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

Feb
27,
2018
1

The ATA is at it again!  Numerous attempts have been made to slip in at the 11th hour, legislation imposing Federal regulations over State Rights which protect trucker wages. Voting will take place prior to March 23rd.
If passed, this latest anti-trucker wage preemption language would put an end to drivers ever having to be paid legally for ALL time, including excessive detention time.

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

The ATA is NOW sending out a CALL to Action for everyone, including their members, and even drivers, to contact their Senators and Representative, requesting that they KEEP the anti- trucker Preemptive “Denham Language” in  Section 134 of the House passed Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill in the final spending package. 

Those supporting the anti-trucker Preemption language in SECTION 134 of T-HUD bill are; American Trucking Associations, the 50 ATA- affiliated state trucking associations, the National Private Truck Council, the Truckload Carriers Association, and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association.

This is the 4th time the ATA has attempted since 2015 to get this language in a bill for the sole purpose of ensuring truckers will not be paid for anything more than their piece work wages, such as cents per mile.

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

Basically what the ATA is stating, is that States have NO RIGHT to tell motor carriers that their drivers must be paid for all time, including waiting, detention, paperwork and all non driving tasks.  This is based on the distortion of what they say “Congress intended” to mean in the H.R.2739  Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 49 -USC 40101  P. 37 of 39 — Title VI Intrastate Transportation of property
Sec 601 Preemption of Intrastate Transportation of property.

When the carriers went to court with this argument, the Federal Courts sided with the drivers on numerous occasions. The ATA then decided to got to Congress, (just as they did to get the ELD mandate approved), so they could have the Denham- Preemption language included in numerous bills.
This most recent attempt is in section Section 134 of the House passed Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill in the final spending package. p43 of 123.

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

We have written about this numerous times along with other truckers and organizations who understand the seriousness and repercussions of this bill’s language, should it be included. Here are a series of videos drivers have created talking about the attempted ATA wage theft legislation

The ATA is using every tactic they can find, including telling drivers and those in Congress that it is only about Meal and Rest Breaks.  It is not. It is about preempting states rights and states’ labor laws which prevent carriers from exploiting their drivers. Drivers do NOT have to take these breaks, but they do have to be paid for rest breaks.  Meal break time is not paid for.

 The Truth about Meal and Rest Breaks for Intrastate drivers-

OOIDA also had strong opposition against the language  in the article Aviation bill would reemphasize federal authority over states’ regulation of truckers’ hours, pay

OOIDA took issue with the provision’s potential impact on driver pay, calling it “an ambitious overreach that would limit the states’ ability to allow for any other driver compensation except mileage pay. OOIDA stands firmly opposed to this language.”

Further, OOIDA said, the language would “unravel mandated fair-pay for drivers and would empower large carriers to further reduce driver wages.”

Every driver KNOWS that being governed by a 14 hour clock while being paid by the mile is BS. They have been fighting the 14 hour HOS rule for many years now, believing they deserve to be paid higher wages, including all time worked on duty-not driving.

If the language in Section 134 is allowed to remain in the House Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill in the final spending package,  it will put an end for drivers to ever expect to be legally paid for all time.  Listen to why they are trying so hard and spending so much to make sure this language is included!!!

Allowing Federal Authority language in government bills is TRUCKER wage theft

Allowing Federal Authority language in government bills is TRUCKER wage theft

CALL YOUR REPS and EXPLAIN As Congress works to finalize the fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bills before the upcoming March 23 deadline,  truck drivers have a short time  to compel Congress to EXCLUDE language which distorts the interstate commerce preemption provision of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (F4A)
(
H.R.2739  Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 49 -USC 40101 P. 37 of 39-  Title VI Intrastate Transportation of property
Sec 601 Preemption of Intrastate Transportation of property.)

The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 had NOTHING to do with driver wages.  The intent of the 1994 Federal Aviation bill was designed to prevent states regulation of FREIGHT, not to regulate state labor Laws. The Circuit Courts and the CA Supreme Court has confirmed this during 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 in order to exploit drivers once again. Same tactics used as ELD mandate.

Time is RUNNING OUT. Even though the vote may not occur before March 23, lawmakers and their staff are actively crafting the final bill now,  They need to hear from their constituents. YOU Reach out to your elected officials today 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/

Call your reps and tell them NO to the Federal Authority language in SEC 134 of the House passed Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill in the final spending package, which would over ride states rights to pay drivers for all time.  202-224-3121

 

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Unjustly Underpaid: Why Paying Truckers By The Mile Needs To Stop

Feb
22,
2018
3

Unjustly Underpaid: Why Paying Truckers By The Mile Needs To Stop
by Steven Gursten

 

In 1938 the United States Government initiated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which granted almost every American a basic minimum hourly wage. Unbeknownst to truckers, the exclusion of the trucking industry from the FLSA would slowly erode the profession from the once profitable career it used to be.

Since 2012, the driver turnover rate has been stuck at 90% or higher while companies struggle to find and retain talent. Currently, the trucking industry is in need of almost 900,000 more drivers to keep up with demand, but companies are handcuffing themselves by retaining an antiquated payment model. Today’s truckers are being unjustly overworked and underpaid and it’s time for that to change.

Consider A Trucker’s Perspective

Imagine being confined to an office cubicle for hours on end without any compensation for your time. If office workers were forced to provide unpaid hours there would be an uproar (likely followed by a large FLSA lawsuit). Yet, truckers are expected to sit in their cabs (the equivalent of an office) without any pay if miles aren’t being driven.

A driver can spend over half of a day waiting out traffic, bad weather, or loading at a shipping dock, only to be provided miniscule pay for the distance they were able to travel. On some days, the pay is exceedingly harsh, considering a driver can expect to earn $0.28 to $0.40 per mile. What’s worse, companies are turning a blind eye. While they should be recognizing that these unpaid hours are on-duty hours, they are instead encouraging drivers to log their time spent at loading docks as sleeper or off-duty.

