OOIDA: Bipartisan Senate highway bill not too shabby compared to House version

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

1 OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029
Web Site: www.ooida.com
Facebook: OOIDA Facebook

Contact: Norita Taylor, norita_taylor@ooida.com
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791

For Immediate Release

OOIDA: Bipartisan Senate highway bill not too shabby compared to House version

Absence of insurance increase is a massive relief for truckers Pilot program for 18-20 year old drivers is an improvement over DRIVE Safe Act

The U.S. Senate’s Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee’s bipartisan highway bill is not nearly as disappointing as the bill passed last week by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

That is the response from leadership at the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association regarding today’s Committee markup. The bill, introduced by the panel’s Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS), was considered by the full committee today and ultimately approved by a vote of 25-3.

“It could have been far worse and is much better than what the House produced last week,” explained Todd Spencer, President and CEO of OOIDA.

“It’s a relief that the most harmful trucking provisions that were originally promoted in the Senate did not make it into the bill,” Spencer continued. “OOIDA led the fight against several provisions that were rejected in a bipartisan manner.”

“We remain staunchly opposed to allowing drivers 18 to 20 years old to enter the long-haul industry, but we appreciate the careful negotiations among stakeholders and Senators resulting in a three-year pilot program. While not perfect, it’s better than fully opening up licenses to teen drivers as proposed in the DRIVE-Safe Act. We’re also pleased the Committee was able to enhance some provisions related to truck driver trainers and include a critical compensation study.”

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T&I Dems choose trial lawyers over truckers
OOIDA supports continued challenge to AB5
OOIDA Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients

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OOIDA supports continued challenge to AB5

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

1 OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029
Web Site: www.ooida.com
Facebook: OOIDA Facebook

Contact: Norita Taylor, norita_taylor@ooida.com
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791

For Immediate Release

OOIDA supports continued challenge to AB5

National association of truckers joins California

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said in an amicus brief that the California AB5 legislation will cause immediate and irreparable harm to thousands of truckers. The brief was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit in support of the California Trucking Association’s petition for a rehearing before all the judges.

The CTA had asked the court in May to review a ruling that the state worker classification law is not preempted by federal law.

OOIDA says that AB5 would eliminate a long-established business model into which hundreds of thousands of independent contractors have invested their blood, sweat and treasure to create their own businesses and be their own bosses.

In April of this year, a panel of judges ruled 2-1 that California’s AB5 is generally applicable labor law and called for the removal of a preliminary injunction again enforcing the state law on motor carriers. If the petition for a rehearing en banc is granted the a full panel of judges of the 9th Circuit would hear the case.

CTA holds that AB5 would force the end of the trucking industry’s owner-operator model and would be in violation of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization (F4A) which prevents states from enforcing a law or regulation to a price, rout or service of motor carriers.

OOIDA agrees that the provision of AB5, the ABC test, means that owner-operators must either become employee drivers or give up the businesses they have built or give up all business opportunities that might take them to California.

RECENT PRESS RELEASES:
T&I Dems choose trial lawyers over truckers
OOIDA Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients
OOIDA Opposes House Highway Bill

The post OOIDA supports continued challenge to AB5 appeared first on OOIDA.

How Will Infrastructure Talks Impact the Trucking Industry?

infrastructure, trucking industry

As the latest talks on Capitol Hill fell apart earlier this week, America’s infrastructure faces more delays to redevelopment. The partisan nature of the current US political landscape is slowing the process down further, with disagreements over how much and where money should be spent, preventing action from being taken. In the meantime, the trucking industry wants to ensure that the efficient transport of freight due to the lack of congestion throughout the pandemic sets the tone for the future of the industry. So, with infrastructure talks ongoing, how will the trucking industry be impacted by the potential outcomes of these discussions?

The transportation sector agrees that investment in infrastructures such as new roads, highways, and bridges is required for the industry. With a more efficient freight system comes bigger economic profits. The pandemic gave the trucking industry a brief respite from the obstacles of an outdated road network. With that coming to an end, professional truck drivers will face new and continued challenges without significant improvements to the transportation infrastructure.

