Bizarre Change Of Opinion

Topic 27069 | Page 2

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Michael W.'s Comment
member avatar

I parked mine mainly due to skyrocketing insurance costs. That, coupled with lowering rates, made it easily apparent to go back to driving a company truck for me.

I just read the new FMSCA stats, truck fatalities are the highest they have been in over 30 years, fatalities are a daily occurrence around here. Which even my non truck driving neighbors and a few friends who have no connection to the industry have commented on, and asked me about in just normal conversation. My buddies too, in my trucking circle, we are all talking about the skyrocketing accidents in our area, Detroit to be exact, and the surrounding areas.

It is getting pretty bad out here, we all finger the ELD, because we are all playing beat the clock. We were the 63 mph crew, keep the mph low and the fuel economy high, that included my company driver friends so that they could get that fuel bonus. That is all out the window since the stop watch was installed in the trucks.

I spoke with my insurance agent, she told me the same thing, accidents through the roof, fatalities through the roof, lawsuits through the roof and guess whose rates were going up? Mine. I cancelled my insurance right there, as my bob tail and comp was reaching the point of what I paid for my cargo insurance back 20 years ago. I've had one incident in all of the years I have been with this agent, and that was another driver backing into me at a dock. I can no longer afford to play this game, especially when rates are lower than when I started 31 years ago and fuel was less than a dollar. I know more than a few guys parking their trucks, or just getting out. Excuse me for being repetitive... I love this industry, sad to see where it is going.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Michael wrote:

It is getting pretty bad out here, we all finger the ELD, because we are all playing beat the clock.

As a single contributing factor? Honestly, it has gotten worse. However I think it a combination of many things, not just one that has made it more dangerous for truck drivers.

- cell phone usage and texting has become a higher priority than safe driving

- increased traffic in and around urban centers

- a deteriorating infrastructure; translation lots of crappy roads

- arguably a greater number if inexperienced truck drivers

- the motoring non-CDL public has little concern for prudent driving. It’s like NASCAR in the roads I travel, it’s disturbing the lack of concern for safety and the need for speed

Not sure how the forced use of ELDs fits into it. Not disagreeing with you, honestly not sure.

Interesting and timely topic.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Michael wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

It is getting pretty bad out here, we all finger the ELD, because we are all playing beat the clock.

double-quotes-end.png

As a single contributing factor? Honestly, it has gotten worse. However I think it a combination of many things, not just one that has made it more dangerous for truck drivers.

- cell phone usage and texting has become a higher priority than safe driving

- increased traffic in and around urban centers

- a deteriorating infrastructure; translation lots of crappy roads

- arguably a greater number if inexperienced truck drivers

- the motoring non-CDL public has little concern for prudent driving. It’s like NASCAR in the roads I travel, it’s disturbing the lack of concern for safety and the need for speed

Not sure how the forced use of ELDs fits into it. Not disagreeing with you, honestly not sure.

Interesting and timely topic.

Completely agree, G-Town. Another two I'll add are it's too easy to get a license (cars), and everybody owns a car these days. Usually, the only time I see more than one adult in the same vehicle is on the weekends. Many more vehicles on the deteriorating roadways.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Michael welcome to QC. If you want to discuss anything or find out anything my email is in my profile. I’ll be glad to share what I know. I’ve been with them 3 years.

G you have great points, from what I see is we have far too many drivers running the truckstop and/or construction zone 400 on a regular basis. Also more drivers not slowing in other areas they should be. That is in direct relation to them believing they have to make up time. That’s always the excuse anyway.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
from what I see is we have far too many drivers running the truckstop and/or construction zone 400 on a regular basis. Also more drivers not slowing in other areas they should be. That is in direct relation to them believing they have to make up time. That’s always the excuse anyway.

I think it's a pathetic excuse. If a person can't figure out how to use 70 hours in a week to be productive, well, I just don't know what to say. What would they like to have? Can you imagine the public outcry if we allow truckers to work 100 hours per week? It makes no sense.

There are plenty of drivers making great money on electronic logs. I never feel rushed. Does that surprise any of you? It's the truth, and I bust out some big miles. We plan and we execute. It's much like sports. You do what you have to do to win. You play by the rules. You're advantage comes by playing better than everybody else.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

The market is what it is. This morning there was a load for $1230 and I put in a bid for $1400 hoping to get it for $1300.

They countered with $1230.86. Lol. That's just downright insulting, but right now it's either take it or leave it. I left it, and it was taken by someone else almost immediately.

