Five trucking grievances part of planned protest

| October 08, 2013

Organizers listed five trucking-related issues as driving the Ride for the Constitution demonstration that is planned to start Friday in and around Washington, D.C., and across the nation with individual shutdowns, other convoys and a called-for buy-nothing solidarity protest. 

The five demands emerged from a conference call the evening of October 2 hosted by Pennsylvania-based company driver and former owner-operator J.B. Schaffner, also proprietor of Call participants represented varied segments, including an intermodal port hauler, a dispatcher of owner-operators and a former Midwest-based bull hauler. Schaffner had consulted offline with representatives of a California-based group as well, he said.

As previously reported, the first part of the demonstration is planned to have bobtail drivers and others  ride into the heart of D.C. attendant to delivering the trucking-related demands as well as the “demands of the American people,” in the words of Ride for the Constitution promoter Zeeda Andrews, a separate list of five alleged constitutional violations. As of Monday, October 7, the then-organizer of the bobtail convoy into D.C., driver Earl Conlon, had noted “evidence” would be delivered to law enforcement authorities intended to result in the arrest of certain politicians “for violating their oaths of office” to uphold the constitution. Since that report, as well as this U.S. News and World Report article featuring a wide-ranging interview with Conlon, promoters have attempted to distance themselves from the driver.

This poll ran over the weekend of September 29-30 following the Ride for the Constitution's move toward organization earlier that week. Assuming wide participation, most readers see a potential positive in an independents shutdown.

This poll ran over the weekend of September 29-30 following the Ride for the Constitution’s move toward organization earlier that week. Assuming wide participation, most readers see a potential positive in an independents shutdown.

A separate tractor-trailer convoy is planned to circle the beltway and get the attention of politicians and the general public by causing a traffic jam. Organizers are calling for supporting actions outside of D.C., such as truckers shutting down or the general public refraining from spending money.

Former owner-operator Schaffner and his brother Fred Schaffner, who passed away in 2012, successfully challenged the Virginia Department of Transportation’s two-hour parking time limit at rest areas. J.B. Schaffner was also a principal organizer behind the 2008 convoy to D.C. that protested fuel prices.

The trucking-related items in the manifesto, signed by Schaffner and promoter Zeeda Andrews and which you can access via the October 7 report in this series, call for the following:

1) Rollback of the hours rules to pre-July 1, 2013, status, and continued focus on the issue of excessive uncompensated detention time at shippers and receivers.

2) Abolishment of the crash-related side of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability’s system for ranking carriers, particularly given the system’s inclusion of crashes not identified as being the fault of the motor carrier/driver. Also included in this item are demands for rollback of Congressional/administration pursuit of an electronic log mandate, concerns with fuel prices given copious increases in domestic oil production, and concern over roadside officers’ unfair targeting of some carriers with erroneous violations.

3) Recognition and action on a wide concern with the California Air Resources Board’s diesel emissions regulations and idling limitations as onerous to the health and safety of drivers, as well as trucking business viability.

4) An end to Congressional efforts to increase mandatory liability insurance requirements of motor carriers as well as a recognition of insurers’ increasing ability to “control more and more of this industry,” in the words of the document.

5) Moving forward with the truck parking safety and availability provisions of Jason’s Law, included in 2012 MAP-21 legislation.

Poll: Will you participate in some fashion in the Ride for the Constitution demonstration?

As of midday Monday, seven in 10 respondents to Overdrive online polling had indicated they planned some level of participation in the effort, more than 50 percent of total respondents indicating they would shut down in solidarity. Results as of midday Tuesday showed that number to have fallen several percentage points to 43 percent who indicated they would shut down; just under 6 in 10 indicated some participation in the effort.  


Overdrive Dollars & Sense columnist Kevin Rutherford is against the Ride for the Constitution — Click here to read his blog post on why — and is hosting a special episode podcast Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. to “have a true open discussion about” the issue, he said in an email promoting the podcast. To participate, call (347) 884-8327; 250 lines will be available. Click here to listen online when the episode airs.


More: Ride promoter says main goal is to remove Obama from office

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    As much as i agree with the general sentiment across the board with ”enough is enough” when it comes to all the regulations and also the fact that truckload rates overall across the entire board have been stagnant since January, I’m leery of attaching myself to this cause.

    I wish the best for all the drivers participating and hope that something changes for the better from all this. It sure could’ve been organized better than it has thus far.

    But i digress, It’s only Tuesday now, A lot can happen between now and Friday.

