Let’s back up a few days. Wednesday, June 24th; I had a load that picked up and delivered in Mobile. I didn’t arrive until sometime after Midnight on Thursday. After getting unloaded, I felt sleepy. So instead of potentially endangering myself and anyone else on the road I took a nap.
When I woke up I still had time left on my 11/14 so I started driving back home. This should be considered “Personal Conveyance” even though I was dispatched on a load, my trailer was empty and it was going to be several hours before I drove to the shipper and picked up my load. I was not at this point so I drove my clock out on my way home and the qualcomm started squalking at me saying that I had violated hours of service. That’s fine.
I called the Log Department (Safety) at my company and I asked the clerk that answered if my log could be changed to Off-Duty Driving. Figuring it would be no problem because my trailer was empty and I was enroute HOME (safe parking spot where I park the truck everyday). The clerk that I got on the phone this time was not helpful as the others time and time again when I was in this same situation. She told me that Off-Duty Driving could not be used because it would be falsifying my logs. Not exactly, since the Off-Duty Driving rules are [sic] one of the fuzziest topics and it’s left up to interpretation even if it is misinterpretation by people who don’t know any better.
If my log stayed like it was (which it did), I would have a log violation and I could still be fined if DOT or a Highway Patrol officer requests my logs, it goes back 8 days. I told the clerk, “Fine, I’ve had clean logs this long, I’ll just have a log violation. I hope you’re happy.” Before she could finish her sentence, I hung up on her. Pissed off as I was, but that was the end of it. I was gonna eat the violation.
Thursday evening when I returned to the truck, I quickly learned that the log clerk disabled Off-Duty Driving. That ate at me for the longest after knowing about it. I sent a freeform message back in the sum of (paraphrasing), “If Off-Duty Driving was disable automatically due to a planned load, that’s fine. If it was disabled manually, I have a few choice words. If I need any help with anything log related, I choose to speak to someone else, you are fired as my log clerk.”
It was after day-shift left yesterday and I didn’t hear anything from anyone afterwards. This morning after I delivered Thursday night’s load and drove home, I was in a hurry to get home and forgot to place myself on Off-Duty. My dispatcher rang me about an hour and a half after I was already home and trying to go to sleep to tell me that I did. I hadn’t approved my logs yet, so I said I’d change them to Off-Duty when I got back to the truck.
A couple hours later, the Safety Director called about the message I sent. He said he was just coming in the side of this issue and he asked me if I used Off-Duty Driving after calling and talking to the clerk yesterday. I said no. Drivers can not edit line 3 after it had been logged. I was already parked so why would I? I called to ask if it could be updated on her end. She intimately declined so I left it at that.
The Safety Director thought I misused Off-Duty Driving after being told not to. Um, in all honesty, no. How could I? The truck was parked for a little over 10 hours and when I returned, that option was disabled.
He asked me if I was going to misuse Off-Duty Driving and I replied, “No.” He said that that it would be reenabled as long as I don’t.
As of Saturday, June 27th, Off-Duty Driving has not been reenabled on my Qualcomm. The Safety Directory lied to me over the phone when he said he’d turn it back on. I don’t like to be lied to and this is the second time I’ve caught someone in a lie at SRT.
Other than that, good news on my Comdata fuel card. I haven’t wrote about this since it started but this will get you up to date.
Back about 3 months ago, I don’t know what changed about my fuel card but everytime I needed to fuel, no matter where I fueled, my card was declined (Invalid Card) and I had to contact the Fuel Department every time. Come to find out, just the fuel part of my card was mysteriously turning off every day. If Dispatch turned off the card, it would be the whole card, fuel, advances, purchases, everything.
I talked to the Fuel Department, I’ve talked to Dispatch, I even called Comdata this morning after being advised by someone in fuel, “Maybe I needed to call Comdata, the number on the back of the card.” Everybody was blaming everybody. The Fuel Department said they don’t turn our fuel cards off. Dispatch was blaming fuel, saying it was a problem with fuel. Then the Fuel Department would blame Comdata. Then Dispatch said that several drivers was having the problem and “they were looking into it.” When I called Comdata, they were a big help. Not! The agent asked for my Comdata card number and my employee identification number. I gave it to her and she said that my Fuel Department would have to get in touch with the Account Representative for Comdata because of “security reasons” she couldn’t do anything.
Needless to say, regardless of the call to Comdata this morning or not, I was able to use the card with no problem. If the Account Rep was looking into the problem, the person must had been using snail mail for it to take almost 3 months. Fuel thought I was joking when the problem started.
We’ll see how long my fuel card works this time.