Logistics, California Diesel, Truckers, & You

In a couple of other articles, and comments, the point has been raised that there’s a global “Logistics” problem right now with 44 ships stacked up at sea off of California Long Beach and with a big shortage of truckers to offload cargo and move it around the country.

While I don’t think it will “Freeze Up” as some have said, I do think that running slowly and clogged is going to create problems.

Others have pointed out the impacts of Covid Mandates & Restrictions & Lockdowns. Also the way that shutting down Australian coal imports to China stopped a lot of production. Ditto problems just getting crew to work the ships and docks.

I’m going to point out a couple of added bits of Aw Shit that have strongly reduced the available Trucker Fleet as well as bogged up what vehicles and ships can be used, at all, in California.

Simply put, 2 law changes screwed the pooch.

First off, a few years back the law was changed to MANDATE that truckers must have a 10 hour rest period, 8 hours of sleep and 2 hours to “ramp up and ramp down”. Just nuts. When I’m on the road, after 5 to 6 hours I’m ready to go again. Were I a trucker, I’d have to sit around wasting prime “refreshed and awake” time for another 4 to 5 hours because some idiot can’t function without 8 solid and a shower & foot massage.

My normal weekend do nothing at all sleep interval is at most 6 hours. Then I just wake up. I’m done.

Further to the idiocy, I thought I saw a mandate that a chunk of hours must be between 3-5 AM. For me, that’s the ideal running time. Roads are empty and you can get across the L.A. Basin in under 2 days… /snark; Now, EVERY truck is supposed to halt during those hours? I can’t find that reference now, so it may be it was a local thing or a different country.

Crossing the USA, as I’m flying by middle of the night, I see EVERY rest area chock full, trucks up the entrance and exit ramps. Often trucks parked on ramps of whatever place they could find.

You see, the law mandated the stop, but it didn’t provide the places to PUT the trucks. In San Jose, for example. it is illegal to park a big truck anywhere on the street, at your home, or at a truck stop (since they also banned them, too, so we don’t have any). So trucks need to be out and gone before their mandatory HALT hours arrive (by the clock or by the total drive hours) and find a place to do the HALT.

Guess what, halting all the trucks reduces total transport being done, but does not provide more trucks nor more truckers to get the capacity back up. Furthermore, many truckers are paid by the mile or by the hour. Since BOTH are reduced, net pay is not as good as it was before. Some percentage just cash in the chips and retire or find a different job.

Then along comes California and MANDATES you must change your engine for a new one or junk your truck. A WHOLE lot of folks just decide not to go to California (which would be fine, were it not that a LOT of freight for the rest of the country comes through California ports from Asia / China / Pacific).

It all adds up to not enough working truck hours and truckers in California, that then ripples through.

So here’s some links:

H/T/ Another Ian in a series of comments with links on Supply Chain issues. This is just one:


another ian says:
5 October 2021 at 10:34 pm (Edit)
“The US economy is in imminent danger of seizing up solid”

To Sleep, Perhaps to Dream



11-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

14-Hour Limit
May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.

30-Minute Driving Break
Drivers must take a 30-minute break when they have driven for a period of 8 cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. The break may be satisfied by any non-driving period of 30 consecutive minutes (i.e., on-duty not driving, off-duty, sleeper berth, or any combination of these taken consecutively).

60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.

Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers may split their required 10-hour off-duty period, as long as one off-duty period (whether in or out of the sleeper berth) is at least 2 hours long and the other involves at least 7 consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth. All sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 10 hours. When used together, neither time period counts against the maximum 14- hour driving window.

Adverse Driving Conditions
Drivers are allowed to extend the 11-hour maximum driving limit and 14-hour driving window by up to 2 hours when adverse driving conditions are encountered.

Short-Haul Exception
A driver is exempt from the requirements of §395.8 and §395.11 if: the driver operates within a 150 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location, and the driver does not exceed a maximum duty period of 14 hours. Drivers using the short-haul exception in §395.1(e)(1) must report and return to the normal work reporting location within 14 consecutive hours, and stay within a 150 air-mile radius of the work reporting location.

Got that? Nice and clear, eh? What I think it says is you can DRIVE for 11 hours, but if you come on duty and take an hour to load, and have an hour of lunch, and there’s a inspection station where you are not driving for 2 hours but are talking to the inspectors, and then hit 14 hours “on duty” you must stop anyway.

Then 60 in 7 is 8.57 hours / day. Where 70 in 8 days is 8.75 hours. So you get ONE long day in a week, basically, then the rest must be regular shift length.

Then what happens to “folks like me” when I wake up after 6 solid and I’m DONE? I must spend an hour laying in the sleeper watching my watch? Can’t go into the Truck Stop for a donut?

There’s a similar but slightly different (worse) set of these if you are hauling passengers. Here’s the Sleeper Berth requirement for example:

Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours. All sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 10 hours.

So now I’ve got to lay in the berth for 2 hours after I’m fully awake and can not sleep again at all no matter what? If I go get the donut after 6, then I’ve got to do 4 more in the berth to get to 10 total?

No wonder so many trucks and buses are stopped by the side of the freeway all across the nation. No wonder there’s a lot of drivers have just said “I’m done”. Somebody telling me when I MUST sleep even if I’m not able to sleep as I’m fully slept out?

Those who are truly brave can read some of the “Guidance” on all this:

I especially like the guidance about foreign drivers (like from Mexico) needing to account for the past 6 days (say, in Mexico) if they cross into the USA for one day to drop off a load. Yeah, right.