It is truckers all over the country that are likely to be impacted the most by the result of current and ongoing debates around infrastructure investment. There are talks of a plan to replace the Highway Trust Fund, funded by the Federal Fuel Tax which has failed to keep up with inflation rates, with a Vehicle Miles Travelled Tax. This new tax would affect a small portion of the population who travel more. However, the change could potentially bring in 300 times the amount raised via the Federal Fuel Tax, raising an estimated $20 billion annually, to keep America’s road networks functional.

With the talks ongoing, the exact impact on the trucking industry is still unclear. Are you in support of the proposed Vehicle Miles Travelled Tax, or would an increase in the federal fuel tax be more appealing? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

 

 

The post How Will Infrastructure Talks Impact the Trucking Industry? appeared first on TruckersReport.com.

How Will Infrastructure Talks Impact the Trucking Industry?

infrastructure, trucking industry

As the latest talks on Capitol Hill fell apart earlier this week, America’s infrastructure faces more delays to redevelopment. The partisan nature of the current US political landscape is slowing the process down further, with disagreements over how much and where money should be spent, preventing action from being taken. In the meantime, the trucking industry wants to ensure that the efficient transport of freight due to the lack of congestion throughout the pandemic sets the tone for the future of the industry. So, with infrastructure talks ongoing, how will the trucking industry be impacted by the potential outcomes of these discussions?

The transportation sector agrees that investment in infrastructures such as new roads, highways, and bridges is required for the industry. With a more efficient freight system comes bigger economic profits. The pandemic gave the trucking industry a brief respite from the obstacles of an outdated road network. With that coming to an end, professional truck drivers will face new and continued challenges without significant improvements to the transportation infrastructure.

It is truckers all over the country that are likely to be impacted the most by the result of current and ongoing debates around infrastructure investment. There are talks of a plan to replace the Highway Trust Fund, funded by the Federal Fuel Tax which has failed to keep up with inflation rates, with a Vehicle Miles Travelled Tax. This new tax would affect a small portion of the population who travel more. However, the change could potentially bring in 300 times the amount raised via the Federal Fuel Tax, raising an estimated $20 billion annually, to keep America’s road networks functional.

With the talks ongoing, the exact impact on the trucking industry is still unclear. Are you in support of the proposed Vehicle Miles Travelled Tax, or would an increase in the federal fuel tax be more appealing? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

 

 

The post How Will Infrastructure Talks Impact the Trucking Industry? appeared first on TruckersReport.com.

How Will Infrastructure Talks Impact the Trucking Industry?

infrastructure, trucking industry

As the latest talks on Capitol Hill fell apart earlier this week, America’s infrastructure faces more delays to redevelopment. The partisan nature of the current US political landscape is slowing the process down further, with disagreements over how much and where money should be spent, preventing action from being taken. In the meantime, the trucking industry wants to ensure that the efficient transport of freight due to the lack of congestion throughout the pandemic sets the tone for the future of the industry. So, with infrastructure talks ongoing, how will the trucking industry be impacted by the potential outcomes of these discussions?

The transportation sector agrees that investment in infrastructures such as new roads, highways, and bridges is required for the industry. With a more efficient freight system comes bigger economic profits. The pandemic gave the trucking industry a brief respite from the obstacles of an outdated road network. With that coming to an end, professional truck drivers will face new and continued challenges without significant improvements to the transportation infrastructure.

It is truckers all over the country that are likely to be impacted the most by the result of current and ongoing debates around infrastructure investment. There are talks of a plan to replace the Highway Trust Fund, funded by the Federal Fuel Tax which has failed to keep up with inflation rates, with a Vehicle Miles Travelled Tax. This new tax would affect a small portion of the population who travel more. However, the change could potentially bring in 300 times the amount raised via the Federal Fuel Tax, raising an estimated $20 billion annually, to keep America’s road networks functional.