The trucking industry is one of the only industries in North America where workers are expected to put in time for free. Meanwhile, factory workers are still paid even when they’re idled by machine repairs and office workers receive pay even if there are no immediate tasks to perform.

Payment per mile is a broken system. In order for the trucking industry to progress, truckers need to be fairly compensated through hourly payment. As Adam Smith argued in the Wealth of Nations, workers don’t sell their labor to a company. Rather, workers sell their ability to provide labor when called upon. Truck drivers have a right to pay for sitting in the cab ready to drive even if external circumstances (traffic, weather, etc.) render them unable to.

Everyone Wins With Payment By The Hour

An hourly rate is advantageous for drivers, but drivers aren’t the only ones who benefit. A company is only as strong as the employees behind it. Thus, employee retention and health are important aspects in overall business success. Carriers that implement hourly pay will be able to employ and retain top talent, in addition to fostering better employee health.

Paying per mile encourages drivers to drive too long and skip breaks to make miles. Truck driver fatigue not only deteriorates health, but puts everyone on the road at risk for a truck accident.

For the sake of truckers and all other vehicle operators out on the road, we need to give drivers the ability to properly rest without having to worry about their earnings. Decades ago truckers were revered as ‘knights of the road’. It’s time we start paying our knights the wages they deserve.

About the Author:

Steven Gursten is the head of Michigan Auto Law, helping people seriously injured in car and truck accidents throughout the state. 

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Does commercializing rest areas lead to more or less parking spaces?

Feb
21,
2018
0
Closed Rest Area

Closed Rest Area

Does commercializing rest area parking lead to more or less parking spaces? When I first saw the NATSO study,(National Association of Truck Stop Owners)  Rest Area Commercialization and Truck Parking Capacity: 2018 Update,  I had to shake my head in disbelief.  Their recent conclusions have suggested that if highway rest areas are allowed to be commercialized then eventually it will lead to less truck parking.  How is that? Especially since many states can’t afford to keep their  non commercialized rest areas open, leading to ZERO parking spots available.

 

 

Truck Parking has been a major issues for MANY years and has been considered by the DOT to be a number one priority. With the strict enforcement of the 14 hour HOS through the  ELD mandate, the truck parking problem is expected to get even worse.  One example is that many drivers are held up at shippers and receivers for extended periods of time, are not allowed to park on their property, and then run out of hours to find safe parking.  That’s just one example.
Many of the states have had to close down their rest areas because of lack of funding for upkeep.
The most common sense remedy for this would be to commercialize rest areas, right?  But no, there is a 50 year old law which states that  highway rest areas can not be commercialized.

On Aug. 27, 1958, Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 85-767 into law, better known as Title 23 of the U.S. Code which regulates the role of highways. Section 111 of that title prohibited states from permitting “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.”

23 U.S. Code § 111 – Agreements relating to use of and access to rights-of-way—Interstate System

 The NATSO research and analysis conclusions is in  response is to the Trump administration infrastructure plan which includes the commercialization of interstate rest areas. NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings has said, “We urge the Administration to refrain from widespread tolling of America’s infrastructure and the commercialization of interstate rest areas.”

Although there are many within the trucking industry who would agree with the “widespread” tolling part of her statement, most would disagree with, especially truck drivers, with the second half of that statement regarding rest areas being commercialized. Most truckers would like to see the rest areas open, and if that means being commercialized, so be it.

NATSO’s study methodology is simple and black and white, lacking a few variables to test. It compares currently commercialized interstate segments to non-commercialized segments in terms of the number of truck parking spaces each one has per mile (on average.)
It implies that if states began commercializing rest stops, truck stops would start disappearing and so would their parking spaces.

 

Andy Warcaba of CommercialRest Areas.com gives his response to the NATSO truck parking study. NATSO claims  that interstates with amenities and stores on the interstate right-of-way, not just off the exits—have fewer truck parking spaces per mile than non-commercialized interstates.

Andy Warcaba

Andrew J. Warcaba & Associates is a professional services and consulting firm specializing in the area of motorist-related public-private partnerships

On February 6 of this year, NATSO released an updated report on what they view as the negative impact of commercializing rest areas on the National Highway System. The study – Rest Area Commercialization and Truck Parking Capacity: 2018 Update – purports to demonstrate that any effort to underwrite the cost of operating a rest area with even the most modest commercial enterprise would have a dire impact on the availability of truck parking.

While we applaud NATSO’s advocacy to promote anti-human trafficking programs and their work with their members to continuously improve local operations, NATSO has a clear mission: “to advance the success of truck stop and travel plaza members by delivering solutions to members’ challenges and achieving the public policy goals of the truckstop and travel plaza industry.”

But clearly the needs of professional drivers and the freight industry are not the same as the needs of the truckstop operators. Any commercial activity beyond modest vending has been prohibited at new non-toll highway rest areas for over 57 years. Yet the crisis over parking for trucks has intensified. Simply, truckstops and travel plazas – with no real competition – has been unable to provide adequate overnight parking for drivers’ federally-mandated breaks and rest periods.

In our opinion, we need a honest debate about how best to provide safe and secure parking. That discussion is not helped with a biased study with a flawed methodology.

Specifically, the number of truck parking spaces on non-toll highways includes all the taxpayer-supported rest areas. In general, toll roads do not have conventional rest areas. A more meaningful metric would be to tally the number of truck stop only parking vs. the number of truck spaces provided at the commercialized rest areas. Frankly, NATSO’s case against expanded commercial offerings would fall apart.  When NATSO tallies the number of truck parking spaces on a non-toll road, they add in the parking count of the conventional rest areas. If you backed out rest areas and only counted spaces at truck stops and travel plazas, toll road service plazas do a better job of meeting parking demand. In short, the report is flawed and self-serving.

Without new approaches to financing rest areas, non-toll highways without rest areas may not be a hypothesis. For over a decade, State-level Departments of Transportation have struggled to do more with less and there has been a dramatic number of facility closures.

