“You Know You’re Having a Bad Day in North Dakota When……”
Let’s talk about big trucks, the oil field, and safety…A friend of mine drives his rig throughout the Bakken oil fields everyday; so I asked him about the overall driving conditions. He comments, that almost on a daily basis he comes very close to having an accident. He states that the drivers in the big trucks are taking crazy chances by pulling out in front of other big trucks with insufficient clearance. They routinely pass on two lane roads where it isn’t safe to pass. Drivers, tired of being trapped in what seems like endless convoys of semi trucks are taking far too many risks as well.
With significant truck traffic on the roads, delays are the norm. While downtime is money in the oil industry; so also is the down time one can expected to experience when transport vehicles are wrecked or even totalled. Generally speaking, routine truck repairs are taking 3 to 6 months in the Williston Basin and let’s face it – a collison is not a routine repair. And, think of something worse and much more costly – a fatality !
Let’s think about why…
Is it because there are in inordinate amount of drivers there that haven’t had sufficient training?
Is it because as we all have heard, people are swarming there to get a job, and may have never driven in the extreme conditions that North Dakota lends?
Are drivers driving while fatigued and not thinking right, meaning violations of hours of service?
Are carriers pushing drivers to take loads when they know that it not safe? Are the roads not up to par due to the huge influx of people?
I would say that it is probably all of the above….What’s the answer? What can be done to make it safer to drive in an area that is growing by leaps and bounds? What do you think? The answers start with you.
© JJ Arnett