Appointment Times Or [by The] Log Book?

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Ted N.'s Comment
member avatar

Apologize in advance if this has been discussed before, and I'm sure it has, but what should a company driver do when a dispatcher constantly schedules appointments that make it impossible to drive by the rules? By constantly I mean every single run! Every day I am forced to decide if I should "modify" a log, or arrive anywhere from 2 hours to 1 day late to an appointment. I am less than 2 months into my first year as a OTR trucker, and I know I should not quit, and finding another position with this little experience will be close to example... I feel lucky enough finding this job. I repeatedly ask the dispatcher and boss to let me drive by the rules, and they are nice enough, and say they will try, but it never happens. I do not make enough money to afford a log book violation ticket, and at the same time do not want to get fired for always being late. Lose-lose? I really want to drive by the book, especially as a new guy. Any advice?

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Ted, you're experiencing the difference between old school and new school trucking.

I started in '93 and drove for about 15 years. I never once used electronic logs and I don't think I ever completed a 24 hour period in all those years that my logs reflected what I was actually doing, unless I was at home for a few days. But when I ran, I ran whatever schedule I needed to in order to make the pickups and deliveries on time and I wrote down whatever I needed to in the logbook to make it look legal. You did what you could, you wrote what you should.

For the entire history of trucking, until the last 10 years or so, that's how things were done. If you went into a truck stop or customer back in the day and heard someone even mention their available hours everyone would just smile and say, "Sooooooo, you're a rookie, eh? How long you been driving?" Because nobody cared about running legal. We only cared about appearing to be legal on our logbooks.

Now there are a ton of old school drivers out there that would quit driving before they would even consider running electronic logbooks. They're used to cheating, they like the flexibility it provides, they know how to work the system, and that's their preferred way of doing things. They're out there to make all the money they can and the laws are just getting in their way.

That was me. In fact, that was most of us.

Today, the major carriers are all on electronic logs and before long everyone will have to switch over to electronic logs by law. But right now there are a ton of smaller companies out there that still do it the old school way. They expect you to "work the system" and figure out a way to make it happen.

And let me clarify something here......these are not disreputable companies. These old school companies often have a family-type atmosphere, good equipment, and tons of miles available. Their drivers are usually more experienced and road savvy than the less experienced drivers you find at the major companies and they're used to doing things the old school way.

The only thing wrong with the company you're at is that it doesn't suit your style. That's it. They do things one way, you'd prefer to do them another. Unfortunately for you, they're not going to change. These companies are run by old schoolers and they expect you to do things the old school way.

I rarely tell anyone to change companies that first year. I think there's a long list of reasons why that's normally a bad idea. But in your case I think you're in a situation that doesn't suit you and it's not going to change. So I think you have a decision to make. You're either going to learn to run the old school way or you're better off going to a company with electronic logs. To me, there is no right or wrong choice, just the choice that suits you best. But I think you're totally wasting your time trying to get them to let you run 100% legal and log things exactly the way you're doing them. That's not how things are done at most of the smaller companies. You're going to be frustrated with them, they'll be frustrated with you, and things are never going to gel. So it's time to decide what you feel suits you best and find a company that does things your way.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Sounds like you're at a small company - for you to have a direct line to "the boss". Also sounds like you are running "paper logs" - as you can't really "modify" a log on an e-log system, safety would flag you. Are you running on Qualcomm system for dispatch & communications, or do you get dispatched by phone?

Also sounds like a small company - as usually, at "less than 2 months into my first year" - you would still be out with a trainer. I really haven't heard of any "training company" (a company that takes newly licensed CDL drivers, or trains and gets CDL's for drivers), that would have a new driver out running solo at the 60 day mark. Did you go to a private trucking school to get your CDL? Even then, a new hire at a major company would probably still be out with a trainer at the 2 month mark.

A dispatcher & "boss", should not be responding "they will try", when asked to run you legally. Maybe the dispatcher - but certainly not the boss. Unless they just don't give a rats butt about their CSA score or yours.

