In recent Overdrive article, writer and driver Paul Marhoefer shared some trucking stories of yesterday and today. The writer offers a few solutions to today’s pressing trucking issues and seeks driver feedback. In those comments from drivers, it is clear that all trucking is not the same. Company drivers vs owner-operators, individual drivers vs team drivers, over-the-road vs dedicated local, and the type of freight (flatbed, van, specialized) are all factors that affect a drivers perspective. The excerpts/comments from the original article provide a good starting point for conversation, but we’d like to hear your take on trucking regulations and parking issues.
In a letter to FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez, Marhoefer makes the following suggestions:
- Expand the 14-hour on-duty limit to 16. It would not disrupt the circadian rhythm and would reflect a more natural sleep cycle.
- Expand the 11 hours driving limit to 12.
- Create a new inclement conditions exception that would expand the allowable hours to 13 driving and 18 on-duty, respectively, under certain specific conditions:
a) You must show at least two hours in the sleeper berth during this time.
b) You must take a full 10 off when your 18 is up.
One driver’s view (MrBigR504): “you guys can drive 12 hrs if you want to. I’m cool with driving my 10 & 11 hrs.” He suggests removing the 30min break and putting the sleeper birth back the way it was. He noted he’s made more money since the ELD’s kicked in and he doesn’t have to run all over the world because he gets paid a percentage of the gross. He added, “The personal conveyance is cool but watch out for shipping and receiving to try and take advantage of that.”
He also pointed out that the logistics have changed with a lot of diversity. Meaning you can do power only or run under someone’s authority and choose your own loads or their dispatchers and get 75% to 88% of the gross and still get your IFTA and fuel cards, logs, tags, etc. & more done by the company. “Over-regulation and more parking seems to be our problem to me! OOIDA has a good idea with the 3hr clock pause once a week for certain situations.”
Another driver, Richard Davis noted, “Extending the 14 hrs. to 16 hrs., would be good. 12 hrs. of driving is good. I think the 70-hour rule should be eliminated though. Drivers are out here to just do that, drive. They are away from their family and home to make money, not sit in a truck stop doing their 34 hr. restart.”
Deborah, a drivers wife commented, “how many things make no sense. 1) the 3 hours consecutive rest period! 24-10(sleep actually probably 8 hrs sleeping, 2 hours for showers? Laundry, catching up with family, and truck maintenance or repairs. Trying to fit as much in to get back to making money driving 11 hrs. I’m sure you can find many scenarios. However, the big point is drivers are looking for that half hour here and there to let ‘going-home’ traffic decrease for safer conditions, not a 3-hour consecutive rest just cuz FMCSA thought of it.”
As you can see there are quite a few perspectives on these issues. We’d like to hear your take on the issues. If you were in charge of the FMCSA what changes would you do to make the trucking industry better?