Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

Health Insurance- How expensive is it?

PayPlans & Benefits Private health insurance plans at heavily reduced costs. 1-800-459-0962 for an assisted enrollment

Private health insurance plans at heavily reduced costs. 1-800-459-0962 for an assisted enrollment


One of the most well known sayings is, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything”

Before you go on reading the rest of this article, think about that for a moment.  Do you believe it?

During my 35 year+ Trucking career, I’ve watched ( and include myself) drivers place their health at the bottom of the priority list. The reasons were “time off” and “expense of policy”



1) Not taking the time to go to the doctor for fear that their time off will reduce their paycheck.  As we all know, when the wheels aren’t turning, there is no money!

2) Not taking out a health insurance policy because it is too expensive.  Although many company drivers are offered group health insurance, so many owner operators and independent contractors go without.
The reason again, “It’s too expensive”

The result?  Many times drivers pay for this decision either by an eventual life threatening illness, their career, or even death, as many drivers are found in their truck deceased from not taking care of an illness, many times because not even aware that it existed or just “couldn’t afford to see a doctor”

In this article, it is our goal to show that the majority of owner operators CAN AFFORD Health Insurance.
Update:  On November 5th, Trey Walker of PayPlans and Benefits was our special guest and explained how
Owner Operators CAN afford Private Health Insurance -Including low deductibles


Summary for Truck Driver Health:

truck driver healthAs everyone knows, we  have put driver health as one of our priorities on the AskTheTrucker “Live” internet radio show.  Every other Thursday night we offer a health show to educate and encourage those within the trucking industry.
Saturday shows remain dedicated to other trucking topics.
As part of our research regarding driver health, we discovered just how many truckers are going without health insurance.


The trucking industry itself is making a huge turn for the better also.
Drivers, Carriers, Driver organizations such as the Trucking Solutions Group. Trucking Shows such as GATS, and now even the government is taking the initiative to find ways to improve ones’ health.
Drivers are joining social media groups to learn more, Carriers are offering health incentives, and recently the FMCSA posted a health related announcement on their website in relation to the issue of health and wellness of drivers of commercial motor vehicles and the establishment of a driver wellness initiative.
You can read my Comment to the FMCSA here.
However, even with all these advances, drivers are still reluctant to purchase health insurance. The reason?

“I would purchase health insurance if it didn’t cost so much”

One of the most frustrating things I’ve heard, are owner operators who have tried to enroll for health care, but are then told that they are not qualified to receive the reduced payment rate allowed by law. In other words, they are told that “they make too much money”. Unfortunately, they were told wrong,….they did qualify!

After researching this further, we found out that MANY of those who are supposed to be assisting with O/O health care enrollment, have little knowledge about how to calculate the finances ( Adjusted Gross Income) and business model of a small trucking company, including a trucking company of one truck. #FAIL

Today I’d like everyone who is going without Health Insurance because they think “it’s too expensive” or that “they can’t afford it”, to please contact Pay Plans and Benefits (PP&B) and find out for yourself, even if you have been told before that you do not qualify for a reduced premium rate. PP&B understands the trucking industry and how to correctly calculate the allowed reduced rates for your private health insurance plans!

PP&B has specialized knowledge and assistance for getting independent contractors high quality private health insurance plans for greatly reduced prices. As a matter of fact,  enrollees are saving an average of 66% off of regular plan cost, many saving even more than that.

Below is an info-graphic which explains the 5 things you should know about Affordable Health Insurance.
Click on the info-graphic and it will tale you to the website for more info.
Or call  1-800-459-0962

You and your family CAN AFFORD Health Insurance.



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Dangers and Repercussions of Heavier and Larger Trucks

Commercial Vehicle Size and Weight Program

Commercial Vehicle Size and Weight Program Trucks entering weigh station for weight compliance check

The US Department of Transportation advised Congress not to change the current truck weight and size laws as the agency lacks much needed data to make clear assessments of the impact of any alterations.

The Under Secretary of transportation, Peter Rogoff, is reported to have said that there wasn’t sufficient data available from crash reports to evaluate a vehicle’s weight at the time it crashed; the data available could not help DOT to evaluate whether the trucks, at the time of the accident were fully loaded, at legal capacity for their axle configurations, running overweight, or had unevenly distributed weight.

The DOT issued the report to fulfil a requirement in 2012’s MAP-21 highway funding law, which required the DOT’s Federal Highway Administration to issue a report on the potential impacts on safety, infrastructure and freight movement if size and weight limits permitted larger, heavier trucks
MAP-21 Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study

Additionally, long-term maintenance costs of roads and bridges, because of heavier loads, could not be ascertained at the time. The effects of larger and heavier trucks on the Federal highway system are yet to be determined.


