airlines and farming so that anyone can make a killing owning a plane or a small farm? Sure, a head of lettuce would cost $15 and an airline ticket from Boston to Chicago would be $2,000 but at least John Smith can own his own airplane and Dave Jones can make a killing with his 5 acre farm. Our economy would be 1/50th the size it is now and the overwhelming majority of people would be living in poverty, but hey - that's what it takes to let the little guy thrive at the expense of the entire population, right?

We're definitely witnessing some serious truck stop talk here. You have to at least understand the principles of Capitalism to be able to understand why we're far better off now than we were back then.

Owner Operator:

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I’m hung up on it; because, I believe it is true!! Deregulation brought the explosion of the owner op. Before deregulation happened you had ask Uncle Sam to be able to start a company. Uncle Sam told you what you could haul and what you could charge to haul said product. Companies saw dollar signs and wanted Uncle Sam to stop telling them what they could do. They got their wish. It had consequences. O/Os began flooding the market and instead of being able to raise how much was being charged to move freight; over competition happened. Freight rates went down in comparison to inflation. The very same companies that fought to get Uncle Sam out of their cookie jar, need Uncle Sam’s help to stamp out the competition.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Freight rates went down in comparison to inflation.

Exactly! That's what we want. It's called productivity. Trucking companies are now providing their services at lower prices. That's why capitalism thrives. It opens up the competition to everyone and forces businesses to become more efficient or get squeezed out of the market. That benefits the entire economy as a whole. Everyone thrives when productivity increases.

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