Industry-change conversation continues following ‘Ride’ effort
Following our reporting last Friday on low turnout for the Ride for the Constitution effort, groups participating in the Ride continued activities through the weekend around Washington, D.C., some reportedly joining with the veterans march Sunday that removed barricades around national war memorials in the district. Away from those efforts, some operators shut their businesses down to show support. “I parked in protest and turned down three loads, none going to D.C. unfortunately, to stand with my fellows,” wrote Tex Dyess, commenting via OverdriveOnline.com. “I am proud of them, nonetheless. I may get some heat about my choice next week from dispatch, but it’s worth it.”
Meanwhile, conversation continued about the Ride and the potential of changing the direction of the trucking industry through other means. “Duh,” noted Richard Wilson in comments under this story, in response to news of low participation in the D.C. activities planned for Friday, Oct. 11. “Why don’t the so-called 17,000 drivers [a number Ride promoters offered in advance of the event] converge on D.C. on December 9 and flood the [Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee public] meeting. That’s where these ridiculous regulations start! If half of these drivers who confess to be advocates got off of their air-ride seats and showed up at a MCSAC meeting … we have the numbers to … make the committee revisit the regulations.
“Take the time to come up with quantified data on the economic impact,” Wilson continued, “and how the regulations affect you! Do it smart… Don’t let the pied pipers lead you around a big circle for their agenda, not our industry’s!”
Gordon Alkire: “This strike or shutdown or whatever in D.C. was the brainchild of a nontrucker with no trucking ties whatsoever. Poorly planned, if any planning was used. Begging for money to supposedly help buy fuel for the trucks that show up….”
Overdrive columnist and radio host (and former owner-operator) Kevin Rutherford was vocal against the ride ahead of its launch, and on the “Truckers Against the Ride for the Constitution” Facebook page he launched last week, on October 14 he asked the question, “Where do we go from here? We all agree something needs to be done. And we all agree there was way too much negative associated with the Ride. We need something positive that gets the point across. Should it just be about trucking issues? Or should other political issues be included?” Responses ran the gamut of issues — to read them, or weigh in with your own, follow this link to the page.
“This effort was doomed because of negative publicity,” wrote Dave Tyler, commenting at OverdriveOnline.com, ”mostly generated by the truckers themselves. The ‘arrest Congressmen/throw out the President’ rhetoric did it in. Even the ‘T2SDA’ logo turned people off. A ‘T2DC2DT’ logo (‘Truckers to the District of Columbia to Defend the Constitution’) would be a more positive mantra. Get better organized and ‘roll’ again.”
What do you think? Tell us in the comments.