Federal Size Regulations for Commercial Motor Vehicles U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Federal Size Regulations for Commercial Motor Vehicles
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Federal Size Regulations for Commercial Motor Vehicles

Of course, there’s no denying that road transport, and the trucking industry in particular, is one of the major lifelines of any industrial development; transporting products from dockyards to warehouses, and from warehouses to stores across the nation. The trucking industry would obviously support better roads and infrastructure that support larger trucks with heavier loads, making the transportation of goods cheaper and more profitable.

While the ATA ,trucking company owners, and shippers are supporting larger trucks on the road, others, including the majority of truckers themselves are strongly against it. Drivers feel it’s just one more way to have more freight hauled without increased wage benefits for the CMV driver. Also, their concerns for adequate parking are also valid. Many of the truck parking spaces existing now are already too narrow and short.

Others opposed to increasing the weight and length of trucks include OOIDA, highway maintenance authorities, paramedical services, firefighters, and safety advocacy groups such as the Truck Safety Coalition

Many believe that there could be increased fatal consequences if larger and heavier trucks are allowed on the roads. Accidents could result in much worse fatalities, such as linking truck weights with such variables as braking distance along with the added weight and effect on truck stability or potential increase in roll-over, adding to the dangers. Still others go on to say that if a truck of such capacity was to hit a car, even at low speeds, it could result in no one surviving. Of course you could say that about a truck of 80,000 just as easily, but adding the other risk factors mentioned, it becomes a more serious and valid statement.

Another concern being raised by stakeholders is that while you may trust older, experienced drivers with larger and heavier trucks, young drivers who have little or no experience maybe more vulnerable to mishandling and causing fatal accidents.

Another question

The Department of Transportation is also concerned about the smaller roads. They believe that while some of the larger roads may be able to handle the load of heavier trucks, smaller city roads may deteriorate quicker and in turn, incur more maintenance costs.

The public has until Oct. 13 to provide feedback on the Federal Highway Administration’s 2015 study Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study.
Comments may be submitted and viewed at Docket No. FHWA-2014-0035. Click here to make a comment.


This notice announces a deadline for submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for consideration as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study Report to Congress. On June 5, 2015, DOT released for public comment and peer review the technical results of a comprehensive study of certain safety, infrastructure, and efficiency issues surrounding the Federal truck size and weight limits and the potential impacts of changing those limits. The DOT is now preparing a Report to Congress to conclude this study.

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Diesel fuels and diesel engines have changed significantly in recent years with some undesirable side-effects. This is especially true with ULSD and various blends of bio-fuels. Fleets, owner-operators, and others in the heavy-duty arena are well aware of these issues; new-generation fuel injectors with smaller orifices can clog easier, development of deposits can compromise lubricity and restrict fuel flow, and fuel gelling in cold weather.

PENRAY booth at GATS 2015 in Dallas, TX

PENRAY booth at GATS 2015 in Dallas, TX

Penray, a long-time supplier of fuel additives and cooling system products for the heavy-duty market, recently introduced a year-round product that addresses all of these issues. Penray POW-R 365® 5 in 1 Diesel Cleaner and Treatment cleans injectors improving fuel economy, enhances lubricity to prevent wear, prevents corrosion protecting engine components, lifts cetane for improved power/starts, and reduces CFPP to prevent gelling in cold climates.


First claim — cleans injectors and consequently improves fuel economy. Pow-R 365 contains a specific blend of surfactants (surface-active agents), which serve as detergents to clean away deposits. Diesel fuel, while it is a good solvent, only dissolves oily or waxy materials. Contaminants such as dirt, salt, and even water need the help of detergents to flush them out of the system. POW-R 365 incorporates the latest technology to provide more thorough cleaning than traditional products on the market. Clean injectors provide precise and consistent fuel spray patterns, which contribute to improved fuel economy.


Second claim — enhances lubricity to reduce wear. Fuel pumps and injectors contain moving parts that are subject to extremely high pressures and friction. These parts must move freely and still seal completely. Any wear or sticking can lead to big problems. Proper selection of lubricating additives is critical to prevent filter and injector plugging.


Third claim — protects against corrosion, thus protecting engine components. These same surfactants and lubricants, form a coating on the metal of the various fuel system components. This coating acts as a shield to prevent future formation of rust, corrosion, and other deposits.


Fourth claim — increased cetane for easier starts in all weather. One way to understand cetane is the functional opposite of octane for gasoline. Octane ratings refer to a gasoline’s resistance to ignition, until a spark sets it off. Cetane numbers on the other hand express how easily the fuel ignites without the need for a spark. The heat source in a diesel engine is primarily the compression of the incoming air. A cold metal engine can drain away this heat before it has a chance to ignite the fuel. Raising the cetane number of the fuel makes it easier to ignite at lower temperatures for quicker starts and less reliance on battery draining glow plugs.


