There is never a reason to drive recklessly. Plan ahead, but remember that things often don't go as planned.The road is not always predictable. Things happen, and often on the last leg of a trip. It is easier to explain why you went a little over on your hours than why you had an accident. 

Once, I had a plan and a backup plan. The load went from Chilicothe, Oh back to Wisconsin. When, I left Chilicothe, I had enough hours to make it to the Indiana line. My plan was to make it to Brookville, Oh and take my 10 hour break there. In the morning, I could enjoy a run on the Mill Creek trail. It was a good plan that gave me about 20 minutes to spare. 

I reached the 75/70 junction with about 30 minutes left on my clock. Brookville was 14 miles away. I would not have to use the backup plan and park in Huber Heights. Then there was an accident ahead of me. It caused a 30 minute delay and I exceeded my 14 hours by about 15?minutes. I entered an explanation in the remarks section. 

A couple of days later, I was passing through Johnson Creek Wi on my way to St. Louis from Green Bay. A black SUV made a Uturn behind me and followed me into the truck stop. I went into the truck stop with a purpose. I needed to make a coffee exchange. The officer had me email him my logs. I had completely forgotten about my violation. As I walked out of the truck stop, I remembered.

Immediately when I got back to the truck, the officer questioned me about it. I gave him the same explanation that I had written in the remarks section of my electronic logs. He gave me a clean inspection. 

We can never account for everything that might happen on the road. Our first job is to not run into stuff. Safety always is the top priority. Drive safely. Plan with a little room, but when plans go wrong, explain them.

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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