Confusion on the sidelines

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bird cartoonSo the sky is falling and we’re in imminent danger of not having enough truck drivers. We’re all going to starve and perish, unless they can get speed limiters on the trucks and everyone on electronic logs. Also, your momma dresses you funny.

I’m kidding. Your momma does a fine job.

I can joke, because it really is extremely confusing to hear one thing and see entirely another. Perhaps the very people who foretell such disaster should actually drive a truck for a minute, if only to figure out what they look like on the inside.

I have grave concerns for anyone who screams, “Oh my Lord, we’re running out of drivers!” in one breath, while they lobby and finagle to have even more regulations imposed on an already regulation strangled “deregulated” industry with the next breath. If you think we don’t have enough drivers now, just wait until everyone has a camera in their face, watching them go 64 mph, trying to avoid the four-wheeler asteroids zipping around them, while they have the added stress of a ticking clock that can’t be stopped yelling at them. Let’s sprinkle a little of the shippers and receivers who could care less about logs or mandated hours of service on top, and you’ve got yourself a full-blown case of stupid. Of course you’re going to have a driver shortage, what you expect?

“Hey son, we’ve got a job for you! It only requires taking your life into your own hands every day, being away from your family, and having Big Brother ride your shoulders like a monkey! And we’re going to pay you a whole 45 cpm for it! Yee ha!!”

Seriously? I’d run like my hair was on fire.

We have Jerry Moyes in one article, saying Swift can’t afford to have any more trucks, followed directly by an article that says Prime just bought 900 trucks they intend to lease to drivers for eventual purchase. We have page after page of people claiming there is a huge driver shortage, and yet the load boards and freight rates look like crap, and if anything, the overall rates have dropped. Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to “cry wolf” if the freight was plentiful and the rates were higher? Am I missing something here?

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, until we get people running the show that have actually been inside of, and driven, a truck for a living, the “powers that be” will run this industry off into a self-imposed ditch Sandy’s Towing couldn’t drag it out of. It’s time to leave all the posturing and hypothetical shortages behind and focus on fixing what’s actually broken.

Get involved. Make your voice heard. OOIDA has made it as easy as it can possibly be with the “Fighting for Truckers” website. There are 3.5 million CDL holders in the U.S. — use your numbers to force change that makes sense, instead of knee-jerk reactions to purchased data that actually impede safety.

The sky is not falling.

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