It will be interesting to see how many carriers choose not to renew their authority next year.

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.

Michael W.'s Comment
member avatar

Michael wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

It is getting pretty bad out here, we all finger the ELD, because we are all playing beat the clock.

double-quotes-end.png

As a single contributing factor? Honestly, it has gotten worse. However I think it a combination of many things, not just one that has made it more dangerous for truck drivers.

- cell phone usage and texting has become a higher priority than safe driving

- increased traffic in and around urban centers

- a deteriorating infrastructure; translation lots of crappy roads

- arguably a greater number if inexperienced truck drivers

- the motoring non-CDL public has little concern for prudent driving. It’s like NASCAR in the roads I travel, it’s disturbing the lack of concern for safety and the need for speed

Not sure how the forced use of ELDs fits into it. Not disagreeing with you, honestly not sure.

Interesting and timely topic.

G-Town, totally agree with you... The Infrastructure issue is huge, California comes to mind... But, and it is a big BUT, when drivers are jumping out of their trucks in pajamas and flip flops... Track suits and gym shoes, one guy was dressed as an NBA player the other day... I would get thrown out of the plants I visit... Bottom line, there is a total lack of professionalism out here. And do not get me started on simple trucking etiquette...

I was at the VA today for some tests, and one of the Vets I was speaking with, he is now blind, and we were recounting his years in trucking..., He was forced out in 1994 due to eyesight... We had a field day... Sad state of affairs... I will leave it at that.

I hope you guys will set some folks straight in regards to this profession, Knights of the Highway. I miss those days.

And G-Town, please feel free to edit me when needed, I know what you guys are trying to do here. I would like to contribute if I can.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Michael, your good ol' days memories are not the same as mine. I started driving in '93 and things were far less professional back then. It was more of a Wild West than it is today. The Knights Of The Road was in the 50's and 60's. By the 70's the trucker image had become Smokey And The Bandit and Convoy.

I have to admit I'm enthusiastic about the current state of affairs in the trucking industry. The equipment is the best it's ever been, the drug testing is far more thorough, the monitoring is much tighter, the training is better than it used to be, and drivers are held to a much higher standard in most ways. The pay has increased significantly also. I ran very hard throughout my 15 years on the road and the most I ever made in a year was $62,000. Nowadays, top drivers are making $75,000+

Our community isn't interested in jumping on the "trucking sucks nowadays" bandwagon. Our mission is to increase the level of professionalism and elevate the image of modern-day truckers. There are other communities out there that might embrace what you're saying, but not us.

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.
Michael W.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

from what I see is we have far too many drivers running the truckstop and/or construction zone 400 on a regular basis. Also more drivers not slowing in other areas they should be. That is in direct relation to them believing they have to make up time. That’s always the excuse anyway.

double-quotes-end.png

I think it's a pathetic excuse. If a person can't figure out how to use 70 hours in a week to be productive, well, I just don't know what to say. What would they like to have? Can you imagine the public outcry if we allow truckers to work 100 hours per week? It makes no sense.

There are plenty of drivers making great money on electronic logs. I never feel rushed. Does that surprise any of you? It's the truth, and I bust out some big miles. We plan and we execute. It's much like sports. You do what you have to do to win. You play by the rules. You're advantage comes by playing better than everybody else.

I do not need even 70 hours a week to do my job, what I need is the flexibility to DO my job, something that a set time limit does not allow me to do.

If I gave you a set time limit to fix your broken faucet, could you do it? Say twenty minutes... And that is it, twenty minutes, change it out from the second you started? It would take me that long to find the Channel Locks and Pipe Wrench, and I know where they are in my tool chest...

How about fixing your car? A set of brakes? In your driveway, let's use book time, 2 hours. Could you do it, all in?

Those brakes, could you do it in five to say seven hours and do it right? Probably, and I could, and it would be done right.

That is all I am asking, time to do my job, to do it safely and not kill anyone in the process... The brake job analogy, your wife or child, the two hour rush job, or the five to seven hour job done right job? Pretty easy in my book. But, I have been in this racket safely for 31 years. Master mechanic, or the guy sitting behind the desk in DC writing the rules?

Take your pick.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Michael, that was incredibly confusing. You're trying to equate a 70-hour workweek in trucking to a 20-minute time limit on a plumbing job?

Old School has been consistently turning over 3,000 miles per week legally and safely in today's trucking world. No one thinks the laws are perfect, but it's hard to argue that a driver can't get it done in today's trucking world when there are plenty of drivers out there doing it every day.

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