Cowboys, Truckers and Us

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Being a trucker – especially an owner-operator – used to be a lot like being a cowboy was back in the 1800s.

On your own timetable, beholden to none – so long as the cows (or the cargo) got where they needed to be on time. Independent, free.

Which, naturally, is why both avocations had to be stomped.

Cowboys became ranch hands, no longer free to roam.

But at least they aren’t subject to 24-7 recording of their doings  – as truckers soon will be. It will be done via something called an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) which is basically a mobile, in-truck Panopticon – a rig for the rig that sees all and knows all – and narcs all, to the Appropriate Authorities.

It will tell drivers when to stop driving – even if they are just a couple of miles away from their destination. And they must stop. No matter how needless or inconvenient.

If they do not . . .

The ELDs, of course, will not be optional.

They will become mandatory for all new trucks about a month from now – on Dec. 18 – when a new federal fatwa goes into effect.

Unless, as the result of some some last-minute spasm of concern for our ever-diminishing liberties, someone puts a legislative stop to it.

One such someone is Republican Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, who wrote a bill (H.R. 3282) that would do just that but. Give him credit for trying. But like the effort to get rid of Obamacare – it’s more about talking points than actually doing something about it. Because most Republicans might as well be Democrats, or the reverse. The one party always seeks the same things – more power, more control.

Trump’s nominee for oberbefehlshaber der Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Raymond Martinez, has already indicated he supports the ELD mandate. See? Voting matters . . .

The truckers, of course, will get to pay for the technology which will be used to treat them like home-release criminals – and those people at least get free ankle bracelets (well, “free” in the sense that they are paid for by taxpayers).

The ELD mandate – like so many similar mandates in the land of the formerly free – is based on the new American guiding ideas of presumptive guilt, collective dumbing down and collective punishment. It is premised on the archetype of the least-common denominator – and then applied to all, deserved or not.

The Feds have established an arbitrary limit of 11 hours of driving per day – in the same way that DUI laws arbitrarily decree that a person is “drunk” by legal definition if they are found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 (or even lower in many states) regardless of the faultlessness of the individual’s driving.

On the same principle, a trucker who is found to have been driving for longer than allowed will be crucified – fined, perhaps sent to the clink; probably defrocked of his commercial driver’s license, which renders him effectively unemployed and unemployable as a trucker – irrespective of his actual driving.

And with this Dark difference: The trucker – every trucker – will be ELD’d by law. His truck – every truck – will be fitted with an ELD. There will be no opting out. He will be presumed guilty of driving too much.

While some of you reading this may feel not much sympathy for the over-the-road trucker, may be “concerned” – that word always prefaces the gun – about truckers who drive too far, too long – and thus become a “safety” risk – in theory if not in fact  – consider this:

If the government can force truckers to submit to being “logged” – that is, recorded and monitored – every second they are in their rigs on the argument that “safety” demands it . . . well, how about the rest of us?

After all, there are many more of us – and numbers make up for gross vehicle weight. Aren’t cars, collectively, much more dangerous than big rigs, on a number-of-people-killed-annually basis?

Why then – on the same principle being applied to truckers – shouldn’t it be mandatory that our cars also be fitted with, among other things, alcohol detection sensors? The courts already mandate these for the cars of convicted “drunk” drivers – even those whose actual driving harmed no one.

But why limit these to – as it were – known offenders?

Why not mandate them for every driver? Who – like the long-haul trucker – might do what The Law forbids?

Lives could be saved!


If you doubt this could happen, if you think it’s absurd – you might think again. In Safety Cult America, precedent always becomes practice. Once the principle is enshrined in law, the formerly unacceptable – the formerly unimaginable – not only becomes routine, it metastasizes.

There are countless examples, but the obvious and relevant one for purposes of this discussion is the legalization of patently illegal (if that gamy old piece of paper the Constitution were still the law of the land, but of course it’s not) random checkpoints back in the ‘80s. This was the beginning of The End – and the start of a new beginning, not pleasant.

This metastasized to such a degree that we are all of us now treated as presumptively guilty of many things – not just drinking and driving. Terrorism, for instance. We are presumed terrorists – including small children and very old people – until our private parts have been palmed and our belongings rifled and a government goon in a blue suit decides we are not.

Precedent = practice. The normalization of tyranny.

So it will be with ELDs – and next, us. It is why we who are not truckers ought to stand with the truckers.

We have common cause with them.

. . .

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  1. The slippey slope of governent regulation in the guise of “saftey”, as it pertains to truckers, is more akin to falling in an open elevator shaft than going down a slicky slide.

    Case in point, in the late 60s through the 80s, before energy drinks were even thought of, high test coffee wasn’t enough of a pick me up for some truckers and they used speed which is illegal. On the presumption that they are all guilty, the governent mandated mandatory drug testing for CDL drivers to include, per employment, random, reasonable suspicion, and post accident testing.

    Now mind you, I dont want me, my family and friends, nor you and yours, to be on the highways with truckers under the influence of “illegal” substances that “impare” their driving. But as with most instances of government regulation, what starts off as good intentions ends up being overreach to the point of absurdity.

    Today, a CDL driver is legally drunk, by federal law, if they have 0.04 blood alcohol, and it doesn’t matter if they are their personal vehicle or their rig, at 0.04 they are drunk. Moreover, a CDL driver, by federal law, cannot have any measurable blood alcohol level while on duty, nor have any alcohol in or on the truck that is not cargo being hauled under a bill of lading.

    So here comes the absurdity. A driver starts his day, after spending the night in the truck, he gets up brushes his teeth and gargles some Scope. A few miles down the road he gets pulled over by law enforcement for a DOT inspection to make sure he is compliant with all the Federal Motor Carrier Saftey Regulations. During the inspetion the officer can’t help but notice the drivers fresh minty breath, “driver have you had anythig to drink this morning”, ask the officer, “ahh just coffee”, replies the driver. Well the officer then searches the truck, with the drivers permisson because the driver doesn’t have anything to hide, and finds a travel bottle of scope which contains alcohol. Guess who is going to jail for violation of federal law and obstruction, going to lose their license and livelihood, and generaly have their life ruined for having fresh minty breath which is leagal for everyone but an on duty trucker.

    The the saftey guise of the ELD’s is that they are supposed to lessen the number of crashes caused by tired truckeds by ensuring they get their mandatory ten hour break before driving again. What the govement is unwittingly done is put a stop watch in each truck, because truckers are now on a fourteen hour clock, once you start your day the clock starts and you have fourteen hours to complete your days work. What your going to have is a bunch of truckers playing beat the clock, and I believe, an increase in fatigue related accidents, not a decrease.

    • They can shut you down for 24 hours just by saying “I smell alcohol on your breath”.

      ELD is going to cost a huge amount in fines, late loads, and the general cost of freight. Driver’s pay is already scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is just going to finish off a million guys who’d rather work at the city dump that pays better.

    • There are more impaired drivers of all classes and types that won’t test positive for controlled substances than will. Now that truck drivers are beginning to drive with as little regard to traffic laws as the 4-wheelers always have, they are making the government’s argument that we need to take human control out of the picture.

      • And that is because, what with all this government bullshit, only the bottom of the barrel will get into trucking/stay with trucking today. As usual, the government, by imposing tyranny in the name of “safety”, is in effect making the roads far more dangerous by driving good, serious, professional, stick-with-it competent people from the profession, only to have the void filled with the lowest common denominator.

  2. I foresee the day when all American children will be locked up in their houses from the time of birth (well, a few hours or days after) until they are 18, unable to go anywhere without a parent or guardian accompanying them, unless going to any Government Indoctrination Center. And this will all be mandated for saaaaaaaaafe-ty reasons, since we all know it’s possible for a child to be picked up by a stranger while walking to the school bus directly in front of their own house.

    Yes, America ceased being America many eons ago. Now, it’s just the United States, a lump of soil just like any other clump of dirt on this planet.

    This might just as well be East Germany before 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Except worse.

    At least in the case of East Germany, we could look at them from afar and laugh at the crap they had to tolerate. Now that it’s come here, laughing is difficult.

