The Driver Is Ultimately Responsible!

Topic 33788 | Page 1

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I wanted to share a recent experience with everybody and stress how important it is that you know the rules/regulations. I've shared elsewhere that in the last couple years we've had changes in management. The guys running Transportation have very minimal knowledge of the industry and in my opinion are a terrible fit. We're a distribution company moving products to our grocery stores. Management has climbed the ladder from other departments.

A couple months ago I addressed a couple issues and am still not satisfied with the results. The first one I'll touch on is no paperwork/BOL. When we haul our loads to stores our trip sheet that pretty much just lists our stops, mileage between each, and weight dropping there is enough because we're transporting our own product/property. The problem comes when we haul contracted product to other companies. There was a contract stop I had but no paperwork. I explained to my manager how it's illegal to transport loads with paperwork. I offered solutions that wouldn't be difficult to implement, in my opinion, none of which were implemented. Periodically our drivers are still moving product without the proper paperwork. That's their choice, personally if I'm sent out with no paperwork I'll respectfully give them 2 choices. Get the product without documentation unloaded, or I'm going home.

Another situation that I addressed last month is log violations. We have a safety guy and my manager checking for log violations but clearly not very well. After talking to numerous drivers I work with it became very clear they were committing log violations and didn't even know it. They called the office and were told what they were doing was legal. I reached out to my manager and respectfully (always be professional and respectful) informed him that he, along with others, may want to brush up on HOS because violations for the 16 are rampant. The violations are revolved around using the 16 hour rule. For those unaware, the 16 hour rule is meant for drivers that are home daily that allows them an additional 2 hours to drive their 11 hours. There's certain criteria that must be met as the photo below shows.


Management told many drivers they could use their 16 again after a layover as long as they got a reset in before doing so. That's incorrect as you must start/end your day at the sae location for the 5 PREVIOUS work days, so not until your 6th WORK DAY after a layover are you eligible. After I brought it up, they finally posted a note in the drivers room with the regulations seen below

0169614001705875407.jpg the information they posted is still incorrect. It states you're eligible after 5 days,however the regulations say your 5 tours of duty (work days) of start/end at same location, and the sheet they posted also says you're able to utilize yard move if youre on the property after 16 hours. That's also incorrect. You must be relieved of all duties by the 16th hour of when you first came on duty.

That puts me in a predicament. I enjoy helping others and making sure they understand the best legal way to do something. BUT I also believe in people being held accountable for their actions. Personally I wouldn't utilize the 16 hour rule if I didn't know how it worked legally. However I also feel the drivers were trying to get that information by reaching out to management that doesn't understand. At the end of the day though I'm just a driver and it isnt my concern. The way the 16 is being violated isn't jeopardizing safety in my opinion so I'm less inclined to continue pushing it. We'll just have some drivers and management caught off guard if an audit rolls through or the drivers inspected. For whatever reason our logs (Samsara) doesn't mark it as a violation. At PFG when we used QC or peoplenet (can't remember which) the 16 hour rule wouldn't even show up on the screen as an option if it wasn't legal.

Drivers - ALWAYS make sure you understand the laws and regulations. As a professional it's our duty to do so. You should be able to contact your boss for clarification but as I showed it doesn't guarantee they know for sure either.

If there's any confusion for anybody please don't hesitate to ask here on the forum. We can perhaps explain it better than someone in the office and can show you the source if needed. JJ keller is an excellent resource and I'd recommend you to keep the pocket book of regulations. You can find it online for about $5 and I'm sure most truck stops carry it as well.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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