Finally, NATSO could provide an important service to its 1,500+ members in helping them to respond to Request for Proposals when an opportunity to bid on a commercialized rest area becomes available. After all, these stops do not feature “DOT Burgers & Fries”. Rather, the private sector with national brands and regional concepts is what makes Service Plazas successful and profitable for all parties.

An additional reason that less truck parking capacity can be found at a particular commercial service area, is that many of these super highways were designed in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  At that time, the designers/planners never anticipated the dramatic growth and change that we have experienced in the Trucking Industry today.  Initially, commercialized rest areas were offered to the motoring public, but they were not designed to accommodate the truck

Related posts

Rest Area Commercialization – Fighting the Myth

Commercializing Rest Areas for Safer Truck Parking

What the General Public needs to know about Highway Safety, Truck Driver Fatigue, and Truck parking

NATSO says commercial rest stops lead to fewer truck parking spaces

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Knowing the facts: How truckers, carriers and fleets are affected by Tax Reform bill

Jan
18,
2018
1

The long awaited tax reform H.R.1 was finally passed December 2017, but how will this affect the trucking industry?

Knowing the facts: How truckers, carriers and fleets are affected by Tax Reform bill

Because of the new Tax Reform bill, corporations will see huge decreases in their taxes in order to bring business back to the United States and to also reinvest in their workers. The legislation reduces the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% for businesses and doubles the estate-tax exemption to $11.2 million per person. The bill also contains a clause to end the penalty for individuals who do not have health insurance starting in 2019.

Tax Reform 2018

For many company truckers, all this may mean higher wages, by either paying less taxes (being in a lower bracket) or by receiving a raise from their employees. After all, companies are getting a huge tax cut, they will surely pass it on to their workers, right?

Owner Operators are also expecting to see their bottom lines increase significantly.The amount of this increase will greatly depend on the entity they choose to be.   There has been much confusion about this.  According to Dennis Bridges of eTruckerTax,

Company drivers have many questions however about the new tax reform.  Among the most concerning, is the question about standard deductions. The standard deduction for all taxpayers will nearly double.
For single taxpayers, it went from $6,350 to $12,000. For married tax payers filing jointly, it went from $12,700 to $24,000.
However, under the new law, there will be no deduction allowed for work-related expenses for company drivers, and all other employees paid on a W-2.
That includes per diem deductions.

Per diem or CPM?

Our question is this?  If a single taxpayer ( vs. married filing jointly) has a standard deduction of $12,000 and their per diem deductions have run on average over the years to be $15,000.00, will the new tax cut hurt them? Note: Truck driver wages have not increased in 30 years.  And don’t forget, this is just per diem, what about all the other business related expenses which will not be allowed?

The next questions is this;  Will it benefit the driver if carriers offer per diem pay in addition to mileage pay?  It depends. If the carrier is reducing the CPM portion of drivers pay and then paying the difference as a non taxable pay, in our opinion it will benefit the carrier and not the driver.  However, at a time when carriers are panicking about the so called “driver shortage” it would benefit them greatly, in both hiring incentive and retention, to offer per diem in addition to their mileage pay.

Trucker Tax Reform

We recently invited Dennis Bridges of eTruckerTax to share information with our readers in order to lessen the confusion and correct any misinformation they may have read.  Mr. Bridges will also be our special guest on Saturday Jan 20th at 6apm et on AskTheTrucker “live” “Tax Reform and the American Trucker. He will be taking questions as well as outlining how the new tax reform will affect all truckers, company drivers and owner operators.  To call in and be part of the show call 347-826-9170.

Dennis has also written an article “Straight Scoop on the New Tax Law”
below is the bulk from his article.

First, Who is Dennis Bridges?

Dennis Bridges

Dennis Bridges is a CPA, a best-selling author, and Executive Director of eTruckerTax.

eTruckerTax is based in Atlanta and assists company drivers, owner-operators and fleet owners throughout the U.S. with their income taxes as well as minor or severe IRS problems.

Bridges has been in practice for over 30 years, and for the past 25 years has specialized in assisting transportation professionals.

Bridges has written numerous articles providing guidance to truckers and fleet owners on how to legally minimize their tax bill each year.

Additionally, he has spoken at the GATS and Mid-America Truck Shows, and numerous other trucking events throughout the U.S.

Dennis is the author of three books: On Level Ground with the IRS, The Truckers Tax Relief Toolkit, and What to Do When the IRS Comes Calling, which last year became a Number 1 Bestseller on Amazon, in the category of business books.

“Straight Scoop on the New Tax Law” by Dennis Bridges

This new tax law was passed and signed back in December.

CPAs (like me) and tax attorneys all over the U.S. have spent day and night connecting the dots and figuring out the winners and losers.

Sadly, there are unqualified people, even well known in trucking circles, that are making incorrect statements that are Exhibit A that they have no idea what the changes mean. They are giving wrong and bad advice to company drivers, owner-operators, and fleet owners.

(FYI, I am a CPA, in practice for 30 years. Our firm, eTruckerTax, has specialized in helping all drivers and trucking professionals for over 25 years. And just last year, my new book, What to Do When the IRS Comes Calling, became a #1 Bestseller on Amazon.)

Look, I’m not about boasting at all. But I am about credentials and speaking with authority.

*What the new law says:

Beginning in 2018, the first 20 percent of net income from “pass-through” entities will be tax free to the owner/shareholders of these entities.

The are articles state that a sole proprietorship and an LLC are “pass-through” entities, are misleading. Presently the two pass-through entities for businesses are S-Corporations and Partnerships.

(A trust or an estate can also be a pass-through entity, but these would not ordinarily be used as a business entity)

Here at eTruckerTax, our whole mission is to help ALL trucking professionals keep MUCH more of your hard-earned money, whether you are a company driver, an owner-operator, or a fleet owner.

All of this to say, we’ll spare you the misery of wading through the changes that affect truck drivers and fleet owners.

