Wednesday, September 2, 2015

‘Don’t quit when you’re tired. Quit when you’re done!’

Today I got a copy of a Qualcomm message sent out to a trucking fleet. In signing off of the message, the company representative included a well-used sports motivational quote: “Don’t quit when you’re tired. Quit when you’re done!”

I knew the phrase well, but it didn’t stop my jaw from dropping. I grew up playing sports, went to college on a basketball scholarship. My kids are all driven. Sports motivational sayings are a common occurrence on the fridge or bathroom mirror around our house.

Give it all you’ve got. And then do it again.

Leave it all on the field.

Bust your a@# to beat theirs.

Winners never quit and quitters never win.

There are a million of them, and it’s hard to have not heard at least some incarnation of a sports motivational quote applied to “regular” life. Be it your job, your relationships, your …

Sports imitate life. Until they don’t.


Trucking is not a game. It is one thing to be finishing up a practice or workout, thinking you’re drained, that there is no gas left in the tank, and finding the energy for one more push-up, one more sprint, one more… That’s finding strength and character.

Being behind the wheel of a truck and worn slap out, pushing for one more mile, one more stop. There’s no strength or character in that. It’s irresponsible. And to suggest anything but taking care of yourself and getting off the road is reckless.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, after the initial message went out, the company followed up with another one. It said the quote was out of context and reiterated the point of the initial message was to encourage drivers to use all available hours.

In the meantime, I reached out to the company and got the same basic explanation back via email. That email to LL was quickly followed up by another Qualcomm message to drivers. In that one, the company apologized for the quote and told drivers to listen to their bodies and “we never want to put the motoring public in danger.”

Later in the day, I also got a called from another executive with the company who wanted to emphasize that it is a safety first company and that the company is embarrassed the message went out to their drivers.

I get it. They are sorry. They wish it had never gone out. Maybe in the end, safety and smart driver decisions related to their own fatigue will be respected.

The problem is that while I’m using one line from one Qualcomm message from one company as an example here, there is a pervasive mindset among fleet executives throughout the industry that hours of service are to be maximized.

We hear all the time about productivity gains; that’s PR code for drivers working more hours.

Punching numbers on a calculator, figuring and ciphering miles against available hours takes the driver out of the end equation. The driver who is responsible for getting him or herself safely to the destination with that fleet’s freight intact.

Real world happens in the cab of that truck. That’s where the bottom line really is.

The industry fleet execs can preach that driver treatment is important and that it needs to improve. But until they quit formulating company policy off of number crunching and motivational posters meant to help you achieve those ripped biceps, it’s going to be up to every driver – just like every athlete – to know when to say enough is enough. I’m done for the day. That’s the only way you ultimately survive one day so you can live another day.

13 comments:

  1. Executives forget that there are PEOPLE in those trucks. I am 2085, not a person. The truck d I es not get tired, or sick, or frudtrated, etc, I DO!! It was better when most executives were former drivers, they had some idea of the life we live.

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  2. Sounds like driver harassment. The ruling of the court says that musn't happen but harassment is inherent to the system. When EOBRs are mandated, safety will suffer and crash rates per MM miles WILL go up. Write it on a rock.

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  3. THE REASON COMPANIES SAY " DON'T STOP UNTIL YOU ARE DONE:" IS BECAUSE SOME DRIVERS CAN NOT DRIVE MORE THAN TWO YES TWO 2 HOURS AND NEED A TEN HOUR BREAK. BECAUSE THEY ARE TIRED !!!!!! (OR LAZY) I INTERVIEW DRIVERS TO DRIVE FOR ME AND I ASK THEM CAN THEY DO A 4.5 HOUR ROUND TRIP A DAY FOR FIVE DAYS THE REPLY IS H$$% NO!!! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME. (EQUALS 9 HOURS A DAY)

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  4. Had a couple want to know if they could lease on to my company. Told them to print the employee packet out of the ETA manual from the fmcsa, fill it out and email it to me.

    Never showed up.

    People are lazy and don't want to take responsibility for their actions. Drivers and execs.

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  5. The use of modern technology to track every truck is one thing! That technology can't tell the DM in a cubicle behind a computer screen, 1) What kind of weather is that truck running in?, 2) What kind of traffic in on that road, and how fast are they moving? 3) How much construction is in the lane they are in? Just because we have better highways than the old days, doesn't mean we can make any better time that we did on the old 2 lanes! The population has grown 1.5 times in the last 50 years and there are far too many people with nothing to do and all day to do it, so they go for a ride! There are the RV's who almost without question are running 10-15 mph below the posted speed. When they can be passed by a truck limited to 63, in a 70-75 mph zone, they should be cited for obstruction!

