Thursday, August 28, 2008

Taxed to death

It’s no secret that many truckers – like many other Americans – face so many different taxes, so many things pulling away bits of their income, that they feel taxed to death.

But truckers have specific concerns, and face specific challenges on this topic not faced by other Americans.

On top of the typical income, sales and property taxes, truckers have federal fuel tax, IFTA, IRP fees, 2290s, and on and on. And that’s if you don’t count the most insidious tax of all – tolls.

One trucker asked the obvious question: How many times do I have to pay for the same road before it’s really paid for?

Truckers are not alone in caring about this. We do here at OOIDA, and we’re working hard to fix as much of this problem as we can.

The fact is, truckers pay as much as 36 percent of the money going into the federal Highway Trust Fund. And I’m pretty sure they aren’t 36 percent of the traffic.

One of the first things we’re working toward is to make sure the road taxes you do pay really do go toward roads.

If they were spent on roads, instead of being diverted to other purposes, the government, state, local or federal, wouldn’t need more of your money.

The question that trucker asked me – how many times do I have to pay for the same road before it’s really paid for? – is a good one. And we’re asking it all the time. But to arrive at a real solution, we need your help.

Call your members of Congress, and tell them all the taxes and fees you pay. Explain it all, including the extra tax if you ever buy a new truck. Explain how it’s supposed to be used to pay for the roads you use.

Make sure they understand that truckers are paying 36 percent of that federal Highway Trust Fund. Stress that all that money is supposed to pay for roads, but doesn’t. And tell them that if they don’t want to spend road money for roads, then they need to stop asking for more.

We need to work together. We are making progress, but the job isn’t finished yet. We intend to keep fighting until we’ve won. We hope you’ll join us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things are not always as they seem

I get plenty of suggestions for Roses & Razzberries every day. That’s not to say that I have more than I need. By all means, keep them coming.

Most of them are pretty straightforward. A Razzberry for some ambulance-chasing lawyer here, a Rose for a good truck repair shop there.

There are some, however, that seem to be one thing, but when you start scratching at the surface, turn out to be something else altogether. I have to examine these more carefully. After all, I wouldn’t want to fire off a Razzberry in the wrong direction and hit some innocent bystander.

Roses and Razzberries aren’t things to be taken lightly. Someone could lose an eye.

I recently received a suggestion for a Razzberry for Woman’s World magazine, and, more specifically, for an article that quoted Jason Toews, a man who runs a Web site called

In the article, Toews was quoted as saying one of the best ways to save fuel is to drive behind a semi. Drafting, I believe, is the technical, NASCAR-approved term. Toews was quoted as suggesting that doing this could save you as much as 10 percent on fuel.

While that may be true, I’m sure everybody reading this is already saying to themselves “yeah, but it’s dangerous as hell.” And it is, no question about it.

So why would Toews recommend this as a way to save fuel? Truth is, he didn’t. I e-mailed Toews when I saw the article and demanded (yeah, I went a little overboard) to know why he would make such a dangerous and irresponsible recommendation.

Here is the response I got:

Although I have not seen the article, I vehemently expressed to the reporter that one should NOT do that because of the dangerous nature of drafting. I had used it as an example of how much impact wind resistance has at highway speeds, and that the impact is exponential as you go faster. If there was no/limited wind resistance at highway speeds, your fuel economy would be significantly better. I’m surprised that they would print this, especially considering that it does not seem to have come with any warnings to NOT do it.

Translation: Jason never recommended drafting behind big trucks. He used it as an example of how wind resistance can affect your gas mileage. Woman’s World took that as a recommendation and ran with it. With no warning whatsoever about how dangerous and stupid it would be to ride five feet from the bumper of a truck rolling down the highway at 65 miles per hour.

What’s more, Land Line Magazine staff writer Clarissa Kell-Holland talked to the folks at Woman’s World, who told her they stand by what they printed, in spite of our warnings and Jason’s insistence that they include a warning in the article.

Now we have moved beyond the realm of simple incompetence and into the realm of willful ignorance, arrogance and just flat-out irresponsible journalism.