So below, here are the Big Four of the tax law changes that are most relevant for trucking professionals:

  •  1 Loss of Deduction for Work-related Expenses (assuming you itemize)

This change applies to all W-2 employees, including company drivers.

Previously, if you itemized your deductions on your income tax returns, you were allowed to deduct any unreimbursed employee expenses on Form 2106. This included the per diem expense of $63.00 per day times the number of days on the road.

Thus, for a driver with 250 days on the road, the net deduction was $12,600. ($63.00 x 250 days x 80% allowable deduction)

So, under the new law, there will be no deduction allowed for work-related expenses for company drivers, and all other employees paid on a W-2.

(Note: This applies only to company drivers, not owner-operators! Also, it applies only to deducted per diem and other trucking expenses, NOT to you receiving a per diem benefit!)

Fortunately, there is another change that should make up for this lost deduction:

        2- The standard deduction for all taxpayers will nearly double. You read that right: DOUBLE!

For single taxpayers, it went from $6,350 to $12,000.
For married tax payers filing jointly, it went from $12,700 to $24,000.

Other changes?

–Elimination of personal exemption of $4,050 for each person on the return

–Doubling of child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000

–Across the board reduction in tax rates:

  • If you were previously in the 28 percent bracket, you’ll now be in the 22 or 24 percent bracket
  • If you were in the 15 percent bracket before, you’ll now be in the 10 or 12 percent bracket

3- If you are an owner-operator, choose the right entity

Under the new tax law, owner-operator and fleet owners (and other businesses) that use a “pass-through” entity for doing business will receive the first 20 percent of their net income tax-free.

Recent trucking articles have stated that sole proprietorships and LLCs are “pass-through” entities. Presently, pass-throughs include only S-Corporations and Partnerships for business purposes.

The Good News:

  1. If you have an LLC, we can legally (and inexpensively) convert you to an S-Corporation
  2. 2) If you are a sole proprietorship, we can set up an S-Corporation for you, OR you can get your own LLC and we can then convert your LLC to an S-Corp.

Even Better News: Trust me—getting the first 20 percent of your income tax-free with an S-Corp is a VERY good reason to get or convert an S-Corp.

Want an even better reason to use an S-Corporation? Even better than getting the first 20 percent of your income tax free?

Get this: By using an S-Corporation for your business instead of a sole proprietorship or basic LLC, you reduce your chances of an IRS audit by 75 percent.

What? Cut your audit chances to nearly zero just by using an S-Corp? Yep!

And this is not me talking—these are the IRS’s very own stats.

(Wanna hear a little funny? Whenever I have the privilege of speaking at a trucking event, and I tell owner-operators that they can cut their audit chances by 75 percent with an S-Corporation, at least a dozen truckers will get up right then and go to our table to sign up for us to get them signed up!)

Seriously, whether you do it for the mega-reduced audit chances, or for getting the first 20 percent of your income tax-free, definitely do this—if you do nothing else this year.

  • 4 Tax rate for regular corporations reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent

Above, we were discussing S-Corporations, in which the net income “flows-through” to the owner’s return(s), and is taxes at his or her marginal rate.

Larger trucking companies, and even some smaller ones, may be set up as “C-Corporations”, or what we usually refer to as regular corporations.

Regular corporations are taxed at the corporate level, previously at a rate of 35 percent. Under the new law, regular, or C-Corporations will now be taxed at only 21 percent.

This was intended by the President and Congress to serve as an incentive, especially to large companies, to purchase heavy machines, which should directly and indirectly help the trucking industry.

Just a small example to give you an idea of the magnitude of the possible savings.

Let’s say you have a trucking company with a net profit of, say, $100,000.

Under the old tax law, the tax bill would have been approximately $35,000. But under the new tax law, the tax would go to $21,000, for a savings of $14,000.

This represents a reduction in the tax bill of 40 percent!

Our team at eTruckerTax wants to be your one source for reliable tax guidance, on the new tax law. And how to use it to your advantage.

Click here for easy-to-follow steps on how to keep a lot more of your hard-earned money!

Bridges and his entire team at eTruckerTax believe that trucking professionals are the glue that held our economy together during the recession of 2008 to 2012. Helping drivers to keep much more of their hard-earned money is their way of tangibly expressing his gratitude for the sacrifice of all drivers.

Their commitment to drivers is, “We don’t just ‘do’ your taxes, we CUT them!”

Dennis Bridges and his team can be reached at 770-984-8008, or at etruckertax.com

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SBTC files Class Action Lawsuit against Indiana Dept of Revenue

Nov
17,
2017
0

The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) is a network of transportation professionals and industry suppliers who seek to promote and protect the small business players in the transportation industry. Many refer to it as a watchdog group for all, supporting teamwork, cooperation, transparency, and partnerships among truckers, carriers, brokers, and shippers. SBTC seeks to promote ethical business practices and do business with the utmost integrity.

A few of the driver issues which James Lamb, president of the SBTC, has confronted with full force are on the SBTC About Us and the Issues

  • Broker Rate Transparency and Raising Driver Pay
  • The Fight against Raising Motor Carrier Insurance to $4.4 million
  • Confronting Driver Harassment & Protecting the Sanctity of Driver Sleep
  • Interstate Truckers’ Right to Carry Campaign & Petition
  • Safe Truck Parking & Jason’s Law 

November 17, 2017

Lamb’s SBTC Files BILLION Dollar Class Action Lawsuit Against Indiana Dept of Revenue Over Unlawfully Collected UCR Fees

Below is a summary of a class action lawsuit filed today in Indiana state court.

SBTC v. INDOR: Bullet Point Summary

On November 17, 2017, the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (“SBTC”) filed a class action lawsuit against Indiana Department of Revenue (“INDOR”) in Marion County, Indiana ,state court on behalf of the interstate motor carrier industry alleging unlawful collection of motor carrier registration fees for over a decade.

The Lead Plaintiff

• SBTC is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade organization located in Washington, D.C. SBTC has over 8,000 members and represents, promotes, and protects the interests of small businesses in the transportation industry. SBTC is a watchdog group for the trucking industry that investigates government fraud, waste, mismanagement, and abuse. It is the policy of the SBTC to expose unlawful government activities and improprieties whenever discovered.

