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American Truck Drivers Hit with Obama-Era Regulation as Trump Admin Fails to Delay Implementation

US Trucks
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
Washington, D.C.

The approximately 3.5 million truck drivers across the United States faced a major change in operations today as President Trump’s administration failed to roll back a President Obama-era trucking regulation.

The regulation mandates truck drivers who travel across state lines to have “ELDS” systems installed in their trucks, tracking and limiting the number of hours they can drive in a 14-hour workday, according to Trucks.com. The regulation requires truckers to drive no more than 11 hours during the workday and mandating they be off-duty for 10 continuous hours.

Previously, truck drivers have been allowed to keep paper logs of their work hours.

Originally crafted in the Obama administration, small-time and independent truck drivers were hoping the Trump administration would halt the regulation, as they told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday that it hurts their business, will further keep their wages stagnant, and favors big trucking corporations who’ve been able to readily afford the new regulatory requirements.

“It’s done in the name of safety, but it doesn’t create a safe driver,” one trucker named Kevin told Breitbart News Sunday.

Another truck driver told Breitbart News Sunday that he’s been in the trucking industry for 32 years and has barely seen his salary increase over that time period, blaming the industry’s stagnant wages on regulations like the one now being implemented under the Trump administration.

“The cost of maintenance on equipment, the shop repairs, all of those costs have soaked up any raises we’ve gotten in many years,” the trucker told Breitbart News Sunday.

Another caller named Matt told Breitbart News Sunday that he believed the safety regulation would further give corporations a leg up in the trucking industry over independent, rural truck drivers.

Matt said:

Essentially, these regulations play right into the hands of larger companies and it makes it very easy for big corporations to snap up these small-to-medium size companies because they have a whole staff dedicated to dealing with issues, regulatory issues, they do it all day. Adding a couple more truckers is not going to bankrupt them. They’re already set up for dealing with these regulations.

Though the new regulation has been slammed by truck drivers, and Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) urged Trump to delay the implementation of the regulation, officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and American Trucking Associations have been supportive of the rule, calling it a safety issue.

In a survey by CarriersList and Kenco Group, ahead of the implementation of the regulation, the vast majority of big trucking companies had prepared for the new regulation by installing the GPS tracking device in their trucks ahead of time.

Small-time trucking companies and independent truckers, though, according to the survey, were largely unprepared for the federal regulation.

As Breitbart News previously reported, Americans in working class industries like the trucking industry are increasingly at risk because of automation. A new study by McKinsey Global Institute found that 30 percent of the American workforce could be replaced by automation.

The study predicts that nearly 40 to 73 million American jobs will be lost by 2030 due to automation, and yet the government continues to annually provide green cards to one million legal immigrants and work permits to roughly one million foreign guest workers.

Every year, more than 1.5 million illegal and legal immigrants enter the U.S., often taking blue-collar working class and middle class American jobs. The current foreign born population has now boomed to a historic high of roughly 44 million individuals in the U.S.

At the same time, Americans are increasingly opposed to being replaced by automation and immigration.

In polling by Pew Research Center, an astounding 85 percent of American said they favored restricting automation to doing jobs that are either dangerous or unhealthy for workers to do. A total of 47 percent of those Americans said they “strongly” favored the limitation on automation.

Additionally, 58 percent of Americans said there should be a limit on the number of American workers that businesses can replace with automation. Republicans, slightly more than Democrats, support limiting Americans being replaced by automation to only those jobs which are considered too dangerous or unhealthy for workers to do.

On immigration, a poll by Pulse Opinion Research revealed that 71 percent of Americans said businesses should be required to try harder to recruit and train from American demographic groups with the highest unemployment, rather than bringing in foreign nationals to take jobs.

Even if prices were to rise on products because they are made by Americans, rather than foreign nationals, 59 percent say it is better to raise wages to attract native workers in the U.S., instead of importing foreign workers to keep costs down.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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