Home > Forum > Safety First

Safety first

Oct 09, 2018 at 08:11 PM CST
+ 7
So in the grand scheme of things, I'm relatively inexperienced when it comes to trucking, and I definitely don't claim to be any sort of genius but I trust my common sense. I just wanted to share a few thoughts, if you don't like them that's ok.

I guess my first thought is on this hours of service business. Asside from encouraging me to drive faster, I am currently out of hours parked. It is raining and has been the last week, which doesn't really matter, but the temp is supposed to be 30 degrees F by 5 am, which means the roads will likely be patchy black ice by the time the government says I'm fit to move my truck at 5:30 am. Right now I am 200 miles from home. Due to the incoming snow storm my judgement told me to go home for the week, because of poor conditions and the load on my trailer is not time sensitive to the shipper. Here's where I'm going with this...my judgement tells me it's safer to drive the 3.5 hrs home tonight while the temp is 40. I have traction. Yes I'm out of hours, but I've only driven 20 hours in the last 5 days so my judgement tells me I'm far from fatigued. My judgement tells me to go home and park the truck. HOS tells me it's safer to wait till morning when it's black ice. I'm not sitting here 3 days until weather clears on Friday, I have a pregnant wife and 2 daughters at home.

So I read about how the best way to be successful is to be a good business person. Business business business. If I'm a good business person I will wait until morning to go home, yes it will be slippery, but if I get in an accident I'm legally covered because I followed my HOS rules. If I kill someone insurance covers it, even though I'm more likely to cause harm (in my opinion) while driving in slippery conditions.

Or, I be a decent human being, and drive home tonight when I feel it's safer for myself and the rest of the people on the road causeee have more control of the vehicle...but I'm breaking the law.

So what would you experienced drivers do???? I feel like flexibility in my sleeper birth would allow me to get home safely. When I posted my comments to the fmcsa there were only 2500 comments. I don't know how many there are now but I couldn't believe there was that few. Yes I get it, they likely won't read mine or give a crap, but there is strength in numbers right???

Sorry for the long rambling, I'm just frustrated
Replied on Tue, Oct 09, 2018 at 11:18 PM CST
+ 6
It's not about safety or common sense, it's about keeping the legal community and beurocrats employed. It's likely that the only reason they want to change HOS is because rates are going up, and Wall Street is pissed off, they got duped by the meggafleets, those self proclaimed experts that promised a increase in productivity with the ELD. Intead they seen productivity go down, and accidents went up, fatalities are now the highest in 29 years. Government listened to the wrong group of people when they shoved the ELD down our throats, and now they are paying the price. There are many who hope they choke on it, and that's why nobody is commenting on HOS reform. They have screwed this up so bad, that many vocational schools don't even offer a truck driver training program anymore, since they can't find students anymore. No rational human being wants to be treated like a inmate at a super max prison. ELDs, inward facing cameras, constant electronic monitoring, being told when to sleep, eat, take a break, constant harassment from the enforcement community reminiscent of the Gestapo in Nazi germany.
Replied on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 05:33 AM CST
+ 1
If you head home and make it great. If you head home out of hours and wreck and kill someone then your wife and children will be paying you visits between bars and housed with other gang rapists and murderers . There is so much wrong with whole thing . I get the idea of safety all the way. I personally don't drive much between 1 am and 5 am especially if I been working hard but for Pete's sake who in their right mind sleeps for 10 hr? If they would at least give us flexibility we all could be more productive and profitable and also spend more time at the house with the family that we bust it all year long to clothe and feed. Good luck with whichever choice you make
Replied on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 08:21 AM CST
Safety and HOS are not the same thing. Liability and risk can be the big worry. ELD / HOS can put you in risky situations.
Replied on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 09:17 AM CST
+ 2
So what you’re saying is, you’d like to be treated like an adult with the ability to make an informed decision based on reason, judgment, and your own experience? There’s no place for that in today’s trucking. Quite frankly, in today’s America.
Replied on Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:51 PM CST
click personal conveyance...make a note about it and roll home.
Replied on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 09:54 AM CST
What is personal conveyance other than state sanctioned cheating? If you have a accident while using it, you can still be sued and thrown in prison, especially if someone died. How can you be punished if you are in compliance? Legal and illegal at the same time? The difference between paper logs and ELD's, is that now the government is telling you to cheat, but not standing behind you when a accident occurs....... Thus the government is guilty of coercion, and becomes a willing accomplice to the crime........ Now that's down right funny, state sponsored outlaw trucking.
Replied on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 05:32 PM CST
+ 1
Well, I decided to follow hos that night. Got on the road at 5:30 am with slush, ice, snow and a 40 mph side wind. Didn't sleep a wink that night due to irritation with the situation.

Dave I agree with you 150 percent and I will buzz you next week sometime, i enjoy the chats.