This is YOUR CAREER and YOUR FUTURE. A company that turns a blind eye (or encourages) running "Outlaw Logs", is not a company you want to "hitch your rising star" to. Have you gone online and checked their CSA score and looked at their violations? If they have a high score and a lot of OOS's for logbook violations and Mechanical/Safety violations - your going to get nailed eventually. You're going to roll into a scale, they'll run the MC number on the door, and you'll find your logs getting pulled apart, and your rigs getting a Level I. And at 2 months into the game - I doubt your "modified logs" are going stand up to a close inspection. "Outlaw Logging" is a skill that takes some time to learn all the "finer points". And since the DRIVER is solely responsible for their own logs - it's going to be ON YOU. And if you have a real problem (accident, etc.) and you're found with bogus logs - you may be looking for a lawyer from a jail cell - instead of a new job.

As David & RT have hinted at - is this an issue with YOUR TIME MANAGEMENT (again, a skill that gets better with time in the seat, but is usually initially taught by a trainer), or are you genuinely getting appointment times and miles that simply are physically impossible to accomplish legally? Smaller companies will tend to "push the limits", because they need the business. Larger ones have traffic department that (for the most part) know what can and can't be done - and e-logs will show at a glance whether a dispatched driver can do the run legally.

Lastly - if this is a smaller company - many of the larger "training companies" would probably take you on at the 90-day mark. But if you decide to "jump ship" at this juncture - I would stick with your next company for 12-18 months, so as not to have the appearance of "job hopping" - which is not good at this early point in your career. You may end up out with a mentor for a period of time - not necessarily a BAD THING for anyone just entering the profession. But if you decide to "jump ship" on these guys, you want to choose wisely, and make the commitment to stick with your next gig for awhile.

And as David & RT opined - you probably need to elaborate with more details about your CDL history and training, and the company - for anyone to really give you "informed advice".

But - going on the assumption that this is your first job - you are running with a small company that runs paper logs and no qualcomm (and encourages you to modify your logs), consistently sends you runs that cannot be legally run, etc. - if it were ME, I would be on the phone to Swift/Prime/Werner/etc. and seeing about making a move, regardless of whether or not I had to go out with a mentor for awhile.

Rick

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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.

Ted N.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

If said company is scheduling their loads in such tight time frames and it's forcing you to either be late every time and risking you being fired or run ilegal which risks you're career and lic, I would stay to, as Thunder said, weighing my options.

Depending on you job history, you may want to think about other companies. Personally I'm not risking my cdl or career over a company that wants me to be on time while running unsafe.

Appreciate all the responses! How I got my CDL - I have been in the military (still in the National Guard) for 11 years and some change, and a lot of that time was in the transportation career field so I was trained and licensed on almost everything with wheels, including tractor trailer. When I decided to get a CDL, I only had to take the written test and waived the skills portion as my leadership was able to provide proof that I had at least 2 years tractor trailer driving experience, so many hours, etc - all true of course. Some major differences are: military is exempt from log books, exempt from weigh stations, no getting off the interstate when driving through major cities, and we hardly ever back up to loading docks. Most of our reversing required less precision, and less tight spaces. So a few things I'm getting used to as an OTR driver.

When I heard from a relative about this small company who was hiring and signed up with them, I was not surprised when they handed me the keys to the truck and a JJ Keller Log Book manual (ha!) and sent me on my first run solo. In fact, I have not spent a single minute driving with anyone else. At first I thought this is good, but now I realize there are down-sides to this as well. I would like to know what an experienced guy already working for the company would do when he see's these crazy loads I've been getting with impossible delivery times.

Company info: small, no Qualcomm , not even a stereo in an OTR truck! (had to buy my own head unit), all dispatches by phone/text message, the owner has been an owner/operator/owner of the company for about 10 years, not sure how long he has been expanding, currently has 20-25 owner operators, and I am the only company driver. I am driving the truck that he used to drive before he transitioned to being in the office 95% of the time recently. I think I am the first company driver he has ever had, and one thing that I really like about this company is I completely make my own schedule. I can say I want to work 3 days, or I want to be home in 5 days, and they will make it happen. My military job frequently asks me to help out more than the standard "one weekend a month", and these guys have no problem with that, they never pressure me to work more than I can. The problem is when I am working, I am encouraged to run an outlaw log book and like Rick said, not only do I not want to drive illegally, I would probably fail to trick the system if I tried! I barely understand how to make entries legally haha; and I can tell that the system was designed with outlaws in mind as there are not many ways to cheat the times.

