Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

Ellen Voie of Women In Trucking – Interview


Had a great show today with Ellen Voie of Women In Trucking……..if you missed the show, you can listen here : 

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The 11/14 Hour Truck Driving Rule


Recently I received an e-mail asking me to explain the “very confusing” 11/14 hour truck driving rule. As you know, this is the rule which tells the driver how many hours he/she may work, when to break, how long to break, and how many hours of  driving that he/she may drive during a 24 hour period.

Here is my reply to her that I would like to post for all new drivers:

This is a real simple rule that sometimes people can make harder than it really is….me included, when it first came out. In a nutshell…it simply states that you cannot “work” more than 14 hours in a 24 hour period…and cannot drive more than 11 hours in a 24 hour period, without taking a 10 hour break.

“Work” means the same as “on duty”…As soon as you start your pre-trip, you are on duty….you have 14 hours to be “on duty” from that moment on, before you are required to shut down for your 10 hour break.

So, if you start your pre-trip at 6 AM, you have to be stopped, shut down, done! by 8 PM. Your on duty “work” includes, pre-tripping, post tripping, driving, unloading, loading, waiting time, stopping for a meal, bathroom break, stopping to make a phone call…ANYTHING you are doing between the pre-trip and post trip….this is your 14 hours you have to complete your day’s work.

Example : Let’s say you start your pre-trip at 10 AM. and you drive over to the shipper to get loaded and you get there at 10:30 AM, and they tell you it will take about 5 hours to get loaded. You are finally loaded at 3:30 PM. You now only have until midnight to drive or “whatever”, before you must shut down for the 10 hour break. You will be completely legal because you shut down at midnight, which is 14 hours (10 AM to Midnight)…and you only drove 9 hours (10 AM to 10:30 AM, and 3:30 PM to Midnight)…even though you are 2 hours under the 11 hour driving rule, the 14 hour rule beat you to the punch because of the waiting time the shipper placed on you.

Just remember, whatever time you start the day on your log, you have to be completely shut down (break), within 14 hours. Now, if you start your pretrip at 10 AM, arrive at shipper at 10:30 AM, and are loaded by 11 AM, you can drive until 9:30 PM – (11 hour rule – 10-10:30, 11-9:30), ….even though 14 hours is midnight (10 AM to midnite), the 11 hour rule beat you to the punch…you can still be on duty through midnight, like waiting to get unloaded, calling dispatch, repairing a trailer tire…etc., you JUST CAN’T DRIVE anymore.

After 14 hours you should be doing only one thing : on a 10 hour break. Just because you hit 11 hours of driving, you can still be doing work-related duties, as long as you are not driving…AND…once you hit the 14 hour spot…you must be shut down, totally, and be on your 10 hour break.

Remember two things :

1. Be shut down (on your break) within 14 hours of starting your log.

2. Within that 14 hours, make sure you have not driven more than 11 hours.

NOW! There is also the 34 hour rule! But this is easy…if you are off duty for at least 34 hours, all your hours beforehand are “erased” and you can start “clean” with another 70 hours. There is talk about doing away with this rule, but for now, it is still on the books.


Since I am constantly receiving emails from those who only wish to criticize and attempt to prove something to themselves, I would like to  address a recent email I received:

Here is the email I just received:

He wrote:

“I read, The 11/14 Hour Truck Driving Rule", it is incorrect. You state that after your 14th consecutive hour on duty you must be off duty or in the sleeper berth, not true. The law states a driver must not drive after his 14th hour on duty, nothing about working. Any work as  unloading, post trip, fueling are fine to do after your 14th hour. Please make sure you know the law prior to acting like an authority. Thanks.”

Now,  if  this guy had really read the post, then he would have seen the following paragraph within this post:

“Just remember, whatever time you start the day on your log, you have to be completely shut down (break), within 14 hours. Now, if you start your pretrip at 10 AM, arrive at shipper at 10:30 AM, and are loaded by 11 AM, you can drive until 9:30 PM – (11 hour rule – 10-10:30, 11-9:30), ….even though 14 hours is midnight (10 AM to midnite), the 11 hour rule beat you to the punch…you can still be on duty through midnight, like waiting to get unloaded, calling dispatch, repairing a trailer tire…etc., you JUST CAN’T DRIVE anymore.”

