Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


ATA seeks FMCSA approval to Preempt state laws which protect trucker wages

Oct
11,
2018
1

With the help of thousands of truckers and supporters calling their lawmakers, determined members of Congress standing up and fighting for drivers, once again  the Denham Amendment has been defeated and failed to make it in the Final FAA bill H.R. 302.
FAA Reauthorization & Disaster Program Reforms Signed into Law

BUT IT’S NOT OVER
Denham Amendment defeated in FAA bill BUT it’s not over- ATA sends petition to FMCSA

After 3 years of numerous failed ATA attempts to override and preempt states labor laws which protect employees from wage abuse, the ATA has taken one more desperate attempt to Petition the FMCSA based on 49 U.S.C. § 31141 -stating  that the State of California’s Meal and Rest Break rules are preempted by Federal law ( According to ATA Petition)
ATA seeks FMCSA approval to Preempt state laws which presently protect trucker wages.

ATA believes that offering meal and rest breaks to drivers is an issue that impacts PUBLIC SAFETY.

California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules; Petition for Determination of Preemption
Docket ID: FMCSA-2018-0304

This next attempt by ATA, this time to FMCSA, is a petition to preempt state labor laws using “meal and rest break” as a back door to ultimately accomplish the “Denham language goals” against trucker wages.
In a nutshell: ATA wants Federal Law to ensure drivers only have to be paid for miles driven. Whether it be through Denham Amendment or FMCSA Petition.

The thread that joins Denham Amendment and ATA’s FMCSA Petition

ATA goal of “anti-trucker” Denham Amendment
1)  Regulate driver wages based on changing the meaning and intention of 1994 FAAA
2) Preempt State Rights-and not have to pay drivers for all time ( including detention time) but rather only miles driven.
3) Preempt state labor laws which require carriers to offer optional 10 minute rest breaks and 30 minute meal breaks.

To understand more about the Denham Amendment

1This year at GATS, RWIT hosted “Hot Legal Topics” Here is a Video with experts Craig Ackermann and Aashish Desai explaining the negative effects that Denham purpose can have on Truckers. VIDEO Truck Driver Wages (Denham Amendment)

2STOP New Legislation-Truck Driver Wages at Risk

ATA goes Full Circle once again- Back to FMCSA

Listen to the Replay explaining the ATA Petition to FMCSA- Includes Timeline on how we got here!!!

This is not the first time the ATA has petitioned the FMCSA for this purpose. They tried in 2008, however the petition was rejected.  Read more:

Petition for Preemption of California Regulations on Meal Breaks and Rest Breaks for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers; Rejection for Failure To Meet Threshold Requirement

Since 2008 rejection, it’s has gone full circle.  After the failed petition attempt they then took their case of “preempting state rights” to court and lost all the way up to the state Supreme Court. When the U.S. Supreme court refused to hear their case, they then took the next step… LOBBY LAWMAKERS to change law. That’s when the Denham Amendment, introduced by (R-Ca) Jeff Denham, was first introduced in 2015. “How to Ensure Fair Trucker Wages in the 2015 Transportation Bill”

It’s now back to the FMCSA for another petition. So what has changed since 2008?

 ATA Letter to Administrator Ray Martinez- Requesting Exemption/Rulemaking

truckerwages

The ATA Lost in Court. Lost in Congress 5 times to pass Denham Amendment. Now they are petitioning FMCSA to preempt states who protect- #truckerwages

 

AskTheTrucker Comment on the FMCSA website:

Truth About Trucking, LLC aka “AskTheTrucker” ( Allen Smith) requests that the FMCSA deny the ATA Petition– California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules; Petition for Determination of Preemption based upon 49 U.S.C. 31141.

The Meal and Rest Break Preemption is another attempt to override states who protect workers from being exploited. The courts have agreed ( all the way to the Supreme Court) and Congress also agrees, as they have refused to add the Meal & Rest Break provision (known as the Denham Amendment) in multiple final bills, the latest being the recent FAA reauthorization bill H.R. 302  signed into law Oct 5th 2018.

We believe the meal and rest break requirements of California law should not be preempted, as applied to commercial motor vehicle drivers, as preemption of states right do not meet criteria as defined by 49 U.S.C. 31141

This is the second time the ATA has applied for such an exemption from the FMCSA. Nothing has changed since their 2008 petition. Why another attempt at this petition?

The California Meal & Rest Break does not cause unreasonable burden on interstate commerce. The courts have clearly ruled this based on Congress intended meaning of the 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) The only burden it places is on the carrier who can no longer have “free work” in states that require employees to be paid for optional breaks and for all their non-driving tasks such as detention time.  Read rest of the comment here.
http://askthetrucker.com/denham/FMCSA_Meal_And_Rest_Break_Petition_2018.pdf

AskTheTrucker comment posted on FMCSA website

California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules; Petition for Determination of Preemption
Docket ID: FMCSA-2018-0304

ATA Meal Rest Break Petition

If Preemption of states labor laws are accomplished through this FMCSA petition by ATA, it would most likely preempt all state labor laws which protect truckers from being exploited.

MAKE YOUR COMMENT NOW Due Oct 29th

************************************************************************************

§31141. Review and preemption of State laws and regulations

Section 31141 of title 49, United States Code, prohibits States from enforcing a law or regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety that the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) has determined to be preempted. To determine whether a State law or regulation is preempted, the Secretary must decide whether a State law or regulation:

 Review and Decisions by Secretary.

(1) Review.—The Secretary shall review State laws and regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety. The Secretary shall decide whether the State law or regulation—

(A) has the same effect as a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136;
(2) Regulations with same effect.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation has the same effect as a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title, the State law or regulation may be enforced.

(B) State law or regulation is less stringent than such regulation;
(3) Less stringent regulations.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation is less stringent than a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title, the State law or regulation may not be enforced

(C) is additional to or more stringent than such regulation.
(4) Additional or more stringent regulations.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation is additional to or more stringent than a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title,
the State law or regulation may be enforced unless the Secretary also decides that

(A) the State law or regulation has no safety benefit;
(B) the State law or regulation is incompatible with the regulation prescribed by the Secretary; or
(C) enforcement of the State law or regulation would cause an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce

Request for Comments due October 29th

 

 

 

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Denham Amendment defeated in FAA bill BUT it’s not over- ATA sends petition to FMCSA

Sep
29,
2018
2

Denham Amendment defeated in FAA bill but it’s not over- ATA sends petition to DOT

Petition from American Trucking Associations sent to FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez on Sept. 24, 2018, regarding meal and rest break requirements.

Docket ID: FMCSA-2018-030  Make Comments
California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules; Petition for Determination of Preemption

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

************************************************************************************

Since 2015, the American Trucking Associations, and the Western States Trucking Association, along with the 50 ATA-affiliated state trucking associations, the National Private Truck Council, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association , have been lobbying Lawmakers to include the Denham Amendment in major pieces of Legislation and have failed.

These proponents of the Denham Amendment claim Federal Government law should supersede all state laws, including state labor laws which allow for optional paid rest breaks and unpaid meal breaks as well as requiring employers (carriers) to pay drivers for all time worked such as waiting time/detention time.
In other words, the ATA and alike, believe drivers should only legally have to be paid for the miles they drive, no matter how many hours they work.

NOTE:  2015 Truckload drivers paid only miles run. A study in 1998 by
Martin Labbe Assoc commissioned by the Truckload Carriers Assoc. reveals truckload drivers spend about 40 Hrs. per week waiting loading and unloading.

