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thejokeriv
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:01 pm

James B. wrote:
If you manage your routes and actual driving properly, you should already be at your destination or close to 10 hours away before shutting down. Then that way, when ya get up..(if there) wait and log in after unloading.  If 10 hours away (or so), you are still legal and have your 10 hours off after arriving at the unload place. You can also, play around with sleeper berth time to extend your 14 hour day.   Take the time now to learn how to plan better, so you'll be dialed in when that day in the future comes that e-logs will become required.

The insurance companies are more to blame than the government.  Fatigue is a big issue !  I am not even gonna go into how stress from not driving factors into fatigue.  Like I said DB, plan better and request to get on a dedicated run.  A lil advise....remember the traffic patterns for each area you travel into, A journal may help.  note the morning anf afternoon traffic jam times and routes and again. Plan to go through the congested areas before or after those times.  Driving a truck involves alot more than turning on a key and punching an address into GPS.  The extra effort will benefit you with more time actually rolling down the road and less stress.  If ya need some help, just ask.
Was looking forward to post from the voice of reason!
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DallasBlack
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:02 pm

You can't extend the 14 hour rule anymore, it's not allowed. As a matter of fact, I was told on my first DoT inspection that unload time has to count as on duty not driving which would suck out your 70 hours like nobody's business. Luckily, they can't yet enforce that even though DoT regulations suggest that they can. I only mess with my logs when the place takes too long to unload me or I have to wait for more than 3 hours on a load to be ready. For the most part I try to follow the rules, but every now and then I will work with it to buy back lost hours. I might add that my company not only lets us do so, they encourage it. There is no truck driver I ever met who doesn't play around with their logs. I understand the need to keep fatigued drivers off the road (I will take a nap if I feel myself getting too tired) but these rules keep getting more strict as the years go by.

As far as planning goes, I almost always get myself close to my destination before going on to my 10 hours. However, there is always the loads that no matter how well you plan, you aren't going to make your appointment time. I always let dispatch know when I am not going to legally make a run and many times swap trailers. However, this is a small company and that is not always possible and because you can't reschedule an appointment time until the original one has passed, you get to your destination and have to wait up to 24 hours til you can bring it in. To avoid that time sitting on my duff, if I am only a few hours away from my destination when my 10 hits (and there is no weigh station on the way), I get what sleep I can and drive those few hours to make the appointment time, and put them on the log after the 10 is up.

I want to make it clear that I try my damnest to plan accordingly and follow the rules that would be fine in a perfect world. However, it is not a perfect world, and I need to make money. Occasionally, I have to work my logs, however, I try to work within the confines of these laws that I believe take it too far. Sure a 10 hour rest period is a good thing, especially after 11 hours of driving, however, if you only drive 3-5 hours during a 14 hour period where you spend time resting when not driving, then your not really recovering from anything really strenuous. Now on a 6 hour unload, I could really cheat my logs and say it only took an hour to unload (most other drivers do that) but I usually make it three. As I said, I don't like having to cheat my logs, but I have to look out for my best interest. Also when I do cheat my logs, it's almost always done in moderation which is why I get less miles that most of the drivers in my company. I don't care if I make $75K a year (you can't tell me the drivers that make that money do it by the book-laughable to think that), I just want to make enough to have a life.
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:08 pm

corplhicks wrote:
It is of my unequivocal opinion that if the government wants to F*ck around with its people, then the people have every right to F*ck back, so if truckers, the very backbone of American society within capitalist function, need to pad their mileage just to feed their families and/or pay the rent, then I say let it be.

We should be more concerned with the scamming that circulates high on Capital Hill.
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DallasBlack
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:51 pm

To explain what James B. meant by extending the 14 hours, I should give a little history on the rules. These rules were origionally intended to curb the amount of fatigued drivers on the road. It would limit the amount of driving time to 11 hours followed by a 10 hour rest period. Like all government regulations it starts out as noble and small, then becomes more and more invasive and bloated. Then came the 14 hour rule where driving time and breaks could not add up to more that 14 hours. From the time you did your pre-trip inspection to the time you have your post-trip inspection, you had 14 hours (drive time + breaks) and had to take you 10 before you could start again. During that 14 hours, is you spent any time in your berthing, it wouldn't count to your 14 so if you spend several hours being loaded or unloaded or taking a nap it wouldn't hurt you. That has changed and now you have 14 hours from the start of your day to the end, no matter what. If you only spend 5 hours driving and 9 hours on break or in your sleeper your done and have to have your 10 hour break. Then came the 30 minute rule where any consecutive 8 hours driving had to be followed by a 30 minute break.

