Hundreds of semitrucks are expected to circle Indianapolis Thrusday in an effort to bring attention to struggles in the industry.
State police said Monday they expect from 400 to 500 semitrucks during Thursday’s “slow-roll” on I-465.
The protestest follows the implementation of the mandate requiring electronic logging devices in December, 2017 and problems that have risen since.
“When you see guys parked at the side of the highway, they don’t want to do that, they’re out of their hours of service,” Nicole Cherry from Buchanan Hauling said. “They know it’s dangerous. They don’t want to sleep there. They want to sleep somewhere where they’re safe and their freight is safe. They don’t want to do that. But is there a solution? They’re working on it, but we’re not quite there yet.”
The mandate targeted false paper logs and drivers fudging the numbers of hours spent on the road.
“There are some advantages, simply because it put us all on the same level playing field,” Ken Brookhart from Summit Express told WANE 15 News. “Everybody now has to operate in the confines of the E-L-D in your truck.”
Because of that, drivers are calling it a night at places they’re not supposed to be or cutting hours short to call dibs at truck stops.
“It’s difficult for you to offset the changes in the lost productivity with better wages for your drivers and if your customer base doesn’t realize the problem and doesn’t step up to the plate,” Brookhart explained.
At Buchanan Hauling, drivers have been using the E-L-Ds for years, which they say makes their company attractive to new drivers, but the system is not yet ideal.
“There needs to be some fluidity that they can make their own decisions based on what they need and the customers need and what they need, instead of the ELD making that decision for them,” Cherry added.
Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Matt Ames said extra troopers will patrol I-465 during the time of the protest. He said police expect the protest will be peaceful, but troopers will monitor the situation.
The protest is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.
“Once they hit 465 and pull out, that’s where they’re going to do their slow roll. You know, 45 to 50 mph is what they’re going to be doing,” said Amber Furry, an Indiana truck protest organizer.
Furry said drivers will circle I-465 twice. The protest was formed due to the government regulations that were implemented in 2017 that caused truck drivers to use an electronic logging device that tracks their hours on the roads.
Truck driver Donald Day said the tracking devices have forced drivers to have shorter amounts of time to deliver products to their destination.
News 8 reached out to Indiana State Police regarding the protest. ISP issued this statement:
The organization reached out to our Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. They have told us they will obey traffic laws, they will not occupy the left lane and they will try to leave enough gaps between the trucks to allow traffic to safely merge on and off the interstate.