I’m glad we checked that out; otherwise, I would have unfairly given a Razzberry to Jason instead of putting the blame squarely where it belongs: with Woman’s World magazine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good Samaritans make good neighbors

I’ve been at OOIDA for over three years, and in that time I’ve seen some heartbreaking stories. One of the most heartbreaking was the story of Randy Jay Tomblin, a truck driver from Flatwoods, KY.

Randy first appeared in the pages of Land Line Magazine in 1999 because of an incident that happened at a truck stop the day his son died. I won’t go into the full details, but Randy got an emergency call from his wife on the road and when he went to the truck stop to try and call her back to find out what happened, the folks at the truck stop were less than accommodating.

But that was just the beginning of Randy’s troubles.

In 2006, Randy stopped to help what appeared to be a stranded motorist alongside the highway. He was rewarded for his good deed with a knock on the head, a gunshot wound to the back and an empty wallet.

All of that was bad enough, but it was what Randy said in an interview after the incident that really broke my heart. He said his days of helping others were over.

I can’t really blame Randy for having that sentiment. What breaks my heart is that we live in a society where that sentiment is even necessary. That we are so afraid for our lives that we can’t bring ourselves to help others in need.

Too many stories like that tend to make for jaded, bitter journalists, and jaded, bitter truck drivers.

Thankfully, there are other stories that come along and balance everything out. The kind of stories that make you think, OK, maybe the world isn’t doomed after all. The kind of stories that give you hope.

The story of Dave Marsden and Bob Griffith is one of those stories. In case you missed the recent broadcast, Bob is a truck driver who is struggling just to get by. He told an Associated Press reporter that he couldn’t even afford to buy a prom dress for his daughter.

Dave is a retired truck mechanic and Navy veteran who read Bob’s story and couldn’t just stand by and do nothing. So he called Bob up and offered to pay for his daughter’s prom dress.

When I first read the story, I knew I had to talk to these guys and I’m glad I did. Dave Marsden reminded me that there are good people left out there. They may be hard to find, but they are there.

You see, what Dave did for Bob wasn’t just a one-time thing. It’s the way Dave lives his life. If he sees someone who needs help, he helps them out as much as he can. It’s that simple. He doesn’t question it. He doesn’t think about it. He just does it. It’s as natural to him as breathing.

And that, my friends, is a breath of fresh air.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just the beginning

So the ATA wants bigger, heavier trucks. What’s the big deal? What makes those trucks any different than our regular, 53-foot, 80,000-pound rigs?

We got a wake-up call about a year ago that spelled it out – the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

While I hesitate to ever say that trucks were involved in something like this, the incredibly heavy trucks parked on the bridge during construction may have played some role in the event.

Our infrastructure is designed with an 80,000 pound truck in mind.

We have a system for dealing with the occasional load that’s larger – we permit them, we often have special routes for them, and we have a bridge formula that’s specifically designed to deal with them in a way that protects our roads and bridges.

You know, since we’re here in Missouri, I wanted to check that state’s regulations for how and why they permit heavier loads. And I found something very interesting indeed.

It says this: “Economic factors in either the saving of time or costs for routing will not be considered of primary importance in the routing process and the department reserves the right to designate routing and travel time for all movements.”

So what does that mean in English? Just because it costs the carrier less doesn’t mean the state has to let them do what they want with a larger, heavier load. The state has the right to route and set times for the load that protect safety and the integrity of the road.

The bigger carriers and their shipper and receiver allies want to stop this system and let those 97,000 pound trucks roll as a matter of regular routine.

So what happens if we throw that all out and just let these suckers loose on our roads?

I shudder to think. Minneapolis could be just the beginning. And that is a scary thought indeed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Looking at the world through rose-colored lenses (or some other color)

Reed Black reported a little while back about research showing that intensely blue light produces alertness – and about researchers in Troy, NY, who are working on a device to take advantage of the light’s effect.

Shortly after that aired, I got a call from an OOIDA member named John Tolbert. John said that on the U.S.S. Missouri – the famed battleship on which the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II – the bridge used blue lights instead of red during battles.

It thought that was pretty interesting – apparently, the Navy knew about this effect for quite some time.

But then John went on to say that he wears yellow-tinted glasses for better vision at night. Just like the blue lights, I had never heard of that before.

