Idling Times (Part of Driver's Performance)

Discussion in 'Report A BAD Trucking Company Here' started by Rascally Road Warrior, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Rascally Road Warrior

    Rascally Road Warrior Light Load Member

    Jul 23, 2005
    Titusville, FL
    Crete/Shaffer put out a memo via QUALCOMM a couple of weeks ago stating, “Please try to keep your idling down below 30%. It is part of your driver’s performance responsibility just as it is part of your driver’s performance as far as on time deliveries.”

    Now in the past few weeks I have tried keeping my idling down below 30% as long as I kept rolling along averaging decent miles on a weekly basis. What really irks me about this statement is the “driver’s performance” part. As of January of this year I have been averaging around 2,100 miles per week. A couple of years ago I complained to my dispatcher, then to me fleet manager, then finally called upon the (so-called) president of Shaffer Ray Dunn. Mr. Ray Dunn claimed that Shaffer doesn’t do things that, way referring to how many miles are dispatched per truck on a weekly average. He insisted that these miles were indeed low so he called for a meeting between myself, my fleet manager and my dispatcher. Mr. Dunn informed my fleet manager to make sure that I get more miles. My fleet manager, Rae Ashley out of Deland assured Mr. Dunn that this would happen.

    Well, for the next few months everything was going good and then once again I was right back to where I was before the upper management humored me temporarily with some extra miles, probably in an attempt to momentarily shut me up. Since then, I have reminded my fleet manager and multiple dispatchers (under Crete operations now) about this meeting as well as once again needing more miles. Dispatchers simply ignore you and fleet management out of Deland claims that they don’t have any answers which is now their answer for just about everything.

    Last week I drove 2,200 miles. The last couple of days (Saturday thru Monday) I have driven 116 miles. Sitting in mid 80 degree humid temperatures waiting for a load for the past 2 days in Florida… lucky if you get to see the temperatures fall below 78 degrees at night, you really have no other choice but to run the air while twiddling your thumbs waiting for load planners, dispatchers, and fleet managers to provide proficient miles for every driver.

    The reason I am posting this is to see if anyone reading this can make any sense out of what is going on and if so, please explain to me a few things here. First of all, if there is not enough miles for many drivers in a company to go around so each and if not most drivers can make a comfortable living, than why would a company continue to recruit new drivers which take miles away from the already starving drivers?

    Second - How is it that excessive idling time is part of a driver’s performance but is not considered part of a dispatcher’s, load planner’s or fleet manager’s performance to ensure that these big trucks keep rolling?
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  3. Roadmedic

    Roadmedic Road Train Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    To put it bluntly.

    They really do not care about the driver or their comfort. If they did, they would be putting APU's on the trucks. They want the driver to sit in a hot truck and not idle because it costs money.

    Now, if the dispatcher could be held accountable because of the delay in loading and etc, yes it would be equal.

    Of course, we all know that they are not running the air at home or work in sympathy for the suffering they require for the driver.
    Big Duker Thanks this.
  4. 59halfstep

    59halfstep Light Load Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Brighton, MI
    Is it not a sign of the times? Business has the upper hand with the labor situation. There are more drivers available to run than is needed. Thus a surplus of drivers. Now they have a situation where a new hire can deliver a load for less cpm than a veteran. In a way it is a position where the company can thin it's workforce down by getting the higher paid driver to be pissed off and move on thereby reducing their cost/mile.

    I have read on this forum where new drivers were saying their miles were dropping off after they hit cpm raises with some companies. The more drivers that are out there the worse it will become as everyone needs to work and they know it. If you look back in history this is why unions were needed and formed.

    I once worked for a Dealership where the owner wanted his service manager to turn over all his workers so no one had more than a eleven months seniority. Service manager wanted to know why? "After a year I have to pay a weeks vacation." Well they ran off all the experienced guys and then locked the door and fired all the young ones he had working there. Again the service manager was let in on the plan. " Now I can rewrite the benefits and pay schedule and no one will complain." They fired the lot, set up a new benefit plan, and hired a whole new crew.

    As long as there is a surplus it will be exploited to the advantage of the company.

    What are your thoughts?

  5. Roadmedic

    Roadmedic Road Train Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    This was taught during my accounting classes in the 70's. It has always been the practice of business. It is always a goal to control employee costs. How else, by keeping the pay down, and benefits under control.
  6. longbedGTs

    longbedGTs Heavy Load Member

    May 8, 2007
    I do not idle the truck when I dont have to, but if I am uncomfortable, I WILL run the truck. If it results in excessive idling, thats what it will be then. I wont sacfifice my comfort for anyone, period! If they have a problem with it, they need to address WHY youre idling, not the fact that you ARE idling.
    I also try to run during the day so I wont have to idle when I shutdown for the night, but sometimes that doesnt work out(like now).
  7. Elusive

    Elusive Light Load Member

    Jan 22, 2007

    Actually Crete and shaffer are starting to equip their 2007 and newer trucks with APUs Unfortunately for me, my truck is a 2005 :(
  8. Roadmedic

    Roadmedic Road Train Member

    Apr 4, 2007

    That is the first I heard of this. I am glad it is starting, but you are looking at many years.
  9. rambler

    rambler Road Train Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Is fuel not an operating expense that is partially tax deductible at years end? We got a memo similar to that recently. I try to be a team player but will not sweat/freeze so someone else can put another six figure car in their multimillion dollar homes garage. Period.
  10. 1nonly

    1nonly tease-y-ness

    Jul 2, 2008
    The burning sands of the SW
    I don't understand why they think hiring newbies will keep costs down- newbies have more accidents. Not to say every new driver will hit something, but they are more likely to. Does the company really save any money by paying less per mile but paying more in damage claims?

    Not to mention training costs. And doesn't it cost more to insure a new driver?
  11. cutloose

    cutloose Light Load Member

    Jul 9, 2007
    Idleing time falls under customers performance and planners.
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