CAREER Smart

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Money comes and goes. Owner operators are constantly calculating revenues and expenses, but how many calculate time? While you can lose money and gain it back, time is not a factor that can be replaced.

Time management has become even more important to truckers over the past couple of years. Whether you like or dislike electronic log devices, if you have one, hopefully you have learned how to manage your time well.

Time has a value. However you define it, your time has a value. If you only value every mile (rate per mile), how do you value your time when the wheels aren’t turning?

Would more available working hours be of benefit to you? A recent proposal to the Hours of Service (HOS) would allow you to stop your log clock by up to 3 hours and extend your 14 hour day to 17 hours. On the surface, this may seem like a great benefit to you. You would be able to stop and wait out the rush hour traffic without losing precious drive time. You could stop and take a mid afternoon nap without losing drive time. You would be able to wait out lengthy load and unload times at shippers and receivers without losing so much drive time. Yes, you would be able to do all of these activities and any of the other things you would want to do throughout your day without losing that revenue generating drive time. 

But consider the other side of that equation. You currently have limited time when you start your log clock for the day. Customers have become aware of this limitation and if they need and expect their goods to make it to their destination on time, they need to get you in and out in as short amount of time as possible. Why give them an extra 3 hours to hold you up?
Have you ever been to a shipper that knows detention pay starts at 2 hours and 1 minute? Have you ever had this customer hold you as long as they could before they would incur additional charges?

As an owner operator, we try to make the most of our time with trip planning, schedules and hometime. Why would you want to work up to an additional 3 hours a day to complete the same work you are currently doing in 14 hours or less? Time is not a commodity, you cannot get it back. Your time has value, whether the wheels are turning or not.

If you give away something, it has little to no value. Time is valuable. Consider the implications of the new proposed HOS changes and visit www.regulations.gov to leave your comments. This is your chance to have your voice heard about regulations that will affect you, your family and your business.

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Greg Huggins

Greg has been in the trucking industry since the late 1980s. After spending 25+ years as an owner operator with United Van Lines, he leased to Landstar Express America in 2014. Greg is always trying to learn something new and share what he has learned with others.

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