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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

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Truck Drivers not considered in Emergency Management Planning


Contributed by:  Rhianna Weir


Truck drivers are facing increasing difficulties as states and cities continue to place restrictions on their activities. Many ordinances are in effect regarding hours of service and idling laws. Drivers, by law, are required to get ten hours of rest for every eleven hours they drive. Anti-idling ordinances restrict idling to five minutes per hour.

During the winter and summer months, these rules and regulations provide a challenge as our drivers struggle to rest in often, extreme conditions. In addition, driving in conditions such as rush hour traffic, severe weather is stressful. Furthermore, professional drivers are under extreme stress when they are required to balance safe driving practices with demanding delivery schedules. Finding a safe place to park, dealing with the general public, shippers and receivers, and family is indeed, a balancing act.

Our society is only recently becoming educated about the plights of the trucking community. Legislation has been introduced which requires the trucking community access to safe parking. In addition, there is a movement created by some physicians who are helping truck drivers gain better access to medical care. However, there is one need that the trucking community needs to be aware of, and get some bill going to fix it. Emergency Management (FEMA), and local emergency management agencies, have no contingency plans whatsoever where the trucking community is concerned.

At a time when safety and regulations are coming out of the FMCSA regarding truck drivers, as well as other safety-sensitive DOT-type professions, why is there no contingency in place for the men and women who travel the interstates each day when it comes to emergency situations? Businesses have been known to turn drivers away when severe weather threatens their locations. Truck drivers have been denied entrance to shippers and receivers during tornado warnings. Furthermore, there are very few tornado shelters or other type of disaster relief management efforts geared for the trucking community, specifically professional truck drivers.

To sum it up, at a time when the FMCSA is making every attempt possible to create safer highways for the general public, why are there no attempts being made to secure the safety of the professional truck driver?

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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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