How The Government Shutdown Is Impacting Trucking


On Monday the United States Senate rejected a budget proposal put forth by Congress, prompting the first government shutdown since 1996. Over 800,000 “non-essential” government workers have been told not to come to work, though currently there are still some 2.5 million workers still reporting for work. That number may change in the coming days and weeks if a budget isn’t passed and the government revived. Here’s the impact the government shutdown will have on the trucking industry.

According to an article published on OverdriveOnline, 18,481 DOT employees have already been furloughed. This still leaves 36,987 employees regular hours, but it is not known what sort of backlog or work shortage will result from the absence of a third of all the DOT’s employees.

The FMCSA meanwhile has stated that their operations will continue as normal. None of their 1,102 employees have been placed on furlough. According to the DOT, the FMCSA has “sufficient balances of liquidating cash to operate for a limited period during a lapse of annual appropriations.” If the shut-down lasts for longer than the “limited period” however, we may see FMCSA employees taking unpaid vacations like other government employees.

Congress and the Senate have until October 17th to come up with a budget or the United States Government will go into default for the first time ever.

Meanwhile, while it may seem like a long way off yet, Congress must pass the highway transportation funding bill to replace the MAP-21 bill within the next 365 days or repairs, maintenance, and new construction on highways will come to a screeching halt.


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Source: overdrive, fleetowner, cnn

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45 comments. Add a comment.

  1. George says

    At least one good thing has come of the shutdown, less dot to bother the workin man.
    Now the ones left working are forced to deal with real violators and stop cheery picking the rule book just in the name of writing a ticket.
    I call it cleaning of the gene pool or thinning of the heard.
    This goverment should learn to run on a leaner crew away. This is their chance.
    Wash the rules with gas and dry them with a match. Then start all over. Our system is the best in the world yet we can’t come to terms ? Maybe we have it to good. Maybe we need real problems, like china or Iraq poverty levels. Maybe then the people will appreciate life in America.
    Signed, fat lazy American….

  2. Tim says

    So the FMCSA will shut down after a prescribed period of time. Well it’s about time. They are useless anyway. I guess this shut down is not so bad after all.

  3. wonderkins says

    I’ve noticed the mp 44 scale house in Washington I-5 has been closed all week. I know it’s some stress off drivers, but who wants to see someone not be aloud to work? I suppose they’re losing a lot of state revenue also. We may not like them, but it’s not a good situation. Hope somebody gets something figured out.

    • wonderkins says

      Guess I should redact this comment. I was told yesterday that tweakers stole wiring from the scale house electrical system. And that’s why they’re closed. Makes more sense.

  4. fed up says

    All the more reason the #T2SDA NEEDS to take place , the government was built to be FOR THE PEOPLE , BY THE PEOPLE . That has gone to far to the wayside of what their actually jobs are. Its not about whats good for America anymore , its about whos padding whos pocket. Where do they get off shutting down the WW 2 memorial from the vets , it was the Americans tax dollars that built it. I think its time we show them we are fed up, the #T2SDA is a good start !

    • pacnwtrucker says

      The memorial IS open to vets. There was a news story about it this morning. Only general public can’t get in.

  5. Joshua Collins says

    The scales are operated by state DOT personnel. I don’t see how the Federal shutdown would have any affect on them.

    • Chris says

      Most states do not bring in enough revenue from they’re taxes to maintain the state police, DOT, maintain roads along with new construction. The ones that do, like CA, NY and others mismanage they’re finances as bad if not worse than the feds. Most states should be able to go a few months without the federal subsidies but it will catch up with them. If they do not come to an agreement first you’ll see construction stop. Then you’ll start seeing skeleton crews for DOT and lastly states that have some type of fiscal responsibility will have to redirect money from other areas to keep state police on the streets.
      I know 50.8% of the country think that the gov should be able to spend money on anything it wants but danger is nearing. Dems are doing exactly what they want. To collapse the free market and then they can step in and say I told you it wouldn’t work. Then they’ll completely implement socialism in all areas of the market. If I thought for one second I’d lecture more on what Americans should do to save itself from tyranny but the last election showed that the Democrat party has very successfully indoctrinated the weak.

