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Q: What can fleets do to help truckers better manage fatigue?

Unfortunately, the much-ballyhooed changes to the Hours-of-Service regulations - both north and south of the border - continue to be mired in the political process. The result, that a rule based on sc...






Unfortunately, the much-ballyhooed changes to the Hours-of-Service regulations – both north and south of the border – continue to be mired in the political process. The result, that a rule based on science that allows truckers to adhere to a natural 24-hour clock, may be while in coming.

(And a North American standard may never become a reality.)

In the meantime, Truck News visited the Calgary SuperSTOP to ask how fleets might better ensure their drivers remain alert and attentive.

Bob Cousins, who drives a flatbed Kenworth T600 for Big Freight, says it is imperative that driver stress be decreased.

“I think the main problem of stress is caused by low fares and high fuel prices,” he says.

Cousins, who was hauling general freight from Thunder Bay, Ont. to Calgary, also adds, “most people out there now are getting enough sleep, it’s mainly stress.”

Tom Steinburg runs from Calgary to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. in his 2000 Freightliner Classic XL, moving general freight. He believes rates are at the heart of the issue.

“I think increasing the rates will help keep drivers more alert,” he explains.

“They should also let drivers have more time off with their families.”

He contends this would, “make the drivers happier and they’d feel less rushed.”

Murray Brown, driver of a 1999 Kenworth, says that tight deadlines can make drivers less attentive.

“They often have to sit around and wait for their shipments,” says Brown, who was delivering steel from Concorde, Ont. to Surrey, BC. “And then rush to get it to its destination on time.”

Huga Allen drives a 1998 International 9300 for MacKinnon Transport Inc.

“Deadlines should be loosened,” he says. “Some guys are driving like crazy trying to make up lost time.”

Allen, who was pulling a load of turf and fertilizer products to Calgary from Mississauga, Ont., adds, “guys are going out of business because of fuel prices and that puts more stress on other drivers.”

Erwin Weidemann, who was taking lumber from Calgary to Texas for Tri-Line, says keeping drivers happy makes them much safer and allows them to get more rest. “Let the drivers go home more often,” advises the driver of a 1998 International Eagle. n


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