Every year there is talk about a strike amongst truck drivers that feel they have been dealt a bad hand in the poker game of the trucking industry. But that is usually as far as it goes, but this year might be different.
Truck drivers have been pushed just about to the breaking point with rules and regulations thrown at them. And with slow freight and high fuel prices, it’s like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
This year started off on a bad note, and it’s only getting worse. The DOT imposed a decree upon truckers that said drivers were not allowed to send and receive text or email messages while in the truck. If they were caught doing this, then they could face a fine of up to $2750.00
Next the FMCSA and DOT announced that companies that have a 10% or worse deficiency of hours-of-service violations after just one audit/inspection will have to get an approved electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) just like a ‘black box’ in an airplane. This will undoubtedly put some more truckers out of jobs, as I’m sure these “DOT approved” EOBRs are not cheap.
Truckers also are awaiting the dreaded [CSA2010] that was due in a few weeks, but has been set back until November at the earliest. Companies are already being able to get some information out of it now, but the full effect will be later this year. [CSA2010] has the potential to remove 175,000 drivers as soon as it is started according to the DOT.
The FMCSA is also putting together a medical review board to study some new medical rules that have been suggested, to see if it is something that should be added. If the new medical rules are added, I’m guessing I would be safe to say that this will be the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” As there will be 1000s of more drivers disqualified and out of work,
If this wasn’t enough to deal with, now diesel prices are climbing again and the freight rate is staying put. I don’t think that everyone realizes that driver’s can only take so much, and that it is getting close to being the end of driver’s just sitting back and taking it – without a fight. Is there a strike on the horizon for US truck drivers? I would say that there will be more participation if there is, and that it will be bad if it happens.
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