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Supply chain reports no disruption after StopTheTires2020 protest

“We should never go against our own people to prove a point about politics.”

Despite thousands of posts by members of a truckers’ group calling itself StopTheTires2020 promising to turn off their rigs Wednesday, few did.

The StopTheTires2020 Facebook group picked Veterans Day to boycott delivery of nonessential supplies to major U.S. cities “as a way to show support for President Trump.” Trump has not conceded the presidential election.

The group, made up of truck drivers, members of the U.S. military and their families, along with Trump supporters, also wanted to make a stand against President-elect Joe Biden’s “ban on fracking.” 

However, Biden clarified that his proposal only opposes hydraulic fracking on federal lands, not all fracking.

Perry Barger, a 17-year truck driver from Kentucky, did not participate in the StopTheTires protest. 

“Very few of us did,” Barger told FreightWaves.

His father, J.D. Barger, served in the United States Air Force in the late 1950s. After his military service, he drove for Atlas Van Lines for many years.

“One of the most important things to my father was this country,” Perry Barger said. “Shutting down and hurting the country is the least patriotic thing someone could do. I know my father would have been outraged at the thought of me doing this.” 

While Barger said he understands that some truck drivers are upset over the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, he said shutting down is not an option. 

“The vast majority of us did not and will not shut down over this election,” he said. “We will settle our differences at the ballot box and let this play out in the courts.”

Truckers became heroes during the coronavirus pandemic as they risked possible exposure to the deadly virus to ensure critical supplies made it to hospitals and grocery stores.

“All I could think of was how the nation has been suffering from shortages and how we just got back the respect that we once had in the 1970s and 1980s when country stars were writing songs about us,” Barger said. “Now, we are going to cause people to panic over an election?”

StopTheTires: No impact on supply chain

According to industry sources, the one-day strike appeared to be all talk as it had no impact on the supply chain.

The Outbound Tender Rejection Index (OTRI) measures the rate at which carriers reject customer requests to pick-up freight. It declined from 26.96% on Tuesday to 26.76% on Wednesday, meaning that fewer truckers declined loads on the day of the strike.

Chart: Outbound Tender Rejection Index – USA  SONAR: OTRI.USA OTRI measures rejected loads. Rejections declined from 26.96% on Tuesday to 26.76% on Wednesday, the day of the strike.

Great Plains Transport of Mapleton, North Dakota, which runs more than 230 trucks, said none of its trucks participated in Wednesday’s strike. 

“We did not get any reports from our customers of any service disruptions,” Joe Ritchey, employee engagement specialist at Great Plains Transport, told FreightWaves.

Some posting in the StopTheTires Facebook group claimed that massive shutdowns were occurring in their states, when in fact, they were sharing old photos from previous protests. 

“Most of the posts are owner-operators on home time and just fanning the flames or using outdated pictures,” Ritchey said. “The people that may have gone on strike had no visual impact on the markets.”

With some loads paying over $3 per mile, some truckers say they had to set aside their political beliefs to feed their families.

“I hauled cars and took a big hit because airports were closed and people weren’t driving much because of COVID,” one truck driver, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, told FreightWaves. “If someone else passes on loads, this just gives me the advantage to make money.”

Some group members criticized company drivers and owner-operators who posted that they couldn’t shut down because of family obligations.

Ritchey said he agreed with the truckers who chose to haul freight instead of parking.

“With the spot market and rates at a record high, who wants to go home and not collect the money?” he said. 

Oregon trucker Jeremy Rewoldt, the organizer of StopTheTires2020, said another strike is set for Nov. 26-29, when many truckers will already be home for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

As of press time Thursday, Rewoldt did not respond to FreightWaves’ request to comment on the Veterans Day shutdown.

Why shutdowns fail

Truck driver Dan “Dusty Chrome” Porter of Florence, Kentucky, has seen a lot over his 52-year trucking career. 

He doesn’t support the StopTheTires2020 strike because previous efforts over the past 12 years to shut down over low rates like with the Black Smoke Matters slow rolls or protests over the electronic logging device mandate have mainly been unsuccessful.

“There just aren’t enough truckers that agree on anything or everything to show up and make a stand that will hurt the economy,” Porter told FreightWaves.

Job loss?

The coronavirus pandemic hurt many truck drivers who said they had to set aside their political beliefs to feed their families.

Some company drivers, who said they supported the group’s efforts, posted they asked their carriers to take Wednesday off but were told no.

“With the holidays coming up, I just can’t afford to lose my job,” one company driver told FreightWaves. “My wife lost her job because of COVID, so I am the only one working.”

Barger agreed.

“As if 2020 hasn’t been hard enough on this country, it’s wrong,” he said. “We should never go against our own people to prove a point about politics — Republican or Democrat — we are all Americans.”

Read more articles by FreightWaves Senior Editor Clarissa Hawes.
Trucker group plans to ‘shut ’em down’ Wednesday in nationwide protest
Election 2020: Truckers largely plan to vote in person on Nov. 3
Election 2020: Truckers rate Trump on transportation, trade issues


  1. Many people in Ontario Canada have quit crossing the border trucking. Many homeless people are former truck drivers in Homeless hotels at the non profit groups expense large numbers of foreign worker permits have been issued in Canada to keep wages low. With Ford’s cuts and the O T A members not covering the cost of housing and medical bills for people who got coronavoius, many drivers have lost their health. The Fed gov on both Canada and the U S and larger trucking companies have been working together to limit truck drivers strikes to improve working conditions.

