In what can only be seen as the biggest twist ever, trucks are being told to bypass the scales in Florida while cars are being pulled in. Incredible. Many people are trying to escape the hotspots in Louisiana. I guess being at the bottom of the list for education also doesn't help your health care system. Having a line of 4-wheelers waiting to enter the scales and trucks go by is something I never thought I would see. They are asking these people to self-quarantine for 14 days. We all know that none of them will do it but it seems like a nice gesture. Turning them around would be a better idea. I want to thank all of you that send in pictures of what is happening around the country. It will take time but America will come back from this. When all this pent up buying explodes it will really be something.
See you in the bunker!
The country is on lockdown. People are hoarding things like toilet paper and medicine. Millions are now out of work, most with no pay. Millions more stand to lose their jobs. What should we be doing? Is it worth shutting the country down? Let's look at it. Every year 40000 people die in car accidents. Many times it is not their fault, it is the fault of the other person. We do not ban driving. Banning driving would eliminate this risk. Every year 480,000 people die of smoking including over 40,000 from second hand smoke. We do not ban smoking. In fact, we allow some people to profit off of the deaths. Banning smoking would save those people. Shutting the country down will save some lives but at what cost? For every person you save, many will have their lives ruined financially and mentally. For many in this country they live week to week. A hit like this will see people evicted by the boatload. Not right away but as soon as the moratorium on evictions ends. The rent is still due it is just pushed back. If you live week to week you are never going to be able to catch back up, especially on unemployment. The thing that no one considers is for every person you save you ruin 25-50 people's lives. I want to know if that is ok? Now, people that are at risk should take all precautions necessary and the rest of us should do all we can to prevent the spread of this, certainly. Be very cautious, wash frequently, stay apart from each other as much as possible. I personally do not think stopping most commerce is the correct response. People always say "What if it was you getting sick, what if it was your parents?" Ok, I would not want the entire country to stop to ensure I don't get sick. My parents likely would feel the same. Remember this: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." I believe that. I hold to the premise "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". It is not a popular opinion because we have become a society of me me me instead of a society. The good of the country dictates it remain open for business. That may be difficult medicine to take for the generation of participation trophys and safe spaces but it is exactly what needs to be happening. Might I be more likely to get sick? Yes. I am willing to risk that to ensure others do not suffer. I would not want to see 12 families on the street so I can be well. Let me know what you think.
See you on the road eventually!
Right now we are either cashing in on a windfall or laid off with nothing to do. Many of you write to me daily and what I am seeing is all over. A driver who hauls for concerts is not working. Others hauling food are so busy they don't know what to do. Do you change jobs in times like this? Well, if you aren't being paid you may need to do so. There are carriers hiring right now with sign on bonuses to get drivers. Those hauling concerts and conventions may not be back to full strength for some time. If you can ride it out you will be fine on the other side. This slowdown can't last forever. In fact, if we don't get back to business soon there won't be businesses to get back to. April is going to be a rough ride. Fear can paralyze us to inaction so don't let that happen. Whatever you need to do, take action and do it.
I was in line to check out at Meijer yesterday and a lady, maybe 60, behind me was standing at least 10 feet behind me. I thought, is this how it is going to be now? Someone mentions "social distancing" and everyone freaks out? That is really something. I will be doing a video and blog about my thoughts on this soon. I would like to know yours. Write to me!
Keep those loads locked up and stay safe out there.
I'll see you on the road!
All rest areas in the state of Pennsylvania are currently closed although that could change. This flies in the face of what government officials have said about drivers and how they are thanking us for restocking the shelves. No matter what else is happening, drivers need rest to drive safely to our next destination. Closing rest areas to all vehicles is knee-jerk reaction that will do nothing to help the roads remain safe. Now that some drivers are driving (legally) in excess of the HOS requirements, safe parking is even more necessary than it ever was. A better solution is to close the rest areas off to non-commercial traffic and allow only commercial vehicles. This would also free up extra parking in what once the car parking area. Close the building if people are afraid to come in and clean it but leave the parking open. Have the state police monitor the parking to ensure no non-commercial vehicles enter. To deprive drivers of safe parking to rest is a slap in the face to those they are praising for helping maintain the supply chain.
See you on the road!
Today the FMCSA suspended the HOS part 390-399 until at least April 12. I will let you know if they extend it. If you haul some items you are exempt from the HOS regulations but you must still log your time and make a notation on your log about the temporary exemption. Also, once you deliver that load you then are required to take a 10 hour break before starting your next load. Trucking companies may try to take advantage of truck drivers and have them drive farther than they should. You are still responsible to get adequate rest and drive safely. Haz mat rules are not suspended meaning you still need the endorsement on your license and will still have to placard properly. Also, size and weights are not suspended so don't try to stuff 100000 pounds in your wagon. Be sure to get rest but it certainly is an opportunity to make some extra money. This will make rates on the spot market take a dive as suspending the FMCSA HOS rules increases truck capacity. Owner Operators will not be happy with this in the long run, that is for sure.
Have you seen any difference in your loads? What is your company saying about the suspension of the HOS through April 12? Let me know right HERE!
See you on the road!
Desperation, even if it is not real but just perceived, can have people doing crazy things. It may lead people to break in to trailers to steal the contents. This could be done by the desperate or by thieves of general opportunity. Although these break-ins generally happen while the truck and trailer are unoccupied, it does not have to be. Lock your load and park against a wall or pole if possible. Put two trailer back to back. Organized rings of thieves target trucks leaving from where toilet paper is picked up. I never in my life believed that toilet paper would become so valuable. Any kind of hand sanitizer is also at risk. Just be more careful than you normally are and this will blow over.
These times should be a good lesson to people to have some supplies at their homes. Don't run down to nothing because you never know if you will be able to get new items if there is a supply disruption. You should at all times be able to stay home for 30 days without opening your door. That is my opinion and it is what I live by.
If you are very sick you should, of course, not drive but that is easier said than done. Most drivers do not get any sick days plus you can't just take off 2 weeks in some city 1000 miles from your house.
Be safe out there and I will see you on the road!
Jim Mullen, acting director of the FMCSA, announced today at the TCA conference in Florida that the final rule in the HOS debate has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review. This is the last step before the rule makes it to the books. Mind you, he would NOT say what the final rules were or if they were even close to what has been proposed. I considered doing a video on this but I will wait until we actually know what the rule is going to be. There is no timeline for the OMB to take the next step. It could be next week or next year. Once they approve the rule I believe it is then set to publish and we will find out exactly what it will be. The FMCSA has said the best rule is where no one is completely happy, whatever that means. I can't even guess on what is in store and the FMCSA is not talking. As soon as the new rule is published I will let everyone know what we will have to deal with.
Don't let someone run a red light and accuse you of being in the wrong. Your license is your paycheck. Protect it with a good dash cam like THIS one. I use it and I think you should, too. If a picture tells 1000 words imaging what a video can say.
See you on the road!
Hi! Welcome. I'm Mark and I've been a professional truck driver for over 33 years, the last 19 years at the same company. It is time that drivers got paid for every minute that we work and we are treated like the licensed professionals we are.