Here is a copy of a letter I sent to my Congressional Representative. #OP3WASH #truckershadenough
Rep. Mark Meadows
11th District, North Carolina
Re: Co-Sponsor HR3282 and Operation Black and Blue
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.
Resident, Henderson County, 11th District, North Carolina