Saturday, April 21, 2018

Letters to the Editor: HOS about compliance, not safety, trucker says

Saturday, February 6, 2010
They would rather listen to people who have no idea what safety is or anything about trucking.
They would rather listen to people who have no idea what safety is or anything about trucking.

The Hours of Service rules as they are written are unsafe, unhealthy, and inhumane. Yet, the DOT has chosen to put compliance to these unsafe HOS as more important then safety.

All DOT officials I asked have said that compliance is first and safety second. Most of us drivers continue to put safety first and when we get caught doing it we are punished for choosing safety.

Putting EOBRs into the trucks is only to force us to be unsafe and compliant. The DOT for some reason does not want us to choose safety first. This does not make any sense to us drivers who believe safety first should be the concern of everyone. The DOT refuses to listen to us drivers who know the HOS are unsafe. They would rather listen to people who have no idea what safety is or anything about trucking.

After putting in 35-plus years and 3.5 million accident-free miles driving putting safety first I am now being told to not even think about safety and to be compliant. Even in your newspaper one person states the drivers run extra in order to get through cities in the middle of the night. DUH!!! We do it because we know it is the safest time to get through cities. But the DOT says we should park and wait for rush hour and then drive. What is even more unsafe about this is a lot of cities have chosen to put into place unsafe lane restrictions. Everyone knows the safest way to move traffic is that thru traffic stays left and local traffic stays right. But cities have said in order to make the commutes unsafe and slow is to take thru trucks and put them in the local lanes. So we have very unsafe commutes and when we drivers who chose safety first and run in the safe thru-traffic lanes we are punished for putting safety first.

Even though the DOT does not believe it, most of us drivers are intelligent, responsible people who know how to do our jobs. We do not need babysitters to make sure we are doing what we know how to do better than those who are in control. The worst part about EOBRs is that they make us prisoners in our trucks just as if we are criminals. They put ankle bracelets on criminals to monitor them and that is what EOBRs do. The DOT is so power- and control-hungry they are willing to make every driver be obedient to their unsafe HOS rules. They are no longer the friends of truckers but the enemy who are against safety.

Most of us drivers will continue to put safety first until we are forced to comply with the unsafe rules and then we will have to be unsafe. There should be some way to warn the motoring public that the DOT is purposely making the highways unsafe.

— Craig Duysen

Trucker wonders if Arrow could be sued for stranding drivers

I am appalled at the boldness of Arrow's treatment of their drivers. I used to work for this company and felt that they took good care of their employees.

My question is simply this: if they knew they were closing why didn’t they at least have the decency to let them get back to their terminals? It’s bad enough to pink slip everybody but to leave them stranded is just unacceptable. One would hope that there could be some serious legal action the stranded drivers can take against the company.

— Jim Harrison

Arrow driver asked to use vacation to return truck

My name is Tom and I am a driver for Arrow Trucking and was told this morning (Dec. 22, 2009) that I had lost my job.

It is bad enough that it was three days before Christmas but a lot of people didn’t even get paid for services rendered. I, myself, did not receive a check last week or this week totaling over $2,200.

I was lucky enough to get home on a load that I had but was told not to deliver the load and turn the truck in. They wanted me to take my vacation …  to return the truck. I am here with no way to get any Christmas for any of my family. It might not have been so bad if they told us — not just leaving drivers stranded away from home during the holidays.

— Tom

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