And it keeps mutating:


Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comments.

The FMCSA is proposing to revise its hours-of-service (HOS) regulations to require motor carriers to provide drivers with better opportunities to obtain sleep, and thereby reduce the risk of drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) while drowsy, tired, or fatigued to reduce crashes involving these drivers. This action is necessary because the FMCSA estimates that 755 fatalities and 19,705 injuries occur each year on the Nation’s roads because of drowsy, tired, or fatigued CMV drivers. The regulations proposed in this document would: First, revert to a 24-hour daily cycle, and a 7-day weekly cycle. Second, adjust the work-rest requirements for various types of operations. Third, emphasize rest. Require for long-haul and regional drivers a period of 10 consecutive hours off duty within each 24-hour cycle, and two hours of additional time off in each 14-hour work period within each 24-hour cycle. Fourth, require weekends, or their functional equivalent, to include at a minimum a rest period that includes two consecutive periods from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Fifth, require the use of electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) in CMVs used by drivers in long-haul and regional operations.

So what about folks like me who are natural Night Owls and do not typically sleep until after midnight and rarely get up at 7 AM? (OR, if I do, it is because I woke up at 5 AM and could not sleep anymore…)

The notion that some butthead sitting at a desk in D.C. knows when I must sleep and want’s an ankle monitor telling him I complied would drive me out of trucking. (In fact, is likely preventing me doing my own move. I got started on this by looking at a Box Truck and just driving my own stuff. Cheap enough, and I have a suitable license for a 26,000 lb GVWR: But,… the garbage rules…)

Somewhere I’d thought I saw a prohibition on driving between about 3 AM and 5 AM, but I can’t find it now. So I’m wondering if it was some local area or other country.

Anyway, while I’m sure many truckers appreciate being able to say “I’m going to pull over and sleep for 8” and the boss can’t gripe at me: The specification down to the detail they do is not compatible with the normal sleep patterns of many folks. Me among them.

Then all the logging and tracking involved. Sheesh. I can see why there is a trucker shortage. I’d not want to deal with all that “in my face” stuff.

On to smog compliance.

Here’s a “how to comply” pdf:


This is PART of the TOC (Table Of Contents):

What diesel rules apply to you? 3
Trucks and Buses 4
Truck & Bus Regulation Compliance Options 5
DMV Compliance Verification Begins in 2020 6
Drayage Trucks 7
Transportation Refrigeration Units 8
Tractors & Box-Type Trailers 9
Other Diesel Programs 10
Diesel Particulate Filter Care & Maintenance 11-12

Note that Drayage Trucks are the ones that take stuff from Ships at Docks to other trucks or trains for travel onward. Basically old gear gets scrapped or taken out of service for maintenance / engine replacements.

Note the Refrigeration Units (TRUs). Those are the refrigerators hung on the front of big box trucks carrying things like refrigerated food or drugs. They, too, are to be scrapped or out for upgrades if not relatively new.

Note the “Other Diesel Programs”. That includes ships at sea and various other bits of kit. Ships must plug into “shore power” and not make their own with their engines. What happens if your ship is not equipped with a giant plug? Or the wrong one for the port?…

On-road diesel vehicles with a GVWR that is 14,001+ lbs. must reduce exhaust emissions by meeting particulate matter (PM) filter requirements and upgrading to newer engines. Vehicles with 2010 engine model year (EMY) or newer are fully compliant. Heavier Vehicles with a GVWR greater than 26,000 lbs. must upgrade as shown in the table. Reporting is optional when exclusively using the Engine Model Year schedule for heavier vehicles below.
Lighter Vehicles with a GVWR between 14,001 and 26,000 lbs. need to be upgraded with 2010 or newer EMY. Check the table to determine your replacement date. Older vehicles may be upgraded to newer used equipment that is still in compliance with the schedule. No retrofit PM filter or reporting is required for lighter vehicles.

Note that lighter vehicles have no “reporting” required? The others get to regularly fill out usage and maintenance reports to CARB.

So ANY truck that was older than 10 years was to have perfectly good engines removed and replaced with newer “Engine Model Year” EMY compliant ones.

Or the driver can just leave the State and go to a more sane place to work…

And now folks are surprised there is a shortage of Drivers and Trucks in the Ports of California…

Here’s the chart (in poor formatting) for “heavier” vehicles:

EMY Schedule for Heavier Vehicles (>26,000 lbs. GVWR)
EMY PM Filter* 2010 EMY by
Pre-1994 Not required January 1, 2015
1994-1995 Not required January 1, 2016
1996-1999 January 1, 2012 January 1, 2020
2000-2004 January 1, 2013 January 1, 2021
2005 or newer January 1, 2014 January 1, 2022
2007-2009 If already equipped January 1, 2023
 *Level 3 PM filter

Note that a bunch of this hit in 2020 and is hitting in 2021? More to come in the next 2 years, too.

For folks not familiar with Commercial Diesel Engines, these things often go 1/2 MILLION MILES without an overhaul, and at least one I know of (Detroit Diesel 80 series) has a recommended overhaul at 3/4 Million Miles. A 10 year old truck often has decades of life left in the engine. But hey, if you have an older truck you may have just paid it off anyway, so pony up the bucks to trash the engine…

So what has happened is that fleets of newer trucks get the business and at higher prices while folks with older trucks just leave and take both the truck and driver with them.

Leaving a Truck and Driver shortage that’s especially acute at the docks. And offering more money will not get that truck or driver back into the State as they are banned by law.