How to Ensure Fair Trucker Wages in the 2015 Transportation Bill

ATTENTION Truckers: Tell Congress to Remove Section 134 of the House T-HUD Appropriations bill in the final spending package

Anti-Trucker wage language in 2 bills to ensure cheap labor and high profits

ATA’s Myths and Facts about Denham Amendment Busted

A legislative package disclosed by Congress this past week to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration bill does not include the Denham Amendment which means that carriers will remain obligated to follow state labor laws, offering drivers optional meal breaks and rest breaks and also requiring them to pay drivers for all time worked.  Since 2015 this is the 6th time the ATA has attempted to have the Denham Amendment added to major legislation. They have failed to do so.

The new bill, H.R. 302 (the Aviation, Transportation Safety, and Disaster Recover Reforms & Reauthorizations), is scheduled for consideration on the House and Senate floors this week.

Proponents of the Denham Amendment base their claims of
“State Preemption Rights” on
the 1994 FAAA ACT.

TITLE VI—INTRASTATE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY
SEC. 601.

PREEMPTION  OF  INTRASTATE  TRANSPORTATION  OF  PROPERTY..
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a State, political subdivision of a State,or political authority of 2 or more States may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service…  page 38 Sec 601

1994 faa bill

1994 FAA bill

The 1994 FAAA  was NOT meant to preempt state labor laws. It was meant to regulate Transportation of Property. ( Freight)

The purpose of the “anti-trucker”Denham Amendment
1)  Regulate driver wages based on changing the meaning and intention of 1994 FAAA
2) Preempt State Rights-and not have to pay drivers for all time ( including detention time) but rather only miles driven.
3) Preempt state labor laws which require carriers to offer optional 10 minute rest breaks and 30 minute meal breaks.  Read more: “The Truth about Meal and Rest Breaks”

To understand more about the History of the Denham Amendment
STOP New Legislation-Truck Driver Wages at Risk

FAA Reauthorization bill

How it all started?  The U.S. Supreme Court had denied motions filed by trucking companies seeking to overturn  lower court rulings that upheld a California statute requiring carriers to offer  a paid 10-minute rest break every four hours and a 30-minute meal period every five hours for truck drivers. These breaks were optional to employees.  However, even if the trucker waived their 10 minute rest break, the carrier still had to pay them for it.  But what the carriers really didn’t want to do, is to have to pay drivers separately for all time worked, including waiting time, aka detention time.

The carriers took their case to court and lost all the way up to the state Supreme Court. When the U.S. Supreme court refused to hear their case, they then took the next step… LOBBY LAWMAKERS to change law. (Just as the ELD in Map 21.)

The most recent attempt in major legislation to include the Denham Amendment was passed by the House in the  FAA reauthorization bill, H.R.4.,April 2918. The Senate had not included Denham language in their version of the bill.
Read more Truckers claim small victory for Denham Amendment House vote as they continue their fight on to the Senate.

Now, according to the preview, the chances of the Denham Amendment in the most recent multi-year FAA bill ( H.R.302) are almost zero, with the bill hailed as a last-minute effort by lawmakers in the Senate and the House to “get it done” before the Sept 30th deadline.

An earlier version of the FAA reauthorization bill ( Hr.R. 4), which was passed by the House in May, included the Denham Amendment.

So is the war on Trucker wages over?  According to the ATA CEO manning…NO! The ATA believes that offering meal and rest breaks to drivers is an issue that impacts PUBLIC SAFETY.

The ATA’s next move is a direct appeal to the Department of Transportation.

“We think this is a public safety issue because it’s documented that truck parking is very difficult to find,” Manning said. “In fact it’s very unsafe where trucks are required to park.”

American Trucking Associations (ATA) has petitioned FMCSA administrator  in an attempt to preempt States Rights which protect drivers.

Petition from American Trucking Associations sent to FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez on Sept. 24, 2018, regarding meal and rest break requirements.

The ATA is trying to preempt state labor laws (overriding with Federal law, to limit trucker wages). These state laws protect employees ( truckers) and require employers ( Carriers) to pay drivers for all time worked, including detention time. They also allow for truckers to take a 10 minute paid rest break and 30 minute non paid meal break, which the drivers can waive.  The ATA is hiding behind the words “safety” and “meal & rest break”, which we have written about on AskTheTruker since 2015.

ATA California Meal Rest Break Preemption Petition

SUMMARY: FMCSA requests comments on a petition submitted by the American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) requesting a determination that the State of California’s meal and rest break rules are preempted by Federal law. Among other things, FMCSA requests comments on what effect, if any, California’s meal and rest break requirements may have on interstate commerce.

Comment Docket ID
:
FMCSA-2018-0304 Agency: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Parent Agency: Department of Transportation (DOT)Summary:  California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules; Petition for Determination of Preemption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATA convinces House and Transportation Leaders that preempting states’ labor laws is in the name of safety and is burdensome to the trucking industry’s economy. 

In a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao obtained by Transport Topics ( The ATA), a bipartisan group of House and Senate transportation leaders expressed support for a review by U.S. DOT on the impact state meal-and-rest-break requirements could have on the trucking industry.

This is the letter sent to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Sept. 25, 2018 in support of American Trucking Associations’ petition regarding the meal and rest break rules.

So the War on Trucker Wages is not over drivers.
Read the PDF thoroughly and then make your comment 
https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2018-0304

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Taking the Xypper Challenge-Increasing the bottom line for Owner Operators

Sep
12,
2018
1

Why should Owner Operators take the Xypper Challenge?
Efficiency and Higher Profits is the Goal of Xypper for Owner Operators

Xypper’s mission is ultimately to help Owner Operators as much as possible and not flood them with” just another system or loadboard”. It’s a a smartphone-app- and web-based system optimized for independent owner-operators

Xypper believes that their Virtual Dispatch System will give OO’s the competitive advantage by being more efficient, offer high paying loads, and increasing their bottom line.

Xypper is a true virtual dispatch system (VDS). VDS is a multifunction application among its many functions, finding your load and presenting that load without prompting to your device.

Again, VDS is like having your own dispatcher at your fingertips for $25/month.

XYPPER 15 day Free Trial

The Xypper System – About the Developer

Valerio Lanzieri has been an entrepreneur for the past 30 years, primarily in the software communication systems, transportation centric. Val has spent 25 years with major airlines and financial institutions worldwide. During his dealings with the airline industry we noticed there was a strong dependability with the road transport, especially in crisis situations. The difficulty during this was always trying to find a carrier in the area of the load pickup.

Connecting Shippers with Carriers and creating Efficiency

The time that was spent on the search was unbelievably long which led Mr. Lanzieri to venture into developing an easier method to connect shippers with carriers. The objective was not to create another loadboard, but more so to create a system that would help everyone be more efficient and reach their objectives of being more profitable, especially Independent Owner Operators.

Owner Operators need more than just a loadboard to compete with large carriers

The first 4 years of development was spent, with intensity, vetting the systems, such as loadboards and any other tools specifically for OO’s. The Xypper team quickly realized there was a flood of loadboards and nothing else to make the OO more independent and efficient. Owner Operators relied basically on the mercy of everyone else and had no real ability to compete with the large carriers. It was like they were neglected and often abused.
After the XYpper team spoke to over 500 Owner Operators and asking what their entire process was, we started the development of the Xypper system.

