Friday, December 2, 2016

Greed and profit drive Anti-Trucker Alliance, I mean Trucking Alliance

Your safety and paycheck as a truck driver are not even a blip on the radar of the Trucking Alliance’s
agenda. Not that they try very hard to hide their corporate greed-driven agenda at all.

It’s time for a smidge of a history lesson. The newly founded Trucking Alliance showed up on the D.C. scene back in 2010. Formal papers were filed under another name that half-heartedly tries to make the group sound less economically driven. “The Alliance for Driver Safety and Security” is the official name. Yeah, another one of those. Hide behind the term “safety” and paint pictures of busloads of nuns and puppies as victims. Blah, blah.

Either the group wasn’t impressed enough with the official name or knew it was too easy to see through, because the group’s press releases and such only identified it as the Trucking Alliance for quite a number of years.

Maybe they didn’t try to sell the safety card too hard because of their key agenda items: electronic logs, speed limiters, higher insurance requirements, more truck “safety” technology and hair testing.

The ATA apparently wasn’t moving things along fast enough so the Trucking Alliance was able to pluck some rather large members to join its new association – and surely sturdy up the lobbying cash flow.

Maybe that whole “safety” name didn’t work for them because they didn’t really think anyone would believe the motives of the Trucking Alliance were as pure as the driven snow when they saw the motor carriers (and their fat bottom lines) who were members. Maverick Transportation, Knight Transportation, J.B. Hunt, Dupre and now they have Aon Risk Solutions (big money in the insurance sector), Cargo Transporters and KLLM Transport piling on.

Early on in the Trucking Alliance’s history Schneider and Fikes Truck Line were members. Schneider moved on to handle their own lobbying shop swaying lawmakers in D.C. Fikes Truck Line, as many will recall, failed. Why? Because of the very electronic logs that the Trucking Alliance managed to get shoved down the throats of the rest of the industry and proudly take credit for doing so.

The picture could not be any clearer what this group is all about: healthy, robust profits for mega fleets, and now apparently an insurance provider. More so even than that, it’s apparent they are pushing to increase the cost and regulatory burdens on all their competitors. (But, apparently not even their own are immune from the impact. See again, Fikes.)

It’s a giant truckload of bull they are selling in D.C. and they have a hefty wad of cash to do it with.

No one is keeping these companies from installing electronic logs, speed limiters, crash avoidance systems, or even robots for that matter, in their trucks. I mean, when you have billions in assets hanging in the balance for a runaway jury to nail, you’re going to do all you can to protect those CEO end-of-year bonuses.

What they don’t like is they are spending too much of their precious money on these gadgets and such while small motor carriers (with better safety records) are not inflating their expenses with stuff that is simply unnecessary. With safe, responsible, vested drivers behind the wheel, you just don’t have the problems these large fleets have. When the day isn’t scheduled at a full 14 hours with as much driving as possible to meet ridiculous delivery schedules, it’s not a problem.

Productivity and profits. That’s it.

We know it. They know it.