    One thing that definitely DOES need to happen is Anne Ferro, Anthony Foxx, and the FMCSA needs to organize a ”town hall” type of meeting with us in this industry to hear our grievances and at least roll back the hours of service. The new hours do not make drivers safer. They are driving more tired due to the mandatory ” 30 min break” and not being able to reset their 70 hour clocks like they were before during the week at any time.

    The entire transportation and infrastructure committee needs to step in on this before it gets ugly.
    Over and out, boys n girls. Be safe on the highways. :)

  • Jason Haggard

    Hmmmm so it has now changed AGAIN!!! Rolling back the HOS rules were not even an issue 2 days ago. As a matter of fact I was told by Zeeda herself that I was “what is wrong with this country” for questioning her understanding of the HOS regulations and also asking why she never supported repealing the new HOS regulations in the past.

    Several different people questioned if many of the organizers knew what they were trying to accomplish when they didn’t even have a firm grasp on pressing issues within the industry. They cited insurance companies unfairly charging people higher rates depending on their geographic location as one of their primary concerns and now that has changed as well.

    Sorry folks but this event is nothing but a three ring circus, they think that by going on a 48 crash course of attempting to understand the issues and yet another attempt to change their sales pitch that they are somehow representing American truck drivers. The only thing they have succeeded in doing is making truck drivers look like a bunch of disorganized and clueless buffoons.

    Promoters are “distancing” themselves from one another because many of them have been exposed for trying to further their own radical and personal political agendas.
    These people were warned a long time ago that any event like this would need to be well planned and if it wasn’t that the people who would suffer would be truck drivers. Thank you so much Miss Zeeda Andrews or whatever your name is this week, you have succeeded in doing more damage than good at this point.


    This protest is not being runned by truckers.

  • Jason Haggard

    Oddly enough that is one of the very reasons that they attacked one of their own planners, one Earl Conlon as per the following email from them.

    “Steven, attached is a link to the audio of the conversation I just had with Earl Conlon.
    (1) Earl is not even a trucker, he was merely offering to organize the convoy as he has had previous
    (2) He has never been designated as a spokesperson, and it’s apparent that his intentions are polar
    opposite the Ride For The Constitution’s”

    Isn’t it also strange that Zeeda Andrews isn’t and never has been a truck driver nor has Peter Santilli. Yet both claim to know how to represent truck drivers.

  • Todd Dills

    Earl is a trucker as far as I know, Jason, for what that’s worth.

  • Jason Haggard

    Just to be clear for all, those words were a quote from an email from within the circle of organizers of this “trucker” event.

  • Todd Dills

    I wasn’t trying to contradict you, so were clear.

  • MercenaryMan

    Has anyone tried a good old fashioned petition to address the truck issues, could be setup online here on Overdrive or another site and then drivers could sign, and send a list of grievances, Real trucking issues, you can ignore 3000 drivers, but you cant ignore 50,000 signatures or more. The will is there, The Means may be convuluted, but the desire t get a concerted voice heard and what if those 50,000 voices all were registerd voters…without the Hype…Todd Id like to see a listing of concersn of truckers, they could be identified and listed and voted on then placed into a Petition format and delivered to Foxx directly, as well as those legislators on the Transportation committee, the only thing a Politicians hates more then a Petition is an Organized Voting Block…

  • Jason Haggard

    Didn’t think that at all Todd, there has just been a rash of people trying to twist words as of late and I wanted to make sure I reminded people those words are a direct quote from someone else.

  • MileHiMoose

    So ! The Trcuck Driver Song, ” CONVOY “, Wasn’t written by a Trcuck Driver Either !

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    Kevin Rutherford pointed out to them on the air Saturday on his show that they cannot call for less regulation of the trucking industry on one hand, and on the other call for the government to re-regulate rates.

    They contradicted themselves with the first two points they were using as a basis for their ‘protest’..

    They have no clue about this industry. I want nothing whatsoever to do with regulated rates. I have no problem either getting a fair rate that makes me a profit, or letting the cheap freight sit for the bottom-feeders to haul and lose money on.

    If you do not know how to negotiate a good rate with a customer or a broker, do not understand you cannot continuously run at a loss hauling cheap freight instead of turning down those loads, or really don’t know how to run a business at all but want Uncle Sam to fix it for you, maybe you need to fail and go do something else.

    This is a scam run by opportunists trying to make a name for themselves and cash in on driver’s anger with the FMCSA over increasingly stringent regulations.

    I wonder how many drivers that will attend that protest ever write their senator, congressman, the FMCSA, or any politician on the Transportation Committee with their concerns about the trucking industry, let alone bother to vote in an election.

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