Well, I got a little peek into the world of outlaw trucking.
I met this nice fellow today. I won’t give away anything that might put a bright, shining light on his little operation. I’m a recovering cop, not a practicing one, and anyway, if he ends up getting caught it will be by his own actions and not mine. Bad Karma, I do not need or want.
And finally, I can’t give up any information on him because I was more interested in why he’s risking running outlaw than in who he is.
So much for my disclaimers…..
At any rate, it’s a short story but gave me food for thought.
This guy runs without benefit of a CDL of any fashion, without any trucking authority, without a log book, and, apparently, with just enough insurance coverage to pay for the price of the manufacture of the particular type of things he hauls.
He runs a nondescript older truck, runs at night, and dodges every scale. And he does it all blatantly and without any apparent angst or regret for flouting every trucking law that is on the books. And, according to him, he’s been running that way since about 1980 or thereabouts.
He seemed pretty pleased to tell me that in those many years he’s been pulled over five times. Only once was he put out of service and written a ticket. And he said he managed to negotiate that fine down to less than a thousand bucks once it was all said and done. He’s still steamed over that one ticket, and he’s still out there happily truckin’ away….
Let me just say here that I am no fan of our presently top heavy, ubiquitous, overbearing government. I’m not exactly pleased as punch that trucking is being regulated to the point that it’s strangling a lot of small trucking operations right out of existence.
I’m also not swooning with pleasure at the thought of the good ole’ government changing and adding new laws or charging us umpteen separate taxes under umpteen separate guises, and I’m totally not thrilled with the thought that if I even inadvertently, accidentally violate any of the multitude of complex rules I can be slapped with a big ole’ fine that could potentially put me out of business…
Having said that, some regulation is probably a good idea. Some regulation, like testing people to make sure they have the skills to drive and haul big things, or maybe some reasonable roadside inspections if a rig looks like a rolling junk heap. You know, sensible regulation that is more aimed at true public safety and less at padding the government’s coffers… but I digress….
The fact is that trucking is super-duper regulated, I mean regulations on hormones, and anyone who wants to do trucking on the up and up has to jump through multiple hoops on a daily basis in order to be compliant with all of those rules. It’s just about a full time job just making sure all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are properly dotted.
Now, I don’t necessarily enjoy having to do all that hoop jumping. Still, I do it because it’s the right thing for me to do given my personal views and my own desire to be legal.
In spite of the fact that I find the majority of the trucking regulations to be purely governmental revenue generating poppycock, I feel it is in my own best interest to abide by those regulations in order to avoid having to deal with the consequences of breaking the rules.
In other words, I behave myself so I don’t lose my business, have to pay big fines and/or go to jail. And because I respect the law even if I disagree with certain aspects of it.