  6. Craig says

    Less DOT makes for a good day for all drivers but this will force them to enforce and not harrass as for the highway bill and road construction , We need better roads but I see alot of
    Waste on beautifaction not repairs this will force them to do more for less.

  7. bbq Dave says

    Now would be the perfect time for the American Public to grow a set and let our government officials know that it is We the People that really own this country. Instead of a government shut down, WE the People should do a government Shut out and get rid of the excess fat in government.

  8. RST says

    the problem is, we are BROKE!!! I dont know why people still saying that we are the best nation in the world with the best economy, stop full your self. we are still a live simple because we are the printer of he world currency. 3rd countries borrow less than we are. I do think we have a chance NOW to start all over, smart way, not reckless “all we can afford” way. we need a businessman in the house, crisis manager, if you will… its all starts there, but, there is another problem, WE THE PEOPLE, we let this happen to us !!! so. all starts here… we need to be more active with all useless regulations and laws that make our life harder. we know what is best for us…!!! keep on trucking my friends…and dont let NOBODY treat you as slaves… speaking of DOT guys…:)

    • julio says

      yes is writh WE ARE BROKE COMPLETLY pls be more smarts all trucking people and rest of us .please just read notice about the numbers of our deficit and our incomes……….soon or later our money will go down and down cause me “make” use the machine to prouce more dollar but this create a big bubble and knos guy what will happen if so……
      I just expect all start over again and don’t look only the pockets from the big big bosses u know…..we have to create a sealthy fmcsa or dot guys that it and star to saving all the money cause is coming very bad days…..
      God bless America….

      • julio says

        how is possible that we can get a change in this country if the majority of the people of sente their income is more than 100,000 per HOUR =this is incredible and they expect that we gonna have more taxes and other stuff….. if we have to start the change whi have to change first are the father ‘s of this country ………

  9. jason says

    Actually a majority of that debt and I do mean a majority is owed to us…the american people.its true..look it up..its a common misconception that the huge national debt is all from borrowing from foreign countries and such…that actually didn’t start till somewhat recently..the truth is out there if people actually look for and research.

    It sucks people are out of work but I’m sure a lot of those jobs aren’t needed to keep us going..after all they didn’t exist before and we prospered and did well as a country am I right?

    • MrYowler says

      No one is ever going to prove your point for you. If you can’t support your own position with citations of your own research, then you cannot reasonably expect anyone else to do the research for you. It’s too damned easy to accuse others of not ‘studying’ or ‘researching’ – it’s condescending and specious of you to do so. Present your ‘research’ along with your findings – if all you can cite is the failure of others to “study and research”, then you probably haven’t done either, yourself.

      Freud pulled this same stunt… ‘If you don’t agree with me, then there must be something wrong with you’ – casting the act of dissension as a form of mental illness. Religious evangelists also play this game; ‘If you don’t agree, then clearly you haven’t spent enough time studying the right religious documents’. You don’t get to define your position as the right one, and accuse all dissenters of ignorance by the pure act of dissenting. You will never change anyone’s mind by stating your position, and then demanding or challenging others to prove you wrong. That your unsubstantiated opinion isn’t important enough to other people, to disprove, doesn’t make you correct, morally superior, or more steeped in “study and research” – it just makes you a loud-mouthed oaf.

      Prove your own points.

  10. roadtoad says

    Good riddance… I hate to hear people struggling to make ends meet, but the fact that they are such pricks sometimes makes me feel less bad for them. Quite honestly, they should permanently shave off 1/3 of the MCS workforce. They can redirect the labour savings into fixing potholes or giving the snow removal guys new equipment or better pay …those guys deserve it.

  11. Angela G says

    All these governement employees are getting unpaid time off, but the ones who make the most are the ones that are refusing to come to an agreement. Are all the Senators getting paid during this time? If the upper level government would stop thier personal spending and call it work-related, and lower thier own pay for once, this country would not be in the bind they have created.

