December 2017

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

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Voices 4 | Overdrive | December 2017 The weekend of Nov. 4, Channel 19 blogger and Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills got a note from the hauler who's been using the "Wes Memphis" name on the blog over the past couple years. That longtime owner-operator, now a company driver for a Midwest-based smallish fleet, was asked two years ago to be a part of that fleet's test of an e-log sys- tem. Though it hasn't been a rosy experience all the way around by any means, his first two years on e-logs saw his income actually rise, in contrast to all he'd heard about switching to the devices. The pseudonymous Memphis pushed the rhetorical envelope and posited the possibility of a "new golden age of truck- ing." That's based on ELDs limiting available hours in a new way, leading toward substantially better rates and thus income, as some other industry observers are predicting. Reader Dan Hamm noted the attractions of the trucking business are not "all about the money. It's about living my life the way I choose to live it when I'm away from home. I like to drive when I'm awake and sleep when I'm tired. Maintaining my extremely healthy lifestyle (which likely makes me more alert and focused) is next to impossible to do when shackled with ridiculous time constraints. Addition- ally, I think it's safe to say nobody ever came up on their 11- or 14-hour limit and said, 'I better find a place to park immediately before I fall asleep.' " Memphis, too, was ambivalent about the re- ality of improved income. Granted, his carrier has been working with custom- ers on better scheduling, rates, drop-and-hook expansion and more – and this year has been a rela- tively good one compared to recent history. He invoked the old "Run Compliant" campaign from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Asso- ciation that ran in tandem with the beginning days of the oft-maligned 14-hour rule. The campaign was in- tended to encourage close compliance with the new regulations, thereby cutting available hours and driving up rates. Steve Bixler agreed with Memphis that OOIDA was "on to something" with the campaign, but added that "the fact still remains that it should be my choice, not mandatory, for me to put an ELD in my truck." Via OverdriveOnline.com: Rory Cook: Great read. Reminded me of my grandfather being put in the nursing home. … I'm a fourth-gen veteran and farmer/truck driver in my family. I never thought I'd Another 'golden age of trucking' at hand? Todd Dils " Maybe OOIDA was really on to something back a dozen or so years ago with their 'Run Compliant' campaign, in which they urged truckers to use the hours of service rule to their advantage and 'resist forced noncom- pliance.' Maybe, if we constrict the amount of miles that are collectively available, rates will soar, and we will see a new golden age of trucking. " — Trucker "Wes Memphis," writing under the pseudonym on the Channel 19 blog Nov. 3

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