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Parlez-vous Felinese?


Veteran Expediter
Tuesday afternoon I picked up a load in Missouri going to just south of Macon, GA. 821 miles loaded. The pick up time was 16:00 and the delivery time was 10:00. 18 hour, which equates to a hair over 45 mph. Pretty much an industry standard. With Panther's 16 hour "safety policy" a Panther driver has only 16 hours to complete the load, in the guise of safety.

I left the shipper at 16:25 which put me in St. Louis during rush hour, which cost me at least an extra hour. I still had Atlanta to deal with in the morning. Safety sent me a message that I must take a 5 hour break before 06:45. I knew this load was swapping or the delivery time was later than what I was given. I just didn't know where or when the swap would occur. I still have a problem with Panther's use of the term "swap". To me "swap" implies a trade. Giving something in exchange for another something.

About 02:15 I was tired and decided it would be a good time to take my 5 hour break. Exactly one hour into my break dispatch called. The dispatcher said: "Please don't tell me you are taking your 5 hour break". Had I not been sleeping I would have played the game and answered her exactly how she was ostensibly asking the question.

She told me I couldn't take my break until 06:45 and because I took my break "early", the load would have to swap. I attempted to explain to her that safety insists the break be taken before the 16th hour. Also, a 5 hour break, no matter when it is taken, will add 5 hours to the transit time.

She didn't buy into any of my logic. She insisted the break be taken precisely at the 16th hour. She even said if not, drivers could take a 5 break any time they wanted. So much for safety! Where do these people come from? Isn't simple arithmetic and a basic concept of time a requirement for dispatchers? I realize I was dealing with 3rd shift, but still...

I ended up swapping with another driver in Chattanooga. I still have a problem with Panther's use of the term "swap". To me "swap" implies a trade. Giving something in exchange for another something. I guess I gave the other driver freight and I got an empty van and $25 hand unload pay. I also got 598 load mile out of 821 loaded miles. I'm not complaining about swapping, just about how it got handled.

The driver I swapped with had 5 hours to go 223 miles. He did have to deal with Atlanta during morning rush hour. Upon checking the load history I found it delivered 39 minutes late. No surprise there! I lost 1 hour sleeping. Probably another hour lost setting up, driving to and making the swap. All of which could have been avoided if there was communication between safety and dispatch.

I have a decent grasp of the English language. What part of before 06:45 am I having difficulty understanding?
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