Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

Self insurance in the competitive trucking market


Self Insurance. The Deck is Stacked in Trucking

Photo courtesy of: Maren Guse,

I got a phone call from Tilden Curl earlier. It seems that Bloomberg News has become aware of his paper calling for the elimination of a carriers ability to self insure. This is great news as the public needs to be aware of how the deck is stacked!


Here is an excerpt from Tilden’s Paper:
Any company purchasing insurance coverage must have a risk assessment completed by the insuring company to determine the risk exposure of the insured party. This creates a three party scenario; the insurer, the insured, and the claimant. This system functions well because the risk assessment and settlement is made by a third party (the insurer). When the insurer and the insured are the same entity, a claimant is forced to negotiate directly with the offending party.

Some large self-insured companies in the trucking industry are considered “Training Companies”. For this reason, a risk assessment should be determined by a third party and not by the company holding the financial responsibility for the actions of its drivers. The fairest method is to require insurance company professionals make that evaluation to maintain an industry standard.

To further understand how the carrier’s ability to self insure affects the trucking industry
read the entire PDF-  Tilden’s paper on self insuring

Tilden Curl

OOIDA Life Member Tilden Curl testifying before the Small Business subcommittee

You will realize, there is an unfair advantage that the self insured carriers have.

It’s like sitting in on a poker game and everybody has $5.00 but one guy has $50.00. We know who is going to walk away the winner.

Self insured carriers have underwriters just as insurance companies, as I understand it. They have to work with the underwriters to establish terms of responsibility, who is responsible for what, for how much and under what conditions. The underwriters position is very much like an insurance companies position but on a much larger scale.

Consider it to be like your auto insurance policy. The higher the deductible, the more risk you assume. A higher deductible relieves the insurance company of risk meaning they can charge you less. You are one customer, possibly with several vehicles, doing business with a large company that has many customers like you. The insurance company has their risk spread out over many customers who have few vehicles each.

The self insured part of this is comparable to the carriers having a HUGE deductible. By setting things up this way, the carriers have assumed the role of the “Settling Party” for they, themselves, the “Offending Party”.

We have all heard nightmare stories of the mega carrier who inflicted costly damages only to not pay out a dime or only a small percentage of the damage they inflicted.
The claimant or the claimant’s insurance company does not have opportunity to work with the offending parties insurance company so that the details of a just settlement are compromised upon. The self insured carriers ARE the offending party AND the insurance company.

The underfunded small guy is up against a well funded FAT CAT who has time on their side when a claimant goes up against a self insured carrier. There is too much power in the hands of the “Offending Party”.

The self insured carriers are the guy at the poker game with $50.00, they are in position to bluff and hold out.

By eliminating the third party insurance companies from their business model, the self insured carriers have positioned themselves to influence higher insurance cost on all other carriers because they, the self insured, do not contribute to the overall insurance pool from which claims are paid.

At a savings of say, $800.00 per unit per month in insurance cost, a carrier of 1,000 trucks has $800,000 dollars a month less overhead allowing them to bid freight at approximately .08 cpm less than the average carrier.

Being self insured also permits these carriers to hire those who may not yet be competent drivers at a lower pay rate. In effect, the self insured carriers have positioned themselves to hire inexperienced, unproven, Novice Drivers at a Rock Bottom Labor Rate. This in and of itself gives these carriers the ability to set the minimum labor rate for ALL Drivers

Some suggest that the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1896 has been breached by enabling self insurance to exist at the level of the corporations.
The ability to self insure places to much power in the hands of a few to influence the going market rate and this Directly Affects the Value of All Drivers.

Lower operating cost and lower labor cost place the mega self insured in position to dictate lower market rates that we must all compete within.
Don’t forget, it was the self insured carriers that supported a 400% increase in OUR liability insurance.  I wonder why?

You can read Tilden’s paper on this subject:…/self-insurance-paper-1-20.pdf

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

ATA counting on driver apathy to get Anti-Trucker bill passed


URGENT:   STOP New Legislation-Truck Driver Wages at Risk!!

UPDATED– 7-17-17   The “anti-trucker” wage language spoken of in this article has been now been introduced in the FAA Reauthoriztion bill and the THUD bill. They will be voted on to in the Senate and the House, July/August 2017. CALL TO REMOVE State Preemption language designed to Federally regulate driver wages so Carriers do not have to pay them for ALL time.  Read more

Truckers call reps to REMOVE FAA bill’s Anti Trucker wage amendments

There’s not a lot of time to CALL Your Senators and Reps.   202-224-3121













 The American Trucking Association is counting on drivers to focus their conversations, debates, quarrels, and complaints on Social Media RATHER THAN make their phone calls to Washington.
US Capitol Switchboard  202-224-3121

Denham Language, now referred to as “Federal Authority” language or FAAAA (F4A) Preemption language was thought to be included in the THUD bill.
The section of the THUD bill with the “poison language” would preside in FEDERAL Authority SEC 134 of the bill.

Update _ The 2017 FAA bill with poison anti trucker wage language  was passed in both the Senate and House subcommittees in late June 2017 and will be voted on in both the House and Senate in July 2017.  Deb Fisher( R-Neb) introduced the amendment to the Senate Subcommittee and Jeff Denham ( R-CA) is expected to add it to the FAA bill when it arrives on the House Floor.

There’s not a lot of time to CALL Your Senators and Reps.   202-224-3121

FACT: Certain state laws assert that employees must be paid for ALL working time as well as rest breaks. (drivers do not have to take these rest breaks, but they are paid for them)

ATA (American Trucking Association- Representing Trucking Companies)  has stated they  will continue to push hard, lobbying Congress to include FEDERAL preemption of  states’ labor laws in a major bill.
ATA goal is to prevent drivers from being paid for ALL working TIME.

The ATA has openly  stated that it is their PRIORITY to Preempt state labor laws, preventing  states from including truckers in their labor laws, exempting truckers from being paid for all time.

The legislation  which the ATA is attempting to get passed into law, is an attempt to override Federal Judges rulings.  Federal Judges have ruled that F4A does not preempt state labor laws and States have a Right to protect employees, including truckers, ensuring payment for ALL working time, such as detention time.

The trucking industry itself has determined that drivers work 30-40 hours extra/week without being compensated.

The trucking industry has been a solid supporter of Republicans for the last two decades, regularly giving more than 75 percent of its contributions to the party and its candidates.
The industry’s biggest spender on lobbying in 2014 and in many past years was the American Trucking Association, the largest trade association in the trucking arena. In the last five years, the ATA spent over $9 million to have its interests heard in Washington.

Anti-Truckers amendments included in FAA bill. Call to STOP 202-224-3121

BUT a majority of drivers also voted and Supported President Trump and the GOP. Truckers are depending on the newly elected GOP Congress to relieve them of over bearing regulations which interfere with anything that will prevent them from earning a FAIR WAGE.  If the GOP includes the FAAAA Preemption clause into the 2017 FAA Reauthorization bill,  and if it becomes law, this will be perceived as a huge act of betrayal among professional drivers.

If this law is allowed to pass, it will affect drivers the same way as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has affected them. This would be ONE MORE EXEMPTION against drivers’ wages!

This New Law which the ATA is trying to pass will PREVENT Drivers from any hope of trucker pay reform, including EVER being paid for anything more than Cents per Mile (CPM) or piece work wages. It’s worse than any regulation could be for drivers.

FAAAA Insertion in Thud bill Preempts States Rights

Trucker Wages: The Devastating affects if Congress amends F4A

The Poison language has continuously been attempted to be included, will most likely be in the 2017 THUD bill.

