Ten Four D.C. Organizers Hoping to Create Unity, Not Controversy
Washington D.C. – Organizers of the 2nd Annual Ten Four D.C. rally are hoping to build on the success and camaraderie developed during last year’s event, while avoiding any more controversy.
Truckers from around the nation will once again be participating in the Ten Four D.C. rally scheduled for October 3-5, 2019.
Organizers Fred Bowerman, 51, of Bowling Green, OH, and Todd Campbell, 43, of Bainbridge, OH, tell Transportation Nation Network (TNN) this year’s event will be a celebration of the invaluable contributions truck drivers make to our way of life.
Bowerman says this year’s focus is to “have an event that is centered around the driver.”
“We want to create a platform to give people a place to collaborate,” Bowerman says.
Unlike last year, which Bowerman says was more of a protest, this year, organizers are determined to “have something people can get behind.”
“It’s an open forum,” Campbell explained.
The two men say their desire is to see trucking groups “work together” to create the numbers of people necessary to gain the attention of lawmakers and the motoring public.
“Most people don’t realize the sacrifices truck drivers make,” Bowerman says.
Campbell says it is also about educating drivers on how and why it is important to speak up for themselves.
“We have failed ourselves and the industry for staying quiet for 30 years and letting just the American Trucking Associations (ATA) speak for us,” Campbell lamented. “We are playing such catch up and we need to get drivers back to the forefront with lawmakers.”
The two men agreed last year’s rally was “awesome,” but acknowledged what happened at its conclusion has discouraged people from getting more involved.
As 40 or so trucks convoyed out of D.C. and back to the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg, Virginia, participants stopped and blocked lanes along I-395 and I-95 for a few minutes.
Videos of the brief shutdown went viral on social media in the trucking community, and passions for and against such actions ran hot.
Bowerman called the fallout “very upsetting” and acknowledges, in hindsight, it did not help their cause.
“That’s not what we want to be known by. We see how that has hurt our credibility. It was unfortunate that it went down the way it did.”
Though Bowerman was not involved in the shutdown, he says he still carries the burden of it.
“I was an organizer, so I feel responsible.”
However, he says it won’t happen again.
“This year we are making sure that doesn’t happen,” he promises.
Campbell, who did participate, says no harm was meant by it and very little criticism has come from lawmakers or the public.
“Our biggest critics have been truck drivers,” he says.
Still, Campbell says he hopes truckers will join in the convoy from the fairgrounds in Fredericksburg over to D.C. on October 3.
“No words can explain the rush of pulling onto the National Mall in a semi-truck,” he says.
Then on October 4 and 5, participants will take in the sights, meet with lawmakers, and visit with members of the public about what it means to be a trucker.
“The event is whatever you want it to be,” Campbell says.
The goal of the three-day trucker tribute is to build a “bond” among the participants in hopes of growing their numbers in future years, Bowerman says.
The festivities will come to a close as participants plan to convoy back to Fredericksburg for a BBQ dinner on October 5.
Ten Four D.C. organizers have once again partnered with a local food bank and are asking participants to bring non-perishable food items for donation.
Last year, participants donated more than 28,000 pounds of food which was enough to provide 40,000 meals, according to Campbell.
You are encouraged to check out the schedule of events HERE for more information.
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for updates on this year’s event.
Photos courtesy TenFourDC.com.
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