The truck booting trap, and one small fleet owner’s ongoing crusade for a solution

user-gravatar
Leander-Richmond-2019-11-08-12-11
Eagle Express small fleet owner Leander Richmond

of Canton, Michigan, has seen his share of exorbitant
parking violation fees. Photo courtesy of Denise Marhoefer

“This does not happen to cars, this does not happen to campers,” says Leander Richmond of the phenomenon of private-lot booting of trucks in which drivers are sleeping, most often during federally mandated rest periods, of course. With parking pressures exacerbated in some senses by the electronic logging device mandate, drivers’ willingness to utilize that last-resort spot on a given lot has in Richmond’s view brought the predatory-boot issue to the fore. He’s seen it in cases of his own 12 trucks’ drivers from time to time, with fees to remove the boot as high as $2,400 in the most egregious case.

But “let’s just call it what it is,” he says of such practices: “Stealing from truck drivers.” (Picture of Richmond above by Denise Marhoefer.)

His efforts to fight the egregious practice when drivers are asleep in the bunk I’ve written about before — he’s been successful when booters violate local ordinances that govern their businesses. Or, as in one recent case he details in this week’s Overdrive Radio podcast, the booter didn’t even have a contract with a particular property owner to be doing what he was doing on that property.

Local and/or state laws around booting and towing vary considerably, as Richmond has most certainly found in his efforts to raise awareness among truckers and law enforcement about the more predatory boots in that business. Here, what he sees as a possible solution to the problem. Take a listen:

Also in the podcast: A further window into one of the conversations with participants in “That’s a Big 10-4 on D.C.,” which happened early last month on the National Mall in Washington. This talk introduces a little bit of the history, stretching back into the 1980s, and the long development of the business of independent Germann Soeth, of Frederick, Maryland. If you missed the video detailing his 1998 Kenworth and part of his history published a couple weeks back, find it here:

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2021 edition of Partners in Business.
Download
Partners in Business Issue Cover