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Ray’s Rules

I thought it might be time to update and tweak Ray’s rules and once again and bring some order to 2010 before we get to far along folks. Some of you might not like them, but it might be because of YOU that they have to be imposed, so think twice before you send me any snotty e-mails please! I promise that if all goes well and everyone obeys the new rules we will all sleep a little better at night and there will be less stress and unrest in the industry. Here we go
Rule One: from this point forward all pure load brokers are to be abolished, the new rule stipulates that the maximum amount of freight any company can broker cannot exceed the amount that they actually haul on equipment they own and is licensed to the same company. Many of you load lizards have no idea what it cost to operate a tractor trailer and pay a decent wage, so you’re out, unless you put some skin in the game yourself.
Rule Two: EOBR’s (Electronic On board Recorders) will be installed in every Class 8 Vehicle whose safety record shows them in the bottom 20% of the industry. Everyone else will be left alone, why bother everyone when the 80/20 rule is in effect. 80% of our grief is caused by 20% of the fools in this industry. Oops this was the proposed rule before Crash and Public citizen I.e. the railways, sued FMCSA over it. If any among us think corporate greed doesn’t override the public good, just take a look at what the railways did here.
Rule Three: The current speed limiter law in Ontario will be repealed as it applies to all trucks and will now apply to all classes of vehicles and drivers on our highways. Any driver who has more than 2 speeding tickets within the calendar year or any driver found to be in excess of 30 km’s over the posted speed limit must have a speed limiting device installed in their vehicle. The same rational applies as rule 2, 80/20 we will straighten them out or kick UM out! As a side bar it appears as though we will have to mandate that the police actually watch the highways for these folks. But, you might ask, if we did this would we even need speed limiters at all, we might be digging to deep into the common sense answer, let’s not let that get in the way here.
Rule Four: All teams can now split their sleeper birth time in 4-5-hour increments anywhere in North America. These are the safest vehicles on the highways messing with them is one of the dumbest things that was done in the name of highway safety in recent memory and should be repealed immediately.
Rule Five: All driver training schools must teach a PTDI (Professional Truck Driver Institute) course which has been certified by PTDI or their access to government funding for their students will be declined. They will be audited to ensure they are teaching to PTDI certified course that this industry needs to ensure all new drivers are safe and that carriers can use them. Imposing Speed Limiters and EOBR’s on trucks when you can get an AZ or CDL for under $1000.00 is not making any more sense now than it did with the first set of Ray’s rules some years back. Am I missing something here before we are inundated with new rules let’s fix some of the busted stuff folks.
Rule Six: From this point forward there will be no free loading or unloading period! Giving 2 hours of a driver’s time along with $150,000.00 worth of iron is a habit from the past that some camouflaged shipper, made up to look like a trucker, came up with. I had a problem with my water softener some time back, it cost me $85.00 for the Culligan man to show up and for that I got 30 minutes of his time the next 30 minutes was going to cost me another $20.00 $105.00 an hour for the Culligan man, one fellow in a Chevy van, what’s wrong with this picture? I got the guy out in 30 minutes, for $105.00 an hour! How long would it take to get a load off if we were priced where we should be for man time and equipment, not long I bet?
Rule Six: The term lumper is now abolished, as is the practice of forcing a driver to hire labor to unload a load that they don’t own. The Ministry of Labor will investigate this practice whenever a complaint is lodged. These people are workers for the receiver who owns the goods and as such should be paid by the receiver as employees and receive benefits. Any receiver found using this practice will be made to personally hand bomb every load that arrives at their dock for a month, by themselves, and of course pay the truck and driver $105.00 per hour for unloading demurrage. They’d be dropping like flies; they’d have to install defibrillators on all the docks for the receivers.
Rule Seven: From this point forward drivers’ meals are 100% tax deductible to $100.00 per day max or per dium for drivers must match exactly the allowable per dium amount granted to all government employees. This one riles me how did this happen have you heard what some of these politicians expenses accounts are. Shame on them forever messing with this I would like to make a cute joke on this subject but this just ###sses me off, the nerve!
Rule Eight: Any driver found to spend an excess amount of time in a truck stop or driver’s room repeatedly and excessively whining will be forced to leave the room and counseling on that individual will be begin immediately. I don’t mind a good rant once in awhile, but driver please! Love it or leave it your killing me with the cow tears. P.S. it is also against the rules for those same folks to write me any cry baby letters or emails, hey there my rules right.
Rule Ten: The most important rule is in fact the golden rule of common courtesy and respect. Any shipper/receiver found to be demonstrating less than acceptable level of manners or reasonable facilities for drivers will be surcharged an additional $105.00 per hour as penalty to be paid in cash at the time of unloading.
Well that’s all the room I’ve got I do have many more rules that are just as important if you’ve got some that you think need to be added to Ray’s rules please feel free to post them right here on this blog. This is a work in progress!

