OOIDA’s Spencer blasts ATA, asks FMCSA to work with Congress on ELD delay

Chris Spear, President & CEO of the ATA
This is Chris Spear. He is the President and CEO the ATA. Which means he works directly for the CEO’s of the largest carriers in this country. His letter is an attempt to send a signal to Congress and the public. That message? Nothing to see here…move along.

It’s not going to be that easy Chris.

Check out the article in the link below.

Land Line Magazine article regarding ATA’s letter to FMCSA

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Operation Black and Blue #OP3WASH

I wonder what 10,000 rigs in the Capitol will sound like to our representatives?

Demands For Washington for special session

Some of these don't apply to ALL COMPANIES.

1. ELD Mandate To Be Abolished
2. Eliminate 14 HOS
3. Restructure the FMCSA to have over half of the members be former truck drivers/owner -operators from the raw material sectors, owner-operators, small trucking companies, highway freight sectors and only 1% being from the mega carriers. Other members of this panel will include members with a history involved in the transportation business and organizations.
4. Abolish Speed Limiters/ Split Speeds
5. Abolish CSA Scoring
6. Toughen Up CDL Training and Educate Public about Commercial Vehicles
7. Higher Standards for Driver Trainers
8. Parking Availability
9. Fines for SHippers and Receivers
10. Abolish Government Subsidies to HB1 Visas and to New Drivers Incentives Going Through Driving Schools
11. Driver Paid Miles and On-Duty Pay
12. Driver's Right to Protection And Privacy
13. Employers Responsible for fees and Fines Upfront
14. Limit Truck Wreck and Ambulance Chaser Attorneys
15. Emission Controllers Be Overhauled and Less Power to Emission Exploitation
16. Emission Control Levels to be under Federal Juristriction ONLY, and prohibit the States in policing their own Environmental Emission Controls actions
17. Prohibit No-Idling laws for Truckers
18. Repeal the Statutory acts from Map 21 and Fast Act
19. Stop Overreaching Congress Members Manipulating Laws and Mandates with Changes without Proper Consent or vote notifying the Transportation Industry of changes before putting into law.
20. Repeal CARB and Over Restrictive California Mandates
21. Prohibit the use of tax dollars from being taken away from the roads and infrastructure to pay subsidies to mega carriers and associated operations and businesses that would enhance and encourage mishandling of funds for other than the repair and maintenance of the roadway system in the nation.

#truckershadenough #truckersunited #truth #truckersagainstelogs #chromeandsteelradio #livetrucking #OP3WASH

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What #OperationBlackandBlue is going to Washington DC for….PLAIN AND SIMPLE. #washingtonpost

A Letter to Rep. Mark Meadows, 11th Congressional District, North Carolina #OP3WASH

A letter regarding the upcoming ELD mandate and the protest rally in Washington DC October 3-8.

Here is a copy of a letter I sent to my Congressional Representative. #OP3WASH #truckershadenough

 

Rep_Mark_Meadows_RNorth_Carolina.jpg

Rep. Mark Meadows

11th District, North Carolina

Re: Co-Sponsor HR3282 and Operation Black and Blue

Congressman Meadows,

I am writing to you today for two reasons. The first is to urge you to co-sponsor and/or support Congressman Brian Babin’s (R-Texas) bill regarding the ELD mandate for the trucking industry. The bill, H.R. 3282, is called the ELD Extension Act of 2017. While I am only one voice in the sea of many thousands you represent, I hope you will read this letter and understand my concerns as both a small business owner and an owner operator.

The electronic logbook issue is complex and entities like the ATA (American Trucking Association) and its mega-carrier membership like to muddy the waters every chance they get. The issue isn't about safety. The issue isn't about HOS (Hours of Service) compliance. The issue is about control and monopolizing this country's transportaion dollars. 

A large mega-carrier is able to negotiate huge discounts for ELD units and monthly monitoring service at enormous discounts. Small carriers and independent truck owner operators cannot. The same mega-carrier can self-insure their fleet and not feel the consequences of putting poorly vetted and poorly trained drivers behind the wheel (harming the reputation of professional drivers among the rest of the driving population) without the burden of drastically increased insurance rates. As you might imagine, the small carriers and independent truckers cannot. This mandate, which has been pushed by the ATA and its membership since day one, will accomplish one thing and one thing only. It will add yet more expense and regulation to a sector of the transportaion industry that is already drowning in both. Organizations like OOIDA have been staunch advocates for the independent owner operators over the years but they have been fighting an uphill battle since day one.

The second item is regarding Operation Black and Blue. If you haven't heard about this movement over the last few months, you surely will soon. 10,000 truckers will be coming to Washington DC to visit you and your colleagues at the State House. I imagine that 10,000 tractors will be something even your most apathetic colleagues will be hard pressed to ignore. I for one will be there. Maybe we’ll bump into each other.

There are still too many questions to be answered. Too many discussions that haven't taken place. Please support this bill to give us time to rally more companies and drivers to this cause. Support HR3282.

