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State vs. Federal: Trucking’s Ongoing Regulatory Battle

State vs. Federal: Trucking’s Ongoing Regulatory Battle

For most people, following the rules at their job is a relatively simple task. Traditional work arrangements, as in those that rely on a single physical location to assign tasks and serve customers, often have one single set of policies they adhere to.

These policies may be modified in certain situations if the need arises, and several layers of hierarchy may also be present in shaping those rules. However, things are more complicated in the freight industry. For commercial drivers, sticking to the rules can sometimes be more challenging that maneuvering their 20-ton vehicle to its destination.

The reason for the headache is because drivers often face different sets of rules while in transit. Going from state to state can mean drivers have a unique patchwork of regulations to abide by, some of which require them to make big adjustments for.

The result is a situation where drivers and carriers alike sometimes find themselves unable to operate at maximum efficiency while obeying all regulatory measures. Even in situations where the measures themselves aren’t overly strict or burdensome, trying to make everyone happy is often a losing battle.

This is why there is an ongoing battle concerning regulation of the trucking industry. Recent measures were introduced that would block states from making changes to federal guidelines involving interstate travel.

Federal regulations are helpful in some ways. They streamline things and make them uniform, allowing trucking companies to establish compliance more easily. On the other hand, top-down control always tends to get more severe. Some believe turning more regulatory control over to federal lawmakers would be a big mistake.

States have a better idea of how their jurisdictions can handle certain regulations, and can be more specific when it comes to establishing regulations that meet the expectations of citizens. However, this can sometimes make interstate travel difficult and may actually have a negative impact on that state’s economy.

As the battle for regulatory dominance continues, trucking companies have a vested interest in keeping things simple. The easier regulations are to adhere to, the less they will hinder the commercial truck driving industry as a whole.

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