When did this all hit the fan? Why in the middle of the Covid Scare and Lockdowns:

2020 DMV Registration Requirements
You must be in compliance with the Truck and Bus Regulation in
one of the following ways in order to register your vehicle with the
• The vehicle is using an allowable compliance option
AND is reported into the TRUCRS reporting system
• The vehicle is compliant with the Engine
Model Year Schedule (see page 4)
• The vehicle is equipped with a 2010 or newer model year
engine (usually a 2011 or newer model year vehicle) OR
is repowered with 2010 or newer model year engine
Currently out of compliance? Don’t wait until 2020.
CARB can issue DMV registration blocks now if your vehicle
does not meet air quality requirements. The State of California is
enforcing all diesel regulations in preparation for 2020.

Note too that you get tagged and tracked in Yet Another Database.

So say you have a $100,000 truck, finally paid off, and are told you can buy a new one at $240,000, or drop $10k to $20k on a new engine swap. What are the odds you think: “Maybe now is the time to move to Texas”… and avoid all this crap.

How about picking up at the Dock?

Diesel-fueled trucks transporting cargo destined for or coming from
California’s ports and intermodal rail yards (including bobtails and
transporting chassis) must be registered in the statewide Drayage
Truck Registry prior to entry. Drayage fleets must comply with
requirements by operating only vehicles with 2007 MY engines
or newer.

Drayage Compliance Schedule (GVWR 26,001 lbs. or more)
Truck Engine Model Year Emission Requirements
2006 and older Not allowed
2007-2009 Compliant through 2022
2010 and newer Fully compliant

By January 1, 2023, all class 7 and 8 diesel-fueled drayage trucks must have 2010 or newer engines. Trucks with 2010 or newer engines are fully compliant with both the Truck and Bus and Drayage regulations.

The exchange of marine or rail cargo (e.g. containers) between compliant and noncompliant drayage trucks is not allowed anywhere in California.

So a great way to create a shortage of trucks is to ban anything older than 10 years in a fleet with 20 year plus design life.

Got an expensive Refer Box truck? Yeah, them too:

All transport refrigeration units TRU) and TRU generator sets that operate in California must meet the in-use performance standards (see compliance table below). Every California-based TRU and TRU generator set must be registered in Air Resources Board Equipment Registration (ARBER) and be labeled with a CARB Identification Number. All terminals that are located in California where TRUs are based must submit operator reports to CARB at: arber.arb.ca.gov.

So what’s a fella to do? Be mired in paperwork, tracked tagged and bagged, and having your box refrigeration unit replaced way ahead of schedule? Or just go somewhere else…

But wait, there’s more! CARB even wants to tell you what kind of tires to buy and what kind of box you can tow:

The Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas Regulation applies to 53-foot or longer box-type trailers and 2013 MY or older heavy-duty tractors that pull these trailers.

Low-Rolling Resistance Tire Requirements*

Tractors Trailers
2013 and older MY Required Required
2014 and newer MY N/A Required

Tractor Requirements All 2011 through 2013 MY sleeper-cab tractors must be SmartWay™ designated models. 2014 MY or newer tractors are covered by a federal regulation and are exempt from this rule. Trailer Aerodynamic Requirements All trailers must be either SmartWay™-certified or aerodynamically retrofitted to a minimum standard.

But you are not done yet…

CARB continues to actively enforce long-standing requirements
for diesel vehicles including:

Idling Limits

Idling Limits restrict diesel vehicles from idling more than five minutes. Idling in school zones is not allowed, with limited exceptions. See: http://www.arb.ca.gov/noidle

Emission Control Labels

Emission Control Labels must be affixed to engines of all commercial heavy-duty diesel vehicles, and must be legible as proof the engine, at minimum, meets U.S. federal emissions standards for the engine model year.

Periodic Smoke Inspection Program

The Periodic Smoke Inspection Program requires owners of California-based fleets of two or more diesel vehicles to perform annual smoke opacity tests and to keep records for at least two years for each vehicle. The requirement does not apply to cars or trucks that must undergo a Smog Check.

Heavy-Duty Vehicle Inspection Program

The Heavy-Duty Vehicle Inspection Program uses random roadside inspections to verify that diesel engines do not smoke excessively and are tamper-free. See: http://www.arb.ca.gov/enf/hdvip/hdvip.htm

Public Fleets and Others

Vehicles with a GVWR of 14,001+ lbs. that are owned by state and local government fleets, private utilities, and solid waste collection vehicles, must already have particulate matter (PM) filters (retrofit or originally equipped).

Sound like the kind of Royal PITA you would want to deal with every day at work? Especially knowing that just over the hill you can once again live free?

But wait, we’ve not talked about the actual ports, cranes, ships, et. al.

The Regulation for Mobile Cargo Handling Equipment at Ports
and Intermodal Rail Yards
Rule to achieve significant emission reductions and protect public health The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has in place a regulation, which took effect in 2006, to reduce emissions from mobile cargo handling equipment (CHE) operating at California’s ports and intermodal rail yards.

Basically more of the same.

Boats & Ships too:

Commercial Harbor Craft Regulation

On November 15, 2007, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved a regulation to reduce emissions from diesel engines on commercial harbor craft vessels. Amendments were approved in June 2010. Regulation compliance is significantly reducing diesel particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from harbor craft engines.

What types of vessels are subject to this regulation?

