The Plight Of Truck Drivers And Drowsy Driving
With the increase in online shopping and consumerism, the truck driving industry has grown in step. Over the last decade, the industry increased 5% and anticipates the trend to continue during this current decade to meet the demand.
Companies hiring drivers expect shipments to arrive timely and as promised. This puts pressure on drivers to push the limits of DOT regulations on rest. Adding to this stress, long stretches on the road with less than ideal conditions for sleep compromise the safety of both the drivers and others on the road.
In a report released by NCSDR/NHTSA Expert Panel on Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness, it was reported the peak times for drowsy-driving crashes were after midnight until dawn and also mid-afternoon. Further clarification revealed specific age demographics were more likely to be drowsy during some periods than others. Individuals aged 65 caused the peak in the mid-day sleepiness whereas most all felt the exhaustion during the dusk to dawn timeframe. Unfortunately, research unveiling these findings has not yet been enough to reverse the trend of increasing numbers of large truck accidents.
Higher Pay And More Available Jobs
Because there are more available team driving jobs, the truckers income should be more consistent.
Drivers are typically not as worried about getting enough work.
For most teams, the $$ at the end of the day is about the same as solo drivers, maybe a bit more, but not substantially more.
Some teams run much harder than others, but most cant keep up the pace for long, before burn out sets in.
May Drivers Who Work Split Shifts Take Advantage Of The Short
For property-drivers, the concept of “split shifts” is no longer relevant due to the limitations of the 14-hour rule. The provisions in 395.1 only provide an exception to the RODS requirements. Generally, they do not exempt the driver from any requirements of the HOS rules.
100 air-mile radius driver – A driver may go on- and off-duty multiple times during a duty tour, after completing at least 10 hours off duty, but the total of all on- and off-duty time accumulates toward their 12 hours. Once a driver is on duty more than 12 hours they no longer meet the 100 air-mile radius exemption.
Operators of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles not requiring a commercial driver’s license – A driver may go on- and off-duty multiple times during a duty tour, but the total of all on- and off-duty time accumulates towards the 14- or 16-hour time limit, whichever is applicable at the time, until the driver has a period of 10 or more consecutive hours off-duty.
Prior Regulatory Guidance on this subject no longer applies to property-carrying drivers.
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Canada Hos And The Eld Mandate
The Canada HOS rule works hand in hand with the electronic logging devices mandate. Its known as the Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations .The final Canadian ELD rule states enforcement will begin on January 1, 2023.The federal administration proposed ELD solutions since they have automation, reporting, and other advanced features for recording driving hours accurately and efficiently.The benefits are outlined in the Canada Gazette Part I: Vol. 151, No. 50, where the first version of the proposed Canadian ELD rule was published:
To be clear, the Canadian ELD mandate doesnt replace the present federal HOS regulation.
Benefits Of Driving As A Team
1. Team Drivers Usually Make More Money
Compared to solo drivers, team drivers can usually earn more money. Despite their pay being split between the two drivers, team drivers can run significantly more miles than they ever could by themselves.
According to Glen, Solo drivers have to shut down at least 10 hours every day. As a team, we can run around the clock. On average, driving teams log anywhere from 4,500 miles to 5,000 miles per week. Solo drivers, on the other hand, log on average between 2,400 and 2,800 miles per week.
2. Team Drivers See More Priority Loads
Team drivers can also see more priority loads. If freight needs to get somewhere fast, teams are typically considered before solo drivers.
3. Youre Not Alone
Its fun to travel with someone else. Its also comforting to know that someone has your back out on the road. For spouses and friends, team driving gives you more opportunities to spend time together.
When youve got downtime, youve got somebody to talk to. You dont have to worry about finding something to do. Youve got somebody around all the time, says Glen.
4. Its More Efficient & Secure
Team truck driving can also be more efficient and secure than solo driving. One person can watch the truck while the other grabs food or a shower. Your truck and freight never have to be left unattended.
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Example: Sleeper Berth Single
Step 1: Rules for the days
Exceed 13 hours driving time
Identify sleeper berth rest periods
Step 2: Rules for the work shift Identify rest periods
A driver may not drive after having accumulated in the periods immediately before and after each of the period of off-duty time:
- 13 hours driving
None of the daily off-duty time is deferred to the next day.
