OOIDA to Trump: Why don’t you meet with actual truckers?

OOIDA challenges the President to "meet with Americans who actually drive for a living."

OOIDA to Trump: Why don't you meet with actual truckers?

As part of their next step in the fight against Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has challenged President Trump to meet with “Americans who actually drive for a living.”

OOIDA Pens Letter Asking For Trump Meeting

On February 5, OOIDA’s acting President Todd Spencer sent a letter to the White House thanking Trump for his support of the trucking community but also suggesting that he take the time to talk to the small business truckers who helped to elect him.

From the letter:

Like no President before you, you have gone out of your way to demonstrate your support for the trucking industry and acknowledge that truckers are a critical component to relief efforts during national disasters and emergencies. However, most of your interaction with our industry has involved only representatives of large corporate motor carriers, who have vastly different legislative and regulatory priorities than the real truckers who helped get you elected. Independent drivers believe in your vision for America, but are finding it harder to remain in the career they love because officials in Washington simply don’t understand their distinctive operations, appreciate their contributions to our nation or prioritize their survival.

In the letter, OOIDA asks Trump to take a stand against ELD regulations: “While your administration has done a remarkable job rolling back several excessive trucking regulations, professional drivers are perplexed and disappointed that their shouts for relief from the disastrous electronic logging device mandate have not been embraced by the White House. This $2 billion Obama-era regulation is the most costly, disruptive and controversial trucking mandate in the history of our industry.

OOIDA is asking members to use social media to make their voices heard by the President. Members are encouraged to use the hashtag #meetREALtruckers on Twitter and to tag @POTUS on both Facebook and Twitter.

Trump’s Trucking With The ATA

Trump has paid attention to the trucking industry in the first year of his presidency, but he has chosen to work primarily with the American Trucking Association (ATA). When the President climbed into the cab of a truck last March and quickly became a meme, it was a truck with an ATA logo.

In May of 2017, Trump announced that he would consider raising fuel taxes to pay for his infrastructure plan because “truckers” asked for it. The ATA has supported increasing the federal fuel tax for years and president Chris Spear said that “the cost of doing nothing is more expensive than a higher fuel tax.

In October, Trump addressed “truckers” Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in an attempt to sell his tax plan, he again met with ATA members.

You can read OOIDA’s letter in full below.

February 5, 2018
President Donald J. Trump The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 20500
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
National Headquarters: 1 NW OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029 Tel: (816) 229-5791 Fax: (816) 427-4468
Washington Office:
1100 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20001 Tel: (202) 347-2007 Fax: (202) 347-2008

Re: Meeting Request with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Dear President Trump,

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) represents 160,000 small- business truckers, who comprise 96% of registered motor carriers in the United States. Our association was founded by truckers and continues to be run by professional drivers 45 years later. We agree with your assertion that, “No one knows America like truckers know America.” It is equally true that no one knows truckers like OOIDA knows truckers. We very much appreciate the support and respect you have publicly shown our industry during your first year in office, but believe it is imperative that you meet with Americans who actually drive for a living to better understand their unique challenges and address their distinctive needs.

While your administration has done a remarkable job rolling back several excessive trucking regulations, professional drivers are perplexed and disappointed that their shouts for relief from the disastrous electronic logging device (ELD) mandate have not been embraced by the White House. This $2 billion Obama-era regulation is the most costly, disruptive and controversial trucking mandate in the history of our industry. The countless OOIDA members who supported your election reasonably believed your efforts to provide regulatory relief to truckers would begin with this expensive and harmful mandate. Now that the regulation has taken effect, many small-business truckers are frustrated and disenchanted because their serious concerns were never fully recognized or addressed.

Like no President before you, you have gone out of your way to demonstrate your support for the trucking industry and acknowledge that truckers are a critical component to relief efforts during national disasters and emergencies. However, most of your interaction with our industry has involved only representatives of large corporate motor carriers, who have vastly different legislative and regulatory priorities than the real truckers who helped get you elected. Independent drivers believe in your vision for America, but are finding it harder to remain in the career they love because officials in Washington simply don’t understand their distinctive operations, appreciate their contributions to our nation or prioritize their survival.

During your October 2017 speech on tax reform in Pennsylvania, you stated “America first means putting American truckers first.” We agree whole-heartedly, but contend the best way for your administration to truly put American truckers first is to hear about their challenges and needs firsthand. Talking with professional drivers will reveal innumerable ways your administration can promote the interests of OOIDA members. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these opportunities.

Sincerely,
Todd Spencer
Acting President & CEO
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc.