So, the American Trucking Associations came out throwing wild punches this past week on the electronic logging mandate.
The prose of the letter can easily be described as frenzied and blustering. It was the letter version of someone so mad that they stammer, yell and spit. In the end, all you get out of it is they are mad that a delay of the ELD mandate is picking up steam.
What ATA tried to convey is that as, in their words here, the “most authoritative voice” for the trucking industry, mandatory electronic logs have universal support. Except, of course, for those rogue agents over here at OOIDA (and about 17 other industry stakeholder groups and counting).
What was intriguing about this letter is how ATA purported to represent such a wide swath of support.
We’re not hearing that same sort of thing around here. In fact, the grumblings about ATA forcing this position down on its members is causing a rift. Not everyone the mega-fleet group purports to represent is happy this is going down.
How loyal to the position are they really?
So, to test our theory, and to see how loyal ATA’s membership is to the group’s ELD position, Land Linepolled the ATA state partners. The questions were pretty simple:
- Does your association have a position on the pending ELD mandate? If so, what is it?
- What concerns are you hearing from your state officials and are they dire enough to support a delay?
We sent the request out Thursday this past week, asking for responses by Monday at noon.
Our Staff Writer and Research Associate Tyson Fisher, who sent the request, did not come in on Monday to a flooded inbox. In fact, you could hear the crickets chirping from his computer.
Out of the 50 requests sent out, eight responded. Just eight. Of course, the Arkansas Trucking Association (which could not be any more lockstep with ATA) came in swinging hard in supporting the mandate. The responses from there quickly devolved to not having a position to sounding somewhat under duress.
Florida actually mustered the strength to type the words “put us in the ‘in favor of the mandate’ box.” Nebraska’s response was a bit conflicted sounding as well. They even admitted not all regulations can be a “one size fits all solution” but they were working to inform and educate their members.
The responses don’t tell as much as the lack of response from the other 42 states.
What’s not being said
Remember the old tale about the Emperor’s New Clothes. Short version, a couple of cons convinced an emperor they made him a magical suit. Anyone who was dumb or not suited for the position would not be able to see the clothes. In reality, the emperor was naked.
Everyone fell into line telling the emperor how fabulous he looked. The sham continued until an honest child pointed out, while the Emperor was literally being paraded through the city, that he was actually naked.
ATA, I think in all the flailing around and beating your chest, you’re standing there a bit naked. We didn’t get a roar of response from your state chapters backing the ELD mandate.
Here we actually invited them into Land Line with their position, right in OOIDA’s back yard. They could have really toed the company line and thrown you some cover. Rather, the silence of the masses is speaking volumes on the lack of cohesiveness of this “authoritative” voice you claim to have.
ATA, your members are sending a very clear message by saying nothing at all.