Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road. That may very well be the most obvious statement ever written, so I think we should delve into it a little more. Have you ever wondered exactly how many hours a trucker spends driving in a day? A week? A month? How about what it's like to spend your days behind the wheel of a semi truck? Well, we just so happen to know how to answer those questions!
Bay and Bay is one of the premier trucking companies in Minnesota and has been employing truck drivers for 72 years. Over the decades our industry has seen many changes in the rules and regulations surrounding the amount of time drivers are allowed to spend on the road. The current regulations are handled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. Truck drivers are allowed to drive for up to 11 hours in a 14 hour period, which must be followed by a period of rest of at least 10 hours. Drivers also cannot drive for more than 70 hours in eight consecutive days.
Truckers are required to keep a continuous logbook record of all their driving and rest periods in order to verify this information with employers and safety officials. Some trucks are equipped with electronic on-board recorders that automatically keep track of when the truck is in motion, stopped, the speed of the truck, and other various types of information. FMCSA is currently considering making these electronic recorders mandatory on all semis.
As for what it’s like to be a trucker - it's essentially however and whatever an individual makes of it. With that much time on your hands while traveling the country there are many things you can do to fill your days. Some truckers listen to audio books for entertainment, others tune into talk radio or sports broadcasts, while a few use the time to just philosophize on life's big questions. Not all drivers are solitary though. Some companies and independent drivers use a team driver concept which allows two drivers to take turns at the wheel. Teams can drive a semi further in a given day and complete long-haul runs in less time than a single driver. It is also not uncommon for drivers to have a pet in the truck with them, depending on the company they work for. Truck driving may seem like a monotonous life but the truth is that it is whatever the truck driver or drivers make of it. There are many ways to live a life on the road, and year after year we benefit from the services of these drivers and companies as they just keep on truckin'.