Ray Haight

Ray Haight

Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations.
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19 Comments » for Ray’s Rules
  1. Jack Logan says:

    Rule # 11 Any Driver Who Does Not SHOWER On A DAILY Basis.Should Be Led Out of the Building To His/Her Truck & Have The Jug Of Urine They Have Inside Thier Truck,Dumped Over Thier Heads While They Are Hog Tied To Thier Grab Handles.

  2. Bill E Bigrigger says:

    I have to agree with all of that! However I also have to say that your doctor must have you on the same medication as mine has me on if either of think it will ever happen.
    Hopefully at least some of it will come to pass and I could live with that.

  3. Kevin Snobel says:

    Ray I could not agree with you more. Load Brokers created most of the mess we ar ein today, alond with deregulaiton. As for Lumpers PAY IT YOURSELF NOT ME. 2 Hours free time, well if the FMCSA wants to allow our drivers to log OFF DUTY then I will allow 2 hours free time. otherwise pay me. PERIOD END OF STORY. What really amazes me is that you and I and a handfull of others have CAJONES to say what we really feel like.

  4. Bill E Bigrigger says:

    Again I have to agree, load brokers are a significant part of the problem and the rampant access to the internet that spawned load link and all of the other “load boards” that gave them all access to the trucks. A brilliant but flawed idea mainly because of the trucking industry and it’s participants, great for the owners of these boards though and still brilliant, they saw a niche, a need, engeineered a solution and implemented it, the fault lies with the trucking industry.
    I have had conversations with a couple of transport ministers going back as far as the late Al Palidini who have all told me the same thing, load brokers are a legitimate business, I am not so sure myself I have other names for them. I dealt with brokers long before any of this stuff existed and some of them were here in Canada and I am sure that more than one of you just had an a old name pop into your mind and you are right, my truck was parked in the middle of the road on Spadina while I got my cheque more than a few times but I learned quite a bit from him considering I was only 16 (my whole family was always in the business even long before I was born) when I had my first experience with my load broker friend. I have had after hours conversations with load brokers who rightfully lamented you don’t have to take my cheap freight. I have had conversations with competitors who I asked why they would haul that freight that cheap and told them you are screwing us all (or similar lanquage) and as at least one told me he took the cheap freight to keep the truck moving and the driver paid so that next week or month when his own customers got busy again he would still have his drivers. While I can respect and understand that my philosophy has always been leave the cheap freight on the dock. I can remember back to when I worked for an owner-operator about a hundred years ago who had a pretty good little deal with a carrier at least most of the year but part of the year loads home were few and far between and therefore cheap, I was paid percentage. I unloaded and called dispatch and they gave me a cheap load home, I bitched but went and picked it up and told them not to do this to me next week. The following week same story, unload call in,same cheap load as last week I told them to shove it, I said what did I tell you. Long and short I made a couple of calls and ran half way home empty and loaded peaches in South Carolina that paid three times as much to the truck. My boss was pissed until he picked up the cheque the day after I unloaded.
    I was around when a lot of things grew out of gypsy operations and are now some of the biggest and best known, you know who you are and so do many others, there was a day you could do it basically on tenacity. Way too many rules. Things are different now, you have way too many university educated fools that see how it works on paper but can’t understand why it doesn’t come together like that in the real world because they have never done it and can’t build the varibles into their forcasts. Not that education and what it can offer to the business doesn’t have it’s place, it would be stupid to think that but they are given way to much responsibility without real world experience in my experiences.
    Here is the biggest thing though; YOU CANNOT COMPETE AGAINST A COMPETITOR WHO DOESN’T KNOW THEIR COSTS! At least until they go broke but it has been that another fool or two or three more fools were there to take their place for many years. Boy they are quite a few of them out there aren’t there?
    I will tell everyone of you that not one of you are not paying owner-operators what they should be getting and you know it. Then again we are back to the idea of knowing what it costs to operate. The other part of that is the old romanticizm (sic) of wanting to own your own truck. I can’t for the life of me see what the point is if you can’t make the same wage or better than driving someone else’s plus a profit and don’t tell me about the tax you’re saving because that just means you aren’t making money; you pay taxes on profits no tax no profit.
    Ok I’m done beating the same dead horse I have been for close to twenty years but most of you know I’m right.

