Need Advice On A Serious Problem With My Trucking Company

Topic 3583 | Page 2

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guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Great Answer!

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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.

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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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Guyjax. As O/O's, every drop of that fuel was out of our pocket. So idling was kept to when we we sleeping. But teaming kept even that to a reasonable amount. If we were in a TS, we would park where we could get the breeze, under a tree if there was one, or next to a van/box to get some shade. we had window screens, and a 12 volt fan....we used them alot. I also made these cool curtains with shiney stuff that reflected the heat...those worked good...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tony E.'s Comment
member avatar

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. The lead dbl said they would not load me if my idle percentages weren't up t o company standards so in other wards they would basically starve me out of a job so I beat them to the punch and saved them and myself the trouble and took a driving job with a local company. Lesson learned if I ever go otr for a company again in the future it will be for a company with an apu or not at all...

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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Good for you, Tony....You took the initiative and made the decisions that fit your life. I hope your local gig works out well for you. Stay safe and sane....And keep coming in here !!! We like to have you post on stuff !!

Tony E.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks starcar I will be on here with all of you I love talking with everyone on hear and reading all the posts and helping if I can ....thanks to you all I will one day be back otr but under different circumstances for sure lol...thank-you-2.gif

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.

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

This is much like most things where people that are not directly affected by the full effect of the rules they are putting in place and enforcing. They are able to enjoy the savings in money of the truck not idling, but let them spend even 1 night trying to sleep in those conditions and see how it goes then. It's easy for them as they sit in their 70 degree office and then go home to their 70 degree home.

I'd be inclined to tell them that when they turn off the AC in the offices they work in to save the company money, then they can tell me to sleep in the same conditions, but we know that ain't gonna happen.

There would be no debating point for me. Heat and humidity at those levels makes it such that I would not be able to sleep. Therefore I would be unsafe to drive after my sleepless hours passed. To me that represents a safety hazard, though indirectly. I would find another job in a heartbeat, even if I left owing them money. I'd gladly pay it back to have reasonable living conditions.

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.
Schism's Comment
member avatar

If someone calls the cops for leaving your dog or young children in a hot car you can get into serious trouble because its considered cruelty during the hot months . Even with the windows down the air quality with humidity and heat can be very uncomfortable for the respiratory system .

Apparently there is no such thing as driver cruelty in the transportation industry . Its a sad fact of being in this business . State and Federal government does not care , and neither do the companies .

I find it strange that although the turn over rate for CDL drivers is as high as it is , companies are still OK with putting their drivers in the southern states while denying them basic comfort considerations .

I've been looking around this morning and its already been high 90's and even above 100 degrees in some of the south western states .

We are having to deal with individual states No Idle laws trying to force the hand of transportation companies to provide reasonable accommodations for comfort and its obviously rare that the companies bother . Financially its easier for a company to just recycle the driver .

We also have the companies side of the coin , government rules aside . Company drivers don't pay for fuel , but can potentially cost the company large amounts of money over the course of a full year in heating and cooling costs while idling .

Its a lose/lose situation that probably won't ever be fixed .

~S~

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Randall H's Comment
member avatar

Thank God for APU's!!!!

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.

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