  3. For every gov’t action there is an equal and opposite black market reaction. I foresee hacking tools that go into the OBD2 port and interface with a smartphone app to re-write the logs and to fudge with the vehicle’s master clock settings in such a way that realtime logging spoofs false upload data or some other such creativity. A pool of drivers could collaborate to “bank” and share their unused time with others by spoofing their user IDs. I would think some Asian teenager in SF could write the app in a spare afternoon for a bag of weed. Get some 4Chan geek to think he is a “white hat” and you are on your way. Of course all this is highly illegal, about as illegal as having a private email server in your closet. But for the dedicated and recalcitrant there will always be a way. We could call it “timesharing”. Heck retired guys could stay “virtually active” and “bank” their virtual time for sale in bitcoins.

    • I can also see “microfreight” taking up some of the slack, as trucking becomes less and less cost effective. Especially for stuff that goes LTL anyway, a half ton truck and utility trailer can stay under the DOT “radar” and still get a good bit of stuff to where it needs to go. I’ve actually thought about that, myself. An expansion of Uship type load boards could create a revolution of-sorts in the transport industry, using reputation ratings in place of arbitrary rules to determine success or failure.

      • I used to do that in a Mitsubishi pickup…but it took a much larger truck to pick it all up at a central point and haul it to a distribution point…..and… didn’t make shit for money. that company no longer exists.

      • That’d be a great case of the free-market providing an efficient solution….so of course, Uncle wouldn’t have it.

        A lot of the states have already tightened down on max. weight class for a non-CDL license, and scales and stuff. A few states are already down to 10,000 lbs for a CDL.

        Ya gotta remember, everything is totally controlled now; they’re not leaving one stone unturned; not leaving any possibilities for us non-participants/those who want to stay off the radar of tyranny.

      • That has been around since before I got my CDL in 1990. It is called expediting, and a lot of them use the Sprinter-type vans and rig living space in them. They are a common sight along the interstate when they are laid over, waiting for freight.
        Some of them are in class 8 straight trucks with liftgates and sleepers, but most of those are team operations.
        I thought about doing that several times while I was doing driveaway and the debt always put me off of it. I didn’t matter how old or decrepit my chase vehicle was while doing driveaway, and it was 1099 income.

        • Friend o’ mine sold a burnt-out(gutted) toy-hauler trailer, with windows and everything….went for bery good money, considering it was burnt. Buyer was going to make a stealth cargo hauler out of it.

              • I’ve thought of this, though I wouldn’t go quite so far as gutting the travel trailer. A good, stout toy hauler could handle a pallet or two, or you could sift through uship for stuff like quads, bikes, or other stuff that would be expected to ride in those trailers. I’d keep enhanced insurance for the protection of my customers and me, but the DOT goons don’t have to know anything about that.

                • There seems to be a good number of people doing the stealth thing. My friend now actively looks for top brand toy-haulers with burnt or otherwise damaged interiors at the salvage auction. Gets good money for ’em. And of course, you’d never realize what they’re doing when ya see a dually pulling one down the road.

                • Here in the people’s republic of Illinois they might you for something.

                  On my morning commute _after_ a bridge the cops, state and local, set up “truck scales”. Anything hauling anything or empty trucks above a certain size have to go through this checkpoint. The rest of us get to wait in the traffic jam it creates. They’ll even check the plumbing trucks. It becomes clear that weight and the bridge is just the pretext, the legal excuse to run an operation with other aims.

                  They run it so often and from a high up vehicle it’s not hidden. Even without that the jammed traffic tells me its Truck Scales that morning well in time to divert. Although for me the diversion is usually longer than the wait because of the lost travel lane and I have to make a gamble. Any serious over weight truck offender can easily avoid it.

                    • Yeah, IL went crazy some time ago. It’s like the Nazi Germany of the US. Even among the other totalitarian states, like CA. NY. NJ. MA. etc. IL stands out now as the worst.

                      And since Shitcago and Obozo’s buddies there have bankrupted the state, they’re really going nuts with the revenue collection.

              • I have seen toy haulers DOTed enough times to know it would be likely to be inspected, with a bad time to be had by all but the inspectors.

                • Yeah, depends a lot on where and when ya drive, too.

                  My friend (Same dude who sells the toy-haulers) strapped a 40′ mangled semi trailer to his 40′ car hauler, and pulled it with his SRW pick’up from NC to NJ without a problem….but it was on a Sunday. And I’m sure he was just lucky. Me? I probably would’ve been lynched within blocks of the salvage auction.

                  (All that, and just so he could cut it up for scrap!)

        • Yeah, I’m familiar with expediting… just thinking in terms of ‘outside the lines’, where most expediting outfits are pretty keen on staying on good terms with DOT. I actually bought a van, after I’d decided to retire from OTR class 8s, but it seemed like most of the lease outfits wanted to pretend they were Big Truck companies… so I shrugged, traded for a smaller car, and got some certs to work on computer networks for a while.

          • I’m going to keep the CDL as long as I can pass the DOT physical, but the only jobs I can find where I’ve been living are longhaul and I experienced the shutdown of Arrow Trucking as a driveaway operator and I wouldn’t want to be on a longhaul truck when the fuel card stops working.

            • I’ve kept mine, but haven’t gone for a physical in about 5 years. It’s a minor pain, and some extra cost, but I earned the damned thing, so I’ll hang on to it until I get fed up enough.

              • Read something recently about keeping a current DOT card, especially if you have a Hazmat or X qualification. Don’t remember exactly but recall it was a big concern. Just recalled that so I’m going to check it out.

              • Your state DOT must be really out of compliance, because you have to keep a valid medical card on file with it to keep your CDL in force. It could be that it will become so for you when you renew it again.
                I’m thankful that the chiropractor who did my last DOT physical gave me a 2 year instead of the 1 year I’d been stuck with for years.

                • There was an option to send a letter stating that, for whatever reason, no medical is necessary. I don’t remember the specifics, but they accepted it just fine. Obviously I can’t use it for its intended purpose without a medical card, but it’s fine for now.

  4. The ELD is not the beginning, nor will it be the end. It’s only a matter of time when we will have a chip implanted into our brains at birth and big brother will monitor not only our actions, but also our thoughts. Not only will they be able to monitor, they will also be able to control our thoughts and actions like a puppet on a string. Laugh if you like, but that day is coming. Everyone says they won’t do it to me or my kid, but look at all the intrusions into your privacy and restrictions to your freedoms you have already accepted without so much as a whimper. My kid can’t attend public school without a full course of vaccinations? Well, ok. I’ll just take him down and get him pumped full of god only knows what, because, well it’s just the easiest thing to do and I don’t have time to investigate what’s best for my own child. And really if it was harmful they wouldn’t be making us do it would they? Just bend over and take your chip like a good boy.

    • How much time have you spend working on computer and telecommunications hardware, let alone biomedical interfaces? It sounds like very little judging by the regurgitation that you are doing of all of the tech twaddle.

    • Just tell the sheeple it’s an implantable smartphone, and they’ll be knocking each other over to line up to get one…and even pay good money for it.

      • That is how they are selling it. Elon Musk is out there saying our thoughts through the chip will be our interface with the net without a device.

    • It’s been a year or so since I read where some people willingly and happily accepted a chip so they’d go through security quickly. You can make some bad mistakes when you’re young and don’t have much personal history to draw on.

  5. My brother is a OTR driver. When he is tired, he takes a nap. With the new rules, however, once the 11 hour clock starts, napping is considered driving time. So a couple of hours of needed sleep results in a shortened work day, and if their wheels ain’t rolling, they ain’t making a living. Under the new rules, truckers will have a strong motivation to push through their fatigue to maximize their arbitrarily defined work day, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

    • Had a trucker friend say the same thing of that rule. He says the new rules are actually making driving more dangerous because it takes more and more flexibility out of the hands of drivers. You follow the rules and lose income or you drive tired. The world is getting more bat sh*t insane every day.

