Trucking — the country’s easiest regulatory target?

| January 22, 2014

trucking targetIs trucking the easiest industry for regulators to pick on? 

Could be, says Overdrive Executive Editor Jack Roberts, who poses the question in a blog post on OD sister site CCJ.

The motive is simple, Roberts writes: The public is afraid of trucks, and politicians therefore aren’t afraid of throwing regulations at the industry and its carriers and drivers in the name of protecting the public, thereby scoring them points with voters. 


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He also points to a more underlying theme, though, about the general state of politics in the U.S., saying that though Democrats are more pro-regulation than their conservative counterparts, trucking seems to never catch a break, no matter which party is in power. 

Even though most carriers and truck operators tend to sway toward the Republican Party, especially given the GOP’s tendency to be timid of regulatory burdens on private industry, regulations keep piling on for the trucking industry, even when the Republicans hold the reins. 

As an example, he points to the 2000 election of President Bush, when many in the industry thought the EPA regulations that began being enacted during the Clinton years would be rolled back, giving the industry a regulatory break on curtailing its emissions output.


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The Bush administration did nothing to unwind or change those regulations, though, Roberts writes, and even though the Republicans hold the House now — and there’s a regulatory onslaught coming again this year — don’t hold your breath as far as the House Republicans doing much about the 2014 regulatory agenda. 


It all goes back to the truck-shy voters, he says, and those in the trucking industry shouldn’t expect to see relief on the regulatory front, no matter which party wins.

Click here to read Roberts’ piece in its entirety. 

  • easymoney129

    Just like the rail roads its coming some day that there will
    no small business operators THANK YOU MR GOVERNMENT you put the wrong people in office and that’s what ya get 10/4 on that

  • EF McHenry

    Once upon a time regulation had the public interest at heart. Concern about safe drinking water, food etc was usually were things started and ended! Today big business looks at regulations as a way in which market competition and market share can be managed and acquisitioned. Their are basically two ways to get a regulation. #1 by a act of congress and #2 by captured regulatory agencies. That’s pretty much the size of it. The article was correct to point out that both democrats and republicans love regulation. The perception that republicans fight regulations is nothing but mythology! In fact the fearless leader of the American Trucking Association, Bill Graves, who is behind a plethora or truck regs like EOBRs/ELDs, sleep apnea screening, red-light cameras, speed limiters for all(65mph max), In-cab cameras, is a former republican governor of Kansas! Corporations and Big Business trucking love regulations. One good regulation can really squeeze the competition. A major manufacturing co for light bulbs can get a good regulation passed requiring retrofit, purchase of a new product etc and make millions upon millions in profit. You can justify almost anything in the name of safety, save only reality, logistics and lack of money to only stop the onslaught. Federal Govt agencies are the control freaks! They are the strong arm of big money lobby. Agencies pass rules, regulations, codes, standards, have fees require licenses, offer guidances that practically have the force of law and they do this at the behest of big money all in the name of safety. It’s crazy. Sequester was a the only thing cutting the size of the budgets of these agencies. And quess what? Republicans like Paul Ryan whined and cried about offering agency relief right along side of the democrats like Patty Murray. To think Paul Ryan is a small govt repubican is to be a stone-cold MORON! Rand Paul? Yeah. But not like his father Ron! Only populism will stop this! When Chris Matthews of MSNBC declares he need to go talk to Roger A. of fox news, you know there’s really no difference between the establishment Dinos and Rinos. They use social issues to work up the base but reality is it’s a charade. My advice is fight isssue by issues! Third party dreams are just a waste of time money and effort! Fight issues by issure and do not let regulation get attached to appropriation bill etc! That’s a backdoor way to sneak in a rule or reg! This article was ok! Good day

  • EF McHenry

    I would like to make one more quick point. It should also be said that there are all kinds of different regulations in the sense that they have different targets! Some regulations target money and capital and other regulations labor or the worker. Most of the regulations we are seeing today in the transportation industry seems to have the worker or driver in it’s cross-hare. EOBRs, sleep apnea, in-cab cameras, red-light cameras, speed limiters etc etc all either directly target the driver or they indirectly affect how the driver will work. These regulations also affect small 1 truck 1 operator businesses too. I’m just saying…. Folks Wake The Hell Up!! Sequestion should not have been relieved in anyway. It’s the worst side of govt!

