...extra paperwork and nearly $10,500-per-employee compliance costs are far from the only regulatory hurdles Western HiWays and other companies have to overcome in order to compete. Regulations which are often written by people with no idea of the realities of the road — not one sitting congressman has ever been an OTR truck driver — are often impractical at best. At worst, they are impossible to follow. From the AJC dispatch:
The Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service regulation, written to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, is one example. The rule says CMV drivers may only work 14 hours a day — 11 actually driving — and the driver must keep a logbook of the total hours spent driving and resting. It sounds sensible, but the regulation doesn’t account for the reality of the road.
You got drivers going into these places to load, and sat eight to ten hours. That’s on the clock,” said Mr. Grove. “If they sit there eight hours, they can only drive three hours. If we didn’t get our mileage in, it don’t matter. Once your 14 hours are up, it’s up.”
Yah, but sitting and doing nothing is considered "work" in DC. See? All 'splained for you!!
...Meyer also complained about the hours-of-service regulations, noting his truck is his only transportation. He’s based in Salt Lake City, Utah, but he lives in Northern Arizona — a bit over 12 hours away. But according to the regulations, even after he’s dropped his trailer and is heading for home he can’t legally drive all the way home without stopping to rest — something any private citizen in a car can do without question...
Silly. He should have TWO houses (or 3, or 15), just like Congresscritters do. Or just fly, like Congresscritters do. Or just sit on his ass, like bureaucrats do.
According to the story, the industry is short 200,000 drivers, partly b/c drivers (especially owner-operators) just can't battle the roads AND the regulators. Good for the oligarchy: super-big trucking outfits; bad for normal people.
Well, I have not been called normal too often. I drive for a super big company, and am satisfied, for the most part. If I wanted to make more money, I would have to go back to long haul, or try to get on with the Teamsters. Since I despise unions, the latter is out. Due to my long experience getting screwed over for long periods of time at shippers and receivers, the former is only as a last resort. I like my dedicated runs, and my company insists on legal logging.
I worry, though, about foreign drivers. Many, not all, but many, have little english and cannot read it either. They come from different cultures, and are not as safety conscious. Some also have no idea what a toilet is or how to use one. Then again, some Americans don not, either. :-)
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