Sincerely yours,

 

Phillip Shuart

Resident, Henderson County, 11th District, North Carolina

The Chain Game

Untangling The Issue

 Anyone with a closed headache rack knows the frustration of tangled, bunched, and buried chains. Earlier this year I made the decision to cut all my chains in half making them a bit easier to handle. So my 25′ 5/16″ chains with two hooks became two separate 12.5′ 5/16″ chains with one hook. My 20′ 3/8″ chains with two hooks became two separate 10′ 3/8″ chains with one hook. 

It’s madness they cried! What do you do when you need hooks on both ends or longer chains, idiot? Im glad you asked.

Midlink

A Midlink, as the name implies, allows you to “link in the middle” of two open (i.e. No Hook) lengths of chain. They are manufactured by grade and class (you want G70 and F16) and size (5/16″ – 3/8″ – 1/2″). They are available at most securement shops and some trailer repair shops that have a supply store as well. I got mine from Tri-City Canvas in Granite City, IL. It doesn’t matter where you buy them because the size, grade, and rating are stamped on the piece.
38_Midlink.jpg

What Do I Need?

 The Midlink will come with both clevis pins and the two cotter pins to secure them. You’ll need to buy one Midlink for each chain (approx $8.00 each). This list assumes you already have the chains. If not, you can forget the grinder/cutting wheel. Have the shop you buy the chains from cut them first. Most will do at no charge when buying new but, some I have heard of charge a “cutting fee”. Usually no more than $5.00 each.
    • Angle Grinder/Cutting Wheel
    • One Cotter “Hair” Pin (this is an open style of cotter pin)
    • Needle Nose and Flat Nose Pliers
That’s it.
 
Stretch the chain out with the hooks sided by side. Find the middle link and cut through both sides. You lose one link and alacazam! Two chains.
 
Attach a midlink permanently to the end of half you new chain sections with one of the supplied “straight cotter pins”.
Straight Cotter Pin Connection
Midlink connected with “straight” cotter pin

Connect the other end of the chain only when you need the longer chain. Drop the other clevis pin through and secure with the hair pin. (Pictures Below)

Midlink 2
Line Up the Chainlink and Midlink. Insert Clevis Pin. Secure with Hair Pin.

Clevis_Pin.jpg
Here is the Clevis Pin

Cotter Style Hair Pin
Here is the Hair Pin 

Pros and Cons

There is always good with the bad. Lets start with good!
  • Chains are half the weight.
  • Easier to handle.
  • Much easier to drag out of the headache rack.
  • I have had no bound or tangled chains since doing this.
  • I have noticed that the types of materials that commonly need more than 10′ of chain aren’t something I do often.
  • Less extra chain to wrap and secure.
The bad.
  • It will take a few times for you to remember you have an extra 10 minutes of prep to secure. By this I mean after I cut my chains, I didn’t have to link them for months. When I picked up a load of cable reels (and needed 15+ feet of chain) I found myself scrambling to get them linked up instead of doing it while I sat in line waiting.
  • Disconnecting them adds time. Not much with practice but still additional time. Our time is money as they say.
  • I’ll add this last item with an *. I picked up at an aerospace company that will remain nameless. They nearly refused to let me load because their “Safety Guy” had never heard of the Midlink. I waited an hour while he “Googled” it. Other than that I’ve never had a problem.

Partials: Balancing Profit with Customer Expectations

The term “Partials” can have a negative connotation in our business. Some Brokers are more than happy to lists loads as partials but most assume they are “paying” for the whole truck. In truth, I don’t often bring it up with anyone I’m working for. We’ll start with a real world example.

Take this 580 Combination Backhoe. The team back in the office negotiated an excellent rate from southern Michigan to Idaho Falls, ID

The Problem
When I get empty…I’ll still be in Idaho Falls, ID.

I don’t mean this as a slight to the fine people of Idaho. It is truly beautiful country. It is not, however, a hotbed for specialized open-deck freight. You now find yourself stuck with the two terrible choices of sitting in Idaho hoping to get lucky or driving empty (for free) to another location.

Is there a third choice?

What if we were to go back in time to last week when we loaded this load. It was a 1500+ mile run to deliver on Monday. Scheduled to pickup on Thursday we would be landing in Idaho Falls Saturday afternoon. This means a day in Idaho Falls sitting (Sunday).

The Solution

How about we load an additional (and separate) delivery using up the 21 feet at the end of the trailer?

We could use Thursday to locate a partial. After much searching…victory. A piece of machinery going to a roof truss manufacturer in Wyoming. Just 70 miles from our Idaho Falls delivery.

The Customer Factor

Never forget that this business is all about customer service. Too many drivers don’t realize or won’t realize this simple fact.

This partial feels like a lucky break. Realize now that the partial will need to come off first so the 580 can be driven off the rear. If the 580 is a firm 8:00am, you cannot accept the partial. In this case it was an open 8am-4pm FCFS delivery.

You have to be creative all of the time. Think outside the box. If you see multiple items on another truck, go strike up a conversation with the driver. Is it multiple loads? How are they delivering? How much lost time in collecting them all? Etc.