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Todd Dills

After ATA-organized event, Trump is getting an #ELDorMe tweetstorm

| October 12, 2017

Owner-operators associated with the anti-ELD protests and beyond were abuzz Tuesday afternoon as news began to emerge that President Donald Trump would be addressing a crowd of (in part) truckers in Harrisburg, Pa. Coming so quickly on the heels of the protests last week, during which bobtail trucks and their drivers associated with Operation Black and Blue and ELD or Me claimed a big presence, particularly Friday, on Constitution Ave. outside the White House, many were hopeful for an olive branch to their hopes for an ELD delay or repeal, at least.

But as news began to emerge yesterday that the pro-ELD mandate American Trucking Associations had in part organized the event as a setting for Trump to pitch his tax plan, the mood soured, to say the least.

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That’s just one example of what the ELD or Me group and anti-ELD partisans have since yesterday afternoon engaged in — a tweetstorm directed to @realdonaldtrump and @POTUS Twitter accounts. It’s an attempt to get the #ELDorMe hashtag to trending status and meet the president on the social media platform he most uses. The group is emphasizing its support for the H.R. 3282 ELD mandate delay bill and disassociating itself from the industry representation of the ATA.

The big push for the effort is today, says ELD or Me group creator Tony Justice and  group moderators. Note the details at this link, and know that retweets (reposting another’s original tweet via your own account) do contribute to trending topics metrics. Here’s a link to ELD or Me’s Twitter feed.

A few more voices on the President’s speech last night on taxes, via OverdriveOnline.com:
Clinton Seals: Hey Trump, get a clue — you’re not addressing the real issues that we need. The one regulation that needs to be addressed is the Hours of Service. It’s creating the fatigued driver problem, amongst others, but I feel that this is our number one issue. And everyone here is right — the ATA is not in any way interested in the owner-operators or driver — its all about the the big carriers and control. As far as the ELDs, I could live with them if they would just modify the the hours of service so we can breathe again.

Richard Davis: Where is Trump with these ELDs? If he really wants to help the truck driver — the person behind the steering wheel, not the desk — he would do something about them. What happened to doing away with the bad regulations? Trump is all about himself — Trump is for Trump and his kind. The big rich companies, not the drivers. Just like ATA is for the big companies, not the drivers.

50-year Trucking industry veteran Tim Abbott of Silver Springs, Nev., penned what he called an open letter to the President, arguing that the 14-hour rule in the hours of service could be vacated by executive order:

An open letter to the POTUS: Dear Mr. President, I agree with your warm comments about trucks and truckers and how without them America stops. There is much in the news of late re: the ELD mandate for truckers. While I think they are a needless expense, I’m not really adverse to them except for the fact that they add rigidity to a system that needs the opposite — more flexibility for the drivers. The problem isn’t the ELDs but the 14-hour rule, with which [ELDs demand] compliance. While the ELD mandate is a law passed by Congress, the 14-hour rule is not. It is a rule you could vacate (less regulation) with an order to the DOT Secretary that she get it done. If you really want do something for truckers, that would be a really great place to start. Vacate the 14-hour rule concurrently with the ELD mandate taking effect this coming December. This change would improve productivity and also enhance safety for the motoring public. Sincerely, –Tim Abbott, Silver Springs, Nev.

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Contain your butts before you throw them out: Words of simple wisdom from owner-operator Howard Salmon
Wildfires in California, according to latest figures, are now responsible for more than 20 deaths. Owner-operator Salmon, living back in California himself now, called yesterday after a conversation with a friend from his old neighborhood in Santa Rosa, which took a direct hit from a fast-moving fire this week. The friend was devastated, looking at a pile of rubble where his home had been as they spoke.

And Salmon called simply to offer a bit of re-emphasis of the need to be extra careful this time of year in wildfire-prone areas, particularly smokers. While the direct cause of the numerous fires burning in California haven’t been determined with pinpoint accuracy, an ember from a lit cigarette is enough to trigger burning in the right condition. Be sure to fully extinguish cigarette butts in the vehicle while driving, rather than tossing them still lit, Salmon noted. This time of year, that practice can be particularly deadly in dry, wildfire-prone regions. “I don’t smoke myself, but I know many smokers don’t want the smelly butts in the truck with them, or car of course.”

I know I’ve been guilty of throwing out butts in past myself.

If you’re going to smoke, live with it, Salmon says, and “toss them at the next stop.” You might well thus avoid starting the next conflagration. Here’s details from yesterday’s report on the relaxation of regs for relief haulers to the California disaster zones:

California suspends hours regs for certain truckers over wildfires

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