The regulation applies to all commercial harbor craft vessels including, but not limited to, ferries, excursion vessels, tugboats (including ocean-going tugs), towboats, push boats, crew and supply vessels, barge and dredge vessels, work boats, pilot vessels, and commercial and charter fishing boats. There are about 4,200 harbor craft vessels, and 8,300 diesel engines on these vessels, currently in use in California. Of these, nearly 800 are ferries, excursion vessels, tugboats, towboats, push boats, crew and supply vessels, barge and dredge vessels equipped with about 2,500 propulsion and auxiliary engines that are subject to in-use engine emission limits.

What does the commercial harbor craft regulation require?

The regulation includes requirements for both new and in-use diesel engines used on commercial harbor craft operating in Regulated California Waters. Below is a brief discussion of these requirements; specific details can be found in the regulation, which is available online:

Operational Requirements for All Commercial Harbor Craft

Commercial harbor craft owners/operators are required to fuel their diesel engines with California ultra low sulfur diesel and install (if not already installed) a non resettable hour meter on each engine. All owners/operators are required to submit an initial report to ARB within 30 days of first operating in Regulated California Waters. Vessel owners/operators must keep a copy of their initial report and annually up-dated records on the vessel or in a central dockside location to be made available upon request by ARB staff.

So “your papers please!” for your boat.

Then skipping way down… One bit that surprised me, is that California is “regulating” the fuel you can use if you are 24 miles off the coast! I thought that was international waters? Yes, the “exclusive economic zone” goes to 200 miles, but that is about extracting resources. Whatever.

November 2011
Advisory to Owners or Operators of Ocean-Going Vessels
Visiting California Ports

Changes to the Regulation on Fuel Sulfur and Other Operational Requirements for Ocean-Going Vessels within California Waters and 24 Nautical Miles of the California Baseline

The purpose of this advisory is to notify owners and operators of ocean-going vessels (OGVs) of changes to the OGV Fuel Regulation. California’s ARB will begin enforcement of the changes to the rule on December 1, 2011. This advisory is only a summary of the requirements and does not contain all the information that may be needed to comply with the regulation. The regulations can be found at the following:

What are the changes to the fuel requirements? The revised fuel requirements are summarized in Table 1 below. These fuel requirements apply to ocean-going vessel main (propulsion) diesel engines, auxiliary diesel engines, and auxiliary boilers.

So basically unless you have several fuel tanks and can swap between them, you MUST BUY expensive and rare California Diesel Fuel to come to California…

It goes on and on from there, covering off-road Diesels (think lift trucks, water pumps, etc.) and more. Limits idling to 5 minutes (so better be able to take a dump fast…) and a whole lot more reporting and labeling and inspection costs and requirements.

Basically they are trying to kill any use of a Diesel engine.

Now when wondering just why so much cargo is not making it through California ports very fast, ask yourself how much equipment was “retired” or is in parts at the shop being “re-engined” and not available to work? How many support vessels and intermediate handling drayage just quit or left? How many truckers just took their trucks to other ports in other States?

In Conclusion

I’m of the opinion that all this “crap regulation” has driven a fair percentage of Trucks and Truckers out of California, and in some cases out of the business.

I think a significant fraction of the problems with transport come down to mandating retirement of equipment and less work per driver with inflexible scheduling; while not having any offsetting increase in trucks in service or available drivers.

One example: It is a 7 hour drive from San Francisco area to Los Angeles area. In the past, many truckers would do that as a round trip. I’ve done it in a car for various reasons. With a 2 hour meeting or drop off of stuff for the kid at school, it’s a total of about 15 to 16 hours. A simple “double shift”. There’s a LOT of stuff goes between the two areas. Now, with an 11 drive hours and 14 on duty, then 10 mandatory off: that’s a 2 day run. At the end of 14 hours, you have driven 7+5 and had 2 “doing the delivery”. That would put you in the middle of nowhere I-5 Central Valley with no place to eat, sleep, whatever. Now you sit for 10 hours.

But it gets worse. L.A. traffic is so horrible now that the round trip in one go mostly works great if the drop off is dead of night. With the 2 segments approach, you will likely get stuck in “rush hour” traffic if you have an arrival during any normal business hours. Where before you could get there about 6 AM, nap until 8 when things open and you deliver the goods, get a late brunch, and be on the road for a noon pause in the gridlock and get out of the basin before the afternoon lockup; NOW you can’t just take a 2 hour nap and call it good. Instead you either try to sleep all day and leave the next night, or you get to slog your way out during the morning rush hour. It’s just a mess no matter what.

That doubling of on-the-road time means more costs and fewer deliveries. Simple as that.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Energy, Global Warming General, News Related. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Logistics, California Diesel, Truckers, & You

  1. David A Anderson says:

    A good break down of clown world California.
    Are computer tracking driver logs mandated yet?
    It sounds like it would be about impossible to not break the law.
    I wonder if some truckers have two IDs for the log books. Yet even if you somehow scammed the logs, ( After Mr Smiths shift, he now identifies as Mrs Smith,) the vehicle regulations, if enforced, would likely get you.

  2. beththeserf says:

    Dead hand of guvuhmint. – Like Mao’s ” Killing all the sparrows “Campaign

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    Many years ago (and I mean before 1975) I met an intinerant worker who travelled from Qld. via a few stops in NSW to near the Victorian border. Along the way he worked in a sugar mill, picked pineapples, strawberries, cherries and apples and finally wine grapes. He would then reverse direction (after a bit of a party) and arrive back in Qld. when they were looking for reliable and exoerienced workers.
    The point being that he had 6 or 7 names and switched them with employment. Thus the Sam Sheepdog who picked up a few hundred dollars in southern Qld. (and reported it on tax) was of no interest to the taxation dept. That he was George Beagle for the next income, and Fred Foxterrior for the next …but I’m sure you get the drift. Minimal tax every year and a history of existence. I have often wondered what happened when he retired and was eligible for the Government old age pension. He had certainly worked out that increased bureaucracy was coming.
    Bureaucrats alway think that they are in control.

