Monday, August 9, 2010

8 AUGUST 2008

Woke up and went to the port to get loaded. It was a live load (when you don't just switch your empty trailer for an already loaded one, but actually back up into a dock and wait to be loaded then and there) of copper. There was no way we would make the load in time because we were out of drive hours, so we had to re-power with another driver. A re-power is when another driver comes and takes the load you have and you either take their empty, or their load. We met at a Pilot in Tuscaloosa, AL for the repower. It was a female solo driver, came in the middle of the night, and we switched trailers. Got an empty and waited for a load. Re-powers are beneficial in many ways. If a driver or team is out of legal hours of driving, then another driver can come get your load who has enough hours to deliver it on time. Another benefit is for family emergencies which we've had quite a few times while on the road. If you have a family emergency and are loaded, they will give you another driver's load closest to you that are headed in the direction of your home to get you there the fastest. One time we drove all the way from Arkansas to Kearny, NJ straight. Definitely not legal but, reason enough to hurry home. We've re-powered many times for drivers who recently lost family members, and it's hard. Not being home often is very difficult for a lot of drivers.

The legal driving time for a driver is only 70 hrs/wk of actual driving. Each day you are only allowed 14 work hours, 11 of which can be drive hours. The other 3 you may use for fueling, pre-trips, etc. If you go over 70 hrs before you week is up, you have to take a mandatory 34hr restart to basically start your clock over again. That's 34 hours of doing nothing, with no pay. The way drivers keep track of all this is with a driver log. There you track your hours and where you've been, which you keep a copy for yourself and send a copy to your company. Werner started digital logs, so drivers didn't have to keep a tangible log in the truck. Paper is always better, with a little white-out you can play with your hours and miles. The possibility of having your log checked by DOT can happen at any time, especially when you go through a weigh station. Just like speeding tickets, they too have a quota to meet for drivers who went over their legal drive time or have any other violations. A lot of times you see drivers pulled to the side of the road, a few miles before a weigh station, filling out their logs so they're up to date. Usually if you have your ears on (cb) other drivers will tell you if they're checking logs, etc.

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