So comes the end of another grueling 5 day grind of local hauling, when up pops up a gravy, high-paying load for Saturday that fits in perfect right after 10 hours off. You may think taking this load is going to be an easy choice, keeping the hours under 70 for the week allowing the ability to earn a little extra “mad money”. This is exactly what happened to me last weekend but when looking into the whole scenario, it might not have been the best decision now that every second and minute tick away in real-time!
You see, this great paying load also happened to fall into my usual weekend off, which is usually far more than the 34 hours I need to get my full 70 hours back each week. It was without careful consideration of what I had already booked for Monday that posed a problem in my master plan for a money-making Saturday! Being that I had a scheduled time to fire back up and go on-duty for Monday’s load around 4:00am, I had not anticipated the repercussions of ending this Saturday load and parking to go off-duty at 6:30pm until after the fact.
All in all I was forced to decide come Monday morning if I was going to gain enough hours for the next day to keep the hours rolling over for the rest of the week, or wait out my restart and be 30 minutes late to my scheduled pickup to regain my full 70 working hours for the week? Luckily for me, I knew the shipper well and would not be battered too bad for being tardy, as they have a workflow that allows them to load other trucks and fit me in whenever I get there. For some this decision might not be as easy though, so the fact that every minute has to be considered or it can cost you hours is a true reality now that is digitally “recorded in stone’!
Seconds can likewise cost you hours, as they had for me years prior to the mandate, when I was pulling rail cans for J.B. Hunt as a contractor. We had been asked to have ELD’s back then and I took advantage of the technology, but was not as familiar with it then as I am now. There was one time my schedule was so tight that I decided to come in right after my 10 hour off-duty break and fire up to get a jump on the rest of the contractors that day. My mistake came in the form of logging on-duty for my 15-minute pre-trip about 45 seconds too early, then rolling into drive 15 minutes right after that. The result was not completing my 10 hours off before “officially” going on-duty. This is a situation where not paying attention on ELD’s can not only cost you minutes, but where seconds could cost you hours!