Monday, December 5, 2016

Don’t let the mega carriers call the shots on speed limiters

We hear it every single day. On the phones with members. Chatting with visitors to OOIDA’s HQ. And poor Jon Osburn, captain of OOIDA’s tour truck, he hears it all day long, every day.

Speed limiters.

You would think with that much angst and complaining that we would be seeing some sort of legitimate movement. But, as of last check first thing Monday morning after they posted the weekend comments, there were only – and I stress only – 6,411 comments filed.

I promise I’m not going to get into a bunch of government jargon and politi-speak. So keep reading.

The mega carriers are behind this boneheaded idea. They are literally ramming it down the throats of company drivers and small-business motor carriers for one reason only – to hamper their competition. They want costs to go up for their competitors. That’s it.

The so-called “safety” groups are piling on out of emotion rather than science or real-world experience. They just want to “feel” safer and think that slowing trucks down will accomplish that.

Those of us involved with the on-the-road reality of trucking know this is a terrible idea. Many of you express legitimate fears over the increase of rear-end collisions. Many of you tell tales of idiot drivers maneuvering around two speed-limited trucks stuck in a five-mile-long attempt to pass.

There are a few more days left to file comments on proposed mandatory speed limiters. Truck drivers – both company drivers and owner-operator/small-business owners – can not only tap the brakes on a speed limiter mandate, but shut it down altogether.

You don’t have to be an attorney or a “good writer” as many of you think. Comments can be brief and to the point: Speed limiters are unsafe, and here’s something that happened to you or you saw because of a speed-limited truck.

It’s really good to give them an example of a passenger car using the shoulder and/or grass median to pass an elephant race of two speed-limited trucks. Anything like that. Drive the point home and make the agencies remember their time on the highways stuck behind these slow trucks with traffic stacking up behind them.

Don’t let the process intimidate you. Government jargon makes it seem really hard; hell, even I glaze over reading the tip sheet on how to comment and I deal with this stuff every day. So ignore all of that, and if you follow my steps it won’t take much longer than posting an update to Facebook or sending a fax to a broker. Promise.

Here’s how you do it online:

·         Click this link. (Or type in:
·         Type in your comment
·         Fill in your name (You can do it anonymously, but names are better)
·         You don’t have to give your contact info (If you do, it will appear with your comments)
·         Under category, select “Public Comment(s)”
·         Hit continue
·         Preview your comments
·         Hit “I read and understand the statement above”
·         Click “Submit comments”

You can have someone else do it for you online, too, if you want to enlist a kid, grandkid or spouse to help. The steps are the same except on the first page, they should click that they are submitting for a third party and fill out their info as the representative. The other fields are unnecessary in terms of organization and such.

Prefer to hand write or type it out and fax it? Easy enough. On the top of the page include this ID: FMCSA-2014-0083. Make sure you include your name. Fax it to 202-493-2251.

Only a few more than 6,000 comments have been filed on this. Trust me, we have to send a very loud and clear message. File comments now. You only have until Wednesday.

If truckers don’t stand together and push back, you’ll just see groups like the fat cat Trucking Alliance getting richer and calling the shots on your operation and your paycheck.

Really. Enough is enough.