Independent truckers speak out on National Mall

John Gallagher

A.C. Daniel, an independent owner-operator who has been hauling freight for 45 years, had his best year ever last year – he logged 92,000 miles and grossed $217,000.

However, “this year, rates were cut in half,” Daniel told FreightWaves. Among the reasons for the falloff, at least as Daniel saw it, was more freight capacity driving down rates. Daniel saw it from agriculture haulers (who normally would be tending to farms, but a wetter-than-usual crop season in the Midwest pushed them into trucking) as well as container haulers affected by the Chinese tariffs, who then switched to hauling trailers.

But as Daniel talked about trucking while sitting under a tent on the National Mall on a sunny October 4 in Washington, D.C., it wasn’t freight economics that most concerned the 64-year-old from southern Virginia. It’s a handful of proposed federal regulations that, if passed, will drive him and other independent truckers out of business, he asserted.

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