HOS changes make tank cleaning delays more costly
Jun 1, 2004 12:00 PM
WITH THE changes in driver hours of service, delays at the wash rack now have a greater impact on tank fleet efficiency. Every minute a driver sits at a wash rack costs him and his company revenue.
Ray Riley, Miller Transporters, brought that message to the 2004 Tank Cleaning Council Seminar, which was held April 12 and 13 in Nashville, Tennessee. He stressed the need for wash rack operators to do everything they can to ensure that drivers aren't forced to waste time while the clock is running.
Riley pointed out that under the new hours-of-service rules, the clock keeps running once it starts. Drivers now have 14 consecutive hours (10 hours of which is driving time) for a work day. Time spent at a wash rack is lost time for the driver.
“When a driver is waiting on a trailer, he should be given priority over other drivers who are taking a 10-hour rest break,” Riley said. “In addition, drivers and the fleets they work for need a more realistic estimate of how long it will take to clean a tank.
“Wash racks must make a more concerted effort to ensure that tank trailers leave the facility ready to load. That means clean, dry, and odor-free. All of the equipment on the trailer that comes in contact with the product must be clean. When a tank is rejected by the customer, the carrier and the driver lose money.”
More accurate communication between wash racks and the drivers and fleets is essential. “As carriers, we need to know what we are doing that causes delays at tank cleaning facilities,” he said. “How can we work better together to control downtime for the driver and the trailer?”
Wash rack managers in the audience suggested that cleaning delays could be minimized if they knew ahead of time when a trailer would arrive at the wash rack. They also would need to know the product that was transported last.
Some of the wash rack managers noted that heel processing and disposal can delay tank cleaning. Wash racks must get heel disposal authorization from the fleet, and that sometimes takes hours.
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