New Rules Floated for Big Rig Drivers

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From someone formerly in the transportation industry, 11 hours (the current limit) is long enough.
 
Oldgator73 said:
Do think these standards should be applied to motor homes?


There are any number of things (weights for example) which are regulated and enforced for commercial operations but not private, but I think few here would say they're as sharp as they should be after 11 hours in the saddle.
 
I agree with the professional 11 horus is a long time to drive in fact I'd cut it to 10 if it was up to me.

Now in the case that opened the story (5 minutes from home) one might be tempted to say "Cut some slack" or Write and exception for someone less than 10 minutes from home... BUT.....

THen we will have people saying Why not 20 nonutes from home Why not 30 Why bnot 48 hours.

And Well after 10 hours MISTAKES happen.. Almost been a victim of one  Twice (Dodged successfully(
 
If a driver is going to exceed his limit on the George Washington bridge maybe he should plan to stop earlier when it's safe. Here the duty day is 14 hours with 13 behind the wheel. I have driven 13 hours to meet a schedule, it's not fun and it's dangerous. Does the ELD shut the rig down when the limit is reached or just send a warning?
 
I assume they don't have the legal limits on RVs because if we get fatigued, we are able to just stop driving. Drivers working for someone have to finish a shift so they put those laws in place to avoid trying to do ridiculous shifts in the name of money.
 
RVMommaTo6 said:
I assume they don't have the legal limits on RVs because if we get fatigued, we are able to just stop driving. Drivers working for someone have to finish a shift so they put those laws in place to avoid trying to do ridiculous shifts in the name of money.

RVs aren't covered by commercial vehicle driving rules thanks to RVIA, which has fiercly opposed having rules that apply to driving other large vehicles also apply to driving large RVs.

The key factor is driving commercially in interstate transit.  RVers don't do that, so RVs are exempt from the federal rules.  Unless you're driving an RV for pay, such as a chauffeur or delivering it to a dealer.  Then you're a commercial driver and have to comply with all of the commercial driving rules.
 
Roy M said:
Does the ELD shut the rig down when the limit is reached or just send a warning?

It just flags the violation, which then can be found and have penalties assessed the next time the driver's log is inspected at a weigh station.  Besides a fine, the violation also places points on the driver's and the company's records

In addition, if the driver is currently out of hours, he will be placed out of service until the clock resets, meaning he will spend at least the next 10 hours parked at the weigh station.

The main problem is the to-the-second inflexibility of the ELD.  Paper logs only account for time in 15 minute increments, so there was room for some fudging to cover unusual situations.
 
The problem I see with the current system is the mandatory minimum downtime, it makes no sense to require a driver to take a 10 hour break, when he is 30 miles from his home base.  Maybe implement a 1 or 2 hour minimum break if within 50-60 miles of destination, and let the driver get on home instead of being shut down on the side of the road somewhere because he was running behind schedule.  Though to prevent abuse of this loophole it should probably only be allowed once every 48 hours or so.
 
I don't think there are any easy answers. There is a severe shortage of truck parking spaces here in the northeast, and it's common to see trucks parked on the shoulder of highways. Getting caught in a traffic jam could easily put a driver over hours with no place to go.
 
HappyWanderer said:
I don't think there are any easy answers. There is a severe shortage of truck parking spaces here in the northeast, and it's common to see trucks parked on the shoulder of highways. Getting caught in a traffic jam could easily put a driver over hours with no place to go.

I?ve noticed some states have rest stops for truck parking only. No cars allowed.
 
My prediction is a lot of this will be solved by self driving trucks, and that it will happen sooner than most people think, and will happen very suddenly when it does happen.  I don't think the technology is there just yet, but it is getting close, particularly for long haul trucking on limited access highways, where the automated trucks don't have to deal with stop and go traffic, pedestrians, random strange road surfaces, unusual intersections, railroad crossings, etc. 

For those in doubt, just go out an drive any recently built car with all the modern drivers aids, which are improving every year.  Take my wife's 2017 Jeep Cherokee as an example, it is equipped with active cruise control which follows along and matches the speed of the vehicle ahead of it, lane centering where it will stay centered in well marked highway lanes with no active input from the driver, and collision avoidance where it will slam on the brakes if someone stops short ahead of it.  It also has automatic rain sensing wipers, and automatic headlights.  Sure that is not full self drive, and much of this only works on well marked open highways, but it is getting very close.  Now think just 10-12 years ago, only a few upper end cars had active cruise control (first introduced by Mercedes in 1999), none had lane centering (a few had lane departure warning), and none had collision avoidance with automatic braking (first introduced in 2008).    So imagine what will be out there in another 10-12 years, we already have AutoPilot on upper end Tesla cars today, better yet, that feature has been around for over 5 years now.
 
Do think these standards should be applied to motor homes?
No, but not because driving long hours is an OK thing. Enforcing such a standard on private vehicles means a lot of record keeping plus some sort of checking to verify it is being observed. That's an extra burden & cost to solve a problem that hasn't been shown to exist.  Unlike commercial drivers, private motorhome seldom have the incentive to do 11 hour driving days. Oh yeah, we  occasionally hear about long drives, but it's not a common practice that needs regulation.
 
Around 5000 people a year die in accidents involving semis annually. Wonder how this will affect the number of deaths? I doubt they will decrease in number.
Just saying,
RichH
 
aguablanco said:
I doubt they will decrease in number.


Since fatalities went up 10% last year under the existing rules, I'd say your assumption is correct
 
It would be interesting to know how many of those accidents involved drivers nearing the end of their allowed hours that day, and how many were at the beginning.
 
aguablanco said:
Around 5000 people a year die in accidents involving semis annually. Wonder how this will affect the number of deaths? I doubt they will decrease in number.
Just saying,
RichH

I wonder how many of those 5000 were the fault of the truck or truck driver. If a car runs a stop light and hits a semi in the rear trailer axle and there is a death, that's a death involving a semi. Sure wasn't the fault of the trucker!

I can't tell you how many times I've had cars come into my lane so close that I can't read the license plate.


People have no respect for large vehicles.
 

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