Because some people want to work longer hours

23rd February 2017

The law is there to protect us, we’re told. But in the pursuit of justice, sometimes it just ends up being unfair.

Example: one of your drivers climbs into their lorry at 6.30am, eager to start the day early because they’re paid by the job. Their first hour goes smoothly; easy pick and delivery. Job done, onto the next. But then the commuter traffic starts to lock-in around them. Queues at traffic lights, queues at roundabout, queues for filter-lane queues in some places.

You look at the clock, wondering how they’re going to complete everything today. That’s okay, plenty of time left. The commuter crush eases soon after 9am, and the traffic starts to flow again. Business starts to flow again.

But before you know it, it’s 11am and your alarm goes off reminding you to check your drivers are taking a break. A 45-MINUTE break. Why? Because EU law demands it of all HGV drivers after four and a half hours on the road. And you pride yourself on running a fully compliant business.

Wait a minute, you say, that makes sense for long-distance truckers who might be flagging after that time. But they’ve had a relatively easy morning of local trips with plenty of breaks. And cups of tea, I reckon. You look out the window at a passing taxi and reflect on the injustice that they don’t have to pull over for three quarters of an hour!

Well it’s the law. And what grates even more, it’s an EU law. But hang on, aren’t we about to leave the EU? And be free to rewrite all their laws? Quite possibly. And that’s why many local hauliers are lobbying for more appropriate rules. Which could free them up to complete more jobs.

Could it happen? Read more about it in Fleet Matters.