Already voted on in 2016,  THUD (H.R. 5394), was approved in 2016, Federal Authority SEC 134 included, by the House. It will need to be voted on again in the House in 2017, then the Senate Appropriations will have its own version, and then. The 2 bills will be reconciled, and eventually signed by the president into law…. with or without the FEDERAL AUTHORITY preemption.

Truckers might not have millions in lobbying money like the ATA does, but we are over 3 million strong!!!


Who will Congress listen to?  The ATA or the Drivers?  The Answer is…. THE LOUDEST VOICE. That includes ALL who believe that Professional Truckers should not be exploited and deserve to be paid for ALL their working hours.

A significant number of drivers have prevented this language 2 times from being included in a bill. Once in the FAST ACT and once in the  2016 FAAA reauthorization bill. It’s time to do it again.

Yes, they’re active on Social Media PLUS make phone calls.

It is Imperative once again that we ALL call our Representatives and tell them not to pass language in any bill   which will Preempt STATES RIGHTS to pay truckers for their working time.
Drivers deserve to be paid a FAIR WAGE. They are making same wages as the 1980’s.
Vote NO to Denham and Fisher Amendments in 2017 FAA bill.

What to say when you call:

As a trucker, I’m against the Denham amendment and the Fisher amendments to the FAA bill which will nullify state laws that require trucking companies to pay for rest breaks, detention time, and all time working. These amendments work against the interests of trucker rights to be paid for all time worked and are also anti state’s rights and anti safety.
CALL NOW and OFTEN  US Capitol Switchboard  202-224-3121

Understanding FAAAA Preemption provision, the ATA motive, and the court decisions

U.S. Congress enacted a statute

(now codified at 49 U.S.C. § 14501 (c)(1)) that controls over state and local law:

General rule .—Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), 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 of any motor carrier (other than a carrier affiliated with a direct air carrier covered by section 41713 (b)(4)) or any motor private carrier, broker, or freight forwarder with respect to the transportation of property

The ATA expresses that the language in the FAAAA (F4A) preemption should include the preempting of states’ labor laws for truckers.

The Ninth Circuit Court Disagreed and  held that “generally applicable background regulations that are several steps removed from prices, routes, or services, such as prevailing wage laws, are not preempted, even if employers must factor those provisions into their decisions about the prices that they set, the routes that they use, or the services that they provide.”.

Want to listen to the replay of what will happen if we don’t make our phone calls?


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

D.C. Memorial Procession to honor 500 slain workers in interstate transportation


As yet another trucker is murdered in Houston, TRUCKER LIVES MATTER declares September 5th, 2017 is “DAY WITHOUT A TRUCKER”

Day without a trucker

Trucker Lives Matter- Day Without A Trucker Protest 9-5-17

Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S.C. 926A -Fact Sheet

Traditionally, the day after Labor Day represents the first day back to work after the holiday weekend, and an unofficial end to Summer vacations. But this year, that may be different for many members of the trucking industry…

Just as the rest of America will be returning to work on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, including members of Congress– who return from Summer recess and formally go back into session that day, interstate truckers who have joined and support the TRUCKER LIVES MATTER (TLM) movement, which is sponsored by the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC), a 501(c)(6) industry trade group, are planning to take that day off and drive instead to Washington, D.C. to publicize the need for them to be able to carry firearms nationwide to protect themselves while living and working on the road.

Slain Trucker Michael Boeglin and his wife, Ashley to be honored in D.C. Memorial Procession

Dubbed by TLM as a “DAY WITHOUT A TRUCKER” –an obvious pun on today’s “Day Without a Woman” celebration, this TLM event is being billed by TLM leaders as a “memorial procession” to honor and remember the 500 workers in interstate transportation slain over the past decade, a statistic cited by U.S. Department of Labor, like over-the-road, interstate trucker Michael Boeglin, who was killed and burned in his truck in Detroit in June of 2014, an incident that sparked the beginnings of the TLM movement.

“We are today establishing a planning committee and will seek the assistance of law enforcement so that the memorial procession, which will have a religious component to it in furtherance of truckers’ First Amendment rights, does not unreasonably impede traffic, create havoc for people trying to enter or exit the interstate, or encourage tail-gaiting. We would encourage residents of Washington, D.C. to consider taking public rail transportation to get to work on September 5th as we do not know how many truckers will respond to the call to join our national memorial procession,” SBTC President and TLM Spokesman James Lamb said today.

A TLM poll conducted over the past few days shows overwhelming support for the event and suggests that hundreds of truckers are already planning on making the trip to Washington, D.C. More than 80% of 850 trucker respondents have indicated they would likely attend.

Currently, the patchwork of state laws and lack of nationwide reciprocity for firearms permits puts truckers in precarious if not dangerous life threatening-situations. Lamb has therefore sent requested legislation to Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) office as SBTC is based in Fort Lauderdale, FL. According to this SBTC document, which was sent to all members of Congress on Monday, March 6th, 2017, Rubio’s staff members are currently drafting a bill for introduction into the Senate and have asked SBTC to help them find a sponsor for a companion bill in the House of Representatives. With respect to interstate travel among the states, the bill seeks to endorse the Second Amendment as a matter of “Constitutional Carry” for all Americans and pre-empt the states from regulating firearms carried into, out of, or through their states. Lamb said more than 6,000 members of his group have petitioned the NRA to support his bill but the NRA-ILA remains silent to date.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the latest murder of a Houston-based trucker named Wilmer Erazo who was found shot to death in a truck yard earlier this week. Sadly, Erazo, the latest victim of gun violence directed against truckers, leaves behind three children.

TLM has scheduled a dial-in press conference to discuss the event for 10:00 AM Eastern time on Friday, March 24th, 2017 to coincide with the industry’s largest annual truck show event being held in Louisville, KY. The conference call number is (712) 775-7031 and the access code is 495-071-244.

Truckers and other interested parties can connect with TLM on Facebook or through the group’s website

The SBTC is a network of transportation professionals, associations, and industry suppliers that is on the front lines when it comes to issues that affect transportation professionals in small business. We seek to promote and protect the interests of small businesses in the transportation industry. We support teamwork, cooperation, transparency, and partnerships among truckers, carriers, brokers, and shippers and seek to promote ethical business practices and do business with the utmost integrity.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Women trucker self defense course confronts attacks against women


Social Trucking Group to Engage Taekwondo on the High Seas

United States Taekwondo Directory

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.Jan. 10, 2017PRLog — The Real Women in Trucking Organization, a 501 (c) 6 trade association, will host a two hour Women’s Basic Self Defense Class in an unprecedented measure to bring awareness to the dangers female drivers face while living life on the road. The class will be part of the organization’s 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise, another first-of-its-kind event taking place March 26 through April 1, 2017.

Allen Smith, founder of the United States Taekwondo Directory and well-known trucking advocate will be conducting the class during the “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” event.

“For most people, the realm of professional over-the-road trucking is a secret world,” Allen pointed out. “It is recognized as a dangerous job but it goes far beyond that. It does not take into account the threats these men and women face while traveling into dangerous areas in the country in order to pick-up or deliver the goods. The industry operates 24/7 and the opportunities for assault, especially against women drivers, can be high. I don’t know too many women who like to walk across a dark, isolated parking lot for a 3 a.m. delivery appointment in Chicago or the Bronx. It makes sense to provide practical self defense education to those who keep America moving.”

The class will focus on real-life street assault scenarios. The purpose is to provide easy-to-understand, yet effective techniques that are efficient in a street attack.

Mr. Smith expanded by saying: “The problem with many women’s self defense classes is that they are unrealistic and in most cases, can get the person hurt in a real-life situation. This is a very real and dangerous issue within the industry and I take it very seriously. Will they leave a two-hour class as experts in self defense? Absolutely not, but they will have a better understanding of how to react if ever faced with a violent confrontation.”