Fifth claim — reducing the Cold Filter Plugging Point (CFPP) to prevent fuel from gelling in cold weather and blocking the fuel filter. Diesel fuel will develop wax crystals in cold weather, and when these crystals reach their “cloud point,” they form a thick, gooey gel. Penray developed a polymer blend for POW-R 365 inhibiting the growth of these crystals. It prevents gelling at temperatures as low as -10 degrees F, and reduces the Cold Filter Plug Point (CFPP) by as much as 20 degrees F. For climates that experience lower temperatures, Penray offers a separate anti-gel product that protects against gelling in the coldest climates.

So does POW-R 365 live up to its name? Absolutely and it is packaged for “one bottle one truck,” so double dosing is not a concern. In addition, Penray stands behind this product with a money back guarantee.

It’s certainly worth a try…  WATCH THE VIDEO!!

Penray POW-R 365® 5 in 1 Diesel Cleaner and Treatment

Penray POW-R 365® 5 in 1 Diesel Cleaner and Treatment

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Safety Fines Used to Track States’ Workplace Incidents

Posted on by
Rod Rehm- Senior Member of Rehm, Bennett & Moore Attorneys At Law, P.C., L.L.O.

Rod Rehm- Senior Member of
Rehm, Bennett & Moore Attorneys At Law, P.C., L.L.O.


Safety Fines Used to Track States’ Workplace Incidents

The U.S. Department of Labor Blog recently released a resource that encourages the continued discussion of workers’ compensation and safety in the workplace.

This blog post from the Labor Department features a safety-fine map that tracks “the number of workplace health and safety investigations that have led to high fines.” The tracking starts with January of 2015, and the cases are supposed to be updated weekly. All the states, whether administered through OSHA or an OSHA-approved state plan, are included.

I wish they would provide more context as to how $40,000 was considered the “high penalty” starting point, but they have to start somewhere, and it is an easy-to-understand measure of how a state stacks up within this category. You can also get more information on each specific situation by clicking on the inspection number provided.

Trucker Lawyers are one of a select number of A-Rated law firms recognized by Martindale-Hubbell in the field of workers’ compensation and personal injury.

As of August 2015, Nebraska had two incidents: Affordable Exteriors of Elkhorn (in March) fined $75,240 and MP Global Products of Norfolk (in January) fined $54,000. Iowa had four incidents: Behr of Mason City (in January) fined $57,150; U.S. Postal Service in Des Moines (in March) fined $49,500; United Sugars in Mason City (in April) fined $68,600; and Sunrise Farms in Harris (in May) fined $227,500.

States that surround Iowa and Nebraska had the following numbers so far: Missouri: 13; Kansas: 7; Colorado: 4; Wyoming, 5; South Dakota, 1; Minnesota, 2; Wisconsin, 14; and Illinois: 38.

Since the information is a statistical snapshot at a moment of time, it may seem arbitrary, but it also shows a continued problem with workplace safety. And these were only the businesses in a handful of states that got caught and were imposed fines greater than $40,000. Just think about the challenges that may exist for workers at businesses that don’t get inspected or aren’t on OSHA’s radar until a worker is injured or killed doing their job.

As we come up to Labor Day, members of the firm will continue to advocate for workers and promote discussion of worker safety, OSHA inspections, and holding businesses accountable for injured workers. Have a safe and productive week

Rod Rehm is the senior member of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, P.C., L.L.O. He has been practicing law since 1973 with experience in a wide variety of trial oriented cases. Early in his career, he worked as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. He was a founding board member of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore and Trucker Lawyers are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Six attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 90 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska and Iowa in state-specific workers’ compensation systems. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

888-857-0674 (Toll Free)

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Jason’s Law – USDOT truck parking survey leads to pledge & National Coalition on Truck Parking


USDOT ‘Jason’s Law’ Survey Reaffirms Nationwide Truck Parking Needs

In 2009 Hope Rivenburg, the young widow of murdered trucker Jason Rivenburg, vowed to change the perils of the  truck parking shortage by standing up and fighting for legislation, allowing more safe truck parking.

Hope Rivenburg is honored and the first to sign the Pledge and Commitment of the newly formed National Coalition on Truck Parking August 21st 2015

August 21st 2015 Hope Rivenburg is honored and is the first to sign the Pledge and Commitment, addressing the safety and improvement of truck parking, followed by the Deputy Secretary and the newly formed National Coalition on Truck Parking

People everywhere, including trucking, said the possibility for a bill to pass creating funding for more parking could not be accomplished. Her relentless struggle has proved them wrong.




There were many obstacles along the way, as are so many worth while causes, and she could have easily given up, but she didn’t. She not only didn’t give up, but Hope was able to rally the trucking community around her to ensure the goal of federal funding for more safe truck parking.
The murder of Hope’s trucker husband, Jason Rivenburg, was vowed not to be in vain.