So I checked into it. Often, on the Web, they were referred to as yellow-tinted polarized lenses.

I also found a number of references to those lenses being used in hunting and shooting – and being prescribed for folks who have difficulty seeing at night.

Other sites refer to them being use for enhancing color contrast and depth perception.

But a lot of those sites also note that before you use yellow lenses, you should probably talk to your optometrist and make sure they’re right for you.

It may seem like something far less important than what we usually discuss on this blog – the more serious topics of trucking. But what could be more important than being able to see better at night?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Insult on top of injury

If you want to get truckers really mad, you only need a few words to do it. One example: brokers.

Another one sure to get a rise is the word, “lumpers.”

A recent call we received here at OOIDA headquarters is a good example of why.

The trucker said he recently delivered to a loading dock in the St. Louis area. The lumper fee was a whopping $120 – a figure that I find astounding, but which – unfortunately – I acknowledge is more common in some places than I really want to think about.

When our friend the trucker tried to pay the lumper with a ComCheck, he was told doing that would cost him $3 extra.

So let me get this straight: Truckers don’t get the surcharge for real increases in fuel costs, but a lumper – someone who’s probably not even reporting the income, someone who may not even be in the country legally – gets to charge him an extra $3 just so they can cash the check he paid them?

It’s ridiculous that you have to pay for a lumper at all; it’s even more ridiculous that you have to pay $120 for the lumper’s so-called service.

To be handed a $3 charge just because of how you paid them – that’s insult on top of injury.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Political horse trading

We all know about how the Canadian province of Ontario has passed a law requiring speed limiters on trucks there.

One of our callers recently pointed out that the same folks who pushed for the limiters have also pushed for longer, heavier vehicles there in Canada.

For a long time, OOIDA officials have said the push for limiters here was being made for several reasons. I’ve talked most about the competitive reasons, such as driver recruitment.

But here in the U.S., again, those carriers pushing for limiters are the same ones pushing for longer, heavier trucks.

It’s pretty obvious this is an attempt at a political trade. We give you slower trucks; you reward us with bigger trucks.

We need to make sure that our politicians understand what is happening here. Speed limiters make roads less safe. Trucks the same size as a Boeing 707 make highways less safe.

So this isn’t a trade off … this is a combination of two factors both of which will make our highways less safe for everyone.

I encourage everyone reading this to call your elected officials, and make sure they understand those basic facts.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Big truck insanity

Recently, the ATA and a number of shipper and receiver groups started yet another push to allow longer, heavier trucks onto our nation’s highways.

It’s not really a new fight for them, or for all of us. But this time, they are trying some new angles to get Congress to agree with their request.

But the facts behind this discussion haven’t really changed at all.

One of them I haven’t brought up lately is a simple matter of measurement – there are a lot of places where a double, much less a triple, wouldn’t fit on the existing streets, or into an existing dock.

A trucker recently called in to remind us about that. He mentioned some of the spots he drives in California, but what we’re talking about here isn’t unique to California – not by far.

In fact, there are plenty of cities where the whole infrastructure system is built around a single 48-foot trailer – where they even have trouble with a single 53-foot trailer.

Putting doubles or triples into that situation is insane.

What we’re seeing here is larger carriers whose office-bound bean counters have determined that this will save them cash. And that’s what this is about – their money.

It’s not about safety, it’s not about the environment – it’s money.

We were all taught in Sunday school that the love of money is the root of all evil. Seems sometimes that old wisdom is the best wisdom.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A revelation in Ontario: Heavy things go down hills fast!

The new speed limiter law in Ontario isn’t yet in effect. The province still has to create a regulation to enforce that law.

The proposed regulation contains the method officials want to use for enforcement.

Here’s how it will work, straight from the proposed regulation:

“A truck charged with a speeding offence … will be deemed not to have a functioning speed limiter.”

That and the rest of the regulation don’t indicate any leniency for a rig going faster due to a downhill grade.

But it’s pretty obvious that will happen. Heavy things go faster down hills, and those speed limiters don’t have a switch that activates the brakes (to all you folks in Ontario government: That was not a suggestion!)

Well, it turns out that not only are provincial officials aware of this little bit of basic physics; they even acknowledged that downhill grades can have an effect.

