FMCSA is listening. Share your views and make a difference

user-gravatar
The author of this post, former owner-operator and current owner-operator adviser, Gary Buchs, provided comments to FMCSA’s top brass in a listening session at the 2019 Great American Trucking Show.The author of this post, former owner-operator and current owner-operator adviser, Gary Buchs, provided comments to FMCSA’s top brass in a listening session at the 2019 Great American Trucking Show.

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, you have the opportunity to listen, learn and most importantly submit your responses to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as part of its Trucking Safety Summit. The agency says its goal is to gather information to improve safety.

Learning to navigate the regulatory environment is a tedious process. It requires patience that most people lack. People lean toward criticizing without thorough reading or listening, instead just responding to headlines. Our personal bubble typically contains only anecdotal information formulated from our experiences. These thoughts become our social and business norms.

When discussing regulatory topics, individuals often express what they believe would be the perfect solution. How often have you thought, “If it’s good for me it must be good for everyone”? The reality is what’s good for one isn’t necessarily good for all, so not everyone receives what they desire.

One example is how deregulation forced some trucking companies out of business as the free market led to more competition. At the same time, it opened the door for hundreds of thousands of small businesses to become independent owners. Without deregulation, many owners here today likely would not exist.

The regulatory process inevitably angers some individuals. But getting mad only serves to divide people who could work together and seek solutions for problems.

Predictably, as soon as the new hours of service changes were announced, the loudest voices came from people complaining before they have even had a chance to utilize the new adjustments that will take effect Sept. 29.

These new rules were developed after FMCSA invited input over many months, drawing approximately 2,800 submitted comments. That’s no small number, yet millions of CDL holders and transportation stakeholders could have responded. But they ignored not only the opportunity, but arguably a business responsibility.

Accept that you, the silent majority, can get involved, and this safety summit is a perfect opportunity. It will be held in a virtual setting 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. FMCSA said there will be a “brief public comment period in the mid to late afternoon.” You can register for that open forum, as well as other sessions, here.

This is a chance to increase the number of people commenting from 2,800. Can you imagine what the effect could be if even 1% of the 3.9 million CDL holders — 39,000 people — spoke up?

We are not all going to agree on every detail, but improvements are needed and possible.

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2021 edition of Partners in Business.
Download
Partners in Business Issue Cover