Posts Tagged “OOIDA”

Des Moines Truck Brokers: It is Time Truckers are Treated as Partners

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DSCN3878+1As the federal government continues to pile rules and regulations on interstate trucking it is time shippers start treating truckers as partners.  Times are rapidly changing in a world of cyberspace.

Jimmy DeMatteis is president of Des Moines Truck Brokers, Inc. (DMTB) of Norwalk, IA, that bills itself as “Iowa’s first and most nationally recognized third party logistics company.”  Like it or not, DeMatteis says the day is coming when businesses are going to have to change the way they deal with the trucking industry or begin facing the consequences of government penalties.

“If you do anything to coerce these guys to go against the rules, hours of service, etc., they (the government) can issue severe penalties” that he notes can start at $2500 and go up to $25,000 for repeat offenders.

An example of these changing times comes with the implementation of e-logs.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued its final rule last December requiring the use of electronic logs in all 2000 and newer trucks in interstate commerce.  The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has filed a Petition for Review citing the rule as an intrusion into the rights of professional truckers and an invasion of a driver’s right to privacy.

DMTB arranges thousands of refrigerated produce and other fresh foods each year.

“There will be fines so you (shippers) have got to be careful telling motor carriers to get to their appointments, while the guy is still waiting to load at a dock.  If you do anything to coerce these guys to go against the rules, hours of service, etc, they (government) can issue severe penalties.  You can wait at a dock six to eight hours, and they tell the driver you have to have a load delivered in an unreasonable amount of time,” DeMatteis says.  “You can’t do that anymore.”

The DMTB executive notes a down side to e-logs are many truckers feel they will make less money because of running fewer miles.

“Shippers and brokers have to be educated it is not business as usual.  If you want good carriers it’s time to start treating them as partners.  Carriers have always been blamed for everything and it is really inefficient shipping,,” he states.

DeMatteis calls for government to spend more time making trucking more efficient.   “Instead, they too often take the adversarial route and treat everyone like an outlaw.  The outlaws aren’t out there anymore.”

Continuing, he adds, “I want the carriers to survive.  Shippers need to be more honest, efficient and accurate with shipping schedules and get the trucks out when they say they are going to get them out.”


James A. DeMatteis starting hauling produce in 1951.  As a small fleet owner in 1963 he became a broker of exempt commodities.  This eventually evolved in 1969 into DMTB.  The company was a one man operation until Jimmy DeMatteis joined in 1984.  The third party logistics provider operates in 48 states, Canada and Mexico.  It delivered over 10,000 loads last year, with over 98 percent of the deliveries being on time.

According to the DMTB website:  “Our reputation on paying carriers fast is second to none.  Its claims ratio is less than one half of one percent over the past five years.”

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California CARB is Requiring Stricter Rules for Trucks

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DSCN4625California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) issued regulatory guidance last week stating the state is cleared to enforce elements of its emissions regulations  requiring truck and trailer owners to install aerodynamic add-on devices and use certain tires.

A ruling by the Environmental Protection Agency gives the go ahead for CARB to enforce areo add-on requirements on 1011-2013 year-model tractors and integrated sleepers, plus with trailer equipment.

CARB’s guidance issuance comes two months after the EPA issued California a waiver allowing it to enforce in full its greenhouse gas regulations.

The rule went into effect in January 2010 and requires the use of SmartWay-verified tires and other SmartWay-verified equipment on all new trucks and trailers.

CARB had only been enforcing the rule for 2010 and earlier model trucks and trailers  However, the EPA’s Clean Air Act had preempted state regulations.

In June 2013, CARB asked EPA for a waiver of the preemption, which would allow it to enforce the GHG regs for 2011-2013 year model trucks and 2011 and later trailers.

The equipment required by CARB are verified by the EPA to improve fuel economy and therefore reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Both the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and Owner Operator-Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) had released statements in August stating their opposition to enforcement of the rule, but for different reasons.

Meanwhile, it appears more owner operators and small fleet owners are refusing to truck in California for economic reasons and in some cases in opposition to mounting and intrusive regulations.


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OOIDA is Partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) in their efforts to stop one of the nation’s most heinous and fastest growing crimes – human trafficking.

TAT is a nonprofit organization that educates, equips and mobilizes members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking. The Department of Justice estimates that 100,000 to 300,000 of America’s youth are at risk of becoming victims of the sex trade industry each year.

“Their efforts are important in so many ways, and we have been glad to help spread their messages to our members,” said OOIDA president Jim Johnston. “We are proud to strike an official partnership with them and continue that outreach through social media, a direct link from our website homepage, and other channels.”

OOIDA hands out TAT wallet cards from its headquarters and keeps them on hand on the association’s tour truck, “The Spirit of the American Trucker.”

“Often, visiting members have asked for stacks of them to hand out to other drivers they meet out on the road,” said Johnston.

The TAT organization works with the FBI, truck stops, law enforcement agencies and other groups in their battle to stop the despicable crime of human trafficking.

“By partnering with organizations like OOIDA, we can educate those who are likely to encounter victims of trafficking, recognize the signs and know what to do,” said Kendis Paris, national director of TAT. “Oftentimes, just calling 911 doesn’t get consistent results because not all law enforcement have been trained about human trafficking. That’s why calling the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is vitally important, so that those tips end up in the hands of anti-trafficking deputies who will investigate them. Callers can remain anonymous, and it’s ok if they are wrong about a situation observed. We want people to feel comfortable calling.”

