The following letter — copied to Nebraska Senators Deb Fischer and Dan Quick, House Rep. Andrian Smith, Governor Pete Rickets and President Trump — was penned by Billie Klimek, Vice President of Larry Klimek Trucking and Brokerage of Grand Island, Neb., and Teresa Sesna.
I am writing in reference to the ELD mandate and the negative effect it will have on our company and other small companies nationwide. Larry Klimek Harvesting was first founded in 1978. The company continued to grow into a small trucking company and eventually a brokerage was formed. We have five trucks and fouor drivers. The President and owner, Lawrence J. Klimek and his brother, Michael Klimek, drive for the company. The Vice President and wife of Lawrence Klimek, Billie Klimek, is among the clerical staff. Larry Klimek Trucking and Brokerage, Inc., is genuine family-based business. The type of business this country was built on.
Larry Klimek Trucking has survived the high costs of heavy highway tax, IFTA, IRP and other taxes; vehicle registration costs; escalating fuel prices; and skyrocketing insurance premiums. These high operating costs place enough of a burden on small businesses. This does not include vehicle and trailer maintenance, and payroll. To deal with these rising costs we have had to reduce the size of our fleet and personnel. The idea of now adding the cost of ELDs has pushed our ability to stay open to the limit.
In addition to the cost of ELDs, we find the fact that a standardized ELD system is not available very objectionable. Internet and mail services have bombarded us with different systems that require high start-up costs and monthly fees or rentals that will require contracts and monthly fees. Some of the ELD companies cater only to larger fleets and are not available to small companies with five or fewer trucks. Some companies allow you to use your own phones or tablets, while others insist smartphones and tablets are not compliant and you need their equipment to be compliant. None of the companies have a service tech in our area, which would subject us to long wait times for someone to come out and do repairs. A large source of our revenue is dealer corn deliveries and returns. We also transport discard corn to ethanol plants. Long wait lines, lack of parking, traffic, detours and road work are not factored into the 14-hour rule in the hours of service. An ELD will constantly put the driver in violation and lead to fines.
If we can get through all the problems, we have the question of affordability. The bottom line for small companies: No.
According to an Overdrive magazine survey of small trucking companies, we find ourselves included in the 71 percent of respondents who [in 2014 intended to] retire or quit over the road trucking [if the ELD final rule was implemented]. U.S. Representative Brian Babin has introduced legislation that would delay the implementation of the ELD mandate for two years (H.R. 3282). We realize the implementation of ELDs is inevitable but additional time would help with standardizing the equipment and training the trucking personnel, including carrier enforcement.
Therefore, we humbly request you to co-sponsor H.R. 3282 and delay the implementation of the ELD mandate. Keep the small companies on the road, keep Larry Klimek Trucking on the road. Without your help our future is very uncertain. –Billie Klimek, VP, Larry Klimek Trucking and Teresa Sesna, Personal Assistant, Larry Klimek Trucking