Over regulation killing owner-operators, says ATA chair

| June 04, 2013

Mike Card put it bluntly last week at the Great West Fleet Executive Conference in Las Vegas: The costs of complying with regulations in the trucking industry is smothering owner-operators and small fleet owners.

Card is the chairman of the American Trucking Associations, and he aimed pointedly at the over-reregulation of the trucking industry as a dagger to trucking’s “first generation,” as he calls it, referring to owner-operators and small fleet owners who were able to get their starts after deregulation in the late 1970s.

For this first generation, Card says, “merger, sale or death” are the only three ways out of the industry, as their business are no longer sustainable as-is.

Regulations are forcing the industry to consolidate, and soon, only the fleets big enough to deal with the costs associated with federal regulations will be left.

Overdrive sister site CCJ has the full story on Card’s address, but he said one of the keys to battling the over regulation will be rehabilitating trucking’s image.

Click here to read the full story on Card’s talk on regulations and the future of the trucking industry.

  • jon

    Says the head of the organization that is LEADING those changes in regulations. how nice.

  • Hanadarko

    Over regulation is a big part of ATA. They never care about the small guy and never will. OOIDA is all we really have.

  • Ex-Driver LADY

    So, trucking goes the way of the family farm. Who didn’t see that coming?

  • johnny dark

    exactly what he said

  • MillionsofMiles

    And if OOIDA is all the small guy has then the o-o is doomed (or just those buying into the chicken little, sky is falling messaging they are so good at)

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  • ilovdieselsmoke

    If OOIDA cared so damn much about their us (independent truckers) they would be devoting twenty pages a month of Land Line to what the HELL is going on right under their nose. The Teamsters union is spending hundreds of thousands of union membership funds spreading this California Clean truck Campaign to the east coast ports in order to run the independent trucker out of business. Funny , the ATA is the only one fighting to stop this in courts but no secret there to what that reasoning is about. The majority of their membership loves screwing owner-op’s over so they are worried the Teamsters will succeed in their campaign to force us all into company owned trucks working as union employees.

  • Jim Reul

    That is their whole intent. Drive the independent out so all there is left is large fleets with Union drivers.

  • SYDE WYNDER

    IT IS TIME TO TAKE A STAND . WE ALL NEED TO TO THE MONTH OF JULY OFF AND TAKE A HARD LOOK AT THE INDUSTRY WE ARE IN AND THINK ABOUT A CAREER CHANGE. AS TRUCKERS WE MAKE SACRIFICES IN DO A JOB BY GIVEN UP HOME TIME ,MISSING OUT ON OUR KIDS EVENTS , BIRTHDAYS , AND YET THE REGULATION KEEP MAKING IT HARDER AND LESS SAFE BY PEOPLE THAT DON’T KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THE JOB DONE . ONLY IF WE ACT AS A SINGLE UNIT WILL THE GOVERMENT LISTEN TO US . THE ONLY WAY IS THROUGH A LACK OF SERVICE. WHEN THE STORES RUN OUT THEN SOMEONE MIGHT THINK THEY SHOULD LISTEN TO THE DRIVER. WITH PAY AT THE 1980′S LEVEL AND THE COST OF MEALS AND OTHER EXSPENSES YOU END UP WORKING FOR LESS THEN MINIMUM WAGE AND TREATED AS A CRIMINAL. THERE IS
    NO RESPECT FOR THE DRIVERS ANY MORE .

  • oldtimer

    We don’t need to take the month of “July” off. This is unrealistic. One idea I did take note of, the independent drivers need to come together and take “TWO HOURS” off. Lets pick a day and time, such as July 15,2013 at 10:00 a.m. — from ten until noon we all just stop. Pull over, stay at the dock, fuel island – where ever you are, STOP; for just two hours. The media will cover this and send a true message to the political leaders. After, and only after doing this, will people start to listen. Three days without independent trucks and larger cities will be in a state of emergency.