Another part of the proposed regulation says, “A speed limiting system is functioning properly if it prevents a driver from accelerating to, or maintaining a speed greater than 105 km/h on level ground.”

They seem to be acknowledging that a downhill grade can push the limited truck faster, but they offer no break if that happens.

We’ve encourage truckers to file their comments on this. I hope everyone who reads this will file comments and point out this obvious contradiction.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thank you for visiting Dallas! Here’s your ticket

Idling regulations are – pardon the pun – a hot topic right now.

In part, that’s because of the weather – we’re in the heaviest of summer heat, and we’re not that far from winter.

But more important, it’s a big issue now because so many cities, counties and states are continuing to heap regulations onto truckers, despite the truckers’ basic human needs for heating in the winter and reasonable cooling in the summer.

It comes up in all kinds of situations – even in places you might not think about.

For example: the Great American Truck Show in Dallas.

Several truckers have called here to OOIDA headquarters saying officers are enforcing idling restrictions around Dallas. Since the truck show, and the lot where truckers will stay while there, are in the heart of that fine city, I think we can rest assured enforcement will happen there as well.

I was curious as to the exact regulations in effect there in Dallas, so I checked the latest issue of Land Line Magazine.

Dallas has a five-minute idling limit running from April through October every year, so the truck show would certainly be included.

But I found some good news in there as well.

The rule has a number of exceptions – including one for complying with the hours-of-service rule.

Frankly, though, if there’s a question, I would err on the side of caution.

I think we all know that enforcement officers who have a question are likely to write that ticket and ask questions later – and, as one of my co-workers here said, sometimes those exceptions aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Border Fix

There’s been a lot of activity lately regarding the Mexican Cross-Border Trucking Pilot Program.

Most important, the House Transportation Committee acted on a bill designed to end the program once and for all.

The members of the House who introduced this bill designed it to avoid the wording problems the administration used to get around previous attempts to stop the program.

But that situation has many truckers skeptical … and concerned. What’s to keep the Department of Transportation from playing word games again.

I understand the concern, and I think it’s a valid point – especially because the Department of Transportation is already very clearly in violation of the law … a fact they refuse to acknowledge.

The only answer I can give is the part of the bill that forbids the DOT from granting operating authority to any other motor carriers based in Mexico, unless the DOT gets permission to do so from Congress.

I think we can all rest assured that Congress isn’t giving that permission any time soon.

It’s a sticky situation. But there’s another light at the end of the tunnel.

In less than six months, most of the current leaders of the U.S. DOT will be out of a job when a new president takes office.

Hopefully, whichever candidate wins, the new administration will be on that takes a dim view of what the current DOT has done.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Speed limiter laws and the encroaching ‘nanny state’

A few weeks ago the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Highways and Transit had a hearing entitled “Improving Roadway Safety ...” One of the panelists was a safety advocate who argued that stricter speed limits on our national highways should be placed on the national agenda. He argued that this measure would save both lives and energy.

When the debate is framed this way it is difficult to argue against these seemingly noble objectives. It follows that safety and public health are held up as paramount concerns for the government. Although I’m sure that safety advocates have good intentions, much is at stake in this complex debate, including many personal freedoms, standards of living and the livelihoods of small-business truckers.

Small-business truckers are again having to confront burdensome legislation – under the banner of enhancing highway safety – when conducting their occupations. In Canada, the provincial governments of Ontario and Quebec have approved legislation requiring heavy truck engines to be limited to a maximum speed of 65 mph. This legislation was originally pushed in the name of promoting highway safety, in spite of research to the contrary. Unfortunately, these efforts are insidious in several ways: they create congestion, impact the livelihoods of drivers, and make highways less safe.

In the U.S. Congress, there is a bill that seeks to establish a national maximum speed limit of 60 mph on highways (HR6458). Though this legislation is a long shot, it embodies the core dilemma of this debate. The thought behind this bill is that reducing the speed limit will reduce fatalities on our nation’s roads, but with this logic, we could lower the national speed limit for highways to 25 mph and reduce vehicular fatalities even further. Of course, this outcome would also cripple trade and commerce. There are obvious tradeoffs in this debate and a need to strike a delicate balance that promotes safety while not overly burdening highway users.