  5. Robert D. Scheper says:

    Ray, you hit it out of the park. LOVE your passion! LOVE your focus! I know the chances of getting some of those things implimented are slim to none (especially in this economic climate), however, who cares if it’s immediately done or not. Saying it is the first step and draws a line in the sand (it really dosn’t matter at this point if the bullies are in the parking lot and your on the beach).
    You are my hero for saying it like it should be said.
    What is your opinion of bonding load brokers rather than legislating iron to freight? I’m not a fan of legislating much of ANYTHING but load brokers seem to have too much free reign in the market…

  6. Seth Morgan says:

    The problem with ‘free time’ is in the name. Call is allowable loading time that is built in the price; after that it’s charged. If it is not built in to the price then you got another problem in how to effectively quote.

  7. jimh says:

    Ray, I have to agree with you 99% this time. My only problem is with your comments about the snotty e-mails, and driver’s whining. It’s always good to listen to the other side, you might learn something from them, you never know. And sometimes they DO have a legitimate argument. Please define whining. Just because they don’t agree with you does not automatically mean they are “whining”. As for the rest of your column, I wish you good luck with all your rules, but we all know it just ain’t gonna happen.The only way to accomplish these things would be through regulation, we had that once, and the gov’t & the OTA helped to get rid of it. Look where we are today vs the early 80’s. It would not be difficult to put your rules into effect under a regulated environment, but it is pretty much impossible today. The gov’t just does not care about truckers or the trucking industry. Doesn’t understand, doesn’t want to understand and simply does not care.
    One other point I would like to make. No matter what rules & regulations are put forth by the government, they don’t mean jacksh*t unless they are ENFORCED. There is virtually no enforcement of ANY of the rules involving trucking, or driving in general for that matter. If you doubt this, try driving the 401 at 100 km/h, and have a passenger count the number of vehicles that pass you in 10 min. or so. Or try standing at any major intersection in Ontario & count the % of drivers who run the red light, or the stop sign, when making a right turn. I regularly travel the 401 between Kitchener and Toronto, this is one of the busiest highway sections in all of North America, yet I can go entire weeks without seeing OPP patrolling this road. You only see them when they are responding to an accident, after the fact. This is just a sample of how badly our laws are being enforced today. How about facility audits? Do they ever happen? What are the results? Do they EVER put any of the bad guys out of business? How about driver licensing? You have to wonder how some of these guys ever got their AZ license. I have seen people trying to back up 53′ trailers who simply could not do it, even at a relatively roomy loading dock. How do they get past the road test examiners? Who hires them?
    Rant, (or maybe whining) over.