Step 3: Rules for the work shift Verify driving times
Note: the 16th hour is calculated by:
Excluding the period spent in the sleeper berth that is 2 hours or more in duration and that, when added to a subsequent period in the sleeper berth, totals at least 10 hours and
Dont Split Hairs New Sleeper Berth Rules Offer Remarkable Flexibility
When FMCSA finalized changes to the Hours of Service rules in May 2020, some industry stakeholders felt the split sleeper berth rule change didnt go far enough. They longed for a more simple, pre-2003 time when splitting sleeper berth time was easy and brought great flexibility to trucking operations. Well, after recent conversations with FMCSA staff, and closer examination of the regulatory language, STC thinks the industry shouldnt be disappointed.
Heres our take, broken down as simply as possible. Law enforcement will be looking at two things when searching for violations of the sleeper berth rules: 1) adding the two off-duty rest periods together to make sure they amount to at least 10 hours of rest , and 2) adding the work periods immediately before and immediately after each rest period to verify there is no more than 11 hours of driving time or 14 hours of work. If a driver has only one rest period of at least two hours at the time of inspection, it will be assumed a second rest break is coming, and calculations will be conducted as described above. As long as the rest periods add to at least 10, and the work periods before and after each break dont add up to a violation, the driver is good. Easy
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Canadian Paper Logbook Regulations
It only makes sense that commercial fleets ensure their drivers keep accurate records of their duty status periods every day. Until theyre able to implement ELDs.
They need to document these periods in a logbook or on a radius record. That is, if they meet the conditions for the 160-kilometer radius record exemption. Doing this helps motor carriers ensure that their drivers dont go beyond the required driving hour restrictions.
Canada paper logbook rules require each daily log to contain these details:
How Does A Driver Comply If During A 7
The driver complies with the provisions of the 100 air-mile radius exception or the non-CDL, as defined by Part 383, 150 air-mile radius provision if either of those are applicable for the entire duty period . For example, if a driver operates within the 100 air-mile radius for part of the day and then travels outside the radius during the same duty period, the exception would not apply. The driver must remain under the conditions of the exception for the entire duty period. Compliance may vary from one duty period to the next, depending on operating circumstances. A driver operating under the 100 air-mile radius exception for one day and then outside the radius for the second day would only be required to make a RODS for the second day.
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How Would You Summarize The Non
Drivers of non-CDL vehicles who are operating within a 150 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location and return to their normal work reporting location at the end of their duty tour are now covered by separate HOS provisions. Drivers meeting these conditions are not eligible for the existing 100 air-mile radius provision in 395.1 or the current 16-hour exception in 395.1, since those conflict with this new Non-CDL 150 air-mile radius provision. These drivers are required to comply with the following:
The 11 hours driving, minimum 10 hours off-duty, 14 consecutive hour duty period, 60/70 hours in 7/8 days, 34-hour restart all apply.
On any 2 days of every 7 consecutive days, the driver may extend the 14-hour duty period to 16 hours.
There is no requirement that the driver be released from duty at the end of the 14- or 16-hour duty periods . The driver may continue to perform non-driving duties, which would be counted against the 60/70 hour weekly limitation.
Time records may be used in lieu of records of duty status.
Drivers Can Rest Easy Finally
In everyone’s life, at some point in time, we encounter an “I told you so” momenta true reflection of dancing in the end zone, a rubbing it in of sorts, even bragging rights if you want to call it that.
At this point in time, however, with the recent announcement that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is moving forward with a study to determine whether or not sleeper berth flexibility is a necessity, our moment has finally come.
Finally, we revel over what has been years in the making. This is a moment for our industry to celebrate what we have been saying all alongthat sleeper berth flexibility is needed to allow our drivers to determine for themselves whether or not they need to break up the day and take a nap.
The very reason for our revelry is the announcement of a study in which the agency will determine what benefits, if any, would be bestowed to the trucking industry and those we share the road with by breaking up the day to include stops in the 14-hour clock and provide drivers with the ability to break up their sleeper berth hours.
Finally, the agency, based a vocal industry, will begin its study seeking to produce statistically reliable evidence on the question of “whether split sleeper berth time affects driver safety performance and fatigue levels.”
FMCSA will seek to determine the effects other sleeper berth options such as the 5-5, 6-4 and 7-3 would have on drivers and their ability to operate a truck.
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Sleeping Tips For Truck Drivers
The CDC released a handful of hints for truck drivers to improve the quality and ease of sleep. Knowing the high-risk times for drowsy driving brings awareness to the trouble zones. Past this, they recommend being mindful of the place a driver is stopping to sleep. Ensure it is not only safe but quiet. If it is not, take measures to purchase noise-canceling devices or use white noise apps or fans.
