Infrastructure Spending – At Long Last!
Author: Tony Manzella
MustDeliver strongly supports the recently passed infrastructure bill that will inject hundreds of billions of dollars into improving the sorry state of America’s roads and bridges. This is much-needed and long overdue and will be welcomed not only by the millions of truck drivers in the U.S. but every car-driving American out there. As Chris Spear of the American Trucking Associations said, “Roads and bridges are not political—we all drive on them.” (ATA calls bipartisan bill a major victory for the industry and nation)
That being said, no bill is perfect. The OOIDA and many truckers alike were disappointed by the fact that there was no funding set aside for the truck parking crisis. This was cited as the main reason why the OOIDA would not back the bill. (See: OOIDA frustrated by exclusion of truck parking funding)
While this investment in America’s hard transportation infrastructure is hugely important, MustDeliver is most excited about the investment into driver outreach to bring new talent to the truck driving industry. The bill includes money to increase awareness about opportunities within the industry, for an apprenticeship program to train drivers under the age of 21 and to establish a Women of Trucking Advisory Board to encourage more women to pursue trucking driving career opportunities.
It’s also a win for what didn’t make it into the bill. Early versions of the bill included stricter independent contracting rules and higher liability insurance minimums. Two mandates likened to a “poison pill” for independent owner operators.
All are welcome investments (or omissions) to help grow and support the ever more constrained truck driver pool.