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Eastern Railroad Discussion > OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS


Date: 05/19/20 13:03
OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: Lackawanna484

The Wall Street Journal has a logistics column today about the upcoming changes in interstate trucking regulations. The changes are intended to give drivers more flexibility on taking breaks within hours of service, and offering some room with calculating "on duty, but not driving" as break time. A larger series of changes will allow short haul drivers to drive 150 miles in a day, up from 100 miles, and be on duty for 14 hours, up from 12.

The short haul change to 150 miles could have a significant impact on rail sponsored intermodal terminals.  Extending the radius from a terminal to 75 miles, from 50 miles, could add a lot of container and trailer delivery destinations. The NS Bethlehem PA facility could serve most of northern NJ, and much of central NJ. Putting another nail in the coffin of local rail deliveries.

Paywall likely:  https://www.ltk.com/



Date: 05/19/20 14:19
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: DLM

Railroads will still do the long haul and truckers will still do the shortest posible deliveries and pickups.  The more loads handled in one day by one driver, the more the driver can make.  For your idea to work, both CSX and NW will have to close thier New Jersey ramps,  It also assumes there are enough Harrisburg truckers that want to go NJ, NY, and CT.  Having been in the intermodal industry for 28 years, I don't see that happening.

The HOS changes where needed and will help the trucking industry without causing safety issues.



Date: 05/19/20 15:45
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: steamloco

DML is right on the money. The way we were treated and still are in New York and above most drivers are like me, they can kiss my grits. Sorry don't need their freight anymore. Most old timers will laugh at you if say you have a load going there. I personally won't go north of DC and am starting avoiding Virginia.



Date: 05/19/20 15:50
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: BNSF6400

How are you treated and by whom?  I am not challenging or questioning the accuracy of your statement, just curious what issues truckers are having in that part of the country.  Thanks in advancing for whatever insight you can provide.

steamloco Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> DML is right on the money. The way we were treated
> and still are in New York and above most drivers
> are like me, they can kiss my grits. Sorry don't
> need their freight anymore. Most old timers will
> laugh at you if say you have a load going there. I
> personally won't go north of DC and am starting
> avoiding Virginia.



Date: 05/19/20 17:27
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: steamloco

Harassment of the DOT, costs of fines and tolls, no place to park,  limited times to get to your location to get unloaded, lumper fees, traffic and really a lot of people who don't like trucks. I got a ticket in Connecticut back in the 80's for not having white sheets on my bed in the sleeper. I think they were blue with some kind of kind of a pattern on them. Sheets were supposed to be white so they could be used for bandages?. A new law is if you have snow on your roof of your trailer when you pick it up  you have to sweep it of. Have any of you tried to climb on top of a trailer or get down in dry weather? If you do and OSHA sees you you got another fine.  I know it's a problem snow on top of a trailer but I didn't make to snow or the law and don't have a answer but don't make it a crime for a law that can't I can't comply with. I like me too much so I just stay south. Thanks for the question, a lot of people don't understand what we go through. I am about finished anyway, did my 50 years of it but glad I did, nothing like watching the stars , full moon and trains in the middle of the night when everyone else is sleeping.



Date: 05/19/20 17:51
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: Lackawanna484

The article notes the Teamsters Union and safety advocates are opposed to the changes which will go into effect later this year.



Date: 05/19/20 18:27
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: icancmp193

steamloco Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Harassment of the DOT, costs of fines and tolls,
> no place to park,  limited times to get to your
> location to get unloaded, lumper fees, traffic and
> really a lot of people who don't like trucks. I
> got a ticket in Connecticut back in the 80's for
> not having white sheets on my bed in the sleeper.
> I think they were blue with some kind of kind of a
> pattern on them. Sheets were supposed to be white
> so they could be used for bandages?. A new law is
> if you have snow on your roof of your trailer when
> you pick it up  you have to sweep it of. Have any
> of you tried to climb on top of a trailer or get
> down in dry weather? If you do and OSHA sees you
> you got another fine.  I know it's a problem snow
> on top of a trailer but I didn't make to snow or
> the law and don't have a answer but don't make it
> a crime for a law that can't I can't comply with.
> I like me too much so I just stay south. Thanks
> for the question, a lot of people don't understand
> what we go through. I am about finished anyway,
> did my 50 years of it but glad I did, nothing like
> watching the stars , full moon and trains in the
> middle of the night when everyone else is
> sleeping.