Due to the fact that they are so easy-going about my other job, I can't really switch companies as I'm sure most companies would not allow me so much home time and the freedom to make my own schedule. I guess I will concentrate on driving legally; just getting the feeling that they won't keep me around if I refuse to modify my logs. I guess if I get fired, it wasn't meant to be :(

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.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

First off - thanks for your service.

As Brett elaborated - smaller companies do run "Old School" (aka: Outlaw). For people that came up that way in the biz, and learned (or better yet - WERE TAUGHT) how to "fix logs" - that's one thing. I have friends that run for a small outfit with a dually & 5th wheel trailer (motorcycle transport) that run 3 log books, and have other friends that work for regular trucking companies that also run 2 or 3 logs.

While I understand what Brett is saying - and agree that, you can definitely make more $$ and have more flexibility "cheating" - the fact of the matter is - coupled with good time management, there is still some difficulty with running way over legal driving time - and not being EXHAUSTED. Even truck drivers need sleep.

Now - if your "boss" and dispatcher are willing to sit down and give you a class on "outlaw logging", so at least you can look somewhat kosher (since you're new at this) if your logs are inspected, and the pay is just SO GOOD that you're willing to risk this - go for it. But if (god forbid) you get in an accident and someone is badly injured or dies - they will pick apart your logs with a fine-tooth-comb, and even if you weren't at fault in the accident, if you're caught running falsified logs, it becomes CRIMINAL.

Living in NC, you have many opportunities to sign on with pretty much any carrier. With recent verifiable experience, you should get "checked out" to run solo pretty fast.

So again - unless you're being COMPENSATED in an amount commensurate with the risk you're taking (which might make it worthwhile), I would considering moving on to a carrier that would not require such risks.

Rick

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.
David's Comment
member avatar

Apologize in advance if this has been discussed before, and I'm sure it has, but what should a company driver do when a dispatcher constantly schedules appointments that make it impossible to drive by the rules? By constantly I mean every single run! Every day I am forced to decide if I should "modify" a log, or arrive anywhere from 2 hours to 1 day late to an appointment. I am less than 2 months into my first year as a OTR trucker, and I know I should not quit, and finding another position with this little experience will be close to example... I feel lucky enough finding this job. I repeatedly ask the dispatcher and boss to let me drive by the rules, and they are nice enough, and say they will try, but it never happens. I do not make enough money to afford a log book violation ticket, and at the same time do not want to get fired for always being late. Lose-lose? I really want to drive by the book, especially as a new guy. Any advice?

Hey Ted,

are you on paper logs or e-logs?

Making deliveries or pickups on time is on you. This is what trip planning is. You have to plan your time correctly to make your appointments.

If your trying to keep yourself on a sleep sched, Id throw that out the window. You'll have odd time appoitments. Its part of trucking.

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.
Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Hi Ted

What David said is part of it. We really need to know if you are being scheduled too tight or if it just isn`t jiving with your personal schedule. Make sense?

Either way, you are the one who will put his license in jeopardy by breaking the rules (have to put that out here). I have learned that there is a huge gray area when it comes to making the DM/FM happy and making appointments on time. Have you tried calling the shippers or consignees to see if one may let you pick up or deliver early to fix your schedule? Little things like that can make your life a bit easier.

If you can elaborate more we can give a better answer.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

Dm:

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.

Fm:

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.
Ted N.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Ted

What David said is part of it. We really need to know if you are being scheduled too tight or if it just isn`t jiving with your personal schedule. Make sense?

Either way, you are the one who will put his license in jeopardy by breaking the rules (have to put that out here). I have learned that there is a huge gray area when it comes to making the DM/FM happy and making appointments on time. Have you tried calling the shippers or consignees to see if one may let you pick up or deliver early to fix your schedule? Little things like that can make your life a bit easier.

If you can elaborate more we can give a better answer.

Thanks for the replies guys. I am on paper logs.

