Overdrive Extra

James Jaillet

Rules that ‘decimate’ trucking? Sounds familiar

roadI’m sure many American drivers can empathize with this headline from the NewstalkZB website, a New Zealand-based news and talk radio station: “Trucking industry fears being decimated by Govt rule changes“.

No, it’s not hours of service implementation, CSA-like programs or highway funding. The rule change is instead a change in work visa qualifications that would prohibit overseas truck drivers from gaining the ability to enter New Zealand and work as a truck driver.

The fear of the New Zealand Trucking Association is in many ways the opposite of some of the fears of American workers, who think they’ll be undermined by too many foreign workers. According to the New Zealand Trucking Association, however, the country’s trucking industry could be in ruin without the immigrant drivers it needs.

To a similar point, the American Trucking Associations has been saying a truck driver shortage in the U.S. is of looming concern, though that point is certainly debatable in the driver community — See Todd Dills’ Channel 19 entry from March 2 for an interesting take on that issue.

NewstalkZB’s headline, however, caught my eye not because the trucking industry is upset with government rule changes, but because the trucking industry in question is on the other side of the world and for all intents and purposes is completely disconnected from the American trucking industry.

There, though, the trucking industry largely runs on truck drivers hailing from outside of New Zealand, as, according to NewstalkZB’s article, 80 percent of drivers in some companies are in the country on work visas. The idea behind New Zealand’s rule change was that if trucking fleets could no longer hire immigrant workers to drive, then they would be forced to hire and train from the pool of unemployed New Zealanders.

Nonetheless, maybe the American trucking industry, including drivers, can take a small bit of solace knowing they’re not the only drivers in the world feeling uncertainty and pressure from regulatory changes.

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    I cut my toenails last week but don’t know what decimate means Regards to All

  • Hooty

    As I read this article and especially the title, I will have to agree with you on this. What do they mean by decimate? Who ever came up with such a stupid word?

  • No Reform

    The PAY for truckers in America is too LOW. We have 12Million CDL holders currently…we only need 3 Million.
    These shippers and Employers would prefer to hire illegal aliens s they do NOW….for CHEAP..no benefits..nothing.
    This is common knowledge among truckers and has been for a LONG TIME. The industry is basically a RIP OFF.

  • No Reform

    They have some BALLS to talk of the American Trucking Association..who is currently helping to write the Immigration Reform Bill..being debated Today…..that proposes to replace American Truckers with Registered Provision Immigrunts from mexico and beyond….11Million of them are waiting to take these trucking jobs.

  • No Reform

    If this Immigration Reform Bill becomes Law…you guys will need to print this magazine in Spanish….there wont be an American left out here driving trucks…….

  • jet1968

    The only thing immigrant drivers will decimate is the freight rates and the struggling driver pay packages for the drivers and owner operators here now. Despite what any government agency says there is NOT a driver shortage. This government (democrat and Republican) is no more then puppets for big industry. Flood the trucking industry with immigrant drivers then rate will drop and driver pay packages will to.

  • Linda

    The company I was working for hired a mexican as a 2nd driver. A week and a half later, without any warning, my driver job position was eliminated by corporate.
    This will become the norm I’m sure. The days of the American trucker are numbered.

  • mousekiller

    They work cheaper, with little or no benefits, no vacation, and do as they are told to do with no questions asked . That is the bottom line and US citizen drivers cost companies money .

  • mousekiller

    A bit more than 11 million but the numbers are a bit scary. How ever the problem does not lay on the legislators but on the American driver them selves. We have not policed our own ranks in over 20 years and this is the result along with lower standards companies now have.

  • mousekiller

    It means
    Annihilate, kill, stop, destroy.

  • john3347

    The origin of the word means to kill 1 in every 10. (in reference to mutineers in Roman Armies) Common useage now means to kill in large numbers.

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