I have not been involved with truck shipping of forest products to New York for 28+ years, but I have driver horror stories from even back then!

TJY



Date: 05/19/20 19:52
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: BRAtkinson

In the 7 years I spent at CSX Intermodal in West Springfield, MA (2008-2015), I heard a lot of gripes from owner-operators as well as trucking company employees.

The owner operators, almost all working as contractors to any of 8-10 trucking companies, continuously complained that there were getting screwed more every day.  Perhaps the biggest screwing they got was the 'fuel surcharge' added to the cost of the shipment and paid by the shipper.  One trucking company kept 90%.  Others kept 60-85%.  That surcharge was to cover the added cost the O-Os had to pay for their fuel.  Then the trucking companies decided to increase their 'range bands' (as I call them) of how much each O-O got paid for a load.  I don't know the exact numbers, but it was like 0-25 miles was band 1, 26-50 miles band 2, and so on.  What they did was increase band 1 to be 0-50 miles, etc, without increasing the amount they'd be paid to take a load within that band.  So, they could be putting an extra 50 miles on their truck (at 4-6 miles per gallon) without getting any extra money.  A couple of companies cut their hauling an empty rate in half.  And bobtailing...no money at all!  Not surprisingly, roughtly 30-40% of the O-Os left for greener pastures every year, some of them simply switching companies and being screwed in a different way.  Shortly after I retired, I went to visit the old place and most of the 'really good', safe, concientious, careful drivers left the 'big firm' and went over to a startup that a well respected O-O had started.  The new company didn't have any contracts for intermodal work, so they never came back to the ramp as far as I know. 

Based on truckers comments, New York City was the worst possible hell-hole to drive in.  At stoplights, their trailers might get broken into.  Or they'd have to back excessive lengths down an alley to get to the loading dock.  I don't think any of them  liked going to NYC.  But if they refused the load, the dispatcher would 'cut them off' from getting any good paying loads.  Because of the traffic jams, etc, they considered driving into the city the worst paying days they had.  However, I always got a good laugh early Saturday mornings when 3-4 of the truckers from one company came and took out loads bound for the outskirts of NYC.  They claimed they made out like a bandit on the rate although it was considerably less than NYC area truckers charged.  Maybe CSX & NS charged more for taking the loads to NJ ramps, too.  I even had a couple of NYC-based O-Os come up and pull loads out every now and then as well. 

On the other side of the coin was trucking company employees.  The 'take anyone with a CDL issued today' company started everybody at $15.00/hour (in 2013, I think).  That company always liked cheap drivers looking to get their first trucking job.  It was common practice, however, when, after 6 to 12 months, a driver would ask the boss for a raise, they'd be fired on the spot as there was always a pile of applications of potential drivers.  We had a couple of them turn up as 'yard jockeys' and be overjoyed for getting consistent hours, no highway work, and I think they were getting $15 to start, with raises every 6-8 months.  Another company, nationally known, would pay drivers by the trip, again based on some kind of 'mileage band' pricing.  They'd get X dollars for a load, maybe 50% of X for an empty, and 25% for bobtail (I'm guessing at all of these percents).  Fortunately, we had maybe 20-30 loads per day to go to one of two major retailer warehouses within 20 miles or so, so those drivers would make a good number of round trips every day.  For them, it was all drop and hook, so they usually came back with an empty.  It was always fun to watch a driver that did NOT have a 'hazmat' certification to come in with an empty container with the hazmat stickers still on...very much against the law.  We had nothing to help get them off, and couldn't accept the empty container.  However, I did come up with a ladder a couple of times as I worked mostly 3rd shift.  A couple of times, they'd bribe a yard jockey to position their tractor so they could stand on the frame and access the hazmat labels.  I had one driver go out and buy a can of proper colored paint and simply spray over them.  Another came out with a hardware-store blow-torch and burned 'em to a crispie!  As long as it wasn't clearly showing hazmat labeling, I'd accept the container.  Those companies had a big turnover rate as well.  I don't know if they offered raises, but if they did, they were minimal.  So I'm guessing they moved on to companies that paid more.  But like the O-Os, I suspect they found out the hard way that the grass wasn't always greener elsewhere.

