New Yorker Magazine Article About Truckers

Topic 32850 | Page 1

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BK's Comment
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This link was sent to me by a former dispatcher and driver. I thought it was interesting.

Surveillance and the Loneliness of the Long-Distance Trucker

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Propaganda ragsheet.

Steve L.'s Comment
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Propaganda ragsheet.

I don’t subscribe, but I read the article. I doubt anyone outside the industry cares. And the only ones IN the industry who care, are the Drivers.

Deb R.'s Comment
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I would like to read this, but apparently, I have already read my "one free article" from The New Yorker. I can subscribe at the price of $6 for 3 months (not bad), but then it auto-renews at $117 for a year - and I tend to forget about cancelling before the auto-renewal kicks in. That's how they get ya!

BK's Comment
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I would like to read this, but apparently, I have already read my "one free article" from The New Yorker. I can subscribe at the price of $6 for 3 months (not bad), but then it auto-renews at $117 for a year - and I tend to forget about cancelling before the auto-renewal kicks in. That's how they get ya!

Deb, you are exactly right about the marketing thing.

Potato King? Are you from the Stevens Point area?

Kal-el T.'s Comment
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In just my short time truck driving, I can say that the Electronic Logs have caused more harm than good. I remember being young, going on the road with my Grandfather who was a truck driver, if he got sleepy, he could pull over at any time without being penalized for it. Now, if we get sleepy and pull over to catch some sleep, our drive time keeps ticking away regardless if those wheels are turning or not.

It makes me realize that the DOT is not here to keep us safe, I don't think they give a damn about keeping us or other drivers safe. That becomes apparent when you are actually penalized for doing the right thing and taking a nap if you are sleepy by keeping your drive time clock ticking even when you are technically off duty.

It also shows when you are not permitted to use their scales at the weigh stations. If they were truly concerned about safety, they would offer us to use their scales at any time to make ourselves legal, they would not penalize us for sleeping by allowing us to pause our drive time if we take a nap and they would use the fines that they get from our violations to make a better infrastructure for truck parking. They also would not be having police officers telling us we cannot park at exits, forcing some people to drive when they should be down to find a safe haven. Some of these cops are very anal about parking for truckers. I have watched a trooper in Arkansas run off trucker after trucker in a rest area, truckers who were parking along side the road because parking spaces were out. It was hard to watch. That shows me they care not about our safety or the public's safety, all these examples shows me that this is about one thing and one thing only...the all mighty dollar.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Deleted account's Comment
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This may be a little too blunt, but I personally cannot wait until the last old time trucker dies, so I no longer have to hear that tired old complaint, "I can't make money unless I'm on paper logs." Honestly, I have no sympathy for them, those guys brought the elds on us because they could not be trusted to follow the rules that were in place.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Kal-el T.'s Comment
member avatar

This may be a little too blunt, but I personally cannot wait until the last old time trucker dies, so I no longer have to hear that tired old complaint, "I can't make money unless I'm on paper logs." Honestly, I have no sympathy for them, those guys brought the elds on us because they could not be trusted to follow the rules that were in place.

If the Electronic Logs didn't cause more accidents than the paper logs did, I would agree. In the old days truck drivers could pull over and get sleep without being penalized for it. Now, because the drive time ticks away no matter what, we have drivers falling asleep at the wheel because they don't want to waste their drive time sleeping. It becomes a catch 22, a Pandora's Box. The ELD's did not fix anything, they made the problem worse, IMO.

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.
Deleted account's Comment
member avatar

Kal-el, I disagree with almost everything you said here.

I remember being young, going on the road with my Grandfather who was a truck driver, if he got sleepy, he could pull over at any time without being penalized for it. Now, if we get sleepy and pull over to catch some sleep, our drive time keeps ticking away regardless if those wheels are turning or not.

I too went out with my dad who drove truck when I was younger. Sure, you could take a nap anytime you wanted, but you could also get dispatchers who expected you to drive for twenty hours straight-never seemed all that safe to me. He actually got out of it and advised me to not drive truck either. It's why I spent the first 20+ years of my working career doing something else and didn't start driving until elds actually started being enforced.

It also shows when you are not permitted to use their scales at the weigh stations. If they were truly concerned about safety, they would offer us to use their scales at any time to make ourselves legal

This is a weird one, feel free to pull into any weigh station that is open, they'll be happy to let you know if you're illegal. And if they're closed, why should I expect the state to man a weigh station 24/7 that is rarely going to be used. Never found using cat scale to be that onerous.

They also would not be having police officers telling us we cannot park at exits, forcing some people to drive when they should be down to find a safe haven

I, for one, am glad they do this around here. The busiest exit in this part of the state at night is a little dark ramp in in just about the middle of nowhere. OTR drivers will park on this ramp not realizing that several hundred local truck use it every night. It's too narrow to safely park on and have that much truck traffic use it and the troopers enforce the no parking with an iron fist. It's even dumber, because there is actual truck parking at that exit, and two rest areas within ten miles. (By the way, pet peeve of mine, the term safe haven applies to hazmat trucks.)

I have watched a trooper in Arkansas run off trucker after trucker in a rest area, truckers who were parking along side the road because parking spaces were out. It was hard to watch

Sounds like the guys run off were not actually in the rest area. Did anyone between the white lines get run off?

I've always had a different take on the eld-it's a game with rules and regulations. My goal in the game is to maximize my profits, be safe, and follow the rules-it's a fun little brain teaser!

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
FR8 M4N's Comment
member avatar

Remember that Convoy song by C.W. McCall? He mentions, "We tore up our swindle sheets and left them sittin' on the scales..." I never knew what he meant by that; Now I know what "Swindle sheets" are a reference to.

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