Goodaye all. Owner Driver magazine has got a very good responce to the Sharing Rest Areas video from their online portal, having put it up last week and most comments were favourable. Thanks to all who have shared it and the more the merrier. If all goes to plan we will launch “TRUCK That” this evening. Stephen from Whiteline Television, who is putting it together, has a few more tweaks to do and if he has the time this afternoon, will get it up.
Many drivers I speak with say they do not read the trucking press, as when they get out of the truck, they don’t want to have anything to do with trucks. We no longer have any real trucking radio shows, where in the states they have a 24 hour a day satellite network, but you need a suitable set and have to pay. So how do we get two important things done? One is to get news and issues out to drivers and the other, is once they are aware, to give them the chance to respond.
Now I have been arguing with the authorities for many years that if they want feedback, they must not only make us aware, but they must do so in a timely way. Many drivers still get their industry info from the trucking press and let’s face it, no one else really covers it nor has much interest. We used to have Big Wheels in the major newspapers that at least gave us some access to the normal person, but that has all but disappeared as well. Big Rigs magazine has started doing podcasts (and I have done a few with the aim to do so more regularly) but the idea of a video news program for the trucking industry on social media, could well go some way to achieving the above aims.
When industry issues, for example the “Personal Use” request for feedback come along, if the industry press is only given it a week or two before the deadline, by the time they get it to press, it could be all ready closed. A cynical person would say that is a deliberate way to reduce the number of responders and I have raised this with NTC and NHVR. If only a few respond, they do say, no one replied and so we will just do what we want.
Where do you get your industry news and information from? Is it always timely? Does it give you the chance to comment and does it offer you the ability to contribute and comment when things are planned for change? Please let me know.
Does that get us a better result and do those who have the power to make the laws, yet do not have to live by them on the road, let alone at all, really care about us? Too harsh or too true? So how do we get fair representation for such issues? Yes we can simply rely on those at the ATA or NATROAD or the TWU to represent us, but how many of those now live on the road and how hard will they fight for us? If you are not personally affected by a new law or a change to a law, will you even make an effort to see it fair, not likely.
What the industry really needs is less acceptance of what we are given and more input from those on the road to see better outcomes. How to make that happen, when many simply do not care anymore, is hard, but if we can harness the comments, participation and support of those who still do want to see things improve, then we have far more chance of both being listened to and of having those concerns acted on. Thank you to all of those who read and or respond to this blog. It is as always, one small part in trying to get things better for all drivers on the road. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.