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Doing Right by You

Posted By John Hausladen, Thursday, May 1, 2014
Updated: Friday, July 11, 2014
Show Me the Money – In 1996, the phrase “Show me the money” became popular with the release of the sports movie Jerry McGuire. The wide receiver played by Cuba Gooding Jr. says the phrase to make the point that talk is cheap. We all need something tangible.

Show me the Data – Leap forward to 2014. Whether talking the impacts of biodiesel or the new hours of service rule, it is tough to prove a point with anecdotes alone. It is one thing to say “My costs are up,” and another to produce a spreadsheet detailing cost’s being up XX cents per mile over the past XX months.

As we have tried to tell our story to lawmakers, it seems we are long on anecdotes and short on specific data. That is not to say these claims are false. However, they lack real punch without something tangible behind them.

To Share or Not to Share – Truckers are numbers people. You know costs to four places past the decimal point. Yet, when we asked you during recent regional meetings to quantify the impacts of certain new regulations, many of you said you did not know. I am guessing this response may have more to do with not wanting to share the data than not really knowing.

We get it. Share the wrong data and your competitors or shippers might take advantage of it. Plus, the specter of anti-trust litigation always looms overhead.

You might not truly know because you are working so hard to keep the trucks rolling. There just may not be enough staff or time to conduct that type of analysis.

We Need the Right Data to Succeed – If we are going to successfully change laws and regulations that hurt our industry, we are going to have to be better at capturing and packaging operational data for public use. Here are three concrete things you can do to help us when we come asking for proof of negative impacts:

• Simply ask the question: How is this rule or regulation impacting us? Just starting the dialogue can lead to powerful discoveries and meaningful data for you and the MTA.

• Submit fuel and filter samples for testing. Whatever the fuel issue, this kind of hard evidence is useful in both tracking down the real problem and making our case.

• Develop this mantra within your company: “Tell the MTA!” Maintenance, safety, dispatch, permitting - every team member should be encouraged to contact the MTA and let us know if you are experiencing a problem. Give our phone (651-295-5672) and email (mta@mntruck.org) to your entire team so they can tell us directly.

We’ll Do Right By You – I can’t promise summersaults like Cuba Gooding Jr. in the movie, but I can promise to protect your company confidentially and use your data to make our case.

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