I’ve read there are low percentage of driver’s commenting. I think they are tired and ready to give up. I am trying to be optimistic.
Please do away with the 14 hour rule and the 70 hour rule. These rules limit flexibility and in many cases force us to drive when we are tired.
Here is a fresh example.
Recently I took a load from Georgia to Oregon everything went smoothly I was able to keep a normal early morning driving schedule sleeping at night.
After delivering I only had 1.5 hours left on my 70 hours. Now I am having to rush my next load barely making it with only minutes to spare in the middle of the afternoon.
It takes 9 hours for the shipper to get me loaded I do my best to try and sleep (against my natural sleep schedule) during the day but just cant get any rest.
Now it’s around midnight and I’m really tired. I get permission to stay at the shipper until morning. I wake up 8 hours later just after sunrise feeling well rested after sitting in my sleeper for nearly 16 hours. I’m ready to go but don’t have any hours to drive.
OK so now I have to wait until midnight until I am legal to drive. I go to the truck stop and wait with nothing to do all day.
Again I am doing my best to get some sleep before I go against my daytime driving schedule knowing I have to drive all night across the cascade mountains where there is really no good place to stop for about 400 miles.
Over the next 4 days I have to keep an overnight driving schedule getting very little sleep during my now daytime rest breaks. I make it to my delivery in Ohio a day late on Saturday and the shipper is closed until Monday.
Most shippers and receivers work a Monday to Friday 9-5 schedule. The goal is to get empty early Friday then get an easy load allowing a day off to rest on Sunday and delivering Monday.
Had it not been for the 70 hour rule I would have been able to leave well rested early Tuesday morning having plenty of time to make the Friday appointment in Ohio. I would have also been able to drive during the day which is my natural schedule.
So not only did I have to stop in sketchy parking spots to take short 2-3 hour naps at 4-5AM every day. I also lost two days revenue by not making my Friday appointment.
As an Owner / driver this just stinks. No one is happy the customer gets their freight late. I loose two days revenue and have to pay for two days of extra fuel for the refrigerated trailer waiting for them to open on Monday.
As an OTR owner operator who has no one pressuring me the current rules make it extremely difficult to keep a safe regular schedule.
Another common occurrence is where it takes 8 hours to get loaded after showing up fresh and well rested I have to leave the shipper and push myself to drive knowing if I stop for a short 3 or 4 hour nap I now have to take another full 10 hour break.
These rules also put a one truck owner operator at a competitive dis-advantage to the large mega carriers who can just send take the load and just send another truck to take that trailer and make it on time.
I’m 45. I’ve had my CDL since 1996. I’ve never had an accident. I always find a place to stop and take a short rest when I am tired. Why should I be put at a competitive disadvantage to these large carriers who are pushing for these ELD”S and rules that put the majority of safe owner drivers at a disadvantage.
The HOS should be simplified 11 hours driving and 10 hours rest breaks with no 70 hour limit and no 14 hour rules. 30 minute breaks are useless and just cause unsafe parking issues.
We should be able to take a nap when tired allowing flexible split sleeper breaks of 2 hours, 3 hours 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 hours instead of only being able to take a full 10 hour break or the ultra complicated 8-2 split sleeper currently in place.
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