Desiree Wood, founder of Real Women in Trucking, expanded on the importance for self defense instruction for women drivers:

“The self defense class idea came as a result of women drivers asking for it when we planned the cruise. Many of these drivers have never been given basic self defense instruction though they often find themselves working in isolated areas with poor lighting that are not familiar to them. There was an expressed desire by the women of the organization to have an actual class instruction while on the cruise.”

“In today’s world women should know some basic self defense skills. Truck drivers, regardless of gender, are at risk to be robbed and assaulted in the course of their work environment. Professional truck drivers need to have a general understanding on how to protect against an assault or avoid one altogether.” Desiree Wood

For a complete itinerary of the six-day cruise, visit the 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise page. All those in trucking and their families are invited to attend.

Common Street Attacks against women

Common Street Attacks against women- Self defense class scheduled March 27th – Lady Truck Driver Cruise

Allen Smith who was formerly in law enforcement and has taught Traditional Tae Kwon Do both publicly and privately since receiving his first black belt in 1979 will be teaching a “Women’s Basic Self Defense” course for attendees of the cruise that includes the following:

* Self Defense Theory of Simplicity
* Recognizing the 5 Stages of Imminent Violence
* The 5 Most Common Places For Attacks On Women
* The 5 Most Common Street Attacks on Women
* Soft Target Focus : Proven Self Defense Techniques : (Group Participation)
* Improvised Weapons
* Self Defense Legalities
Every attendee will receive a detailed booklet of the seminar to keep as a study/reference guide.

There’s still time
For additional cruise information including sponsorship opportunities contact Donna Smith at: or

For media inquiries, contact: Desiree Wood via:

If you are a martial arts instructor who holds a 3rd degree black belt or above and would like to participate in the class instruction, contact Allen Smith via the details listed below.

Allen Smith
United States Taekwondo Directory

Allen Smith, founder of United States Taekwondo Directory will teach a two hour Women’s Basic Self Defense Class to bring awareness to the dangers female drivers face while living life on the road. The class will be part of the the 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise, taking place March 26 through April 1, 2017.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Judge grants class certification against C.R. England Student-Truck Lease Lawsuit


For many years I’ve been writing and warning new drivers not to be lured by company truck Lease Purchase programs.  Most veteran drivers know that  carrier Lease Agreements are meant for the company to be profitable and the driver to fail.


Utah U.S. District Court judge, Judge Robert J. Shelby, granted certification to a nationwide class of truck drivers who allege fraud and other statutory claims against C.R. England.
The court issued this favorable ruling for truck drivers, certifying a class action in the C.R. England Student Driver- Truck Lease lawsuit.

Truck drivers allege claims of fraud, false advertising, and company unjust enrichment against C.R. England

Plaintiffs Charles Roberts and Kenneth McKay, who drove for C.R. England as independent contractors and leased trucks from Horizon in 2009, allege that the defendants developed a fraudulent plan to induce thousands of people to enroll in C.R. England’s driver training schools by promising students “the choice” of eventual employment as a company driver or the ability to earn a desirable income driving as an independent contractor. Truckers claimed however that the company driver positions were largely unavailable, leaving the enticing option to lease trucks from England and become independent contractor drivers.

Judge Shelby certified a nationwide class of C.R. England drivers who meet the following criteria:

1) signed the Vehicle Leasing Agreement with Horizon,

2) signed the Independent Contractor Operating Agreement with C.R. England,

3) during the applicable statute of limitations period, and

4) drove at least one day as an IC lease operator for C.R. England.

“This is a putative class action brought against two affiliated trucking companies by drivers once associated with those companies. Plaintiffs Charles Roberts and Kenneth McKay allege that Defendants C.R. England, Inc. and Opportunity Leasing, Inc. developed a fraudulent plan to induce thousands of people to enroll in England’s driver training schools by promising students the choice of eventual employment as a company driver or the ability to earn a desirable income driving as an independent contractor.  Plaintiffs contend that in reality, company driver positions were largely unavailable, and students in the driver training schools were subjected to a misinformation campaign to convince them to lease trucks from the Defendants and become independent contractor drivers affiliated with England. Hundreds, if not thousands, of students were persuaded to invest substantial sums of money to lease trucks from Defendants and become independent contractor drivers. But many soon found they could not earn a living as they had 2
been led to believe, and were left debt-ridden.

Plaintiffs sue to recover on behalf of these drivers and now move the court for class certification.
1 Defendants acknowledge the hardship accompanying the life of a long-haul trucker, but vigorously deny Plaintiffs’ allegations. Defendants oppose class certification, 2 move for judgment on the pleadings on several of the Plaintiffs’ claims, 3 and request summary judgment under several theories. 4 To Defendants, the fraud Plaintiffs allege is a fiction, and myriad individualized issues make this case unsuitable for class certification.
After careful consideration of the pleadings, the parties’ extensive briefing and post-hearing submissions, the record developed, and the arguments presented by counsel, the court grants Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings, denies Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and grants in part and denies in part Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.”  Read the entire Order here

If you are a current or former lease driver for C.R. England and want to share your experience as a lease driver go to CR England Class Action Lawsuit Website

We will be having the attorney for this case, Robert S. Boulter – Certified Specialist In Franchise and Distribution Law- on AskTheTrucker “Live” Saturday Feb 25th 6PM ET .


NOTE: A Certification Court ruling allows one or several drivers to bring suit for all others similarly situated.  In this CR England case for instance, the court allowed two drivers to sue on behalf of all 11,000.  These drivers are now all part of the case unless they opt out.  It’s s powerful tool to aggregate workers rights to seek back wages due.

Interestingly, bill H.R. 985 has been introduced, “Fairness in Class Action” To amend the procedures used in Federal court class actions and multi-district litigation proceedings to assure fairer, more efficient outcomes for claimants and defendants, and for other purposes.

As with many bills, their titles can be misleading and must be looked at with a grain of salt. The title “Fairness in Class Action”, actually translates to restrictions so broad, that the ability for workers to file Class Actions against corporations would pretty much come to an end.  Many of these companies have allegedly and willfully taken advantage of their workers.

As we always say, Power is in numbers, and if H.R.985 is passed, corporations would no longer be accountable when mass injustice is part of their business plan.  Individuals would need to file individually rather than Class Action.

I can’t help but think, was the trucking industry involved in this bill?  How about “big pharma”?

If H.R.985 is passed, this could dissolve this CR England case,and if won by drivers,  drivers would not receive deserving compensation.

The ONLY Truck Lease we at and Truth About Trucking, LLC recommend is Lone Mountain Truck Leasing.

Lone Mountain Truck Lease

Lone Mountain Truck Lease (866) 512-5685



Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Will the NRA embrace Michael’s Law Amendment Constitutional gun carry?


The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been trying for over a decade with various national reciprocity gun permit attempts.  In accordance with the 10th amendment, each state has their own laws when it comes to gun rights and the 2nd amendment, with many states being strongly against national reciprocity,believing it would infringe on their state’s rights.

Legal gun owners many times find crossing state lines with a firearm confusing, as a permit legal in one state may not be acknowledged by another state. Some have even been arrested doing so.

Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity Maps
The Permit map link  shows which states you can carry concealed in as well as which state’s permits are honored in a particular state.

The most recent bill introduced to the house has been applauded by the NRA.
H.R. 38, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, authored by Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8).
The question arises however, that even if the NRA is successful with a Republican Congress and President, it is unclear whether such a move that uses Federal power to force one state to accept the standards of another, would withstand judicial scrutiny. Most likely, restrictive states like New York would challenge national reciprocity on 10th Amendment “States’ Rights” grounds and such a law could be declared by SCOTUS “UnConstitutional.
Thus any victory in this area could wind up being very short-lived.