With the talks ongoing, the exact impact on the trucking industry is still unclear. Are you in support of the proposed Vehicle Miles Travelled Tax, or would an increase in the federal fuel tax be more appealing? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

 

 

The post How Will Infrastructure Talks Impact the Trucking Industry? appeared first on TruckersReport.com.

T&I Dems choose trial lawyers over truckers

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

1 OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029
Web Site: www.ooida.com
Facebook: OOIDA Facebook

Contact: Norita Taylor, norita_taylor@ooida.com
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791

For Immediate Release

T&I Dems choose trial lawyers over truckers

OOIDA opposes House highway bill after pro-trucker amendments fail in partisan markup

At 5 am eastern this morning, when many truckers were either starting their day or still asleep in their cabs, the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee passed a highly partisan highway bill, H.R. 3284, the INVEST in America Act. After several pro-trucker amendments were rejected on largely party line votes, OOIDA opposed the legislation, which now awaits consideration on the House floor.

OOIDA’s opposition was cemented when Democratic members of Committee unanimously voted against an amendment that would have prevented an unnecessary increase in motor carriers’ minimum liability insurance from $750,000 to $2 million. The amendment, offered by Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), failed on a largely party line vote with one Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), joining Committee Democrats in opposition.

“Democrats on the T&I Committee had a choice to make,” said Todd Spencer, President and CEO of OOIDA. “They could have stood with OOIDA members, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, builders and every other business engaged in trucking who strongly opposed this increase or vote to further line the pockets of trial lawyers, some of their most reliable political contributors. Unfortunately, they once again uniformly chose trial lawyers over truckers.”

The Association is not alone in its fight against an increase to the minimum liability insurance for motor carriers. OOIDA is leading a group of more than 60 organizations in the trucking, agriculture, materials, manufacturing and towing industries to fight any potential increases.

During debate last night, several Republican members of the Committee spoke in support of the amendment to strike the insurance increase, making impassioned appeals to their colleagues to stand with truckers. In addition to Congressman Bost, Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Garret Graves (R-LA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Jefferson Van Drew (R-NJ), Michael Guest (R-MS), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Troy Balderson (R-OH), and the Committee’s Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) voiced their support for removing the poison pill provision.

“We want to thank Rep. Bost and his Republican colleagues on the Committee for aggressively fighting with us to prevent this unnecessary increase,” said Spencer. “Our fight will continue as this bill moves to the House floor and the Senate advances its own legislation. We’ll work with lawmakers from both parties to stop this harmful policy from ever becoming law.”

Several other amendments championed by OOIDA were also rejected during the highly-partisan markup, including measures to prevent an automatic emergency braking (AEB) mandate, excessive screening requirements for obstructive sleep apnea, the initial step toward a side underride guard mandate, greater restrictions on the use of personal conveyance, and the expanded use of electronic logging device (ELD) data for transportation research.

“While this bill will likely pass the House in a few weeks, we’re relieved it has zero chance of advancing in the U.S. Senate,” Spencer continued. “We’re extremely disappointed our efforts to improve the legislation for truckers were flatly rejected by Committee Democrats, but many of the most problematic provisions that remain in the bill are simply too controversial to gather sufficient support in the Senate.”

RECENT PRESS RELEASES:
OOIDA Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients
OOIDA Opposes House Highway Bill
OOIDA: Senate highway bill ignores truck parking crisis

The post T&I Dems choose trial lawyers over truckers appeared first on OOIDA.

OOIDA Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

1 OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029
Web Site: www.ooida.com
Facebook: OOIDA Facebook

Contact: Norita Taylor, norita_taylor@ooida.com
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791

For Immediate Release

OOIDA Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association announced the recipients of this year’s Mary Johnston Scholarship. Since 1998, the fund has awarded more than $350 thousand to students who are the children, grandchildren or legal dependents of OOIDA members.