The day long awaited for… The results of the DOT Truck Parking Survey
Friday August 21, 2015,  an exciting, satisfying, and emotional day for Hope Rivenburg, who was the focal point of the truck parking survey announcement and signing a pledge of commitment and support in Washington DC. The newly created National Coalition on Truck Parking and DOT reps, had their official briefing and truck parking commitment to support the need for more truck parking. Hope Rivenburg, DOT reps and stakeholder groups all openly signed the pledge, forming the newly created National Coalition on Truck Parking.

Participating in the announcement were federal Department of Transportation representatives: Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez, Federal Highway Safety Administrator Gregory Nadeau and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Acting Administrator Scott Darling, all agreeing that if it wasn’t for Hope Rivenburg none of this would have ever happened.

The official signing represented the pledge and commitment to resolve and address the safety of our highways, especially our nations truck drivers. The announcement and outward display supported the results of the national truck-parking survey authorized by the MAP-21 highway bill.

The “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” Act (MAP-21) required the USDOT to conduct the survey to determine if adequate parking is available for truck drivers based on the level of commercial traffic in the state. Along with state departments of transportation, the USDOT surveyed safety officials, truckers and truck stop operators, and other trucking industry stakeholders.
See more at:

Stakeholders expected to be very active in the newly formed coalition include FHWA, FMCSA the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Trucking Associations, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Video of Jason’s Law Truck Parking Announcement, Signing, and Pledge

The 6 year Jason’s Law Time line

There have been many supporters of Jason’s Law, including Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY)  who first introduced the bill Jason Law to the house on April 28th 2009.
The movement for more safe truck parking  spread throughout the trucking community, leading up to a series of National Call in Days to Washington Senators and Congressman.

Jasons Law Day of Recognition and Call to Action June 28th
Grass Roots Movement for Jasons Law opens Senate Committee Doors
The Crusade for Jasons Law and Safe Truck Parking Continues
Truckers Unite for 2nd National Call in day for Jasons Law
2011 National Call in Day For Jason’s Law Set For June 23rd

Jason's Law Truck Parking Survey

Jason’s Law Truck Parking Survey

Hopes’ courageous quest and fearlessness continued even though the naysayers, ironically, many of whom were supporters, just not believers, continued. I remember one gentleman in particular,  a strong supporter of Jason’s Law and extremely active in trucking issues, emphatically said to me privately, “ It will never happen, you need lobbyists and deep pockets to get things done in Washington. Politicians want to know, “what’s in it for me” ”

So without deep pockets, but instead a burning desire and memory of her murdered husband and the 3 children (all under 3) that were left behind, Hope Rivenburg did her own lobbying, and on her dime, knocking on doors in Washington explaining Jason’s Law, her story, and the vision to save trucker lives by allowing them a safe haven to rest.



Hope Rivenburg- Winner of the 2011 "Making a Differnce Award"

Hope Rivenburg- Winner of the “Making a Difference Award” at the 2011 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

By now, Hope Rivenburg had the support of thousands, and in 2011 she was awarded the “Making a Difference Awardat the First Truck Driver Social Media Convention. .
Watch the video of Hope Rivenburg Receiving her award





Although momentum continued to grow, there were still many who said that getting Jason’s Law passed would be an impossible goal, however in 2012 Jason’s Law and the need for more safe truck parking was included as part of MAP 21, Section 1401 of the Transportation Bill. It was labeled a priority. It was a victory.

Victory for Hope Rivenburg and Truckers- Jason’s Law in 2012 Transportation Bill

“The purpose of Section 1401 of MAP-21, more popularly known as “Jason’s Law,” was to address the commercial motor vehicle parking shortage at public and private facilities along the National Highway
System (NHS)

Jason’s Law directed the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct a survey and a comparative assessment to,

p vi ( 6 0f 180) Executive Summary

1.Evaluate the capability of each State to provide adequate parking and rest facilities for commercial motor vehicles engaged in Interstate transportation;
2.Assess the volume of commercial motor vehicle traffic in each State
3.Develop a system of metrics to measure the adequacy of commercial motor vehicle parking facilities in each State.”

Hope Rivenburg however, did not want to wait for the  authorized Map 21 Federal Parking Study to be conducted, so she gathered a group of passionate and knowledgeable people shortly after the authorized DOT study was included in the Transportation bill. They aided her in conducting her OWN truck parking the survey.   Special thanks to Desiree Wood who dedicated hundreds of hours aiding in the design, gathering of data, results and conclusions.
The survey and results were meticulous and detailed, so much so, that they were given to the DOT and were included in their Federal truck parking survey p 3 Jason’s Law Movement

Hope Rivenburg Truck Parking Survey Results

Then, On June 26th 2014, 30 year old OTR trucker Michael Boeglin of Ferdinand, Ind. was shot and killed in his truck as he parked at an abandoned building waiting to pick up a load from the nearby ThyssenKrupp steel plant.
Trucker shooting rekindles plea to officials for more Safe Truck Parking

A radio show on AskTheTrucker ‘Live, “Truck Parking Shortage- Drivers at Risk,”  soon followed the death of Michael Boeglin.  Hope Rivenburg, Desiree Wood, widow Ashley Boeglin, and David Clark discussed Michael and Jasons murders and the need for more safe truck parking.

