Can they do this?

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by Arel3, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Arel3

    Arel3 Light Load Member

    Dec 23, 2018
    I finally landed a trucking job I was enjoying. Then the November 2nd thing happened and qualcomms stopped working. The ELD in my assigned company truck hasn't worked right and hasn't been doing any of it's tasks properly or correctly since November 4th.

    As per FMSCA when the ELD malfunctions drivers are supposed to maintain their logs on paper or through compliant software (smartphone apps) but we can only do the paper logs for 8 days. The company has those 8 days to repair or replace the malfunctioning device.

    The driver regulation when the ELD malfunctions:
    What must a driver do if there is an ELD malfunction?
    The company regulation when an ELD malfunctions:
    What must a motor carrier do if there is an ELD malfunction?

    My company didn't even look at my truck or device. They said they know about the issue, it's all of our trucks, and our shops can't do anything about it.
    So, I excluded days off so I can run longer (not sure that was the right thing to do - 8 days is likely 8 days whether you're off duty or not), and on the 4th days I asked what are we to do if they don't have this corrected by the time the 8th day of alternate logs expire. I was told not to worry about it - given a run-around answer, not an answer. I am worried about it! These are federal laws. And if I'm in violation --> I <--- am responsible to pay the fine and I get an out of service scar on my record. I could not get a different answer from anyone.

    So when the 8th day expired I refused to run. I stated that I cannot run legally. I would be in violation if I did. Literally seconds after I rejected the load with that note my phone was ringing asking why I was refusing the load, they obviously read what I entered as the reason for rejecting. He insisted I have hours and accused me of not understanding how logs and HOS works (I have been driving on logs since 1994...and to date have ZERO violations, ZERO accidents, and ZERO citations; I intend to keep it that way.). I explained that the 8 day 34 hour reset does not apply in this situation because the ELD is malfunctioning and the 8 day alternate logs has expired.

    They insisted I'm not aware of how logs work, I have hours, and even though that day and the day after are my scheduled days off demanded I come in and run the load they dispatched to me. I had worked the day before from 5pm until 7am and then was being kept awake by them over all this from the time I got home until 2pm so I was awake nearly 22 hours with no sleep, I was tired, so I explained that: I've been up for 22 hours I just got off at 7am and you've been keeping me up with all of this since then. I cannot safely drive tonight because I am way too tired.

    FMCSA Rules on ill or fatigued driving:
    Safety Planner Content

    So I had refused this load on two different FMCSA regulations. I would be in violation if I ran, and I was too tired.

    The company person continued to threaten to mark the next two days as unexcused absences (the 2 days I'm scheduled off for weekly), placed me on hold so when I did go in on Saturday which is also my scheduled day off I wasn't able to be dispatched, and I am to attend a disciplinary action meeting on Monday at 8am with this person.

    This sounds exactly like Coercion:

    My questions I would like some input on are:
    1. Am I right? Am I doing the right thing by refusing these loads or is he right and what I read directly from the FMCSA website isn't correct, he's right because 'he's a boss'?
    2. What can they legally do? I'm assuming this guy is going to fire me on Monday.
    - I have already filed an unemployment claim for being placed on hold and forced to not run and make money even if I legally could.
    - I have also already submitted a coercion complaint with the FMCSA's consumer database.

    From what I can gather I am doing exactly as I'm supposed to. There have been NO press releases about Qualcomm's now 14 day long malfunction stating they or carrier companies have been given an extension on the 8 day alternate log rule. There are 600 other compliant devices companies can replace the malfunctioning qualcomm's with.

    Why does it seem like I'm the only one in this situation when this qualcomm issue is industry wide?
    From what I see the answer to that is some drivers don't care about the laws and regulations. Other drivers don't know the laws and regulations and just do whatever they're told whether it's truly the legal thing they should be doing or not (sheeple).
    rachi Thanks this.
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  3. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    Looks like FMCSA says after the eights days you “ could be placed out of service”
    Doesn’t say will be.
    So it may be up to a roadside officers discretion, seeing as everyone has the same problem, there maybe some back room agreement in the meantime. But your office will have to provide you with a letter stating that the issue is beyond their control.
  4. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    Well you are wrong.

    You don't have an eight day limit, the carrier has, and that is addresed through the regulations, not laws. if you read the process the carrier has to do by contacting both the fmcsa and the state to tell them there is a problem with the Elds that extend beyond the eight days.
  5. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    Yep^^^ What he said. Your only point is refusing to drive fatigued.
    Arel3 and truckdriver31 Thank this.
  6. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    First issue is answered already.
    Second issue is if they keep calling, simply hang up the phone and turn off the ringer. The only reason you were "fatigued" is because you wanted to be. Frankly you sound like a problem child and just reading your side I can see them being frustrated with you. I'd hate to see what their side is.
  7. Arel3

    Arel3 Light Load Member

    Dec 23, 2018
    There has been no letter or anything posted other than a memo on the 4th saying to do paper logs and send them to *this* email address.

    Correct. It's a risk of being placed out of service which is an officers descrection. I'd rather not take the risk. And the regs say if I don't want to risk being in violation they can't force me to.

    The regulation states the driver cannot continue after 8 days. I preceive that as it plainly says. 8 days, then it must be fixed or replaced. There are 600 other compliant devices.

    If they got an extension why didn't they share that information? I have tried to find info on there being an extension and haven't been able to find it. So I feel safe assuming there has not been an extension approved.

    The reason I was fatigued is because I can't flip my sleep schedule like a pancake. I know some people can. I'm not one of them.

    I asked here to get input. I got it. Thanks everyone! I'm not convinced I'm totally wrong.
    Either or I used fatigue and the 8 day thing as my reason. One or both, by the laws, I still believe protect me from what they're doing. That is what the official CFR and FMCSA information says. Using fatigue alone should have caused them to let me sleep and not violate the coercion rules.
    truckdriver31 Thanks this.
  8. truckdriver31

    truckdriver31 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    step 1. hammer down. step 2. hammer down. step 3. hammer down
    Western flyer and Arel3 Thank this.
  9. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Newport, Ar
    I can tell you, if you are caught running a paperlog in AR after the eight day, the scale in Van Buren (40 East side) will shut you down for a 10 hour break.
    Then he will let you leave.. no ticket at least.
    stayinback, Arel3 and truckdriver31 Thank this.
  10. Arel3

    Arel3 Light Load Member

    Dec 23, 2018
    I actually got a call back from an FMCSA person. I am 100% correct in my concern about being being compliant and legal, the regulation requires drivers in this situation to carry a document proving they have been approved for an extension on the 8 days when the ELD is malfunctioning.

    They also advised I file a coercion complaint and suggested filing for partial unemployment for my losses of the company denying me work over the weekend because I was too tired to drive safely on Friday.

    The illegal disciplinary action meeting they held with me today was also more bullying, threats, and coercion.

    I'm just going to ride this out, work until they fire me, collect, and gtfo of trucking. Hopefully I win the lotto before then so I can invest and not have to deal with this kind of crap.
    Throw me some numbers to play!
    Dino soar and truckdriver31 Thank this.
  11. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Newport, Ar
    Maybe should of brought a camcorder and told them you were going to video it for future review
    Dino soar and truckdriver31 Thank this.
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