The Defendant

• INDOR is an Indiana government agency established for the purposes of administering, collecting, and enforcing specific taxes under Indiana Code Title 6, Article 8.1, as well as overseeing certification of motor carriers in Indiana under Indiana Code Title 8, Article 2.1.

• Under contract with the UCR Board, INDOR has been registering interstate motor vehicles from all over the United States and unlawfully collecting from them the UCR Fees, an Instant Access Fee, and an Usage Fee, since 2008 through an Internet website, www.ucr.in.gov.

• The suit alleges that there is no Indiana state law that authorizes the INDOR to enter into the UCR Agreement, to contract with the UCR Board to administer the UCR Plan, to register truckers under the UCR Plan, or to collect UCR-related fees. Thus the INDOR has been illegally collecting UCR-related fees since 2008.

• INDOR has unlawfully collected approximately $100,000,000 in UCR-related fees each year since 2008. The class action lawsuit asks that all UCR-related fees be refunded since 2008.

The UCR Plan & Agreement

• In 2005, Congress authorized the 50 states to voluntarily participate in an interstate compact agreement to coordinate registration of interstate motor carriers and collect registration fees through an “online registration system,” called the Unified Carrier Registration Plan, 49 U.S.C. § 13908(a) & (b) (“UCR Plan”). The UCR Plan established a way for interstate truckers to register and pay fees only one time each year and for the states to share in the proceeds.

• To implement this online registration system, a “UCR Agreement” was created, which has been voluntarily signed by 41 states, including Indiana. The UCR Agreement is governed by: 1) an UCR authorizing statute, the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005, found at 49 U.S.C. § 14504a; and 2) a board of directors (“UCR Board”), appointed by the US Secretary of Transportation, to oversees the UCR Agreement, 49 U.S.C. § 14504a(d).

• For a state to be eligible to voluntarily be part of the UCR Agreement, that state must have an agency with the legal authority, resources, and personnel to implement the UCR Agreement. See id. at § 14504a(e)(1). The INDOR unlawfully claimed to be such an agency and it signed the UCR Agreement on behalf of the State of Indiana.

• The UCR Agreement requires each trucker to register with its home state, or the interstate online registration system administered by INDOR, before he or she begins to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Trucker are subject to criminal penalties if they fail to register each year and they travel interstate.

• With their UCR registration, carriers must also pay UCR-related fees, including a UCR Fee, a UCR Usage Fee, if it is an out-or-state trucker registering in Indiana, and a UCR Instant Access Fee, if the trucker is paying by credit card.

The UCR Fee Brackets

• The Secretary of Transportation set the UCR Fee in 2007 and revised the UCR Fee in 2010. 49 C.F.R. §§ 367.20 and 367.30.

• The UCR Fees from 2007-2017 (based on number of commercial motor vehicles operated by a carrier in interstate commerce) have been as follows:

• 2007 promulgated fees: 0-2 vehicles: $39.00; 3-5 vehicles: $116.00; 6-20 vehicles: $231.00; 21-100 vehicles: $806.00; 101-1000 vehicles: $3,840.00; and 1001 or more vehicles: $37,500.00

• 2010 promulgated fees: 0-2 vehicles: $76.00; 3-5 vehicles: $227.00; 6-20 vehicles: $452.00; 21-100 vehicles: $1,576.00; 101-1000 vehicles: $7,511.00; and 1001 or more vehicles: $73,346.00

The Cause of Action

• Since 2008, INDOR has registered motor vehicles for states throughout the country, under an illegal contract with the UCR Board, and illegally collected the UCR-related fees.

• INDOR signed contracts with the UCR Board since 2008 to purportedly allow them to collect these fees from truckers throughout the country.

• However, Indiana law does not authorize INDOR to enter into any contract with the UCR Board and even more critically, Indiana law does not allow Indiana to participate in the UCR Agreement, to register truckers under the UCR Plan, or to collect UCR-related fees.

• Since there is no authority under Indiana law for INDOR to enter into the UCR Agreement, to enter into contracts with the UCR Board, to register truckers under the UCR Agreement or to collect UCR-related fees, INDOR has illegally collected UCR related fees since 2008.

SBTC Attorney

• The SBTC is represented by The Bopp Law Firm, PC,  www.bopplaw.com of Terre Haute, IN.

“Indiana law does not authorize the Indiana Department of Revenue to be part of the UCR Plan or to collect UCR-related fees. Without such authority under Indiana law, INDOR’s nationwide collection of the UCR-related fees is unlawful and every trucker since 2008 is entitled to a refund of these illegally collected fees,”

SBTC Attorney James Bopp, Jr. said.

SBTC Leadership

• James Lamb is the founder and president of the SBTC.

“SBTC has filed this class lawsuit on behalf of the trucking industry because INDOR has unlawfully collected a billion dollars in UCR-related fees from hundreds of thousands of motor carriers since 2008. The SBTC is a watchdog group for the trucking industry that investigates government fraud, waste, mismanagement, and abuse. It is the policy of the SBTC to expose unlawful government activities and improprieties whenever discovered,”  SBTC President James Lamb said.

To learn more about the SBTC or to become a member, visit:

http://www.smalltransportation.org

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ELD trucker protest heading to D.C.

Oct
2,
2017
2

Truckers head to Washington D.C. for protest

As part of the ongoing fight against the December enforcement of the ELD mandate ( electronic logging devise), there is expected to be large numbers of drivers heading for the ELD Trucker protest to Washington D.C. scheduled for Oct 3rd thru the 7th.

 

 

Whether that number of trucks and drivers participating is in the hundreds or the anticipated thousands, the mood is passionate and determined. Even drivers who can not attend the D.C. event will be a part of the protest by shutting down to show their support.

