For the Record
Sullivan likewise advised carrier representatives of several Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association-filed cases against specific motor carriers that had implications for legal changes in Truth in Leasing regulations Part 49 C.F.R. 376.12(d) and (h), relating to compensation and charge-back items. He made several specific recommendations:
• “If you pay your carriers on a percentage basis,” he said, any computations for deductions made relating to chargeback items or any fees must be clearly stated in the lease.
• Carriers must clearly tell owner-operators in the lease “that you’re marking up an item if you’re marking it up.” The question of whether carriers needed to note the actual amount of markup or simply provide the standard chargeback rate in the lease and the amount of actual chargeback, with any fee, on the back end in a settlement was not yet settled, he added.
FYI NEWS BRIEFS
Texting Rule Goes to White House
The U.S. Department of Transportation has submitted a final rulemaking to the White House that would ban text messaging while operating a commercial vehicle. In March, DOT drafted a proposed regulation to limit the use of cell phones and ban text messaging by commercial drivers. More than 30 states already have laws that ban use of cell phones or texting while driving.
Used Truck Registrations Increase
More than 354,000 used commercial vehicles (GVW Class 3-8) were registered in the U.S. during the first two quarters of 2010, according to Polk, a provider of data-driven systems for the commercial vehicle industry. Polk said this number sets a record for a six-month timeframe and represents nearly 68 percent of the commercial vehicle market. Additionally, this figure is an increase of 28.8 percent over the same timeframe in 2009.
Freight Tonnage Gains in July
The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.5 percent in July from June. That followed a change in June’s reduction from the previous month to 1.4 percent from 1.6 percent. Compared with July 2009, SA tonnage climbed 7.4 percent, which matched June’s increase from a year earlier and was the eighth consecutive year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.7 percent compared with the same period in 2009.
Surface Trade Up in June
Surface transportation trade between the United States and Canada and Mexico increased 37.6 percent in June over June 2009, reaching $69.9 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. BTS reported the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in June remained 5.8 percent below the June 2008 level despite the 2009-2010 increase.
Moving Van Lines Fined
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Aug. 30 levied $281,000 in fines against Moving Van Lines Inc. of Tampa, Fla., for violating multiple federal regulations including holding consumers’ property hostage and requiring moving fees beyond the original binding contractual agreement. FMCSA found the company in violation of 28 counts of failing to relinquish possession of a household goods shipment (hostage load), and one count of collecting fees more than the original binding estimate.
ATA Exec: Trucking Looking Up
By Randy Grider
American Trucking Associations Chairman Tommy Hodges Aug. 26 offered a guarded assessment of the trucking industry during the Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference in Dallas.
Approximately 5,500 carrier failures have led to almost 200,000 fewer trucks in the marketplace. This tightening of capacity along with stronger consumer confidence has Hodges more optimistic for the short-term.