    • I’ve gotten a couple hours sleep sitting in the seat and lying on the steering wheel many times. Wake up, throw a bit of cold water on your face, do a walk-around and you’re ok to get where you need to go or some place to sleep longer if you need. How many people can shut it off, get 7 or 8 hours sleep in that mandatory time? Few I’d bet. It’s like Dan the Super Trucker said “We’re all would a bit tighter than other folks and that’s the reason we’re doing this”. He was addressing that same mandatory bullshit 8 hour stop that can catch you in a pretty good spot sleep-wise and have you end up being dead tired trying to rest at some less than desirable place in that mandatory break.

      There are a few drivers associations and the independent owner operators association that have taken to task to the FMSCA those stupid laws. They even got a temporary court order and one of the bureaucrats admitted it hadn’t been thoroughly researched and there could be a better way. But this is about feathers sin the caps of those with a little or too much power. I think of the Hitlerish guy in the movie “Pirate Radio” who said the great thing about “being the government is if you don’t like something you simply make pass a law to make it illegal”. This was after surveys showed 93% of the British public sided with the outlaw radio stations. Same difference here with the ability to make driving more dangerous for everyone.

      Somebody here knows what I’m saying when I say I’ve driven 50 miles or more and don’t remember a thing. I’ve woken up in towns I shouldn’t have been in and wondered where the hell I was. I always tried to avoid that type of thing when I could.

      • Making it more dangerous for everyone out there buttresses their argument for increasing regulation on commercial drivers and bringing in driverless vehicles.

  6. Trucking companies don’t seem too concerned, some truckers are upset but have done little to stop the regulation, and the public as usual is just fine with whatever Big Nanny says is for our good. We can’t rely on the aspinal twits we vote into office, so we’ll have to do things ourselves. But how, when most sectors of society approve of such regulation?

    • Exactly, Ross. That’s why I keep saying that those who have any desire to to ever live free again in this life, need to get out of here, because there is not going to be a revoltion or mass rebellion, because the belief in government/statism is enshrined within the hearts of 99% of the population- and even when and if they become aware of the true nature of the Beast, they never want to kill it, because it is their true god- they instead just want to reform it and or make it so that it works to their advantage (or what they perceive to be) at their neighbor’s expense.

      It’s not just the politicians…it’s [what has become] the American people, who are the enemies of those who believe in liberty.

      And this is where I disagree with Larken Rose. He seems to think that if we can just spread anarchistic ideals to 10% of the population, that that would be enough to secure freedom, because it would constitute a group too large to control/jail/exterminate. But he seems to forget what he does acknowledge elsewhere- that it’s the people who are the problem, and even if the government went away, the 90% would still have no trouble dominating the 10%, even if we ever got to the point where 10% of the population did embrace anarchy- which will never happen. [As can be seen, far more people are embracing the tyranny of socialism…]

    • Truckers need to band together and stand up against these regulations. Nunzio: Few Americans will stand for anything, incl. Muslim groups coming to their cities/towns and no one protests that, which is why me and hubby are social recluses and only put out info. online on various blogs. Few Americans incl retirees are unable to think critically on globalist agendas or understand the move into socialism. I heard people saying decades ago, that Americans are dumb, don’t understand what you tell them or loaned books read on world gov. and this country would not last into the twenty first century that we would be under a dictator/police state.

      • So true, Laura Ann! People are like sponges. They absorb whatever the media and the government schools puke out. You can depend on it now-a-days, more so than ever. Just see the general ideas that are being bandied about in the media and schools…and then talk to people or read public forms, and sure enough, 98% of the people are parroting those ideas.

        And it doesn’t matter how much logic, reason and fact you use to try and get them to “see”; it just doesn’t register. The only thing which will change their opinion, is when something else is preached by the schools and the media, and accepted by the majority around them- but of course, that kind of change will never to anything good…always something worse than what they already believe.

        I learned long ago, we’re in this alone!

      • Laura Ann, you do realize that to stop the Muslim Americans you find so objectionable from living in your city would require the very police state you say you don’t want. Too many Americans seem to forget the words of Thomas Paine who said: “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
        The power to oppress Muslims (the lack of which which you seem to lament) is the same power that would then be turned against Christians or Jews or any other religious, political or ethnic group you care to name.

        • Anonymous,

          If we lived in a free country/libertarian society, what you say would be the truth- but in the artificial economy in which we now exist, it is more like: Certain groups are being enticed to come here to the exclusion of others (i.e. it’s currently much easier for a Muslim to come here, legally or illegally- than it is for a Caucasian European- because the state which controls such things, is in the process of imposing “diversity” and “Multi-culturalism” upon us; and the dilution of traditional American culture, for their own political purposes/social herding/control.

          So not only do certain groups which are currently favored by the state have an unfair advantage, but in addition, other statist programs, like welfare, Social Security; Medicaid; HUD Section 8; and many other free goodies which we are forced to pay for, are being used to entice them to come.

          So while it is true that real Anarchists should be for open borders/no borders (except those of private property) it is also true that since we currently live in a highly regimented and controlled environment, like everything else, this sort of immigration is not organic- but rather political- and in fact being used as another weapon against traditional Americans, whose rights are always depricated by the courts in favor of the favored “minorities”.

          • Nunzio: As is now in Europe, Muslims are first class and others are not. thanks for input. Yet liberals are too dense to see it unable to use logic.

            • What difference does it make whether Muslims are first class in Europe if one is not in Europe?
              American hegemony is the largest and most heinous terrorist entity on the planet.

            • Liberalism is a mental illness- and I suspect it is fatal, because most of it’s practitioners seem to prefer that which destroys and kills.

        • Anonyhole, the muslim invaders have been forced upon us by a police state and are being protected from by the welfare state which the police state guards. Explain why a refugee has to leave the whole fucking continent that he’s having a hard time in, instead of just being helped to move to the nearest place where he can start over.

          Anyway, Islam is a political ideology within a cult of death. Muslims don’t fit anywhere because they want to rule over their hosts wherever they are allowed to immigrate. I doubt anyone here wants to rule them, and I would just prefer to deport them.

          That being said, let me add that you are as full of shit as a Thanksgiving turkey.

        • Anonymous: You are a liberal idiot. You missed the point, Muslims don’t belong here they want all non Muslims killed or enslaved as history shows. Study their history online or read: the Legacy of Jihad. Christians build this country, not Muslims you troll freak.

        • When Paine penned those words, the state aka goonverment had not created the welfare/warfare state. If this welfare/warfare state didn’t exist, I’d welcome anyone that is invited, seeing as how it would then be up to the property owner that would be willing to share his/her allotment with the immigrant. However, in the conditions that currently exist, the lower the number of intentional assholes in fluxed to this continent the better.

    • Hi Ross, I largely agree with you, but truck drivers have been trying to stop the spread of this type of tyranny for decades. The percentage of people who are truck drivers are quite small compared to the rest of the masses. On top of that: most truck drivers will not happen to be home when votes arebeing miscounted. Telling their boss to F off for a few days while they await the voting day would ensure that they are no longer truck drivers!

  7. Have a friend that hauls livestock; cattle and sheep. The electronic log will not work for them! Your going to shut down with a load of sheep in your pot only 10 miles from the feedlot or slaughter plant. When your 11 hours are up you can’t move again for 14 hours! Lots of dead animals! This electronic log will cause more accidents as the truckers will now speed to beat the time. Fortunately, older trucks, prior to 1997, (not sure of the date) are exempt from the EL and their prices are going up. The same thing will happen to us sheeple, people wanting not to be monitored will have to drive old stuff! I drive an 86 Ford F-150, and keep it up for this reason.

    • What would prevent a driver change? The new rule won’t matter much to team drivers for that reason. It probably won’t apply to intrastate drivers as well, creating a market for transfer stations on every state border, where a fresh driver can take over and stay in his home state by walking across a lot.
      I hope you have access to a lot of very good junkyards that specialize in 1986 Ford F-150’s. I suspect the same thing will happen to older vehicles as happened to the DeLorean.

