Told To Drive When It's Obvious You're Too Tired.

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Toby W.'s Comment
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I haven't posted on here in months, but I read quite a bit. If there's one cardinal rule I've learned about trucking it's that you don't drive when you're too tired to do so. Good rule. I ran across a YouTube video tonight (many of you may have seen it already) where a driver was too tired to drive. He recorded the phone conversation he had with his company and I was shocked at what I heard. Is the treatment this driver received typical? What's your experience with this?

Truck Driver Too Tired To Drive

A truck driver who is too tired to drive is having a conversation with dispatch about getting some sleep and re-assigning the load.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Never ever drive tired. I mean never. Simply put and enough said.

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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NEVER drive tired. You have a bed right behind you!!! Pull over somewhere safe, sleep for 30 minutes. There is no load important enough to risk your life and the lives of people on the road.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
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There are going to be times when your dispatch tells you "you have hours, you need to be moving." It's a guarantee. When that happens, simply tell them (politely) that you are too fatigued to safely operate your vehicle. If they continue to try to push you, contact your safety manager and tell them you are too tired to drive and you are being pressured to do so. Same thing goes for hazardous weather.

Having said that, don't go making it a habit to pull the "I'm tired" card on a constant basis. Unable to keep your eyes open is one thing, but a driver who is frequently saying they're too tired to drive is going to find themselves shorted on miles and loads because they're deemed unreliable. And there are going to be times when you have to drive when you're less than 100%. You have a cold and feel like crap, some halfwit lot lizard woke you up in the middle of the night wanting to know if you wanna party and you had trouble getting back to sleep, whatever. You just have to learn what your personal stamina limits are and how to work within them.

JJ L.'s Comment
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Please have a read on this, its going to set a precedent on also making the drivers liable.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/29/jury-awards-13-year-old-girl-150m-in-wrongful-death-case/

Kenneth A.'s Comment
member avatar

I haven't posted on here in months, but I read quite a bit. If there's one cardinal rule I've learned about trucking it's that you don't drive when you're too tired to do so. Good rule. I ran across a YouTube video tonight (many of you may have seen it already) where a driver was too tired to drive. He recorded the phone conversation he had with his company and I was shocked at what I heard. Is the treatment this driver received typical? What's your experience with this? Link to YouTube Video

was about to post this link as well. Simply disgusting the behavior of the night time dispatcher there.

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.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Well. noone should drive tired. But you have a 30 minute break to be used..OR...if you need to talk with dispatch...you suddenly "ate something bad " and need to stick by a toilet for a few hours...thats always a good one.Flu's goin' around...truckstop food...whatever...they won;t make you run down the road and possibly poo in your truck..

Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

There are going to be times when your dispatch tells you "you have hours, you need to be moving." It's a guarantee. When that happens, simply tell them (politely) that you are too fatigued to safely operate your vehicle. If they continue to try to push you, contact your safety manager and tell them you are too tired to drive and you are being pressured to do so. Same thing goes for hazardous weather.

Having said that, don't go making it a habit to pull the "I'm tired" card on a constant basis. Unable to keep your eyes open is one thing, but a driver who is frequently saying they're too tired to drive is going to find themselves shorted on miles and loads because they're deemed unreliable. And there are going to be times when you have to drive when you're less than 100%. You have a cold and feel like crap, some halfwit lot lizard woke you up in the middle of the night wanting to know if you wanna party and you had trouble getting back to sleep, whatever. You just have to learn what your personal stamina limits are and how to work within them.

Or worse, they make you take a sleep apnea test because you constantly are saying you are too tired. As for the topic, the dispatcher is not sitting in the truck with a gun to your head. It is easy to say, "OK I'll do what I can safely." Hang up. Then do just that. Do what you can safely.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Ok, yesterday when this was posted I didn't have time to watch it but I watched it this morning. Now you're about to hear one of my "Modern American Worker" rants again because this guy is an absolute joke.

Before I blast this guy, let me be clear about the most important point of this video - never, ever drive when you're too tired to do so safely. This guy refused to drive because he was too tired and that was the right thing to do. "And now, the rest of the story." as Paul Harvey used to say.

Ok, here's a quick rundown to make sure we're on the same page. Here is this guy's schedule so far:

1) Slept 10 hours

2) Worked 20 minutes

3) Rested and relaxed 10 more hours

So after working 20 minutes over the past 20+ he's now completed yet another 10 hour break but he says he's too tired to work any longer and needs to go to bed.

wtf-2.gif

Let me cut to the chase here because some of you shouldn't be wasting your time here at TruckingTruth. If any of the following applies to you, please remove trucking from your list of career options:

1) If you think you can work when you feel like it and sleep when you feel like it, happy trails to you.