James Lamb of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) also has also been fighting for a gun rights law since 2014. The SBTC believes there is a better way to accomplish the NRA’s goal of national reciprocity, a “back door in” that avoids the state’s 10th amendment fight… It’s called the Michael’s Law Amendment


The initial attempt of the SBTC was called Michael’s law, named after murdered trucker Michael Boeglin.  Read more Trucker found shot in truck in Detroit, rig burned

The original 2014 Mike’s Law bill would have created a business carry permit for Americans working in Interstate Commerce. This was rejected by the NRA.
NRA objected to
(1) special carve out
(2) gun permitting leading to gun registration leading to confiscation.
So, James and the SBTC listened to NRA members, went back to the drawing board, and started all over from scratch.
SBTC  created Plan B the Michael’s Law Amendment to address the NRA and NRA membership’s concerns.

Both the NRA and the The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) believe there should be law allowing citizens to legally carry from state to state, relieving citizens with gun permits from the confusion of state carry laws.  The difference is the way these two organizations  have gone about addressing it.

The SBTC has chosen the different path of the Michael’s Law Amendment, one which they believe will be more tolerated by the states.   The amendment would be to an existing Federal firearms-related statute (18 U.S.C. 926A; Interstate Transportation of Firearms) in furtherance of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, calling for the statute to be re-entitled: “Interstate Possession, Transportation and Carrying of Firearms;”

As part of the Michael’s Law Amendment, SBTC has recently created the Trucker Lives Matter website which offers updates and information regarding the progress of the Michael’s Law Amendment. Along with the Trucker Lives Matter website, the Social Media group on Facebook, by the same name, is quickly becoming a movement. Tucker Lives Matter on Facebook presently has over 22,000 members in just 3 weeks.

Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S.C. 926A

Michael’s Law Amendment is a PRO GUN Federal legislative effort that ‘tweaks’ an existing Federal statute already on the books called “Interstate Transportation of Firearms” (18 U.S.C. 926A). Michael’s Law Amendment has two parts that would essentially do four things:

1. Michael’s Law Amendment makes the distinction between merely “possessing” a locked, unloaded firearm only for the purpose of transporting it… and actually carrying a firearm in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity for self-defense purposes. Currently, 926A neither authorizes nor prohibits the “carrying” of firearms interstate; it just speaks to “possession” for the purpose of transporting it unloaded and locked up.

2. Michael’s Law Amendment makes it a Federal Law to be able to CARRY from one state to another state. Without the need for a permit at all. It essentially just reaffirms the Second Amendment and is a declaration of all American citizens’ right to CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY from state-to-state.

3. Michael’s Law Amendment preempts a state’s ability to regulate the carrying of firearms by an American citizen who is entering their state, leaving their state or passing through their state pursuant to Federal authority under the Commerce Clause.

4. Michael’s Law Amendment, in accordance with the 10th Amendment, respects a state’s right to regulate its own residents who choose to live, work, and travel point-to-point within that state’s boundaries. But that right stops once another state is introduced into the equation, again, as a matter of Federal authority to regulate commerce between the states.

Existing Law §926A. Interstate transportation of firearms 

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter
from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such
firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any
ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle
without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. (Added Pub. L. 99–360, §1(a), July 8, 1986, 100 Stat. 766.)

Amended Law- Here is the full text of the proposed law:

18 U.S. Code 926A; (Renamed): Interstate possession, transportation and carrying of firearms…

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of any Federal law or any Federal rule, a person who is an American citizen and is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from possessing,
carrying, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to carry on his person in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity and transport a firearm for any lawful purpose
from any place in any state to any other place in a different state in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(2) FEDERAL PREEMPTION The states are hereby preempted from regulating firearms that are transported into, out of, or through their state by a person who is an American citizen
and is not a resident of that state, regardless of whether or not the firearm is carried in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the United States

The Michael’s Law Amendment… It’s NOT just for truckers.

Although The Michael’s Law Amendment is not just for truckers, the truck driving community has embraces the concept of a back door for legal gun carry in all states.

Trucker Lives Matter appeared Live on the NRA-TV show on Tuesday, Jan. 31st, 2017 at 5:30pm Eastern

NRA TV Trucker Lives Matter

James Lamb of SBTC appears live on NRA -TV to discuss gun rights and the Michael’s Law Amendment

Petition to NRA to Endorse and Lobby for the Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S.C. 926A

Q: How is Michael’s Law Amendment different from the NRA National Reciprocity bills?

A: The NRA has been pursuing “national reciprocity” in various different forms for over 10 years. They continue to go down this road. The SBTC is concerned that even if they are successful with a Republican Congress and President, it is unclear whether such a move that uses Federal power to force one state to accept the standards of another, would withstand judicial scrutiny. We expect highly restrictive states like New York would challenge national reciprocity on 10th Amendment “States’ Rights” grounds and such a law could be declared by SCOTUS “UnConstitutional.” So, any victory in this area could wind up being very short-lived. We believe there is a better way to accomplish this goal, a back door in that avoids the fight…

Once again, The SBTC bill merely tweaks an existing Federal statute (18 U.S.C. 926A) and creates a national right to carry from one state to another by asserting the “Commerce Clause” of the United States Constitution as the lawful basis for Congress to tell the states they may only regulate the carrying of firearms for their own residents that stay within their state. And it preempts them from interfering with interstate carrying of firearms in accordance with the Second Amendment. SBTS believes there is no bona fide states’ rights challenge since the Constitution clearly gives the Federal government jurisdiction over such matters pertaining to two or more different states.

The NRA has not officially recognized the Michael’s Law Amendment, although they did say they supported the right that “Mike’s Law” would bestow (without actually saying the supported the original Mike’s Law proposal outright.)
They have moved down only one path, the path to national reciprocity.

So the question is:  Will the NRA embrace Michael’s Law Amendment Constitutional gun carry?

The SBTC has been petitioning the NRA for over a year to lobby in favor of their bill as well.  Read more  Another Trucker Gets Shot: SBTC Challenges NRA to Back their Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S. Code 926A to Allow Truckers to Defend Themselves

Trucker Lives Matter FAQ’s


Truckers Lives Matters- Michael’s Law Amendment Press Release
Transportation Trade Group Launches ‘Trucker Lives Matter’ Movement

A South Florida-based non-profit transportation trade group representing small players in the industry across America, including truck drivers, says it is time to “Make the Roads Safe Again.”

In an effort to stop the current murder rate of interstate truckers– and other workers in interstate commerce– of approximately 50 men and women per year (according to US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,) the Small Business in Transportation Coalition’s (“SBTC”) president, James Lamb, announced today the group has formally launched the ‘TRUCKER LIVES MATTER’ (“TLM”) movement through their new website:

According to Lamb, the website directs truckers– and other interested Americans– to join the movement on social media by becoming a member of the group’s Facebook Page. TLM is encouraging supporters to adopt the TLM logo as their social media profile picture through this Twibbon campaign. The site is also selling TRUCKER LIVES MATTER t-shirts to raise funds. A detailed FAQ page explains the group’s legislative efforts, their take on NRA’s “national reciprocity” efforts, and the various existing state laws that currently prevent truckers from carrying firearms nationwide to protect themselves. Lamb’s bill asserts Federal authority through the Constitution’s “Commerce Clause,” which allows Congress to preempt the states’ regulation of guns entering, exiting, or merely passing through their states.

