Owners, drivers: Stand up and be counted

| September 06, 2012

Reacting to recent reports on the NAFTA long-haul trucking provisions pilot program for cross-border carriage, West Virginia-based trucking company owner Michael McRae delivered the following message to drivers and owner-operators, particularly the younger generation, in a letter to Overdrive editors.

 

Why is this such a big surprise? Congress had their chance to vote down [the cross-border program] but they chose to let it become law. We in the trucking industry have to take some of the blame also. We did very little to help make sure that our voice was heard within the walls of Congress. We did nothing to do what we do at M&M Contractors and Specialized Carriers, Inc., and that is called “Get Out the Voice.” That means that we call or email our workers and let them know that they need to contact the Congressmen and -women and let them know that we don’t need that piece of legislation that they are about to pass.

Now I know that your magazine does all it can do to make sure that the drivers of today are informed on the issues they need to be involved with. But if you can’t get them out of the rigs to take time to make a call or write an email or letter, then we have failed. Drivers and owner-operators for as long as I’ve been a company owner are a strange breed at best. They love to sit around and bitch about whatever, and when it comes time to politic it seems like they don’t want to rock the boat. I have seen it from both sides of the fence, and I know that if our owners and drivers stopped long enough to vote on the issues their voice would be heard. I go back to the “Black 70s” when we all shut down over gas and diesel prices. The president had to threaten to call out the National Guard to up hold the peace and try to get freight moving again. Of course, we finally went back to work, but not before the trucking industry made a statement about who controlled the freight in this country. All that is needed is to have some of these new regs tick enough of the drivers off and we could return to the 70s all over again with the shutdowns and blocked highways.

But that is left for the younger men and women in our industry today. And I’m sorry to say that they don’t seem to care where the industry is going to end up. Congress seems to want to regulate our industry into the ground, and whatever comes out on the other side is what we are left with. So, all I can say is it’s about time for everyone to get off their butts and get out and vote, because we can’t afford another four more years of what we have gone through already. –Michael McRae, President & CEO, M&M Contractors and Specialized Carriers, Inc., Elkins, W.Va.

  • mousekiller

    There is no reason to not vote. NONE. There is the absentee ballot. Use it.
    Far too many drivers think that their vote does not count. WRONG. Your not voting is a vote for the wrong candidate and the wrong agenda. I hear of many that say they can’t get off work to vote. My company doesn’t let me get by the house to vote. To this I say that is a load of used hay that has been through the horse . Again the absentee ballot.
    If you don’t vote don’t complain. Your the problem.

  • Mike Simon

    Even though I agree with Michael, walking down memory lane is not going to solve this industries problem. We lack serious leaders, and congress can bicker about regulations, and deficits, but when it comes to this industry they unite.

  • MarsRiver

    Michael, I recall hundreds of trucks blocking the border when they first tried to roll it out. Temporary, but effective. The U.S. and Mexican governments put it hold. They then slipped them in under the cloak of darkness, as I recall. Healthcare happened the same way. The voices said “NO” and they did it anyway. This over exertion of authority has become prevalent. Calling Congress shows to be a waste. We need a “BOLD” central leadership and a blind forum within which to prepare a plan. If they know you’re coming they prepare. We need mass participation in an instant. Forget the “Big Three” of our industry. You know they have lobbyists and are pushing this agenda regarding rule making anyway. It serves their purpose of control. Mr. Simon is correct. We need to “Unite” as a whole if we want to accomplish anything.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWKRHMS7HCLLFVDIMKN4A2IXEA M

    This article is wrong!!!!!!!!! We should not have to VOTE on an issue to protect us against MEXICAN trucking in OUR country. It stands to reason that the people we have in office MUST protect us. If they DON’T they are our enemies, not our reps. And we must start calling them our enemies AND quit blaming AMERICAN CITIZENS for not voting on something that must not even be presented to the public.

  • Marty Marsh

    They don’t want to rock the boat. Now that is funny,between the Feds,ATA and most of the big trucking companies,someone is always trying to tip the boat over.

  • Marty Marsh

    After 39 years of this nonsense mousekiller I don’t agree with you at all.This industry gets worse on a daily basis,they continue to make new laws and call it safety when it’s about the dollar.They keep trying to change the HOS in the name of safety when it is about the dollar.When will they realize you can’t regulate rest, as long as there is a dollar in it they won’t.
    So I guess this makes me the problem, but I’m not going to drive anymore so who are you going to blame now.