The Problem with Loadboards

Loadboards did not offer much more than a list of loads, which the drivers had to search and often with the disappointment of the load not being available or not cost effective. They also have a clear disadvantage competing with large carriers due to visibility, (tracking), cashflow and efficiency with paperwork. The large carriers have dispatcher to book loads and distribute them to their drivers, manage all documentation, etc.

 

Xypper Levels the playing field for Owner Operators and raises PROFITS
Xypper is a Virtual Dispatch System Not just a loadboard.

Xypper combines a massive loadboard with a Virtual Dispatch System.

The system offers everything that a dispatcher would do but “virtually”. It sends load offers to the drivers, automatically generating documents such as Order Confirmation, Bill of Lading, Signature capture on smart phone for consignee, Proof of Delivery and Invoice the shipper immediately after shipment is made, reducing reduce the time payment and avoid factoring.
In addition to all this, Xypper offers the ability for shippers to track their shipment live while in transit. These are the same duties a dispatcher would offer except Xypper performs all this in a virtual system
at only $25 a month.

Take the Xypper Challenge

 Make no mistake, there is nothing like Xypper available to Owner Operators.
We invite you to take the Xypper challenge.  We are confident that you will find it more profitable and efficient than any other system you are presently using.

 One load from the system will pay for the service and more. We are so confident you will love the power VDS has to assist your operation that we would like you to try it on us for 15 days.

A human dispatcher will find you loads wherever your headed or in the area you are currently in and offer it to you.  A human dispatcher will send you the order confirmation as well as bill of lading.  A human dispatcher will also, once all is delivered, receive the proof of delivery and invoice your customer for the load you just hauled. Well Xypper’s VDS does all that for you, it’s technology at its best.

Take the Xypper Challenge

 

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Deadlines approach for 2 major trucker issues

Sep
12,
2018
0

Deadlines approach for 2 major trucker issues
1) Advanced Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking for HOS
2) The Denham Amendment in the FAA Reauthorization bill

FMCSA

FMCSA-ANPRM: Hours of Service of Drivers

If you ask truckers what is your focus right now and what are your priorities to see change, you’ll get a variety of answers, and there are many.  However the top 3 appear to be:
1) Creating exemption or eliminating the ELD mandate
2) Change the Hour of Service rule
3) Preventing the Denham Amendment from being included in the FAA bill which would limit trucker wages.

 

Deadlines are approaching for 2 of the above major trucker issues.
Hours of Service(HOS) and the Denham Amendment

  The ELD mandate enforces the Hours of Service rule and the 14 hour clock. The Electronic logging device rule forces truckers to install digital devices in their semi-tractors to track their driving time, ensuring they drive no more than 11 hours a day within a 14-hour workday. Drivers must then be off duty for 10 consecutive hours.
There is a problem however. SAFETY. When you pay a driver by the mile, then govern them by a clock, and then have them wait at loading docks for hours and hours without pay, you create unsafe situations. Drivers are now racing the 14 hr HOS clock.

The Hours-of-Service (HOS) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking of the Federal Motor Carriers Association (FMCSA) is a Top Priority as well as the Denham Amendment which the Senate will be voting on before the FAA funding bill runs out Sept 30th

 2 Major Deadlines which truckers are aware of and they are APPROACHING SOON.  Both are equally important and truckers need to make their voices heard on Both.

Deadline #1-  October 10th PUBLIC COMMENT  for the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Hours of Service-

HOS provisions.
To address these requests, FMCSA seeks public input in four specific areas in which the Agency is considering changes: The short-haul HOS limit; the HOS exception for adverse driving conditions; the 30-minute rest break provision; and the sleeper berth rule to allow drivers to split their required time in the sleeper berth.

Docket ID: FMCSA-2018-0248  Comment
Agency: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Parent Agency: Department of Transportation (DOT)
Summary: ANPRM: Hours of Service of Drivers

Below is a video by Andrea Marks
She explains details about How to make comments and details about FMCSA Listening Sessions. Andrea is Chief Operations Officer at Marks Land and Livestock,Chief Operations Officer at Hershberger Livestock, and Program Manager at U.S. Department of Agriculture

Andrea is also a major force of TruckerNation.org founded by trucker advocate, singer, and songwriter Tony Justice.

Making effective public comments!

September 22 public listening session information: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will hold a public listening session concerning the revision of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations on September 22, 2018 from 10:00AM -12:00PM in Reno, NV.

September 22 livestream link: Join via computer
https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z8IvHRiwROI?rel=0

Need Help with your comments? Contact Andrea or Tony Justice at thetruckernation@gmail.com

 

Denham Amendment Update:  Deadline #2  The FAA Reauthorization bill will expire Sept 30th.  Drivers need to call NOW 202-224-3121

What is the Denham amendment? It is an amendment which would preempt states rights, states who protect employees, including truckers, ensuring they are paid for all time. The ATA has lobbied Congress since 2015 to have this amendment added to different spending bills in order to control truck driver wages and limit their ability to be paid for all time.

The  Denham Amendment has once again been included in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill, where companies would be LEGALLY permitted to only pay drivers for their miles driven, despite the fact that drivers are required to spend a great deal of time performing non-driving duties in the fulfillment of their employment such as pre and post trip inspections, maintenance and loading and unloading ( Detention Time). This would put an end for any possibility of being paid for  all time recorded  as “on duty not driving” 

Denham Amendment Vote No


The Denham Amendment has already been voted on in the House and Passed. It is up to the Senate to stop it from being included in the Final FAA Reauthorization bill.   Read more here

The Denham amendment, if passed, would preempt state laws and state court decisions, many of which have been on the books for decades. These state laws protect workers, including commercial truck drivers, from being exploited by wage theft. .
Read more here  Denham Amendment against truckers slipped in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill at 11th hour

So where are we now on Deadline #2 for the Denham Amendment?

FAA authorizations expires September 30th. Thousands and thousands of drivers have called their Senators and it has made a difference in the last 5 attempts that the ATA has tried to get this anti-trucker provision passed into law.

 Although the House has already passed their version of FAA bill, (H.R.4) which Included the Denham Amendment, the Senate is holding out and has not passed their version of the FAA bill. So far, because of YOUR CALLS, they have NOT included Denham Language in their bill.

 In order for FAA bill to be Re-Authorized by Sept 30, both the Senate and House have to come up with a bill agreed upon. (they would have to reconcile their differences)

 Here is what can happen:

1) An extension until the end of the year for FAA to give Senate more time to pass it’s version of FAA.

2) Senate passes their version of FAA, but still enacts an extension because there is not enough time to reconcile difference between the House Version of FAA and Senate Version.

3) The Senate passes their version, and then the House and Senate will appoint conferees to reconcile differences, ultimately to pass FAA. BEFORE September 30th. ( Not likely but still could happen)

 Take nothing for granted drivers. This is how Your Congressmen voted in the House regarding the anti-trucker wage- Denham Amendment

 It’s time drivers.  The ATA is NOW pushing hard to members of Congress for #Denahm Amendment against YOU in FAA bill. Trucker Issues are holding up the FAA reauthorization from reaching a final vote so Keep calling!

 Denham amendment would allow Trucker wages to be limited! Denham Amendment is Disguised under “Meal & Rest Break” but drivers know it means “No pay for detention time and other non driving work”

All Senators list

 Here is the Senate Committee Members list 

CALL NOW 202-224-3121

 

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Heartland Express to Match Money Raised by Annual GATS Auction Benefiting St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund

Aug
31,
2018
0

During GATS 2018, nonprofit St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) received $16,038 from the Great American Trucking Show’s annual auction and concert in the TA Petro parking area.

