Wow there is a lot of misinformation on this thread some just people not knowing about the industry and others just flat out telling tall tales or spouting hate because Walmart wronged them some how. There is no comparison between the trucking side of walmart and the retail side people other than the fact the trucks bring the freight for the retail to sale.
I've been driving a truck in the US for almost 4 years now. I don't drive for Walmart but I do drive for another large company and drove for a smaller one. Theres still a lot of stuff to learn about the process but I've worked enough to help clear up some things. I don't hold any love for Walmart I hate their processes at their distribution centers, and by no means am I in love with this job choice but it does pay nicely. In fact I am just doing it to pay off some student loans and save up enough money to finish my degree.
Sorry if any of what I type comes off snippy not trying to sound angry or argumentive, but one I'm about to go to sleep and two I'm on pain meds after having my wisdom teeth pulled. Yay pain pills!
I also can't blame Tracy Morgan for wanting to sue but I do believe he is only suing walmart because the person he should be going after, the driver, doesn't offer as much in monetary rewards. My belief its the driver's fault. He is in charge of his own actions.
Sorry ahead of time for any text wall and misspells I can't be bothered to spell check right now. Separating the quotes is already taking my concentration...Soooo with out further delay lets dive in and see if I can do this with as little panty twisting as possible.
From what I've read, I think the blame mostly belongs on the driver. It sounds like he had been up for a long time before even going into work, which is a case of him acting irresponsibly. He wasn't even maxed out on his daily hours, though he was close. So, personally, I think the majority of the blame is on the driver, and he should face prosecution.
Yes it does because in the trucking business in the OTR (Over The Road)divisions, ie the trucks with sleeper births like this truck, the driver is the one who is ultimately responsible for the truck and his/her schedule. Will the company try to push you to do a load if you don't have the hours or are not feeling well? Yes, but they can't force you they can threaten your job but there is such a demand for OTR truckers that if you keep your MVR, DAC and CSA scores clean then you can get hired anywhere damn near instantly. The driver is in the truck not the dispatchers that have their own quotas and numbers to keep up so they try to pressure drivers. If a driver who is ill or doesn't have the hours is pressured into taking unsafe acts by his dispatcher or the operations manager, the first to blame is the one who pressured him but in the end they are not behind the wheel they are behind a computer screen. So it is up to the driver to ultimately say he isn't taking an unsafe load and to call his safety department to tell them the dispatch is trying to make him do unsafe actions. Trust me safety departments don't answer to the operations department the ops answers to the safety because the safety department is watching the company's CSA score which if too high because of accidents etc the trucking company will get shut down by DOT. In the major trucking companies there is a saying the driver is the "Captain of their Ship" they not the company have final say in the operation of their rig when safety is an issue, albeit with exceptions to just plain laziness on a driver who just doesn't want to work that day.
That being said, Wal-Mart does have a responsibility to ensure that they employees can actually do their jobs. They do hold some culpability in this case. Someone should have sent him home if he had already been awake for the better part of a day before coming in to work.
Yes they do and Walmart is actually one of the better trucking companies to work for in the US and there is only so much a company can do during the interview process. They test them on safety procedures during orientation and make the driver do a road test and medical screenings but they have little control if the driver decides to take unsafe actions on the road such as not manage his hours properly and skip sleep, or not eat healthy. Also they can't just send the driver home if he hasn't slept because that trucker was OTR (Over the Road) so technically he was hauling his home with him already. OTR truckers live in those trucks while they are away from home.
Plus the company doesn't know how the driver spent his break all the company can do is see on his logs that they were offduty or in the sleeper berth for a minimum of 10 hours. Its up to the driver to get the needed sleep.
If they can prove Walmart was aware of the driver's lack of sleep (which they should be able to do with a simple subpoena), then more power to them. IIRC a truck drive in the US is not legally allowed to drive more than 15 hours every 24 hours.
Actually a subpoena might not show the company knew anything worth taking to court. Walmart like a lot of the big US trucking companies, and almost everyone now due to recent legislation, use electronic logs. The driver can easily just fill out the proper hours and be compliant but never get sleep and the company won't know.
As for the hours a trucker can drive there are four main rules that have to be followed and that the electronic logs and paper logs keep track of when done right. There is the 10, 11, 14 and 70 hour rules. The 11 hour rule is basically the driver after driving 11 hours whether consecutive or spread out once he reaches 11 hours MUST take an uninterrupted 10 hour break. The 14 hour rule states that once the driver starts their clock for the day 14 hours later they can't DRIVE again until they take an uninterrupted 10 hour break even if they have hours on their 11 left, but they can still work. As for the 70 hour rule, a driver can not DRIVE after working more than 70 hours in a consecutive rolling 8 day period that includes driving and just regular on duty time. They can reset their 70 hour clock by taking a consecutive 34 hour break with two periods from 1am to 5am. Also a driver once he starts driving can't drive 11 consecutive hours because of a new 8 hour rule that says a driver must take a 30min break after 8 hours of being on duty. So a driver following the rules can't legally drive more than 13.5 hours I believe.
As for logging there are 4 statuses a driver can have. OFF DUTY meaning the driver is free from his work and responsibility and can do whatever he wants as long as it won't impact his driving when he returns to work. Then there is SLEEPER BERTH meaning a driver is inside the sleeper of their truck. both of these do not count towards the previous clocks other than to reset them if 10 hours or 34 hours are taken. Then their is DRIVING..self explanatory will start the above clock timers and is only in this status when the driver is behind the wheel. Then finally ON DUTY this covers anything else the driver does for the company and will start the above timers also. On duty time is the main status that is abused when logging. Damn near every driver doesn't log everything they are suppose to as on duty instead they will log it as sleeper or off duty for reasons that sitting in your truck being unloaded is suppose to be on duty but you might be sleeping while they do it so you are fresh to go when they are done taking the usually minimum 2 hours to unload you for a dry van truck.
