US trucker says Biden still falls short after touting industry progress

A US truck driver has called out President Biden after touting progress in the industry, saying more needs to be done to help drivers.

Speaking on “fox and friendsOn Tuesday, Monte Wiederhold, an Ohio truck driver with more than four decades of experience, criticized the president’s speech and stressed that the regulations drivers face should be reduced.

He specifically highlighted “the hours of service that drivers face every day”.

Wiederhold noted that once drivers start their workday, “the 2 p.m. clock ticks in their head and it’s in front of them” and, therefore, “they’re a little rushed to get things done.” “.

“So if we could remove the 2 p.m. clock and allow more flexibility in hours of service [we] would be much better,” he argued.

Group of trucks parked at truck stop, American transportation concept, Missouri, USA. (iStock/iStock)

Speaking from the White House on Monday, President Biden said that since taking office, his administration has started “making a difference” for the industry.

“In fact, 2021 was the best year for trucking employment since 1994,” the president said. “There are now 35,000 more trucking jobs than before the pandemic.”

Wiederhold stressed that the administration should cut more red tape to help the industry, pointing out that one of the reasons drivers quit their jobs is because they spend nearly an hour a day looking for a place to park so they can take their mandatory break.

RETAIL EXPERT EXPLAINS REAL REASON FOR TRUCKER SHORTAGE

“Unfortunately, a lot of times these guys…and girls end up parking along the freeways on the exit ramps, and it’s not a safe place to park, #1, because you might get passed by someone. one who doesn’t pay attention”, he tells the host Steve Doocy. “It’s a bad situation all around.”

Wiederhold stressed that “something” must be done “as quickly as possible” to address this risk.

Tony Salas, co-founder of the Greater Houston Trucking Association, also slammed the president on Tuesday for highlighting his administration’s progress for the industry amid a driver shortage and supply chain issues.

Speaking on “Fox and his friends firstOn Tuesday, Salas called the Biden administration’s solutions for the trucking industry “very vague and ambiguous.”

“The administration is doing us a disservice by not giving us a clear path to follow.” He argued. “While that motivational speech was more about recruiting and getting more truckers on the job, nothing was said about retention.”

“Every year we have a 90% attrition rate, which means that 9 out of 10 drivers retire or move on to another field,” he continued, pointing out that “we have no [a] recruitment problem, we have [a] retention problem.

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told FOX Business earlier this year that there was a “chronic shortage of talent” and the industry was short of about 80,000 drivers. .

Joining the President on the South Lawn on Monday, the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says that “my department estimates that 300,000 [truck drivers] leave the quarry every year.”

Salas noted that the shortage is “certainly not helping with inflation” and “current supply chain issues.”

He then offered solutions.

“First, we have to pay the truckers their wages,” Salas said, noting that “hard-working truckers with families are eligible for food stamps because of these low wages.”

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“Second, we need to incentivize truckers, like other industries, by making trucking a desirable career path that people want to retire from,” he continued, agreeing with Wiederhold’s point that “it means less mandate and less regulation”.

Salas said the third solution is for female drivers who want to work in the industry, noting that there should be a focus on securing “trucking jobs for women.”

“Until we take a holistic view to solving all the problems that truckers are facing, we will continue to put the temporary band-AIDS on a deep problem,” he stressed.

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