Heartland Express to Match Money Raised by Annual GATS Auction Benefiting St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund

St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund received $16,038 from the Great American Trucking Show’s annual auction and concert in the TA Petro parking area

Matching donation of $16,038 will help nonprofit serving over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and their families.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Aug. 29, 2018 – Over the weekend, nonprofit St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund  (SCF) received $16,038 from the Great American Trucking Show’s annual auction and concert in the TA Petro parking area.

Shortly after, Heartland Express, a best-in-class transportation and logistics organization, matched the donation for a total of $32,076 to help SCF support over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and families in need.

According to event organizers, the amount raised by the GATS event, which included both silent and live auctions, was a record. It originally totaled $15,755, but an additional $283 was raised through games and activities at the SCF booth.

SCF corporate sponsors TravelCenters of America, Blue Tiger USA, RoadPro, 4 State Trucks and others provided auction items along with donations and creations from drivers.

Entertainment GATS 2018 – SCF Auction-

Auction items with the highest bid included a Truckin’ Bozo commemorative issue diecast truck ($1,100), a Jasmine brand guitar autographed by the Bellamy Brothers ($3,100) and a can of beer with a Heniff koozie ($900). “We were blown away by the amount of money raised by truck drivers to help support their colleagues in need,” said SCF Director of Philanthropy and Development Shannon Currier. “It’s a testament to how closely knit our industry is – we take care of each other no matter what.”

The event was primarily organized and executed by drivers, which included Scott Wagner and Melanie Walker of Rapid Response and Bruce and Debbie Richard with Heartland Express. “Already we were thankful to Bruce and Debbie for all their hard work at the booth, but to then find out that their company was going to match the money raised means the world to us,” added Currier. “So many lives will be touched by this generous act. Thank you, Heartland Express.”

Heartland Express Chairman and CEO Michael Gerdin said, “Our employees and drivers are the heart of Heartland. They power us, which is why we want to make sure each of them and their families are cared for and supported. Donating to St. Christopher Fund is like donating to the safety and security of our team. It’s a no-brainer, and I hope other companies in the industry will follow suit.”

Truckers needing assistance from SCF may apply by clicking here (https://truckersfund.org/application/) .
To donate to SCF’s mission to support truckers and their families in financial need, click here to donate to SCF .

About Heartland Express: Heartland Express, Inc. is an irregular route truckload carrier based in North Liberty, Iowa, serving customers with shipping lanes throughout the United States. Heartland focuses on medium to short haul regional freight, offering shippers industry-leading safety and superior on-time service so they can achieve their strategic goals. Since its initial public offering in 1986, Heartland has grown from approximately $20 million in revenue to one of North America’s largest, most profitable, and best capitalized truckload carriers. Heartland has been recognized throughout their history for their exceptional customer on-time service from some of the top shippers in America. For more information, visit HeartlandExpress.com  .

About St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund: The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) helps over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and their families who are out of work due to a recent illness or injury. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses, insurance, prescription drugs and some medical procedures. The SCF also provides health and wellness programs such as free vaccines and smoking cessation.
For more information, visit TruckersFund.org<https://truckersfund.org/>
. Director of Philanthropy and Development: Shannon Currier shannon@truckersfund.org<mailto:shannon@truckersfund.org> 865.202.9428
Media Contact: Christopher Ruth Chris@Handshake-PR.com<mailto:Chris@Handshake-PR.com> 630.536.9139

Thank you to everyone that participated in the GATS 2018 auction events. Corporate donations received from TravelCenters of America, Blue Tiger Bluetooth, 4 State Trucks, Minimizer, RoadPro Family of Brands, TrukrStik, Hammerlane Apparel, Mother Trucker Yoga, Fleet Mattress, weBoost, SHE Trucking, Jacinda Lady Trucking, Zephyr Polish, Rebecca Thompson Lula Roe, Extreme Friction Fighter, Renegade Polish, White Diamond Polish. Entertainment provided by Bill Weaver, Taylor Barker, Stone Creek Four, Ken Freeman and Paul Marhoefer. Entertainment sponsored by Heniff Transportation and Uber Freight. Auction team: Scott Wagner, Melanie Walker, Bruce & Deborah Richard, Jeff & April Veronen, George Lepisto, Sr., Jennifer Gossman, James & Jennifer Rogers, James Shelley and Robert Barnette. Parking lot events by Randall Reilly and coordinated by Les Willis.

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Truck Drivers bring Hot Legal Topics at GATS

Aug
8,
2018
0

HOT LEGAL TOPICS for Truck Drivers during the Great American Truck Show at the Truckers News Stage on August 23, 2018 at 3:30 PM
America Strong Stage (Hall A)

GATS Stage Schedules

Workplace Rights , Protections and Free Ice Cream

The REAL Women in Trucking organization will host a Free Ice Cream Social during a “Hot Legal Topics for Truck Drivers” event that will feature three top lawyers that fight for the rights of drivers. Craig Ackermann, Esq. , Joshua Friedman, Esq. , and Paul Taylor, Esq.

Topics to be discussed:
Unpaid Work Time:
Detention, Meal and Rest Break Legislation and Litigation
Missclassification of Truck Drivers
Trucking School Fraud
Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
Truck Driver Whistleblower STAA
Refusal to Drive Protections & Remedies

A Facebook Event Page has been created to provide additional details: Ice Cream Social – Hot Legal Topics for Truck Drivers

Hot Topics Law Firms at GATS

Craig Ackermann, Esq. www.ackermanntilajef.com
Mr. Ackermann has been an advocate for truckers rights such as: individual, representative and class action litigation, including unpaid and on-duty rest period class actions, PAGA penalty misclassification cases, non-reimbursed business expense class actions, unpaid overtime class actions, and multi-plaintiff sexual harassment cases. He is presently additional Counsel for New Prime inc., vs Dominic Oliveira
Read more about this case here https://www.publicjustice.net/case_brief/oliveira-v-new-prime-inc/
SCOTUS Blog
Craig has been a guest explaining the Denham Amendment and other trucking issues affecting truckers on radio shows such as AskTheTrucker Live and Sirius XM  Road Dog Trucking radio.


Joshua Friedman Esq
.
www.joshuafriedmanesq.com
Mr Friedman’s practice is limited to sexual harassment, racial harassment and other types of harassment, at work and at school, and class action discrimination cases.  He is presently best known among the truck driver community for his ongoing CRST sexual harassment case.
More info about this case and sexual harassment
Surviving the Long Haul
Trucking Firm Said to Shrug at Sex Assaults
Sexual harassment lawsuit against long-haul trucking company in the age of #MeToo

A Big Win in Court for Female Truck Drivers in Sexual Harassment Case
Unsealing Court Records
We WON! Motion to Intervene in CRST Van Expedited Sexual Harassment Class Action Case

Paul Taylor Esq. www.truckersjusticecenter.com
Mr. Taylor has been helping workers resolve their employment-related problems for more than 20 years. Truckers Justice Center levels the playing field for workers who have suffered wrongful termination, discrimination, lease violations, DAC reports, or have been harassed or subjected to retaliation because they blew the whistle on illegal practices.
Paul is known throughout the trucker community on Social Media and via his educational Truckers Justice YouTube channel.

The Ice Cream Social learning event HOT LEGAL TOPICS for Truck Drivers will take place during the Great American Truck Show at the Truckers News Stage on August 23, 2018 at 3:30 PM.

