Recently while sitting at the counter eating breakfast at a travel center there was an interesting debate going on. This debate as you may guess evolved around the main subject everyone in the trucking industry is talking about these days. If you guessed Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and Hours Of Service (HOS) you would be right on target. I sat there and listened to the cross-counter conversation amongst my fellow drivers. The conversation at this point had evolved all the way down to the point of having no hours of service rules and the elimination of FMCSA.
At this point, I decided to join the conversation and agreed with my fellow comrades that we should not have any rules. I stated they are right, a one size rule does not fit all. Furthermore, each of us should be able to exploit our strengths to their maximum abilities. My next statement was as soon as all the rules we operate under are abolished I would start pulling twin 53’ trailers. At this point, my fellow comrades stated that would not be right. My reply was, “I thought we did not want to have any rules?” I declared that on my normal route it would work out just fine pulling twin 53’ trailers.
The conversation changed dramatically at this point and we all agreed that there indeed needed to be a common set of rules in which we conduct our business. The other point that was made around the counter was an understanding that the rules needed to be built around the lowest common denominator in regards to skills, terrain, and many other factors.
The rest of the conversation delved into how hard of a job it is to draw a set of rules up that fits everyone. The final area of agreement was none of us would want the responsibility of creating these rules as someone is always going to be unhappy. What it all came down to was someone has to draw the line that addresses the needs of the trucking industry, the safety coalition concerns, and the general public. Besides my job is to lobby for the rules which benefit my business. After the lines are drawn my job then is to figure them out better than my competition.