Problems Facing Carnivals- Transportation

In the carnival industry, keeping truck drivers to move the rides and equipment from one location to the next location has become an extremely difficult problem. In 2017, the DOT started requiring all truck drivers to use “E-Logs” which is electronic logbooks. These logbooks require drivers to strictly adhere to an 11 hour driving time per 24 hour day. Often the drivers cannot have a ride or another load for the next venue at the location in the time frame needed to open. This E-Log system makes the truck driver stop at a gas station, or even on the side of the road and wait until a day later when they are legal to move again.

Carnivals have many scheduled events that have a very specific time frame to get to their next event and be prepared for opening at an event. Rental drivers who are willing to work with carnivals are scarce because the work is more sporadic and they can’t make enough money with the shorter amount of hours the carnival can provide. Most fairs close on Sundays making a carnival’s “Jump Day” fall on Monday with the next venue opening on Tuesday or Wednesday. In the 2-3 day time frame all rides need to be moved, set up, and inspected before opening. Depending on state ride inspection regulations rides in some cases need to be inspected for 1-2 days. Furthermore if the venues or “spots” are too far apart in miles/ hours, the carnival may no longer be able to play that event. This has created a large financial loss to the carnival and also to the venue, as it is not always an easy task to replace a carnival.

With the implementation of the current E-Log regulations, the carnival industry must follow these regulations. Industries like carnivals were overlooked when the E-Log 24 hour regulations were developed.  Some people may not understand that with the amount of rides and the amount of drivers available sometimes a driver must return to the last venue and get another ride or “load”.  The driver may run out of hours for the jump if the driver must get another “load”.  Another problem arises in the industry because there are not that many CDL drivers who are employed by the carnivals, and if the carnivals do help and pay for the CDL licenses, the seasonal workers may not return the following year.   If a carnival hires drivers from a middleman company, the drivers may decide not to take the position for a one-time event.  Current regulations are great if the driver lives within 100 miles of his or her home.  Carnival employees with CDL licenses are actually far away from their home base, and the current regulations do not take this into consideration even if the employee has been “living” at that venue for 3 weeks.  In order to help the carnival industry with the current regulations, the venue of the last carnival should be acknowledged as the home base.  If that could be changed in the regulations, the carnival industry would benefit.


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