This issue carries great salience because it represents broader themes of political philosophy. One side of this debate talks about the morality of social protection and the other side talks about the morality of personal responsibility and individual liberty. In addition to calls for speed limitations, many other issues are caught in this philosophical tug of war, including mandatory seatbelt laws, prohibitions of smoking in buildings, mandatory helmet laws for bicycle riders, and laws to combat obesity. What makes all these issues similar is that they share the goal of enhancing safety and “public health.” The social protection camp would argue that one role of the state is to allow people freedom to do what they want up to the point where other people are harmed.

With all this in mind, the question is: At what point are we venturing into “nanny state” territory, where the government attempts to run the private lives of its citizens? To this end, it seems patronizing to make decisions for people in areas that should be subject to individual choice and discretion. One example of governmental over-reaching is the trend toward public health laws aimed at attacking the scourge of fatty foods. It seems to me that if we justify laws based on what’s good for people, there is no end in sight. In the end, life is about living. Many good people willingly choose to drink, smoke and eat fatty foods, and are well aware of the health risks.

Granted, there is a keen need to strike a balance when serious public health issues are at stake. The question remains whether excessive speed limit laws fall into this “nanny state” category. I would argue that excessive speed limitations on highways represent the encroachment of the “nanny state” into the personal lives of citizens.

Now what’s the difference between laws targeting fatty foods and excessive speed limit laws? While the former can be blamed for thousands of deaths, increased disease, and a loss of productivity, the latter has an affect on other people, not just the individual. Surely, one could attempt to argue that the thousands of deaths on our nation’s highways every year call for a more strict scrutiny and regulation of speed limitations for commercial vehicles. Although a persuasive case can be made to the general public in this direction, it is altogether unconvincing because vital philosophical issues hang in the balance.

Safety advocates may push for national speed limitation laws under the banner of increasing highway safety, but they would also be pushing for limiting personal freedom, livelihoods, and individual discretion.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Stopping speed traps

Florida lawmakers recently announced an effort in that state to cut down on speed traps.

That sounds great to most people. But others ask an obvious question: Why are those speed traps a problem as long as you’re running the speed limit? As one trucker said, “If you break the law, you break the law.”

The problem, and what makes these speed traps and not just speed limit changes, is when a town puts a sign where it’s hard to see till you’re right on top of it, dropping the speed limit so far that you can’t possibly get your speed down in time.

Let’s try a scenario that I’ve actually seen: You’re going right on the speed limit for hundreds of miles. You suddenly turn a tight corner and see a sign just a few feet up the road dropping the speed limit 30 or 40 miles an hour.

You tell me how likely you are to succeed at that task driving a fully loaded rig with 80,000 pounds and a 53 foot trailer.

My view: No way.

Some of these towns deliberately set up that very situation with a goal of raising their city budget not from honest taxes, but from fines on out of town truckers and other out-of-town drivers.

That’s the kind of thing Florida’s lawmakers and lawmakers elsewhere are trying to stop. And I think they have a point.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cash or credit?

Cash or credit at the pump? It used to happen at fueling stations all the time. Many thought the practice had gone away. But it never really did.

And it’s raised another question in the mind of some truckers. How is it that a station can charge less based on how you pay? To one trucker who called our program, it sounded like a form of price gouging aimed at credit card-using customers.

But in fact, it’s not.

Most of the discount they’re offering for cash payment is due to how the credit card companies make their money. They charge a percentage of the purchase.

I remember it used to be 4 percent of retail purchases. So when you paid a dollar, 4 cents went to Visa, Mastercard or whoever.

Now that a gallon of fuel is more than $4 … that 4 percent becomes 16 cents to Visa, not 4 cents.

I’m not sure 4 percent is still the number, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t gone down.

Part of what’s driving this as well is the incredibly thin profit margins local fuel stations have on diesel purchases. Some only pull in a few cents per gallon in net profit. So 16 cents off that becomes a make or break situation.

I’m not trying to justify what they’re doing. I don’t think I could look myself in the mirror in the morning if I tried to justify anything fuel companies did right now. But this is why they’re offering that discount.

That being said, I think one more point needs to be made: If you are charging more for credit card purchases, you should have to put the higher price on your sign.