  4. H.R. says:

    Two years ago, when my tire gage was bad and I was blowing tires on the trailer, I was pulled over waiting for road service. I had driven over a rough stretch and that was enough to finish off a tire.

    About 5 minutes after pulling over, another guy pulling a trailer pulled over about 200 meters behind us with a flat. And then about 5 or 10 minutes after that, an 18-wheel rig pulled up between our two trailers and stopped. I just assumed he blew one of the retreads on his trailer and there was something bad about the road we just went over.

    We talked and commiserated, and the trucker made sure we had someone coming for road service.

    After 1/2 hour, I went back to ask the trucker – something, I’ve forgotten – and he was climbing into his rig and just about to take off. Huh?!? He said, “Oh, there was no problem. I just had to take my required 30-minute break, and this was the spot.” I think he wanted to have someone to chat with on his break, too. He was great at ‘perfect stranger chit-chat.’

    Right then and there was when I first became aware that truckers were facing more rules than I was ever aware of.

    E.M., from what you described, I guess truckers are really screwed in California for pullouts.

    In my State and the States we have traveled through East of the Mississippi, they have Trucks Only rest areas. NO cars allowed. So at least some States have done something to help out the truckers. Those areas also take the pressure off of the regular rest areas for cars and trucks. There are fewer trucks on the regular rest area ramps nowadays. It’s safer for everyone.

    Oh, the Trucks Only areas are about half-way +/- between regular rest areas, so the truckers can now stop more on schedule and not have to pull in either too early or too late to the old rest areas.

  5. JD says:

    Sounds like a return to the ‘pony express’ style of driving/riding. Point A to Point B, then someone else picks up from Point B to Point C, etc. As best I can tell the restrictions are on the drivers, not the actual vehicles, true?

  6. p.g.sharrow says:

    Once upon a time I had a truck & trailer on the road before the Bureaucratic crack down on Evil Truckers began. Leave at dark and arrive at sun up after driving all night, Unload and drive back home during the morning, load and be ready to leave the next evening. Get maybe 4-6 hours sleep out of 24. Sure glad I quit before I got into that business too deep.

    Bureaucrats always destroy the society that they try to manage, Always. They increase their power and reach until things collapse and then they double down with more regulation and mandates/slavery to remove any chance of recovery.

    History shows that civilizations only last about 300 years before their bureaucrats strangle them to death. It is always them or us and we don’t need them. Keep bureaucrats poor and servants, to preserve your freedom. Pay them well and they will become your masters. Always.
    We don’t need them…pg

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @David A.:

    I don’t know if the e-tracking is active yet or not. The double books got strongly crimped with GPS trackers on boxes and tractors and real time monitoring of “where is my shipment?” a few years back. I think generally Truckers just decided on “Screw it, play to the rules and let the crap fall where it may” – so loads sometimes arrive late, or the truck parks where it is illegal and lets the company take the tab, or…



    @Graeme No. 3:

    Those days are gone here, too. The paperwork to be hired includes a LOT of detailed docs that are hard to duplicate, including now a “One ID” drivers license that can pull up a photo copy of your birth certificate on the computer… Yeah, must show Hard ID to get a job, but not to vote…


    I noticed more of those “Trucks Only” when driving up the East Coast and to Chicago. Not sure in exactly which States, but saw them. Nice idea.

    When I first moved to the SF Bay Area, there were a couple of truck stops. One down here near highway 101 @ the bay. About 20 years ago “someone” decided it was dirty, or an eye sore, or had smelly truckers hanging around… and truck stops were effectively banned by some zoning / legal junk. That was the last Truck Stop in the entire SF Bay Area. Essentially you have to go about 60 miles away to park, have a meal, or get fuel. (Or about 100 miles from some of the far edges on the peninsula).

    Now start interacting these “rules”:

    There’s a “Morning commuter rush” that runs from about 6 AM to 10 AM. It extends to the Central Valley. During that time, you may take as much as 5 hours to get into the area and to your destination from the C.V. truck stop. You now have about 4 hours until the exit rush does the same thing. Add an hour to unload the truck and you are now required to HALT wherever you are.

    So a lot of trucks try to time it “counter commute” (but then you may have an issue where the place you are to unload is not open at 8 PM or 4 AM).

    It really is a mess, all caused by “New Rules!”…

    One interesting side effect of this is that there is a separate “Rush Hour” of 18 wheelers all trying to game the clock to the same “window of motion” spots. So we have one block of time where the roads are full of cars and few trucks, then another where it is full of trucks and a few cars…

    I suspect that is why in the last Thanksgiving posting I observed our Turkeys were significantly more expensive than those in other parts of the State. Were I hauling Turkeys, I’d sell the load in the first city that wanted them rather than deal with the SF Bay Logistics Challenge Cup…

    There’s also an interesting time bomb forming. “They” are now planting housing tracts all over that prime farm land in the Central Valley and loading it up with even MORE people. Thus more cars and commuters trying to get into the Bay Area every day. (Yes, a LOT of folks make a 3 or 4 hour commute from the Central Valley where homes cost 1/2 or 1/4 as much for a bigger better one, to the Silly Con Valley job that pays 2 or 3 x as much as a central valley job… so it can all work.)