    1. You also don’t take in to account the other factors of why they are homeless. Alot of truck drivers are veterans and veterans alot of time have mental issues or problems coping with society after going through that(PTSD) being the main one…which trucking can be just as stressful and some eventually just kind of give up on just about everything. They never got the help and support they needed jumped in a truck and lived a lonely life while still dealing with it but now even more so alone.

    1. You should comment something productive. “Bozz” then again can’t expect something productive out of that name LOL. Also, Mike sorry buddy not here for some political agreement on Biden being good frankly just like every election the candidates suck. I just want the trucking industry to improve and weed out this dumb unproductive sheep mentality that keeps put industry in the dirt with a fmcsa leader that stepped down this year who even stated he didn’t even want to be in that spot after !%@$ up the industry lol. It needs REAL solid objective change that benefit every part of the industry. Neither of the candidates will provide assistance unfortunately.

  2. Just going to say agree with you 100% Charley, 43 years of being around these big mouthed-do nothing fools, glad retired. Knew nothing was going to happen, hey fools out there, your Putin Puppet is gone, now wish FUX SNOOZE would do the same. Thank you Mr.Biden for bringing stability back to the people’s white house.

    1. So you’re an Ilhan Omar supporter? Well, you’d best be learning Chinese because China is running the country now through your man Biden.You only THOUGHT Covid was bad. Joe “Beijing” Biden 2020!!!!

  3. Lol, oh nooo watch out a group of %1.5 of the active CDL holders are going to try to do something useless as per usual. Fracking should be banned it is toxic for our water reserves already infected, Ohio, Pennsylvania(confirmed earthquake caused from it here), Colorado and several other states and over all cause way to many problems not to mention there has been nearly a 20 times increase in tremors the east USA has been having because of it. You self absorbed fools. Look at the objective picture and quit being selfish fight for things that are fully messing up the industry. ELD’S, to expensive of over head, def system enforcement, the greedy brokers /companys, the big mega companys who keep the over all rates at a low due to there contracts to make there overhead running costs cheaper, the roads (Michigan still under construction since 25 years ago on i75 still and is still under construction till this day! Forcing us to go in to areas where 53 ft trailers with sleepers aren’t able to go, the lack of parking (all rest area and truck stop parking spots combined only make up for 300,000 spots in all of the us to accommodate 3mil truckers” realistically half of them are actively on the road but even then thats 1. 5 million drivers and only 300k spots lol. Not the mention the worst thing of all where when a bad accident involving a semi happens new regulations or insurance policys( recent 1 million minimum insurance bumped to 3 million literally doubled now for next year) break are kneecaps even though %18 yes…18% of the time its the truck drivers fault and the 260 million car drives arent thrown any stricter enforcement or restrictions. Are you joking me???!! There’s a reason why you only see billboards giving lawyers for car drivers involved in semi accidents not the other way around. They don’t give a flying $%@! about us because who cares about your silly %1 groups making no real objective change to benefit the industry as a whole so it just becomes a big polarized cluster !@#$ of you willys being separated and never coordinated. QUIT BEING SHEEP SO WE CAN MAKE CHANGE YOU IGNORANT TAIL CHASING TRUCKERS. LEARN WHAT TO FIGHT FOR TO OBJECTIVLY BENEFIT US? OH BOOHOO YOU CANT HAUL FRACK SAND NO MORE?? THERE IS AN UNGODLY AMOUNT OF OTHER THINGS YOU CAN HAUL!!!!!

    1. Just going to say agree with you 100% Charley, 43 years of being around these big mouthed-do nothing fools, glad retired. Knew nothing was going to happen, hey fools out there, your Putin Puppet is gone, now wish FUX SNOOZE would do the same. Thank you Mr.Biden for bringing stability back to the people’s white house.

      1. Hello I’m with you an anyone who thinks the same I been around this many presidency sides but never seen one like this one so arrogant and think that people are nutts he’s done nothing good for this great nation but destroy the little bit of dignity that this one was know its going to take a good effort to make things back to normal an make people thrust one another, look at what the heck is happening in the border people being separated because they cross illegally it’s not right but if u are in their shoes you would do the same to try an give yourself and kids a better life,.its not humanly to separate you from your kids it’s very important to keep them together not separate them , kids die because they don’t give them the proper care or help when they get separated an sick from being away from their parents, they treat those kids as bargaining chips to get funds for their illegal gains an make a profit along the way.?????

  4. Democrats are the mortal enemies of conservatives and if we don’t send a message by political means I.E. shutdowns then in the end we’ll be forced to use armaments because they will never stop forwarding satan’s plan ignorantly or willingly.

    1. You are on some next level blind cult following crazy train to the typical crazy truck driver stereotype that gives truck drivers such a terrible reputation that make people not want to help our industry. Congratulations for shooting yourself and all of us truckers in the foot.

Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to