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EOBRs Don’t Allow For Common Sense

Dear Editor:

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 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 HoS 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 HoS 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. In the scenario I’ve 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 common sense indiscretions? I know my body’s needs better than a Washington bureaucrat does.

Bill Cameron Parks Transportation

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2 Comments » for EOBRs Don’t Allow For Common Sense
  1. Flerm says:

    As a driver for Mackinnon Transport i would like to put my two cents in here. This debate of the EBOR`s is a lack of education of the experenced truck driver. ( I refuse to call them old ) For those that have them, there is less worry about scales and MTO due to extra books and incomplete books. The EBOR does not shut the truck down after your time is up. It does not permitt you from not moving your truck a few yards or a few miles. What it does do is help you keep a better logbook. No coffee stains, ripped pages or ink blots. It helps take the confusion for the cross border driver of the different hours in Canada and U.S. It helps by letting your dispatcher know what hours you have left legally. So there is no over hour violations and loads are planned better for del. Is it fair for the driver to take the heat due to the law of drive times. Yes trafffic jams and weather storms due eat away the time. With a note on the log of where and when, safty personel and MTO can overlook these voilations. I believe this is a tool in the right direction of keeping myself and the rest of the people on the highways safer. Maybe with more EBOR`s in the trucks, they will return and make more rest areas along the 401!!!

  2. Rick Gaskill says:

    If someone is going to complain about FMCSR they should be sure they have an understanding of the regulations so they know what they are talking about . U.S. regulations allow logging off duty while driving an unladen CMV between home and a terminal and “reasonable” distance for food and lodging . I asked a high rated FMCSA official and was told pulling an empty trailer was considered unladen . Carriers with EOBR’s will have to allow for off duty driving .
    Moving an unloaded vehicle to the end of the job to get to a diner to eat while logged off duty is not a violation . BUT this IS a violation “By the time the driver gets dressed, the trailer is empty. He needs to only get his bills signed … ” Getting the bills signed is on duty and interrupts the 10 hour break . Not flagging getting the bills signed or logging it on duty violates HOS .

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