Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Happy New Year from Werner Enterprises!

Pay drivers more? C.L. laughs!

An alert reader brought this story to my attention from LandLine.

Drivers, don't expect a raise at Werner. Not this year--or the next, or the next...

Make a resolution: leave Werner Enterprises.

---WernerScrews 10-4

Monday, December 22, 2003

These comments were submitted to http://dms.dot.gov in regards to Werner's GPS Exemption: Docket No. FMCSA-2003-15818
On-Line Keywords: Werner Screws

Werner Enterprises has enjoyed profitability since the introduction of the QualComm system, however the system has not benefited the safety of highway motorists or Werner's drivers. Having drove for Werner Enterprises and as a Webmaster for WernerScrews, I am in a position to offer an opinion of Werner Enterprises. During the past two years, I have collected the opinions of over forty Werner drivers. Some messages have expressed a negative opinion of Werner's QualComm system and the remainder are critical of Werner's employment practices. In the past six months, four people have posted positive comments. During Werner's next exemption, the need for further investigation is warranted. WernerScrews doesn't oppose exemption, however under no circumstances should Werner Enterprises be afforded permanent status.

In order for Werner to improve highway safety three guidelines need to be enacted:

1. Unadulterated information sent from the QualComm Corporation directly to the FMCSA or an independent agency created to review Werner's driving records

2. An outlet for drivers to grieve safety concerns-not affiliated with Werner Enterprises or its safety department

3. Rigorous external auditing of Werner's proprietary software

I. Unmodified QualComm Data

The following statements were taken from Docket No. FMCSA-2003-15818 under these sections:

System Operation and Quarterly Reports

[...correction by company management.]

[...internal auditing...]

Reporting of Corrections or Amendments to Records

[...agree to furnish...]

[...identifying who authorized each altered record.]

The above four statements assume that Werner Executive Management or Werner Management will act ethically concerning the data received from the QualComm Corporation. With no redundancy in raw data, Werner Enterprises has the ability to alter a driver's log to corporate/personal advantage; there is a strong possibility for chicanery. A scenario might develop where a manager acted without authorization from Werner Executive Management and changed a driver's log; if caught, this manager would be terminated. However, the original data was erased.

II. Third-party Intervention

The recent docket highlights Werner's responsibility to be in compliance with the MOU, but ignores the key issue of a driver's responsibility for his safety and the safety of highway motorists. Werner's reliance on QualComm system has had a profound impact on the ability of a driver to make decisions. Werner drivers are told to take any safety related issue(s) to the Safety Department. My correspondence with Werner drivers has revealed Werner's Safety Department is aligned with logistics; safety is ignored. If a driver is unwilling to deliver a load because of a safety issue, Werner Management may terminate him because he refused a load. A driver needs to be able to state his limitations without fear of reprisal. As Werner is the only carrier to use paperless logs, a separate agency-not affiliated with Werner-is needed to address safety issues. A driver should be able to call a FMCSA hotline that will resolve a safety situation without a driver losing his job or receiving a negative DAC's report. Currently, a driver will ignore safety issues to keep their position; when a driver acts on his own accord, the incident's root cause becomes obfuscated.

III. External Software Auditing

The safety of highway motorists has been placed on the QualComm hardware and Werner's software. Werner's software, during my brief employment with Werner, was considered infallible, however the proprietary technology was not without defects or glitches. Some Werner drivers quit or were terminated because of erroneous information; some dispatchers trusted false information over a driver's word. Information is power-albeit, misleading or false information. One situation arose when a dispatcher used intimidation and coercion on a driver to accept a load after it was "discovered" he had more on-duty driving hours.

Docket No. FMCSA-2003-15818:

[FMCSA would continue its policy of not divulging to any third party proprietary information related to Werner's GPS technology or related safety management computer systems.]

If Werner's 2002 safety improved-compared to 1998, this would not be an issue, however Werner's safety management system has degraded since the introduction of the QualComm system and Werner's software.


Technology is not infallible and Werner's proprietary software needs independent examination and rigorous auditing. Without outside testing, the software continues to perpetuate errors and cause unneeded risks. Given Werner's unique position, their software should be disclosed and tested by an independent agency; independent recommendations would be used to improve Werner's software.