  • Ripped off

    We also got so called fleet manager that will screw up and of course blame it on the driver, And a lot of the so called Fleet manager never been in a truck. And a company can put anything they want on your dat record, No matter if it right or wrong. I been driving since 1973, It want be long until I can draw my green check I hope. A message to the younger drivers, You need a voice, You need the teamster in all trucking company, If you don”t hear me. You will have nothing but hardship, Low pay, high medical insurance, And most of all lie to by these big trucking company, Why do you think they have such a big driver turn over, Think about it drivers and my brothers, And also being away from home is worth something. God Bless all my trucking brothers

  • PO’d

    The entire purpose of our socialist government is to put trucking out of business. They keep us from drilling our own oil so the gas prices stay high. If they can stop the 18 wheels from rolling, the prices of everything will be unaffordable to everyone and then we can truely be a third world country and the socialist SOB’s will be happy.

  • jjMclure

    You guys wanted deregulation so this is what you have. Bring back the old ICC days

  • jjMclure

    OOIDA is not the great white hope either…they just want dues and insurance premiums

  • jjMclure

    Penalize carriers with high turnover….this will keep them from hiring people that will work too cheap and drive wages down. In order to keep people they’ll have to pay more and not be a sweat shop.

  • martymarsh

    LMAO, as others have said, ATA are the ones causing these regulations to be put in place to benefit them. If anyone thinks they do anything for the O/O, just think what companies like CR England is about, who I might add is on the board at ATA.

  • martymarsh

    Well, if you have been driving since 1973 you know how many companies the teamsters put out of business and just so you don’t think I know what I’m talking about, I was with them for 16 years before I was harassed out, because there was more money in a corporation than there was in one member paying his protection money.

  • Doug Spurger

    the problem with taking any time off is the big operations would kill us with it. I ran for swift the last time anything like this was suggested, swift made no bone about telling its drivers (owner ops as well) they would be terminated if they participated in it. They want to drive the small people out of business or take us over

  • LEE

    WHY IS THE ATA WORRIED ABOUT THE OWNER OPERATOR OR SMALL FLEETS ALL THEY HAVE EVER DONE IS TRY TO DISTROY US , THE ATA IS NOT FOR THE O/O OR SMALL FLEET OWNER , THEY ARE FOR THE BIG GUYS , AND ALL THEY HAVE EVER DONE IS SUPPORT ANYTHING THAT WILL PUT US OUT OF BUSINESS , WHY NOW ARE THEY WANTING TO TALK ABOUT OVER REGULATION THAT IS WHAT THEY HAVE ALWAYS PUSHED FOR SO THE BIG GUYS COULD BUY US UP OR PUT US OUT , SCREW THE ATA !!!!

  • martymarsh

    Not that I don’t agree with you, but how do you get these people to go along with this, this has been the whole problem to begin with, not only you can’t get 2 people to agree what day it is, you have to many that just want someone else to fight the fight while they get the rewards. How many times have you heard I can’t afford to take off, when that shows them they can’t afford to keep turning their wheels for nothing. For the most part, we are a nation full of cowards, that will not stand up to the corrupt controlling system.

  • LEE

    IF THE DRIVERS WOULD STICK TOGETHER, THE COMPANIES LIKE SWIFT WOULD BE SCREWED, OK THEY TELL YOU IF YOU THIS YOU WILL BE TERMINATED, OK FINE OTHER DRIVERS (IF) THEY WOULD STICK TOGETHER COULD SAY FINE YOU TERMINATE US YOU WILL HAVE NO REPLACEMENTS BECAUSE OTHERS WOULD NOT GO TO WORK FOR THEM, THE DRIVER HAS THE POWER AND THE CONTROL TO MAKE CHANGES BUT ARE JUST TO STUPID TO STICK TOGETHER AND DO IT , I GUESS THAT IS WHY THE SAYING ABOUT THE (DUMB ASS TRUCK DRIVER) IS THERE THEY JUST DON’T GET IT , WITHOUT US THEY HAVE NO COMPANY THEY HAVE NO WAY TO FORCE ANYBODY TO DO ANYTHING !!!!

  • matt

    The only reason that this is happening is because all drivers want to do now is hold a steering wheel. Not a set of balls on any of the big company drivers. They take all the control you have away from you, and keep you out for weeks at a time while being kicked in the ass by a know nothing dispatcher, and still won’t take the chance to better themselves by being an owner op. Or better yet, getting their own authority. Quit bitching, put your purse down and get busy working (and being told what to do by a damn QUALCOMM doesn’t count). We that have made that choice have the right to complain, until you have taken the plunge like us, all you are is the problem.