Those leading the protests are 2 main groups: ELD or Me and Operation Black and Blue. Both of these groups are active on Facebook, initiating and promoting the events on the social media platform
There are drivers in both Mexico and Canada who have also vowed to participate in some way, demonstrating support in unison with the Operation Black and Blue and ELD and Me groups.

Operation black and blue protestOrganizers of the groups are working tirelessly to coordinate the events. Although they are 2 separate groups, they are working in unity towards the same goal of defeating over-regulation such as the ELD mandate.

Operation Black and Blue
Founder      Mike Gunney Faram
Organizers   Scott Jordon,Joe Alfaro. Steve Bussone, John Grosvenor, Kuzma Samoilov, Sierra Sugar

ELD or Me
Founder Scott Reed
Admins:  Tony Justice Richard Wilson,  Earl Doc Blackmon,  Ingrid Brown  Brian Bucenell
Operation Black and Blue DC  meet up locations
1 Truck Rendezvous Point

Our meeting place for large trucks is in Hagerstown, Md. Interstate 81 exit 5b there are 2 truck stops. The AC&T and the Pilot Travel Center. They are located about 72 miles northeast of Washington DC. About 1 hour and 22 minutes from DC. Overflow parking is available at the Flying J truckstop in Virginia I-81 exit 323, TA travel center in Pennsylvania I-81 exit 5.

 2 Rally Point in DC
We will be at the Ellipse, which is off from
(U.S. 50) Constitution Ave NW and 16th St NW
directly south of the White House.
 ?

Eld or Me protest

Meeting Locations for ELD or Me Trucking Protest-Washinton D.C. Oct-3rd thru 7th

ELD or Me Meeting described more in Flyer

When: Oct 3rd thru 5th
Where: Washington D.C.
Meet Location: Doswell Truckstop
10222 Kings Dominion BLVD
Doswell.VA 23047

 

 

 

 

 

How ELD’s all came about:
When the first Mega Carriers were forced to use EOBR’s because of excessive violations, the ATA had to do something or independents would have an advantage. In a final rule , the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration decided that serious violators of major hours-of-service (HOS) regulations must install electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) in all their trucks and use them to track compliance.

ATA and others within the industry then lobbied for ELD’s to be law for EVERYONE, using the safety groups to join in.

Despite numerous attempts by OOIDA to eliminate the mandate, or  even members of Congress to delay the law,  as of now the mandate stands. Continuous efforts to support H.R. 3282 will be discussed among many other things on the trip to Washington.

The H.R.3282 – ELD Extension Act of 2017 is a bill which would delay the ELD mandate by 2 years, giving enough time for more research to be conducted to determine if the ELD’s would improve safety or create a more unsafe environment.

To know more about the demonstration and what the groups ELD or Me and Operation Black and Blue stand for, listen to the Saturday night replay
Open Forum- ELD’s , drivers wages, and Washington D.C. protest

 

To understand more how ELD’s will further effect driver wages read
“How ELD mandate combined with Anti-Trucker wage provisions leads to wage reduction”

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VIP Tickets to NASCAR event at Phoenix Raceway

Sep
25,
2017
0
NASCAR- Phoenix Raceway Event

If you love NASCAR and would like to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his next to last appearance before his retirement… PLUS attend with a VIP ticket… Then this is for you.
Limited VIP Tickets to NASCAR event at Phoenix Raceway-
Everyone is welcome— Free Truck Parking

NASCAR- Phoenix Raceway Event

EXCLUSIVE  Phoenix Raceway  NASCAR event RWIT VIP PACKAGE! 

November 11 – 12, 2017  for the Annual Veteran’s Day  NASCAR Race Weekend! Phoenix Raceway. Free Truck Parking

 

 

VIP Tickets Include

Saturday & Sunday Race day seats

* Sunday Pre-Race Pit Passes

* Sunday RWIT Hospitality Chalet VIP Access

* Sunday Pre-Race Party with food and drinks

* Giveaways

* Pit Road Photo opportunities

2 Ways to get your Ticket(s)

1) WIN ONE!! Truth About Trucking LLC will randomly select one lucky winner with a VIP ticket ($300.00 value)

How to Enter?  It’s easy.  Only 2 steps involved.

a) Watch the video “NO” to Anti-Trucker Wage Amendments”

b) Submit your comment on the YouTube page and include the words
“I’ve Had Enough” in your comment.

2) The 2nd way to get your tickets is BUY them.
Go to the RWIT website and order them!
RWIT is participating  at the Phoenix Raceway  NASCAR event and they have exclusive and limited numbers of VIP Ticket Packages. Only $300.00.

NOTE: If you DO purchase a ticket and then end up winning the FREE ticket in the contest, you can receive a refund!!  It’s a Win-Win

You may want to purchase your ticket(s) just to ensure yourself one since there is a limited number.

We will select the winner of the VIP Phoenix Raceway Nascar contest Live on AskTheTrucker “live on Blog Talk Radio 9-30-17.
All shows are archived so you can to listen to the replays.

For More Information on advance VIP ticket purchase  or Sponsorship Opportunities:
email:  info@realwomenintrucking.org or call 561-232-9170 

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

Sep
18,
2017
6

It is the ELD mandate, if combined with the “anti-trucker wage provisions” known as the #DenhamAmendment in both the FAA and THUD bills, which would take away our freedom and permanently limit driver wages.
Combine ELD mandate with Denham Amendment AND then, logging all driver waiting time and non driving tasks as ON DUTY, and drivers will be seeing a significant wage reduction. WHY????
BECAUSE the Denham Amendment would create NEW Federal Law stating that drivers are only to be paid for the miles they drive– NO DETENTION TIME or other non driving tasks.

The ATA and industry intentions appears to be to turn their little black box punishment into a way to benefit them financially, forcing drivers to drive MORE MILES in order to compensate for the 30+ hours they work without pay.

The ATA goal is to include “anti-trucker wage provisions”, preempting state labor laws which protect driver wages,  and create new Federal Law which would relieve carriers from  legal obligation to pay drivers anything other than piece work wages.
These provisions are well known as the Denham Amendment, but have been cleverly disguised by members of trucking, as “Meal & Rest Break” provisions.

