This past Saturday morning, while reading my news feeds, the president’s comments on supply chain interruptions caught my eye with the headline stating that truckers need to “step up.” Serving this industry for over 40 years, the president’s commentary could not go on without some response from me, so I posted the following comment on LinkedIn:
“Are you kidding me Mr. President?! The American Trucker needs to “Step Up”? While you and this country quarantined, they stepped up to keep the supply chain healthy. While the industry spends millions recruiting and training drivers, you paid those applicants to stay out of the workforce. Your administration forcing an unreasonable AB5 on the industry to kill the American Dream totally sucks! Recently, the mandated vaccine for drivers against their personal will is only one more bomb in this industry. For God’s Sake, Mr. President, you step up. Quit listening to your union buddies and recognize the obvious that is going on every day in trucking – they have stepped up Essentially!”
That post has been viewed 35,000 times. That indicates to me that the industry is tired of being misrepresented and the president calling out our drivers. This is a clear case of misunderstanding of an industry whose heroic drivers show up, step up and continue to deliver at any time, but more importantly at the time when they are most needed!
As I mentioned above, the private trucking industry as Mr. Biden refers to has been under attack from this administration since he took office. It is obvious to me that he and his Supply Chain Disruption Task Force members have done very little to understand the efforts of the private trucking industry. So, let’s help his team out a little bit:
- The trucking industry has been 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the past 40 years. It is interesting to me that it took a pandemic, with 188 ships sitting in Long Beach harbor for the president to come to the realization that the supply chain could be much better off if those ports were open for 24 hours. The truckers thank you for that, but my guess is that when we get through this clog, the ports will go back to regular business hours, while the truckers will remain serving this country 24 hours a day.
- The industry has pleaded with government for an infrastructure investment for years to improve roads and traffic patterns, build rest areas and increase truck parking options where the 24/7 drivers can get their rest.
- The industry has had a driver shortage for years, and they are spending millions of dollars recruiting and training entry level drivers. Paying drivers to train while waiving trainee tuition. The industry asks for no government help to do this. While your administration pays them to stay home, and incessantly reports we need to grow the good paying jobs. We have good paying jobs right now; help direct those people looking for a career to trucking.
- While we continue to train drivers, we also offer a professional career path. A truck driver can make anywhere from $60,000 to $120,000 per year. An independent contractor can make 2-3 times that as a private business owner. There is legislation that this administration supports that could destroy the opportunity for a hard-working American to buy his own truck and start his own trucking company. AB5/PRO Act legislation needs to be abandoned.
Mr. President, get out of your comfort zone when it comes to transportation. Expand your intelligence on trucking and supply chain challenges to see the private sector point of view. Trucking has its challenges but “stepping up” is not one of them. I will personally set up an industry summit where we can show you what we are already doing to battle this crisis and the true challenges that our driving force is facing today. I will arrange for top truckers to attend at a trucking facility to discuss the supply chain disruptions they see and show you the things they are doing to help solve the driver shortages. I know you have a busy schedule, so we can even start the summit at 3 a.m., because they will be open then, with drivers actively ready to deliver loads. Welcome to the trucking industry Mr. President, we are happy to have you.