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‘Like a gun to my head’— drivers weigh in on ELDs, pay and parking

Joel Steward in Moe’s Deli at the Jubitz Travel Center (Photo: Linda Baker )

FreightWaves posted a story yesterday profiling the Jubitz Travel Center, an iconic truck stop in Portland. In Part II we talk to drivers who stopped at Jubitz for fuel, a bite and a few hours rest. Here they weigh in on traffic, ELDs and more.

 Chris Welcher, Jubitz Travel Center
Chris Welcher, Jubitz Travel Center

Where I’m going: Los Angeles to Portland and back home to Los Angeles

What I’m carrying: Mostly Frito-Lay

What I drive: Freightliner 2018, cost me $160,000

Employment: Lease to Schneider

Miles traveled: 8-10,000/month

Years on the job: 18

Why I like the work: I can do a job the average person can’t.

Pet peeve:  Too numerous to mention. 

Name one: Everyone has a hand in my pocket. Every government entity looks at trucking as a revenue generator. Oregon has a per mile fuel tax. It was 16 cents; now it’s 20. California raised its diesel fuel tax twenty cents last year.

Pay: Grossed $160,000 last year, on paper. I lost most of that.

ELD: I prefer them. It’s easier, a lot less to keep track of. The only drawback is parking.

Traffic: We don’t have rush hour traffic anymore. We have rush day.

  

 Joel Steward, Jubitz Travel Center ( Photo: Linda Baker )
Joel Steward, Jubitz Travel Center ( Photo: Linda Baker )

Where I’m going: Home, to Longview, Washington

What I drive: We’re power only. We pull other trailers.

Years on the job: Since 1999. My wife and I teamed pulling freight coast to coast. I’ve been doing power-only for 14 years.

What I’m carrying: Military simulators 

Before trucking: A logger, then a millworker.

Miles traveled: Getting less and less and less. Don’t have 80,000 miles this year. I’m getting to  the point where things are winding down.

What I like: Always wanted to get out on the open road. I have total control. The independence.  I don’t get along with people well.

Pet peeve: With freight, I hated the push, push. Doesn’t matter what it is — you have to have it delivered on time. Power – there is some time sensitivity, but less.

Pay: $150,000 gross. Net half of that.

ELD: It is what it is; you got to go with the flow. Before, on paper, there was always the ability to adjust things, you know.

 

 Balsinder Singh Sandhu, Jubitz Travel Center ( Photo: Linda Baker )
Balsinder Singh Sandhu, Jubitz Travel Center ( Photo: Linda Baker )

Homebase: SeaTac, Washington

Where I’m going: Seattle to California, waiting for load

Years on the job: Four

What I like: Nice money: $10,000-$11,000 per month.

Pet peeve: Sometimes lonely. I have a one-month old.

ELDs: It’s good. While you’re driving, the log speaks to you. 

Other jobs: Move things. Other jobs not much money. I don’t speak much English.

 Don Stone, Jubitz Travel Center
Don Stone, Jubitz Travel Center

Where I’m going: Fixing to head home to Prosser, Oregon coming from the Midwest.

What I’m carrying: Refrigerated LTLs

What I like: The things I get to see. Left to my own devices. Can sing at top of my voice.

Pet peeve: They need to stop pushing ELDs. They don’t make drivers safer. Responsible drivers make drivers safer. You have a boss looking over your shoulder.

 Ben Soullieres, Jubitz Travel Center ( Photo: Linda Baker )
Ben Soullieres, Jubitz Travel Center ( Photo: Linda Baker )

Where I’m going: Montreal to Seattle. Tomorrow, back to Montreal. I come here once a month.

What I’m hauling: Heating/cooling equipment.

What I like: The trucks are better than they used to be. I have a microwave, fridge. They are roomier.

Pet peeve: Nothing against the ELD machine, but it’s like having a gun to the head, from beginning to the end of day. During the day, no time to stop. I’d like more flexibility.

Parking: Everyone starts at 8 a.m., and everyone is done at same time. It becomes a lot harder to get a parking spot.

On the other hand:  Before, with paper logs, you were able to cheat on paper.

 

 

 

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Linda Baker, Staff Writer

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves staff reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes early-stage VC, freight-tech, mobility and West Coast emissions regulations.