  8. Ray Haight says:

    Hello all!
    I just had the opportunity to take a look at the blog to see if anyone would read it or comment and it is great to see all the activity, thanks to all I kind of thought that the format of it would shake some of you up and make you respond Bravo!
    Rule # 11, makes perfect sense and I can agree, not sure on the urine piece though it’s a little to visual for me, but you might be right I gotta think it through, good addition though.
    Do I think any of this might happen, no fat chance but it is nice to dream a little and get people talking etc.
    Tying the no split sleeper birth to no free unloading is an excellent argument, remember when speedy loading and unloading was going to happen because of the no split sleeper birth, what happened there I wonder, shippers and receivers went “yea big deal” and didn’t’ change a friggin thing.
    The load broker boards like Load Link and Load Surfer are not the issue; they are the platform for the load brokers and the truckers to trade freight. None of them has ever owned or traded freight; they are the middleman usually charging a flat rate for their service to either the trucker or the broker. Insisting that some sort of competency test be passed before a operating authority is granted, good idea.
    Scrapper, it’s good to hear from you, where you been man, bonding load brokers has merit it used to be the rule in Ontario, most brokers ignored the rules and unfortunately to many trucking companies never asked for the brokers proof of bond before they used them. I think a bond and a mechanism that would demand that all monies collected by the broker go into an escrow account until the freight payment is made on the load to the carrier. I am not sure how well I am explaining this Richard but in essence the freight broker could not get their % until the trucker was paid and funds would be safe guarded against bankruptcies of these fly by night cheats.
    Finally, jimh, everyone needs to bitch and whine a little from time to time, I am not suggesting that I am any different, have at it. The drivers I am talking about though never do anything else but complain, over and over again. As I have said in the past love it or leave it, find something you don’t like, try and change it, if you can’t change it, ask yourself can you live with it. If not, leave it don’t continually complain about it, these types drive me nuts.
    Thanks for all the comments folks, I would love to see some more rules here though, what else we got out there?
    Take Good care!

  9. meslippery says:

    Whats the difference between city cartage work
    and long haul?
    One is paid hourly, one by the mile.
    And this is done why?
    I dont know, delays are possible in both.
    A fair hourly rate for Truck and driver in the
    city seems to work, so lets try it in long haul.
    The technology now exists to track the hours.
    So the wreck that makes us four hrs behind is not
    the carriers falt or the drivers its a cost of doing
    business, to be absorbed by the shipper.
    Make it a rule and things should improve.

  10. Ted Stevens says:

    I was a load Broker back in the 80’s I paid in 30 days or sooner and Ray your Company hauled freight for me out of the West Coast and you were always asked how much you needed to move the load, and as luck would have it, I could always pay your rate and and make a couple of bucks for myself. I also had a Shipper out of IL that paid me good rates and I always posted the loads to the Carriers that worked for me, would you belive that the Carriers were quoteing $700.00 CND per load out of Chicago to Toronto (a good rate for the times) but I was getting $1100.00 USD. NOW! Was it wrong for me to make all that money on a load? I don’t think so isn’t the whole Idea behind business to maximize profit, a Company has an obligation to make money so they can pay their bills and the Carrier and the people that work for them. SOOO! the fault layes with the Carrier for not demanding a better rate,or the Carrier should not take the load. That would only happen for a couple of days and the load Brokers would be upping the rates.

  11. Steve H says:

    Rule number 19. Thou shalt not use the CB radio for your own personnel display of racism.
    The 2 way has a history as a warning device and a platform for comradery. I often hear “professional” drivers now a day’s say they don’t turn it on any more because they can’t stand the garbage language and mal-content. There have always been the load mouth schnooks who display their poor upbringings over the air waves but what you hear now has gotten out of hand.
    In fact, Rule number 19 sub 1: Though shalt say one positive thing on the air waves each day. This could be good for you. It may remove the grimace for a minute. It could be contagious.It could even start to restore the positive use of the CB.
    It would be too much to ask that drivers “get” that we live in the greatest country in the world and so other races will continue to go to great lengths to establish their families here. That it takes time for different cultures to integrate. Make no mistake. Other races will continue to immigrate here. Racist dialogue serves no positive purpose. Grownups should know better.
    I’m not saying that immigration doesn’t indirectly create issues. I am saying that it may be worth a trip to the city, have a look around, take the kids, show them and yourself that you are not sheltered in a world of Wasps any more.
    We won’t be getting over racism in our industry any time soon but rule number 19 could work toward harmony someday in the distant future.