RWIT President Desiree Wood, a truck driver herself encourages all drivers and those who support them in their advocacy campaigns to create an improved workplace culture to attend this important event.

The issue of sexual harassment is just one of the issues affecting truck drivers that will be discussed. Legislation that affects unpaid work time like detention, meal and rest break cases, Missclassification of truck drivers, Blacklisting from future employment, Trucking school fraud, Truck driver whistleblower protections under the Department of Labor Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) that allows for refusals to drive and remedies in certain situations and the current arbitration clause case overview.

“In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp , it is about time says Wood that trucking begins to have a meaningful discussion surrounding sexual misconduct in training fleets and how we must learn about our rights and hold those who violate them accountable.

The REAL Women in Trucking booth at GATS is #948 for the duration of the show. The Ice Cream Social with HOT LEGAL TOPICS for Truck Drivers will happen on Day One of the truck show on the truckers news stage beginning at 3:30 PM August 23, 2018.
America Strong Stage (Hall A)

REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. is a 501 (c)(6) driver organization formed by working women truck drivers. Their mission is:

To deliver highway safety through leadership, mentorship, education, and advocacy.

Please contact Desiree Wood for more information 561.232.9170

info@realwomenintrucking.org

 

 

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Watch out everyone-The brotherhood of trucking is back

Jul
27,
2018
0

How many years have veteran drivers been asking the same questions:
Where has the brotherhood of trucking gone?
WILL TRUCKERS EVER UNITE?

It appears the moment for Brotherhood and Unity is approaching. This October 4-6, truckers will be coming together in unison, displaying their brotherhood and unity in Washington DC.

Their goal for this big event is to articulate driver frustrations and grievances with government officials ( FMCSA), injustices which have been imposed upon truckers, including over regulation, low driver wages, affects of ELD’s, Hours-of-Service, the Denham Amendment,  CDL training and more.

How ELD mandate combined with Anti-Trucker wage provisions leads to wage reduction

ELD orMe

Truckers head to Washington D.C. for October 2017 protest

 

This display of Unity and Brotherhood is the 2018 event,  Thats A Big 10-4 On DC
which will take place at the 1 year anniversary of the 2017  ELD Trucker protest to Washington D.C .  Those who led the protest in 2017 were the groups: ELD or Me and Operation Black and Blue, Now called American Trucking Federation. Both of these groups continue to be active on Facebook, continuing to post their advocacy, initiating, supporting, and promoting their messages and others on Social Media.
Tony Justice who founded the ELD or Me group has since founded the website TruckerNation.org

Brian Brase is the key founder for this years 2018 DC event and FB group.  There are many loyal and proactive members and co-leaders in this group, as can be said about the other trucking advocacy groups.  A special recognition goes to Fred Bowerman, a non trucker who has passionately become an inspiration and promoter of unity within many of the trucking FB groups.
FB group That’s a Big 10-4.
Website is Ten Four DC

Big 10-4 Event

Groups uniting to participate in That’s a Big 10-4 Event October 4-6 2018 in Washington D.C.

How Truckers United for the October 4-6 DC Event

Along with the passion and hard work of so many, Social Media is greatly responsible for this huge movement of truckers uniting. As truckers emotions rise, so does their willingness to openly express their anger against the injustice which has occurred in the last few decades. Emerging from their passions, emotions, anger, is the ability to share their thoughts and ideas on Social Media. The result has been MANY truck driver groups emerging, especially on Facebook.

However, one of the initial problems with having hundreds of trucking groups on Facebook was the initial lack of organized unity.  Thousands of drivers would be discussing pressing issues, venting their complaints, planning solutions, planning individual events, all trying to create positive change and exposure, BUT it was AMONG THEMSELVES in each group.  Many of these groups have hundred or thousands of members, and yet their efforts remained just within their own groups.

What would happen if these groups ever came together for the That’s a BIG 10-4 Event to Washington?
ANSWER is…..UNITY!

There are many Facebook trucking advocacy group leaders which have made it a point to join forces together for the Oct 4th “That’s a Big 10-4 on DC” event.

One of the trucking advocacy group leaders, who has voiced the need to unite and join the That’s A Big 10-4 on DC event, is John Allen Eppley of LifeOnTheRoads.  (His website is Life On The Roads. ) John creates daily videos expressing the need to unite, the need to stand for what you believe in, and how to be proactive. Power is in numbers and LifeOnTheRoads group members agree.  You can watch one of his videos here.

Another vocal truck driver advocate is Charles Claburn who is active within many of the groups and shares videos often, promoting unity, understanding the issues, being proactive, brotherhood, and calling your Reps.  You can watch his video here.

We could go on and on about all the inspiring groups and people who passionately share their messages, videos, and information to others. Hats of to ALL of YOU! I wish I could name each and every one in this post.

Below are a list of groups Facebook trucking groups which have committed to support the October 4-6 That’s A Big 10-4  on DC event.  The list is growing daily as word spreads through Twitter and Facebook.

 

Black Smoke Matters
Strolling the Boulevard
Monday Information
LifeOnTheRoads
2 Scoops of Trucking
ELD or me
United States Transportation Alliance
Trucking across America w/ the Schmitt’s
Kentucky Drivers Association
Outlaw Truckers Shine On
The “Outlaw Lounge”
Roll Cool Customs
Roll Cool Customs Classifieds
Independent Truckers All Out
True Blue Truckers 1%
MyRiteLoad
Texas Drivers
East Bound & Down
Ol Skool Unity Truck Show 2018
Truckers Union built by truckers for truckers.
E & D Trucking LLC.
McClary Trucking
United Driver’s Association of America
Blood Line Carriers
Ohio Drivers
New York Drivers
East Coast Large Cars United
Truth About Trucking LLC

trucker convention

2nd Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention Kansas City, Mo

Ironically, 7 years ago come this October, the goal to Unite Drivers and Have their Voices Heard emerged at the First annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention.  It was the hope of this event in 2011,  through the Power of Social Media, drivers would unite, share their ideas, spread their message to the general public, and create positive change for the professional driver.

Social media to promote trucker rights

After 7 years, through the power of Trucking Social Media, the seeds have taken root and the fruit has emerged. UNITY is HERE!!
2 year conventions of 2011 and 2012,   Highlight videos and photos.
2011 Truck Driver Convention Highlight
2012 Truck Driver Convention Highlight
Photos

Media Blitz by Monday Information Group

In an effort to bring awareness of trucking issues to the general public, Monday Information trucking advocacy on Facebook, pushed a Media Blitz across the nation.
Here are a few articles highlighting those who continue to work tirelessly for the betterment of others.

Dec. 4 anti-ELD mandate rallies taking place across the country

‘They better start listening to us’: Brian Babin reiterates need for executive order to delay ELDs

From left: MyRiteLoad’s Matthew Kane; truckers Doug Hasner, Joe Alfaro, John Grosvenor and Lisa Schmitt; Senator Ted Cruz; truckers Shelli Conaway, Lee Schmitt, Dave McCauley, and Brandon McCauley

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The big connection: driver shortage, ELD’s, and trucker wages

Jul
22,
2018
5

I’m  tired of hearing the term  “driver shortage”!
I’ve been listening to this now for 3 decades or more and frankly, myself and just about every other veteran driver, knows that the driver shortage has been just a way to lure many into an industry which has no intentions of doing what it takes to retain them as a valuable or respected employee.

