Off Duty Time And Sight-seeing...

Topic 2796 | Page 1

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Wine Taster's Comment
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So, say you drove hard for the week and hit 70 hours of on duty time in 8 days. It is time for that 34 hour reset. Off duty you go. Say you are out near the Grand Canyon and think to yourself, "Man I have never seen the Grand Canyon." Are you allowed to grab a cab and head out to sightsee while on break? Does it depend on the company? Are you allowed to leave your truck unattended in a truck stop parking lot? Is it possible to do things like this when you have down time?

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
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A lot of what you are asking depends on the company policy. You can pretty much do whatever you want on your restart as long as it isn't considered "work". Leaving your truck in a "safe haven" is usually required, that's why companies have terminals all over the US..I know some companies contract to share lots with other companies so just because you work for say Prime, doesn't mean you couldn't use a lot that Swift, Roehl, or Schneider might also use..

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Anchorman's Comment
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You could try requesting a load going to a certain area also. You are also allowed to take your "hometime" wherever you want. It does not have to be at your actual home.

Old School's Comment
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This kind of stuff does depend on company policy, but I will say also that once you have established yourself as a dependable driver some of that company policy stuff will be overlooked, or perhaps your dispatcher just turns a blind eye to what you are doing, and you will have a lot more flexibility and freedom with how you handle stuff like this. I will sometimes take a little mini break while doing a 34. If I'm in an interesting area I might rent a cheap car and enjoy the sights and the local restaurants.

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.
Wine Taster's Comment
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Phew, I was so scared the answer was going to be "No! You must stay with the truck." Money is always an issue but Iam cheap and can find cheap ways to explore places. I was hoping I could while driving when I had down time. Thanks guys and gals!

NewGuy's Comment
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Can anyone elaborate on this issue? I'm excited about trucking but not spending days in a sleeper, stuck at a truck stop. Does company policy vary that much on this issue? I had thoughts of taking a 10-speed along and seeing the sites in my off-duty time. Does a truck stop count as a "safe haven" to leave the company vehicle or how does one get to the same. I plan to drive for Roehl but if they are unreasonable on this point maybe I should refocus... Thanks

Wine Taster's Comment
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I am in school with Roehl right now. So, I do not know the policies yet. I will be learning them over the next few weeks when I hit the road with a trainer.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Can anyone elaborate on this issue? I'm excited about trucking but not spending days in a sleeper, stuck at a truck stop. Does company policy vary that much on this issue? I had thoughts of taking a 10-speed along and seeing the sites in my off-duty time. Does a truck stop count as a "safe haven" to leave the company vehicle or how does one get to the same. I plan to drive for Roehl but if they are unreasonable on this point maybe I should refocus... Thanks

Again it's totally company policy. Some companies consider only company yards a safe haven and others might consider a truck stop a save haven as long as it's not a high crime area.

Old School's Comment
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Nick, I think your concerns are premature. Roehl is a great operation, and you would do well to get on with them. I'm like you, I don't want to sit tight in my sleeper for two days. I have taken several little jaunts in a rental car when I'm taking a 34 hour break in an area that's interesting to me. I've enjoyed the beaches in Florida twice, and had a really nice weekend in New Orleans.

The best way to do this is leave your truck at a truck stop, and come back and check on it every now and then.

I want to be careful here and not mislead you in any way, but you are new to this, and the best thing for you to concentrate on right at the start is proving yourself to be an efficient and productive driver. This will take you a little while to get established, but once you do, you will find that your dispatcher will allow you to bend the rules a little or maybe look the other way when you want to do something that might not be strictly by the letter when it comes to company policy. The top drivers will find that they have a few more liberties than the slackers. The truth is that sometimes those company policies are used by the management to be able to get rid of a driver who just isn't really getting much done. If they can catch them in violation of a policy then they have a legitimate reason for terminating them without all the repercussions of the unemployment tax laws.

I know you didn't really ask about this, but I just wanted to stress also that you do not have to take a 34 hour break. There are ways to manage your time where you don't even need to take the 34 hour break.

Main thing is concentrate on being the best that you can be at this and all the other stuff that seems so critical to you right now will begin to fall into place for you no matter who you are working for.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Is one allowed to accumulate off days and take one long vacation in addition to the regular vacation days? i.e., I work for 6 weeks straight earning 6 off days, but instead of taking the 6 days I only take 4 leaving a balance of 2 days etc.

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