  12. G. Paul Langman says:

    Excellent food for thought Ray. I certainly would modify some of your rules if I was doing them but they are a great way to start the discussion. And I really like Steve’s #19! The phenomenal misuse of the CB today (for more than just racism)is the reason you can’t get me on mine much anymore. I turn down the volume to eliminate the BS and never remember to turn it up again. I prefer to listen to Johnny Cash or just silence!!! While I am aghast that the CB has been caught up in the overblown cell phone legislation in Ontario, I really won’t worry much about it. Paul L.

  13. Rick says:

    Hey don’t need to abolish load brokers..if you don’t like ’em them simply don’t use them..problem solved!!! About skin in the game…it doesn’t matter..nobody cares about that …customers and carriers care about ability, competence, and above all RESULTS… Who gives a flying shit about skin? Ha ha ha..
    Now excuse me…I’ve got to get back to see I’ve got CARRIERS on lines 1 and 2 looking for loads (they’re calling ME)..and customers with loads to offer..(they’re calling me too!!!)…ha ha ha…

  14. justajeezer says:

    as usual, i agree with most of what you are saying ray. the only comment i have oertains to ted stevens comments.i understand how the system works, but i don;t understand why. his comment that he could move a load for $700 bucks, and it was paying$ 1100 gives me some understanding of why we have the problems loading and unloading that we do. granted, it’s a free market and he should be able to make as much profit as he can, but when you think of it from the shippers point of view, they paid top dollar to get their freight moved, so if a truck is tied up for 8, 10, 12 hrs, so be it. look at what they paid. they wouldn’t know or care,( well some might actually)that the truck only recieved app 65% of the rate. i still believe that the rates should be spelled out in black and white, as they are in the u.s. a little bit of forced honesty wouldn’t hurt a bit. i’m leased to a u.s. company and i still have to take the brokers word on what a load pays. yes i know my costs and they do get covered, but i also know that the broker is making some major coin on some of them. but hey what do you do. that’s truckin

  15. Rick says:

    Here’s what you do…you negotiate with the broker to get a rate and terms that allow you a profit and some room for detention. If the rate itself does not include detention then you should cover that off on the front end so that everyone explicitly understands and AGREES that dentention of X dollars per hour will be charged to and paid by the broker…after a predetermined amount of time. I too have zero tolerance for stupid shippers and receivers who hold up trucks..there’s just no need for it unless there’s an extenuating circumstance like a broken crane (it hahpens)..
    Folks …please… let’s not quibble about who has skin in the game and who doesn’t.. It is much more important to have BRAINS in the game. Regardless of what you this business you need to be able to think on your feet.. That’s really the crux of the problem..we have too many people (truckers, brokers, shippers, receivers, dot etc) doing STUPID things..and thinking they’re king s**t becuase they have some “right” i.e. skin in the game. Let’s get real already..

  16. Ross Souch says:

    Hello Ray.
    I carried an ACZ licence for over 33 years and in the past it was always courteous to flick your lights to let the passing commercial vehicle know it was clear to pull back in. I am only a four wheeler now but habits are hard to break. I still do the light flicking thing but notice that hardly anybody says thanks anymore.
    Is their a new law out there now forbidding this or is it just bad manners and too much trouble to be polite and say thanks on the roads today?
    kind regards.