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  6. If your company sends you messages like this photograph them with your phone. Transfer them to a computer with an optical disc drive. When you think enough is enough burn the photos on a cd and mail them with an explanation to the top state police official in your state of domicile. Be sure to include contact info for your fleet manager and load planner.

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  7. Oh young Jami ye have done it agin. Keep on Stirring the Pot.

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  8. Drivers have been harassed since before they started putting air in tires. The only thing ELDs do is limit it to legal HOS. LL continues to advocate for the past even as the readers see the advantage of the ELD.

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  9. Running out your entire clock works fine in the office, but in the real world, truck stops do not always happen to be exactly 11 hours from where you start. When I have 1.5 hours remaining, I start looking. Sometimes I know there is a truck stop 60 miles away, but depending on the time of day, weather and location, there may no be any parking. After that, it could be 45 minutes to the next t stop. Your best option would be to find a parking spot asap.

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  10. the facts continue to come out.... solutions continue to be heard. then nothing changes... until this band of broken brothers called TRUCKERS stand as one there will never be a change

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  11. The above screen shots came from Tango Transport LLC, in Shreveport LA, 71129. Their MC# is 244325. Tango shows 842 drivers and is a proud member of the America Trucking Association. (ATA). Tango also takes pride in themselves for having electronic logs, and speed limiters to make our public safer. I took it upon myself to do some research since their information is made public on www.safersys.org just to see how safe they are, because now I have conflicting information. I have information from Tango Transport right from their website and the above article from OOIDA.

    “Tango Transport is recognized by communities for its contributions, honored by business groups for its success and serves as a model to follow by its associates and competitors alike. It is a remarkable institution for not only achieving so much with so little, but also by doing it while defying so many rules of the current business climate.”
    “This commitment to integrity has led the company to not only impressive growth, but also life-long employee, driver and customer relationships.”

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    Replies
    1. Comment continued....

      I found Tango Transport has a 44% out of 65% Unsafe Driving Score. Out of the Unsafe Driving violations 49% are speeding, some in construction zones; 18% are lane violations; and 16% are failure to obey a traffic control device. A Vehicle Maintenance percentage of 68% out of 80%, and Driver Fitness having a DOT Alert since their percentage is over the threshold, and stands at 95% of 80%.

      Just by this alone I was blown away, and can’t understand how Tango can say they are a safe carrier; however still giving them the benefit of the doubt I decided to look at the crash reports. I found amazing statistics further supporting my fear ATA carriers may not be the safest carriers in our industry. In the percentages I only took the numbers of yes for citations, and didn’t include the unknowns; however I did include all in the total number of crashes to divide the citations against. For the year of 2013, 38% of their drivers were cited for the accident. Indicating the driver was at fault. In 2014 26% of crashes their drivers were cited. The data available from www.safersys.org is only until July of 2015. In 2015 Tango Transport already has 29% of the crashes were their driver was cited.
      Way to go Tango Transport for proving a point which has been made over and over again. Speed limiters actually make the roads less safe, along with all the unnecessary mandates put on drivers from the ATA and the carriers affiliated with them. The crash statistics alone are outstanding!!!!! According to the FMCSA, accidents which are the drivers fault are less than 1% of all the nationwide crashes. I’m now wondering how many of those crashes are from carriers who have speed limiters, and electronic logs.

      Speed limiters seem to be helping Tango Transport and other ATA carriers to produce a false sense of security to the public and DOT. It’s not hard to put two and two together, and see combined with the electronic log and management pushing drivers to the max to increase productivity is not a good safety recipe. This is not even an opinion, it’s all facts put together for the bigger picture.

      Remember “Don’t stop when you are tired, stop when you are done.” This coming from the Chief Operating Officer Steve Wooten. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-wooten/21/129/b02 -
      Oh no, wait, just kidding, be safe drivers. The above quote he can say was taken out of context, however we all know that is a lie. Did Mr. Wooten forget he was the Chief Operating Officer of Tango Transport? I think not, he seems to be pretty proud of what he does. Mr. Wooten just didn’t think anyone would get ahold of an in house document so fast.
      Mr. Robert E. Gorman, BJ Gorman, and Chris D. Gorman, the owners of Tango Transport may need to rethink how they run their business. I do not think Tango Transport “serves as a model to follow by its associates and competitors alike. It is a remarkable institution for not only achieving so much with so little, but also by doing it while defying so many rules of the current business climate.” Your company sir, is not the solution, it is the problem.




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    2. Over 2 decades! No speed Limiter. No Elog. Accident Free. Hauled up to 200,000 lbs. And drove Ice roads. Steeper mountains than most. End of Discussion! Have a nice life in your techno babble world! This isn''t trucking! Its a cluster of mind numbing buffoonery!

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