Got Royaly Screwed this morning!
I have been back driving since I got my waiver for insulin use. l came back as a part timer, driving about 500 to 800 miles a week to make up for the loss of income by being a dispatcher.
Since I know others besides me have wondered about what it would be like to get off the road I will share my experience with you.
A bit of history first.
I began comercialy driving as a gopher for a wardrob door company back in the 1980's. From there I moved to 10 wheelers and in 1989 had gotten my CDL. It was not until 1994 that I began driving the "big steel".
In 2009 I had been put on insulin and was able to get a wavier in 2010. By 2011 I had gotten completly off all meds including insulin so I let the waiver drop.(The requirments to maintain a waiver are very expesive in time and money)
Then I quit smoking in July 2014. I put 130 pounds back on and ended up back on insulin.
While I was waiting for the new waiver a dispatch oppertunity came up and knowing my disability was going to run out before I got my waiver, I jumped at the oppertunity.
I dont regret that decision, I love working in dispatch however I must report that it cost me about $200.00 a week in wages. And, ruined an already shakey marriage.
It was worth it though. It is so nice to be able to sleep in my own bed most nights, have freindships, attend social functions or just lounge in my easy chair in front of the TV.
Since I got my wavier I have been able to "make up" some of the money by driving part time, however after today I am wondering if I shouldnt find a part time "real" job.
The ELB is the problem. Our company uses Peoplenet. Our complience people are reactionairy and parinoid about drivers abusing the system.
So here is what happened in as short a version as I can muster.
I made a 3 am delivery about 4.5 hours from our terminal, my plan was to take a 8 hour break since I was tired and then return to the terminal, that was my first mistake, I should have driven exahusted since after about six hours of sleep I got up with a full colan and bladder and drove about 100 yards to get to a rest room, second mistake.
I HAD to go and I mean now! Well, that was my third mistake because I could not wait for the computor to find and connect with the network.
As a result the PEOPLNET SYSTEM automaticly put me into drive. Imagine my shock when I returned to the truck to find I had been driving while I was shitting for 6 minuets!
Now comes my next shock, complience is unwilling to correct the overzelous complience device.
Then the big boss is willing to back complience!
Then I called Peoplenet to inform them of said errors and see if they could do anything about it and they were understanding, informative, but not helpful. And told me that this is called an "undocked event" they said our complience office could change it.
I explained to them complience was unwilling to since there had been an overzelous DOT officer that had caused our company some "discomfort" over a similar incident, these are the kind of cops that smear the good name of all cops, it is assumed by these kind of officers that all truck drivers are liers and slim balls, some are, but, that is another story for another day.
Peoplenet also informed me that our company had not opted for the "personal convaince" option on 'off duty' which would have solved this problem (complience could have changed my "driving" to "PC" if that option was available).
So, how did I get screwed? I now must sit for another 8 hours, for a grand total of about 15.5 hours in order to complie with the unreasonablness of complience, and the increadibly stupid FMCSA HOS.
Yes, saftey of the public is supposed to be inhanced by these rules but, they are not!
In this current example I will be tired when I am finally am able to roll since I got too much sleep to be able to sleep now. The 14 hour rule causes us to have to ignore our bodies in order to get the job done.
The split sleeper berth is a complete train wreck and better serves the attornys then the public.
In all fairness the outlaw drivers of the past and the unbalenced reporting by the press of these outlaw drivers has been the cause of overzelous and shallow thinking of our regulators. But, the regulators unwillingness to be reasonable and make adjustments when experience shows their error is eventually going to cause a whole new class of outlaw drivers who will be far more dagerous than the previous class of outlaw drivers.
The fact is the vast majority of drivers are not outlaws.
We are just average guys and gals trying to make a reasonable living in a dangerous job that our economy can not do without. People may have to learn to do without some day or begin to pay very high prices for anything that moves to market on a truck, which is everything! You can thank your Regulators and attornys when that does happen.
How did I get royaly screwed today? My time is being infringed upon without pay due to unreasonablenes at several different levels. All because I had a basic human need and needed to drive a short distence to provide for it.
Good regulation requires compassion and ressonableness. FMCSA HOS has neither.
Is driving worth it? Iam not sure anymore.
PS I hope I do not get fired for expressing my opinion when my bosses see this and they will see it cause I will send it to them. I love my job and I love my company but wrong is wrong.
Evil will persist when good men say or do nothing.
As far as I know our company, like many others did nothing to stop these new and harmfull FMCSA (Federa Motor Carrier Safety Administration) HOS (Hours Of Service) regulations.