    As those folks join the “rush”, hours will extend even more, and eventually it will hit grid lock for more than the required 11 hour max drive hours in a shift. At that point, trucks will be administratively blockaded. Oh, and The State has decided to take away a lane on each of the 2 major freeways to Silly Con Valley and turn them into Toll Lanes for commuters. As those are ALWAYS less used than the prior free lane, when they “turn on” that toll feature (maybe already have) things will get suddenly worse for most folks, and trucks, but a little better for the folks rich enough to toss $Dollars at it.

    One Side Note:

    When I last made a run to Florida, I made the mistake of leaving on a Friday just after “Morning Rush” and before the evening “get out of town” rush and taking I-80 that I’d not done in many years. In prior years, I’d be “over the hill” and have free sailing in about an hour, maybe two. This time it was “stop and go” all the way to the other side of Sacramento (center of the C.V. and about 140 miles away). It took me about 6 hours for a 2 hour drive distance. Now I know why I’m seeing more trucks Tu-Th and fewer Fr-Mon. The shoulder days are already locking up.

    Oh Well.

    In the Central Valley there are a fair number of Truck Stops, Rest Areas, and just long ramps with no parking restrictions. Cities where it is legal to park your truck on your land. You know, normal life and property rights. Even L.A. recognizes the need for Truck Stops; though crossing L.A. has become an “Avoid at all costs” event. Last time through it was 9 PM and the freeways were still packed “nervous close” though moving at 70 MPH… (What is “nervous close”? About 2 car lengths at 70+… one Aw Shit and it’s a chain reaction crash. Leave more than 2? Someone pulls into it and you get 1…) I now only Cross L.A. in the dead of night, if at all possible.

    I prefer I-40 now for all things Exiting Cali. There’s a LOT of gas stations and truck stops in Barstow and down I-5 getting there. Even one at Tehachapi in the mountains. Going via I-80 you get stops in the Valley, but not a lot on the hill climb to Reno. OTOH, once in Nevada all is great.

    There’s also an Honorable Mention for a back way from the Central Valley to San Bernardino on the back side of L.A. if I-80 and I-40 are snowed. Then, the odd ball: I’ve not done it yet, but I want to try hwy 101 to the L.A. basin, then take the 405 to San Diego (off commute hours) and try I-8 all the way to Arizona. I’ve never done it (and could use something new ;-) and it is the most southern route possible on a freeway ;-)

    Oh Gawd I’ve driven that run way too much…

    Well, back to packing boxes and planning my escape ;-)

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    There is one solution to the State/Local bureaucratic bottle neck. put trucking under emergency Military control . The Army can Ignore all local and state regulations and get the job done.

  9. YMMV says:

    p.g.sharrow: “History shows that civilizations only last about 300 years before their bureaucrats strangle them to death.”

    300 years sounds too long, but I agree with the idea. There is always a figurehead who appears to be in control, but the Deep State is where the controls are. Hiding in plain sight. You only realize it when the official leader has dementia.

    The military is too powerful to take on directly; the best way to conquer a country is to infiltrate and take it over from the inside out. Regulatory capture. The greenies own California and Europe. Greenies are always lefties. Venezuela hasn’t been in the news recently. Did it sink?

    Greenies and bureaucrats could be accused of noble cause corruption. They think they are doing the right thing, but they are idealists not pragmatists, so they simply have no idea how much harm they are doing. Granted some of them do want to maximize the harm.

    Like anorexia.

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    Just consider that I’m doing a “Deep Dive” on all this crap just to try to figure out how to best move all my stuff. There’s a nice 26 foot box truck for sale cheap. With lift gate. I could buy it, load and go, and be done in a week or two, then sell it and only cost would be fuel coast to coast (about $1800). But….

    First had to find out if I’m legal to drive it. (Yes).
    Then had to find out is it legal to reg / use? (Maybe… still working on that).
    Then had to figure out “Am I under The Rules?” (Maybe… I’m not commercial / business so “no”, but reg. is required to be “commercial” so maybe “yes” despite this load being “no”.)

    Thus I’m also back at just buying a big crappy RV with lots of space in it as none of that applies.

    Yes, my “optimum answer” may be trying to shove everything onto an RV and stacking boxes on a bed and in the shower and… Sigh.

    Whatever. One way or another we escape to The Free State Of Florida…

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    Interesting question… just a couple of headlines, not a dive down the rabbit hole, but:


    Venezuela To Introduce One Million Bolivar Banknote

    Incredible: Venezuela Returns To Wood Stoves Due To Lack Of Gas

    So, looks to me like it is well on the way to becoming a Socialist Workers Paradise where a Million Bolivar will buy you a coffee and you can make it on a wood stove since the place in the world with more Petroleum than anywhere else (or all of them combined?) can’t find fuel for a cook stove.

    Oh, and they are re-opening the border with Columbia to let more citizens escape I guess…

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    Just called on 2 ads for Box Trucks that are older trucks. Both were being sold for “take out of State” only. i.e. get a “move permit” and leave California with it.

    I think that confirms that many of the trucks are just leaving the State and NOT being re-engined (at least not the older ones).