The website directs visitors to a petition to the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) in an effort to promote and acquire NRA support of the SBTC-written pro-gun bill called the “Michael’s Law Amendment (to 18 U.S.C. 926A),” named after the late Indiana-based over-the-road trucker Michael Boeglin who was killed and burned while sleeping in his truck in Detroit in June 2014. Lamb has been pursuing new legislation in various forms since Boeglin’s death. Boeglin’s then-pregnant widow Ashley Boeglin teamed up with Lamb in 2014 and signed on to the SBTC-led efforts to get a law passed that would enable truckers to thwart future attacks against them on the road. She has approved the use of her late husband’s name in connection with the legislation, currently under consideration by the Honorable U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

“If there’s one thing we have learned over the past two and a half years, it’s that you don’t get a pro-gun bill introduced into Congress easily without the support of the NRA,” Lamb noted. NRA disapproved of Lamb’s first legislative draft and he says they have not commented on the new version yet, which seeks to address NRA’s past concerns.

“Unlike our first attempt, this Plan B bill is not a special carve out for truckers in that it applies to all Americans and there is no gun permit or registration issue involved. We would hope the NRA is not opposed to simultaneously backing two bills, theirs and ours, as all roads lead to respecting the Second Amendment for all Americans,” Lamb said.

Rubio, from Miami, Florida, who ran for president this past election cycle (2015-2016), in part, on fighting ISIS and was later re-elected to the Senate in November 2016 to a new 6 year term, is a well known supporter of Second Amendment rights. Lamb said he has pointed out to Rubio’s staff that with all the recent terrorist “truck jackings” in Europe and an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack at Fort Lauderdale airport just two weeks ago, which is in SBTC’s home city and Rubio’s own state: “It’s only a matter of time before trucks are used as weapons by terrorists here on American soil,” Lamb warned.

“In talking with Rubio’s staff, we believe introduction of the bill into the U.S. Senate will happen later this month after the new Republican President has settled in, Lamb said.

The website points truckers to employers that will allow them to carry firearms to protect themselves against the dangers of living and working on the road, including the safe truck parking shortage recently highlighted by the Wall Street Journal.

Lamb appeared on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Trucking News with Mark Willis earlier this week to promote the new TLM movement and take calls for truckers. Lamb released this Facebook live footage, which represents an excerpt from the interview.

“I believe the fact that over 15,000 truckers immediately joined TLM within just a few days of our launching this movement shows that truckers believe their lives do indeed matter and it’s high time we ‘make the roads safe again’,” Lamb said.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Congressional Law could further hurt driver wages IF no action is taken


InfoGraphic explains how upcoming Congressional Law could further hurt driver wages IF drivers and government officials do not take action… VOTE NO on anti-trucker provision to be introduced in THUD or Infrastructure bill of 2017.

Drivers! Call your Reps and tell them to…. Say NO to Additional Federal Law to Preempt State Labor Laws.
Call the Government Switchboard 202-224-3121

The #1 priority for Trucking Associations, such as the ATA, is to assert Federal Authority ( such as the F4A preemption), to ensure drivers are not paid for all time working.
They plan on doing this by over riding Supreme Court decisions and states rights by appealing ( lobbying) to Congress in order to Preempt State Labor Laws using Federal Authority.    ATA wants Federal Laws- Truckers Say NO! Give states the power

Should legislation pass WITH anti-trucker wording, it would ensure that drivers will be paid only for the miles they drive and none of the 30-40 hr/week they do in addition to driving.

Trucking industry lobbyists have stated that they plan to target the new Republican control in Washington, D.C., to pass legislation which would preempt State Labor laws. These state labor laws pay truckers for work and breaks in addition to their driving time.

American Trucking Associations and the Western States Trucking Association, both of whom have said legislation to assert federal authority over break and pay laws for truckers is a top-level agenda item in the coming years. “This actually is our No. 1 priority,” says Western States’ head of government affairs Joe Rajkovacz. Read more

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

ATA wants Federal Laws- Truckers Say NO! Give states the power


Say No to additional Federal Laws used to preempt  State Labor Laws

There are many concerns for drivers in 2017.  According to surveys, both from Overdrive and ATRI, on top of the list are the concerns for ELD and Hours of Service. It makes sense that they would be the top 2 concerns as both affect truck driver wages and the ability to earn a living wage.
Drivers are paid piece work wages, or cents per mile as most know. The HOS dictates how many hours you may drive and work, and the ELD enforces it. So I guess you could say that Truck Driver Wages are the top concern for professional drivers. For some silly reason, truck drivers believe they should be paid for ALL their time.  The industry thinks differently.

Piece work wages

Piece work wages and “working for free”












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.

FACT: The more unpaid hours you work, the less valued you are

Do you believe drivers should be paid for all time? All time such as waiting at loading docks, inspections, and all non driving responsibilities? I know I do, and there are many others who would agree.
We asked this question on Facebook and here are the replies, there were many.

Next question is, Do you believe the Federal  deregulation laws, such as the 1994 Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act ( F4A), designed to deregulate a states ability to regulate freight, should also be used to over ride or preempt their Labor Laws?
The industry has taken this argument to court. The courts, including supreme courts said NO. States have their rights to protect employees.

Summary  and vision of what is coming SOON in 2017 affecting  Driver Wages- Are you ready?


1994, congress passed the Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act (F4A1994)in an effort to deregulate the aviation and trucking industries.
F4A had all to do with Freight rates and NOTHING to do with Labor rates.

There are about 20 states which enforce labor laws, many paying employees for all time working.  Motor carriers have lost a number of lawsuits where they failed to pay drivers for their tasks other than driving in these states. ( such as detention time, waiting, inspections, etc…) Although drivers were allowed rest breaks, they are not forced to take them.

meal and Rest Break

Intrastate Truckers- Meal & Rest Break Allowances- Drivers not forced to take them but are paid.

Read more about the different cases.  California Meal and Rest Break Laws Are Not Preempted by the FAAAA: Ninth Circuit

Since motor carriers lost these cases in Federal Courts, the industry ( ATA) wants the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to STEP in and create LAWS ( to over ride the Supreme Court decisions), referring to F4A1994 ( scroll down to the bottom) saying that Labor laws should be preempted by Federal laws.

……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 of any motor carrier ……

 Again, the intent of the 1994 Federal Aviation bill was designed to prevent the states regulation of FREIGHT, not to regulate state labor Laws. The Circuit Courts and the Supreme Court has stated this regarding lawsuits between motor carriers and drivers, MANY TIMES.  The Carriers Lost.
Now the trucking industry  wants to bypass the courts and go directly to Congress.

If  you can’t win in the Supreme Court then take it to Congress and change the Law!

Chris Spear,The President and CEO of the ATA has said “…. preempting states that have added redundant rest break requirements on top of the existing federal standard, ATA will continue to push hard for federal preemption of specific state laws when the 115th Congress convenes next month.”  In other words, they will target the new 2017  Trump Administration.
It’s not just paid rest breaks that concerns them, it’s all non driving responsibilities such as all waiting time. ATA does not want to pay it.

NOTE:  70% of Truck Drivers voted for Donald Trump in hopes he would stand for truck drivers. In other words,  the ATA isn’t the only one’s who will address their fight to the 115th Congress.

 EVERYONE NEEDS to be aware in early 2017
Coming soon in the form of an anti trucker amendment or provision in an existing bill. It was thought to be in  the amended THUD ( passed the house but needs to be voted on in the Senate), but now we know it will be in the 2017 FAA Reauthorization bill.

If passed, it would affect truck driver wages in 2017 permanently, just as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has. The Fair Labor Standards Act ( FLSA) which has exempted truckers for decades from being  paid overtime.   If FAA is passed with Anti Trucker Amendments, then not only is it No Overtime, but it would be being paid piece work wages only.

