The group ELD or Me started out as a Facebook group for truckers who want lawmakers and the public to hear their concerns about the ELD mandate. In October, the group took their grievances to the streets, engaging with other trucking groups in a series of protests in Washington, D.C.
On Monday, Dec. 4, the 19,000-strong group is aiming to hold protests in every state. Charlie Claburn, one of the organizers for the group’s national effort, said there are more than 40 separate locations slated to have events on Monday. Larger states will have multiple rallies. All are scheduled to commence at 9 a.m. local time.
“It’s absolutely amazing what’s happened,” said Claburn, a trucker from Diberville, Miss. “You couldn’t get a handful of truckers to agree on something. … Every one of these groups started with one person. Before you know it, we had teams of five and then teams of 15. It’s about refining the message and letting drivers have their voice, so the people in D.C. can see that we’re united on this.”
Claburn said he opposes a mandate for electronic logs because he believes the devices will add burdensome costs to his business, violate his privacy, and provide no tangible safety benefit.
“A well-trained, veteran driver is the best safety device you can have in a truck,” he said. “We have a problem with being forced to do something that we’re paying for, that we don’t want to use, that we know is not safe.”
Claburn said the Monday events are open to the public. He also said the group is seeking truckers who would like to participate as well. A public Facebook group for the Monday events has been set up to distribute information, including locations of events in each state.
“We need good people, people of courage, to step up everywhere,” he said. “We’re not blocking traffic. We’re not having convoys. We’re not interrupting interstate commerce. We just want the opportunity to have our voices heard.”
Some of the events are scheduled to take place at state capitols, however many others are planned for truck stops.
“Unlike (the American Trucking Associations) and FMCSA, we want people to participate in what we’re doing,” he said. “So we’ve made it accessible for people.”