President Trump Strikes a Blow to Trucking Regulations; Picture of President Trump giving thumbs up and Elaine Chao to be the new Director of the Department of Transportation.
Picture Source: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

President Trump wasted no time in making good on his campaign promise to limit government regulation severely.  On his first day in office, he signed an executive order freezing all new regulations until his staff could review them.  Here are his main measures affecting the trucking industry:

  • President Trump ordered agencies to propose the elimination of two regulations for every new regulation enacted or proposed.  The overall effect of this order remains to be seen, but it certainly sets the tone of the new administration.  As a real estate developer, President Trump thought there was too much government regulation, and he intends to scale it back.
  • He chose Elaine Chao to be the new Director of the Department of Transportation.  During her confirmation hearings, Chao stated she intended to increase funding for infrastructure, bridge the gap between rural and city transportation, and to seek a better balance between regulations and the needs of the trucking industry.  She was easily confirmed with a 93-6 vote in the Senate.
  • President Trump still needs to appoint a new head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other transportation positions.  However, if he continues with similar choices, chances are these new directors will be less likely to impose new regulations.
  • The U.S. DOT’s wish for all heavy trucks to have speed limiters is probably dead.  The rule would require all new trucks to be equipped with a with a limiter.  Older trucks would have one retroactively installed.  This regulation would have cost truckers and trucking firms more money in an industry that already has razor-thin profit margins.
  • The Electronic Logging Devices(ELD) mandate will stand and full compliance with the law is still expected to take place by December 18, 2017.  This regulation was already in effect when the President took office.  However, it’s possible that an act of Congress could scrap the law. This would require a concerted effort of lobbyists and the trucking industry.