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Driver issuesNewsTrucking

Updated: Trump appointee reaches out to ‘Mayday’ trucker to set up possible meeting

Scott Jordan of Peculiar, Missouri, arrived at the nation’s Capitol early Friday morning with a mission – to meet with President Donald Trump and deliver his letter in person about how some small-business truckers are days or weeks away from shuttering operations because of low freight rates amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Jordan, the owner of Powerhouse Transportation, said he went to the U.S. Secret Service gate outside of the White House to ask for a meeting with the president and deliver his letter.

It appears he may get his wish. 

A few hours later, Jordan said he met with Timothy Williams Jr., the Deputy Director in the Office of External Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

“He [Williams] came down to my truck and met with me and we had some political conversations and he took a picture of my letter and the statement about what we are here about and sent it over to the President’s office,” Jordan told FreightWaves.

He said Williams then looked at a copy of the notice from Jordan’s bank that all of his equipment is scheduled to be repossessed next week. 

“He [Williams] looked at the repo notice and said he would contact the U.S. Small Business Administration to see what they can do,” Jordan said. “I told him, ‘I’ve already tried that and it didn’t work’ and he said ‘we’ll see.’” 

Williams then asked for a hard copy of the letter to take back to the White House, Jordan said. 

“I gave him a hard copy of the letter and an envelope I was going to give to President Trump,” he said. “Williams told me to hold on to the envelope ‘so you can give it to him in person.’”

Williams previously worked at the Koch-funded advocacy group Americans for Prosperity and served as deputy director of Trump’s first presidential campaign.

While Jordan said it’s too late to save his four-truck operation, he is in Washington to support others who may be teetering on the brink of closure. 

“My company is going to die through this process, but I was able to find my owner-operators good companies to work for,” he told FreightWaves. “They didn’t want to leave, but I told them I am the captain of the ship; get on the lifeboat and go. I didn’t want anybody riding with me until the end because I wanted to make sure every driver was paid.”

Around 70 small-business truckers conveyed to the nation’s Capitol on Friday, May 1, to protest low freight rates amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Scott Jordan

In his letter, Jordan is asking that President Trump “freeze all debts for truckers and all citizens starting 90 days prior to the announcement of this crisis, through this crisis, and to continue until 90 days after the all-clear order has been given,” Jordan said. 

However, as of press time, Jordan said he still hasn’t received confirmation of a set time or date on when or if he will meet with Trump.

“It all depends on his schedule, but I hope it works out,” he said.

Around 70 small-business truckers convoyed to the nation’s Capitol around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, May 1, to protest low freight rates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group plans to remain parked along Constitution Avenue until May 4.

“All we want is to meet with President Trump and let him know that small-business truckers need a fair and equitable shake as many mega-brokers don’t want to even deal with companies like mine with fewer than 10 trucks,” Jordan said. “For somebody that’s given their heart and soul to this country to get treated like shit all the time, it sucks. This really is my last ride.”

This is a developing story.

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Clarissa Hawes, Senior Editor, Investigations and Enterprise

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 Trucks.com. Clarissa lives in the Kansas City area with her family. If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to chawes@freightwaves.com.

11 Comments

    1. With low rates and a insurance disaster in Ontario Canada. Many companies are closing hog farmer, small craft brewery and bars ,owner ops , taxi busing, and small trucking companies. It is not a matter business sense it the cash reserves and size of cash flow shortage trucking companies that work in the oil industry are in trouble.

    2. Many of us have business courses under our hat, however, our company, new in early March, took a tremendous hit because we specialize in regional hauling of heavy equipment for the construction industry, which was completely shut down here in WA and OR.
      With new authority, we aren’t permitted to drive for many of the larger companies. We have had to scramble to find other work and keep up with $4k/mo insurance, equipment payments, etc. Too new in business to be eligible for the SBA loans and not much mercy from our lenders. The lane rates are ridiculous, especially at a time like this. There’s no money to be made at .89/mi and as long as people accept it, it will continue.
      I applaud and appreciate every trucker out there who’s raising awareness and those that are not settling for these rates. Many of us are in or heading into trouble right now due to no fault of our own. We should all have compassion for our fellow, hard working American business people who are struggling due to circumstances beyond their control. Praying for all of you representing in D.C. and those that are struggling at home. I am hopeful things will turn around quickly and something will be done to stop the abuses by ruthless brokers. If something can be done, I believe our President will make it happen, he’s the biggest believer in the American dream. God bless America!
      (P.s. Don’t worry about what “Ed” has to say, he doesn’t even have balls enough to use his real name, probably just a steering wheel holder or a broker’s little thieving, peon)

  1. I really like your article. It’s evident that you have a lot knowledge on this topic. Your points are well made and relatable. Thanks for writing engaging and interesting material.

  2. Atta boy Scott and thank the rest of the drivers that made the trip! We gotta stand firm and stand together because when all the warm and fuzzies are gone because the shelves are full and margins get back to status quo, its back to “Hey driver, get that fk’n truck outta my way”! We gotta HOLD THE LINE!

  3. Thank you Scott, good job. Sadly it is too late for many of us, the Europeans and other foreigners running operations from overseas, the ELD, inflexible HOS and then the insurance which was the final nail in the coffin.

  4. I have left this business and hopefully for good. I was sick and tired of those fucking brokers. It’s Quite obvious they’re all in red blood and Americans are now expected to make migrant wages the migrant trend is over. And now American corporations brokers and owners alike feel it’s ok to pay us migrant wages regardless of what industry your in. I say go suck a bag of dicks.

  5. Very helpful post. This is my very first time i visit here. I discovered so many interesting things on your blog . Really its good article.

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