Here’s a throwback about the trucker shortage.  Has anything much changed?
Real Solutions to the Truck Driver Shortage

driver wages

The Evolution of the Driver Shortage, Trucker Wages, and Safety

In the past, claiming shortage allowed for a huge influx of applicants, hoping to earn the falsely advertised “$100,000/year with little training time required  and only a high school diploma.”  However, once lured, these new drivers realized ( after paying thousands for a CDL license) that they would only be used as a low paying “team driver”, driving with a trainer ( many times with little driving experience themselves), while they earned 20 cpm.

Most new drivers lasted less than 1 year. Retention of new drivers was low and turnover was high.  To add insult to injury, the carriers and schools were subsidized by the government,  participating as part of exploiting new driver- low wage business model.  In 2007 we blew the lid off of these unscrupulous tactics with the website Truth About Trucking.

Today, the trucking industry continues to have an almost a 100% turnover rate. That’s a lot of people entering and then leaving the industry. So for every job, 2 people quit. Again, a retention problem, not a driver shortage problem.  Although everyday we read about the reasons for the driver shortage in just about every trucking, business, and news outlet media, few have accurately defined the top reasons nor  realistic solutions.

The first question that came to mind, What is the definition of a driver shortage, and who is defining it, the driver or the carrier?

It is the definition of truck driver shortage, which will also shape and define the cause and effects of the shortage, as ones perception of cause will also ultimately dictate their solutions for the shortage.   Defining the Truck Driver Shortage and the “Qualified Driver”

A drivers’ definition of a truck driver shortage “A lack of drivers willing to work for low wages”
The ATA and Carriers’ definition is , “A driver shortage is a lack of qualified  drivers willing to enter the trucking industry”

So who is right, the driver or the the ATA?  Let’s look at the facts.
We can prove that the drivers are correct as drivers haven’t received a significant pay raise in over 30 years.  Yes, carriers are making an attempt to change that now, but is 5-15 cpm increase enough? I don’t think so.  Here’s an inflation calculator.

In 1980, the average trucker in America was making an annual salary, adjusted for inflation, equal to more than $110,000 today. Twenty-five years later, truckers make on average about $40,000 a year, working harder, longer hours, and with less job security.

Driver Productivity Increases as Wages Plummet

How can the ATA argument be correct? They claim that not enough qualified people are entering the trucking industry to make up for the aging trucker pool leaving.
But if the turnover rate is nearing 100%, then that means there are plenty of people entering, they’re just not staying.  It’s a Retention Problem.

This comment here by ATA is comical
“It’s as bad as it’s ever been to find drivers,” Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Association, told the Washington Post. , “”Companies are doing everything they can to make drivers happy: increasing pay and getting them home more often, but that means they aren’t driving as many miles.”
Well here’s a thought Bob, Pay them for all their time, NOT just the miles they drive, INCLUDING detention time… AND stop lobbying Congress with the Denham Amendment so you won’t have to pay them!

If companies are doing “everything possible to make drivers happy” Then why has the ATA lobbied 100’s of thousands of dollars to ensure that drivers do NOT have to be paid for ALL time worked?
The
#denahmAmendment being voted on in FAA bill ( in July or August) in Senate will do just that if allowed to be included in FAA bill..Pay drivers ONLY miles driven. This means approximately 30-40 hrs per week of unpaid time, including #DetentionTime.

Denham Amendment against truckers slipped in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill at 11th hour


The pittance increase of 5-15 cpm does little to bring drivers up to 2018 wages.

Recently, here’s what Chief Economist Bob Costello of the American Trucking Association (ATA) has to say ( justify) about the shortage, high turnover, and low retention rate of truck drivers.
“The uptick in turnover is consistent with continued tightness in the market for drivers,” Costello said. “Anecdotally, carriers continue to struggle both recruiting and retaining quality drivers – leading to increasing wages. Costello goes on to say, “Turnover is not a measure of the driver shortage, but rather of demand for drivers,”
Costello claims, “We know that as freight demand continues to rise, demand for drivers to move those goods will also rise, which often results in more driver churn or turnover. Finding enough qualified drivers remains a tremendous challenge for the trucking industry and one that if not solved will threaten the entire supply chain.”

The above ATA statement doesn’t even make sense.  Increased freight requiring more drivers to move freight.  Driver turnover is a totally different issues.
One is available freight from which there is revenue to pay drivers, the other is available drivers not willing to accept conditions beneath their job duties, sacrifices, and skill. This includes low wages and lack of respect. 

So what is the ATA solution?  Here’s one. Lure 18 year olds into the trucking industry.

DRIVE Safe Act,  H.R.5358  as one of the ways to address the driver shortage in the trucking industry-On March 21, 2018, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced a bill that could change that. The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act would lower the interstate commercial motor vehicle driving age to 18.

How do ELD’s affect the Driver Shortage?



Many suggest that the ELD mandate has caused many to leave trucking, increasing the “Truck Driver Shortage”.  The ELD mandate which enforces the Hours of Service rule and its much detested 14 hour clock. The Electronic logging device rule forces truckers to install digital devices in their semi-tractors to track their driving time, ensuring they drive no more than 11 hours a day within a 14-hour workday. Drivers must then be off duty for 10 consecutive hours.
There is a problem however. SAFETY. When you pay a driver by the mile, then govern them by a clock, and then have them wait at loading docks for hours and hours without pay, you create unsafe situations. Drivers are now racing the clock to earn a living.
Read more The Evolution of the Driver Shortage, Trucker Wages, and Safety

But wait! Here’s a bill that will study that.
H.R. 6159 (Congressman Kevin Cramer) – To require the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study about the impact of electronic logging devices and report the findings to Congress. Conduct a study to determine how many “employees” (as defined by section 31132 of title 49, United States Code) who must comply with the electronic logging device requirements issued pursuant to section 31137(a) of title 49, United States Code, have ceased being operators of a “commercial motor vehicle” (as defined by section 31132 of such title) as a result of such requirements

The following bills have been introduced by the House to address the negative affects of the ELD mandate

**H.R.5417 (Congressman Brian Babin) – This Act may be cited as the “Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers Act” or the “REST Act”.

(1) a covered driver may suspend an on-duty period of the driver by an amount of time that is equal to a single off-duty rest break carried out by the driver during such on-duty period, provided the suspension—

(A) does not exceed 3 hours; and

(B) does not extend the total drive time limits contained in section 395.3(a)(3) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(2) no other requirements relating to rest breaks during an on-duty period, including the requirement specified in section 395.3(a)(3)(ii) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, apply to a covered driver.

H.R. 5948 (Congressman Collin Peterson) – Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018-To exempt motor carriers that own or operate 10 or fewer commercial vehicles from the electronic logging device mandates, and for other purposes.

H.R. 5949 (Congressman Collin Peterson) – Agricultural Business Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018. This bill creates an exception to the electronic logging device requirements for certain motor carriers engaged in agricultural business.

H.R. 6079 ( Congressman Ted Yoho) – Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act-The Secretary of Transportation shall amend part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to ensure that, in the case of a driver transporting a covered animal within a 300 air-mile radius from the point at which the on-duty time of the driver begins with respect to the trip—

H.R. 6178 (Congressman Rick Crawford) – “Honest Operators Undertake Road Safety Act” or the “HOURS Act”.  To amend the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 with respect to exemptions from certain motor carrier regulations, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3282– Introduced by Brian Babin R-Tex July 2017 the ELD Extension Act of 2017, to try and get some relief from the ELD mandate by delaying it for two years.

Request for Exemption of ELD’s have also been submitted by OOIDA and SBTC to the FMCSA

Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Small Business in Transportation Coalition

Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc.

