Now that the law has been tweaked, for now, at least according to the last DOT officer I actually spoke with, motel receipts are no longer required for hotshots.
According to the information he gave me, resting in the truck is now allowed. He did say it depends a lot on how individual officers interpret that law (which is true of most laws.) He also added the caveat that the law will probably be fine-tuned and possibly changed in the next lawmaking go-round. So we may end up back at square one, arguing with one another about whether or not motel receipts are a requirement during an inspection.
The old argument was constantly tossed back and forth.
Some guys were adamant that a DOT inspector has no authority to demand receipts.
Others said they did.
In my own personal experience, the officers who did inspections on my truck did ask for them, and because I had them, I showed them. And passed my inspections.
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have passed without them, but since I’m big on actually living and sleeping at night in motels like a normal human female type person, it was never an issue for me anyway.
Now the debate has shifted to whether or not our 10 hour break has to be logged on the off-duty line. According to what I read about the law, yes, the off duty time should be logged there, even if you do camp out in your truck, and not on the sleeper line unless you actually have a legal sleeper.
Just for general info, the back seat of a pickup is not a legal sleeper, and those funky window insert kits do not make it one either. It has to do with the minimum allowed amount of height from the bed to the roof, access from the driver’s seat, and the length of the bed as far as I can tell.
So, finally, the big question is whether to motel it or to rough it.
This is just my opinion, but I’m a lot more comfortable in a motel for ten straight hours than I would be in the back seat of my truck. Granted, my truck no longer has a back seat since we jerked it out of there for more storage for necessary gear to keep the bed of the truck clear for cargo since I run truck-only about 99% of the time.
Even so, if there was a back seat in the truck I wouldn’t choose to camp there. I’m too old, too tall, and too fond of conveniences such as bathrooms, bathtubs, microwaves, and coffee makers to be happy stuck in a confined area like that for more than say, oh, about half a minute.
Not that I actually get a lot of sleep in motels, even though I’m not overly fussy (I do require clean, and a door that actually locks, that’s about it) or easily spooked (a decade of practice as a cop gives a person a certain level of ability to keep themselves relatively safe just about anywhere) but in any new place there are new sounds that bug me and usually keep me from getting to sleep early. It’s like my brain is on alert and it takes a few hours just to calm down and relax.
But still, that’s better to me than trying to sleep on a truck seat with towels or whatever up over the windows, knowing if I have to get up to make a trip to the ladies room I would have to muck my way across a truck stop parking lot at 2 am.
Yeah. I mean, no. Not this girl.
IMHO if a hotshot isn’t making enough money for reasonable business expenses such as fuel, food, and shelter, then they need to start charging more or spending less on frivolous stuff. Either they aren’t making enough to start with, or they’re not great with money management, which is a necessary skill in any business, but particularly in any type of trucking operation.