2) If you can only muster 20 minutes of work per day, best of luck to you on your journey into any career other than trucking

3) If you think dispatch was being unreasonable by trying to encourage him to drive after putting in less than 20 miles in a day, go elsewhere.

4) If you're a fat, lazy "Modern American Worker" who thinks your time is better spent trying to get your co-workers in trouble by secretly recording their conversations instead of making sure you're prepared to do your job when called upon, happy trails to you. Hit the road, but not in a big rig. This dude was too tired to do his job, but he certainly wasn't too tired to setup the camera, record conversations, and argue with dispatch now was he?

If you think dispatch was unfair to him by giving him a service failure and taking away his guarantee (which I expect is a weekly mileage or home time guarantee) then I suggest you try starting your own trucking business and hire this guy. Go get yourself a $100k truck, a $50k trailer, pay for all of the permits, insurance, and everything else it takes to run a trucking business, and only require your drivers to drive 20 minutes a day. Let them park it whenever they like. Let them sleep all day and all night. And of course in that video it was only 10 degrees out which means he's had the truck idling for the past 20 hours. That's about $100 in fuel and maintenance costs the company paid out of pocket just to keep this sleepy clown warm in their $100k truck while he refused to do any actual work.

"Modern American Worker"

Again I want to emphasize - do not ever drive when you are too tired to do so safely. This guy did the right thing by parking it and refusing to drive.

Now the right thing for him to do is park that truck, go home, and re-examine himself and his life. This dude is a joke.

People are often surprised when I don't take the driver's side in issues like this so let's be clear about something here...I was a driver for 15 years, but I was a great driver - a true professional. I ran hard, I stayed safe, and I did whatever it took to get the job done safely out there. If that meant running all night, I ran all night. If that meant driving in heavy traffic and terrible weather, I did it. As long as I could do it safely, I did it.

But above all else I worked hard. Really, really hard. I took pride in myself and I watched out for the company that employed me. I took care of their customers, I took care of their equipment, and I worked together with the office personnel through tough circumstances to make sure the job got done.

The final nail I'm going to put in this guy's coffin is the fact that his nickname on youtube is "RunHard GetPaid". He calls himself "RunHard"???? You run 20 minutes in a 20 hour period and you're wiped out, but you think you work hard????

That right there is a very important point. You guys may have heard me say in the past that most drivers are pretty lousy at what they do but they don't realize it. They think they're doing a great job but their company or their co-workers are the problem. They're not getting enough miles, they're not getting home on time, and they're getting a bunch of lousy runs and they don't even realize it's because they suck at what they do!

How's that for a blast, eh? You guys never hear me say things like that, but this guy has it coming. I'm embarrassed for him. He thinks he's in the right and his company is wrong. He believes it so whole-heartedly that he went out of his way to secretly record conversations with his co-workers to prove to everyone how unfair they are. What he proved to me is that he's a clown who has no business being behind the wheel of a rig.

His video is titled "The UGLY Truth Of Trucking". I'm assuming he meant the UGLY Truth is that you'll have to work more than 20 minutes a day whether you like it or not.

I'd like to call this video "The Ugly Side Of The Modern American Worker".

I'm going to stress for the third time - do not ever drive if you're too tired to do so. This guy did the right thing.

But let's be clear. When you hear all of these rants all over the web about how unfair companies are, how poorly they treat people, and how miserable life is in the trucking industry, THIS GUY is the type of guy you're hearing it from. People who call themselves "RunHard" but think 30 minutes of work a day is just too much to ask of someone. Now do you want to be judging companies or making career choices based on the opinions of people like this? I would think not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

I think you misunderstood his situation, Brett. He took a full 10, got plenty of rest, and was then instructed by his company to drive 20 miles, drop his empty, and immediately go on another 10. And from the sounds of it, the company didn't exactly afford him the opportunity to try and sleep during that period, since he says his dispatcher called him several times throughout the day. He wasn't being lazy, unreasonable, or irresponsible. It wasn't his choice to only work for 20 minutes, and just because you've been off duty for 10 hours doesn't mean you've been asleep for any or all of that time. And unless you're part housecat, I don't know anybody who can sleep for 10 hours, be awake for 20 minutes, and go back to sleep for another 10 hours.

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.
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