So the question is this, If drivers were paid what they were worth ( INCLUDING being paid for ALL time), treated with more respect by their employers and customers, and offered realistic benefits, would there be:
1)  A Driver Shortage
2) Lower Turnover
3) High Retention
4) Such a disdain for ELD’s?

Here’s a question we offered drivers last month on FaceBook.
How much do you think the average OTR DRIVER should be Earning/ year?
There were many replies

 

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House bill offers truckers long sought exemption and relief from ELD mandate

May
29,
2018
1

ELD exemption in House bill 5948- The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 – could be the ELD relief truckers have been seeking

Truck drivers are in the midst of 2 of the most heated and pivotal battles of all time-
The ELD mandate and the Federal Authority trucker wage provision.


1)  The ELD mandate which enforces the Hours of Service rule and its much detested 14 hour clock. The Electronic logging device rule forces truckers to install digital devices in their semi-tractors to track their driving time, ensuring they drive no more than 11 hours a day within a 14-hour workday. Drivers must then be off duty for 10 consecutive hours.
There is a problem however. SAFETY. When you pay a driver by the mile, then govern them by a clock, and then have them wait at loading docks for hours and hours without pay, you create unsafe situations.
Read more The Evolution of the Driver Shortage, Trucker Wages, and Safety

2)  The Federal Authority provision known as the Denham Amendment or F4A , which if passed in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill and THUD bill that they are currently in both House versions, would minimize and limit trucker wages by way of a New Federal Law
Read more The war on Truckers, States’ rights, and American wages.

Though the above mentioned attacks on truckers are different, the passion behind both issues have grown stronger in the last 2 years.  The most common phrase is “Enough is Enough”

The ELD mandate
The electronic logging device (ELD) rule was congressionally mandated as a part of MAP-21. Compliance deadline was Dec. 18, 2017 while enforcement of the mandate took effect on April 1, 2018.

An electronic logging device is used to electronically record a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS), which replaces the paper logbook some drivers currently use to record their compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements

Bill H.R. 5948 offers long sought relief from ELD mandate for Truckers, especially Owner Operators and Independents.

Interstate truck drivers around the country have been protesting the new regulation for many months citing concerns of safety, additional cost, adding to the already intense truck parking shortage, unreliability of the new technology(self certification), and driver privacy concerns.

Bill H.R. 5948 offers long sought relief from ELD mandate for Truckers, especially Owner Operators and Independents.

 H.R. 5948 The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018

A bill, The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018, was filed May 23rd in the U.S. House that would, if passed, would exempt trucking companies with 10 trucks or fewer from compliance with the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate permanently.
Although many exemptions have been filed regarding the ELD mandate, this is the first attempt in Congress, specifically exempting small carriers and independent owner-operators from the ELD mandate.

H.R. 5948 is bipartisan legislation introduced by  Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) and Greg Gianforte (R-Montana).  Together they have have introduced two pieces of bipartisan legislation to relieve certain sectors of the trucking industry from the Federal Motor Carrier Association’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.

“Electronic logging devices are another layer of unnecessary red tape that continues to tie up truckers and puts livestock and Montana livelihoods at risk,” Gianforte said

“This legislation will eliminate costly and time-consuming regulations for small trucking companies and individual owner-operators, who constitute much of the rural trucking industry.” Peterson said.

49 U.S. Code § 31315 – Waivers, exemptions, and pilot programs

According to the truckers.com website, the SBTC filed a class exemption application with FMCSA seeking to exempt motor carriers with 50 or less employees on November 20, 2017. That application was later supplemented at the request of FMCSA on February 1, 2018.
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (Truckers.com) Endorses the ‘‘Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018’’ (HR 5948) Bill

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in November petitioned FMCSA to allow small business truckers — those with less than $27 million a year in revenue, as defined by the Small Business Administration — with strong safety records to continue to run on paper logs for five years beyond the December 2017 compliance deadline. FMCSA has not yet issued a decision on OOIDA’s waiver.
OOIDA also appears to be in support of the bill.

The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 will completely exempt businesses which operate ten or fewer trucks from the requirements of the ELD mandate, and the Agricultural Business Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 will completely exempt agricultural businesses.

Information regarding the ELD mandate can be found at TruckerNation.org
TruckerNation.org is a website founded by singer-song writer and trucker advocate Tony Justice.
Trucker Nation MISSION STATEMENT
TruckerNation.org is a one stop shop where truckers can become better educated, engaged and efficient in understanding relevant industry matters no matter age, race, gender, ethnicity, or affiliation.

 

 

 

 

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The War on Truckers, States’ Rights, and American wages

May
17,
2018
1

The war on Truckers, States’ rights, and American wages.
The
Federal Authority Provision

Preempting States’ Rights to Control Wages is Wrong. Today it’s TRUCKERS, tomorrow it could be YOU!


The American Trucking Association (ATA) has lobbied furiously to create Federal law which will ensure drivers work 30-40 hr/wk without pay. It’s dubbed the Federal Authority Provision

We need a surge of truckers and FAIR WAGE SUPPORTERS to call Washington NOW!

We were told by those in Washington that it will take another surge of drivers (and those in support of state rights and fair wages) to call their Senators & Reps stating they are against the Denham and Fischer Amendments in the 2018 Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill ( FAA bill).

Besides being able to have the amendments added to the FAA bill, the ATA has now managed to have the Denham amendment added to yet one more bill.  The House’s Appropriations Committee on 5-15, unveiled a bill which included the Denham provision and would fund the Department of Transportation through the 2019 fiscal year.
READ IT!  The T-HUD bill includes Denham language Page 48 SEC 133

It is imperative you tell them that the American Trucking Association (ATA) does not speak for drivers. They are the voice of large carriers and their supporters.
If you are reading this CALL 202-224-3121

1–What to say when calling up your Senators and Representatives.

How to make sure the Denham amendment or Fischer amendment are not included in final 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill or ANY other bills the ATA is lobbying for them to be in.

The best way to call up members of Congress is to be knowledgeable and informed on the issues at hand. Below is a guide which may help you when calling your Senator.

The ATA lobby has pulled out all the stops on this one.
This will be the last chance to end this. This is a battle Truckers and all Americans cannot afford to lose.

Call your Senators about the “anti-trucker wage amendments” in the FAA ReAuthorization bill.
Stop the Preemption of States Rights. State who protect employee wages.
(This language is mainly known as the Denham Amendment, but is also brought up as “Federal Authority provision” “Meal and Rest Break”, F4A Preemption, and Fischer Amendment.)

What you can say when calling your Senator:

I’d like to speak with someone concerning S.1405, the Senate FAA Reauthorization bill, which is to be voted on within the next few days.
I want to make you aware of language, added as amendments, that I’m extremely opposed to in both the Senate and the House versions of the FAA Reauthorization bills.
The Denham Amendment is in the House bill
Fischer amendment is in the Senate bill.

First of all, I am against the Federal Government overriding States Rights and creating any new rules, laws or regulations.
Recently the Supreme Court of the U.S. made the decision that the Federal government can NOT override states laws which would allow
sports gambling.
If the Federal Government cannot override state laws regarding
“sports betting”, what basis is there to override states laws which protect employees, specifically truckers, from wage abuse?
Worse yet, excluding them from the protections other employees have such as the option to take a 10 min paid rest break every 4 hours or a non paid 30 meal break every 8 hours!