The FLSA provides an overtime exemption for employees who are within the authority of the Secretary of Transportation to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service according to Section 204 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935.

The trucking industry, including The ATA, 50 ATA-affiliated state trucking associations, the National Private Truck Council, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association,  continue to argue the meaning and” intent” in Federal Law of 1994 Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act,  saying the F4A “meant to” preempt state labor laws. Read more  The Truth about Meal and Rest Breaks

Here’s what OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said regarding amended wording in the F4A Reauthorization Act,
“Driver pay and situations where a driver’s time is taken advantage of without compensation most certainly should be addressed,”  “While the section of the aviation bill is intended as a response to the California meal and rest break law, its implications go well beyond that state. Its ultimate impact on all states is simply not known.”

If the bill is passed with Section 611 intact, motor carriers could only have to pay drivers on a piecework or per-mile basis. Gone could be any chance at pay for detention time, safety inspections, paperwork, or any other work-related tasks that do not involve racking up miles. It could also gut the ability of states to individually address these sorts of issues in the future, according to OOIDA.


Use GovTrack to find out who represents you in Congress and what bills they have sponsored.

History -SUMMARY

After losing case after case in Federal Courts, the focus of those opposed to driver fair wages, was and remains, that by applying the exemption in the 1935 Motor Carrier Act, and then altering by persuasion the original meaning and intent of Congress  in the 1994 federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act ( Title VI section 601)  to deregulate the aviation and trucking industries, the ATA and others in the trucking industry, pushed for Congresses provisions to bills  in hopes they’d be passed and  state labor laws (protecting trucker wages) would be preempted by Federal Law. They have FAILED to do so in 2015 and 2016.
First attempt failed in the FAST ACT  Transportation bill in 2015, (at that time the Denham Amendment was attempted to be slipped in at the 11th hour), and then attempted again, as wording was attempted to be included in the Federal Aviation re-authorization bill in 2016 . Again it Failed and the wording was not included in the final bill.

BUT They are trying it AGAIN in early 2017….and they are determined!

The  THUD bill (Transportation Housing and Urban Development Section 134)), if passed, would end all hopes for drivers to be paid for all time.  It would then be almost impossible to create any new labor laws to pay drivers for all time.

Instead of THUD, the anti trucker amendments made it in the FAA Reuathorization bills for the Senate and House Subcommittees.

NOTE:    Legislation is pending in the House of Representative, entitled H.R. 5394 –Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 (“THUD”).

On May 17, 2016, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved the 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill.

This bill included an amendment of the FAAAA that would preempt state rest- and meal-break laws, retroactive to 1994.
Congress recently combined the FAAAA amendment as Section 134 of H.R. 5394, which is an omnibus federal budget bill to fund the federal government through most of 2017.  Congress could very well vote on H.R. 5394 in 2017

BE AWARE. We will keep you posted.
We must make our representatives aware as well as the members of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Highways and Transit.

In 2017 if the ATA succeeds, initiating Congress to pass new law preempting ALL STATE LABOR laws for  TRUCK DRIVERS , then that same provision or law would then be applied to all 50 states and eliminate any chance for being paid non driving responsibilities, such as detention time.
It’s an attempt  to ensure that truck drivers will NEVER be able to be paid anything except their piece work wages, as we all know it, cents per mile.

It’s not just Intrastate drivers who will be affected

Truck drivers in all 50 states would be affected by this dangerous provision or any new bill which would include the wording, because their states would be barred from passing laws that protect drivers from being docked, not only for bathroom and meal breaks, but for ‘non-driving’ responsibilities, such as loading the truck.

As ATA pushes to keep driver wages down. What will you do drivers?

Remember The ATA has stated that one of their 2 major goals would be in 2017 to overturn the states labor laws which protect drivers who pick up and deliver in states which have labor laws to protect their employees.

So I ask you again, Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers?

Most of us believe that the Federal Government should not be able to overpower the states. Most of us do not believe in more regulations, especially when it come to trucking and regulations which affect drivers ability to earn a living wage. So why would we want the Federal Government to over ride STATES RIGHTS?

At a time when HOS and ELD’s are affecting driver wages, SAY NO to any anti-trucker amendments or provisions  which would prevent any hope for drivers to be paid for ALL time.

We’ll be making a series of videos and post updating you on the progress of the ATA and their attempts to influence government regarding labor laws and truck driver wages.

I invite EVERYONE to a show on AskTheTrucker Live I’ll be hosting. We will be discussing the seriousness of this issue Federal Laws Preempting State Labor Law- How they affect truckers now and in the future.



Additional Reading

How to Ensure Fair Trucker Wages in the 2015 Transportation Bill

Truth behind trucker wage theft and FAA bill Section 611

ATA urges TIC to include provision in AIRR Act keeping trucker wages low

Senator Boxer urges Appropriations Committee not to add “Denham Language” in THUD

The Truth About Trucking Network says NO to the Denham Amendment

Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers?
The Denham Method. Will it Take Money Out of Your Pocket??? by Pat Hockaday

AskTheTrucker “Live” 2 Crucial Trucking Topics for drivers

Trucking Open Forum- Blocking Fair Wages for Truckers

The Denham Amendment MUST Be Defeated!! by Hal Kiah

House Passes Transportation Bill with Meal and Rest Break Implications

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Attention Shippers & Receivers-TIRED TRUCKERS NEED YOUR HELP


Attention Shippers & Receivers -TIRED TRUCKERS NEED YOUR HELP!

 Jason's Law Proclamation

Greg Nadeau, FHWA Administrator- Jason’s Law Proclamation

It’s the end of a 12 to 14 hr day.

A day of traffic congestion, tight delivery/pickup schedules, pickup and delivery delays, weather, and when all the time on the job is considered (loading and unloading times) the driver is already nearing a 100 hrs on the job this week when he has arrived at a truck stop and discovered there are no parking places available.

Maybe there is a tight irregular space he could maneuver into if he could find a couple drivers to watch his vehicle corners and maybe the truck stop operators would not require him to move during the night because he is illegally parked.

If he calls his company they will blame him for not sufficiently planning his day, and besides, what can they do anyway, that is the only truck stop close to where he ran out of log hours, which naturally was his fault.

Very often, I have watched tired drivers circle and circle the parking lot hoping they can snag a spot, before the other drivers that are also circling await for another truck to pull out.

It is painful to watch this, because, we have all experienced the pain and agony of being tired to the bone and no place to park.  I challenge anyone reading this article to travel to a truck stop after 6 PM and observe this part of a professional driver’s life.

Is this how American industry treats their professional drivers?

There have recently been truck parking conferences, the National Truck Parking Coalition, who are discussing solutions to this issue.
Read More: Truck Parking Coalition proceeds to focus on parking crisis

An interesting observation by the attendees was that trucking management had nearly no participation.  Read more : Is ATA honoring pledge to the Truck Parking Coalition?

Interesting, the LTL employers don’t have this problem. They assume the responsibility of providing parking for their drivers. It is built into their business pricing, because, they don’t see their drivers as trucking gypsies.

Problem is, except for the few drivers that can afford to attend these conferences, some believe the other participants  don’t fully understand the whole context of the problem. According to many however, attendees, including the DOT and FHWA, very much understand are dedicated to finding solutions.  Driver comments needed NOW to improve Rest Area Parking

Turning the worm on parking




Myself and other drivers see little value in the millions of dollars spent seeking high technology solutions of computerized rest areas and truck stops. Although the technology may help wasting time searching for parking, the bottom line is…WE NEED MORE TRUCK PARKING.

Example: I can check my cell phone app for parking info 30 miles ahead. Elementary problem here is, it is illegal for me to use phone while driving and otherwise just dangerous.

