JACKSONVILLE,Fla. -- At the truck stops near Baldwin and U.S. 301 it was exceptionally busy. Truckers leaving Interstate 10 to buy much needed fuel or to take a break from the road.
Trey Hervey, a six year veteran, was on the way to North Carolina and needed a break.
"I'm not an Independent," said Hervey. "But I want to be."
Hervey loves to talk about the industry and its challenges, but when it came to the rolling protest in the nation's capital he had no knowledge.
"I don't know anything about it," he said.
And at this truck stop, a microcosm of a tight knit community, few trucks knew what was taking place near Washington D.C.
The rolling protest was to challenge the Obama administration and Congressional leaders over the government shutdown. It was to be a strong statement about America's frustration with its government.
Luis Queceda, an 11-year road veteran, said he was surprised to learn about the "Ride for the Constitution" protest.
"I haven't heard about it," said Queceda, "and I've been out on the roads for about ten days."
After 10 days of cris-crossing the highways and several truck stops the Miami trucker said not a word.
"I don't know what they're protesting," He said. "But we always complain about something."
Queceda couldn't talk about the merits of the rolling protest, but he did say the industry is very competitive and the economy is tight.
In other words those may have contributed to the less than expected drivers participating in the protest.
Authorities were expecting thousands of tractor trailers to clogged the already heavy traffic around Washington D.C. beltway, only about 30 trucks showed up on Friday.
"I do care because there are many things we need to address," said Queceda, "and there are many things with the shutdown we're not able to address."
The Owner Operator Independent Truckers Association was watching the protest and its outcome, but had nothing to do with it.
"We did not sanction it," said Norita Taylor.
Taylor said in OOIDA's 40 year history the organization has learned how to fight effectively for the rights of its members.
"The most effective way to have influence is to conduct long-term campaigns and encourage an open dialogue with representatives in Congress," said Taylor.
The protest is expected to run through Saturday and Sunday.
First Coast News