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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

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Breaking Truckers’ Resistance


In what was called the “Good Old Days”, truckers were known for their strong-willed, tough-as-nails persona, never to back down from a regulatory fight.

Running the road was their way of life, just give them the load, step back and let them do what they do best.  All they asked for was a decent week’s pay for a decent week’s work.

Back in those days, trucking companies treated the driver like part of the family;  at that time, they actually appreciated and respected the professional truck driver.

Then along came government

As time changed, it was obvious some things were necessary, such as:

  • The NTSB which was established in 1967 as the federal government’s primary accident investigation agency for all modes of transportation.
  • The United States Department of Transportation (DOT ) established on October 15, 1966 to ensure a “fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, established in 1970 by the Highway Safety Act of 1970.
  • The FMCSA, established January 1, 2000, who’s job is to improve the safety of commercial motor vehicles and truck drivers through enactment and enforcement of safety regulations.

As highways and interstates grew more crowded, obviously the need to establish further regulatory bodies were inevitable.  However, as is the case so often with government, the hunger for power and money overtook common sense and decency:

  • Many motor carriers began to look at drivers as a “dime-a-dozen” and saw the ability to make more money by exploiting drivers as cheap labor
  •  Company paid CDL training programs were developed, which most keep the new driver in debt and working for thirteen to twenty five cents per mile
  • New CDL license requirements gave us CDL training schools which for many, haul in thousands of dollars for the schools while leaving many CDL graduates with no job after completion.

As the industry grew larger and more efficacious, the driver became less important and money became the overpowering goal.  Through the years, drivers became worn down by the constant bombardment of regulations, rules and policies and for many, they have come to see the industry that they chose for their profession, become a relentless, constant attack against their personal livelihood:

  • The ATA welcomes new Cross Border Trucking Program
  • FMCSA proposes EOBR mandate
  • States enact Anti-Idling Laws
  • New HOS rules to take effect
  • NTSB proposes cell phone ban for truckers
  • FMCSA establishes Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program

During the 2011 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, it should be pointed out to the ATA and regulatory agencies that “Appreciation Week” should be an event held all year long.  It is a good “week” to have, but then we will go right back to normal operation and treatment of our professional truck drivers.

Truckers’ Resistance Broken

On October 19th, 1954, The Hartford Courant, published 1923-1984, came out with the headline:  “Truckers’ Resistance Broken, Drivers Say.”   The story began with:

“Nine trucking companies today made good their threat to file a 10 million dollar damage suit against a striking AFL teamsters union and those firms that have signed contracts on the union’s terms.”

Needless to say, the companies won and the drivers were defeated.  Now, in 2011, perhaps we are seeing that the resistance of many drivers are also broken.  All too many comments from drivers show that their wills are broken and perhaps today’s professional driver no longer has the “fight” left in them.

As big trucking associations baby-spoon truck drivers with acts such as an “Appreciation Week”, next week . . . it will be “business as usual.”

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog

On the other hand, not all drivers are broken.  There are still those drivers who voice their opinions and concerns to the FMCSA, NTSB, the ATA and others.  There are still drivers who are not intimidated by these organizations and associations and continue to stand up for their rights through their blogs, articles, books and other forms of technological communication.

There are still, and always will be, those drivers that are unwilling to back down from a just cause.



© 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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6 Responses to Breaking Truckers’ Resistance. - Post a Comment

  1. […] Road Conditions RSS FEED 14 Sep Breaking Truckers’ Resistance […]

  2. American Trucker

    Since midnight 4/15/2009 truckers have not been allowed to WORK in the ports and harbors in this country, until and unless they (just like healthcare) *PURCHASE* TSA’s “Permission to Work” REAL ID called TWIC from the U.S. Governments Military Contractor Lockheed Martin.

    You must ASK the TSA TO WORK VIA:It’s COMPELLED Application that costs $132.50, with it, trucking companies that pull frieght from the ports and harbors will NOT even give tou an APPLICATION FOR WORK UNLESS YOU HAVE ONE. I am myself a trucker with 30 years experience in the field and have thouroughly researched this TSA REAL ID *SCAM*.

    TSA states it’s needed while at the very same time clearly states “Possessing a the TWIC is no guarantee that it will even be accepted, because the owner/operator of the facilities TSA states it is needed for, can refuse you entrance to their property”. This was the same as BEFORE the idiots in D.C. *Ccreated* TWIC due the Patriot Act under the guise of Terrorism. The TWIC was designed for FOREIGN WORKERS ON FOREIGN FLAGGED SHIPS COMING INTO AMERICAN DOCKS, but TSA has abused it’s purpose and it is being used to deny Americans work until they PURCHASE one.