I wish it was as simple as deciding to sacrifice personal desires but I think this is more of a "reality and legality" issue. To better understand my dilemma, here is the most recent example:

Was scheduled a run with a pick up of 7pm, and delivery on noon the following day with a driving time of 8 hours in between (in ideal conditions). So that gives me 17 hours to start with. 17-8 hours for driving = 9 hours left. 9- 10 hour mandatory break = -1 hour. So I haven't even loaded yet and I am at negative 1 at the time of scheduling, before even picking up! Now lets add on the real world issues - loading = 3 hours in this instance. (At -4 hours). Snow through half of the drive = 1 hour added on to the drive (-5 hours). Sliding axles, and weigh station stops = -1 hour (my axles don't slide without hammering, major pain). Without even going into food/fuel/bathroom stops, I am now 6 hours behind schedule... does that make sense?

Getting to the pick up 30 minutes early, which I did, isn't going to help compensate for 6 hours. I have tried calling... when I do get a phone number, which my company does not always include in the load details text message I get; I encounter wrong numbers, no answer, or an unhelpful answer such as "if you can't make the time, you will need to reschedule to the following day".

I've heard of companies running drivers hard, but I don't think running hard and running outside of available log hours is the same thing... is it?

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

Dm:

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.

Fm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Sounds like you're at a small company - for you to have a direct line to "the boss". Also sounds like you are running "paper logs" - as you can't really "modify" a log on an e-log system, safety would flag you. Are you running on Qualcomm system for dispatch & communications, or do you get dispatched by phone?

Also sounds like a small company - as usually, at "less than 2 months into my first year" - you would still be out with a trainer. I really haven't heard of any "training company" (a company that takes newly licensed CDL drivers, or trains and gets CDL's for drivers), that would have a new driver out running solo at the 60 day mark. Did you go to a private trucking school to get your CDL? Even then, a new hire at a major company would probably still be out with a trainer at the 2 month mark.

A dispatcher & "boss", should not be responding "they will try", when asked to run you legally. Maybe the dispatcher - but certainly not the boss. Unless they just don't give a rats butt about their CSA score or yours.

This is YOUR CAREER and YOUR FUTURE. A company that turns a blind eye (or encourages) running "Outlaw Logs", is not a company you want to "hitch your rising star" to. Have you gone online and checked their CSA score and looked at their violations? If they have a high score and a lot of OOS's for logbook violations and Mechanical/Safety violations - your going to get nailed eventually. You're going to roll into a scale, they'll run the MC number on the door, and you'll find your logs getting pulled apart, and your rigs getting a Level I. And at 2 months into the game - I doubt your "modified logs" are going stand up to a close inspection. "Outlaw Logging" is a skill that takes some time to learn all the "finer points". And since the DRIVER is solely responsible for their own logs - it's going to be ON YOU. And if you have a real problem (accident, etc.) and you're found with bogus logs - you may be looking for a lawyer from a jail cell - instead of a new job.

As David & RT have hinted at - is this an issue with YOUR TIME MANAGEMENT (again, a skill that gets better with time in the seat, but is usually initially taught by a trainer), or are you genuinely getting appointment times and miles that simply are physically impossible to accomplish legally? Smaller companies will tend to "push the limits", because they need the business. Larger ones have traffic department that (for the most part) know what can and can't be done - and e-logs will show at a glance whether a dispatched driver can do the run legally.

Lastly - if this is a smaller company - many of the larger "training companies" would probably take you on at the 90-day mark. But if you decide to "jump ship" at this juncture - I would stick with your next company for 12-18 months, so as not to have the appearance of "job hopping" - which is not good at this early point in your career. You may end up out with a mentor for a period of time - not necessarily a BAD THING for anyone just entering the profession. But if you decide to "jump ship" on these guys, you want to choose wisely, and make the commitment to stick with your next gig for awhile.

And as David & RT opined - you probably need to elaborate with more details about your CDL history and training, and the company - for anyone to really give you "informed advice".

But - going on the assumption that this is your first job - you are running with a small company that runs paper logs and no qualcomm (and encourages you to modify your logs), consistently sends you runs that cannot be legally run, etc. - if it were ME, I would be on the phone to Swift/Prime/Werner/etc. and seeing about making a move, regardless of whether or not I had to go out with a mentor for awhile.

Rick

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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.

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Makes me wonder if this company has been in business long and if so, how.

Going from what you have said, I personally would be weighing options for my future.

David's Comment
member avatar

If said company is scheduling their loads in such tight time frames and it's forcing you to either be late every time and risking you being fired or run ilegal which risks you're career and lic, I would stay to, as Thunder said, weighing my options.

