DOL set to publish final rule to define independent contractor

Updated Mar 12, 2021

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021: 

DOL to publish rule clarifying independent contractor definition
The Department of Labor will publish on Thursday its final rule clarifying the definition of independent contractor as it relates to the Fair Labor Standards Act, despite the Biden administration announcing last week that it would halt a number of the Trump administration’s “midnight regulations,” including DOL’s pending independent contractor rule.

The final rule, if it stands, will take effect March 8.

DOL says that after reviewing comments submitted following its notice of proposed rulemaking in September that it will adopt the guidance from the proposal. “The final rule explains that independent contractors are workers who, as a matter of economic reality, are in business for themselves as opposed to being economically dependent on the potential employer for work,” the rule states.

The rule uses five economic-reality factors to help businesses determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Two of those factors – the nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss – are the two primary factors for determining a worker’s classification and carry greater weight than the other three factors.

The other factors include: the amount of skill required for the work; the degree of permanence of the working relationship between the worker and the potential employer; and whether the work is part of an integrated unit of production.

Pilot partners with Southern Tire Mart to expand service offerings
Pilot Company is partnering with Southern Tire Mart to create a strategic alliance – Southern Tire Mart at Pilot Flying J.

Beginning Jan. 1, the new venture assumed management operations of the current Pilot Flying J Truck Care maintenance facilities. The new operation will continue to offer repair, maintenance, roadside assistance, lube and tire-focused services, Pilot said in a press release.

“We’re excited to bring together the strengths of our network with the expertise of Southern Tire Mart to better meet the tire and maintenance needs of the trucking industry,” said Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Company. “Through this partnership, we look forward to building a nationwide network of on-highway commercial vehicle maintenance, lube and tire-focused services that keeps fleet[s] and drivers moving with safe, well-maintained trucks.”

Southern Tire Mart at PFJ plans to build more than 100 more locations over the next 18 months with a goal to grow the network across the U.S. to 200 over 36 months. The locations will be built at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.

NEW RIHM KENWORTH FACILITY IN MINNESOTA UPDATES PRIOR SPACE | Rihm Kenworth opened a new facility in Albert Lea, Minnesota, to meet growing demand for trucks, parts and services, the company said. The new dealership, off I-35 at 77847 209th Street in Albert Lea, offers services from truck and parts sales to repairs and equipment leasing and rental through Rihm Leasing. The new location moves an original one opened near I-90 in Albert Lea in 2006, providing greater warehouse and shop capacity. Said Kari Rihm, Rihm CEO and President, “We had outgrown our original space and view this move as a terrific opportunity to meet truckers’ needs on the I-35 corridor near two major truck stops.” The dealership is the fifth new facility Rihm Kenworth has opened since 2017, including a new headquarters in South St. Paul and another Twin Cities facility, and two other dealerships in Winona and Mankato. The new Albert Lea locations boasts 27,000 square feet and 12 services bays, a wash bay and more than 6,000 square feet of warehouse.NEW RIHM KENWORTH FACILITY IN MINNESOTA UPDATES PRIOR SPACE | Rihm Kenworth opened a new facility in Albert Lea, Minnesota, to meet growing demand for trucks, parts and services, the company said. The new dealership, off I-35 at 77847 209th Street in Albert Lea, offers services from truck and parts sales to repairs and equipment leasing and rental through Rihm Leasing. The new location moves an original one opened near I-90 in Albert Lea in 2006, providing greater warehouse and shop capacity. Said Kari Rihm, Rihm CEO and President, “We had outgrown our original space and view this move as a terrific opportunity to meet truckers’ needs on the I-35 corridor near two major truck stops.” The dealership is the fifth new facility Rihm Kenworth has opened since 2017, including a new headquarters in South St. Paul and another Twin Cities facility, and two other dealerships in Winona and Mankato. The new Albert Lea locations boasts 27,000 square feet and 12 services bays, a wash bay and more than 6,000 square feet of warehouse.

TA now offering warranty service on Odyssey, NorthStar batteries
Truck drivers can now receive repair services under warranty for Odyssey and NorthStar batteries at any TA Truck Service center across the country, TravelCenters of America anounced.

The new partnership provides drivers easy access to a support network no matter where they purchased the battery, both original equipment and aftermarket purchases.

Additionally, any purchase of any of the Odyssey and NorthStar Group 31 brand batteries at a TA Truck Service will include up to a four-year replacement warranty. NorthStar Pro Group 31 batteries for heavy duty applications have been available for purchase at TA Truck Service locations since May 2020. Odyssey Performance batteries will become available Feb. 1, 2021.

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