This stuff severely cuts time truckers have to drive so they found ways to cheat the logs (while making them appear legal) in order not to take a pay cut. However, to prevent this the government is now trying to impose electronic logs. These are connected to your truck's computer system and can't be altered. So far these have only been imposed on the large trucking companies because the cost of putting them in all the trucks would bankrupt many of the smaller companies. However, they are working hard on making EVERYONE switch to e-logs. Many truck companies will have to go out of business. My company is going to gradually incorporate them giving many of the drivers the option to wait until it becomes law, while others will be forced to do so. I will do my best to make do if I have to but I will not be happy about it. I hope I have the choice to stick with paper logs. Even though in a year to a year and a half, all companies will have to do those, I plan on getting out of the OTR business and find something more local and stable by the time that happens.

I might add that this government oversight and overbearing rules and regulations is one reason why I didn't want to get into this business. I'm normally a very law abiding citizen. I don't like cheating the system, but I can't really move out of the financial hole I've dug for myself into by doing it the way the government wants it done. However, it has been documented here why I was forced into this business, why my options were so limited. I will do what it takes to get my debt paid off and put this job behind me (still just a stepping stone for me). Quite frankly, I hate this job in so many ways and want it to end, however, I still try to make the most of it. That's why this e-log business has gotten me so down, that and the fact I hate this truck, but I understand because of my previous screw ups why I haven't been moved into a Volvo. Still doesn't change the fact that it pisses me off though.
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:53 pm

If you hate the job so much, quit. Quit now before you hurt yourself or someone else. Or worse.

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DallasBlack
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:07 am

Eyesore wrote:
If you hate the job so much, quit. Quit now before you hurt yourself or someone else. Or worse.
I'm not going to hurt anyone or myself. If I get too tired, I pull over to get some sleep or take a break. I slow down if I don't think I can make a curve and I obey the speed limit to a tee  and sometimes slower (20 mph school zone, I go 15 mph). If I don't think I'll make it, I won't attempt it. I will not put myself or anyone else in danger. I am a very cautious and safe driver. What I hate is having to wait 4-6 hours to get unloaded, having to back into a very tight spot, and getting lost. To counter my hate, I mostly sleep while being unloaded, I take my time and get out and check every couple of feet when backing in a tight spot, and when I get lost, I find an on/off ramp and consult my map or try to turn around. I hate not having a load to take and sitting around in my truck for 12+ hours, I hate being away from home, I hate a lot of the lonliness, I hate bad drivers, and bad traffic. However, the things I hate compose a small amount of the job (as I said, I hate the job in so many ways-which is what I think you misunderstood for hate of the whole thing) I'd say I hate about 15-20% of the job. 80% of the time I rather enjoy it (scenery, some of the solitude, no micromanaging). The majority of the time I'm cruising along, taking it in stride.

Do not mistake my dislike of many aspects of truck driving for carelessness. I guarantee I'm a safer driver than many of the truck drivers out there.
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manny
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:15 am

DallasBlack wrote:
To explain what James B. meant by extending the 14 hours, I should give a little history on the rules. These rules were origionally intended to curb the amount of fatigued drivers on the road. It would limit the amount of driving time to 11 hours followed by a 10 hour rest period. Like all government regulations it starts out as noble and small, then becomes more and more invasive and bloated. Then came the 14 hour rule where driving time and breaks could not add up to more that 14 hours. From the time you did your pre-trip inspection to the time you have your post-trip inspection, you had 14 hours (drive time + breaks) and had to take you 10 before you could start again. During that 14 hours, is you spent any time in your berthing, it wouldn't count to your 14 so if you spend several hours being loaded or unloaded or taking a nap it wouldn't hurt you. That has changed and now you have 14 hours from the start of your day to the end, no matter what. If you only spend 5 hours driving and 9 hours on break or in your sleeper your done and have to have your 10 hour break. Then came the 30 minute rule where any consecutive 8 hours driving had to be followed by a 30 minute break.

