Common Sense: One Very Good Reason Not To Support EOBRs

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Dear Editor:

Here we go again with the attitude that anyone against a new government incentive must be operating illegally, or are at the very least, wrong in their thinking. I grew used to this “holier than thou” attitude from the OTA during their extensive speed limiter campaign but I really didn’t expect it from Evan MacKinnon in the February article on EOBRs.

In it, he states “If you’re not running them, there’s only one reason and its not a very good reason…”

I have only one reason, Mr. MacKinnon, and it’s a damned good one. The bulk of our work involves delivering building supplies direct to US job sites, most of which are in or near heavily-populated areas. When our guys travel to these jobs, it usually takes most, if not all, of our available hours-of-service to get there.

We travel to the job, unstrap the load, and go to bed. It’s not usually a full 10 hours before unloading begins (usually only a 20-minute procedure). By the time the driver gets dressed, the trailer is empty. He needs to only get his bills signed and move the truck to the other end of the job, out of the way. At this point, he can walk to the local diner for breakfast, until his 10-hour break is up.

With an EOBR, he would be in violation, by the simple act of moving the truck 200 yards.

In reality, he’s far better rested than someone who did not go straight to the job; who instead stopped for a very poor night’s sleep in a noisy, fume-filled truck stop, then fought morning rush hour to get to the job. We use common sense, something that doesn’t seem to be recognized by the governing bodies anymore, resulting in more productivity, and usually, better rested drivers.

As we noticed with the new hours-of-service a few years ago, such rules are usually drafted using the assumption that all drivers are on a long-haul application, and never spend the night anywhere but a truck stop.

We do not encourage driving tired, or illegally. In the scenario I’ve just described, our drivers are more apt to be tired and/or stressed out with the addition of an EOBR. If these are to become law, could we please allow slight “common sense” indiscretions? I think I know my body’s needs better than a Washington bureaucrat does.

Bill Cameron

Parks Transportation Via e-mail

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