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @JD above at https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2021/10/06/logistics-california-diesel-truckers-you/#comment-151460 :

    The Pony Express idea is a good one for express shipments. There’s a lot of Double Teams (sometimes husband and wife) where one takes a break while the other one drives. That gets you up to 22 hours a day, and with some meal & fuel stops, you can basically go non-stop otherwise. The two of you get to work opposite shifts, though… and one gets forced into the “sleeper” rig for the required 10 hours…

    For an actual crew swap, you would need to work out the logistics of the bunkhouse, getting staff to the right places at the right times, and so on, but it could work. Especially with a hub and spoke arrangement. So, say, Yellow Express puts a hub in Atlanta (or really just outside of it…); as a LOT of the main roads on the East Coast tend to converge there (forcing me to drive through it more than I want…) it would be relatively easy to have teams there ready to swap to the next rig in. Then those swapped out can go “off duty” in Atlanta for their required hours and come back. Ought to always be a load ready to swap in short order.

    A lot of places are about 10 hours ( or 20 for dual teams) from Atlanta… Similarly Dallas and St. Louis.

    Don’t know if it makes for more efficiency than the team drivers or not, but worth a look.

    And yes, the rules on rest are only per the driver, not the rig.

  14. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: (From a comment on the logistic problem which you posted on WOOD) “Realize that California has a few major port facilities for Asian / Pacific goods and markets…”

    Two parts here: First the facts, then some high altitude speculation.

    Luckily (for Mexico) the port at Lazaro Cardenas is ready to take up the slack as West Coast US ports become untenable.
    The Wiki is oddly old and not updated but it tells the basics. The port is roughly the size of Long Beach. Satellite photos are impressive. I started keeping track on Lazaro Cardenas back maybe 15 years ago when I started hearing that there were HUGE programs going on there to enlarge and update all the facilities. New docks, deeper dredged channels, new rail and roads being built, and (equally important) new highway systems and electrical infrastructure being constructed up through central Mexico to facilitate freight movement from the port not only within the country, but up to the US where it would connect with the so-called NAFTA Superhighway.

    Now some speculation:
    My theory? This is part of a long term plan to deindustrialize (and maybe depopulate) much of the US. The highway will allow easy shipping of agricultural goods from the Midwest and lumber from the South East. Connect to a spur road paralleling the Eastern Slope of the Rockies and you have access to hard rock mining as well. In essence, convert the US from a superpower to something more closely resembling the colonized nations which fed the British and American Empires. I am assuming that the Globalists hope to remain in power, but with China being the center of their new Empire and North America feeding in food and raw materials. As for California, Oregon and Washington — perhaps It is being made undesirable on purpose so that it can be bought up cheaply and without much complaint. It really is some of the most beautiful and desirable terrain in the whole continent, and while the coast may be made into luxury homes for the wealthy and powerful, the interior as far as the West slope of the Rockies can be left as a nature reserve and a buffer between the coast and the little people toiling away in the middle and east of the land.

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, I was responding to a comment there with this:
    which later expanded into this posting.

    I don’t know that they are buying up California “cheap” when an ordinary tract home that needs work goes for over $1 Million, but they are buying it up…

    Given the large flood of illegal Mexican, S. American, C. American, and Asian immigrants that are flooding in (mostly in rural farming towns and some in urban context) it looks to me like the intent is to drive out the Middle Class (remove the threat of competition from below) and divide into serfs and master class. That seems to be the major effect, anyway.

    From what I’ve seen, The Elite are just hopelessly out of touch with the Middle Class. They prattle on about “Jobs Americans just won’t do” like plumbing and truck driving and painting, all the while making it harder to do those jobs that are done by millions of Americans. Their vision seems to be that (paraphrasing): ~”All the nice white Anglo-German children are going to college so will be Doctors and Lawyers and Teachers and such kids just won’t do all those dirty jobs we need done by our servant class, like plumbing and gardening and house cleaning; so we need to import a new serf class to serve us all”… After all, that’s their total life experience inside their Gated Community of Mansions…

    Either that or they are so cynical they know that if they just flood the place with illegals they can cut their costs dramatically and swamp the middle class votes…

  16. Chiff says:

    I retired from driving CDL for a very large transport co in 2006. At that time we had an onboard computer which we plugged into our tractor before we started our day and plugged it back into the server? in the office when we completed our day. The co could then analyze everything you did on mapping software. They knew where you were at what time. Where you took your breaks and how long. Were you shifting properly at the recommended rpms etc. It also ran a 7 day running total of hours worked, on road time and would alert you and your manager if any DOT violations were possible before starting the day allowing the co to adjust your route. This was 2006 so I’m fairly sure up to the minute on road tracking is in place for these large transport co’s. These regs are in place to benefit the large trans co’s that have the advantage of a hub and spoke system regionally. Take a Boston to Buffalo route. It takes 11-12 hrs or so on road time which in my day there was a 10 hr driving limit/15 hr day. 2 days for an independent but a large co could meet at a tandem drop area 9 1/2 hrs out. Drop and swap and get that Boston load to Buffalo same day. After the required rest the Boston driver gets the Buffalo load back to Boston the next day. Like any regulations the large companies actually enjoy them as they stifle the competition and makes it so hard for an independent driver to make a living when these large companies have the flexibility to adjust to them.

  17. David A says:

    Chiff, yep, the driver switch for the bigger companies makes lots of sense.

  18. The True Nolan says:

    @EM “I don’t know that they are buying up California “cheap” when an ordinary tract home that needs work goes for over $1 Million, but they are buying it up…”

    Certainly not cheap RIGHT NOW, but that may change, and besides, what does “cheap” even mean when the next big bailout might give you and your buddies an extra trillion dollars to play with.

    “They prattle on about “Jobs Americans just won’t do” like plumbing and truck driving and painting, all the while making it harder to do those jobs that are done by millions of Americans.”