    I have THOUROUGHLY researched TWIC and have even tried to get a lawyer to sue on behalf of American Truckers but all the lawyers are COWARDS and say they have no idea what it is. I DO, and all THEY gotta do is file the suit but they are SCARED. The (ATA) American Trucker Association lobbied HARD for this socialist REAL ID, and is responsable for pushing for it.

    I have created a group on Face Book called Truckers Against TSA’s TWIC. As I said, I’ve researched this THOUROUGHLY and found it VIOLATES numerous U.S. Supreme Court Rulings and other laws. The compelled application process states you *MUST* be a “U.S.” citizen, yet the TSA REFUSES to DEFINE the term “U.S.” citizen (It’s NOT being born in a state of the Union as most of you believe), and REFUSES to DEFINE ANYTHING in it’s application, they expect you to just be a good sheep and apply for it,purchase it tofeed your family, or just dont work period.

    Over 1.5 Million truckers and port/harbor workers as the TSA has BRAGGED in it’s website have applied for it. I have written and asked the TSA AT LEAST 11 times since 2008 for definitions and meanings in it’s compelled application so I will know exactly what those meanings are and whom they apply to, and to date 9/17/2011, the TSA has not responeded to ANY of my 11 written and notarized inquiries. You can Google TWIC and read all about this “Permission to Work” REAL ID. I invite any and ALL truckers, and anyone else to join my site to get it noticed and bring this Socialist scam to public light.

    The goal is to get it reconized as nothing more than a money making scheme for Lockheed Martin and those who have a stake in this who VOTED for it in Congress, as well as a COMPELLED “Permission to Work” REAL ID Application. It has NOTHING to do with Terrorism because the people it was designed for do not need it as I have stated, as the U.S. Coast Guard already checks and verifies the identities of all ships crews that come into American waters via Passports and/or Visas.

    Once you have read the TWIC application online, you will see it is a farce, just by some of the nonsense questions they ask. Companies that work the ports and harbors are starving for drivers now because many do not want to get a TWIC “Permission to Work” REAL ID, while at least 1.5 Million others who do work them have become good little sheeple, and complied without asking any questions or whom it truly applies, or ever READ the compelled application. They just applied for it, purchased it, because they where TOLD they had to do it.

    Even many who have been in the field for years and years and never been in trouble or convicted of any of the federal crimes listed have done it and haven’t asked about it. Once again if you are a Trucker, or a boat Captain, tug boat crew member etc… you are welcome to join my site Truckers Against TSA’s TWIC to get it noticed nation wide.

    It IS a ‘PERMISSION TO WORK” REAL ID. NO news agencies have said ANYTHING about it except FOX who just recently did a story on it with Sen. Collins who said it was a FAILURE. See ya there road warriors. Truckers Against TSA’s TWIC.

  3. Rob J

    Until you guys start calling them what they are, you will get nowhere. By them I mean the Truck Nazis and the Anti-American Worker people that we occasionally call our Elected Officials.

    Ever notice how truckers in Quebec seem to shut things down, block roads and centers and manage to get their point across ?

    Tired of CARB dictating the Rules …. hammer the hell out of California with what I like to call …. Aggravation Fee’s !

    Cost you plenty to operate in the Shakey, charge them plenty more … screw ’em !

    Tired of New York shoving it up your butt for Tolls …. add Triple the Toll amount to your Bill.

    Notice how Jersey’s going nutz with their Scales …. add a Scale Penalty to your bill.

    Notice how Pennsy is at every crook in the road and toll booth with the Truck Nazis trying to relieve you of any part of a dollar they can …. ‘eff ’em …. add it to the bill times 3 !

    Yeah, go ahead, tell me the usual BS …. ‘ They’re just doing their job ‘ … Truck Nazis, plain + simple !

  4. Bonnie MacPherson

    I will be at the gathering in Tunica, MS in Oct. I asked you once about the CARB and trailer skirting, suggesting that CA is becoming a dictatorship and trying to enforce state laws nation wide. You did not agree or I just didn’t make myself clear.
    A friend receives note-cards from CA about the CARB changes and the most recent one about PM filters starts with the following sentence:

    “New air pollution rules for privately and federally owned diesel trucks and buses…”

    Notice the word ‘federally’? The state of CA has become a federal dictatorship that is now telling the feds what to do.

    I have noticed that many truckers are refusing to take a stand against anything the government does…the attitude is one of shoulder-shrugging what can I do? I think the entire country has turned coward and cannot or refuses to understand that the government has rules to follow, (the Constitution), and the government has decided it will not. The Abuse is not just against truckers, the abuse is against the entire country and all Americans.

    Somebody had to start the New Fight for Freedom, may as well be us truckers!


  5. Allen Smith

    Thanks Bonnie – looking forward to meeting you. This is what the “Open Panel” discussion is all about. Richard Wilson will be our Regulatory expert speaker and on the panel … perfect one to ask.

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