In the words of Hope Rivenburg at the August 21st announcement of the DOT Jason’s Law survey results and National Coalition on Truck Parking,

” ….  There have been many drivers killed before Jason and many since Jason due to the lack of truck parking… we have educated the general public and gained support for safe truck parking. As we finish this step of the process, I look forward to the next step to correct this problem.” ….Hope Rivenburg

 Please Show your support and appreciation to Hope Rivenburg
Hope Rivenburg is a single mom of three and has paid her own expenses.  She has made multiple trips a year to DC and continues to speak with numerous  agencies and trucking advocacy organizations.  Your generous support is appreciated.
Send your contribution to Jason’s Law, PO Box 121, Fultonham, NY 12017.

The Truth About Trucking network, including and AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ on Blog Talk Radio, have been supporting and reporting Jason’s Law since 2009. There are numerous articles on this website which follow the timeline of events, including the struggles which Hope Rivenburg endured in order to ensure that the Truck Parking Shortage would make national awareness and eventually be resolved. It has. Thank you Hope Rivenburg, an inspiration to so many.

Radio shows on AskTheTrucker “Live” -Jason’s Law:

May 17th 2009 Jason’s Law HR 2156
Feb 19, 2010 … Congressman Paul Tonko on Jason’s Law 02/18 by Aubrey Allen …
August 19, 2010  When the Big Rigs Don’t Roll –
Nov 4, 2010 Hope Rivenburg joins us in the first segment for an update discussion on the recent New York State rest area closings protest
Jun 2, 2011 Jason’s Law Update with Congressman Paul Tonko
Sep 13, 2012 Congressman Paul Tonko explains truck parking funding
Jul 16, 2014 …
Truck Parking Shortage: Drivers at Risk

Radio Shows on the Women Truckers Network- Jason’s Law

Feb 27, 2013  Improving Jason’s Law: Identifying Shippers and Receivers
Apr 9, 2013   2013 Truck Parking Survey: Hope Rivenburg

Article Searches on

Jasons Law
truck parking
Hope Rivenburg
Jason Rivenburg





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Truckers and their trucks – Instruments for suicide



One of the dark secrets that you may not hear about very often are the stories about the truckers and their trucks who have been the unfortunate chosen targets used as the means to end another ones life.

As suicide rates continue to rise, the ways to end ones life become more complex and creative. Waiting for a semi truck to hit you is one of those ways.

People who commit suicide usually devise a plan that will be “quick and painless” Most desire to “end their suffering” not create more. For decades people have been jumping in front of trains, trucks, and sometime cars, in order to achieve their desire to “end it all”. We often wonder what drives a person to this point? And what about the trucker or engineer or automobile driver who lives with the graphic memory, watching another human being use his/her truck, car or auto as the instrument to achieve their death.

Carolyn Magner of Overdrive Magazine has done a 4 part series on this topic, sharing the stories of both the people who chose to commit suicide, and the truckers lives that have been forever changed because they were the chosen means to an end.

Saturday night we have as our special guest on AskTheTrucker ‘Live’, the author of the 4 part series Suicide by Truck, Carolyn Magner.

We will look into the minds of those driven to such desperate and extreme acts of self destruction, as well as the other victims they leave behind, the truckers.

Join us Saturday August 22nd at 6PM ET.

Call in number 347-826-9170

“Suicide by Truck and the truckers who survive”

Call in and share your thoughts about this topic, whether it be an opinion, or your own personal experience or even near experience of “Suicide by Truck”. 347-826-9170

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The Keys to Maximize Owner Operator Success and Profits


In an ideal world, carriers, shippers and freight brokers would all be working well together making sure that all are fairly compensated for the roles they play in moving freight across the country. Unfortunately that’s not what happens, and there are a variety of reasons.

Brooke Transportation Training Solutions, LLC

Brooke Transportation Training Solutions, LLC

FACT: Shippers, Freight Brokers and Carriers are needed to ship freight from point A to point B. There are many who would argue that only Shippers and Carriers are needed, however, many others strongly believe that customers and carriers would not have the immediate resources nor the manpower to keep things operating efficiently if not for honest and knowledgeable freight brokers:

  • 75% of the loads are moved by brokers.

In either case, it is essential that Carriers and Freight Brokers have a complete understanding of Trucking Logistics in order to be able to operate efficiently and ethically. If not, they could be setting themselves up for either vulnerability, blame, suspicion, deception, or even failure.

