As I’ve written before, the protests against the FMCSA’s electronic logging device mandate the first full week of October brought together disparate communities of truckers from across the country. For many, the actions in D.C., California and elsewhere also galvanized participants in their stances against any requirement for truckers to utilize ELDs for hours recording, and in their determination to fight on.This coming Monday, Dec. 4, rallies have been planned in a variety of locations in more than 40 states around the nation — all planned to start at 9 a.m. local time — in an effort to roll the anti-mandate message east to west across the country and put some sunlight for the general public and local media that serve them on security, economic and safety issues.
It’s another push for support of the H.R. 3282 ELD mandate delay bill and, generally, an effort to bring the public firmly into the issues independent truckers have with the mandate. In Ohio, for instance, American Trucking Federation (in part an outgrowth of the Operation Black and Blue Facebook group) organizer Scott Reed, who will be familiar to regular Channel 19 readers, says points in Wooster, Springfield and in the Greenville area will be early-morning meeting spots for involved owner-operators and other truckers. They’ll convoy or come singly into Lima, Ohio. There, the group will stage across the street from Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan’s office for the morning. Jordan has not joined the list of cosponsors of H.R. 3282.
“We’re going to leave from there and do a convoy/parade through town,” Reed says, then stage at the Clock Tower Plaza parking lot. “At 3 o’clock Santa Claus will show up – the reason for that is we’ve been advertising on the news sites around Lima, telling folks to bring the kids out and get a picture of Santa Claus with your favorite truck.”
The truck-show atmosphere, Reed hopes, will give participating truckers an opportunity to educate the public on issues with the mandate. “While the kids are there, guys will give rides with parents/kids around the parking lot. While they’re doing that, we can be passing around flyers and getting information out to the people – ‘this is why we’re here.'”
In other states, plans differ — for instance, in Lansing, Mich., participants are planning to rally around the state capitol; in Nashville, Tenn., at the TA truck stop downtown.
Organizers encourage those interested in participating to reach out to them via social media or other methods of contact. You can find further information on rally points via the “photos” section on this “Monday information” page for the Dec. 4 events or via American Trucking Federation and ELD or Me group pages. Lisa Schmitt, co-organizer with her husband, Lee, of the Wisconsin event, notes the groups are also distributing talking points briefs and issues papers to media around the country as part of the effort.