  8. No way they mandate breathalyzers in private cars IMO. The amount of money they’d lose would be staggering and we know the government doesn’t like losing money.

    • Nah. Since any constraints on government are long gone, they can make breathalyzers even more profitable- just make ’em wonky, so that people will have to defeat them just to drive, and make defeating them a crime….and VOILA! People who would never ever have a DWI, will have to “commit a crime” just to drive their cars. Imagine you’re out, 100 miles from home, and get in your car to go home and the breathalyzer malfunctions….

  9. Imagine a Hollyweird “reboot” of Smokey and the Bandit today:

    The working class heroes of Snowman and Bandit looking to provide nothing more than Coors to willing customers and hurdle ridiculous government regulations in the process, would be re-cast as evil, racist, white supremacist, government hating terrorists hauling Mexican child slaves.

    While the bumbling idiocy of law enforcement portrayed by Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice, would be re-cast as a diverse SWAT team of every member of the LBGTQ2AAFBGH – Prince symbol – QAVCZX crowd, stamping out injustice and racist rogue elements of AmeriKan society.

    And no need for “bears in the air”, the Big Brother spy box has that covered.

  10. Big rig truckers are a lot like school bus drivers or airline pilots. They too, are public transportation employees. Granted, they are hauling commodities rather than human passengers. But they drive equally massive vehicles, with almost equally catastrophic consequences in the result of a major crash.

    Both commercial and private pilots, and school bus drivers have to pass much more stringent standards than those imposed on a private individual driving a regular passenger car. They have had to for a long time. And those standards have not been imposed on private drivers.

    So, while I share your concern about surrendering privacy in my own car, I don’t think these trucker tracking measures can be automatically imposed on private drivers. There is a huge, and obvious difference.

    • At Mike Pizzo:


      I am old enough to remember before truckers had to submit to federal CDL licensing (thanks again Ronuld RayGun) and I can clearly see a timeline of increasing government control and intervention on both commercial and non-commercial drivers over those last thirty years or so.

      Any road that has “EZ Pass” or an equivalent has no privacy already, just for instance.

        • Not in Mass. it isn’t. All tolls are electronic and cashless.

          And not in many other states as well, even if you do not use the EZ pass lane, your plate is scanned and your vehicle tagged as having passed that point at the specific time it did so.

          Furthermore, the EZ pass transponders are being read outside toll areas.

          That is how automated “Time Until Such and Such Point” signs work. They tag the transit time for an EZPass transponder to go from point a to point b.

        • The model they’re adopting in most places now, is: No more toll booths. Instead, they have transponders for EZpass; and take pics of all license plates, and send non-EZpass holders a bill in the mail.

          How Orwellian is THAT?! I was just talking to my friend back in NY the other day- he often calls me on his commute to work- He tells me they just removed the toll booths on the Throggs Neck Bridge (connecting Queens and The Bronx) and so they’ve done or are in the process of doing everywhere else in the city.

          Tolls…on roads and bridges which people paid for 20 times over, decades ago. And now it’s just an excuse to track your movement.

          The noose tightens even more.

          And the average feeb thinks it’s great, because it reduces congestion……

        • WRONG! If you do not have an EZ Pass or IPASS, you will be paying double the tolls and you will be automatically excluded from using many entrance and exit ramps, thereby reducing the available access you have. This is simply a phase, it will not be too much longer before they refuse cash all together.

    • Mike, since when has sanity, sense, or Constitutional law ever prevented government from foisting draconian invasions of privacy on everyone? It always starts with “safety” and “regulating commerce”….and then easily morphs down to the average person once enough people are comfortable with it.

      Red light cameras; toll cameras; DWI checkpoints; On-Star/black boxes/cell phones; license plate scanners….etc. The question really is: How much further can the tyranny go?

    • Back when I first got my commercial license, I got the bus endorsement too. In fact, I even drive tested in a bus. No problem. Last time I had to renew my license, I learned that to keep the bus endorsement was no problem. But there is a NEW one, SCHOOL bus endorsement. OK, what is THAT and how do I get it? well, you’ve already taken the drive test in a bus, but to drive a SCHOOL bus you now MUST get a background check. It costs $90 and takes about six weeks to get. Well, if I want to get that later on, do I just do the BGC and pay the fine, er, fee? Yes. OK, forget getting it this time. Maddening factoid: the background check they want is nowhere near as in depth as the one I had to get to receive my handgun carry license. And that was part of the $65 fee for the whole license. WHY is the Fed one $90? For a lower level BGC? Heck, the BGC to buy any firearm at an FFL is at least as deep as the stupid school bus driving one… what a con game!! Ninety bux for what? And I got my initial Mother May I Card to carry in ten days from the day I applied.. WHY six weeks for the school bus one?

      And now, after the truck massacre in New York, some people are calling for background checks to buy or even rent a vehicle. Trickle up IS a thing…. a nasty one at that.

      • Hi T,

        Related to your licensing issue: I wanted to volunteer as a part-time fire-fighter/EMT but they require piss tests, so nope. I am offering to give them my time and they demand I accept being treated as though I just left some sort of halfway house/prison.

        I smoke pot – at home – once in a blue moon. Maybe. This is my business; it is certainly none of theirs. Of what relevance is it that I “smoked weed” last week? No problem, though, if someone drank themselves into a coma last night (I hardly touch alcohol).

        Fish heads, all around.

        • eric, i agree with you not wanting to submit to a piss test. that goes against the very principle which the constitution is based on, the right of private property. not only unconstitutional, but totally and completely IMMORAL! all business big and small has the right to pry into your most private possession, YOUR BODY ! refuse to submit and go jobless and hungry.
          as a rural carrier i am required to carry a scanner for parcel delivery, the scanner is equipped with a powerful gps that follows everything i do. it can talk and i suspect it may even be able to listen to me.

          • Hi Timmy,

            Yup – and the only way this is going to stop is if enough of us push back. So far, we haven’t. Most of us have accommodated the gradually growing tyranny. It’s time to stop doing that. There are peaceful ways to not comply; we can ignore, evade and end-run the system. But the day may be close at hand when we will have to fight.

            I do not relish this and would much prefer to avoid it.

            But I do not want to live as a serf or a peon and will fight, if I have to.

            • Eric, I’ve been evading; not complying; not participating; etc. since grade school [Even managed not to comply, and then not even show up, then!], and I can tell you that while it is the only way for us to live in this mess- as it keeps us relatively free, and from contributing to/perpetuating the system- it is not going to secure real liberty in this country, for us nor anyone else, any more so than it would have in Nazi Germany.

              We are just the hold-outs; the outliers. Virtually all of this mind-controlled, mind-numbed society is against us. They increasingly see us as crooks and terrorists, just because we believe that people should be left alone and enjoy personal liberty if they have not caused physical harm to another’s person or property.

              We’re the modern-day heretics, and the state is equivalent of the Calf-lick church….and the majority of people are their faithful parishioners who are in favor of burning all heretics at the stake.

              There is no fighting against such enormous system. We lose, and are caged and or disposed of. And the more we are thus neutralized, the less chance of our “heresy” spreading to their other faithful parishioners.

              We see what’s coming. It’s just about here now. There’s only one way out…look for the door.

        • I’d never want to be a firefighter or EMT these days….too much involvement with pigs. Where there are FF’s/EMT’s…there are always pigs. Play with the pigs, and you’ll get muddy, or trampled. Oh…and not just pigs…but most who make up the ranks of FF’s/EMT’s are pig wannabes, or pig-worshipers…. or those seeking personal glory/admiration. I’d avoid all of those types at all costs!

      • How long before the next state-sponsored terror event will start involving Molotov cocktails, and then they’ll use that as an excuse to enact “gasoline control”? Another excuse they also use to get rid of IC-engined vehicles… “We can’t have every Tom, Dick, and Harry running around buying gasoline, and driving around with a 20 gallon tank full of it on wheels!”.

  11. This will also drive up the cost of producing goods, which will be passed on to the end user as many truckers will either opt out of the trucking industry altogether or opt out of driving big-rigs in favor of smaller less regulated vehicles.

