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Top 5 Issues Facing Truckers

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The five top issues facing truckers today include fuel savings, government regulation, congestion, truck parking, and traffic tickets.

#5 — Fuel Savings

Many truckers, especially independents and owner-operators, are focusing on fuel economy to save money and increase their bottom line. Although fuel savings start with a well-maintained truck, truckers can save fuel by avoiding traffic tie-ups (easier said than done, right?), regulating their speed, and slowing down. Instead of driving into a major metropolitan area during rush hour, plan your mandatory break during that time. Use your cruise control to regulate your speed, slow down, and reduce your truck’s aerodynamic drag.

Studies show that for every five mph over 65, your fuel efficiency drops seven percent. Therefore, slowing down will not only save fuel but reduce speeding tickets.

Use cab deflectors, sun visors, and deep-angle bumpers to divert air from the windscreen up onto the trailer’s roof. You can further avoid turbulence under your container/trailer with side fairings, which transport down the trailer’s side.

#4 — Regulation on Truckers

The most significant issue most truckers have with government regulations is the inflexibility of the hours of service (HOS) rules. By regulation, truckers need to take a thirty-minute break before they reach the eight hour mark of starting their duty day. Many drivers feel they do not need to get told when they need a break.

Furthermore, there are logs, roadside inspections, permits, mandatory medical exams, and random drug testing. Ignoring any of these could lead to a violation.

Another concern is the 14 hour duty day. Many shippers keep drivers waiting at the dock for three or four hours. Traffic jams leave them sitting in frustration watching their available driving time sweep by with every tick of the clock.

Drivers hope the proposed changes by the FMCSA will give them more flexibility for sleeper berths and breaks.

#3 — Infrastructure & Congestion

Both carriers and truckers see congestion and the need for infrastructure upgrades as a concern. Drivers largely get paid by the number of miles driven, so sitting in traffic is a major frustration. An American Transportation Research Institute's (ATRI) assessment noted the cost of congestion to be 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity, or $74.5 billion.

The industry looks at driver shortages as a significant problem, but the truckers on the road sitting in traffic is an issue that can only be solved by repairs and improvements to existing highways. Truckers and other CDL holders hope the recently approved $287 billion five-year infrastructure spending bill will alleviate some of the congestion.

#2 — Truck Parking

Although only 72 percent of carriers put parking in their top five issues, truckers place it number two. After all, they are the ones who are out there looking for safe parking daily. They claim along major routes and within metropolitan areas, parking is a substantial problem; it is becoming a more prevalent issue even in rural areas.

The HOS rules confound the parking problem. Truckers that have to check two or three lots before finding a place to park could surpass their eight-hour window to take the thirty-minute break.

#1 — Common Traffic Tickets for Truckers

The biggest problem for many truckers is traffic tickets. What can they do? They can’t just pay the fine and face termination by fleet management. They can’t take a day off and go to court to challenge it.

A simple traffic ticket for cellphone use that cost a regular driver $150 could cost a CDL holder $2,175. Truckers caught going 70 mph in CA face a misdemeanor charge and a serious offense with the FMCSA. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22406.1, Other Speed Laws states that a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operator “exceeding a posted speed limit established under this code by 15 miles per hour or more, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Wise truckers consult a traffic ticket attorney and let them handle their traffic ticket.

Who Handles Trucker Tickets in Roseville?

Truckers facing traffic tickets in Roseville should call Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We are familiar with handling tickets in Roseville Traffic Court. We handle only traffic law and charge you a flat rate to resolve your ticket. Regardless of how much time we spend in court or writing requests for dismissal, our fee does not change.

Send us an email, attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook .pdf

The RTSFinancial.com article, The Seven Biggest Challenges Facing Trucking Companies Today

The Freightwaves.com article, U.S. Senators introduce $287 billion highway bill

The Fleetowner.com article, How drivers, carriers rank top trucking issues speaks volumes