Another trucking event that remains a go: 10-4 on D.C. kicks off Oct. 1

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Among the organizers of That’s a Big 10-4 on D.C., the public-outreach event and truck show on the National Mall, Fred Bowerman must have some kind of mind-reading capability — when September rolled around this past Tuesday and I had the distinct thought, wow, September is already here, and 10-4’s just a month away, Wednesday dawns and Bowerman’s name popped on my phone. He had news that delivered the answer to something else I’d been thinking about.

Turns out, unlike many gatherings this year to date, 10-4 on D.C. remains a go, he said, set to kick off Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Fredericksburg, Virginia, fairgrounds where the group has initially gathered in past years.

From the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fairgrounds the first night of 10-4 in 2018.From the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fairgrounds the first night of 10-4 in 2018.

In effect, “we’re doing the same thing” as in past years, gathering on Thursday, Oct. 1, convoying into D.C. bobtail early-early Friday morning. This time, though, given the night-hours powder keg Washington, D.C., among many other cities, has been off and on since shortly after owner-operators and other truckers spent three weeks parked along Constitution Ave. from May 1, participants aren’t going to remain on the Mall overnight. Rather, they’ll return to Fredericksburg and the fairgrounds in the early evening for further fellowship.

“We had the thought,” Bowerman said, what better way to build bonds between the participants than “doing just the one day on the Mall – that takes a lot of the headache out of it” for all involved, given possibly increased overnight security needs for the trucks.

On Saturday, Oct. 3, the Fredericksburg Brew Fest is happening at the fairgrounds, and on Sunday, 10-4 itself, “we’ll have another get-together there as well,” said Bowerman. “Folks can stay through Monday at that location if they want.”

He’s working on a block of rooms available at special rates at the nearby hotel in Fredericksburg — a fringe benefit, perhaps, of not remaining in D.C. overnight. In past, unless he or she was taking a turn on the overnight shift standing watch over the bobtail trucks along both sides of the Mall in the wee hours, a 10-4-participating owner-operator most often relied on a night or two booked in a D.C. hotel room, which can make for an expensive stay, no doubt.

“We’re trying to work on food for those who stay on” in Fredericksburg, Bowerman said, and on the whole 10-4 on D.C. is, as usual, “strictly an outdoor event. We ask everybody to use their common sense, and try to use masks” or other protections “when necessary.”

Pre-registration for those interested in attending, Bowerman noted, “will help us in knowing what we need as far as food and hotel rooms as well.” You can do that via this link to the 10-4 website.

Donations to a big food bank in Fredericksburg are encouraged — anyone thinking of “bringing a quantity that the supplier needs to be able to write off,” Bowerman said, “we can provide them with any documentation they need.”

For advocacy efforts on the Mall itself, though participants are as every year encouraged to speak as individuals with their personal trucking concerns, one focus will be the public comment sought by FMCSA on ideas put forward to potentially modify 49 Code of Federal Regulations 371.3, the rule governing the record-keeping and disclosure requirements of freight brokers — often referred to as the “transparency” regulation given it requires brokers to disclose freight charges to all parties to the transaction if requested.

Read more about the request for comment via this page at Regulations.gov. Comments are being asked for by a deadline of Oct. 19, 2020.

A scene from last year’s event on the Mall.A scene from last year’s event on the Mall.

Read more about 371.3 via the following prior elements of coverage and analysis: 

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