Depending on you job history, you may want to think about other companies. Personally I'm not risking my cdl or career over a company that wants me to be on time while running unsafe.

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.
Ted N.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

If said company is scheduling their loads in such tight time frames and it's forcing you to either be late every time and risking you being fired or run ilegal which risks you're career and lic, I would stay to, as Thunder said, weighing my options.

Depending on you job history, you may want to think about other companies. Personally I'm not risking my cdl or career over a company that wants me to be on time while running unsafe.

Appreciate all the responses! How I got my CDL - I have been in the military (still in the National Guard) for 11 years and some change, and a lot of that time was in the transportation career field so I was trained and licensed on almost everything with wheels, including tractor trailer. When I decided to get a CDL, I only had to take the written test and waived the skills portion as my leadership was able to provide proof that I had at least 2 years tractor trailer driving experience, so many hours, etc - all true of course. Some major differences are: military is exempt from log books, exempt from weigh stations, no getting off the interstate when driving through major cities, and we hardly ever back up to loading docks. Most of our reversing required less precision, and less tight spaces. So a few things I'm getting used to as an OTR driver.

When I heard from a relative about this small company who was hiring and signed up with them, I was not surprised when they handed me the keys to the truck and a JJ Keller Log Book manual (ha!) and sent me on my first run solo. In fact, I have not spent a single minute driving with anyone else. At first I thought this is good, but now I realize there are down-sides to this as well. I would like to know what an experienced guy already working for the company would do when he see's these crazy loads I've been getting with impossible delivery times.

Company info: small, no Qualcomm , not even a stereo in an OTR truck! (had to buy my own head unit), all dispatches by phone/text message, the owner has been an owner/operator/owner of the company for about 10 years, not sure how long he has been expanding, currently has 20-25 owner operators, and I am the only company driver. I am driving the truck that he used to drive before he transitioned to being in the office 95% of the time recently. I think I am the first company driver he has ever had, and one thing that I really like about this company is I completely make my own schedule. I can say I want to work 3 days, or I want to be home in 5 days, and they will make it happen. My military job frequently asks me to help out more than the standard "one weekend a month", and these guys have no problem with that, they never pressure me to work more than I can. The problem is when I am working, I am encouraged to run an outlaw log book and like Rick said, not only do I not want to drive illegally, I would probably fail to trick the system if I tried! I barely understand how to make entries legally haha; and I can tell that the system was designed with outlaws in mind as there are not many ways to cheat the times.

Due to the fact that they are so easy-going about my other job, I can't really switch companies as I'm sure most companies would not allow me so much home time and the freedom to make my own schedule. I guess I will concentrate on driving legally; just getting the feeling that they won't keep me around if I refuse to modify my logs. I guess if I get fired, it wasn't meant to be :(

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.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

David's Comment
member avatar

I'm thinking your boss is expecting you to run as he would have with "loose leaf" logs. basically tricking the system. I and Im sure everyone one else here, would suggest not doing this. It's not worth it.

As for these ridiculous appointment times, Run them the best you can. If you can keep yourself from "starting" your clock, IE if you get dispatched the day before and can make it to the pickup night/day before, then you can milk it and not officially starting your clock. Once you get loaded, you can start your log book from the time you leave the shipper and that should give you your full set of hrs to run and might help you out. There is also the split sleeper bearth. Not sure if that will help you out a lot, but its an option.

The biggest thing is to try and get to pick ups as i said the earliest you can. Using google maps/earth will help you tell if they have any truck parking near by, you can also at times google search the customers name and get a phone number. I use google maps, and can most of the time find a number.

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.

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.

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.

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Oh dude, hell no! Get with a reputable company. There is too much to lose betting on a career with a small company that not only wants, but, encourages you to break the rules. Don`t get me wrong, I am not one to preach about keeping a clean log and would never suggest playing by the rules 100%, because honestly, the "legislators" don`t either.

The truth is, keeping everything legal is damn near impossible if you want to earn a decent living. A good, solid company will back you up and help you stay on the straight and narrow when you prove that you have the stuff to get the job done.

Research some companies around Charlotte and you will find your match. Send me a PM and I will give you the info on who I drive for.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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