More industry unity would pay big dividends on regulations

Robert Steele | September 24, 2013

I own a small fleet of trucks and have been in trucking since the mid-80s. I think it is time we finally stand up and say no more! We not only have the power to cripple this country in the form of a shutdown, but also with all our numbers we are a lot of voters that could carry some major weight. I don’t understand why we all sit back and just keep letting the government cram more and more regulations and rules, which keep taking more and more out of our pockets, right down our throats.

We have always gotten the short end of the stick on logbooks, when it is the shippers and receivers that hold us up for hours, the end result being when a carrier gets audited, they are the ones who gets the fines, not the shippers and receivers. The shippers and receivers will never be made responsible because they contribute to the campaign funds.

Electronic logs will cause the small trucking companies to be deemed unreliable when we get held up for hours and can’t make our scheduled delivery until 1 p.m. when we should have been there at 8 a.m., then further miss our reload because they quit loading at 2 p.m. A large company will just send another truck in to make the pickup. This would be like a normal person being told they will get paid to work Monday but not Tuesday, and that would result in them finding a new job.

Not to mention the fortune the companies that manufacture the electronic logs will make while the extremely small profit margin that the truck owners make will be gone. Also, the law trying to get all CDL holders to take a sleep-test study is a racket, and will make the sleep industry millions, likewise the companies that make the CPAP machines that people will have to have. 

My company has not had one missed pickup or late delivery in eight years — there aren’t very many companies large or small that can say that. But we do not have any more money to pay for these laws and regulations foisted upon us by a government that does not have a clue about trucking and the issues we deal with on a daily basis to make the country tick. It only took three days for the public contacting the Congress about the air traffic controllers on furlough (which was a manufactured crisis) to get them back to work  with the delays at airports. Imagine what we could accomplish in less time than that if for once we all stuck together and let our voices be heard on what we will accept and what we will not. –Robert Steele, St. Augustine, Fla.

 

  • I Depend on Truckers

    Very well said!!

  • Cliff

    lets all get together and shut down oct 7–oct 12

  • Jon McLaughlin

    Hey, Robert,
    How about a truckers strike right about the time they start shipping for Christmas. Not a paltry 3 day, 1 week day and the week end, but a full 7 days. Think somebody might get the message.
    If you want to talk, I am sure that OOIDA could put us in touch with each other.

  • guest

    Yes the Shutdown is scheduled Oct 11-13. There will be a Convoy to DC also….this can be the FIRST of many Protest/ Shutdowns until the Feds take NOTICE.

  • John E Adams

    Well said and so TRUE my friend and fellow trucker. At 62 yrs old I own just one truck and support the shutdown 100%. However, I do think we a defined list of reasons for the shutdown and not just generalities, HOS, Regs, fuel prices and exactly what you just said about the shippers and receivers.

  • Dale

    20 years in the business and the changes to enrich already rich are ridiculas .theres only one problem .since all the rules and regs the small companies are depleted and majority is the large fleets .they make 100 bucks a day per truck and…..RESULT IS MILLION BUCKS A DAY.They dont pay huge fuel prices there capped at like 2 dollars a gallon .how can we compete ,just what the gov wanted dog eat dog .So here we are the minority struggling to make it .getting a company thats making a million a day to shut down .I dont think so ,the next big company down the line ,would be like a vulcure waiting for the accounts .i will shut down ,you will shut down but yellow ,with 5000 trucks wont there making a fortune .

  • BunniRabbyt

    OOIDA willnever support a shutdown. They have not since 1973 it is not on their agenda. They like to spend all their time doing YAK YAK in Washington. You will have to have another means to unite and communicate. Although I am Happily Retired I support all of you drivers a 100% 41 years of driving just about broke me down. It will be worse from now on with all these new regs. I say unite now

  • MercenaryMan

    Its time truckers got a seat on the table, the rulemaking committee, the FMCSA board should be made of CDL holders, not Law Enforcement, we need more representation, Im not a tea partiers but the first tea party achieved this, representation and we need it now, Im thinking if Independents, O/O and small fleets could get together and vote as a block, just as the Teamsters did, maybe what we need is a voting orginazation, because as a million voices they listen, as thirty here and thirty there they ignore you. So How do we do it, organizing and then electing or sending s representative to DC…A TRUCKER LOBBYIST….

  • bama924

    It never ceases to completely amaze me at the idiots who believe regulations are nipping at their wallets! Our wallets are not only being nipped at, we are being pick pocketed and robbed, you have that part correct!