  12. From Eric: “Because most Republicans might as well be Democrats…”

    Pushback from some Republicans – Republican Liberty Caucus:

    “The Republican Liberty Caucus is a 527 voluntary grassroots membership organization dedicated to working within the Republican Party to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government and free markets. Founded in 1991, it is the oldest continuously-operating organization within the Liberty Republican movement.”

    • ” Founded in 1991, it is the oldest continuously-operating organization within the Liberty Republican movement.”

      Have they accomplished anything? All I’ve seen of the pubes in the past 30 years is that they’ve gotten worse every year. Just when you think they can’t become more like the dims, they pull it off somehow. “Republican Liberty Caucus ” my ass. I suppose old Dr. Paul was one of these turd polishers. Somebody should have tipped him off that you can’t kill a snake by living in its belly.

      • Yeah, didn’t we have limited government once….about 200 years ago, for about 3 days? How’d that work out? If one believes in government, there will never be any limits.

        “Let’s have limited theft at the point of a gun, via taxation”.
        “Let’s have limited communal wdumacation”.
        “Let’s have limited caging and violence for transgressions of our arbitrary laws”.

          • Hehe…yeah. Limited government is like limited pregnancy or limited murder or limited slavery. There really is no such thing. Once the structure is in put in place to give some men superior power/rights over others, there is no way to limit it, because words on paper can not restrain tyrants; words can only restrain those who would voluntarily comply with them.

          • Limited slip differentials are no different than limited government in my experience. Every vehicle I have ever had which claimed to have a limited slip differential actually had the opposite!: An unlimited slip differential! aka ‘one wheel drive’. And the state turned out to be even worse than my vehicle!

        • Not necessarily so, Ross. Ron Paul was in the snake’s belly for about 24 years as a Congressman for Texas with no ill effect on the snake at all. The ill effect was on him, entirely.

          What happens in the snakes belly is that you get digested, slowly but surely.

              • You are talking to a group. Apparently you don’t get the concept. I won’t stop talking to you until you stop spewing vulgarity and ignorance on the group.

                • No, Billgoloid, I get the concept. It’s just that you automatically assume that everyone enjoys interacting with your mongoloid ass, and you horn in where your bullshit isn’t appreciated.

                  Just don’t respond to me and I’ll leave you out of the conversation. Until this site has an ignore feature, that’s the best I can do for you.

                  You don’t seem to realize that not everyone wants to read the asinine shit you post. Wake up and STFU.

                  • Ed, it would take an incredible amount of narcissism to think that your mindless vulgarity is anywhere as important as a clear thought delivered in civil language.

                • Nunz, I think it’s because you have a sense of humor. Comments like that are meant to be funny. I get in trouble on sites with comment sections because most people don’t get the humor.

                  • Same here, Ed. Many either don’t “get” my humor, or if they do, they feel guilty for laughing at something that is politically incorrect; so….WE must be punished!

                    • Seems to me that most of the commenters on sites like this have no fucking sense of humor at all. More than half the people out there are just like Bilgoloid, humorless dinks who think they know EFT about EFT and are driven to share their retarded view with everyone.

                      For the first ten years I was surfing the ‘net, there were so many sites where you could comment that you could spend all day going from site to site and have some pretty decent discussions.

                      Now, most sites are heavily moderated or locked down with fucking Disqus. The internet has become a boring fucking wasteland, full of humorless retards who desperately need to have the shit beaten out of them.

                      Depressing, ain’t it?

                  • Aint that the truth, Ed!

                    Man! I remember back in the late 90’s, having some of the best discussions/debates of my life on the burgeoning internet!

                    And humor was abundant!

                    I’d have some great discussions even with teenagers- and made some long-term friends. It was amazing.

                    I’d spend so many hours on forums, it’s amazing i didn’t come to poverty.

                    And everybody and their brother had their own website! Many sucked; some were great. But the thing was, they were all independent- It was truly a case of freedom of the press, and everyone now had their own press.

                    Now? Pfffft! Everyone is empowering Ghoul-gul and Faceblech. I was just reading an article T’other day, about how those companies are now getting over 80% of all internet advertising revenue, and squeezing everyone else out- and it’s largely because all the lemmings just go along and use Facebook and Google+, etc. and of course, in return, all we get is censorship and spying.

                    It truly is depressing.

                    Like so many things…it started out so well….and has been transformed into just more BS.

                    Ditto cellphones and most other technology. Any benefits they bring are quickly dwarfed by all of the evils they enable.

  13. They did this to commercial fishermen back in the 80s, which is why I got out of the business.

    Told everybody it would soon become ubiquitous, that everybody would be forced to carry an onboard electronic spy: trucks, cars, homes, boats.

    Was laughed at and called paranoid.

    Cassandras of the world, unite.

    Only thing I missed is how the great unwashed mass of Idiot AmeriKa would fall all over themselves to gladly PAY good money for the chains that enslave them.

  14. Sort of on topic.

    I’ve noticed the FedEx double trailers have a spotlight on the driver side that illuminates the passing lane.

    Is this on some kind of sensor?

    Is the truck driver intentionally trying to blind the people attempting to pass him?

    Of course it is for safety, but I’m pretty sure it has to have an impressive body count even if it is new.

  15. Dad always called logbooks comic books and my older brother was lucky enough to be able to retire from an international shipping company after working there for 30+ years.
    He told me last week about this ELD crap.
    The company won’t mind if you have to stop two miles from the destination on time because of an electronic big brother.
    Rugged individuals…keep telling yourself that.

    • Ya know, when you think about it, everything this government is doing, is more than just manipulation and control; it is negating all human decision-making, and rendering men irrelevant and obsolete, except in so far as their ability to perform basic tasks by rote, like fleshly robots.

      In what sphere of life are our actions and relationships not legislated and controlled? From what we eat, to how one interacts with their own children; to how much water is used to flush their terlit! Your will; your abilities; your creativeness does not matter; your only function is to comply with what the goobermint has legislated.

    • I had to take a couple months of logs in to our DOT reps one day. When I handed it over I told the woman it was some of the best fiction she could read. She said “we call em Liars books”. Now big brother will simply control you from afar with the long arm of law.

      A while back I heard a driver complain about getting a call for erratic driving and and unsafe braking. This goes on his record with the company. The big problem is sensors that “report” such with no aspect of the situation. What the driver did was slam on the brakes and stop as quickly as possible and avoided having a wreck with a car whose driver was an idiot since the car cut across the lane in front of the truck.

      I had crap like this happen all too often. Just yesterday I was in line with 3 other trucks headed to the same destination. This idiot woman goes around me after I drop off speed since we’re all about to turn. At that point she was between two trucks and wasn’t going to be able to get out of that line once we turned.

      I was sorely tempted to run right up to her but people like that will panic and then you really will run over their stupid asses. BTW, these were aggregate construction trailers with a big push point that sticks 3 feet out of the back of the trailer. They get pushed with whatever big equipment is on site like a dozer or road grader. I’ve had road graders run into my trailer “Hard” when a steady push doesn’t work. This is the type of thing that would only contact the hood and windshield on a car.

      I have another gripe from yesterday morning within 2 miles of the yard. This idiot is wanting to turn at a light and I’m going to go straight…..but it’s a steep slope I had to stop on and any little thing like a slippery clutch pedal can leave me going backward. It’s so stupid to get close to a truck in the first place. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been into the middle of a tight turn onto a road such as an access by an interstate and people could see me turning but run right up to the stop sign and cut me off cause I was about to use that lane. I’ve been known to show them I thought they were number 1. Instead of making me stop this woman pulls over well behind the stop sign and gave me plenty room and I acknowledged her courtesy while right before that some dickhead who worked for an oil field support company drove his pickup past the line and I had to stop. He went merrily on his way since he had me to protect him. I did show him I thought he was the best…..and he hauled ass.

