By Tom Ingraldi
I know I am beating the same drum here but… Most of the parking “shortage” is due to the present Hours of Service (HOS) and the 14 hour clock. Before that fiasco of a law, it was nothing to head in to a customer, decide if it was a good place to park or to “circle the wagon” and see if there was any safe parking nearby. We are now so time constrained there is no “extra time” to find parking. And if a customer keeps you overlong that same clock does not give in order to find a safe place to park. Get rid of the 14 hour clock is the only fight we should be fighting, all else will fall in line when we win that battle…
While I agree with the problem of truck parking it still comes down to standing up for you. I am 3 years+ on E-logs with no violations. This is because I have my rules and dispatch does not drive my truck. First: Allow four hours for a load or unload. If they get me loaded in 2 their load will be delivered on time. If they get me loaded in 4 hours, I can leave the facility but chances are the load is going to be rescheduled. Anything over 4 hours and all bets are off. I keep in constant communication with dispatch and warn them, I will [and have] dropped the trailer and left or take my break in their door. By the way you can refuse to move your truck, but if asked you must leave the customers property. Take what’s valuable and walk out. Until we all start taking a stand we will continue to have the same problem. Simplest solution is to get rid of the 14 hour rule it is causing this whole situation.
As I have said a thousand times. We need to fight the 14 hour clock. It is a law that has the completely opposite effect of what was intended. We have to hurry thru our day to “beat the clock” in order to make a paycheck. We have to worry constantly at any delay at a shipper or receiver because our clock is running and we may not have time to park legally and safely. No 14 hour clock, no worries about time running out before we can park. Most of us out here are out here because we are flexible in our sleep schedule. We know to sleep when we are tired and before the 14 hour clock, we did. We napped to avoid rush hour in cities, school zones. We also could break for a decent lunch and\or shower. Now everything must be crammed in to fit the clock. Yes the cure to truck driver fatigue is sleep. But I sleep when I am tired and cannot sleep because the clock tells me to. Common sense and good judgment should dictate when you sleep. Not any clock or any other person. Letting dispatch drive your truck is a recipe for disaster. You drive your truck when you feel you should any other decision should be cause for giving up your CDL. TRI