If you look at studies done in 2016, statistically eld is causing more accidents. They knew it then, so some sort of financial situation had to be the reason for pushing it through. And I'd also love to see them choke on it just to prove them wrong. But if we don't get 500000 truckers to comment about it now, how long is it before drinking water is illegal and the EPA is accepting comments on regulation.gov on why we aren't criminals for being thirsty. Extreme example yes.

I do understand the reason for people saying screw it and not commenting to them. No criticism


Replied on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 10:45 PM CST
+ 1 - 1
Stop thinking about all of this and go to sleep. Get your 10hours of off duty, wake up and truck home. The roads will probably be fine. Your overthinking all of this. Slow down, don?t make any sudden moves, give yourself plenty of following distance, and turn on your cb! Ps, don?t change lanes on bridges. Trucking is a tough job and you need to learn to drive on ice, snow, and rain. No time better than the present. Be safe, be smart, and operate within the laws?
Replied on Sat, Oct 13, 2018 at 06:45 AM CST
Originally Posted by: MATT MECUM
Quote: "Stop thinking about all of this and go to sleep. Get your 10hours of off duty, wake up and truck home. The roads will probably be fine. Your overthinking all of this. Slow down, don?t make any sudden moves, give yourself plenty of following distance, and turn on your cb! Ps, don?t change lanes on bridges. Trucking is a tough job and you need to learn to drive on ice, snow, and rain. No time better than the present. Be safe, be smart, and operate within the laws?"

Sorry friend, I'm not going to stop thinking about it. I don't intend on spending my life on my knees. I'm not passing judgement on you personally, but in my personal opinion, the only people satisfied with this situation (following the laws as you said) are people that don't put on many miles, or have been raised with a silver spoon shoved in their mouth and have no desire to better themselves because they don't need to.

As far as driving in winter conditions....as I said, I'm no expert. I have less than 200000 commercial miles. But I am 6 generations south dakotan...so that means set the cruise at 70 and leave the Jake on?
Replied on Sat, Oct 13, 2018 at 06:55 AM CST
The idea of not thinking about it is criminal. Choosing to wait until you know it will be poor conditions is the same as driving drunk. After my dad drove otr for 20 yrs he drove snow plow truck for the SD dot. Anybody ever been on i29 near summit sd? Anybody know how many times he was rear ended in a blizzard? Yes driving in poor conditions are part of the job. But if it's avoidable, I choose to avoid it
Replied on Sat, Oct 13, 2018 at 09:26 AM CST
Originally Posted by: DALE HERMANS
Quote: "Well, I decided to follow hos that night. Got on the road at 5:30 am with slush, ice, snow and a 40 mph side wind. Didn't sleep a wink that night due to irritation with the situation. Dave I agree with you 150 percent and I will buzz you next week sometime, i enjoy the chats. If you look at studies done in 2016, statistically eld is causing more accidents. They knew it then, so some sort of financial situation had to be the reason for pushing it through. And I'd also love to see them choke on it just to prove them wrong. But if we don't get 500000 truckers to comment about it now, how long is it before drinking water is illegal and the EPA is accepting comments on regulation.gov on why we aren't criminals for being thirsty. Extreme example yes. I do understand the reason for people saying screw it and not commenting to them. No criticism "

Drive like your LIFE depends on it. Bad things can happen no matter. Take the least risky approach for your own safety and well being.
Replied on Sat, Oct 13, 2018 at 12:33 PM CST
Dave, I was an outlaw for a few years in the early 70's, before shippers started asking for my "numbers". Back when trucking was fun. When dad taught me how to drive a semi he gave me some good advice that I've lived by. "When it snows you can go. With ice, no dice!" I credit dad with my very good driving record.

i have sent a response to the FMSCA for the possible change to HOS in the near future. However, I am certainly not holding my breath.

Thanks to the insurance companies, in bad weather it is a NO Win situation for a commercial driver. Whether you are driving at 5 mph, or 40 mph and possibly fall off the highway, the standard charge is "you were driving too fast for the conditions".

I always believed I was a responsible driver, until the feds interfeared with the industry.
Replied on Sun, Oct 14, 2018 at 02:54 PM CST
+ 1
When us truckers wrote letters, filed comments and held protests in regard to the ELD, we were ignored. The result was that it caused our opponents to push back that much harder against us, much the way a tyrant reacts to a uprising. In doing so they stepped into our trap, and we now have the leverage over them, as public opinion is now on our side. We now have the head of a federal agency asking us to help fix the mess, that the meggafleets created. I am enjoying this. That said as long as the industry has a piece rate pay structure, the driver will be coerced to maximize productivity, canceling out any benefit of more HOS. Either the ELD has to go, or the peice rate pay structure needs to go. FMCSA is a poor substitute for the ICC, and we have the Data to prove it.
Replied on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 09:24 AM CST
+ 1
Dale, I wish you had gone home. You would have been safely ahead of the weather. Sleeping soundly with your wife satified you had done the right thing.

It saddens me to see so many think they have to ignore good judgement and common sense to be compilant with bad rules.