Well, I finally did it. I joined the OOIDA. Here’s why…
Years ago, I did not feel the pressures from the trucking industry that I do today. There was a distinct freedom involved in being a truck driver.
We worked hard, ran hard, and make good money doing it. We were treated well.
For the most part, the authorities did not heavily patrol the truckers as we worked hard to make ourselves a living. Of course, even early in my career, there were a few states which were a little hard on commercial truck drivers. Iowa enforced stringent length laws and California heavily scrutinized our log books.
But overall, trucking was good to me and many, many other truckers.
But the last few years I have been feeling a lot of pressure from within this industry.
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New Trucking Regulations Hurt Truckers
Excessive regulations, such as the ones implemented in the last several years, have a serious impact on us as truck drivers and take away from the joys of a proud trucking career.
We have gone from an industry of independence to one which is regulated to death!
I’ve been wondering what I can do about as it has been eating at me for some time now and I didn’t know how to best deal with it. The voice of one can feel very small.
Truckers, after all, are very independent by nature. It is part of what contributes to the success of a truck driver’s career. It’s why many truckers are able to stay out on the road for weeks at a time.
However, our innate sense of independence can work against us when it comes to the government regulating the trucking industry. Our career keeps us on the move which can make accomplishing certain goals very difficult.
Because we are transient and work long hours, most of us do not have the time or the opportunity to battle the ‘suits’ and the desk jockeys who make up the multitude of rules which inadvertently hurt us and our industry.
Trucking Regulations Will Happen – Whether You Speak Up or Not
Consider the many regulations that have been imposed on the professional trucking industry in the last few years. It is incredible how much has been changed and how little say I felt I had in any of it.
There are numerous regulations being introduced such as:
- speed limiters
- platooning with big trucks
- the introduction of the E-Log system
- regulations for sleep apnea
- dash cams recording driver activity
- gross allowable weights to increase on the interstates
- the introduction of autonomous trucks
The truly depressing part of all of these new trucking regulations is that they are foolish ideas introduced by individuals who don’t even drive trucks.
How can someone with no real experience in trucking be able to tell me what is best or safest for my work?
As difficult as it may be, we as truck drivers, need to band together and protest against these regulations which are hurting us as professional truckers.
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An OOIDA Membership Supports Your Trucking Freedoms
I am of the belief that we need representation for professional truck drivers.
I want representation which speaks on our behalf and protects the trucker. This is the main focus of the OOIDA (Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association).
The OOIDA is a strong united voice which stands on behalf of truckers against politicians and the FMCSA.
We need protection from these ridiculous ideas and the self-serving groups in Washington, most commonly profit-driven, such as the Shipper’s Coalition for Transportation and Productivity.
There’s not much value in standing back and complaining. As individuals, we need to band together to have a strong voice and be heard. Individually, we don’t make much of a difference, but there is strength in numbers.
I recommend you seriously consider giving your support to the OOIDA.
They have a solid history of accomplishing good things for the trucker. An OOIDA membership helps lend your support and your voice to an organization that fights against excessive trucking regulations.
The OOIDA also have discounted rates on personal group health insurance, fuel card programs, purchase benefits for truck parts, tires, and parts.
I personally have had enough of the regulations being imposed on my job without my say in it. We need them to inject a level of common sense back into our industry, and a body to combat the powerful rule makers that don’t seem to have our best interest in mind.
If you are a truck driver in North America, do consider joining the OOIDA. Membership is inexpensive at $45/year.
We cannot expect change if we do nothing. It’s one of the few organizations which support the trucker.