Lights can also keep drivers awake if they are sleeping during the day and driving overnight. Use sun blocking curtains or blinds in the cab. Eye masks can assist with helping the mind to perceive dark. Keep electronics away or turned down before bed. The light from the devices keeps the mind busy, making sleep more difficult. Ask family and friends not to call unless an emergency during sleeping hours.
Finally, drivers must watch when and what they are eating before attempting to sleep. Limit liquids before laying down. Keep in mind while caffeine can help a driver stay awake, drinking it too much or too late can affect sleep.
Signs Of Sleep Deprivation
Drivers must be aware of the clues they are feeling drowsy. Below is a list of warnings a driver may experience while drowsy driving:
- Drooping eyelids
- Difficulty recalling the last bit of the drive
- Nodding or bobbing head
- Missing road signs, exits or directions
- Swerving or not staying in the lane
- Following too closely to other cars
- Hitting the rumble strips
- Feeling restless or irritable
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You May Not Like Your Driving Partner
Sharing space can be an issue.
You need to be able to tolerate the habits and quirks of your team driving partner.
Even a mildly irritating habit can be amplified when you are under high stress and close quarters. Combine that with constantly moving with very few stop breaks and poor-quality sleep and youve got a recipe for disaster.
You must trust in your partners driving abilities .
If you dont like your driving partner, youre going to be miserable and worried all of the time.
The Basics Of Team Truck Driving
The way team trucking works is that two different drivers take turns behind the wheel. One will be driving while the other will either be in the passenger seat or the sleeper berth. This allows the truck to keep moving while following hours-of-service regulations. The company you work for will pay you based on the miles you drive and this total is split between both drivers.
Who you drive with depends on your preference. Some truckers have a friend, family member, or spouse who also has their CDL. Having a driving partner you already know can be beneficial as you generally have an idea of how you will get along and work together. Husband and wife teams are common for this reason. Alternatively, many companies offer team matching. This will pair you with another driver based on your personality, location, and goals for weekly pay and miles.
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Canada Hours Of Service Rules And Requirements
Canadian motor carriers and drivers must comply with the driving hours or the day/work shift durations set by the federal HOS rules.
Below are the rules and requirements for Canada truckings Hours of Service as they apply to those driving south of latitude 60°N.
How long can drivers be on duty in Canada?
However, after 16 hours have passed since the end of the most recent period of eight or more consecutive off-duty hours, motor carriers must not allow, require, or request drivers to drive. Drivers shouldnt do so as well.
As You Will Find There Are Significant Differences Between The Sleeper Berth Rules In Canada And In The Us Use The Samples And Faqs Below To Familiarize Yourself In More Detail About The Differences Which Can Be Particularly Useful For Federal Carriers Traveling In Teams In Both Countries
Drivers using the Sleeper Berth provisions must still comply with Daily Requirements:
No driving after accumulating :
Sleeper Berth must meet prescribed design standards to be considered as a Sleeper
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May A Driver Having More Than One Work Reporting Location Use The 3951 16
As stated in 395.1 and current 395.1 Interpretation Question 15, a driver having more than one work reporting location could use the 395.1 16-hour exception however, its availability would be limited by the requirement of
395.1 that the “carrier released the driver from duty at that location for the previous five duty tours the driver has worked…” A driver alternating between two normal work locations on a weekly basis would not be able to utilize the exception unless he worked six days per week, and then the exception could only be used on the sixth day.
The Complete Guide To Canada Hours Of Service Rules
The Canadian trucking industry is one of the most closely supervised sectors in the country, with regulations to keep its highways safe.
The Canada Hours of Service regulations are among the most critical mandates. They minimize the number and gravity of trucking crashes by tackling driver fatigue.
Every federally regulated carrier and trucker must comply with the HOS rules. Below are some important details to keep in mind.
What is the federal Canada Hours of Service regulation?
The Canada Hours of Service rules define and limit the number of commercial driving hours and regulatory periods for CMV drivers that operate in Canada.
The federal administration also issued this to manage driver fatigue. Controlled driving hours offer CMV drivers sufficient rest. So they can operate safely.
The regulation prevents driver fatigue and decreases the occurrence of road accidents. According to studies and estimates, 20% of fatal collisions in Canada involve driver fatigue. In Canada, traffic collision-related health care and lost productivity cost at least $10 billion annually. This represents about 1% of Canadas annual Gross Domestic Product.
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