Friday, April 17, 2009

Now this is worrisome

The comments have been rolling in regarding that crazy fatigue checklist used by DOT in Minnesota and Indiana. OOIDA member Bob “Cowpoke” Martin had a couple of interesting thoughts.

The “intention” behind the so-called fatigue checklist is to provide clues as to whether truckers are actually sleeping when they are supposed to be sleeping. If they are not, then of course they are fatigued and should be placed out of service. After rolling the goofy checklist around in his head, it’s made Bob apprehensive on behalf of a few trucking friends, fellow OOIDA member and Land Line columnist Diesel Dave being one of them.

What if Dave Sweetman rolled into one of these scales and got nailed for a “voluntary” survey?

Bob’s getting nervous. He imagines the DOT asking Dave if he is drinking coffee? Cowpoke knows Sweetman’s response might be, “no, but if you would like to come in I’ll fire up the cappuccino machine and make us a half-caff latte with a sprinkle of nutmeg and extra foam.” I have to agree with Bob here. A cappuccino machine could appear to be contrary to good sleep habits.

You know, the more I think about it, Dave does have even more habits that are bound to be suspicious behavior in any DOT officer’s eyes. It makes you wonder how much sleep the guy does get. He writes a column for Land Line and, well, when does he do that? I hope it’s not when he’s supposed to be sleeping.

Bob’s anxious over how Dave would explain away a 42-inch plasma TV, bookcase full of DVDs and VHS tapes – and, yes, some are likely not PG-13. What about those Rolling Stone magazines and those Land Lines? And what about that open laptop? I’ll wager Dave’s computer is frequently open and if he’s not writing columns, you KNOW he’s online.

There’s more. Bob’s concerned that Dave’s four-slice toaster might not pass the fatigue checklist.

“Expecting company, boy?”

And Bob is particularly apprehensive about the truck cops finding out about Dave’s rubber ducks in the shower.

This could get ugly.

But Dave does have the full wastebasket question covered. No checkmark there. There’s no trash in his truck. Dave has a trash compactor. Then again, Bob says someone better look up trash compactors in the FMSCA rule book. Might be contraband.