This stuff severely cuts time truckers have to drive so they found ways to cheat the logs (while making them appear legal) in order not to take a pay cut. However, to prevent this the government is now trying to impose electronic logs. These are connected to your truck's computer system and can't be altered. So far these have only been imposed on the large trucking companies because the cost of putting them in all the trucks would bankrupt many of the smaller companies. However, they are working hard on making EVERYONE switch to e-logs. Many truck companies will have to go out of business. My company is going to gradually incorporate them giving many of the drivers the option to wait until it becomes law, while others will be forced to do so. I will do my best to make do if I have to but I will not be happy about it. I hope I have the choice to stick with paper logs. Even though in a year to a year and a half, all companies will have to do those, I plan on getting out of the OTR business and find something more local and stable by the time that happens.

I might add that this government oversight and overbearing rules and regulations is one reason why I didn't want to get into this business. I'm normally a very law abiding citizen. I don't like cheating the system, but I can't really move out of the financial hole I've dug for myself into by doing it the way the government wants it done. However, it has been documented here why I was forced into this business, why my options were so limited. I will do what it takes to get my debt paid off and put this job behind me (still just a stepping stone for me). Quite frankly, I hate this job in so many ways and want it to end, however, I still try to make the most of it. That's why this e-log business has gotten me so down, that and the fact I hate this truck, but I understand because of my previous screw ups why I haven't been moved into a Volvo. Still doesn't change the fact that it pisses me off though.

I see its the government's fault that makes you have to try to cheat the system, because the man has got you under his thumb. Maybe the government also forced you into this business, maybe nothing is your fault. I am glad you cleared that up.
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Boris2008
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:32 am

Dude, I have no idea what your job entails or what is the industry norm but I would say that a detailed account of exactly how you don't obey regulations, blaming the government for being assholes on the world wide web with a picture of your face next to it? Not the way I'd go about things.

Just saying man.
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:59 am

Let me ask you something DB.   Werner Enterprises has had e-logs for over a decade now and remain one of the nations largest carriers.  If it was so detrimental to productivity and caused so much grief to drivers, why does that carrier continue to grow and thrive ?

and......you can still work after 14 hours (unload, maint/repair, MVI, whatever) you just can't drive. Although it does extend your 10 hour off and reset. Which brings us back to time/route management.   Plan your trips better, learn traffic  patterns and figure out if stopping  afew hours down the road EARLIER than your 11 hours might make ya miss a bunch of trafic the next day, Find out if a destination will allow you to wait onsite for unload time or if ya need to find a truck stop.  Sometimes there are places to park offsite closer to location than truck stop on interstate, which means talk to other drivers.  When ya get into the chasing miles rut, you focus way too much on driving that extra mile today and then worry about tomorrow, well tomorrow.

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DallasBlack
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:22 am

You know what, I'm not going to argue this stuff anymore. I'm going to do what I need to do. Call me a cheat, a scam artist, a no good law breaker, whatever. I have enough crap to deal with without justifying my self to people that just don't understand or love government so much that they can't see the crap over regulation causes. The fact is, every time the government gets involved in an industry that it goes to crap. If your too blind to see that then there is no use arguing the matter any further.

James B., thanks for the advice and I do try to do that stuff. However, it is not always possible to do those things. Many times you pick up a load way after it was due to be picked up and there is no way to get it to it's destination on time no matter how well you plan. As stated above, most of the time I do my job within the confines of the law, however, sometimes problems are unavoidable. As for companies doing fine with e-logs, I mentioned already that the larger ones fare better. They have thousands of drivers and tons on yards all over the country. If a driver is going to be late with a load, there is always another driver ready to swap trailers. This company only having about 100+ drivers can't always do that and we only have two yards (Ft. Worth & Houston). Large truck companies thrive because they have a larger budget and far more employees. I will do my best with whatever they put before me, but I would rather not have e-logs. I've been told by countless drivers about the nightmare that is e-logs, especially my dad who was a successful driver for a over a decade (who's word I put more faith into than any other truck drivers combined).
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manny
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:31 am

oh Christ now someone who questions your reasoning is " too blind because they love government so much that they can't see the crap over regulation causes. " Have you ever thought why regulations exists? What government law made it such a mess that you have fudge your logging hours?  Maybe the trucking industry made the decision to monitor their own industry?

Maybe just maybe, you are a bit defensive because you are wrong.
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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:30 pm

No, it's federal and state interference as well. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but DOT has a division that threw these regulations into practice.