Five top scholars were chosen for this honor. To apply, the students were asked to submit a 500-word reflection essay on how a trucker has influenced their life, the way their educational goals resonate with their personalities and to entertain what changes they see occurring down the road that might improve the trucking industry.

Each year, one $2,000 scholarship and four $1,000 scholarships are awarded. An alternate is also named each year. The funds are transferred directly to the student’s selected institution and can be renewed for a total of four years. Jewel Cox, daughter of senior member Tony Cox of Elk Horn, Ky., is the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship. The four $1,000 scholarship winners are: Colten Ballard, Jayden Hensley, Garrett Bennett and Kaden de Jong. Meghan McClain was selected as an alternate.

Here are the winners for this year:

Jewel is a 2020 graduate of Campbellsville High School and enrolled in Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, where she is majoring in business administration.

 

 

 
Colten Ballard is the grandson of life member Kenneth Wilson of Amarillo, Texas. He was set to graduate from V.R. Eaton High School in June and plans to study to become an aviation mechanic at Tarrant Community College in Fort Worth, Texas.
 
Jayden Hensley is the daughter of senior member Darrin Hensley of Osakis, Minn. She was set to graduate from Osakis Public High School in May. Jayden received a letter of acceptance from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, where she intends to major in business administration with an emphasis on management.
Garrett Bennett is the son of life member Paul Bennett of Seneca, Kan. He was scheduled to graduate from Nemaha Central High School in May. He has received a letter of acceptance from Kansas State University Polytechnic where he intends to major in aviation.
Kaden de Jong is the son of senior member Benjamin de Jong of McFall, Mo. Kaden was set to graduate from Pattonsburg High School in May. He received an acceptance letter from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Kaden plans to major in pre-veterinary medicine.
 
Meghan McClain is the daughter of member Calvin McClain of Lake Lillian, Minn. She was scheduled to graduate from Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City High School in May. Meghan has received an acceptance letter from Southwest Minnesota State University, where she will pursue a career in graphic design.
RECENT PRESS RELEASES:
OOIDA Opposes House Highway Bill
OOIDA: Senate highway bill ignores truck parking crisis
OOIDA commends House Republicans for rejecting unnecessary insurance increase on truckers

The post OOIDA Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients appeared first on OOIDA.

How the Internet Helped A Canadian Trucker See His Dying Mother

Aaron Wylie was punching the clock – like any other day. He works as a bus driver for Halifax Transit in Nova Scotia, Canada. He was in the middle of a busy workday when he got unfortunate news from New Brunswick – another province in Canada. He had just learned that his mother, Sandra, was diagnosed with terminal liver disease. The doctors gave her no more than two weeks to live. Aaron had to do something – and quickly too.

The last time Aaron and his mom saw one another was December 2019. Even back then, she kept her illness under wraps. In his feature with Global News Canada, Aaron said his mother had tried to keep her diagnosis from him, knowing he was stuck in Halifax during the third wave lockdown. It seemed like all hope was lost. Aaron had used up all his vacation days, and even if he was granted leave, he would have to self-isolate for 14 days.

After some out-of-the-box thinking, Aaron realized something. As a truck driver (an essential laborer) and a Class 1 license holder, Aaron could get into New Brunswick if he was fulfilling a trucking job. He also wouldn’t have to go through the 2-week self-isolation. However, truck drivers in Canada have their own set of restrictions whenever they cross provincial borders. That was the last thing on his mind though.

Aaron turned to Kijiji, an online classified forum for help. It’s basically Canadian Craigslist. Mr. Wylie post his ad and it read:

“I know this is a bit of an odd request but I’m looking for a class 1 position. I have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday off, I work full time at Halifax Transit,” he wrote. “I am looking for a route that will run Halifax to Saint John.… I am willing to drive for free!

My mother was diagnosed with terminal liver failure and was given two months to live today, May 11, and I have no way to cross NS border,” he added, signing off with his phone and email address.