I left just as the electronic log books were coming in.  And the drivers that had them hated them as they made their job more difficult.  O-Os especially disliked them because they could no longer keep two sets of books or fudge the numbers to stay within legal hours, etc.  I suspect the electronic logs also keep track of how fast they are driving, or not moving at all, etc, and 'reports' to HQ the drivers' activities.  Welcome to Big Brother.

From what I've read, Covid-19 has taken a really big bite out of the trucking business.  Tens of thousands of truckers are out of work as a result.  Will they get their jobs back?  Will the contract companies take back the same O-Os?  My big concern is for the O-Os as they still have mortgages to pay on both their trucks and houses, maybe a car, and maybe an ex-wife as well and no money coming in the door.  How many of them will lose their truck as a result?  How many will lose their house, too?

Hopefully, the new HOS rules will allow truckers to make more money.  But at the same time, that nationally-known trucking company schedules their tractors to be on the road 20-22 hours per day.  When a driver finishes his work, he'd leave the truck in the parking lot where he got into it and an hour or so later, another driver jumps in and drives it for 10-11 hours.  I heard a lot of gripes that the other driver was a pig, smoked up the place, left trash on the floor... you name it.  Maybe the key for truckers, these days, would be to team up with someone and drive cross-country.  But then, the 'open road' isn't anything like it used to be 40-50 years ago when the interstates were 'wide open' once you got out of town.   



Date: 05/19/20 19:56
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: Jimblaze

Think bi-directional

NJ resident driver starts in NJ with an empty, and brings a Harrisburg load back
Uses a broker

Need not move to live in PA



Date: 05/20/20 06:01
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: cjvrr

I was at a traffic engineering conference several years ago and a representative from the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission was a presenter.   He discussed trucking from the LV into the NJ Ports.

Originally, back in the 1990s truckers were making 2-3 turns a day between Bethlehem and the Ports.   By 2016 they were down to 1 turn a day and they had to wait in long lines to drop or pickup loads at the port.

This resulted in truckers moving on to other areas and they had a real shortage of drivers in the LV at that time.

As also stated by someone else the lack of parking areas for off duty trucks in NJ is severely lacking.   Many of the shoulder areas on the interstates, like Route 287 are loaded with trucks at night.   The police have tried to enforce no parking but within days the trucks return.  Property costs, land development costs, and the NIMBY attitudes make it prohibitive to even plan for a large truck parking area.  



Date: 05/20/20 07:57
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: mkerner

Not even paying attention to the latest greatest HOS changes as they will probably change them again before they go into effect. The 150 mile air rule is a radius of your home terminal without running log books, just a time card so can go up to 150 miles and back. All the major truck stop chains have turned about half of the parking spots into paid parking anywhere from $15 to $20 a day,luckily me company reimburses me for them
Michael t Kerner
Collinsville, IL

Posted from Android



Date: 05/21/20 12:03
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: steamloco

They will be enforced, states need money.



Date: 05/21/20 12:24
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: Lackawanna484

Is the change to 150 miles radius from your home terminal, or a 75 miles (150 miles with the return) radius?



Date: 05/22/20 04:20
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: mkerner

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is the change to 150 miles radius from your home
> terminal, or a 75 miles (150 miles with the
> return) radius?

Right now it's 100 miles will go up to 150. This miles you can run using a time card and no log book, but you MUST start and finish at the same place. My company uses Elog in the whole fleet and that way our local and intermodal drivers can make longer trips.
Michael t Kerner
Collinsville, IL

Posted from Android



Date: 05/22/20 08:47
Re: OT? Feds offer new flexibility on trucker rules, HOS
Author: Lackawanna484

Thanks

Posted from Android



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