      I guess some people believe this horseshit the govt sponsors with an ad I hear often saying a big rig takes 6 seconds to stop from 60mph. I’m sure many people know better than this. It’s been some time back there was a commenter here who told another person that big rigs stopped faster when loaded. I corrected him….quickly. As long as I don’t use an interstate hiway I have an “overload” permit that allows the rig to weigh 84,000 lbs. I use it when I legally can….and it might weigh another 500 lbs when I’m overloaded by that much since I’ll get out and stand on the rack beside the scales and lift up on a door to be legal. A lot of truckers do this since it saves a lot of time. You never know the story on any truck as far as weight is concerned.

  16. The idea of private car big brother has already been planted by the insurance mafia. You can get a “discount” on your policy today if you let them plug in. I am sure its fairly easy to violate that discount, unless you drive like an old lady. When you do violate it, it will be reflexed in the rates you will pay next time. You have to be a complete idiot to allow them to do it now.

    But soon it won’t be optional. They won’t insure you without it. Or if they will, it will be at a price few can afford. I won’t be surprised if the insurance mafia gets the monitoring added by law to the black boxes already in new cars.

    And in the long run, it will be used to ban humans behind the wheel.

    • So true, Rich. I get things in the mail every few months from State Farm admonishing me to let them install a black box for a stupendous 5% discount!! Yeah…I’m gonna sell what’s left of my privacy for $35 a year…..

      And even if I was some tool who didn’t care, how long would it be before that $35 a year “savings” would turn into an increase in premiums, if they thought that I drive too fast [they would!] or braked too hard?

      No accidents; no tickets….so they have to find some way to raise my premium!

      The noose is tightening, and everything is coming together from all sides, and FAST! We’d all better be working on plans to get the hell out of here, before it’s too late, because that time is fast approaching.

      • Hi Nunz,

        If – when – the insurance mafia succeeds in making in-car monitoring of my driving mandatory, I will no longer comply with the requirement to carry insurance. That is my line in the sand.

        Just as I already refuse to buy health insurance – and they can come get me, if it comes to that.

        Little by little, they are forcing people to become “criminals.”

        • You are right, Eric. When people are “forced” into being classified as a criminal by the gov’t, simply for some type of inaction on their part (like a failure to comply with some new mandate, purchase insurance, etc.), you know things are messed up. If everything was fine and dandy yesterday, and now today I am considered a “criminal” just because I didn’t act on some arbitrary new edict, you know that edict is unnecessary BS. Why should I be punished for simply NOT doing something (assuming I’m not hurting anyone)?

        • You are right, Eric. When people are “forced” into being classified as a criminal by the gov’t, simply for some type of inaction on their part (like a failure to comply with some new mandate, purchase insurance, etc.), you know things are messed up. If everything was fine and dandy yesterday, and now today I am considered a “criminal” just because I didn’t act on some arbitrary new edict, you know that edict is unnecessary BS. Why should I be punished for simply NOT doing something (assuming I’m not hurting anyone)?

        • Ditto, Eric.

          But I’m not going to sit around waiting for them to come and get me. I’m sure that they’d be very happy with out extermination, even if it cost them a few of their mercenary peons- as it surely would- but why let them have the ultimate victory? Give up your life, or give up your freedom- either way, you lose. Why stay in the building when you know it’s on fire, and say “When the fire gets to my door here on the 17th floor, then I’ll jump”?

          • I’m curious Nunzio, as to where you might go. I’ve considered getting out too. But I really have to wonder how much better things are abroad. You need to be rich to get into many countries. All have different forms of slavery you still must endure.

            To make a life here, and try to enjoy the decline, or take the risk of going abroad, where pastures may not be greener…

            • Hi, Brandon.

              I’m not quite sure yet. Worst case scenario, there’s always Central and South America. Lots of places there, where once you get away from any major city, government isn’t an issue. People do what they want. Requirements to get in are low, and cost of living is dirt cheap.

              If I can, I’d really like to go to some far-flung small island. Maybe get lost in the Solomons, or Fijis or Malaysia.

              At some point, one just has to pick a place, and go. It won’t be perfect- but it will offer a level of freedom we have not known here in our lifetime. A little exploring/wandering might be in order from that point, on, too.

              I’ve known people who have gone to Panama, Mexico, Chile, Honduras…and while those places might not be my ideal, I have to say, that those who have gone have all been happy, and have enjoyed a level of freedom that we no longer can- so even if it didn’t sound perfect, I can say that they did the right thing.

              My criteria:
              Stay away from military dictatorships.
              Stay away from places that have anything the US wants, or that have a high level of involvement with the UN, or a desire to “develop”. Stay away from countries that have a lot of resources, or which are popular destinations.

              Be a contrarian. Look for the places where “normal people” would least want to go. That’s what I did when I moved from NYC to KY 16 years ago. IMHO, I picked the bestest[sic] possible place….where if this country were not getting so scary, I’d be content to stay for the rest of my life. (Maybe that’s a bad thing, as it makes it harder to leave, since I have it good here…and it’s dirt-cheap to live!).

              I think the important thing is just to get out, though. Just to get our bearings. Once we see that much of the rest of the world (once away from Europe and America) doesn’t live with an intimate police presence or constant government involvement in one’s daily life, our perspective about geography may change.

              It’s kind of like a “Just get to a safe place where we can rest and regroup and get a better perspective” mentality- not being in the thick of things.

            • Thanks for the reply Nunzio. I had considered going to an “easy” place, such as the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, or maybe even the Philippines or Ireland. I don’t really like any of those countries for different reasons, but figured it would be less of a shock and good practice living in a different country, and from there, I could study/explore my final destination. Panama, Belize, Costa Rica were on my list. I hear people like Nicaragua. I really wanted to go to Singapore at a time, but I hear they’re closing doors to all but the best.

              Your criteria is good. Pretty much the only place I know to get that information would be Nomad Capitalist.

              My quandary lies in the decision to pursue expatriation or do what you’ve been doing for the last 16 years, which is what I had always dreamed of (the “American Dream”). Nothing would please me more than having a small house on large acreage and try to isolate myself from the country crumbling around me. Hoping the con will last long enough that they won’t need to directly steal my wealth or send me off to the camps.

              I’ll confide, and as you can probably guess, I worry it won’t be possible.

              • Hi Brandon,

                My choice was to get as far away as I could – while remaining with the U.S. – and hope the country doesn’t go full Soviet. If it does, and the Snowflake NKVD squad comes for me – they will get me. But I will get a few of them, too.

                No free lunches – here in the Woods, either!

              • Hi, Brandon,

                Funny you mentioned Ireland. I had thought about aiming for there, years ago- but have long since abandoned the idea, as they have gone full California libtard.

                I did know someone who relocated to Nicaragua- he’s very happy there. I suppose one has to actually go and explore a little, and see for themselves, ’cause I get conflicting reports. Some people go, and say it’s a paradise; some go and say it’s a crime-infested hell-hole. I guess it depends on exactly where one goes though- just like here in the US- talk to someone who’s only gone to Brooklyn, vs. someone who’s gone to southwest VA. and the reports would be quite different.

                I have to say, the way I’ve been blessed to have been living for the last 16 years is truly wonderful, and even better than I’d imagined it could be. I could go on like this forever…it’d be nice, and I’d be well satisfied; but we all see what’s coming.

                Even forgetting all of the other stuff, they’ll just raise property taxes eventually, to the point where someone like myself could no afford to keep this acreage. -Just like they did back in NY, starting in the 80’s, where the taxes would virtually double every year. And it’s just a matter of time before they impose Naziistic zoning and code enforement and all of that, so that one will have to ask and pay for permission to put up a fence or an out-building, or re-gravel the driveway; or they’ll force vaccines on your animals (or YOU!). Just the out-lawing of cash alone would be catastrophic and end a good deal of our freedom- and we are practically to that point already.

                The infrastructure for total tyranny is already in place and partly working…..and the implementation of further steps to squelch any freedoms are becoming much more frequent and forcefully.

                My concern right now is more along the lines of getting out while I can still take the value of what I’d get for my property with me, so I can get a place somewhere else.