The NHTRC number is 1-888-3737-888.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.

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Is Mexican Truck Pilot Program Falling Apart?

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Is the Mexican truck border program falling apart?  If so, that would be music to the ears of many, if not the majority in the trucking industry.  On the other hand, produce shippers and others will not be too happy.

As reported here on August 23rd, a federal audit would be coming soon on the cross-border pilot program involving Mexican based trucking companies being allowed to operate in the USA.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimated that 46 Mexican carriers would participate in the three-year pilot program.  The feds were planning to conduct 4,100 inspections during this time.  However, only four Mexican trucking companies have participated, involving only four trucks and five drivers.  A total of 89 inspections have been conducted by the FMCSA.  Ouch!

The controverisal program has created some strange bedfellows in trucking.  For example the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters seldom agree on much of anything.  However, they’ve tightly held hands fighting this issue based around fears that a flood of Mexican trucks in the USA will drive down freight rates, many of which are not much different from 20 years ago.  There also are concerns by owner operators over safety issues with Mexican equipment and lack of training among Mexican drivers.

Meanwhile produce shippers and others favoring Mexican trucking access to USA markets like the idea of greater competition leading to lower freight rates.

If the pilot program falls apart, with few Mexican trucking companies interested in participating, some produce shippers are concerned the Mexican government will re-implement tariffs of everything from apples to pears and potatoes – with some tariffs being as high as 20 percent.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), under which this pilot program is operating, requires the USA to permit cross-border trucking.  However, legal challenges over the years by American carrier groups have prevented Mexican trucks from operating north of the border for over 10 years.



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Audit Report is Coming on Mexican Trucking Program

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Within the next month USA transportation officials anticipate an audit report on the trucking pilot program with Mexico.  While U.S. produce industry shippers may be anxious because thereport could be negative, they fear it could lead to another round of retaliatory tariffs by Mexico.

At the same time some trucking groups in the USA hope this is exactly what happens.  Not necessarily retailitory tariffs by the Mexicans, but they are strongly opposed to Mexican truckers having free access to USA markets with poorly trained drivers and subpar equipment, compared to American standards — not to mentions concerns freights were plummet.

The apple, pear and cherry industries in the Northwest has paid tens of millions of dollars during the three years that Mexico imposed 20% tariffs.

The North American Free Trade Act requires the U.S. to allow cross-border trucking.  However, opposition by U.S. trucking unions – including the Teamsters  and trade organizations – such as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, OOIDA, has kept the Mexican trucks out for more than a decade after the act went into effect in 1994. The trucking interests cited safety concerns with Mexican trucking equipment and drivers.

Despite lobbying efforts and some congressional roadblocks, the pilot program finally gained approval from President Obama and his Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon in July 2011.  The first Mexican truck came into the U.S. in October 2011.

However, only six Mexican carriers — each with one truck approved for the program — are participating in the pilot program.

One requirement built into the pilot program is that the DOT be able to document the safety of the Mexican trucks and drivers with “statistically valid” data. Powers said that could be a difficult task because of the low participation numbers.



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Senate Bill has “Big Brother” Mandate

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(Grain Valley, Mo., April 25, 2012) – Despite being previously struck down by a federal court, a costly and unnecessary mandate has been included in the U.S. Senate’s highway surface transportation funding legislation.

U.S. truckers see it as the last thing a struggling trucking industry needs right now and want to see it removed from the bill.

 A provision in S.1813, also known as MAP-21, requires all long-haul trucks to be outfitted with electronic on-board recorders, or EOBRs, capable of real-time tracking for monitoring of trucks and drivers. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the largest trade organization representing professional truckers and small-business truckers, contends EOBRs are an unproven technology, providing no cost benefit or highway safety improvement.

  “It’s exorbitantly expensive while providing no safety benefit whatsoever,” says Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president. “This is being done under the guise of compliance with federal hours-of-service regulations, but it is actually a way for large motor carrier companies to squeeze more ‘productivity’ out of drivers and increase costs for the small trucking companies they compete with,” said Spencer.

 A regulatory version of an EOBR mandate was struck down by a federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit because the FMCSA failed to deal with the harassment of drivers. Noted in that ruling was the fact that no research has shown how such a mandate would do anything to improve highway safety. 

 “EOBRs are no more reliable than paper log books for tracking hours of service,” said Spencer. “The device only tracks when the wheels are moving, not taking into consideration the colossal waiting times spent by truck drivers at shipping docks. Plus, we hear every day from truckers whose companies use the devices to  harass truckers into driving more hours.”

 The current EOBR rulemaking has been estimated by the Obama administration to cost the industry $2 billion if enacted.  In response to a request made by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to disclose all rulemakings in excess of $1 billion, President Obama listed the current EOBR rulemaking as one of the seven most expensive regulations pursued by the administration. 

 “It is more than twice the cost of hours-of-service regulations, which by the way are still in flux and not truly finalized. Yet the FMCSA presses on, seeking additional authority from Congress for yet another mandate,” said Spencer.

 OOIDA sent a letter to the Senate conferees April 25th on behalf of its members expressing all of these concerns.

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