Regulations, according to Trump are out of control. “We’re going to be cutting regulation massively. We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent, maybe more.” This follows his campaign promise of cutting regulations by 70 to 80 percent back in October. But what exactly does this mean in legislative terms? Which regulations are going to get the ax, and does this mean across the board of industries? While we have yet to hear a definite plan there is going to be some regulations that get slashed from the legal books, that’s for certain.
President Trump’s Sure-Fire Claim
When it comes to making good on what he promises Trump is hitting a home run. So far everything from immigration to the Wall has been put into position with his executive orders. So we can go ahead and affirm that regulations will be cut from federal rule. In hunting down these regulations we have to go to the Federal Register. The Fed. Reg. is the journal of the US government documenting all of the agency rules, public notices, and proposed rules. This is where you’ll find trucking regulations, in 80,000 pages of documentation.
Yes, that’s right, eighty-thousand pages of regulations that include things like:
- All children in Massachusetts daycare must brush their teeth after eating lunch. Oh, and they have to use fluoride toothpaste. It’s a regulation.
- Monks in Louisiana have to have a funeral director’s license in order to sell wooden caskets. And no, these monks do not have to be involved in the funerals at all, just in the business of making caskets.
- Those giving tours of Washington DC must have a tour guide license or they’ll be sent to prison for three months. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just straight up prison time.
- Minnesota farmers can only sell pumpkins and live Christmas trees that are grown inside the city limits of Lake Elmo. If they are busted sourcing out of town seasonal decor they’ll have to shell out $1,000 and go to jail for three months.
- If you want to close down a trucking business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin it is a regulation that you must buy an expensive going-out-of-business license, fill out books’ worth of paperwork to cover the inventory you sell off, and you have to pay a fee for quitting the biz along with $2 for every $1,000 you sell in inventory. Seriously.
These are just a few of tens of thousands of regulations that by all means deserve to be canned. So will these be the type of regulations that Trump decries from the Federal Registry, or are we looking at more serious regulations? Certainly those in the trucking industry feel like the hours of service red tape and electronic logging rigamarole need to be minimized, if not removed altogether. This will be the big thing to watch as this regulation removal process begins.
Benefits of Less Trucking Regulation
Over-regulation example No. 1. In order to do your job as a truck driver you have to deal with all degrees of trucking regulation as soon as you put your hands on the wheel. For starters you have to spend time doing a pre-inspection to make sure everything is up to par with your tractor-trailer. Periodically you have to do that inspection again, and again, and then again at the end of the day. Paperwork is required for each inspection, and even if you do your inspections as required you could still get dinged by a DOT inspector for something you’ve missed.
Over-regulation example No. 2. Next we have hours of service rules and log books. For most truck drivers these are all a big joke. First of all you can’t truly do your job to your employer’s demand based on the HOS rules required of you. If you have to get your load delivered at 2 pm on a Tuesday it had better be unloaded before 2 pm or your job is on the line. If you are forced to manipulate your log books because your hours of service don’t legally let you arrive on time, then that’s what you have to do.
If HOS are truly meant to protect truck drivers and the safety of the highways, then there would never be the issue of fudging on a log book. We wouldn’t need electronic logging devices because the hours of service rules would work naturally. These rules aren’t natural, and as a result they need to be nixed or seriously revamped.
These are just two of the most pertinent forms of overregulation being dealt with daily by truck drivers. There are plenty of others from CSA scores to trucker parking requirements. In a dream world we would see all of the regulations of trucking amended or evaluated, but there’s only time for so much deregulation in a day.
Issues With Cutting Regulations in Trucking
Not all of the federal regulations are as bad as monks being forced to go to funeral director school. In fact many of the large-scale regulations are important and fundamental in keeping our society safe from harm. Lead poisoning in children’s toys, food contamination outbreaks, sewage in drinking water…these are some of the regulations that are vital to the safety of our nation. In terms of trucking there is some good to be had with the hours of service regulations, in a way. Even though these regulations are out of control with too many rules and restrictions, there are benefits to some trucking regulation.
For example, having hours of service rules work in favor of company drivers for employers like California Overland and Florilli Transportation, as well as those owner operators hauling legally. They ensure that truckers aren’t overrun to the point of exhaustion, which can lead to fatal behind the wheel accidents. At the same time these hours of service rules are so convoluted that it takes a legal team to understand how to follow them. For new truckers trying to get their OTR truck driving career it becomes a nightmare trying to navigate logbook requirements.
On top of that, one little mistake at any point in your career, no matter if you are a rookie or not, goes on your record forever. Your CSA score, another one of the regulatory measures by the federal government, will stipulates whether or not you can take certain loads or drive for particular trucking companies, based on that one mistake in your hours of service rules. This is the point that truckers want to see reversed, when the federal rules and regulations become so over involved that they are detrimental to a truck driver’s career.
Until some trucking regulation is removed or reevaluated from a standpoint other than federal agencies, it will be difficult to keep enough hardworking truck drivers behind the wheel. This is the type of regulation that needs to be slashed from the Federal Registry. This is what truck drivers want to see removed and reversed.
What do you think? Will any of the trucking regulations be part of Trump’s cut-down? Which ones do you think are worthy of the chop?