December 2017

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

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Voices channel 19 6 | Overdrive | December 2017 Visit Senior Editor Todd Dills' CHANNEL 19 BLOG at OverdriveOnline.com/channel19 Write him at tdills@randallreilly.com. During the American Trucking Associations' annual management confer- ence in Florida, the organi- zation was on a roll, pushing its large fleet perspective on drivers and owner-operators to one degree or another. The much-ballyhooed and -bemoaned notion of a "driver shortage" reared its head in yet another analysis that pegged the short- age-as-trucking-econom- ic-indicator at a potential 50,000 drivers by yearend if conditions don't change. (To ATA economist Bob Costello's credit, his remarks in the press release acknowl- edged a principal aspect of any discussion of just why drivers leave trucking companies: "We already see fleets raising pay and offering other incentives to attract drivers" – well-need- ed, let's hope it continues.) Meanwhile, the part of ATA head Chris Spear's address to the conference calling for "unity" was picked up broadly around trucking media. The desired unity might well be hard to bring about between those who agree and those who disagree that, as Spear said, the ELD mandate "has been legislated, promulgat- ed and litigated. … It is now time to move forward." What's more, Spear swiped at those who would protest the rule, lumping what he called "ama- teur-hour advocacy groups" together with the anti-truck crowd in holding to a one-sided notion of "what's best for our industry." And, continued the leader of a special interest group, "This wave of special interests has built a cottage industry fueled by ideology, emotion and misguided narratives – all intended to divide our in- dustry and this association. Obstruction is their weapon of choice." That quotation generated much hardening of hearts and some strengthening of will among the anti-ELD mandate crowd out there in social media. See the Oct. 24 Channel 19 blog post for further discussion of the movement against the mandate and blow- back against ATA, which anti-mandate partisans now are calling the Anti-Trucker Association. How's that for a return swipe? ATA PILES ON WITH PRO-ELD ADVOCACY Max Heine Too often, local roots are stronger than the seeds of development that would add parking capacity. That was well in evidence in Oc- tober when Love's Travel Stops withdrew its truck stop plans in Otsego, Min- nesota. Love's spokesperson Kealey Dorian confirmed it after a local media report detailed a successful effort, conducted mostly through social media, that rose against plans to put a new truck stop on I-94 in the area. It's a perennial challenge for those who would add parking for trucks, whether state entities with rest areas or private developers such as Love's. Dorian did note, how- ever, that though "we were unable to reach an agree- ment with local officials," the company has "chosen to seek other opportunities in the region." Access fur- ther discussion of the issue in the Halloween and Oct. 19 posts on the blog. PARKING'S GRASSROOTS PROBLEM Covering the anti-ELD demonstrations in October, I happened by the Capitol Hill-area office of ATA, which has criticized "amateur-hour advocacy groups." " What will happen come December 18? Will truckers overtake the no-truck rest areas? Don't be shocked if we do just that. We have to have somewhere safe to park these big rigs, and Trump is not listening. " — William McKelvie, via Facebook, echoing the oft-repeated concern that the ELD mandate will put further stress on already-taxed truck parking facilities around the nation

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