Well, pull over to check the app, “emergency parking only” on shoulders and again very dangerous.

Driver eventually decides which action is less of a risk at that time and discovers there is one parking space open 30 miles away, great! Except that the ten trucks ahead of him are all heading for the same space!

Unless somehow drivers can reserve a space, it’s just a poor gamble.

Tech people say we will have other options at other locations that will be displayed on the app.

But what about log time travel to other locations that may now be off route, this may require the driver to work in violation of log rules, not to mention the fatigue conditions the driver is already experiencing that I mentioned earlier.

I believe one solution that would solve multiple problems would be parking at or near shipper and consignee facilities. Example  Safe Haven Truck Parking -Shippers receivers step up

The reserved parking could mostly be eliminated, and because the driver is at his destination he will rest better and would not have to deal with 2-3 hours of congestion in the morning traffic.

Other commuters would have fewer trucks to slow the commute and this would reduce accidents.

The driver would intelligently decide to wait until after the evening commute to drive to his delivery/pickup.

In fact, most of the time he will be traveling opposite of the commute.  Again, much safer, and fewer accidents.

If there are those in the supply chain that understood this, they could make a tired driver’s life better, and this would be better for their own businesses because the truck would not be late due to traffic congestion.

Would the location be safe for the driver to sleep overnight in his truck?

We would only need access to toilet facilities, porta johns are acceptable (if they get serviced) etc.

One consignee in the Portland, Or area used to provided overnight parking for deliveries, but withdrew the policy, because, “next day his maintenance people had to clean up human waste”.

That action seems to be fair, except, believe it or not, truck drivers are not yet robots, we have human needs too.

Wouldn’t a porta john be an affordable solution?

Could the customers allow overnight truck parking in employee parking areas till next morning?

I believe if we could get the customer to appreciate the “problem”, they may introduce new solutions, after all, late shipments create many other issues.

I know that this is not the total answer to the parking problem.

There is not a one silver bullet answer, but, every truck that we can get to another location will open parking to trucks that are still enroute to delivery or pickup and this reduce commuting congestion.








Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Driver comments needed NOW to improve Rest Area Parking


On December 12th 2016 was the final meeting for the National Truck Parking Coalition held at the United States Department of Transportation in Washington D.C.
These meetings began November 2015 and followed with 5 more during the year.

United States Department of Transportation

The National Truck Parking Coalition brings together stakeholders from transportation organizations, the freight industry, and other relevant groups to advance safe truck parking. The goal of the meetings are to address and find solutions identifying real life strategies for the real life truck parking shortage.

I was honored to be able to listen to and speak with many of those within the DOT, including FHWA Administrator Gregory G Nadeau.

  • Mr Nadeau spoke with concern and urgency. Many time drivers feel that the government isn’t aware, doesn’t care, doesn’t understand the challenges and obstacles, and overall has no idea what’s going on in the life of the professional driver.
    I will tell you, listening to Mr. Nadeau speak, “he gets it”, and so do many of the others in government positions who were there.
  •  The Administrator and the  FHWA  has issued a Notice for Requested Comments regarding  Commercial Activities on Interstate Rest Areas

Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau- National Truck Parking Coalition

This notice of comments for Commercial Activities on Interstate Rest Areas was brought up at the National Truck Parking Coalition which some were not aware. For those who weren’t aware,  We now only have a few days to reply.

The importance for your reply of these comments?  The ideas CAN aid in maintaining rest areas,  opening closed ones and allowing for additional Rest Rea Truck Parking.

Rest Area Truck Parking should be a major concern fro EVERY DRIVER who believe that Truck Parking is in crisis and that state Rest Areas need to be able to sustain and maintain themselves to remain open.  Many rest areas have had to close down because of lack of funding, adding to the truck parking shortage.

The FHWA provides financial aid (Federal-aid) to States for the construction, maintenance and operation of highway transportation facilities that are primarily on the National Highway System (NHS). The NHS consists of highways important to the Nation’s economy, defense, and mobility, including the Interstate System.

Many times Federal Aid is not enough to sustain and commercialization for these rest areas would help keep may of them open. Antiquated laws are prohibit over the counter sales of merchandise in rest areas located on the Interstate.  The FHWA is seeking YOUR input to modify existing laws..

The Interstate System is a critical element of the surface transportation system, providing a network of limited access freeways which facilitate the distribution of virtually all goods and services across the United States. The Interstate System also influences the mobility and safety of people and goods by providing access to local highway and networks of public streets

Because of laws, dating back to over 50 years ago. commercialization of rest areas has been prohibited.

States that receive Federal-aid for their NHS highway facilities or who wish to maintain eligibility to receive it must adhere to applicable Federal statutes and regulations. Section 111, of Title 23, United States Code, and 23 CFR 752.5 prohibit over the counter sales of merchandise in rest areas located on the Interstate.

Allowable commercial activity in rest areas on the Interstate System includes:

  • Installation of commercial advertising and media displays, if such advertising and displays are exhibited solely within any facility constructed in the rest area and are not legible from the main traveled way;
  • sale of items designed to promote tourism in the State, limited to books, DVDs, and other media;
  • sale of tickets for events or attractions in the State of a historical or tourism-related nature;
  • distribution of travel-related information, including maps, travel booklets, and hotel coupon booklets;
  • installation and operation of lottery machines; and
  • installation and operation of vending machines which may only dispense such food, drink, and other articles as the State transportation department determines are appropriate and desirable and which are operated in accordance with the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936 found at 20 U.S.C. 107.

Recently, several State departments of transportation have raised questions about what constitutes a vending machine and consequently what can or should be allowed in Interstate rest areas.
There is currently no definition of vending machine either in the statute at 23 U.S.C. 111 or the regulation at 23 CFR 752.5. The current regulation and law have remained substantially the same and have not defined the term “vending machine” for more than 30 years. At the time of publication of both the statute and final rule, vending machines were generally similar in that they accepted coins or paper currency, were operated by either a push button or a pull lever, and dispensed similar limited products. In the last several years, however, technology has evolved well beyond the types of machines that were available when the law was enacted and the final regulation was published. Vending machines can now accept electronic means of payment and can vend a continually evolving and broad range of products.

Additionally, there is now technology that is similar to vending machines, but not in existence at the time the statute was enacted. For example, self-serve kiosks at which the customer scans the goods for sale and then pays by cash or electronic method and which requires no assistance from either the kiosk owner or employee have become readily available.

The FHWA is interested in gathering public comments on how certain provisions of the current law should be interpreted and applied in consideration of advancements in technology and the interests of the States. Specifically, FHWA is interested in comments concerning the definition of vending machines. The FHWA is also interested in public input concerning the provision of law that allows the sale of items designed to promote tourism in the State, currently limited to books, DVDs, and other media.

Specific questions to guide the input are as follows:

  • Considering advances in technology, what defines a vending machine in today’s world?
  • What types of “media” should be considered as promoting tourism in the State?
  • Should local agricultural products be considered media that promotes tourism?
  • Are there other commercial activities that should be allowed consistent with Federal law?
  • Is there a need for additional Federal guidance on commercial activities in Interstate rest areas, and if so, what should the guidance address?

The time is NOW to reply to the in response to
Commercial Activities on Interstate Rest Areas

1 Driver comments allow for real life input on how the need and importance of Rest Areas affect their lives and their ability to find safe haven for their federally mandated breaks.  This would include their Hours of Service and ELD’s which will enforce HOS.

