A Few Questions For The Pros

Topic 3665 | Page 1

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Josh S.'s Comment
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I like to start by saying hello. I've been studying info on this site for about a month now, and love the atmosphere here. Thank you Brett! I've learned so much, and thanks to this resource, I'm confident that can and will make it in this industry. Anyways I have a few questions that I haven't found clear answers to and I was hoping to get a little feed back from the pros.

1. What do truckers do when bad weather hits? I thinking more along the line of the tornado outbreak a few weeks back verses say a blizzard. I can't imagine you would get much warning, and stopping in its path or trying to out run it don't seem like good ideas.

2. Detention pay. While I've seen may companies that claim to pay it, I have also heard many drivers say they have set for many hour and did not get it. So I left wondering what factors are involved.

3. Sick time. In all the list for benefits of choosing one company or another I've never seen anything about sick time. Most other industries always mention this. I'm assuming there must be some policies in place.(I'm referring to company drivers being 'forced dispatched', not o/o)

4. Log "cheating". After reading Brett's book, it would seem that cheating log books is/was common place in the industry. My question is, is this still the case with modern GPS and electronic logs? It seems that there may still be ways of "bending" the rules, but is it still common?

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
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1. What do truckers do when bad weather hits?

This of course all depends on how bad the weather really is. If it's really bad, the smart driver sits it out and waits for it to clear up - many times just sitting for 24 hours will provide you the needed break to get rolling again, and since this is not a common occurrence it does not effect your pay in a really negative way.

2. Detention pay. While I've seen may companies that claim to pay it, I have also heard many drivers say they have set for many hour and did not get it. So I left wondering what factors are involved.

Usually there are procedures that the driver needs to follow to insure that the get their detention pay. As a flat-bed driver I don't come up against this problem very often, but when I do I make sure that I get the "time in" and "time out" marked on my bill of lading before the customer or shipper signs off on it - that way I have evidence to go with my request for detention pay. Your employer will be glad to explain the procedures. The drivers who complain about not getting it are usually not willing to do the few extra steps it takes to make it happen.

3. Sick time. In all the list for benefits of choosing one company or another I've never seen anything about sick time.

This is something that I don't see mentioned very often either, but I will tell you my limited experience. I had some flu like symptoms one time and needed to take a few days off 3,000 miles away from home. I just informed my dispatcher , got me a hotel room (just to be more comfortable) and sat it out for about three days. When I contacted my dispatcher and said I was ready to roll he put some breakdown pay on my qualcomm messages. I've got a great dispatcher, and I know he did it as a favor, so I'm not saying yours will do the same, but if you garner a good working relationship with your dispatcher they will do what they can to help you.

4. Log "cheating". After reading Brett's book, it would seem that cheating log books is/was common place in the industry. My question is, is this still the case with modern GPS and electronic logs? It seems that there may still be ways of "bending" the rules, but is it still common?

The "old glory days of trucking" are over. You can't hardly do more than 3,400 miles on a weekly pay schedule. After you gain familiarity with the current system of electronic logging you can figure out little ways to help yourself maximize your working hours,but you can't really cheat the system. There are too many ways that it is double checked, not only by your employer, but also with audits by the D.O.T. that are set in place to keep the companies in compliance. Of course this will always be a moving target since no one can seem to agree on what the best rules are. Even now there are some of the latest sets of rules being debated and considered for change. The professional driver works with what he has on any given day, he knows that change is inevitable, but he prays for the day when they will turn him loose and let him roll - it's his unrealized dream, but he still likes to dream!

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Josh S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the response Old School, it was very informative.

The "old glory days of trucking" are over.

good-luck.gifrofl-3.gif

Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

As for weather, a guy I was in school with was in the area of all the tornados. He was told that if the weather got bad and warnings started flying, leave the truck and find a safe place to shelter. It was all about his safety first. That made me happy he was told that.

Elogs will be the standard for everybody in the very near future. O/O and smaller companies have fought tooth and nail to prevent the laws from happening but it is going to be the law soon. Everybody will be on e logs. I think it is really unfair for the ones of us that are already on them. The drivers on paper logs talk all the time how they cheat.

Sick time? I am too stubborn to be sick!

Detention pay is possible as long as you follow the procedures to get it. Most drivers that say they don't get it are the ones that don't take the time to read their companies policy manual.

Elog:

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.

Elogs:

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.

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