  • rich

    No one take loads to within 100 miles of Wash DC area for a month . No one loses work . Simple ,and it would work .

  • lOADDOG TRK

    Amen, It’s about time someone spoke up! ,federal and state over regulating and to top it all of , Freight brokers have all the direct freight and control our pay rate !!!over a phone call, while we have all the regulations , cargo liability, personal, financial risk , fuel cost, maintenance cost ….can you say….CAPITALIST COMMUNISSUM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!P.S WAKE UP ….OOIDA SOLD OUT…ENJOY THEIR STICKER ?

  • longhaul lonnie

    Just remember, drivers and trucking companies have done all of this to themselves. It is only the drivers that can change it. We have had a run of a lot of tough years, the only ones making any real money is the major trucking companies and mostly the large brokers. Can you imagine how things would change if all drivers just quit using getloaded, quit using tql, quit using all brokers?? Huge changes for all drivers, more loads, much more fair pay and more money in our pockets. The trucking industry is crippled right now. It is going to take the drivers to take it back. Heavy regulations are destroying truck drivers and/or small companies. Who is going to change it? Every O/O, most truck drivers complain, rather than complain- take a stand and lets do something about it. What is 1 or 2 weeks without income when it comes to your livelyhood? We deal with gov’t limiting the amount of hours we can work, we deal with filthy DOT officers that hand down violations for things even they don’t understand, most DOT Officers are not properly trained, FMCSR knows nothing and helps with nothing. Have you ever had to call your State DOT with questions? Well, there is some more judgement and harassment. When will it ever be time to take back our rights? When will it ever be time to take a stand so we can all try to make a difference? Drivers have been complaining for years and the situation is just getting worse, nothing is being done about it. We are nickle/dimed to death out here, no money for repairs etc. Meanwhile large brokers are getting filthy rich. It’s crazy- why didn’t everyone just use the DOT Blitz and shut their trucks down?? When is enough, enough?? The only people who can make change is the drivers and any company that fires you for standing up for the greater good of the company and it’s future doesn’t need you as a driver. We see strikes all the time, time the drivers go on strike. They want to cripple us, lets cripple them. I don’t know about any of you out there but I know I have had enough.

  • Mark French

    Just what BIG TRUCKING wants… The Owner Operator gone! OOIDA is not for the owner operator either! AS of Jan 1st 2014 I can no longer drive in California, My home state. I cant afford a new truck to comply with California’s regulations. So I can no longer go home! WTF?

  • dennis

    its not just the owner operators they want gone, look at how many foreignors are driving trucks these days. they want cheap, inexperienced, cookie cutter mold, drivers. safety, ha! the govenrment, ata, ooida, an big trucking co could care less. its all about the profit margins and how little they can pay the help.

  • Slick

    Everybody is trying to screw the independent trucker

  • No Reform

    The ATA will have their dream come true with this AMNESTY they are pushing so hard.

  • Thomas Duncan

    Just like many others,you know nothing about OOIDA,and just like most want something done but you want someone else to do it for you.You make these lame ignorant statements and can’t see you are the problem.

  • jjMclure

    I do things myself. I don’t wait for OOIDA. They screwed everyone by removing the ICC from carriers.

  • Dave

    IF YOU GOOGLE THE PRESIDENT OF ATA BILL GRAVES. YOU WILL SEE. WE DONE NOTHING, BUT MAKE HIM RICH. IT SAYS ” THAT HE FOUGHT TO HAVE ELECTRONIC LOGS, HE’S PRESSING FOR HIGHER FUEL TAXES FOR THE INFRASTRUCTURE, HES PRESSING FOR TRUCK MANUFACTURERS TO MAKE THE TRUCKS. GO KNOW FASTER THAN 65MPH. THEY ONLY FIGHT FOR WHAT MAY BENEFIT THEM. HENCE, GRAVES TRUCK LINES! WHICH I THINK IS RUNNING UNDER ANOTHER NAME NOW.