I drive for my job and meet many truckers on a weekly basis, veterans and rookies. What DB does in not uncommon. And truckers deserve a hell of a lot of respect for what they do for so little money. That kind of respect includes letting them manipulate their logs if they want. After all, it's no skin off our nose.
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:53 pm

Actually it is skin off your nose, both in costs for products in the stores, that cost to get trucked and other factors. I am not a truck driver and do respect what they do, spending time away from their loved ones etc, but there are other factors. Such as this written by an experienced trucker:

In the truck driving industry, there is a constant need to be on the move. Time demands on delivery are pushing drivers to be out on the road as much as possible. However, when that need interferes with the health and safety of truck drivers and those around them it becomes a hazard. Some in the trucking industry feel the need to push the limit of their driving to make more money or get more business. This push will bring a driver or an employer to the edge, where there is a large risk of making mistakes. In Washington State, troopers have recently noticed an increase of truck related accidents. The cause of many of these accidents are drivers who are driving when they are too tired. By faking their log book, some drivers drive through the required hours of sleep and become dangers on the road. While the Washington State Troopers understand they drive to make more money, they claim the risk is simply too great.

“To truck drivers, time is money,” said Trooper Mike Harmon. “A lot of their companies just push them, push them, and push them. But my gosh, can you imagine what a vehicle that weighs that much with a driver that’s that tired can do?” To help troopers catch drivers who are falsifying their log books and driving too long, they have enlisted the help of a state-of-the-art computer system. This system uses sensors and cameras which are placed at various locations along the interstate to track the movements of trucks and keep record of which trucks are violating regulations. The troopers will then flag the truck driver and stop them when they approach set of scales.
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:56 pm

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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:00 pm

Fellas, please. Don't make me get the hose.

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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:11 pm

I can see both sides. I know guys who were truckers before all the regulations and they still drive but it's a different animal. Companies have to hire more drivers because drive time has to be shortened up which raises prices for everyone and affects how companies operate. Many companies start with half time drivers and pay lower to new guys to offset costs. Some of it is for safety but some of it is kind of stupid. Train hauling is the same way. My bro in law has had to stop 1 mile from the delivery point because he's hit his time limit. So now they have to pay to pick up the crew and get a new crew out to bring the train in the last mile. There's often no commen sense in these rules.
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manny
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:00 pm

Dark Horseman wrote:
I can see both sides. I know guys who were truckers before all the regulations and they still drive but it's a different animal. Companies have to hire more drivers because drive time has to be shortened up which raises prices for everyone and affects how companies operate. Many companies start with half time drivers and pay lower to new guys to offset costs. Some of it is for safety but some of it is kind of stupid. Train hauling is the same way. My bro in law has had to stop 1 mile from the delivery point because he's hit his time limit. So now they have to pay to pick up the crew and get a new crew out to bring the train in the last mile. There's often no commen sense in these rules.

Yea that is pure silliness, and people wonder why things cost so much!
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Eyesore
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:22 pm


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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:52 pm

Guys forget everything that has been talked about here. I screwed up really bad a few hours ago and I will probably be getting fired. My trucking career is all but dead and only a miracle will revive it. It seems like I am just not cut out to be a truck driver. I have nobody to blame but myself and I did a very stupid thing that I know deep down inside I shouldn't have done it. Anything talked about here is just about irrelevant now. Its over and now I must face a scary uncertain future. Pleas pray for me that God (and my company) will have mercy on my stupidity.
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:01 pm

Woah.

Hope you're okay, DB. Keep us informed.
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:02 pm

Seriously..
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:30 pm

Well whatever the problem may be, I hope you're able to persevere and turn things around.
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:20 pm

I got on the wrong road and say a dirt path that I thought I could turn around in. I thought I had it but didn't realize the sign about to be run over by the trailer tires. I blew out a tire and the truck got stuck. I wasn't able to back up or move forward. I tried, but that ended up hurting the rear of the truck, to the point it won't drive anymore. I am in a hotel room while the truck is going for repairs. I will find out it's fate in a few days and shortly after, my fate. Nobody was hurt and apart from the truck and a downed sign there was no damage to anyone or property. This was a boneheaded mistake that may just cost me dearly. There may be a chance of them keeping me, but I doubt it. Hell, I'd fire me after that. This time there is no promise of getting another truck job as I now have points on my CDL and most places want two years of a clean driving record. Not sure what the future brings and quite frankly I've been worried about it since the incident. Worry, panic, anger (at myself), have worn me out.

Please no responses to this thread anymore. I will shortly post something in this forum in regards to myself.
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Eyesore
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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:31 pm

Don't worry, it was a sign from God.

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PostSubject: Re: My Life As A Trucker   Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:38 pm

Quote :
Please no responses to this thread anymore.
Per DB's request, this thread is hereby locked.

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