Final issues:

On Feb. 2, 1999, Jeffrey Shober and Louis Ottaviano were burned to death while westbound on the Schuylkill Expressway. Just before the accident, it was determined that the Werner driver was sending a message over the QualComm system.

What action(s) has Werner Enterprises taken to prevent further distractions while driving? Specifically, has the QualComm system been deactivated while the truck is in motion?

Werner Enterprises has discouraged the use of "double logs" in order to eliminate discrepancies. If a driver choices to keep a separate log book, as detailed in 49 CFR 395.8, and a discrepancy arises-whose log is valid?

The FMCSA has given absolute trust to Werner Enterprises. During the past five-years, safety at Werner Enterprises has been decreasing. Rigorous, unbiased third-party intervention is needed to help Werner Enterprises improve highway safety.
---WernerScrews 10-4

Friday, December 19, 2003

Some big news:

Werner Enterprises has expressed interest to move from FMCSA exemption status to FMCSA permanent status--concerning Werner's use of the QualComm System.

The public is encouraged to make comments and the last day for comments is 12 Jan 2004.

The Werner Exemption is Docket No. FMCSA-2003-15818

This is the message I got from:

-Go to dms.dot.gov
-Select the Comment/Submissions tab at the top of the screen
-If you wish to register select the link REGISTER in the Unregistered users section. Registration is not necessary though and you can just select the continue button at the bottom of the screen
-Fill in the following information about the docket and the submitter information (you will have the option of selecting Enter a comment or attach a file)
-Select continue at the bottom of the screen
-the next screen will allow you to either type in a comment or attach a file
-select continue
-You will receive a notification that your submission was recieved and it will take 1-3 days before you can see it on the website.

Should you require further assistance please feel free to contact us through the dms.dot.gov support site. Should you prefer assistance over the phone, please provide us with a phone number and we will be glad to call you and assist you further.

Thank you,
DMS Web Support Staff

Or mail your comments to:

Docket Management Facility
Docket No. FMCSA-2003-15818
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street
Nassif Building
Room PL-401
Washington, DC 20590-0001

Many e-mails were sent to WernerScrews about this outrage. Thank you very much! The power of the internet is awesome!

WernerScrews comments should be on the dms.dot.gov site next week. I will also place those comments on this blog.

---WernerScrews 10-4

Friday, December 12, 2003

TruckZ.com considers WernerScrews a website designed by a nut. That doesn’t bother me. Back in 1996, when I learned basic web design, a web site was an exclamation mark—it conveyed information and was meaningful. (That’s all changed.)

WernerScrews is not an anti-trucking or anti-driver site. Werner has excellent drivers and most drivers follow safety first and foremost. Drivers that exceed their limitations often run into trouble. What causes a driver to exceed their limitations? Possible answers are an aggressive dispatcher, eager receiver, or a noisy QualComm.

WernerScrews is not the best designed or best content site concerning Werner Enterprises. It is one website. Look to other sites for more info. Here is a list of other sites that have an open forum:

Trucking Solutions
Driver's Roundtable

The key word is “open” forum. The first three are old standards. Daniel, at Trucking Solutions, has done some excellent research. Kevin, over at Trucker's Reports, has a heads-up site. The Roundtable allows a good place to post information.

One site that has an excessive profit agenda is called TruckZ.com. The editors of that site didn’t like WernerScrews stirring-up dirt and “bad-mouthing” Werner. Using SamSpade.org, I discovered they were owned by CRN Media Group--a division of Corporate Media Press. The fact that TruckZ obfuscates ownership isn’t too surprising. Interestingly, TruckZ’s editors took it upon themselves to vilify WernerScrews.

TruckZ.com’s Forum:
1. Edited my post with out permission.
2. Placed false information in the post.
3. Banned me from their forum
4. Removed a friend’s post.

A forum doesn’t need to follow freedom of speech. Editors can slant the forum any way they want; someone has to pay the server bills. Why didn’t TruckZ remove all the WernerScrew’s posts? The Tech Whizzes at TruckZ realize big trucking companies will appreciate this modified (slandered) post. TruckZ has optimized search engine placement and procured large carrier banner ads. That’s how TruckZ’s editors are paid. It is doubtful TruckZ will ever allow hard-core topics that criticize big company safety. The end result, TruckZ has lost all credibility and usefulness to surfers.

---WernerScrews 10-4