    The problem in trucking is the same as every other industry, it is called greed! Cost for basic staples like Food keep going up and up while our revenue and pay stay the same. If you look at historic freight rates you find that that the rates have increased while our pay has not. Then who is benefiting from the increase in higher rates? Certainly not small operations and drivers. The money is there, it is in the pockets of large industry players! They don’t pass it on because we don’t demand it. That’s because we’re idiots!

    You are absolutly correct about a shutdown, even if its only one day, like the fast food workers! If you want to blame it on regulations, that works for me! We don’t need OOIDA’s approval, we just need to ban together and do it, ON THE SAME DAY!

    We need a central voice, a web page like facebook or some other central contact point. Flyers can be distributed at truck stops. It needs to be planned 2-3 months in advance. We are in the drivers seat! We have the freight! All we need to do is shutdown for 1-2 days at the same time! Lets Do It!!!

  • PaulB

    OOIDA will never support a nationwide shutdown as the government has deemed it as treasonous i read a few years back when it was a big to shut down the nation trucking.

  • steve4447

    Talk is cheap…From what i have seen …Drivers will NEVER Stick Together….

    The keyboard commandos posting here will be the first ones to scab their
    own strike….A trucking shutdown of three days would cause complete
    panic and rioting….The stores in the cities have a maxim supply of
    food for three days and that’s not even accounting for panic
    buying….And all of the gas would be gone within hours too…

    If farmers and drivers had the common sense to stick together they would
    run the country instead of big business …but they Never Have…Never
    Will….They cut each other’s throats at every opportunity…I’ve see it
    and watched it my whole life…

  • Denise

    I totally agree. I have not driven now for 2 years. I started driving in 1979. we all know we have the power but we need a leader. And organizer. It can be as simple as putting a date on when everyone is to leave for Washington. The rest will follow. Everyone must do it now. I want to come back out on the road, but I simply can’t be a part of what is going on out there. I have a lot of pride and a lot of back bone, I don’t care if I do not have anything, I would rather do with out! I would love to be a part of something big! Shut down and I will make it to Washington. I think alot of people will!

  • DEBIEVE

    WOW DIESEL PRICES DROPPED 2.5 CENTS..GIVE US A BREAK WILL YOU..IT AMAZES ME THAT IT EVER GOT THIS HIGH IN FIRST PLACE..IT IS GARBAGE PAIL OF OIL..LETS SEE, DIESEL PRICES HIGHER THAN GAS, E-LOGS. SLEEPING IN A RIG WITH A MASK TO DETECT SLEEP DISORDERS, RULES BEING MADE BY SENATORS AND CONGRESS..NON-TRUCKERS..AND THE MYTH OF THE DRIVER SHORTAGE! WOW HOW DOES THIS COMPUTE THAT TRUCKING IS GETTING BETTER..BELIEVE IT WE ARE UNARMED BECAUSE WE CHOOSE TO SURRENDER TO THE FEDS..THAT LEAVES NO POWER IN A POWERFUL INDUSTRY..CAMARADERIE WAS LEFT AT THE WAYSIDE LONG AGO..IF YOU WANT TO FIGHT YOUR ENEMIES YOU NEED TO STUDY THEM AND GET TO KNOW THEIR MOTIVES..I WILL ALWAYS BE PROUD TO BE A TRUCKER..NOTHING TAKES THAT A WAY FROM ME..STAND STRONG OR FALL!

  • wing

    It does not make economic sense to go”PARK IT” it in D.C.
    Nor strategically or by tactic. Park ‘In Place’ for three days.
    Just look at the 2008 ATA report that predicts the effects from day one on, to different businesses …..

    Think Smart and work less hard, just work together!

  • mousekiller

    Never is a strong word. Truckers used to stick together and worked together and we did manage to accomplish a lot with the legislators. We called for and were involved in strikes and shutdowns. Where is the ICC now? Over the years carriers lowered their standards resulting in less than qualified drivers behind the wheel. It is called the warm butt in the seat syndrome. This country is changing and it is not for the good. over the years we have had laws put on us for every thing. Logs, physicals and now the CSA , BMI. and HOS. We have elected people into office that does not like trucks and we are paying for it. We must share some of the blame for how the industry is heading as we did nothing about the less than skilled drivers being shoved upon us by less than scrupulous driving schools and warm butt carriers..

  • Jerry Humphrey

    I am standing with you guy,s and gal,s for a 3 day shut down with Jesus by my side