  • Below are what we believe are the major causes for either the limited success of Owner Operators or possible failure:

1) A lack of understanding of the Trucking Industry and Logistics (for both Carrier and Broker)
2) Lack of business skills to make educated decisions, thus compromising their ability to maximize profits.
3) Unethical business tactics by either shipper, carrier or broker.

For this article we will be addressing categories 1 and 2. As far as #3, one reason people operate an unethical business is due to the lack lack of business understanding, thus resulting in desperation, deceit and sometimes even fraud, but for now, I will leave that topic for others to discuss.

  • Roles and Responsibility

Carriers – It is the responsibility of the carriers to understand the synergy among brokers, shippers, and carriers. Carriers must understand their own business model as well as industry logistics itself, not just “avoiding” cheap freight, but understanding what constitutes a load as being classified as “cheap freight.” They must understand how to choose a broker who is honest, ethical, and will work for them. A Brokerage is basically a carriers sales force, by keeping them loaded vs. having to constantly seek loads on a regular basis, while they also are providing reliable service for their customer, the shipper.

Brokers – A good Broker does their homework and are professionals asking carriers what they need. They understand their lanes, their equipment, and become partners with them towards the same goal which is moving freight and focusing on a successful business relationship. Brokers need to focus on carrier shipper relationships and fine tune their industry knowledge and skills, negotiating fair deals for all involved in the transactions. Brokers and agents do not “take money away from carriers.” They provide a service for their shipping customers and the carriers involved in the logistics of the transaction.

Shippers – Lets face it, shippers are in business to make money and their goal is to move freight at the lowest possible price. It’s not their job to make sure the carrier is making a profit, that’s the carriers responsibility. It’s also not their responsibility to make sure that the broker is treating the carrier fairly, that’s the broker and carriers job. Another thing to keep in mind is that the role of a good Freight Broker is NOT to find the shipper the cheapest possible carrier to move their freight but rather to establish a relationship with a reliable carrier and to get the shippers to pay what the haul is actually worth.

  • With all this being said, what are the Solutions to:

1) Increasing Owner Operator profits and Success
2) Ensuring Freight Brokers and Agents maintain successful and profitable Customer Relationships for all those involved.


Going back to the early part of this article, stating the major causes for either limited success for Owner Operators or worse than that, failure, we confirm that the following 2 reasons are most responsible for this outcome.

1) A lack of understanding of the Trucking Industry and Logistics
2) The need for additional business skills, creating the ability to make better and more informed decisions, thus maximizing profits.

In order for Owner Operators to successfully run their business they must understand their business and the Logistics of the trucking industry. Many professional drivers seem to “blame” another segment of the industry for their inability to be successful. Too many believe that just having “years of experience” within trucking, will be sufficient when making the leap as a highly profitable Business Owner. For some it is enough, and they do well. For others it is not. And even for those who are already highly successful, additional education has been able to take them to the next level.

After researching and then speaking extensively with Jeff Roach of Brooke Transportation Training, we believe their Program is among the most complete, informative, and of the Highest Quality of Training available. Eighty Percent of their Schools’ students are Carriers and Owner Operators. Mr. Roaches’ passion for the trucking industry, includes his positive vision to see the success of others,  evident in his statements to us:

“I have been fortunate to meet drivers who attend my career school for freight brokers and agents. …I can honestly say the driver does all the work and gets the least amount of respect. I want every small carrier out there considering this business to know the truth.” Jeff Roach- Brooke Transportation Training

“My students are not anti broker – they are anti crooked people.”

A quote Mr Roach lives by from Zig Zigler:

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

For those of who would like to ensure your success and maximize profitability as an Owner Operator by extending your knowledge and abilities, we highly recommend Brooke Transportation Training.

Course Benefits for all segments of the Transportation Industry

  • Heighten your knowledge and thus your success as an owner operator by understanding in detail all aspects the Transportation Industry; Even if you are already successful, it will take you to the next level.
  • Choosing the right Freight Broker
  • Know what loads to accept and those to turn down.
  • Learn how to add a Freight brokerage to your trucking company
  • Become a Freight Broker or Freight Agent
  • Freight Brokers and Agent who would like to have an expanded understanding of the Freight Brokering industry and ultimately increase sales.

