What drivers say about proposed shutdown

Oklahoma-based owner-operator Bryan Hutchens’ 1996 Peterbilt 379 parked on the National Mall during “That’s a Big 10-4 on D.C.” last October. (Overdrive photo)Oklahoma-based owner-operator Bryan Hutchens’ 1996 Peterbilt 379 parked on the National Mall during “That’s a Big 10-4 on D.C.” last October. (Overdrive photo)

Truckers who are part of a Facebook group are calling for a nationwide shutdown by drivers April 12, and reaction by other operators has been mixed.

The Facebook group calling itself “Black Smoke Matters” has issued the Truckers Declaration for the 2019 Shutdown, which lists numerous reasons for drivers to park their trucks that day. Among the reasons it lists:

Our colleagues at Overdrive senior editors Todd Dills and James Jaillet posted a detailed look at the proposed shutdown, as well as previous efforts to organize disenchanted truck drivers and efforts already in the works to address some of the grievances listed in the declaration.

Needless to say, there has been no small amount of reaction to the proposed shutdown. Here’s a sampling of what was said in the “Comments” section of the Dills/Jaillet story:

William Paul McKechnie: “Truckers have always been an independent bunch. That’s why it is impossible to get us all together to shut down for even a day. There will always be some who will just continue to drive no matter what’s at stake.”

BW9: “I hate to break the news to you guys, there’s never going to be a strike/shutdown of any consequence again. Those days are gone. The last American cowboy is dead and buried.

Jesse: “One or two days will have little to no effect. Initial minimum shutdown seven days in April. If no effect, an additional shutdown in May, duration to be determined. This is for rates! This is not to get rid of eld’s, drive more hours and push the rates down further!”

Steve: “I’ve been in this industry since 1981, and I’ve seen several of these over the years. Not once has any good come out of these. But many times drivers and their equipment have been both physically and psychologically hurt. And on their demands, the last thing we need is more hours to work. Cut it back to 40 hours a week and the rates would have to go up. I’ve got several friends who are no longer in trucking and they are making much more money in fewer hours, as well as being home every night. There are other options.”

Mr. B: You can’t get 2 drivers to agree on the color of the sky. There is enough people waiting to go to trucking school that the feds don’t care about us. They are going to pacify us older drivers long enough for us to quit/retire, then they will have the new drivers that will just bend over and take it.”

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James: “The absolute only possibility of an effective “shutdown” would be massive union expansion in the industry; this may occur after 2020 if card check legislation is revived.”

Have your say. Tell us what you think in the “Comments” section below.