Furthermore, this guy would have seen my previous comment to another, more professional poster … here’s my previous posted comment:

Yes, you are correct.  You are referring to Reg. 395 (d) –

D-1. May a driver be on duty for more than 14 consecutive hours?

Yes. A driver may remain on duty for more than 14 hours; however, the driver of a property-carrying CMV cannot drive after the 14th hour after coming on duty. Also, the additional on-duty time will be counted toward the 60/70-hour on-duty limit. But, as you mentioned, MOST companies require you to be shut down by the 14th hour. Every company I’ve ever worked for, even now, require you to be completely done by the 14th hour. So that is why I explained it this way. With a former company I was driving for, I did go over the 14 hours, legally….but I was still called in by the log and safety dept. Even though I explained to them what I did was legal, I was still “slapped” on the hand for doing it! LOL … but again, you are right….it is just that most companies want you “shut down” by the 14th hour……thanks for your post…..I appreciate it!

Allen — Posted on: 10-22-2008

So I will make this response a permanent part of this post, hopefully I can STOP receiving rude and hateful emails which do not benefit anyone.
Also, my intentions are NOT to come off as ” the authority” but instead try and help newcomers to the industry.   I suggest that people fully read my posts before attacking  either myself or other posters.
For the rude posters: Maybe they just can’t read very well or they have trouble comprehending?

Allen Smith

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The Importance of Nutrients


Healthy eating requires us to eat a number of nutrients every day. In fact, there are 40 different nutrients we need in order to keep our bodies healthy. That’s a lot of nutrient we need to know about! Luckily, we can break down all of these nutrients into smaller categories in order to keep them organized in our minds and make sure we get all of the food products we need.

First and foremost, everyone needs water in order to live a healthy life. Without water, we naturally become dehydrated and will eventually die. On the average, one can only survive without water for about seven to ten days. We lose water through perspiration and through daily bodily functions, so water must be replenished. Drinking about eight glasses a day is recommended. Of course, water is found in food products as well as in drinks, so we can get these eight glasses by consuming such things as cantaloupes and watermelons.

Of course, we need much more than water every day to survive. Another group of nutrients we cannot live without are proteins. Proteins are found in foods such as meat, eggs, and soy products. They provide the amino acids needed to build muscle tissue as well as help to make some of the hormones in our bodies. Red blood cells and hair are also made from protein.

Along with proteins, a body also needs adequate amounts of fats and carbohydrates in order for us to have enough energy during the day. Fats are primarily used for energy during intense activity, like exercising, while carbohydrates are primarily used for energy during fewer intense activities, such as sitting as in the case of truck drivers. Both the fats and the carbohydrates that we eat in a day can be stored for later use as fat, so it is important to eat enough for energy. However, it is also just as important to regulate our intake in order to stay slim and healthy. In the event that we are not eating enough fats and carbohydrates, our bodies can also provide itself with fuel from proteins.

Vitamins and minerals are also important nutrients for our daily lives. We get these from fruits, vegetables, milk, and most natural sources of food. Some of our foods, such as bread products, can even be enriched so that we get more vitamins and minerals in our bodies. There are dozens of nutrients that we need to consume regularly, such as iron, thiamine, vitamin C, and vitamin D. If we are eating a healthy diet, we can most likely get enough vitamins and minerals from our food intake, but we can also take vitamin supplements to make sure that we are getting the right amounts we need to maintain body function. Supplements may also be available to help with other nutrients as well, so if you are worried, talk to your doctor about how you can be certain you are eating a healthy amount of nutrients.

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Do Truckers Have the Right to Strike?


Truth About Trucking “LIVE” talk radio show – Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 at 6:00 P.M. EST

Please join us as we discuss the aspects of a major, nationwide truckers strike in the United States.  My special guest will be Wayne Weisser of Las Vegas, Nevada….as we open up the phone lines to discuss this important topic.  Also available will be our instant messenger service where you can “blast” me a question or comment.  Unless Tropical Storm Fay knocks us out….we will be “LIVE” on the air…..come and be a part of the show!



