Dumb Regulations

JulyPoemPicThis industry is rapidly changing – some ways for the better and some for the worse. One thing I hear about often is the upcoming mandate on all trucks to be equipped with an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) by the end of next year. While the concept seems to be rooted in safety, it is the opinion and experience of many professional drivers that the ELD’s actually pose serious safety risks, since they cannot account for real-world scenarios in which a driver’s discernment is best. Driving safely is critical, and should be priority #1 for any driver – especially “professional” drivers. But lawmakers and advocacy groups just keep stifling our ability to make real-world decisions based on how we feel as individuals in real-world situations. They are crippling our industry, and our economy, by imposing “one-size-fits-all” rules on a very dynamic and diverse industry. Professional drivers are professional drivers, not just seat warmers and steering wheel holders. No computer device can match the intellect and discernment of a skilled driver – they know best, from experience, when to take a rest break and when they’re fit to drive. This poem is a rant about the ridiculous ELD mandate and other unnecessary and expensive rules that the all-too-smart clueless lawmakers are imposing on our professionals in the name of “$afety” – enjoy!

ELD’S VS. REALITY

I had an issue, just the other day,
A trooper pulled me over, said “Oh, by the way,
I’m gonna go ahead, and do a Level 1.”
Level 1, well that’s a piece of cake,
No big deal for the time it takes…
Obliged as I was, I handed him my “book of fun”.

Fun was over, when he kinda laughed,
At my paper pages, with a little graph.
“Soon you’ll be running, on a mandated ELD.”
ELD, well that’s a load of crap,
Tellin’ me when I should take a nap…
20 years of truckin’, doesn’t even mean a thing?

Thing about it, is I understand,
Some folks drive, until they’re poundin’ sand.
But what about the rest of us, can’t they set us free?
Free of points, on my C.S.A,
And threats to take my CDL away…
If the ELD and my body, simply disagree.

Disagree, if you think you must,
All I’m sayin’ is, that I don’t trust.
A damn computer, over actual reality.
Reality, it’s disappearing quick,
Driving truck is not a cursor click…
It’s a skill performed, by an individual human being.

Being human, means that I know best,
When to roll, and when to take a rest.
That ELD, is just another complicated thing.
Things that complicate, the workin’ man,
Imposed by people who don’t understand…
Everybody doesn’t fit, inside the same old box.

Clock the speeders, when they’re flyin’ past,
Fines remind them, not to go so fast.
But fines for visors, and faded conspicuity?
Conspicuously, we’ve been singled out,
By wigs who haven’t got a clue about…
What it’s like to be raised, in the driver’s seat.

Seat occupiers, keep your ELD,
I myself prefer, responsibility.
Pride and joy, and a little bit of common sense.
Do you sense a tinge, of hostility,
They’re stifling our ability…
With liberal rules, imposed on us at our expense.

Expensive, yes, and we must comply,
The good guys leave, and we wonder why.
But when they’re gone, then we got nothin’ left.
I left the level 1, in a rotten mood,
A couple new stickers and an attitude…
And don’t get me started, about my DPF!

About Trevor Hardwick

Trevor Hardwick is a 3rd generation truck driver who has been in love with all things truck-related since he was “delivered” (pun intended). When he was a kid, Trevor began using artwork and poetry as a means of staying connected to trucking, and still loves doing it today. Trevor lives in Stanwood, Washington with his wife Alicia, and has been a regular contributor to 10-4 Magazine since January of 2008. Alicia puts up with Trevor’s love affair with trucks and also shares his outspoken devotion to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.