Fischer Amendment – I am opposed to the “meal and rest break language” in the Fischer Amendment because it preempts states’ rights which protect piece work wage employees such as truckers. This amendment would allow for another new Federal law targeting truckers, excluding truckers from state labor protections, similar to the way the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts truckers from overtime pay.
It would set a precedent saying that truckers are not deemed worthy of any labor law protections which are offered to all other citizens.

Denham Amendment -I am VERY MUCH against the Denham Amendment which recently passed in the House on April 26th 2018 in their version of the FAA Reauthorization bill, H.R. 4.

The trucker wage theft language in the Denham Amendment preempts state Laws by allowing the Federal Government to regulate how truckers are to be paid ( piece work wages only-such as cents per mile) and relieves  employers ( motor carriers) of any further wage obligation( such as hours worked), despite the fact that drivers are required to spend a great deal of time ( approximately 30-40 hours/week) performing non-driving duties in the fulfillment of their employment, such as pre and post trip inspections, maintenance and loading and unloading ( Detention Time).
The Denham amendment would end hope for reforming trucker wages, including trucker goal of being paid for all time working.

Mainly, the Denham amendment would allow for another new law which states that employers (the carriers) will not be legally obligated to pay truck drivers for their hours, regardless of how many hours they work. Truckers would be exempt from any state labor laws which assert otherwise.
I am against either of these amendments being included in the FAA Reauthorization bill as they both show the  trucking industry and government contempt and disregard for the value of the professional trucker.

Examples of common ATA false talking points

Here is an example of myths the ATA is stating to lawmakers, lawmakers who are going to be voting on a final FAA bill which could ( if passed) include trucker wage theft amendments, Denham or Fischer.

1-The “Safety Hazard” Argument –ATA is  claiming that by offering a trucker a 10 minute paid rest break after 4 hours, it would be a safety hazard. They falsely claim that drivers will have to immediately stop and pull over to rest causing a safety hazard on the roads. This is FALSE. The driver can waive the rest break, however the carrier will still have to pay him/her for it. Unfortunately the ATA has not told the drivers that they have the choice to take the break or not.

2-The Patchwork Argument— Another example of ATA justification for Denham Amendment is that it would be too confusing to keep up with the 7 states labor laws regarding rest breaks. No it wouldn’t. The states are similar. California has the most protective towards employees, requiring carriers offer a paid rest break after 4 hours (optional to driver) and a meal break after 5.5 hrs (also optional to driver).

California also requires that drivers be paid for ALL time working while not driving. (includes detention time pay) If your company already pays you detention time, then it’s not a problem, but if they don’t, CA says they must be paid at least CA minimum wage

SOLUTION: If carriers would set their wage software meeting the criteria of California, it would satisfy all states laws. Instead, ATA’s argument is to Preempt State laws, replace with Federal law, which would assert that drivers only have to be paid for their miles driven and nothing more.
In doing so, they not only nullify state labor laws protecting employees, but they also will create new Federal law which establishes- Motor carriers are not legally obligated to pay drivers anything more than their piece work wages ( miles driven)

3- Distorting the meaning of the 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization ACT .
ATA claims that paying drivers 10 min breaks and all time working interferes with rates, routes, or services. Courts ruled NO, it does not. Congress in 1994 was referring to freight rates, not labor laws. ATA claim went all the way up to the Supreme Court which refused to hear their argument.

Read an entire list of Myths vs Facts the ATA compiled along with the responses
“ATA’s Myths and Facts about Denham Amendment Busted”

Enough is enough. Drivers wages haven’t increased on a post-inflation basis in over 20 years, while industry profits have increased. The ATA’s “facts” themselves are incomplete, misleading, and designed to protect their constituency: the trucking companies and their ever increasing profit streams. The industry cannot accept that they have lost this issue in Court, so now they want to change the rules and nullify state laws upheld by the judicial system. That’s not a myth – its a raw fact!

If you are reading this PLEASE call NOW. 202-224-3121

Here is a link to every U.S. senator email and phone #
https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/senators_cfm.cfm

Here is a link to every U.S.Representative
https://www.house.gov/representatives/

2–Understanding the Denham and Fischer Amendments which COULD be included in the final 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill.

 

The Denham Amendment has once again been included in the House version of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill. By allowing this amendment to remain and be included in the Final FAA bill, it would mean a few things for professional truckers.
1)  Preemption of States laws excluding truckers from labor laws designed to protect employees from wage abuse
2) Creating new Federal law designed to define and regulate trucker wages by relieving employers (carriers) from obligation of paying drivers anything more than piece work wages (miles driven)

3) Excluding drivers from state labor laws which allow drivers to have the option of taking a 10 minute paid rest break or the option of taking a 30 minute (unpaid)meal break.
4) Eradicating any cases drivers have in courts for wage abuse drivers have experienced (retroactive from 1994)

The Senate will be voting on their version of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill.  Their version of the bill includes the Fischer amendment. (Considered the lesser of 2 evils)
By allowing this amendment to remain and be included in the Final FAA bill, it would mean a few things for professional truckers.
1)  Preemption of States laws excluding truckers from labor laws designed to protect employees from wage abuse
2) Creating new Federal law designed to exclude truckers from state labor laws which allow drivers to have the option of taking a 10 minute paid rest break or the option of taking a 30 minute (unpaid) meal break.
4) Possibly nullifying any wage cases drivers have in courts. (retroactive from 1994)

There are a few possibilities that the Senate can vote on.
They can not include either amendment
They can go along with the House and include the Denham Amendment
They can include the Fischer amendment.

Finally, if the Senate does not go along with the House version of the FAA bill ( which included the Denham amendment) the final version of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill will go to conference and at that point EITHER of the 2 amendment can be added or removed from the final bill.
Even IF the SENATE does not include either amendment in their version of the FAA bill.

This is why we all need to call our Senators and Reps and educate them on what the repercussions would be for truckers if either of these amendments are included in the final 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill.
The ATA has ill-informed many of our lawmakers of the facts. It was told to us, that many politicians believe the ATA has the support of professional drivers, including the egregious Denham Amendment which the ATA lobbied so fervently for. There are politicians that believe that the ATA is the voice for truck drivers. It’s up to us to tell them otherwise.

3—What it means for truckers and their wages if these amendments are passed.

FAA Reauthorization bill

We’re at the last leg of a 2 year fight against these “wage theft” amendments
Not only have drivers not had a significant pay raise since the 80’s, but more and more uncompensated time performing non driving tasks are expected ( approximately 30-40 hours/wk uncompensated time). This includes jobs such as pre and post trip inspections, maintenance and loading and unloading (Detention Time).
By including the Denham Amendment, companies would be legally permitted to only have to pay drivers for the time they spend driving, despite the fact that drivers are required to spend a great deal of time performing non-driving duties.
This would put a legal end for hopes of reforming trucker wages, including being paid for all time working.

What is the agenda of the ATA behind these amendments they’ve lobbies so hard for?
States such as CA which have labor laws protecting drivers would eventually set precedent and drivers would justify their demand of wage reform, being paid for all time on duty not driving, which many driver are already demanding.
ATA believes that if they can get Denham passed into law, they can legally can put driver demands to rest.
ATA attitude is to continue to only pay piece work (cents per mile) wages so drivers strive for more miles to drive and more hours to keep driving to earn a living wage.

ATA apparent motto:
“keep drivers driving more miles and keep them fighting for more hours to drive” no matter how unsafe it is.

TO PRINT THIS  article CLICK Trucker WAGES

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