Live From Exit 24 recap: Todd Spencer talks FMCSA job; OOIDA is here to help

December 2, 2020

Greg Grisolano

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For decades, a profound disconnect has existed between those who drive trucks and those who are tasked with regulating the industry. If he was running the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, OOIDA’s Todd Spencer says he’d bridge that gap.

“(Federal regulators) have continuously refined systems that miss the mark,” he said. “And there is no net beneficiary from that. And the downside is drivers are generally the target.”

Earlier this week, Spencer announced that he’d informed president-elect Joe Biden’s transition team of his interest in serving as the next FMCSA administrator. On Wednesday, he joined host Mike Matousek on “Live From Exit 24” to share some insight about his interest in the position.

Spencer says the kinds of systems that would improve highway safety would also make driving a truck a more attractive career. His first priority would be to review the regulations and focus on those with a direct connection to crashes.

“The approach that has pretty much been followed for the past 20 years is, if you comply with the regulations, highway safety will be a beneficiary of that. But that’s not true,” he said.

“Right now, we have more regulations than we’ve ever had. We’ve had greater compliance with regulations than we’ve ever had, and greater enforcement. Yet the trends are in the wrong direction.”

There’s never been an FMCSA administrator with trucking experience who’s made a living behind the wheel. And that’s something Spencer says he hopes the transition team will consider.

“I certainly think so. That’s why I’ve thrown my hat into the ring here,” he said. “I think the country and highway safety can benefit if we take just a slightly different approach to some of these important issues.”

Compliance questions answered

Linda Finch and Scott O’Dell, members of OOIDA’s Business Services department also joined the broadcast to answer questions about a range of services the Association offers for members, including questions about the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and OOIDA’s Compliance Connection.

OOIDA’s Business Services department exists to help members deal with regulatory and compliance questions. Permits, licensing, authority, registration and fuel tax plans are all areas where the Association’s experts can help provide advice and answer questions. OOIDA also offers to review leasing and broker carrier agreements for members.

“It’s best to (review those agreements) before you ever sign,” Finch said. “We have resources available where we can pull information about a motor carrier, before you sign those contracts and get involved with that company.”

Catch the next episode of ‘Live From Exit 24’

“Live From Exit 24,” is scheduled for 11 a.m. Central every other Wednesday. Listeners can tune in to the show on the Live From Exit 24 website, OOIDA Facebook page or on OOIDA’s YouTube channel. The next episode airs Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Survey

“Live From Exit 24” launched this year as a way to expand OOIDA’s communication with members and to hear directly from drivers across the industry. OOIDA is asking for truck drivers to fill out a survey to let the Association know how you are liking the show so far. The survey is here. LL

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Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.