Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act
WASHINGTON – Today, Maine’s Second District Congressman, Bruce Poliquin, introduced the Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act.
“Maine is home to the best loggers and truckers in the Country,” said Congressman Bruce Poliquin. “Unfortunately, the logging and trucking workforce is declining due to obsolete regulations that are prohibiting our young Mainers from choosing this career path.”
“My bill, the Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act, will remove outdated regulations that are hindering the logging and trucking workforce,” stated Congressman Poliquin. “Our young Mainers should be given every opportunity to explore a career as a logger or trucker in their formative years and this legislation will ensure it for future generations.”
Even though 47 states and the District of Columbia issue commercial driver’s licenses to 18 years-olds, the federal government prohibits these drivers from crossing state lines until they reach 21. This barrier makes trucking companies, particularly in small states, hesitant to hire and train workers under the age of 21. By the time individuals reach that age, they have often found another career.
Additionally, much like farming, logging companies are typically small, family-run businesses. Parents cannot pass their family business onto their children because strict regulations prohibit them from even teaching their teenagers how the machinery works. Labor regulations were written when chain saws were still used to harvest trees, and prohibit anyone under the age of 18 to operate logging equipment. New technology, including protective cages, has made this industry safer.
American Loggers Council Executive Vice President, Daniel Dructor, stated:
“The Securing America’s Next Generation of Safe Loggers and Truckers Act will help to ensure that the next generation of timber harvesters and log haulers will be able to pick up the family businesses that are inherent to the industry, and help rural American’s recover from the economic recession that continues to plague forest dependent communities by sustaining jobs in the industry while training the next generation of professional loggers.”
Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Executive Director, Dana Doran, released the following statement:
“Timber harvesting and log hauling have a long and storied history in the State of Maine,” said Dana Doran, Executive Director of the PLC. Doran added, “both are family based businesses that have been passed down from generation to generation to create an $8 billion forest products industry. The Securing America’s Future Economy by Training Youth Loggers and Truckers Act will ensure that family based businesses in the State of Maine can sustain themselves for the long term. Without common sense legislation like this, the future of this industry will continue to be at risk.”