Partial List of Student Benefits

  • Choosing an ethical and legitimate broker
  • Becoming an ethical and legitimate broker
  • Becoming the kind of Carrier or Broker who is sought after
  • Understanding the trucking industry logistics in DETAIL:
    rating, dispatch, claims management, billing, AP, AR, Collections,Sales, Marketing, Legal, Staffing, MAP 21,
  • Trends effecting the industry- where it is today and where it’s going?
    Understanding current origin and destination rates
    Become educated about the market including the cargo, demand and availability

AVAILABLE On-site Courses via Brooke Transportation Training Solutions

  • Available online Freight Broker/ Agent Courses:
  • Learn the skills you need to be a successful Freight Broker/Agent. This is a growing industry of licensed individuals or corporations that help make a shipper and an authorized motor carrier successful in the transporting of freight. This online certificate program is offered in partnership with major colleges, universities, and other accredited education providers.Understand the process of freight brokering from start to finish
  • Have the tools needed to be successful as a freight broker or freight agent
  • Learn the basics of day-to-day operations of a brokerage or agency
  • Use techniques such as prospecting, sales and marketing, rating, and negotiations
  • Be able to manage a shipment from origin to destination
  • Gain valuable industry resources

Other Career Options

Brooke Transportation Training School, in partnership with ed2go, offers online open enrollment programs designed to provide the skills necessary to acquire professional level positions for many in-demand occupations:

Read the Student Testimonials  

Contact Jeff Roach

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Truckers’ call for higher wages gains momentum

 Saturday Night onAskTheTrucker 'Live' - Features Drivers Calling Higher Trucker Wages

Saturday Night on AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ – Featured Drivers Calling for Higher Truck Driver Wages

On Saturday July 18th, the AskTheTrucker “Live” broadcast took on a display of unity and passion from trucking industry professional drivers which had not been sensed in a long time. The topic was truck drivers wages. The call was for unity among drivers.

The Saturday night broadcast was an open forum format, which basically means the listening audience gets to bring up the discussions. The scheduled suggested topics to be covered were to range from 11 focused industry issues and concerns listed below.

As we opened up the lines and answered to the first caller, owner operator Jerry Fritz, the next 2 hours would not go beyond the first topic of driver wages. All following callers continued to remain on this topic. Mr. Fritz is a veteran driver and has an enormous knowledge of the transportation industry.

Transportation Veteran Jerry Fritz of American Overland Freight

Transportation Veteran Jerry Fritz of American Overland Freight

1)  Truck Driver Wages – Will Drivers be paid for ALL their time? There’s a bill for that!!

2) Changing trucking classification to “Skilled Labor?” What would that mean for truck drivers and for the trucking industry ?

3) What is The Motor Carrier Exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and how does it affect drivers?

4) Will trucking open the doors to those under 21 to drive interstate?

5) The ELD deadline is expected to be this September for the final rule and then enforced by 2017

6) A new rule for a Speed Limiter Proposal?

7) Longer/Heavier Trucks – Will this be coming down the pike?
How will this affect our infrastructure? Highway safety? Driver Wages? Driver Training?

8) Testing Hair for drugs instead of the standard Urine testing?

9) Doubling the Liability Insurance from 750,000 to 1.5 million? Is this really necessary?

10) And How about the FMCSA’s ELD committee establishing new CDL training standards? What will be done to improve standards?

11) And finally, Will CSA scores be removed from public view? The debate continues!
a) methodology b) accuracy to predict crashes

Discussions opened up with driver wages from the 70’s and 80’s and how they compare to today wages. As the show progressed it was determined that one of the main reasons (and there were others) that driver wages have remained stagnant for so long is partially due to the drivers themselves. Their acceptance and tolerance of believing that it’s just “the way things are” has created a mentality of disillusionment, hopelessness and at times victimization.

Another reason for low driver wages is the industry itself. One example is the fact that drivers are used as pawns in the negotiations of freight bidding wars. Mr Fritz explains this and much more as he opens up with his dialogue of “TRUCKING: Then and Now.”

As the show continued, other callers joined in, including Pat Hockaday of, who has also written in depth about driver wages and the solutions to better pay.

By the end of the show, it was unanimously agreed upon, that one main action would need to be taken in order to accomplish better wages for professional drivers.

Listen carefully to the replay:

Saturday Night AskTheTrucker ‘Live’ – Trucking Open Forum

Check Out Current Events Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Aubrey Allen Smith on BlogTalkRadio

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Attorney for Blacklisted Trucker wins case versus Mega Carrier



Attorney Paul Taylor of Truckers Justice Cente

Attorney Paul Taylor of Truckers Justice Center

“A win for the good guys.” says attorney Paul Taylor of Truckers Justice Center, as he shares his enthusiasm after winning yet another case for a professional driver, this time it was  trucker Brian Ford V. New Prime, Inc.

Judge Lystra Harris of the US Dept. of Labor found that New Prime, Inc illegally blacklisted  professional driver Brian Ford by putting an abandonment notation of his DAC Report.


Brian had become injured at work and was prescribed a narcotic pain killer. Prime’s affiliate, Success Leasing, terminated Brian’s lease after he informed them that he could not drive due to the medication. Prime then put an abandonment notation on Brian’s DAC Report.