  • Bruce at 1600 Watch

    Our regulatory nation is utterly out of voter control and is to the point of facilitating and protecting monopolies in a number of well connected industries, including trucking. Establishment Republicans put out truck loads of useless conservative rhetoric, but in fact just place hold for their Collectivist Left Comrades in Congress. Independent truckers are on their own today along with the citizenry with nearly zero representation in Washington DC.

  • Bruce at 1600 Watch

    I agree with you 100% EF. We still have the skeletal form of a Republic, but it no longer functions. There are virtually no checks and balances. We are living under a sort of reverse fascism, where large corporate monopolies bundle the political money and positive press, thereby controlling our Federal government. We need to wake up on the State level and actively support grass roots primary candidates. DC is lost.

  • guest

    Yep we are BURIED under all these Piles of new RULES and REGS…stifling Productivity….however No Increase in RATES or driver Wages???? Since the driver is SOOOOOO qualified, Observed, and Credentialed….should he not receive a HIGHER WAGE??? Perhaps Hourly is best and PAYING for all these INSPECTIONS the COPS want to Perform on US???? This 30 Minute sandwich BREAK should be PAID TIME for any company driver……MORE and MORE rules and Monitoring is on the way to Truckers……all fine and dandy IF we are Compensated. Otherwise this is totally UN AMERICAN and ABUSIVE and should be PROTESTED by all Truckers.

  • Guest

    So TRUE!!

  • Vrahnos

    Better believe it.The drug tests got their start from trucking regs.It was the litmas test to see how people would adapte to nana state laws for the general public.Today it is so bad compairied to the 1970’s that it’s no longer funny.A truck driver has almost no freedom now and nether do the trucking co.Hate to say it but what gets put on the trucking indrustry will be put on all Americans.

  • Mike Smith

    .We have been & are turning into a Communist country. It is confusing situation to be in since there are still businesses & corporations. It has been a gradual process. (Remember the boiling fog scenario). Mussolini took over business in a way also. He was called a Fascist. Maybe Fascist is a better name for what we are.

    Everyone needs to start calling what our country what is being tuned into. A communist/fascist country.

  • trucktracy

    So our worry here is how much money you are making, and not the fact that we are losing our rights everyday. The way I read your comment you do not like the regs but only because you are not getting payed for it. SO it is all right to be a whore as long as you make enough money?!
    I agree that we do not make enough money, but that comes from the market place. When truckers start leaving cheap freight on the docks then we will get payed, but not until that happens. Trucks come out of florida everyday for under a dollar a mile, not mine, we will bounce as far as we have to to get a decent rate. We can bounce to Tennessee and get the same gross dollars to wi as from florida, how many of you guys will do that. Nope 85 cents a mile pays my fuel so I will grab it. Just an example out of many.
    The cry of the soft nation is S A F E T Y! S A F E T Y ! S A F E T Y! There is an old line that says” Take them to the circus and feed them cake.” That is the game our government is playing. These regs are only a minor part of being safe and there are so many little things that could be done to make trucking and driving safer. The very biggest being: do not let inexperienced drivers on the road. No cdl driver should be on his own without a minimum of two years of being with an experienced co driver. Next is: mandate that all new trucks and trailers are equipped with disc brakes. etc etc.
    I will say it again stop driving for those big companies, they are paying politicians to get these regs passed. They need elogs and quall coms because their inexperienced drivers have not a clue how to do log books, they have no clue as to when they are tired and should park, hence the breaks that are mandated. Big truck companies can not compete with owner ops and are trying to push them out of business. Plain and simple.

  • trucktracy


  • kw6238b

    Fight how, EF? strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.