    Very true and at the same time they are willing to actively encourage poor low skilled people from every third world nation on earth to come here with out papers or even a COVID test at which time they will be given more welfare help than you or I can qualify for. Sure they will become (illegal) Democrat voters, but at the same time the RINOs are waving them in as well. I would say “it’s madness!” but it is far too well executed and consistent to be madness. I vote that it is simply evil and intended, as you say, to destroy the American middle class.

  19. philjourdan says:

    It is already causing problems! My damn Cat litter just ripped a hole in a pipeline! (ok, I do not know if it was THAT ship, but we do have a definite shortage of the only litter one of my cats will do his business in).

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting… This could be getting bad quick.

    Just decided to replace the two so-so rear tires on one of my cars with new. They maybe have a year left in them, so not a hurry, but figured “what the heck”. They have Kumho tires on.

    BOTH TireRack and BigOTires show NO Kumho tires. Normally there’s a few dozen tires in my size. Now? About 1/2 dozen and none of them the appropriate speed range. WT?

    I think tomorrow I may go hit up COSTCO (despite their politics) and see if they have my size in stock in something of OK quality and proper speed range. Don’t really want to pay $150 a tire to them, but…

    (Part of why I have “a few” cars. At any one time one can be just left out of service for a few months if need be.)

    Just checked TireKing in Florida (part of Big-O) and they list 31 tires for my car, but at least (over?) half of them say “no longer available”. This is not an exotic size. 205-60/15

    If you need tires, maybe now is the time…

  21. mhvrweb says:

    For a culture that huffs and puffs about “freedom” the US sure does have a lot of rules

  22. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: “If you need tires, maybe now is the time…”

    Yup. Got new tires on my truck about 6 weeks ago for exactly that reason. The old tires were not bad, probably had another half a life span in them. The old ones are stored in the shed out back, saving them for hard times.

    @mhvrweb: Too many rules. And the highest percentage in prison or under penal guidance of any nation on earth. More than Cuba, more than North Korea, more than China, more than Iraq.
    Land of the fee, home of the slave. Where the hell did we go wrong? It didn’t used to be this way.

  23. philjourdan says:

    Just got new tires, so not my issue. Cat Food and litter! Cat food because those ships have the aluminum for the cans! Cat litter because Americans will not do the dirty work???? Yea right.

    sadly JIT is the first casualty. Do NOT order a Dell. They use to ship a week ahead of the promise date. I shudder to think what it is now.

  24. Compu Gator says:

    philjourdan commented on 7  October 2021 at 10:55 pm UTC [*]:

    Cat Food and litter! Cat food because those ships have the aluminum for the cans!

    Hunhhh?  Silly me!  I still thought aluminum for U.S. domestic use was refined from ore in the U.S.A., using the electricity from hydropower sources clustered in the Pacific Northwest. Thus an option for more-modern replacements for the metaphor/simile “carrying coal to Newcastle”.

    Altho’ in Kalifornia, I’d expect Earth First!  and its allies to have ascended to significant political power, with E.F.!‘s  long-lived “destroy the dams!”  campaign.

  25. Rudolph Hucker says:

    Probably old news by the time I’m mentioning it here. But on your way out of California, you might pass a long line of trucks that are moving Tesla’s HQ equipment to Texas?


  26. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d heard about it but not seen the news directly. Frankly I was surprised it had not already happened.


    Notice the crashing blue line of refined from ore… (the rest is just remelting scrap and recycle):

    See, that way all the hydro power from Washington State that had been used for aluminum, can now be sent to California over the Pacific Intertie so we don’t have to generate electricity and can tear down all our dams…

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    looks like 2020 primary aluminum production in the USA is under 1 million tons: Link:https://www.aluminum.org/sites/default/files/USPrimaryProduction2020.pdf

    I eyeball that graph in the pdf as about 750 to 800 thousand tons, though the text at the bottom puts it over 800,000. I’d further guess it is only some kind of specialty uses / alloys such as required US source for military parts and such; so not available for cat food cans…

  28. philjourdan says:

    @CompuGator – I was going by what I was told at the pet store. Good to see EMS dig the digging for me.

  29. The True Nolan says:

    Another commenter speaking on the California logistics issues. Basically reinforces what you have said. He mentions also that California is considering legislation to require all ships coming to port to be carbon neutral by 2030. No, that is not a joke. That is (in my opinion) equivalent to a declaration of war. Why drop a bomb when you can order a nation to destroy itself? Death by a thousand cuts. Our politicians are traitors making economic war on We The People.

  30. Rudolph Hucker says:

    From the same commentator, how Amazon and others are using bulk carriers to bypass LA & Long Beach. Also an interesting insight into how carriers can still move containers through smaller ports with much less infrastructure. It puts me in mind of the aviation industry’s move to use smaller regional airports instead of the mega-hub airports.

  31. another ian says:

    “As Expected Containergeddon is Getting Worse – Biden’s Political Solution to Clear The Ships From Los Angeles Ports Only Making Things Worse
    October 16, 2021 | Sundance | 179 Comments”


  32. The True Nolan says:

    Some thoughts pertaining to the logistics crisis. Conclusion: Top down control of self organizing economic systems does not work. Especially when the people at the top are idiots. Unfortunately, the extraordinary success of self organizing systems allows the survival and rise to power of idiots.

  33. Pingback: Because Punishing Ships Creates More CARB Trucks Overnight… /sarc; | Musings from the Chiefio

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