Overdrive Magazine

September 2019

Issue link: https://dmtmag.uberflip.com/i/1161251

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 71

6 | Overdrive | September 2019 Join all our friends at facebook.com/OverdriveTrucking Follow breaking news and commentary at twitter.com/OverdriveUpdate Subscribe to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/OverdriveMag Subscribe to our daily newsletter at OverdriveOnline.com/newsletter-signup Exercise your trucking business mind at " Overdrive's Trucking Pro"group at Linkedin.com Share and comment on photography from around the trucking world at Instagram.com/overdrivetrucking Max Heine "You're not getting enough sleep — and it's killing you," reads the wired.com headline on a story by Emily Dreyfuss. She was reporting on a talk by Matthew Walker, author of the best-selling book "Why We Sleep." e UC Berkeley sleep expert said sleep depri- vation "makes you dumber, more forgetful, unable to learn new things, more vulnerable to dementia." Applied to truckers, many of whom know sleep deprivation all too well, this trend line doesn't bode well for long-term health or short-term success and safety. Reading this the day a er the Federal Motor Car- rier Safety Administration announced its proposed hours of service revisions, I was reminded that the hours rule is ultimately about a trucker's quantity and quality of rest, mainly sleep. at's easy to forget when you're mentally recon guring on-duty and o -duty – and all the other batches of hours – like some temporal Rubik's Cube, trying to envision how changes would align in the real world. It gets worse when those outside of trucking presume safety performance goes up or down in lockstep with changes in cherry-picked numbers. is led, for example, to widespread reports that the proposal would "relax" existing regulations, thereby automatically increasing fatigue. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety opposed all ve changes o ered by FMCSA: "Any proposal that increases pressure on truck drivers … should be rejected." e group says allowing a duty clock pause of up to three hours would create "a driving window of up to 17 hours. Research shows that driving later in the duty period is associated with higher crash risks." But is a driver who just rested two hours going to be a higher crash risk than one "pressured," as AHAS might say, to drive during an urban rush hour at the end of a 14-hour window? On the other hand, as some drivers pointed out, certain shippers and receivers will steal those three hours to mask their ine ciencies. Not only would this enable unnecessary detention, it also could make rest impossible, given the sporadic interrup- tions while waiting at a dock. FMCSA seems to get how the existing rule cre- ates the worst pressures. Giving drivers more free- dom to manage those pressures in a common-sense way creates more windows for rest. Perhaps as comments shape the nal rule, the agency will nd a way to prevent supply chain players from creating new pressure by exploiting the three-hour option. Better-rested drivers not only will be more alert on the job, they also should have a longer lifespan. Walker's list of the woes of the sleep-deprived con- tinues: "more likely to die of a heart attack, less able to fend o sickness with a strong immune system, more likely to get cancer." If the hours proposal can help save the lives of not just four-wheelers, but also the truckers they share the road with, so much the better. Relaxed rules, rested drivers By Max Heine, Editorial Director mheine@randallreilly.com, twitter: @maxheine The proposal's provisions for pausing the 14-hour clock, including some split-sleeper changes, are intended to provide greater fl exibility in handling congestion and other scheduling problems.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Overdrive Magazine - September 2019