One Sioux Falls company is concerned about proposed regulations on truckers

Published: Oct. 4, 2019 at 7:20 PM CDT
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Truckers across the nation held a "slow roll" Oct. 3rd to raise awareness about new regulations.

One company in Sioux Falls is hoping to raise awareness about those regulations, as well.

K & J Trucking Inc. has been part of the Sioux Falls community for 40 years. Now, their drivers are facing legislation that could cause issues on the interstate, recruiting, and even insurance spikes. Would end up hurting you, the consumer.

Jeff Eschen has worked in the trucking industry for 15 years, eight of those at K & J.

The trucking company is family-owned and is a refrigerator carrier, hauling groceries to stores.

"Most of the grocery stores we haul into they have a product or a shelf-life of two days by the time we deliver it, Eschen said. "By the time it reaches the shelves at the stores."

Eschen says if the legislation passes, truckers will have to drive slower and increase insurance. That could mean empty shelves in grocery stores.

According to Carrie Anderson, the director of communications at K & J Trucking, the regulations truckers currently face are turning people away from the industry.

"There's a potential that this regulation will really affect us and make it harder for us to recruit even harder than it is right now," Anderson said.

According to Anderson, 100% of South Dakota communities rely on truckers. She says the regulations should concern everyone across the state.

"We should be informing everybody because everybody here in South Dakota and other places rely on trucks to bring us products," Jennifer Raddatz, T & J Trucking safety director, said.

Eschen says the "slow roll" is a good start, but there needs to be more. He says truckers should reach out to their legislators.

"I think there's a better way to go about it," he said. "Doing the slow roll, you're not really proving a whole lot. You're just making a negative scene for an industry that is already looked at negatively."

"The more we start thinking of them as parts of community and less that other person that's out there on the highway bothering us, Anderson said. "I think the more we're going to care about the regulations that can impact them and us."

The company is also concerned about the regulation with the hours of service, which makes it difficult for drivers to travel through larger cities.

The group that participated in the "slow roll" Oct. 3rd drove from the Sioux Falls area to Pierre.

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