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The DOT Doctor Speaks
Wednesday, September 23 2015

I have been preaching since the 80s that the rules are broken. We need to trash the entire HOS rule set and start over. Each fix seems to just make things worse. Truckers are not a one size fits all category and that is the problem. We don't fit in a nice tidy box. As such, DC doesn't know what to do. We are not that widget that fits everything.

The government can't even get all of its "enforcers" to agree. Call the DOT. Each person you speak to will tell you something different when asked the same question. Drive from state to state and each inspection scale operates differently. Sometimes it only takes a county change to see the difference.

How can you hold anyone accountable when the enforcers are not on the same page? There are numbers on a chart (CSA) that are costing drivers and carriers their livelihood yet no one is accountable for the discrepancies. The entire process is a facade! It is not about safety. It is about money. It generates revenue for the enforcement agencies. It this was truly about safety; the criteria would be different, the numbers clear and no crazy algorithms to skew the data.

Maybe we need to go to relay drivers. Everyone has their area again, much like regulated trucking days. A driver runs a load out to a turn around point. Drops, hooks and comes back. No overnight on the road. No long haul. You work a 12 hour day, 5 days a week. A set 12 hours! No logs. No teams. If you are moving something 1000 miles; it either goes to the train or you hand off to a new driver every 250-300 miles. The hand-off maybe in person or via drop site. Driver turns with a different trailer and comes home.

Local drivers run the shuttle work to and from the load/unload facilities. It worked before and can work again. Drivers a paid a fair wage for their 60 hour week. No mileage or arguing for detention pay. Hourly or salary to compensate for their time. Drivers who don't pull their weight; are fired. Realistic schedules. Real pay. Massive paperwork reduction. Greatly increased family time.

It would take planning on the carrier's part. You would have to line up your routes and have real dispatchers. Not some joke behind a desk barking orders. This would end the 34 hr restart issue, HOS issues and a dozen other problems. Statistically it will up driver retention as well. By the way - we did something very similar at BPAC and it worked! Our driver turnover was almost nil.

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Posted by: The DOT Doctor AT 12:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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