Tips on making friends in trucking

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I could make this extremely brief and say, “Don’t do or say anything Chris Spear does,” but in an effort to earn my keep here at Overdrive, I’ll draw it out in to a convoluted bit of silliness, also known as “it’s so ridiculous, you can’t even make this stuff up.”

So, unless you’ve been under a rock, or just living life to the fullest without constant, nagging rage-news updates, you’ve probably heard that the President of the ATA, Chris Spear, thinks he’s an expert on something he’s never done a day in his life. I know it’s been mentioned more than once, but his speech just stuck in my craw, and I couldn’t finish my Halloween story until I commented, most especially on this lovely little passage,

“Back in Washington, anti-truck and amateur-hour advocacy groups believe they know what’s best for our industry. This wave of special interests has built a cottage industry fueled by ideology, emotion, and misguided narratives – all intended to divide our industry and this association. … Obstruction is their weapon of choice. From bad bills to frivolous lawsuits, trolling social media and issuing personal attacks. Theirs is an agenda purely based on the notion that if it feels good, do it – and if it fails, blame someone else.”

Well aren’t you a catty little beast?Well aren’t you a catty little beast?

Tell me again how you drove for a living in nineteen-ninety-never? Or how about the safety ratings of the fleets and companies your organization are supported by? And when you speak of “our industry,” are you talking about your industry of political hobnobbing or our industry of trucking? We should probably clarify that. And please, explain to me the difference between your “association” and a “special interest group.” I’m riveted. Really. I am. Do tell. I’m not going to wait, because I know the answer. It was a rhetorical question.

Um, I’d like to address the “if it feels good, do it” comment. First, are you my Granddad, talking about Woodstock, or are you really trying to make a statement about the inability of independent owner operators to conduct themselves as professionals? If it fails, blame someone else? Who the heck are you talking to, Chris?

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Owner-operators have more skin in the game than anyone on the road, which is why they are consistently safer and have been for the same decades the aforementioned associates of yours have been bashing around the highways, with some of the worst safety records in America. Not only are they dodging the general public, they’re dodging untrained, 100-percent-churn, trucker-mill products. That’s safety, sir.

If you find factual data and questions of validity in contrived, purchased numbers to be an obstructive agenda that results in frivolous lawsuits, then you sir, are clearly the one with a misguided narrative, and an intent on fear-mongering the general public until they believe you’re making them safe.

Now that we’ve established we can all word-salad real good, let’s move on to the issues of leadership and unity. People who want to unite do not belittle. Real leaders understand and have done the jobs they ask the people they are leading to do. You can’t tell someone how to do it better if you’ve never done it. Stop assuming you can.