Tuesday, August 18, 2015

More on Joseph the unclear

This is Joseph.

As a follow-up to this post, there is a guest post on Mathbabe pointing out how painful the new technology of monitoring is.  Consider:
A huge issue right now is surveillance. Inward-facing cameras that keep a constant watch on the driver may soon become the norm. Swift Transportation (the largest carrier in the U.S.) began installing them in all its company-owned trucks a few months ago.
Most OTR drivers are allowed to drive up to eleven hours per work shift and seventy hours every eight days. Their actual driving hours frequently reach these limits. That’s a lot of time to be in front of a running camera, never knowing for sure who might be watching you.
And also this piece:
Most OTR drivers are paid by the mile—the more miles they drive, the more money they make. This provides a strong incentive to use all eleven driving hours per work shift. With paper logs, if a driver needs to exceed the limit by a few minutes to get to a safe place to sleep (versus stopping after say ten hours, possibly sacrificing some pay), they can. With ELDs this same scenario might force the driver into choosing between (1) sacrificing pay, (2) sacrificing overnight safety by stopping wherever, or (3) recording a logging violation to get to the safe place.
Now you might think that these rules protect drivers but:
The hours-of-service rules never said anything about time of day until a new rule was introduced in 2013 requiring two 1 AM to 5 AM periods in every thirty-four-hour rest break (such breaks reset hours driven to zero). Strong industry resistance caused this rule to be suspended in December 2014.
The reason I am quoting this so extensively is that it makes it perfectly clear where the issue are with the industry.  For example, how much can the in-cab camera improve productivity?  Being constantly watched by camera isn't a fun experience and it's hard to see how it actually increases productivity by enough to make it work the psychological effects.

The driving time rules seem naive in a work with unexpected traffic issues.  One would need to work less than eleven hours to be certain of never being caught in a traffic jam and being unable to reach the next rest stop.  The lack of time of day rules seem to also suggest that the rules are not being designed in the interest of the drivers.

So the question I have is why these things are introduced without any compensating increase in compensation (presuming that these are productivity enhancements).  And if they don't improve productivity then why are they being done?

This is a question I would like to understand better.

No comments:

Post a Comment