WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has written a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, asking for help to support the continued movement of goods during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Truckers are a vital component of the supply chain, hauling loads that help keep hospitals prepared, manufacturers productive and grocery stores stocked,” wrote OOIDA president Todd Spencer. “Unfortunately, our members are encountering many challenges that unnecessarily slow the movement of goods, limit the effectiveness of response efforts and jeopardize their personal health and safety. The federal government can take steps to immediately alleviate many of these problems, and coordination with state and local governments, as well as the business community, will help address many more.”
Specifically, OOIDA called on the Trump administration to discourage states from closing rest areas and other truck parking facilities, while encouraging states to open weigh stations, inspection facilities and other government-owned sites for parking.
OOIDA also called for a lifting of hours-of-service requirements for all freight. Waiving HoS requirements for the shipment of certain emergency supplies only has caused confusion in the industry, Spencer wrote.
The organization also called on government to allow carriers with satisfactory safety ratings to bypass weigh stations if they are hauling emergency supplies. “Except in the case of imminent safety concerns or obvious defects, Level 1 and all roadside inspections must immediately be suspended,” OOIDA contended.
Lastly, the group voiced concern about truckers being banned from shipper/receiver facilities, including restrooms.
“The federal government must work with the logistics community to ensure truckers have access to restrooms,” Spencer wrote. “Some businesses are claiming to limit access as a means to control the spread of the virus to their employees. These claims are both counterproductive and insulting. As the most transient community in America, truckers must have the capacity to wash their hands after handling freight, paperwork and business equipment to help contain the spread of the virus.”
The complete letter can be read here.
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