"Look, all we gotta' do is make sure the drivers record their detention time as off-duty and the new half-hour-break thing is no big deal," said Bud.
"No, you can't count time waiting to be loaded or unloaded as off-duty time," explained Cary, "unless the driver has been relieved of all responsibility for the vehicle."
"Who the hell made that up?"
"How do I know? It's a DOT rule."
"Another crazy part of the new HOS?"
"No, it's been that way for a long time."
The managers of Bright Mountain Trucking were having a heated discussion about the impact of new hours of service rules on their trucking business. Unfortunately their loud lunchtime arguments were conducted at Annette's, a popular local restaurant that they enjoyed both for the food and the atmosphere. Other customers, especially an elderly couple, were eyeing their table with shocked expressions. A waitress grimaced.
That was the cue for Annette, the ever-charming owner, to gracefully stroll to their table.
"My friends, you have a passionate discussion today, no?"
"Sorry Annette, we're just a little excited about some changes in the laws that affect our drivers and how much they can drive," explained Jack, the owner.
"Ah, the law again. So many burdens for you. What is it this time?" Her expression oozed empathy.
"Well, there's a new rule that says drivers have to have a break after eight hours of driving. That will mess up our schedules. Then there's another rule that affects the 34-hour restart. The only way you can use it now is if you have two time periods from one to five in the morning. It's hard to understand and it's hard to explain, "volunteered Fritz.
"Yeah, and a lot of drivers never understood the old HOS rules anyway. Every time we get a new driver, they argue with us about how it's supposed to work," offered Bud.
"They aren't the only ones who don't understand it," said Cary, rolling his eyes toward Bud.
"I know nothing of such things. But I can offer a morsel of wisdom that I learned from my papa, if you'll permit me," offered Annette.
"Please do," said Jack.
"It is the responsibility of the owner to make sure that those he employs understand their job. There are gifted people in the world. Call them Translators. Call them Guides. People who can take something that is hard to understand and explain it well. La qualité est inestimable. Quality is priceless. You need to seek out this level of help."
"Yeah, we can get some better training going," said Bud, "but even if we do a good job, more laws still hurt our business."
"Certainement. But all must follow these new rules, no? If they are are difficult as you say,most will not do well with them. Those that do it with quality will gain advantage, no?"
"Like always, good advice, Annette!"
"Perhaps, but that's for you to decide."
Lou Graziani: creator of Bright Mountain Trucking
“transportation guru, training expert, and imagineer.”
This story continues…