Indiana State Police – Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division  was sent a screen shot from a driver and the ISP-CVED then posted it on FaceBook. The driver sent it with the question “What is the correct use of on duty?” The screen shot stated the following.  “Effective immediately all time being loaded or unloaded must be On Duty time. We can no longer use it as OFF DUTY time per FMCSR 392.2.”  READ more about what is considered ON DUTY time.

ELD On Duty

Screen shot from a driver sent to the ISP-CVED which they then posted on their FaceBook Page

The anti trucker wage provisions in FAA and THUD , if passed, will end states rights from protecting drivers from wage theft. (Certain state labor laws say drivers must be paid for ALL time working)What’s the wage theft? It’s allowing drivers to work hours without getting paid.

If  these provisions are allowed to remain in the FAA and THUD bills, the Federal law will dictate driver wages. Simply put, the provisions will allow wages to be paid for ONLY the miles they drive. So even if ELD’s will record all time on duty other than driving, drivers will not have to be legally paid. 
Is it all part of the plan?

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

 

 

 

 

How ELD’s all came about:
When the first Mega Carriers were forced to use EOBR’s because of excessive violations, the ATA had to do something or independents would have an advantage. In a final rule , the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration decided that serious violators of major hours-of-service (HOS) regulations must install electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) in all their trucks and use them to track compliance.

ATA and others within the industry then lobbied for ELD’s to be law for EVERYONE, using the safety groups to join in.

ATA then thought ahead, realizing that if ALL driver time working is recorded, including waiting at docks, as well as all other non driving time on job, it would be necessary to create additional laws to ensure that drivers do not have to be paid for their time, just their miles.

Since drivers are paid by the mile, they have been conditioned to want “more hours” to earn more money, compensating for the fact that they have not had a significant pay raise in over 30 years. Many are logging “Off Duty” rather than “On Duty not Driving”, to preserve their “70” (making up for not being paid for all their waiting time and non driving jobs.)

What if Drivers were PAID for ALL time on Duty? What would their pay check look like?
If drivers logged legally ( log on duty not driving) and ELD’s were used to accurately measure their time, they could earn as much as logging OFF DUTY.  This formula for their rate of pay would have to be consistent with their cpm wages, not a set standard hourly rate.

1) For example: If a driver earns 50cpm- drives 2000 miles/wk- he/she earns $1000. If you divide that by 70hr it = $14.29/hr.
That hourly rate would be what the driver would, at the very least, need to be paid for their waiting and all non driving work performed.

The fact is, by  logging off duty while waiting at docks or performing other non driving jobs, drivers actually end up working 100 hrs.  That makes their hourly pay more like $10.00/hr.  This is a proven fact according to a study performed for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA).

2) If the drivers miles are reduced to 1500 miles per week by driving legally (ELD), then their gross would be $750.00/wk ( based on 50 cpm). That would come to about $10.71/hr based on 70 hours. BUT, if you add to those wages the 30 hours waiting and other not driving tasks at 10.71/hr, it equals $321.30 hourly wages added to the $750.00 cpm wages.

What this means is that if a driver logs legally, he/she ends up earning about the same amount of $$$ IF, and only IF, they are paid for ALL time “on duty not driving”
If drivers are paid for ALL time working, it means they have more home time and they’re no longer fighting to work more hours in order to make up for excessive delays at Shippers & Receivers, or other circumstances beyond their control.

The question is: Will the Motor Carriers voluntarily Pay Driver for ALL TIME?
Not if they don’t have to they won’t.  And with the anti-trucker wage provisions, they very well may not have to…legally.

COMBINATION of:
ELD + Logging All On Duty Time + Anti Trucker Wage Provisions( Denham Amendment) = Significant Reduction in Driver Wages.

The ATA has lobbied and succeeded:
1) First for ELD’s
2)Having provisions to be included in 2 Major bills which will be voted on in Dec, ENSURING MOTOR CARRIERS will not be OBLIGATED to pay drivers for ANYTHING other than their CPM!

Time to wake up drivers. Call your REPS and tell them to VOTE NO on the anti-trucker wage provisions in the #FAA bill and #THUD bill. By doing so, you allow the ELD to work for YOU instead of the carriers.

https://www.senate.gov/…/contact…/senators_cfm.cfm

https://www.house.gov/representatives/

 

IT IS the ELD mandate combined with the provisions in the FAA And THUD bill which are taking away our freedom and stunting driver wages.
They are creating more regulation by giving the  Federal government more power and taking away states rights.

It’s time to make law makers accountable. It time to call and educate them about these provisions in the bills they are about to vote on. Make the call. 202-224-3121
Tell them to vote No on the anti trucker provisions in the THUD and FAA. These provisions are Anti Trucker and Anti Safety. They are designed to legally have truckers work without being paid.
If passed, Drivers will only be paid for the miles they drive, not the time they are at work (such as detention time).

 

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TRELP Truck Parking App could be solution to end truck parking crisis

Aug
3,
2017
1

TRELP

TRELP Truck Parking App could be solution to end truck parking crisis

 

 

 

UNDERDOG WITH AN AMBITIOUS VISION
CALLING FORTH ALL TRUCKERS TO HELP LOCATE PARKING SPOTS
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations prohibit interstate truck drivers from driving more than 11 hours per day. Drivers must locate a place to park upon reaching the maximum hours. Unfortunately, however, it’s quite challenging at times to find parking.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 745 reported fatal injuries in 2015 among truck drivers. Some of which are caused by the inability to park at a safe location. The American Trucking Association estimated that there are 3.5 million truckers on the US highways. Yet astonishingly there is parking for only about 300,000.
Truck parking shortages are a national safety concern.
Truck Parking Coalition proceeds to focus on parking crisis

FREE TRELP APP PLANS ON HAVING 3,000,000 PARKING SPOTS ON ITS PLATFORM BY 2019 SO EVERY TRUCKER HAS A SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP.