  17. NON OTA Member says:

    Ray, I agree 100% with all your rules. But the fact that your company (logistics) post some of these “cheap rates” you whine about on Link every day. In fact all you OTA members that post loads are no better than the average broker out there, cheap rates,paying in 40-45 days or longer, yet you rant and rave about brokers need to be eliminated. I know our customers are taking advantage of competition from these “scumbag brokers”, but if the carriers stick together and informal agreements with each other ( instead of screwing one another), we can probably eliminate alot of middlemen. As it is right now, the trucking industry is cannabilzing itself. Not everyone wants to work for big companies, even with mergers and aquisitions.

  18. Rick says:

    That’s why we need to quit labelling ourselves.. and we need to stop looking down our noses at others. Here we have carriers who cry about cheap brokers who don’t have skin in the game..brokers crying about carriers…OTA verses non OTA…the industry against people with badges etc. “If they’re not like me they’re BAD..and they’re out to get me”.
    The trick to doing well is to partner with people who are above average in capability. Brokers aren’t bad when you’re dealing with good ones who pay fair rates promptly. Likewise carriers aren’t bad when they treat they’re shippers or broker partners like customers instead of as an unecessary evil. Circle your wagons and only deal with capable people who have integrity…your results will quickly improve.

  19. Ray, at one time I had really believed you were a sensible chap. I’m am convinced you’re a bit of an intellectual as well.
    But please put down the Marx, Engels and Prudhomme… and step away from the keyboard.
    #1 If you like the lot lizards more than “load lizards” than don’t contract with the services of the latter. Simple and perhaps for you more fun.
    #2 Ah… the public good.
    “The public be damned. What does the public care for the railroads except to get as much out of them for as small a consideration as possible. I don’t take any stock in this silly nonsense about working for anybody’s good, but our own because we are not. When we make a move we do it because it is our interest to do so, not because we expect to do somebody else some good. Of course we like to do everything possible for the benefit of humanity in general, but when we do we first see that we are benefiting ourselves. Railroads are not run on sentiment, but on business principles and to pay, and I don’t mean to be egotistic when I say that the roads which I have had anything to do with have generally paid pretty well.” William Henry Vanderbilt (1821–85)
    #3 CSA 2010 may take care of any speeders. Then again, I seriously doubt it. The speeding driver with a crisp $100 bill clipped to the back of his license is rarely ticketed to my knowledge. It happens, but not as often as we would like.
    #4. Aye… that’s the old Ray talking.
    #5. Some new drivers, nursed on diesel may need a dozen or so hours of training, others may eat up a hundred hours or so without any positive effects. One major school in Michigan does a 160 hour course in 2 1/2 weeks. Most of the major carriers believe their 160 hour claim and they charge $4500 a pop for their 12 day course – mostly provided by the taxpayers. This is what typically happens with government “help:” waste, mismanagement and outright fraud. I believe independent CDL testing – not required in most states in the U.S. – would result in schools moving to Professional Truck Driver Institute standards.
    #6 Forced lumping in the U.S. has been made illegal for years under:
    USC §14905. Penalties for violations of rules relating to loading and unloading motor vehicles:
    (a) Civil penalties.–Whoever knowingly authorizes, consents to, or permits a violation of subsection (a) or (b) of section 14103 or who knowingly violates subsection
    (a) of such section is liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation.
    (b) Criminal penalties.–Whoever knowingly violates section 14103(b) of this title shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
    Canada needs to adopt something like this section under its Code, but drivers need to know their rights as well.
    #7 Aye.
    #8 So-so. Most drivers’ hemorrhoids are caused by trying to rush mother nature. I’m sure most drivers would oblige you if you supply the Prep. H. in bulk. Never rush. The older I get the more I find myself deliberately putting things off. Hurry – yes, but never rush.
    Now stay away from those “load lizards,” my friend.
    Your assignment, should you choose to accept, is to read “Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win?” by George Stalk Jr. I know you are busy so the meat of the nut, a chapter called the “Hardball Manifesto” can be found here:
    All the best, my friend.

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