Judge Harris ordered Prime to pay Mr. Ford back pay of $9,600 and $10,000 in mental pain, plus interest. Prime was also ordered to pay attorney fees and expenses to the firm Truckers Justice Center, representing Mr Ford in the case.
Prime was also ordered to post a copy of the decision at its facilities for 90 days.  Read more

 “It is also satisfying to obtain justice for a truck driver, particularly when a big trucking company like Prime does him dirty.”  Paul Taylor


United States Dept of Labor

United States Dept of Labor

Page 1  U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Administrative Law Judges
2 Executive Campus, Suite 450
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
(856) 486-3800 (856) 486 3806 (FAX)

 Issue Date: 13 July 2015 Case No.: 2014-STA-00025




Prosecuting Party




This case arises out of a complaint of retaliation filed pursuant to the employee protection provisions of Section 31105 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (“STAA” or “the Act”), 49 U.S.C. § 31105, and its implementing regulations found at 29 C.F.R. Part 1978 (2013).

Brian Ford (“Complainant”) alleged that his former employer, New Prime, Inc. (“Respondent”) retaliated against him in November 2008, after he discovered that Respondent provided a report that he had abandoned a loaded vehicle to U.S. Investigation Services, Inc. (“USIS”) which resulted in an unfavorable notation on his Drive-A Check (“DAC”) Report.
Complainant alleged that the USIS report was made in response to his refusal to drive a commercial vehicle to Springfield, Missouri from South Carolina and his reporting of a back injury which impaired his ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle.
Page 22                                 ORDER

Based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

  1. Respondent shall pay to Complainant compensatory damages the sum of $9,600 in back pay, covering the period from July 1, 2009 to August 31, 2009
  2. Respondent shall pay Complainant prejudgment interest in the amount of $384 on the back pay award, in accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 6621(a)(2).
  3. Respondent shall pay Complainant post judgment interest on his back pay award, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6621(a)(2). This interest shall compound quarterly until the company satisfies the back pay award in accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 6621(a)(2).
  4. Respondent shall pay to Complainant the sum of $10,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress.
    Read entire U.S. Department of Labor case No. 2014-STA-00025

Mr Taylor has recently started a series of YouTube videos, educating drivers about their rights.
These and other helpful videos can also be viewed on Trucking Social Media’s video Section

Paul Taylor”
Truckers Justice Center
900 W. 128th Street, Suite 100
Burnsville, Minnesota 55337
Tel. No. 651-454-5800

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Trucking Solutions Group provides free health screenings at GATS Health Pavilion




Trucking Solutions Group

As the trucking industry becomes more aware of the need for improved truck driver health, professional drivers themselves are taking it upon themselves to become more aware and accountable of their health and the inevitable consequences that can result from: poor eating habits and harmful dietary intake, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and maintaining optimal weight.

One group in particular who has stepped up to take the lead when addressing health issues of truck drivers is the Trucking Solutions Group (TSG), led by chairman Rick Ash.  This year they are taking it even one step further by creating the Landstar Health Pavilion at the Great American Trucking Trucking Show (GATS) taking place this Aug 27th-29th in Dallas Texas.

Great American Trucking Shoe

Great American Trucking Show Aug 27th-29th 2015

TSG and and Randall- Reilly ( Owners of GATS) are working closely to provide free health screenings for attendees of this years’ truck show.

Those attending the show will be able to check their height, weight, BMI (Body Mass Index), blood pressure, Glucose, Cholesterol and HDL and kidney function including a consult with medical professionals

In addition there will be diabetes education, nutritional screening, chiropractic nerve assessment, eye acuity testing and the ability to “Ask a Pharmacist”.

Also, for the fifth straight year the Trucking Solutions Group will be conducting its annual blood drive.

Trucking Solutions Group Blood Drive

Trucking Solutions Group Blood Drive

Make It Happen USA will also be joining TSG and the Health Pavilion, conducting their bone marrow donor registration drive.

For the first time at a major trucking show there will be a mobile mammogram unit to provide mammograms for those wishing to avail themselves of this valuable screening.



Make It Happen USA  stem-cell/bone marrow registry

Make It Happen USA
stem-cell/bone marrow registry

On May 13, 2015 the Trucking Solutions Group announced the creation of a driver led grassroots effort to raise money to fund mammograms for CDL holders attending this years’ Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Tx. who do not have insurance. The cost of each mammogram is $300 and the group is accepting donations of any denomination. Those desiring to donate can do so in two ways:




1) The group has created a fundraising page GATS Mammogram Fundraiser for the event through GoFundMe.

GATS Mammogram

Mammogram Can Be A Life Saver Courtesy

Those who desire to contribute to this humanitarian effort are asked to visit the page by clicking on the above links. There is no minimum donation, ALL donations are appreciated.
2) St. Christopher Fund – Mammogram
PO Box 30763
Knoxville, Tn. 37930

As time draws near, we anticipate sharing the Health Pavilion Schedule as it becomes available.

We look forward to seeing you at GATS and the Health Pavilion.


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