      • If you have a cellphone, they get the same information about your driving style, for nothing. Cellphones have all the same sensors in them as the black boxes do.

        • They do not. Cellphones can be triangulated by towers aided by E911. It is physically impossible for the cellphone to have the sort of data the automobile’s computer(s) collect from the various onboard sensors. The only way for the cellphone to have the same sensors is for it to be connected to the car’s OBD2 system where upon with the right software it could get the readings from the car’s computer.

          • Cellphone are located by reverse triangulation, by comparing the signals from calibrated receivers, as well as by GPS. Cellphones contain accelerometers just like the automobile’s computer. The cellphone can collect the same information from its sensors as the car’s computer can from its own. The OBD2 is just one of many portals in use by the computer, and the black boxes also communicate on the cellular network as part of IoT. There is no practical difference between OnStar and your cellphone. They both use the same vectors. Until you stop believing all the propaganda telling you that you have privacy, they will be laughing at you.

            • OnStar is a cellular system connected to the car’s computer. It doesn’t even need OBD2, it is networked through the CAN bus.

              You’re also changing your tune saying the phone can collect the same information rather than has the same sensors. Simply it can’t and it doesn’t. GPS or triangulation is nowhere near as accurate as speedometer gear or ABS wheel sensor. It can give an estimate but then with GPS or anything else it might be able calculate it has to report that over a data connection or a phone call. Here’s a neat little trick, turn off the data connection.

              Even with it running you can use standard unix networking tools to see what it is doing. One of the first things I did to my “smart” phone was install basic terminal level access for myself. I know what it is doing. I also treat it like facebook, I keep it ignorant and disconnected.

              I have my phone on right next to me. I have netstat app running and I can see exactly what it is doing right now network wise, which is a lot of nothing.

              As to propaganda you need to crawl back under your bridge. There are ways to preserve your privacy if you choose to exercise them. If you’re going to accept defaults and install any old thing then you’re not going to. My phone isn’t going to tattle on me if accelerate too hard nor is it going to tattle on me for going too fast. Even if it wanted to it would have to wait for hours or days or maybe a week or more until I gave it data access again to do so.

  17. What ever happened to the Orange One’s promises of reducing red tape and regulations which were strangling small business, yada, yada?

    Oh, I guess “reducing” means “making more”.

  18. They ought to include a function that electrocutes the driver if the truck stays in the passing lane next to another vehicle for longer than 30 seconds.

    • They can’t help it. There’s 80,000 pounds of inertia to overcome. Plus the trucks are governed, so they can’t get up to 80 to complete the pass in a reasonable distance like you & I can.

      Should a lot of these bulk loads be on a train? Yes. But the businesses won’t wait that long for a train delivery to their area.

      • Also, imagine how much railroad infrastructure would have to change to absorb something like a 400% increase in traffic… in addition to getting the loads to more destinations. Without a complete overhaul of the railroads AND the highway system, it’d be a nightmare.
        I drove OTR for a couple decades, and eventually got out of it when it became clear that thoughtless regulation had long taken over my livelihood. Now you’ll find the roads clogged with freshly minted “CDL mill” drivers, while experienced fellows quit in disgust to either retire (if they can) or move on to different industries like I did.

        • Most freight rail is over capacity as it is in the Chicago area. And most freight ends up coming through here if it’s going cross country. A proposal to build a reliever freight railroad recently died from nimby’s and overregulation.

          And that doesn’t even account for the traffic increase that will come from the south when the ports start taking in cargo when the Panama canal expansion opens. Shippers will be thrilled to bypass western ports that are very expensive and difficult to use.

        • I was working in the COlumbia Gorge during those fires a while back. There are mainline railroads on both siddes the river. The Oregon side was comletely closed to all traffic, rail and road, for nearly three weeks. I was on the Washington side, and have spent enough time there to have a pretty goood sense of the train trafffic on our side of the river. During the road closures on the Oregon side, I was astounded at the constant rumble of the trains. Probably four times the normal traffic. EVERYTHING that used to take the Oregon side up the river was now on the north side.

          Then I remembered driving east through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas…. the main lines across there were double track, The trains seemed to run about ten minutes apart, at any given time on the flatlands I could see three trains… the one close by I could hear, and one well ahead and a third well behind. I’ve no doubt they could halve the distance between trains with no affect on safety, and haul twice as much goods on the existing system. Of course, the “processing” at either end of the line would take some serious improvements…..

          • One possible reason for the distance between trains is because if there are any level crossings the railroads are required to have the road open for a certain amount of time. When I lived in Fraser CO there were about 7 coal trains a day, each about a mile long. The only reason why BNSF didn’t run 6 over a mile long was because of the level crossing in Fraser. They were maxed out on how long they could keep the crossing gate closed.

        • Hi Devin, Perhaps I am a bit dense; but are you saying that the truck drivers ought to stay behind slower trucks so that 4-wheeler drivers can get to their destination a minute or two faster?

          • If one goes back and understands the original premise of the Eisenhower Highway System, the primary user is the military, the secondary user is commercial users, and the rest are tertiary, so the 4-wheelers should consider themselves lucky that truckers let them use it at all.

            • Eyes-N-Hooer just had to use that military BS as a pretext, because back then, enough people still knew that a federally-funded national highway system would be unconstitutional.

                • Because there were still enough people around, -even a few in gov’t- to put up some resistance; so he had to at least have a somewhat legal pretext for his BS.

                  Back in those days, the constitutionality of things was still discussed, even to some degree in the media and among mainstream Repugnantcans; and traditionalists still had enough power and held enough arms to be a force to be reckoned with, if the gov’t had done things as blatantly illegal as they do today. It was only by doing things on the sneak or with a good pretext, that they were able to avoid a mass revolt, at a time when such was still possible and meaningful.

                  • Regardless of constitutionality, the average person would be living a life of need without our highway system.

                    I 10 and I 20 are so overcrowded now I don’t see relief in sight until the process begins to double their capacity, in effect, building at least another system as large as the current one.

                    And Bill is correct when he states the primary use of interstate highways if for military use. I’ve noticed the newer roads that have been built over the years and rarely do they have an overpass or anything else that could constrict extremely wide loads. No matter what it might be, you can ostensibly send it via RR but eventually it will have to be trucked to a final destination.

                    • >” the average person would be living a life of need without our highway system. “<

                      I don't know about that, 8. Things were just fine before all of these interstates. People didn't travel as far, as fast….so instead of people commuting 100 miles to work, they worked in their own communities, or ones nearby. Family stayed closer together. Life was more organic and slower paced. That wasn't a bad thing.

                      The easier and faster travel is made, the further people go, and really, of what benefit is it?

                      Now the highways aren't enough; they want bullet trains!

                      And maybe before the highways it took longer to transport stuff. So more stuff was made locally; and more food was grown locally.

                      Really, a lot of the ills this society is suffering from, -socially and economically, and even politically, are the direct result of things enabled by these highways.

                      I would give anything to have been able to live in the days when it was all two-lane roads!

                    • Eight, military use was the sales pitch for the interstates that got them built. The concept of them goes back to shortly after the automobile started to gain some popularity. Around 1906 if I recall correctly.

                    • 8,
                      I drove from Phoenix to Quartzsite yesterday and the only delay was at the Border Patrol inspection stations where they were so involved in BSing they were simply waving everyone through without a word. If they just put the fully automated scanners on the highway, they could do every vehicle like they do trucks with Pre-Pass. Of course, they wouldn’t be doing as well at conditioning the sheeple if they didn’t bring them to a halt and make them dribble through Checkpoint Charlie at every opportunity.

                    • Nunzio, I’m just speaking of the population size now as to back then, less than half.

                      I’d agree I liked the country better then and the way things were.

                      The country was much better in a great many respects. Hell, the world was better before George Bush was elected Prez and will never be the same.

                    • So true, 8. But even as pertains to the increased population, it’s a case of “If we build it, they’ll come”. No matter how many/how wide a road they build…it’ll fill to capacity before long, just by reason of the fact that it’s existence enables even more development/higher density/etc.

