‘Evenin’ Ralph… Evenin’ Sam’

By Terry Scruton, "Land Line Now" senior correspondent

It seems like every time we say something positive about Administrator Anne Ferro, we get angry letters, phone calls and Facebook posts wanting to know why we’re praising “the enemy.”

Here’s what you’ve got to understand. We certainly don’t agree with her or the FMCSA on a lot of things. We do think there are too many restrictive regulations that are making it difficult for truck drivers to do their jobs every day. No one is arguing that. 

But the fact is, she’s just doing her job and much of that is at the direction of Congress. And our job is to make sure she does that job in such a way that it will bring the most benefit to truckers or the least harm.

So what do you think is the best way for us to achieve that goal? By calling her the enemy? Or by showing her the real faces and real issues of the real men and women behind the wheel of every truck in this country?

OOIDA has filed a number of lawsuits against FMCSA regulations, we’ve fought them in court, we’ve fought them in Congress, we’ve fought them with every legal means we have at our disposal. So why on earth would Anne Ferro continue to be hospitable to a group that has been such a colossal thorn in her side?

Because she doesn’t take it personally. It’s all part of the job. And she knows that there are some OOIDA people with some pretty good ideas about how the industry ought to work. 

It’s like that old Looney Tunes cartoon with Ralph Wolf and Sheepdog Sam. Each morning they come to the field, punch the time clock, and greet each other: “Mornin’ Ralph.” “Mornin’ Sam.” Then they spend the whole day fighting each other as the wolf tries to steal the sheep. At the end of the day, they punch the clock again: “Evenin’ Ralph.” “Evenin’ Sam.”

No, we certainly don’t like a lot of the regulations the FMCSA has forced on the trucking industry. And we will certainly continue to fight the ones we think are unfair, but part of that fight involves keeping the lines of communication open.

It really is more than a job to us. It’s a passion. LL