Whose logic is hazy?

By Jim Johnston, OOIDA President and CEO

In a recent issue of Transport Topics, OOIDA’s logic regarding our request for new leadership at FMCSA was called “hazy” in a letter to that publication from John Conley, past president of the National Tank Truck Carriers.

Conley wrote that he suspected our letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx requesting that Anne Ferro be dismissed as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was throwing “raw meat” to our members. He also wrote that he didn’t know what OOIDA leadership was “smoking” when we did that.

My response ran in the June 30 edition. I suspect most of you didn’t have the chance to see it in Transport Topics, so I’d like to share some of my remarks with you, the OOIDA membership.

First of all, like Conley, who retired last year, I’ve dealt with every single top trucking official for the past 40 years. I agree that Anne Ferro has been one of the more accessible administrators. She has set up many venues in which she listened to truckers. Perhaps that is one of the reasons her performance has been so disappointing.

Under her administration, more restrictive and invasive regulations have been heaped upon us than at any time in history. Granted, some of them are mandated by Congress, but how those regulations are designed and implemented remains the job of the FMCSA.

Yes, Administrator Ferro listened to truckers, and what she heard is “we need flexibility.” But what truckers got was just the opposite. We see no way to put the agency on the right track under the current leadership.

As I have said, on a personal level, I like Anne Ferro. But there comes a time when the industry needs to stand up and say enough is enough. For OOIDA, on behalf of our membership, that time has come. This was not an easy decision to make, but we simply cannot wait for the situation to get worse.

We appreciate the overwhelming support that we’ve received from our membership and from other professional truckers and industry professionals. I think that others in the industry need to find the courage to do the same. LL