Need Advice On A Serious Problem With My Trucking Company

Topic 3583 | Page 1

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Tony E.'s Comment
member avatar

Idle policy. ...my company said if I don't stop idling my truck even tho its been 90 degrres down south that I should look for a new job ..now to me this is bull**** when I'm otr for 3 weeks at a time and its hot as hell in the truck how can the they expect you to sleep sweating ur ass off? Fat people like me don't keep well like tater salad in the heat lol but seriously this is a major problem ....company truck + no apu +heat +no idling=hot ****ed off driver what should I do?

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Congratulations Tony, hope you enjoy that local job.

I purposely stayed out of this discussion because I wasn't sure we had all the facts, but as long as you are satisfied with moving to a local job then I'm all for your decision.

I just want to jump in here now though, since Tony seems to have resolved his dilemma, and say that dealing with the means and methods that the trucking companies come up with to try and be more competitive is always a challenge, and the frustrating thing is that it's always a moving target - it's one of the many frustrations of this job. Within all large trucking companies there are layers of people employed, who may have never even seen the inside of a truck cab, whose sole job is to study the numbers and come up with solutions to try and squeeze a few more pennies out of each dollar in operating expenses. This business really is game of walking a fine line to see if it will save a few pennies, and they will experiment with another new idea every time they get the opportunity. In this case it was too much for Tony to take, while there are still many drivers at the company who have figured out a way to deal with it. Tony did what he felt he had to do, and if too many drivers feel the same way the company will eventually have to change the policy.

I'm not trying to enforce the union mentality that says we can force management into seeing things our way, but trying to point out that successful truck driving careers are enjoyed by creative people who love what they do, and succeed because they can resolve the issues that face them everyday, no matter what experiment the management layers happen to be tinkering with currently. Tony resolved his issue by moving on to something local, but there are other drivers whose love of being over the road enabled them to figure out a way to deal with this current issue and keep their current job. Trust me when I say that thirty days from now Tony's former employer will be chasing a new rabbit trail that they think will lead to money saving results - personally I think Tony jumped ship a little too quickly, he's a new driver and probably not aware that every year when the heat starts coming on that all trucking companies start getting hypersensitive about the idling time, but then as summer really kicks in they just settle down and realize that it's part of doing business this time of year. Sometimes we just have to bear with management's ***** ways for a few weeks and then we see them changing directions - it's a little dance we do with them where they are frustrated with us as much as we are frustrated with them, but in the end we keep dancing together because we both enjoy the music.

Over The Road:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

double-quotes-start.png

Tony, does your company give you a certain idle time percentage to shoot for? Do they give you a bonus for staying under that level? Is there anything in their paperwork that states any sort of idling policy?

Normally companies won't say much unless you seem to be way out of line from most drivers.

double-quotes-end.png

Brett, what is considered 'way out of line' by companies, especially if you are driving/resting in an area where its over 100 deg for over a week?

Idling 100% of the time is way out of line. In other words if you just waiting in your truck then you should not be idling. I agree you have to be comfortable while you sleep for your 10 hour rest break but what gets many drivers in trouble is they idle their truck when they are not resting or go into a truck stop and leave their truck running with no one in it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Yes brett there policy is 10 % idle per year period and I only idle if its night time and to hot to sleep and even with that they say that's to much.

Yeah, the trucking industry is always at a level of hyper-competitiveness and in recent years companies have been running out of ways to save fuel. They've slowed the trucks down to the point that states are going to have to consider setting minimum speeds for trucks. There are a number of companies now who are governed at or below 62 mph and drivers are voluntarily driving even slower to improve their fuel mileage for bonuses. Many can't slow them down any more than they have.

And traditional APU's are very expensive to buy and maintain so that's not going to be the wave of the future - not in its current form.

Idle time is where a lot of companies are focusing harder and harder. Tony, it looks like your company pushed that a little too far for your liking. You're probably not the only driver they're going to lose if they push too hard - you can only push people so far. Hopefully your new job will work out great for ya!

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Randall H's Comment
member avatar

Well they would just have to fire me because I could NOT exist in that environment. I am thankful to know that Prime has APUs on all of their trucks. Well, that's what I read. There is absolutely no way on earth I could sleep in those conditions and if I managed to squeeze in a few Z's, I would be worth nothing the next day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Tony E.'s Comment
member avatar

Exactly my point but the company don't care about the driver only their bottom line which is crap... I understand the need for limiting idling but even that isn't good enough for them I only idle when I can't stand it anymore ....so drivers beware of this problem with companys

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I can't flame you on this because I totally agree. In fact, I know exactly how you feel. My last company did the same thing. I was capped on my idle % and I was in Pheonix, AZ suffering through their summer. I had to go through a 107 day and 96 degree night. I was charged if I went over.

It's complete bullcrap! That's exactly I made sure my next company had APU's. Not going through that bs again.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Tony E.'s Comment
member avatar

Yep I'm calling prime tomorrow

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
member avatar

Take a look at Schneider's tanker division. I idled all the time and never had an issue. Their idle policy is tired to quarterly bonus so if you don't meet the idle numbers you don't get the bonus. But the bonus was only around $200 per quarter, so I always figured my comfort is worth more than that.

Not sure if Schneider's van division is the same.

Jopa's Comment
member avatar

I read how one O/O got around the problem . . . he had a small electric fuel pump and simply replenished his fuel from the truck parked next to him . . . did wonders for his idling % until the lady trucker caught him . . . cost him a kneecap or something . . . maybe he should have just sweated it out, ya think? rofl-3.gif

Jopa

shocked.pngsmile.gif

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

That's why I went with Prime, I was considering May Trucking since they are 40 minute drive from my house, but the recruiter said they would prefer I sit in the drivers lounge when it's hot rather than idle.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Tony, does your company give you a certain idle time percentage to shoot for? Do they give you a bonus for staying under that level? Is there anything in their paperwork that states any sort of idling policy?

Normally companies won't say much unless you seem to be way out of line from most drivers.

Serah D.'s Comment
member avatar

Tony, does your company give you a certain idle time percentage to shoot for? Do they give you a bonus for staying under that level? Is there anything in their paperwork that states any sort of idling policy?

Normally companies won't say much unless you seem to be way out of line from most drivers.

Brett, what is considered 'way out of line' by companies, especially if you are driving/resting in an area where its over 100 deg for over a week?

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