Well I've never nor will I ever have to deal w/this issue....but although ur co is probably jus coverin their ###...but could choose to use it against u at some other time.....
I would not sign it until I was absolutely Forced..and then under my sig.....Id print SIGNED UNDER PROTEST &DURESS
See what they say about that...at least you'd be coverin Your ### like they're coverin theirs....
Driving to safe haven while out of 14 HOS
Page 2 of 5
Whether to sign the letter or not depends on what does it actually say.
If it says you are aware of the infraction and this is a warning to not do it again, i'd have no problem signing.
If it says, by signing, you are relieving the company of any legal obligation for further events, i would not sign.
These type of letters are common in larger companies. Goes in your employment file and can only hurt you if you do this type of thing regularly.
Your problem is a Catch-22 situation. No real RIGHT way to resolve.
You have absolutely zero control over the receiver's dock. If you tell them you are running out of hours and you will leave whether they are finished unloading you, YOU will be out of a job, plain and simple. If they force the issue about you not being able to stay for a 10 hour break, tell them to call the police to be escorted to a safe place to park. Have the officer's badge number in the remarks section. You are then covered by a legal authority telling you to move after your 14 hour clock has expired.
Lastly, don't ever go back to that receiver. Refuse the load and state why to your dispatcher.
You left the shipper with how much time left on your 14 hour.
So your saying that there was no where for you to legally park your truck before the 14 ran out.
There is no grace period. You have to stop. I agree with the comment that at least an hour before I would have notified them I was dropping the railer and would be back to get it tomorrow. Its not abandonement, the shipper has custody during unloading.
The company that I haul for allows us to control the elog system enough to get us out of the situation, I just enter personal conv. and keep it off duty. I realize most systems are not setup to allow this but they should be.
The long and short of the rules is this: DOT does not recognize a grace period in a situation such as this. There is a very narrow definition allowing you to drive outside your 14, but this isn't one.
If you drive, you take that responsibility on yourself. Since elogs exist, a subsequent audit by the DOT of the carrier (and all carriers go thru them periodically) will count against the carrier's CSA score. Too many points and they are subject to intervention.
The carrier is trying to mitigate these circumstances by transferring the violation's responsibility to the driver. In other words, by ignoring this violation, they have no argument against the points assigned by the audit. For carriers with good drivers, the points don't amount to a hill of beans so they may choose to ignore your occasional violation.
The only thing you can do is refuse to drive outside the receiver/shipper, be subject to arrest for trespassing, then argue in court that to drive would be a federal violation...basically the same as driving without a CDL...and federal law trumps state and local law, so the ticket for trespassing should be dismissed.
Now reality says this is ridiculous and if you do this, you're on your own.
but you don't get any points from CSA on this either.
Now some companies, if you inform them in advance, will note (not give permission..as they can't) you are driving outside your HOS to the first place you can legally break and use that both as a mitigating explanation for that inevitable audit, but also to cover your butt in the event you are stopped on the way to that break.
I have yet to hear (but I'm sure they exist) of circumstances where a driver was cited for driving outside their 14 (or 11) when heading to the closest truck stop. Officers will look at your log, MAY check with your safety department, to see if you had notified in advance and now were moving according to instructions...but they will let you go. If you mouth off, tell them to perform lewd and lascivious acts with themselves or call them names, they will likely nail you.
If you are in an accident during that transition, it will depend on your lawyer as to whether you are crucified or not.
Technically you cannot move.
Is it fair? Not in my book. But it's the result of the governments regulation and no one making allowances for these situations.
BTW, as a side note, when CSA was 'invented' and elogs were being developed, there were provisions that required the shippers/receivers to provide a place to break if they took more than 2 hours to load/unload from the appointment. If I remember right, it was Ron Wyden of Oregon that inserted that provision in the bill.
But large shippers such as Walmart, Kroger and Target did their magic with their money and had the provision stripped from the bill.
So what did that leave? The usual....the driver's get the big stiff weenie.
During my MD DOT audit I was told if I am empty and kicked off the property I am allowed up to an 1/2 hour to get to a SAFE location. The question came up because I do paperlogs and was using offduty time to leave shipper to get to rest area 15 miles away, passing through a toll booth. Also you as the driver can make the request of the CARRIER/company to get a police escort. Even if you call them, take a picture with your cell phone of a reguest sent it by Qcomm. Don't let them off the hook.
Page 2 of 5