Sunday, November 22, 2009

we take for granted how merchandise gets to the stores...


This story for me is a little bit closer to home because until a few days ago, I was driving one of these big rig's for this company.

Edward A. French, 45, of Long Beach, Calif., was pronounced dead at the scene after losing control of his rig and crashing into a caretaker's house at a rest stop.

"Fortunately, one of the subjects could see the trailer coming and told everybody in the backyard to run," said DPS Officer Roger Hansen

Several people suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were airlifted to the hospital.

Investigators said it doesn't appear as though the driver fell asleep at the wheel however, he may have had a medical episode like a heart attack or stroke. Final determination is still under investigation.

it's a hard life being out on the road driving a truck. Drivers are pushed to the limit to make sometimes unreasonable deadlines and try to stay in compliance with DOT regulations which can weigh heavy fines on both the driver and the company if the hours of service HOS are violated.

For those that are unfamiliar with the hours of service laws, a driver may not drive any longer than 11 hours in a 14 hour day. The driver is required to take a 10 hour break to restart the 14 hour clock. No driver may be on duty more than 70 hours in one week without taking 34 hours off to reset the 70 hour clock.

So sometimes, just like the lawsuit a long time ago with Domino's pizza, you remember the advert that "if it's not there within 30 minutes, it's free" well, the driver pays for that pizza. In the case of dominoes, one driver got into an accident and sued Domino's for being placed under such pressure to make the delivery on time that he got careless and got into an accident.

The same goes for the trucking industry, except that if you violate the rules it becomes very expensive.

Did you ever wonder why some time you will see a truck parked near a offramp? Chances are, he ran out of hours for the day and was forced to pull over and stop, despite the fact that there may be a rest area or truck stop 30 minutes away, he faces heavy fines if he continues to drive.

I know we all take it for granted, I am just as guilty. Truckers especially starting out, spend weeks away from their family, make very little money (I was making $.30 a mile... not very much when you consider the time involved) and are under a lot of stress to stay within compliance and to make the delivery on time, in addition to the stress that is involved anyways when driving a 70 foot vehicle in heavy traffic.

So next time you go to the store, pause for a moment and give some thought of just how the merchandise got to the store, and think about the men and women that brought it there.


Blogger Daniel said...

Most sheeple have no idea how things happen or where the products they buy come from.

I'm one of those crazy survivalist types who likes to ask "what would you do if there was no food on the shelf at the grocery store?"

A majority of the population would go "uuuhhhhhh."

5:50 PM  
Blogger OregonGuy said...

Great post. Best wishes to you and yours for a appreciative Happy Thanksgiving.

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