Got your ears on Barack?

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — Barack Obama’s team is getting an earful about your industry, courtesy of the organization that represents American owner-operators.

True to form, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is wasting no time in bending Washington’s legislative ear. OOIDA’s executive vice-president Todd Spencer and his colleagues will bring a slate of driver-oriented issues to the new administration’s attention.

According to a statement from OOIDA, the discussions will focus on the issues facing the trucking industry.

On Spencer’s radar screen for this meeting are, among other things, the cross-border program with Mexico, hours of service, loading and unloading, and transparency in trucking business transactions.

OOIDA says Spencer is prepared to encourage the Obama administration to focus on enforcing existing regulations. For example, Spencer says the lumping law that has been on the books since 1980 is not enforced at all and that brokers see very little oversight from FMCSA.

“To put things in perspective, we’re 35 years old now with 160,000 members. That’s a lot of credibility. It’s not nearly as much as it needs to be for the segment of trucking that we represent to get the recognition it rightly deserves. But we’re getting there.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that, for example, the issue of Mexican trucks will be looked at completely differently with the Obama administration than it has been in the past,” Spencer said. “That’s got to be positive.”

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