2)  How defining and expanding allowance of  existing laws in 23 U.S.C. 111 or regulation at 23 CFR 752.5 would help states maintain their rest areas without depending  on Federal Aid.
3)  Rest areas which exist now would benefit by expanding the definition of Vending Machine and how they can offer more services and remain in compliance of the law, increasing state revenues.
4)How expanding  the existing provision of law that allows  sales of items designed to promote tourism in the State, currently limited to books, DVDs, and other media could ALSO include agricultural products which would not only promote tourism of the states, but add to the revenue, and would offer truckers nutritional food, many time not offered at truck stops.
5)  There also needs to be a serious look at allowing further sales of commercial items to truckers and the motoring public, which would not negatively impact the flow of highway traffic or hurt businesses now existing on exits off the highways.  With thought and discussions this can be achieved.

History and Background of National Highway Laws

Service stations and other commercial establishments have been prohibited since 1956 from the interstate right-of-way, in contrast to the franchise system used on toll roads.



All agreements between the Secretary of Commerce and the State highway department for the construction of projects on the Interstate System shall contain a clause providing that the State will not add any points of Access to, or exit from, the project in addition to those  approved by the Secretary in the plans for such project, without the  prior approval of the Secretary. Such agreements shall also contain  a clause providing that the State will not permit automotive service stations or other commercial establishments for serving motor vehicle users to be constructed or located on the rights-of-way of the Interstate System. Such agreements may, however, authorize a State or political  subdivision thereof to use the air space above and below the established  grade line of the highway pavement for the parking of motor vehicles  provided such use does not interfere in any way with the free flow of  traffic on the Interstate System.


Title 23, United States Code (current as of October  19, 2012, including public laws through P.L. 112-196)

Sec. 111. Agreements relating to use of and access to rights-of-way -Interstate System pages 35 & 36 of 303


In General. -All agreements between the Secretary and the State transportation department for the construction of projects on the Interstate System shall contain a clause providing that the State will not add any points of access to, or exit from, the project in addition to those approved by the Secretary in the plans for such project, without the prior approval of the Secretary.

Such agreements shall also contain a clause providing that the State will not permit automotive service stations or other commercial establishments for serving motor vehicle users to be constructed or located on the rights-of-way of the Interstate System and will not change the boundary of any right-of-way on the Interstate System to accommodate construction of, or afford access to, an automotive service station or other commercial establishment. Such agreements may, however, authorize a State or political subdivision thereof to use or permit the use of the airspace above and below the established grade line of the highway pavement for such purposes as will not impair the full use and safety of the highway, as will not require or permit vehicular access to such space directly from such established grade line of the highway, or otherwise interfere in any way with the free flow of traffic on the Interstate System.

Nothing in this section, or inany agreement entered into under this section, shall require the discontinuance, obstruction, or removal of any establishment for serving motor vehicle users on any highway which has been, or is hereafter, designated as a highway or route on the Interstate System
(1) if such establishment
(A) was in existence before January 1, 1960, (B) is owned by a State, and (C) is operated through concessionaries or otherwise, and
(2) if all access to, and exits  from, such establishment conform to the standards established for such a highway under this title.


Rest Areas


In general.- Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Secretary shall permit a State to acquire, construct, operate, and maintain a rest area along a highway on the Interstate System in such State.


Limited activities. -The Secretary shall permit limited commercial activities within a rest area under paragraph
(1), if the activities are available only to customers using the rest area and are limited to –

(A) commercial advertising and media displays if such advertising and displays are -(i) exhibited solely within any facility constructed in the rest area; and

(ii) not legible from the main traveled way;

(B) items designed to promote tourism in the State, limited to books, DVDs, and other media;

(C) tickets for events or attractions in the State of a historical or tourism-related nature;

(D) travel-related information, including maps, travel booklets, and hotel coupon booklets; and

(E) lottery machines, provided that the priority afforded to blind vendors under subsection (c) applies to this subparagraph.

(3) Private operators.

– A State may permit a private party to operate such commercial activities.

(4) Limitation on use of revenues.

– A State shall use any revenues received from the commercial activities in a rest area under this section to cover the costs of acquiring, constructing, operating, and maintaining rest areas in the State.


Vending Machines. –

Notwithstanding subsection (a), any State may permit the placement of vending machines in rest and recreation areas, and in safety rest areas, constructed or located on rights-of-way of the Interstate System in such State. Such vending machines may only dispense such food,drink, and other articles as the State transportation department determines are appropriate and desirable.

Such vending machines may only be operated by the State. In permitting the placement of vendingmachines, the State shall give priority to vending machines which are operated through the State licensing agency designated pursuant to section 2(a)(5) of the Act of June 20, 1936, commonly known as the

“Randolph- Sheppard Act” (20 U.S.C. 107a(a)(5)). The costs of installation, operation, and maintenance of vending machines shall not be eligible for Federal assistance under this title.

(d) Motorist Call Boxes. –

(1) In general.- Notwithstanding subsection (a), a State may permit the placement of motorist call boxes on rights-of-way of the National Highway System. Such motorist call boxes may include the identification and sponsorship logos of such call boxes.

(2) Sponsorship logos. –

(A) Approval by state and local agencies. -All call box installations displaying sponsorship logos under this subsection shall be approved by the highway agencies having jurisdiction of the highway on which they are located.

(B) Size on box. –

A sponsorship logo may be placed on the call box in a dimension not to exceed the size of the call box or a total dimension in excess of 12inches by 18 inches

Federal Aid Policy Guide – Non-regulatory SupplementTransmittal 6: Vending Machines in Interstate Rest Areas and Abandonment of Interstate Rest Areas


Title 23 ? Chapter I ? Subchapter H ? Part 752   PART 752—LANDSCAPE AND ROADSIDE DEVELOPMENT

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government produced by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Publishing Office.

§752.5   Safety rest areas.  

(a) Safety rest areas should provide facilities reasonably necessary for the comfort, convenience, relaxation, and information needs of the motorist. Caretakers’ quarters may be provided in conjunction with a safety rest area at such locations where accommodations are deemed necessary. All facilities within the rest area are to provide full consideration and accommodation for the handicapped.

(b) The State may permit the placement of vending machines in existing or new safety rest areas located on the rights-of-way of the Interstate system for the purpose of dispensing such food, drink, or other articles as the State determines are appropriate and desirable, except that the dispensing by any means, of petroleum products or motor vehicle replacement parts shall not be allowed. Such vending machines shall be operated by the State.

(c) The State may operate the vending machines directly or may contract with a vendor for the installation, operation, and maintenance of the vending machines. In permitting the placement of vending machines the State shall give priority to vending machines which are operated through the State licensing agency designated pursuant to section 2(a)(5) of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, U.S.C. 107(a)(5).

(d) Access from the safety rest areas to adjacent publicly owned conservation and recreation areas may be permitted if access to these areas is only available through the rest area and if these areas or their usage does not adversely affect the facilities of the safety rest area.

(e) The scenic quality of the site, its accessibility and adaptability, and the availability of utilities are the prime considerations in the selection of rest area sites. A statewide safety rest area system plan should be maintained. This plan should include development priorities to ensure safety rest areas will be constructed first at locations most needed by the motorist. Proposals for safety rest areas or similar facilities on Federal-aid highways in suburban or urban areas shall be special case and must be fully justified before being authorized by the FHWA Regional Administrator.

(f) Facilities within newly constructed safety rest areas should meet the forecast needs of the design year. Expansion and modernization of older existing rest areas that do not provide adequate service should be considered.

(g) No charge to the public may be made for goods and services at safety rest areas except for telephone and articles dispensed by vending machines.

[43 FR 19390, May 5, 1978, as amended at 48 FR 38611, Aug. 25, 1983]

Read other comments on the site


Additional Read- Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956: Creating The Interstate System



Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

To the top