Chicago Slow Roll Draws Hundreds of Truckers Concerned About Plummeting Freight Rates
Chicago, IL – As part of an organized multi-city demonstration dubbed “MayDay,” more than 300 truckers convoyed around the Windy City on Friday to join in unity against freight brokers they say are taking advantage of them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The demonstrators met early Friday morning at multiple locations before departing to join in a slow roll along Interstates 290, 294, and 55 in a show of unity.
One trucker in attendance was Gerald Johnson, known in the industry as “Trucker G.”
Trucker G tells TNN there were “trucks as far as the eyes could see.”
“I’m here to support my brothers and sisters,” he said.
Trucker G was especially proud of the professionalism displayed by demonstrators and confirmed to TNN no arrests were made and no citations issued.
In fact, he took note of how accommodating local police were during the event.
“Cops were blocking ramps for us, giving us the thumbs up, they were awesome,” he lauded.
Despite immediate local media reports from outlets such as ABC 7 Chicago which stated trucks were “clogging” the Stevenson Expressway, Trucker G said it felt like “another day of Chicago traffic, pre-COVID.”
In addition to the ongoing battle with brokers, Trucker G was also there to bring awareness to a pending hours of service (HOS) exemption request filed by self-driving technology maker Pronto ai.
“My major focus is to get this Pronto ai application stopped,” he emphatically stated to TNN.
Pronto ai is asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on behalf of its interstate motor carrier customers to grant a renewable five-year exemption from HOS rules to allow for an additional two hours of daily driving time and an extension of the daily on-duty clock by one hour.
If approved by the Agency, it could be a precursor to a flood of additional similar requests, which Trucker G says could put many independent contractors at a disadvantage to larger carriers that can’t afford the high-priced technology.
Working in conjunction with America Without Drivers, a growing coalition of grassroots trucking groups, Trucker G set up shop at a truck stop in Monee, IL to help drivers file comments to the docket opposing the request.
Click HERE to read more about this request and what is likely driving it.
As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) also reported on Friday, groups of concerned truckers rallied in Washington D.C. and Long Beach, CA to bring attention to the plummeting freight rates amid the COVID-19 recession.
In the nation’s capital, rally organizers are hoping to score a meeting with President Donald Trump.
According to multiple sources with direct knowledge, a White House liaison reached out to organizers Friday morning and the wheels have been set in motion on a possible meeting that could take place in the next few days.
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for the latest on this developing story.
Photos courtesy of Trucker G
WATCH more scenes from the slow roll below.
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Check out all of TNN’s MayDay coverage HERE.