    • MrYowler says

      In point of fact, there has never been a shutdown furlough in which the governmental employees did not eventually receive full pay for the time that they were furloughed. This will eventually amount to an unscheduled, paid vacation. Remember, government employees turn out to vote in percentages which exceed even retirees. How would you like to be able to vote out your boss? They are a demographic group which ultimately wields more power through bureaucracy, then the elected officials wield through legislation. Elected officials do not want to alienate government employees. They will, ultimately, be paid. And in the meantime, they’ll collect unemployment insurance, their car and home loan payments will be deferred (instead of defaulting), their benefits packages will continue to support them, their health clubs will continue to serve them – because everyone knows that they will ultimately still get paid. Unlike the typical laid-off private sector worker…

  12. Razzmatazz says

    Blah, blah, blah, bitch, bitch, bitch, Zzzzzzzz. Everyone gets the government they deserve. This I why you hired them, right? To fight for you. Well they’re fighting. Now if we demanded representatives that would WORK for us then work would get done. Fighting begets fighting until someone wins. In the meantime, the bar is gonna get busted up until it settled.

    • MrYowler says

      *We* don’t hire them. The chain of authority between the public that pays these officials to make our lives miserable, and the officials themselves, is long, twisted, inbred, corrupted, and damned difficult even to trace. There is virtually no accountability to the public, and (as illustrated by their majority capacity to continue getting paid right through a “shutdown”) they are virtually immune to sanctions. We work for them, by nature of their bureaucratic authority over us, and near-total lack of accountability to us. You only get the government that you deserve, if you created it. No one alive today was around when this government was created. All we’ve had was the tail end of it’s refinement into the engine that it is, today. Legislators started turning government to their own purposes long before any of us were born, and bureaucrats have been being appointed (not elected, and also not subject to term limitations imposed on legislators for this very reason) and bending government to their purposes, for almost as long. Maybe you have the government that you deserve – maybe you even like it (maybe you’re a bureaucrat in it) – but I definitely deserve better. Or less. I’m good with either.

  13. milo says

    actually the dot officers left actually seem to make everything worst I have gotten pull in for inspection and pulled over.on the road and got 2 tickets since last week. it got worst in my opinion.

  14. Bryan says

    The U.S. used to be the best in the world,but now it only leads the world in three categories. Number one in the number of incarcerated, number one n the amount of defense spending ,and number one in the amount of people who believe in angels, UFOs , and ghosts. It could easily be the greatest again,but not with our current system. You can’t have a government that is bought by the highest bidder. It never has worked anywhere ,and never will. You can’t vote strictly two parties,and achieve success. You can’t gerrymander district lines, and force people to vote either one way or the other,and be successful,and you have to return to the original concept of citizen government. The butcher,baker ,and candlestick maker (do your part and then go home). Hence the farmer,carpenter,mechanic,truck driver,teacher, and not wealthy lawyers,bankers,and career politicians. The fact that one must be rather financially affluent to be elected in the first place should lead one to smell a rat in the wood pile.

    • Matti_M80 says

      Bryan you hit the nail on the head. Those are all my biggest beefs with the government as it is today. The question is how in the hell to we turn it around? Too many people don’t realize that R’s and D’s are screwing us equally, we need to band together and get a THIRD or more voice in!

    • MrYowler says

      Don’t forget the bureaucrats… They wield more power than the elected officials, because they last longer in office, and can simply disregard the elected officials that they disagree with. Arguably, the turning point at which thing started to go wrong, might have been when it became more lucrative to work for government than for private industry, in the same professions/skills.

  15. good news says

    this is good news for the trucker. most of the scales will be closed due to the shut down. the fmcsa will be shut down after they run out of money. maybe they won’t have the funds to open the fmcsa back up. and America can return to normal. and the people can go back to making a living again. the guy at the top of the post said something about poverty like Iraq or china. I don’t know where he lives. where i live. there is no full time work out side of trucking. most people here live on 3 or 4 part time jobs. if they can get one. the state is kicking people off the needed welfare and unemployment. the homeless is mounting at an alarming pace. homes are becoming vacant. people are moving away at an alarming speed to find work in other states or parts of the world. and thanks to the useless regulations brought in by the fmcsa. lay offs are starting to happen again. thanks fmcsa for kicking the truckers off the road. now the average working man is getting hit by it. and companies are forced to let people go. because the truckers aren’t able to work hard to ensure the American way of life. better hope we don’t get into another war. or the troops are screwed on get there supplies in time. aaaa! what am I saying. the back up plan has always been. to let Mexican truckers have control of our supply lines.” big mistake” In hopes that they don’t use it to take control of our country. and force us into submission to surrender.