Current truck parking apps, including, TruckerPath, help truckers find existing truck stops and rest areas. It also alerts drivers whether a parking facility is full.
TRELP does this and more.
With such overwhelming parking shortages, truckers need more and better solutions.
Trelp allows users to share non-traditional parking locations. For example, a truck parking facility may be completely full, but there may be a shopping center nearby that allows overnight parking.

Trelp Truck Parking App allows Truckers to be driving force to end Truck Parking Shortage Crisis
Trelp allows users to create new parking spots anywhere, be it by a truck stop, at a shipper or receiver, or just along the side of the road. No other app allows users to do this.

 
LAST MILE DIRECTIONS TO SHIPPERS/RECEIVERS
Knowing the physical address to a shipper/receiver is simply not enough. Drivers must go to the loading/unloading area, which is often difficult to find.

Trelp allows users to share last mile directions. Having all of this information will significantly decrease wasteful driving. Consequently, there will also be less air pollution.
Moreover, drivers can comment on the shipper/receiver, e.g., a driver must pay a lumper fee in cash in order to get an executed Bill of Lading; shipper will not allow early arrival; hours of operation; and overnight parking availability.
In addition, Trelp is comparable to WAZE for truck drivers in that it allows users to alert each other as to where law enforcement has been sighted. Traffic citations can not only be costly for commercial drivers, they can affect a driver’s livelihood.

  • Huge data base of truck parking- truck stops and rest areas
    With driver input TRELP can also do the following:
  • Additional allowed parking in shopping centers
  • Additional allowed parking in industrial centers
  • Additional allowed parking at shippers & receivers
  • Identify exact locations for loading/unloading areas for shippers & receivers
  • Do drivers need a lumper? Drivers can share info
  • Are drivers allowed early delivery? Drivers can share info

In sum, Trelp is a technology platform that is designed for drivers to help each other.
Trelp is a team of experienced truck drivers and software developers who collaborate with logistics managers to solve an ongoing issue in the industry that is the pillar of United States economy.
Trelp is currently available through the Google Play Store. Search for “Trelp.”
It is available for android smart phones only at this time. It plans to launch an IOS version soon.
Contact: Andrey Chabanov andrey@trelp.io (310) 351-2054

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RWIT brings trucking advocacy and education to GATS

Jul
26,
2017
0

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristine M. Gobbo
561-463-0777, Kristine@spectrum-pr.com

REAL Women in Trucking to Bring Advocacy, Education to the Great American Trucking Show

   

Great American Trucking Show

Great American Trucking Show Aug 24th-26th 2017

                                                                                               

LAKE WORTH, Fla. (July 26, 2017) – REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. (RWIT) will participate in its first trade show, the Great American Trucking Show, held August 24 – 26 in Dallas, Texas. RWIT is a grassroots, driver-led 501 (c) 6 trade organization formed by seasoned female commercial motor vehicle drivers, providing information and resources for fellow drivers, prospective CDL students, trucking executives and the non-trucking community to increase safety on the roadways.

“We’re excited to not only participate in our first show, but also provide much-needed advocacy and education for lady truckers and all commercial drivers. We are very grateful to our sponsors, Ackermann & Tilajef, P.C. and Truckers Justice Center, who have strong ties with the trucking industry and are true partners in increasing fairness and safety,” said Desiree Wood, Founder/President of RWIT.

Sponsored by Craig Ackermann Esq., founder of the California-based law firm, Ackermann & Tilajef, P.C., RWIT will host the “Ask a Lawyer – Q & A” for drivers. The session will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 25 and will be moderated by Wood. Expert attorneys on hand will include Paul Taylor and Peter Lavoie from Minnesota-based Truckers Justice Center and Steve Arenson from the New York City-based Arenson, Dittmar & Karman firm. They will address driver inquiries on a variety of topics, including sexual harassment, employment labor, lease violations, DAC reporters, misclassified drivers, and more. Questions can be asked anonymously, and anyone who cannot attend the event is encouraged submit questions in advance to info@realwomenintrucking.org. Seating is limited.

Ask A Lawyer

Ask A Lawyer Event at GATS 10am Room 150 C

RWIT’s booth number is 8052, located near OnRamp to Health and across from Operation Roger Pet Transport. The booth will provide information about the organization, significant recent legal cases that were won on behalf of truck drivers, as well as upcoming special events.

Sponsored by Truckers Justice Center, a specialization area for Taylor & Associates, Ltd., RWIT will also host the “Lady Trucker Panel Discussion” on the main exhibit floor stage at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 25. The panel will be moderated by RWIT Treasurer and longtime trucker, Idella Hansen. Panelists include Cheryl Bean, Cheryl Pollard, Christina Dills and Sonja Tucci, women truck drivers from different sectors of the industry. They will discuss pros and cons of the types of work they perform, and their concerns for the industry. Both the “Ask a Lawyer – Q & A” and “Lady Trucker Panel Discussion” sessions will be recorded for the RWIT YouTube Channel.

At the trade show booth, RWIT will raffle one VIP package per day to the Phoenix International Raceway – Camp Out in the Desert, which is held during NASCAR weekend in November, a $300.00 value, plus other giveaways, including the upcoming Lady Trucker Cruise. RWIT representative will also film two-minute lady truck driver “SPEAK YOUR MIND!” videos for the RWIT YouTube Channel.

In addition, Hansen is hosting the daily Idella’s Puppy Paradise for trucking dogs, after exhibit hours from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the TA/Petro Truck Parking Community at Fair Park.

For more information on RWIT and activities at the Great American Trucking Show, visit www.realwomenintrucking.com or email info@realwomenintrucking.org.

– RWIT –

About REAL Women in Trucking, Inc.:

REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. promotes safety by educating the public about unsafe truck driver training and has created a network of support for women entering trucking. The mission of REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. is to deliver highway safety through leadership, mentorship, education and advocacy.

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