Voices from the Web: Roadcheck means a good time to take a vacation for some drivers

  Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

The upcoming International Roadcheck between June 5-7 has sparked discussion across trucking-related social media.

During the Roadcheck, enforcement authorities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico will be increasing the frequency of their inspections. The exercise is conducted under the auspices of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Association, which includes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Hours of Service is this year’s targeted regulation..

The idea of amped-up inspection rates has many independent owner operators announcing plans to take a vacation during the Roadcheck window. Plenty of others sounded off through social media challenges about ELD requirements and HOS regulations, the Roadcheck’s area of focus this year. 

Here are a few excerpts of what we found. (Some spelling and grammar has been altered to make it an easier read). 

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Chad Boblett, administrator and founder of the Rate per Mile Masters group on Facebook:

The spot market paradise owner operator appreciation week starts Monday night. Why is this such a great event for those that run the spot market?

1. Most of us are not under any contract, so we get to take this DOT mess with a trucker day off. ( Personally, I am on ELD I don't have time messing around like this. I often tell brokers that I will deliver on time or its free. Kinda hard to honor that service with this inspecting going on.)

2. The best part of all comes Friday of next week rates will be crazy high and will last most of the next week after the road check. Happens every year. Brokers always hold out as the pressure builds and anger starts to take place in unbelievable rage on the phone with negotiating with carriers. This is the time you get to name your rate and win big, but those significant rates don't start happening until the end of the blitz.

Facebook respondent 1 : All the people that like to push prices to ridiculous highs: Do you not understand the repercussions, such as higher prices in the stores, the freight that was going by truck going by rail and new ways to reduce all long haul lanes?

Facebook respondent 2: These points are not valid. Higher prices in the stores happen whether freight rates go up or not. Most incorrect is your assumption that the railroad can pick up extra volume. Railroads are designed to be a large quantity bulk material transporter. In this modern just-in-time, low inventory economic model, the railroad can not deliver. Further, if you've ever delivered to a grocery warehouse, you will quickly realize there is no new business practices on the horizon.

Facebook respondent 3: I'll be sitting home from Monday afternoon till Friday am, then post my truck and see what happens.

Boblett to Facebook respondent 1: The spot market rates are based on supply and demand. Your statement does not make any sense. As a carrier, I am providing a service for whoever needs me the most.

Facebook respondent 2: I have it on good authority that Ohio's DOT treats these 3 days as any other 3 days of the year... Still, I'm going fishing just in case??

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Several people sounded off in the comments section of the FreightWaves Facebook post about Roadcheck:

Facebook respondent 1: The main problem is the driving schools and the big companies that have their own schools. That's where the problem is. Back in early 70s we didn't have that problem because back then everybody was careful and didn't have all these accidents that we are having now-a-days with big trucks. Now nobody cares, and we didn't ran any logs either because we could handle it.

Facebook respondent 2: Next week is vacation for truck drivers week.

Facebook respondent 3: Won't change a thing. The maniacs will still be driving like maniacs.

Facebook respondent 4: I’m taking 2 weeks off and going racing. Y’all have fun.

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The always active r/Truckers subReddit on Reddit had lots of comments. Under the discussion entitled "Get ready folks: Annual Roadcheck inspection spree June 5th - 7th, to focus on hours violations," there was active chatter. 

LoneCowboy: Luckily, just by happenstance, I decided to take that week off, do some work around the house, get cars taken care of, etc. I mean, imagine that, who would guess that I would take that exact week off. /sarcasm

Dispatcher: One of my guys drives a 99 Pete and he is more than happy to go fishing that week. We aren't looking to rock the boat with these men in blue.

LoneCowboy (again): First year I had my trucks, I got whacked. Like 4 portables in a year. (The first one was ugly, but i'm a quick learner). Since then, maybe one. (I mean total in like 10 years). But i learned pretty quick to try not to work that week. When I had my own trucks I would just take it off and if not, i'd never take any extra work on company time. Who needs it? You might do the best pre-trip in the world. But if they want to find something, they are going to find something.

JustinTime4242: Remember to do thorough pre and post trips! They will be itching to write tickets. Just because they are focusing on ELD’s doesn’t mean they won’t be looking for any little thing to ticket you for.

BeardedTrucker:  I really hope that my child is born on the first week of June. So I can be at home during this mess. Lol

dartmorth: So that's why people have children to get out of stuff they don't want to deal with. Good to know

BeardedTrucker: Haha. Looks like I'm just getting lucky with when he's born. Even if he isn't due then I'm taking those days off.

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While not as active as Facebook, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Twitter announcement about the roadblock was met with some backlash.

@WhaplesE responded: I'll be parked on those days so the criminals enforcing the dangerous ELDs and HOS rules won't be messing with me.

@matt_criswell responded: You mean you already schooled DOT officers in the ELDs function and performance, but yet when I got inspection, officer asked me to show him how it works. I laughed and kindly said no.

@Marc49931740 responded: My ELD loses Bluetooth connection then says to use paper logs, but I am so glad for ELD and paper logs because I love driving tired and in rush hour traffic. We are robots. The only way to make it safer is to remove both and let us be human.