“I didn’t really think I’d get much of a reaction,” Aaron said. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Someone posted his Kijiji listing on Facebook. It got shared over 5,000 times within a matter of hours. Not only did Aaron get a ton of jobs that would take him to New Brunswick, people offered him financial assistance and someone even offered a liver transplant. “I was just blown away,” Wylie told CBC. “These are people I don’t even know.”

Wylie can now get to his mother in good time. However, COVID restrictions in New Brunswick state that truckers from outside the province should only engage in work-related activities for the duration of their stay. Given the increased availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and greater leniency in pandemic regulations in Canada, Wylie is hopeful that he’ll see his mother. After all, CBC said that exceptions to the regulations are being made on a case-by-case basis. “I hope I can get there, but whether I do or not, it’s [heartwarming] to know that that support was there,” Aaron said.

Source: CBC, Global News Canada, Upworthy

The post How the Internet Helped A Canadian Trucker See His Dying Mother appeared first on TruckersReport.com.

Meet PA Trucking Legend Don Cook: The 4 Million Mile Man

He stood there. His face wizened in his old age, but his wits weren’t a second slower. At the age of 79, Don Cook etched his name into truck driver lore forever. He’s the 4 Million Mile Man. In Don Cook’s 47-year trucking career, he’s driven 4 millions miles with no accidents. That’s right – not so much as a fender bender.

For context, 4 million miles is slightly more 8 round trips to the Moon. Yup, that’s to the Moon and back.

That’s a lot of miles – and plenty of time for things to go wrong. We tried to find out Cook’s secret and he answered as only a trucking savant could. “You have to have your wits about you,” he said wryly. What makes Cook’s milestone more impressive is that he didn’t get it driving down big, lightly trafficked highways in the South or out West. The New Jersey native spent the bulk of his career on the East Coast’s busiest, wildest highways. “When you go across the George Washington Bridge, if they’re driving like nut cases, you gotta do the same,” Cook told the Morning Call jokingly.

He’s no stranger to recieving road safety accolades. Nine years earlier, Cook was celebrating 3 million miles accident-free. On both occassions, he received a leather jacket. In 2012, his jacket had a patch that read, “3 Millions Miles Safe Driving”. This year, his new jacket’s patch reads “Hall of Fame” – to mark his enshrinement among the his company’s legends. “He deserves it,” one of his coworkers told the Sun Gazette. Cook’s routes took him into New England at the height of winter and, heaven help him, the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, where driving is a mad and dangerous dash all year round.

Cook may attribute his success to skill and patience but he knows it takes a lot of luck. There are millions of motorists on the road at any moment. Some of them are inattentive, brash or under the influence. Yet, none of them have blemished Cook’s impeccable safety record. Even Mother Nature took care to not to give Don her absolute worst. Cook’s career is an anomaly of sorts. Just ask Hank Cambiotti, a trucker with 35 years of experience. “The 2 million drivers, there’s a few,” he replied, when asked about trucking in the Northeast. “The 3 millions, I know of two. There’s one 4 million and that’s it.” Cook himself said he only meet other 3-million milers on his routes down South.

Despite his lengthy, successful career, Cook doesn’t have his sights set on stopping. “I’m not retiring,” he said. “I’m still a young pup. And my wife would drive me crazy.” He’s only teasing, of course. Don and his wife are on the 58th year of their marriage – still going strong. Throughout the years, Dolores Cook was her husband’s rock. Trucking comes with its sacrifices, especially for married couples. Don sacrificed many nights with his lovely wife while he ran routes all the way up to California and Texas. Nowadays, he doesn’t get too far from her. He drives an overnight route – 400 miles to Akron. He runs it a couple of times a week.

In all his years with trucks, Cook has developed a Zen approach to driving. Nothing about his craft bores him or irritates him. “You get bopping down the road and pretty soon, you’re where you’re supposed to be,” he said. It seems like nothing can undo Don’s excitement for the road. It seems to rejuvenate him. “I’m an old guy,” he said, “but when I sit behind that wheel, I’m 30 years old again.”