If cash buyers get a discount, bonus! It’s like Christmas.

But no one should ever be subjected to pulling in for one price, only to be charged another when they walk in to pay.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Getting the priorities straight

More and more states and cities are passing laws against hand-held cell phone use.

And while there are some studies to indicate using a cell is distracting to drivers, and therefore constitutes a safety hazard, some contend that other, more serious problems should take precedence.

I do think those critics have a solid point. With murders, robberies and violence in the streets, we would seem to have plenty of work for our law enforcement to do. Certainly I think most would agree those would take precedence over stopping Johnny from talking with Buffy on the cell phone.

However, to the credit of the folks in California (you won’t hear me say that often), I do think we need to do something about many four-wheelers’ driving habits.

How many times have you seen someone putting on makeup, turning completely around to discipline a kid, doing paperwork from their job, bending over to pick up something off the car floor … or nearly hitting your rig because they were gabbing on the blasted phone instead of driving?

That’s what the folks in California are trying to put a stop to.

Of course, if instead of that, they required driver’s education, that very well might solve that problem – and a whole mess of other problems.

But I guess that would be too hard for them to do.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Barn door closed, horse long gone, while foxes guard hen house

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters recently traveled to Atlanta to “unveil the Bush administration’s comprehensive new transportation plan.”

Her big announcement came only 174 days before the 2,920-day-long Bush administration will end.

Odd timing, it would seem, to announce with fanfare that the administration is, at long last, “completely overhauling” the nation’s transportation system.

The truth is that if Bush and Peters were the parents, and our highway system was the child, they’d both be hauled off by social services for parental neglect.

The only things they’ve done for the system in eight long years is to allow the Highway Trust Fund to go bankrupt and to urge the states to sell off their roads and bridges to Wall Street and/or foreign investors.

OOIDA’s Todd Spencer says they “hung out the for sale sign.”

So, Peters’ insistence that – in 174 days – they’ll fix our “broken” system would be laughable if it weren’t so condescending.

The truth is, they left the barn door open for eight years and, sure enough, the horse (read highway system) that was once the envy of the world galloped off (read went broke).

But, if you can handle mixed metaphors, the foxes who’ve been guarding the transportation hen house will scamper back to their dens in 174 days.

Then maybe that ol’ horse can be coaxed back into the barn.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A constant irritant

Illinois and its long-running split speed limit are constant irritants for truckers.

Of course, the Land of Lincoln doesn’t stop with that. They apparently have found ways to rub it in.

A trucker called us recently about billboards he had seen in Illinois that said something to the effect of “Truckers, here’s your sign,” followed by a picture of a 55 mph speed limit sign.

Needless to say, that trucker was more than a little irritated by the implied message – that truckers somehow didn’t see the thousand or so speed limit signs already out there? Do they really think truck drivers are that stupid? Or blind?

They must, or why would they spend the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to keep a billboard up?

The state’s government seems to have a long-standing problem with truckers, which is sad, considering the portion of their economy that’s dependent on trucks. The split speed limit is just part of it, but it’s an awfully big part.

Because split speed limits are unsafe, OOIDA has put a massive amount of effort over the years into overturning that law. In fact, the association has done far more than any other group out there to oppose split speed limits, especially in Illinois.

Due to the Association’s efforts, the Illinois General Assembly has voted at least three times I know of to end lower speed limits for trucks. And several of those votes were veto-proof majorities.

Then, each time, the governor vetoed the bill, and a bunch of lawmakers from the Chicago area – which isn’t affected one way or the other by this – changed their votes.

Some of those lawmakers who I spoke to seemed unaware of the problem split speed limits posed. Some simply listened to what the AAA Chicago Motor Club – a supporter of splits – said, but never checked it out to see if those statements were factual. One lawmaker didn’t even seem to know the split speeds didn’t affect her hometown, which sits well inside the metro area.

Shockingly, one lawmaker – a member of the state’s Senate Transportation Committee – didn’t know the difference between an Interstate highway and a U.S. highway with traffic lights.

Informing people like you about that history is one of the most important things OOIDA does – so that the next time the governor or the lawmakers who changed their votes are up for election, truckers who live in Illinois can make their voices heard in the most effective way possible.