My husband, who was a Mechanical Engineer for 24 years, was downsized in 2001. This was 2 days before his 55th birthday. Needless to say he was not able to find a job, not only in his former position, but in any position. This led to him going to truck driving school and becoming a road jockey. Not what either of us envisioned for our “golden years”.
Currently he works for Werner Enterprises. While I would not recommend anyone go to work for this company, I cannot say that they are any worse than any of the other trucking companies.
Trucking firms treat drivers as if they are part of the equipment. The human need for sleep and a regular sleep schedule is thrown out the window. Drivers, per federal regulations, can be on duty for 14 hours per day, driving for 11 of those hours. Believe me, they run him 14 hours a day 6 days a week. Many, many times he will come on duty only to sit and wait literally for hours before a load is ready and then be expected to run 14 hours. For example, yesterday he came back on duty after his 10 hour break at 10 am. They did not have a load ready until 6 pm. So after waiting for 8 hours for a load he was then on duty for the next 14 hours. That means he was up for 22 hours straight! Yes, he tried to sleep while waiting for the load but all that he could do was doze. That’s just what we all want on the roads isn’t it, a guy who’s been up for 22 hours.
I’ve contacted my local congressman regarding this issue. He contacted the U. S. Department of Transportation for me. I just received a response. The USDOT says the hours of service rules prohibit drivers from driving after the 14th hour of coming on duty following at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. This I agree with wholeheartedly and would seem to make it illegal for the above scenario to occur. But. . . . And there is always that but. That nice little loophole that makes it so businesses can ignore the intent of the law but still follow the law. The USDOT goes on to say that due to the nature of scheduling and logistical challenges it is frequently very difficult for a motor carrier to maintain consistent daily starting times for its drivers. บริการรับส่งของ
Yeah, I get that. So I propose that a driver can only drive in the 16 hour time frame after his 10 hour break. Still hold that he can only be on duty for 14 hours and still only drive for 11 of those 14. This gives a 2 hour leeway for “logistical challenges”. More importantly, ENFORCE this! This would then force warehouses to schedule more efficiently. With a little planning they could easily have loads out on an every 2 hours schedule. I’ve done scheduling for a warehouse, so don’t tell me it can’t be done.
This is something that should concern all of us. Don’t blame the drivers for driving when they are tired. If they refuse a load because they are too tired they are then pulled off the account. Get the trucking companies to treat their drivers like a human. It would be nice if they would do it on their own but we all know they won’t.