13 Comments

  1. Elogs suck parking is hard to get if you don’t start early and get done me and the manager at pilot got into it over the parking buy dark 30 you gotta find a place to park if I still have 3 or 4 hrs to run I want to run my time out need to put the pencil pusher’s in the truck and let them do it for awhile

  2. Sometime I can’t sleep when I should. Other times I, should be awake when I’M sleepy. My HUMAN system knows nothing about a ELECTRIC LOGGING DEVICE. I’m only *HUMAN". Not a machine created by corporate greed and politicians.

  3. The old paper logs are gone.I miss them most of the time,it’s hard to find a place to park if it’s dark out. I’m a night driver so that’s most of the time.I get lucky sometimes an actually get to park at a truck stop. At the end of the day it’s very stressful when the time is almost up and their isn’t anywhere to park. I’m a 2nd generation trucker so this my life.

  4. I’ve driven my entire life I’m 56 I’m always learning something new but went to fuel hauling in 2005 and just recently after a change of life decided to give up fuel as it has been a constant struggle to maintain my annual income as regulations changed with with dot and company so now out otr almost 3 months and running e log in reefer division e logs have one pro it does all the log work for you when it’s working cons to to many but biggest I’m making very little money running my but off maxing out my drive time and dealing with shippers receivers and brokers that are all very shady and e logs have me to breaking point I have never been so tired behind the wheel and running so excausted by end of day 50 percent of time I park on ramps to avoid over full truck stops because I don’t feel safe parking so tired to easy to misjudge backing half asleep at wheel so to sun it up e logs will cause severe increase in parking and docking accedents and yes government neads to get out trucking safety and leaves Alone job is done company’s supply great we’ll maintained equipment now past 35 years big improvement but they don’t understand our needs for doing a safe job and never will

  5. Its not the ELD device thats the problem. The issue is the hours of service. I understand the 11 hour drive day, but the 14 hour clock the 30 minute break and the 70 hour clock are total BS. An 11 hour drive day that doesn’t refresh until you’ve had 10 hours off duty or sleeper birth, is all thats needed. The 14 will cause drivers to rush and speed. The 70 is pointless, for example, a person can work/drive 8.5 hours a day every day until the end of time and never run his 70 out, and thats fine according to the government. But that same drive runs 9 hours a day and he will have to stop for a 34 hour break because he worked to many hours in 8 days. Its just stupid.

  6. Its not cheating on paper.
    It’s necessary adjustments.
    The ELD is a government revenue machine designed to take money from hard working men and women.

  7. We’re Americans. Tell the government to get the "f" out of my life and let me be a free man.

  8. Lazy drivers and non-drivers called it cheating on paper logs, real truckers realized we at times needed to adjust our logs to accommodate others we are required to deal with unprofessional work behavior. I’m trading my time at home with my family for the opportunity to make an excellent wage for my education level. For me that’s 500 – 600 paid miles for every day I spend away from home. I think believe that is a reasonable expectation. I’ve been in this business since 1990 please allow me to work for my family.

  9. All I hear about is cheating on log books……and yet nobody can explain to me exactly who it is that is being cheated. Unless someone has been cheated, it’s not cheating…. adjusting a log book is like cutting 2 inches off one end of a board and adding 2 inches on the other end…or 2 hours off one part of ‘on duty’ and adding 2 hours on another part of the day……It only made it fit….So tell me please,. Who got cheated?

  10. I guess I should explain my analogy to some of these highly educated government officials……a 10 foot board with 2 inches cut off one end and 2 inches added on the other end still add up to a 10 foot board……. nothing was lost, just adjusted to fit where it was needed. Like a typical day. 11 hours is 11 hours, however it is divided to fit the job.

  11. Once again, the difference between paper logs and ELD is the flexibility. Countless letters to FMCSA to bring back the (pre)2003 regs that were in place for ever! Main part is off-duty/ sleeper stops the clock. 8hrs is enough off duty time between shifts. We need to make this a simple and manageable industry again. Too much IRS like rules and regulations. Most enforcement officers don’t even understand what they are enforcing. Cheating on logs isn’t the proper way of stating this, should be stated as adjusting the need. For as much sitting time a driver does for zero pay, it should be the least the rule makers can do to keep these folks rolling and earning. If only they could experience the feeling of not getting paid while waiting on other to do their jobs! Hypocrisy, that is what this is.

    1. OR make it a two line log book! Your either off duty or on duty. Work up to 14hrs a day, once that mark it achieved, shut down for 10. No body needs to be mandated to take breaks, no maximum hours per day. After your 5th day or 70hrs you do a reset. Easy to manage and easier to enforce.

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