Ride for the Constitution rolls, reports say 30 show up to convoy

| October 11, 2013


As the Ride for the Constitution effort got rolling October 11, reports of some participation in its plan to clog the beltway began trickling out.

WJLA-TV reported that by 8:45 a.m. Eastern, Virginia State Police “said that about 30 tractor trailers left a stop in Dumfries at about 7:30 with plans to head toward Washington.” Fifteen were spotted there “bearing the official Twitter hashtag of the ride,” #T2SDA. 

Coordinators were saying participants would be circling the beltway driving in 8-hour shifts. “We’ve got to stand together, we’ve got to be united,” coordinator Earnest Lee told WJLA. “Guys, we’ve got to keep it peaceful, we’ve got to keep it clean.” 



Queries as to participation on Overdrive‘s Facebook page posted at 8:45 a.m. Central yielded many responses but only a couple expressions of support of the effort. 

Driver J.B. Schaffner, signatory to the Ride’s manifesto, as reported in this story, left the I-81 Wilco stop in Harrisburg, Pa., in his pickup, flying a two-by-four and a half foot flag, early the morning of Friday, October 11, for a run down to the Doswell Truck Stop in Doswell, Va. “We’ve got drivers already out there,” he said, referring to planned shifts of driving around the Capital Beltway, or I-495. “We’ve got people showing up with their flags out.”

He’d arrived at 7 a.m. Eastern time to reports that the Doswell “parking lot was full” through the night. “A percentage was overnight parkers traveling through — that’s not to say they didn’t put a flag on their truck and drive a time or two around the loop.”

Related: Five trucking grievances part of planned protest.  

Various drivers and Ride reps, Schaffner said, were engaged with local and national media in interviews on both trucking issues and broader political goals of the Ride effort. One was Juan Rolon, a participant in the Wed., Oct. 2, conference call Schaffner organized to hash out the trucking issues that were ultimately included in the Ride manifesto. Rolon is a part of the Port Driver Federation 18, representing 1,300 members, largely independent owner-operators working to the North New Jersey piers. For Rolon, as he said Oct. 2 during the call, detention’s effect on operators’ ability to make a livable income with hours regulations as well as concerns with re-classification efforts among port drivers are big issues of concern. 

In order to get what Ride organizers want — namely removal of President Obama from office, as primary promoter Zeeda Andrews has stated, as well as movement on other issues, some trucking-related — Schaffner hoped for reduced spending by all throughout the nation. Schaffner’s now-deceased brother, Fred, “and I blocked $938 million dollars from Virginia,” he said, by arguing the state’s two-hour parking time limit at rest areas contravened federal hours rules for drivers. At the time, Virginia was also looking to close many of its rest areas as it faced a budget shortfall. Following the successful argument against the parking time limit, cutting off a significant flow of federal funds to the state government, Schaffner says, “two and a half weeks later Virginia officials had adjusted their policy and the whole issue of closing those rest areas went away quietly.”  

If the Ride got the participation of half of the American public, he says, “that’s $10-$15 billion dollars” in tax revenue that would go uncollected. 

Commentators have estimated that filling the Capital Beltway with trucks for the entirety of the three-day protest would cost as much as $13.5 million in fuel, assuming 17,000 trucks running continuously.  

  • Mind Games

    We must try again and next time let’s get our message concise and straight to the point.
    People the 14th of February 2014.
    Looking on the bright side it was popular because the media paid attention and if it can be done by a few nuts just think what would happen if those of us who have a head on their shoulders stood up and stated the facts of what’s wrong with trucking could do.

  • Richard Wilson

    I have one word………Duh!

  • MJ

    I am for them, and no, I am not a trucker or a trucker’s wife. I have a masters degree in education and see daily the reality of what is happening in our nation. Good for them, this is what a democracy is allowed to do, or used to be allowed to do, I should add. Say what you will. I am for them, and this is still a country where we can disagree with kindness, and respect for the other person’s views – even if they differ from our own, isn’t it?

  • David Obermark

    Nah, there is a better date to plan for. Wait for the next 72 hour check next spring and shut down then.

    I went on strike for the one this past spring. My strike worked. My demands? End the 72 hour check and I will not roll until it does. It only took 3 days for DOT to give in to my demands and I rolled the next day (grin).

    That was just one trucker. Imagine the impact if DOT threw a 72 hour party and nobody showed up for the inspections.

    But we would still need to keep the politics out of it; sticking to trucking issues. We would also need to be reasonable in our demands.

  • JD

    really you dont need to pick a date as much as it needs to be an ORGANIZED effort, but not just on DC. It is too hard for truckers around the country to converge on DC, but would certainly like to. How about a 48 state organized effort to clog the capital area’s / freeways of those states but convey a CLEAR message. i watched what were said to be organizers on Fox and other stations and when asked what it was they were looking for, it was UNCLEAR and could not be conveyed. They should have spoke about the lousy CSA system, DOT inspectors that are deceptive and make inspections based on how they like a driver or a company, or how about the price of fuel, how about lousy broker rates and fat cat brokers, and mostly HOW ABOUT HOW CONGRESS JUST DOESNT LISTEN. Any or all of these conveyed on national tv would surely have got some attention combinde with an organized effort in each state on one day where EVERYONE can participate. The typical spokespeople that we have like truckers associations are NOT working and little organizations and independents will certainly be out of business in a few short years.

    Mountain Ranger Trucking

  • WS Truckin

    I REFUSE to run when they have the 72 hour check. I havent ran during it in over ten years.

  • Dave Tyler

    This effort was doomed because of negative publicity, 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.

  • Shadeymule

    Yes, I say the same. I think its high time America stands up & shows its displeasure about whats going on. I don’t personally know any truckers that are not retired, but I thought it was very important to support these guys, so I got together some friends and we took some flags & waved them at an expressway entrance ramp. Just about every car & trucker waved and blew their horns. Nice to see how much people really care about America. Of course, we did get a few giving us the thumbs down and one even rolled down the window & yelled obscenities at us. But overall, there were so many people that showed positive response, it made me feel good! I think this might be a learning experience for these truckers, but they actually DID something which is more that most will do. I commend them! God Bless Truckers! And, God Bless America!!!

  • Steve

    well…french truckers did more,then brave american truckers

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.