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Is Trucking Right For You?


Are you considering a career in trucking? How do you know if it’s the right choice for you? Join Allen on Sunday, August 17th at 6:00 PM EST on Truth About Trucking “LIVE” talk radio, as he shares his thoughts on how to determine if trucking is the right career for you!

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“Ask the Doctor” Radio Show Postponed….


Due to a family emergency, the “Ask The Doctor” radio show featuring Dr. Joseph P. Nesheiwat has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.

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Women In Trucking

Ellen Voie to appear as guest on Truth About Trucking “LIVE” talk radio – August 26th, 2008 at 3:00 P.M. EST.Ellen Voie is the President/CEO of the Women in Trucking Association – Their mission statement says it all : “Women In Trucking was established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women in trucking”.

Ellen serves on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Motor Carrier Association and was involved in adapting the Wisconsin Driver’s Manual. She is the recipient of the Skinner Humanitarian award, which is presented annually to a trucking advocate in her state. She helped found and organize the Trucker’s Pride Day in Waupaca, Wisconsin and convinced Governor Tommy Thompson to proclaim the event as a statewide “Trucker Appreciation Day.”

Ellen has written extensively about trucking and family issues, and her articles have appeared in print and internet magazines. She is also a published author – ‘Marriage in the Long Run’ – a collection of some of her most popular columns. She holds a Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Wisconsin.

Join Allen as he welcomes Ellen Voie to the show to learn more about this great organization, and the roles and accomplishments by women in trucking!

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Earn More Money with Your CDL


Are you considering getting your CDL? Worried about passing the CDL exams? This is an excellent program that will guarantee you’ll pass the CDL exam the first time! Want to know how to make more money with your CDL? The answer is simple…..the more endorsements you have…..the more money you can make! That’s it! Each endorsement is like an extra pay bonus…..HazMat, Tanker, Doubles, Triples, Passenger……even if you never use them, just having these endorsements will open up a ton of extra employment opportunities for you, giving you more chances at a successful career in trucking than just…..”over the road.”

Not only will this program guarantee you’ll pass the standard CDL exam the first time…..but you’ll pass any and all endorsement exams you choose to take…..and it’s GUARANTEED!

Don’t stress over the CDL exam and all of its endorsement tests……check out this program and you’ll ace ALL of the tests! You have my word on it!

Here’s the program!

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Trucking Blogs and Forums


A great means of information is provided for those interested in trucking through the use of trucking blogs and forums.  Have a question about a certain motor carrier?  Check out the forums?  Wondering about a truck driving school?  Post a question on a trucking forum.  Have a great story to tell or enjoy reading about other drivers’ adventures?  Log in to one of the trucking blogs.

Here is a list of some of the favorite blogs and forums that AskTheTrucker enjoys on a regular basis:

What better name for a trucking blog than, well……..truckingblog!

Like adventures and great stories?  Then check out Adventures in Trucking.

Considering a career in trucking?  Learn more about it at Life on the Road.

Want to know what other drivers are saying about a company?  Look at the Trucking Boards.

What better way to communicate than by Trucker to Trucker?

Does the open road appeal to you as a possible career?  Then look down the Road to Trucking.

Great blogs…..great forums……be sure to check them out!

Allen Smith




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Driver License and Department of Motor Vehicles State Listing


Rules and regulations concerning the issue of a driver license and specifically a commercial drivers license, (CDL), varies from state to state. Although these variants are not too great, it is always best to check with the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles to understand the guidelines and requirements for obtaining a driver license for a particular state.

Listed below are the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia with links to each State’s DMV website in order to make your search more simplified.

















 District of Columbia                    










































 New Hampshire                    


 New Jersey                    


 New Mexico                    


 New York                    


 North Carolina                    


 North Dakota                    










Truth About Trucking on Audio CD's
 Rhode Island                    


 South Carolina                    


 South Dakota                    














 West Virginia                     





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