Source: Sun Gazette, The Morning Call, The Morning Call, WPXI

The post Meet PA Trucking Legend Don Cook: The 4 Million Mile Man appeared first on TruckersReport.com.

Female Trucker Feature: Liz Imel

Liz Imel is a female trucker and she loves what she does. According to her, “[Trucking] was a good opportunity to travel AND get to drive a big truck!” and she never looked back. In our previous article, we spoke on the challenges that female truck drivers face in their male-dominated industry. Despite these obstacles, highly successful lady truckers make a way for themselves and Liz is no different. Read on to learn more about Liz’s story as a trucker.

Liz grew up around trucks and heavy equipment – she’s from a farm town. She could drive a 5-speed truck before she was a teen. Before that, she was operating her dad’s 4020 John Deere tractor. She was just 5 years old at the time. It’s like Liz was a trucking prodigy of sorts. However, it was one of her first jobs that really stoked her love of big rigs. In high school, she’d wash her neighbors’ trucks for cash. Most days, her customers would let her drive their trucks around.

Despite her truck-centric upbringing, Liz took a long, winding road to become a trucker. She worked in farm equipment repair, automotive parts manufacturing, and then hardware manufacturing. She had a successful 12-year stint at National Manufacturing Co., a century-old manufacturing plant. At National, Liz did a bit of everything. According to her feature with The Trucker, she said, “I’ve done a little bit of everything. I unloaded trucks, steel, and everything. Then, I became a die-setter. I set up presses and ran 200-ton presses, stamping out the hardware.”

However, National would soon close due to foreign competition. It was then that Imel turned to the trucking industry for her new career. ‘This is my chance,” she thought. Liz took the severance pay she received from National and enrolled in a CDL course at her local community college. By July 2012, she was a Maverick employee. Her first route was to the Tyson Chicken plant in Russelville, AR. The rest is history.

Since that fateful day, Liz put in 7 years exploring the country through Maverick’s refrigerated trailer division. After Maverick sold that division, she made the transition into the company’s newly acquired boat division. There, she’s been moving lowboy flatbed trailers all across the lower 48 states. According to Liz, she’s embracing the change. “It’s harder (than refrigerated), but it’s not a bad hard,” she said.

Like Clarissa Rankin, Liz Imel is another female driver who takes safety seriously. In her time with Maverick, Liz has established herself as a safe and extremely reliable driver. She’s a multiple-time winner of Maverick’s Driver of the Month award. In 2019, she won Maverick’s Driver of the Year award. She was also Women in Trucking’s Member of the Month for March 2021. “Maverick’s all about safety — the safety of the motoring public as well as their drivers,” she told The Trucker.

In fact, Liz readily uses the “newfangled” tech that other truckers denounce – as long as it helps her get there and back in one piece. She uses blind-spot cameras and dash cams. She even road-tested Stoneridge’s MirrorEye camera system which let “you see twice as much as you do in a regular mirror.” If only we had more Lizzes on the road, right?

Liz also enjoys many of trucking’s benefits. “I’ve made more money driving a truck than I did at a factory,” she said. With the money she amassed on the road, she bought a house sitting on roughly 4 acres. Also, given trucking’s flexibility, she’s able to spend time with her family and pour into her hobbies like gardening. To top it off, Maverick took great care of its drivers during the pandemic. So, between her disability insurance and Maverick’s help, Liz did just fine.

For women looking to join the trucking industry, Liz echoes Clarissa’s sentiments. You’ve got to be ready to work. “You have to be self-motivated… I don’t get paid if I’m sitting still.” Her electronic logbook keeps her accountable. “As soon as I start that clock, I’m rolling, because that’s how I get paid,” she said. Perhaps, it’s time more women got in on the act.

What things do you think will incentivize more women to become truckers? Leave your thoughts and answers in the comment section.

Source: The Trucker, Movin’ Out, Women in Trucking

The post Female Trucker Feature: Liz Imel appeared first on TruckersReport.com.