It's like nothing is more important than getting a truck load of material objects to a destination on time. Not even a human beings life.
Not true you'll see that mainly among smaller companies but larger companies have safety departments that don't answer to the operations. they are there to make sure the company can keep freight moving by keeping the CSA score of the company and drivers low. If they don't the DOT will shut the company down, and no trucking company not even Walmart could afford that. Also most Walmarts I deliver to have signs even my company has signs and they tell you every day that "nothing we do is worth injuring or killing someone over" bottom line deliveries can be rescheduled and its up to the driver to know if he can safely and legally deliver the load with the time given and if he can't he should decline it. Most delivers out there have windows and lots of those especially at walmarts are 24 hours from the appointment time.
Question: Shouldn't he be suing just the driver or the driver as well? It was the driver's job to made sure he/she was awake and able to properly drive the vehicle.
100 percent correct here. The driver should also be facing at minimum manslaughter charges.
I've talked to several Walmart drives while I was working for the company. Drivers are regularly asked to keep two sets of driver logs so they can drive over their set hours. I doubt the court will find Walmart guilty as they have spent alot of resources creating a level of deniablity between their illegal demands and whats written on paper.
Absolutely false, you must be talking to disgruntled employees. First off Walmart uses electronic logs and only keeps paper for back up if the computer goes down. Second no driver in their right mind would keep two logs, because as a commercial driver your truck is always subject to search by a DOT official (state troopers) and if they find you're running two logs its the driver who will not only receive a HEFTY fine, thousands of dollars, but also face jail time and loss of their job. No driver would risk their lively hood for that. Getting a job out here with a safe driving record is as easy as getting wet after diving into a lake.
Are their companies that will tell drivers to do that? Yes but a big company won't risk it. Most of those stories are from drivers who have horrible dispatchers who are trying to watch THEIR numbers and ontime completions which effect their bonuses.
Usually this is done by saying "you don't have to work the extra time but if you don't we'll cut your hours to nothing" I witnessed alot of this working for them and majorly contributed to me finding a new line of work.
That might be true in their stores maybe but on the trucking side they wouldn't even think of that because Walmart is one of the better trucking companies to work for. Most of their drivers have the lowest CSA scores and largest amount of accident free miles. Walmart also is near the top of pay for truckers. Plus Drivers don't care about their hours being cut they are worried about their miles. OTR drivers such as the one in the accident get paid by the mile hours mean nothing to their checks other than time to drive but all loads are dispatched by miles. And if the company cuts their miles they cut the amount of freight they can move. They have to pay for the cost of keeping the truck out there and the driver and the freight not moving and possible loss of accounts. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. So sorry I have to disagree here entirely.
Everyone knows Walmart pushes its employees to their very limit on low pay to cut corners.
Walmart and every other company out there.
If anyone is to blame.. it's the driver. I mean he should have had better judgement. If you suspect you are too out of it to safely do your job... then take a day. The worst that could happen in that scenario is you lose your job ... in this case he's already lost his job so in the end it was poor judgement on his part.
Every company may mistreat their workers to some extent, but WalMart goes above and beyond in that regard. This is the company that was revealed to be cooking the books so they didn't have to pay their employees a fair wage or give them benefits owed to full time workers. This is a company where "you're a woman and you're black" is seen as a justified reason for not promoting somebody. This is the company that fires workers for gathering in groups during breaks. This is the company that, rather than pay their workers a livable salary, asked customers to donate food for them.
And blaming the drive is easy without any proper perspective. I would not be surprised if WalMart makes him drive shifts that are too long or too frequent.
"The worst that can happen in that scenario is you lose your job". Yeah, so what if his kids starve? He can always have more.
Now, did WalMart force him to work long shifts? Was he working the job to support a family that had no other income?
Maybe, maybe not, but its probable enough to not dismiss it outright as "he should know better".
He should have known better. He is ultimately responsible for that truck. He spent his breaks not sleeping like he needed to. I've already went over the pay and ease of getting a job as a trucker and the hours and rules of driving so peek up higher if you disagree.
Sorry, I'm not calling anybody al a liar but 24 hours without sleep doesn't impair you that badly. 3 or 4 days fucks you up but 2?
I know it's akin to drinking alchol 'cos youre reactions are so slowed but how fast is this trolley tractor going? Not saying the article is wrong but I think it's more to do with the tractor than the lack of sleep.
Seems like the same argument people say when they say they drive better drunk. From their perspective they feel good and like they aren't effected by it. But your decisions and response time are noticeably lessened.
Also I take it you get up and move around and are not locked in a truck for hours at a stretch seeing nothing but the road infront of you and the hum of the engine. Also when one is sleep deprived enough they will start to micro sleep where they just start drifting off and don't realize. Your eyes are still open and but you start to have intervals sometimes up to 10 seconds on average where your mind is just wandering. Its different from day dreaming because you don't remember anything, but there are plenty of information on the internet about it with a simple search.
Had he done this on some interstate out west at night he might have gotten away with it and never knew how bad it could have been. But he was in New Jersey on the Turn pike and you have to be alert when you're anywhere near there because those people driving around you absolutely have to be somewhere and they had to be there yesterday.