  16. JRV says

    We “The People” should consider “Impeachment” of ALL government officials who have “Failed” to work in our interest and Well being. Are there ANY lawyers up for the Task??

    • MrYowler says

      You can only impeach the elected – the appointed are unimpeachable. And virtually all of the elected Federal officials are lawyers. Do you really think that the lawyers are the ones we should turn to, to defend our best interests?

  17. One man gang says

    Yes, we need to be ready for complete shutdown… Look/Think outside the box how this country will fold if it stays on the same course.

  18. Brian Atwell says

    Don’t let them fool you. Every person that has been furloughed will be paid as soon as the budget is agreed upon. Those folks are enjoying themselves.

  19. ruben says

    This is what you get when you give the land of “pretend and make-believe”, aka the entertainment industry the power to influence the vote while at the same time guilting the uninformed into voting.

  20. Tired says

    Hmmmm, we don’t get paid if we’re not working. I think Congress shouldn’t get paid if they don’t get working! (Actually the Senate too.) I also think that if one of them is caught breaking the law they should lose their lifetime pensions. But what do you expect from a bunch of lawyers? It’s going to have to worse before it gets better. The American public isn’t yet to the point where they are so outraged as to act and get the government cleaned out and cleaned up. Just like truckers are only to the point of bitching how bad it is out there. There will come a point when it gets so bad that truckers will get so sick of it that they will get the ‘blue flu’ and have to shut down for a few days to recuperate. Then I guarantee the country (government included) will sit up and take notice of the actual value of the trucking industry and the real impact trucking has on the economy.

  21. Trucker Dave says

    Since when did the federal government mean anything to the trucking industry except problems this is the best news of the year . American Truckers don’t support the DOT . Ban The DOT

  22. Joe says

    I agree with you Brother… But at the same time everyone says we we we, “we” do everythingin our power to keep ourselves separated from our fellow Americans. “we” have so many sets of people against one another “we” can never pull ourselves together. You’ve got whites against blacks, guys against straights, Republicans against Democrats, hillbillies against city folk, rich against poor, skinny against fat, smart against stupid, wasteful against frugal, and do I even have to open the can of religious differences?
    It seems this idea of having a huge melting pot was awesome in the beginning. Sounds reasonable, yes? But when you get right down to it, people don’t get along well with others different than their own kind. Unless there’s a common bond of unity holding them together. The idea of America should have been that common bond. But the people who own this country do everything in their power to plot each and every one of us against one another so that we will never band together and overthrow their greedy asses. Cause if we ever could look past our differences, we would then truly be we the people, the unbeatable, the free and the brave. What we have now is a disgrace and abomination… Too bad

  23. Jorge says

    DOT and all other law enforcement have pulled over plenty of truck drivers and accused them of improper lane, speeding, parking tickets and more. In these cases we have some law enforcement that are more and more like the mafia shaking drivers down. All they do is write the driver that is innocent a ticket and you can’t do nothing about it. Now we see that Government, Law Enforcement and Business regulation is just extortion. The Government is already to big lets down size. P.S. there are some bad drivers out there that do deserve to be fined but never get caught.

  24. royce says

    I have been seeing more and more nasty wrecks on the highway. This is curious because there is less traffic on the highway. Maybe its just my imagination. After all limited perspective is not a valid mesure. To get an accurate measure we would need a government study……oh darn.

  25. Trucker says

    Are you really that ignorant to think we do not need the DOT? Without them doing their job taking the illegal truck haulers off the road (illegal loads, illegal drivers, illegals, broken down trucks, etc), it is only going to get worse. The trucking industry was trying to recover (better paid loads with DOT taking them out), but now it is going to get unreal. Brokers will take advantage of us once again…but I am sure you do not remember the times without the brokers and the freight forwarders…too many hands into the load offers now these days.

    Please do not think doing away with the government is the real solution…you are just not realizing the big picture.

  26. Von says

    I’m not losing sleep over the Government shutdown. Most DOT-employees are non-essential. Honest working trucker can get a lot more done. Why not keep the Government shut except for a few essential departments like defense.

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