Team driving has its ups and downs. I enjoy team driving because I do it with my fiancé. But, the risks we endure are many. We are considered a “full” team where we drive, but we don’t want to run as they would like us to.
We enjoy being in the truck together, but there are times we don’t get to enjoy being together, such as when one of us is sleeping, while the other drives. Yes, we can move a lot of freight a lot farther, but it depends on the overnight weather in the areas where we travel.
A solo trucker runs most of his time during the warmer part of the day in winter months, so the roads are clearer and easier to follow. As a team, the night time driver has to endure the sub-degree temperatures and blinding fogs and is more likely to hit animals and must deal with drunk drivers.
Yes, there are always risks in any OTR driving position, but I feel they need to regulate the hours of service for teams. They should allow the truck to stop a full 8 hours, before it rolls again. That way, both drivers can get a lot more rest and a decent rest, when the truck isn’t moving.
The 8 hour break would also allow the drivers to have a break away from their co-driver for personal time, especially if you aren’t driving as a team with your spouse.
STG comments: Robert, I agree with your point regarding team drivers not getting ‘quality sleep’ when the truck is moving. There’s so many things that can disturb the driver in the bunk… rough roads, noise from the driver on duty, and just simply the motion of the truck. Problem is, the shippers and especially the produce buyers, love teams for the expedited service and there would be very little support I’m afraid, to change the present rules for teams.