            • Hi Bill, Devon’s non-reply is confirmation that I had read his comment in the correct context even though it was made quite a few comments below my reply to John A Smith. I almost made a scathing reply instead, but I considered the possibility that he was replying to a different commenter.
              It is ridiculous for him to think that truck drivers should be slackers at their job site (roads and highways) all day long so people like him can zip up the highway past a handful of exits to their destination a minute or two earlier.
              Any thinking person would have realized that truckers do not have x-ray eyesight to peer inside of enclosed trailers that they are about to pass in order to estimate its weight, or to ‘know’ the amount of power the truck he is overtaking has. Nope! He had to mindlessly fart something out from his mouth!

              • Brian,
                Any truck driver that has ever run long haul will recognize everything you say as what non-truckers will never understand, or want to.
                I have been hearing since long before I got my CDL in 1990 that there is a truck driver shortage. It didn’t take long to understand that the real shortage was of drivers that wanted to predated by every government agency out there for way less pay that they deserve.
                My favorite way of dealing with such ignorants is to tell them to imagine what their lives would be like without the 70% of what they have that was brought by a truck.

                • While I think that 70% of transport is by truck, if you take all movement into account, nearly 100% needs a truck at some point in its movement… even if only on both ends by intermodal drivers, because one thing railways are NOT good at doing… is versatile local delivery.

    • John A Smith, your anger is misdirected as is many other 4 wheeler drivers. Imagine your insurance company mandating that your car’s computer be set up so that you can only go 65 or 67 mph. Now imagine trying to pass one of those slow trucks which are also restricted to a similar speed. Try passing a truck by only going 2 mph faster than him to see what that is like. But it is worse for the truck driver than for you, because he might have a light load and be passing a heavily loaded truck climbing a hill. He still hasn’t finished passing the other truck as it picks up speed once the road levels. Now they are going at the exact same insurance mandated speed side by side. The trucks then start going downhill, and the heavier truck can actually drive faster than the mandated speed thanks to the law of gravity, so he almost but not quite passes the lighter truck in the hammer lane, and there is yet another hill ahead. The truck being passed should slow down slightly and let the other truck finish the pass, but many will not do that; yet the ire of 4 wheeler drivers is always at the truck trying to make the pass. Should HE slow down in the hammer lane and fall back behind the slower (overall) truck? That would piss off the drivers behind him, and both lanes have a bunch of cars behind trucks. How would YOU like being that truck driver facing this delimma? Both drivers get paid by the mile and have to get to their destination on time.
      Most trucking companies get cheaper insurance rates for castrating their trucks, but most drivers hate driving them. Most of those trucks could exceed 75 mph if they weren’t castrated, and you wouldn’t see this problem occurring. The truck I now drive is not castrated, and if I find myself pacing another truck, I speed up a little until I get well past it. Owner Operators have the ability to select a different insurance company.
      You should direct your ire at the insurance company, the trucking companies which use those insurance companies, and your congresscritter for allowing the insurance companies get away with setting up their own speed limits. Electrocute those guys instead! I challenge any insurance company exec to provide scientific evidence that truck drivers have more accidents when driving 69-70 mph than when they drive 66-68 mph!

      • Brian, you said “truth, truth”. Sometimes too a truck will not pull as well as the one you are trying to pass so you lose some on a hill……But, you know that if you get past that truck by a certain point, you’ll be able to go on your way at your speed but if you don’t, you’ll be stuck behind the slower rig for another known distance. It is maddening to a driver. And don’t believe the driver being passed isn’t pissed too but he knows why the slightly faster truck can’t get around.

  19. Great article, Eric. I’m glad you’re adding your voice in opposition to the FMCSA ELD Mandate.

    I couldn’t stand to have an ELD any more than I’d tolerate a ‘monitor’ on my car to “save on insurance”

    In anticipation of this mandate and other bureaucratic nonsense, I switched to driving a straight non-CDL truck. (26,500 gvw) There’s still federal rigamarol to go through, but it’s tolerable for the time being.

    I urge all O/Os to join the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Assoc. They’re down in the swamp fighting the good fight for the men and woman that frankly, make this just-in-time economy function!

    • Of course, anything over 26,001 gvw is CDL, so how do you get 499 more pounds legally?
      I joined the OOIDA two separate times and let my membership expire both. The OOIDA is to truckers as the NRA is to gunners. They both have well-funded lobbies and very nice paid for facilities. Neither one has ever stopped a law that brought in lots of money.

  20. Look, if they don’t want me behind the wheel for 18 hours straight, they should let me drive fast enough to make the trip in nine.

    You think I WANT to drive for 18 hours in one pull?

    “They’re thirsty in Atlanta, and there’s beer in Texarkana, and we’ll bring it back no matter what it takes.”

    – Jerry Reed

  21. That’s not just a picture of any “old cowboy” up there folks, that is Teddy Roosevelt. I’m voting for George Patton in the next Presidential Election. Even deceased, he’s a better choice than anyone that has been in office during my lifetime.

  22. Like a lot of mandates – the good drivers don’t need this system. They’re able to deliver their loads safely and on time. This is really for the bad drivers – those that go off route and get their trucks stuck under a bridge, who make 300 mile detours to see their girlfriend(s), arrive late, drive while fatigued/stoned/drunk, and so on.

    Like all government programs, it’s a one-size-fits-all, least-common-denominator approach where the law abiding are penalized (punished) because of the bad apples.

    • Government school teaches people that the way to deal with any issue is to punish/restrict everyone because of the actions of a few. When they become adults they demand the same thing they were conditioned to in school.

      • Treat people like scum and they will start to behave that way. The deal is that the good drivers can’t be arsed to put up with being treated lkie this and so they quietly depart. Next come the “second tier” who get up to all sorts of malarky. Management starts using the technology to fire them and soon it finds it is dealing with the critters of the “third tier”. Rinse and repeat. Eventually there is no lower tier of troglodytes to recruit from and things grind to a silent halt.

        • Hi Sione,

          Yes, exactly! This is the Sovietization of our economy/society. Or, as Rand put it, the good are beginning to shrug. Opting out of working unless absolutely necessary.

          Hell, I’ve begun to think about it, too. If Musk and the Snowflakes destroy the car industry – and it is looking as though they might – they will take down car journalism along with it. I will never bend knee to the Safety Cult or the Church of Climate Change.

          I’d rather live in a van down by the river…

  23. The vehicles the installation techs use have a GPS system that updates their location every few minutes. The system was set up so customers who have appointments scheduled can get an approximate ETA, and so dispatch can assign same-day jobs to the nearest tech. Of course another reason was so that trucks can be tracked by management. People have already been fired for not being where they should be. I’d like to think for good reason, but you never know. As far as I know I don’t (yet) have a tracking device on my vehicle aside from my company supplied phone. One day I was discussing this system with an installation supervisor, who was very quick to point out that it is a safety device. If someone gets hurt his supervisor can look up his location and send for help. “How often does that happen?” was my response.

    One “feature” of the system is that every tech is assigned a magnetic fob that has to be placed on a reader in the dashboard. I’m pretty sure if that isn’t done the vehicle won’t move more than a few feet, mostly so that mechanics can service the vehicle. Tech vehicles are assigned to individual drivers unless they are designated as pool vehicles, so the only reason I can think of for this add-on is to “prove” someone was at the wheel when digging for dirt. And I’m sure for most of the time this system isn’t a problem. After all, a tech isn’t forced to work here, and they are using company assets. It sort of stinks that there’s a “take it or leave it” attitude from management, but again, the choice is really up to the tech.

    I wonder if the ELDs will track the actual driver or just the vehicle? I could see where team drivers would just know each others’ login/password or use their key fob, whatever just to avoid the work limit rules. Or maybe just to fake that there are two people in the cab. Risky behavior if they run afoul of the lawman, but forcing one lowest-common-denomitor law on everyone never works out well. Which might be why I don’t have a tracker on my vehicle -someone might figure out how many hours I spend working without enough sleep. Exceptions to rules are necessary to keep society moving along.


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