Lou Esposito, 68, lives in Duanesburg, New York and has been involved in trucking for more than 47 years, with 25 years’ experience as a company driver. For the past 22 years, he has been an owner-operator with his own authority hauling general freight.
Lou has been an OOIDA member for almost 15 years. He joined because, “I wanted to be a part of an Association that represented the professional driver and owner operator.” Lou is an activist and has attended several meetings in New York on behalf of OOIDA.
Lou feels each member of the board has duties and responsibilities he or she must uphold. First, all must back any decision made collectively by the group. Directors also must represent OOIDA in a professional manner. Finally, he believes we all have a responsibility to communicate with our federal and state elected officials and to educate them on all matters concerning trucking.
One of the most important issues for Lou is the lack of training for new drivers. As a former trainer, Lou states, “These driving schools today are not the way to go. They don’t take them over the mountains, they don’t put any loads on the trailers, they put them in pup trailers and in trucks that have automatic transmissions. When I was a trainer, I took the drivers out over mountains in upstate New York. I put a load on the trailer so they could get a feel for the truck and trailer together. They don’t do that today and they need to. When you are pulling these kinds of weights in traffic today, you need comprehensive training.”
Another concern is CSA and its impact on both drivers and carriers. Lou feels we need to convince FMCSA that drivers cannot be held to the same standards as carriers for equipment not owned by the driver. Also, we must continue to educate lawmakers about the negative impact cross border trucking with Mexico will have on the U.S. Other concerns for Lou are the new HOS rules and mandatory EOBRs.
Lou believes that communicating with lawmakers is essential. He states, “I have developed a very good relationship with my state lawmakers.” Lou says it takes time and persistence to develop relationships with elected officials — you can’t get frustrated or give up. His most recent conversations have focused on opposing fees charged on trucks by New York and the Governor’s proposed truck route restrictions.
When Lou isn’t trucking, he is involved in local politics. He was elected to a 2nd term as councilman to his town board. Lou also serves on the freight advisory committee for the four capital districts Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga county. Lou is married and has one daughter.