Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 3.5% in November - Index 2.1% Lower than November 2018
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 3.5% in November after falling 0.7% in October. In November, the index equaled 113.5 (2015=100) compared with 117.6 in October.
“It’s tough to sugar coat November’s reading,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “It was the third decrease in the last four months and the index is down 7.2% since July. Additionally, November was the first month to see a year-over-year drop in the index since April 2017. While disappointing, it fits with the expected soft gross domestic product reading expected in the fourth quarter and reports of a soft fall freight season.”
It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight.
October’s reading was revised down compared with our November press release.
Compared with November 2018, the SA index fell 2.1%, the first year-over-year decline since April 2017 and the largest drop since February of that year. The index is up 3.3% year-to-date compared with the same period last year.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 115 in November, 7.9% below the October level (124.8). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.
ATA Applauds Ratification of USMCA Trade Deal North American Trade Pact Will Provide Boost to Trucking Industry
Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations commended Congress and the Trump administration for ratification of the U.S. - Mexico - Canada Agreement, setting the stage for increased free, fair and equitable trade between our three countries.
“Trade is central to the trucking industry – 76% of all surface freight between the U.S. and our nearest neighbors moves by truck – so the newly ratified USMCA will be a boon to our economy and our industry,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This agreement will boost both U.S. exports and gross domestic product, meaning more truck movements and delivering measurable returns for our industry.”
USMCA is projected to increase annual U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico by a combined $33 billion above the current NAFTA baseline. The agreement is also expected to increase U.S. GDP by $68 billion, stimulating broad sectors of the economy that the trucking industry services, like agriculture and manufacturing.
“NAFTA was the oldest of our 17 trade agreements and due for the sorts of modernization that USMCA made,” said ATA Chief Economist Senior Vice President of International Trade Policy and Cross-Border Operations Bob Costello. “With this new trade agreement in place, we can expect to see increases in exports to Canada and Mexico and a measurable increase in our gross domestic product in the years ahead. Because trucks move 70% of all freight in the U.S., implementation of USMCA will have direct benefits to the trucking industry.”
In 2018, trucks moved more than $770 billion worth of goods between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and transnational trade between the three countries supported roughly 90,000 U.S. jobs in the trucking industry. Those figures should only increase as USMCA is implemented.
"But more than that, it is proof positive that even in this increasingly polarized political environment, our elected leaders can still get big things done for the good of our country,” Spear said. “President Trump, Speaker Pelosi and Leader McConnell all deserve credit for setting aside partisanship and moving this important modernization of our trade policy forward.
“We hope that this shared victory will pave the way for more bipartisan solutions on the critical issues facing our country, such as the infrastructure crisis and the skyrocketing costs it’s imposing on the American people.”
ATA Renews PrePass as Endorsed Featured Product
Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations announced that it has renewed PrePass—a product of the PrePass Safety Alliance—as an Endorsed ATA Business Solutions Featured Product. ATA also endorses PrePass Safety Alliance’s PrePass Plus electronic toll payment solution, MOTION, ALERTS and INFORM products.
PrePass is a weigh station bypass platform offered throughout North America that allows qualified commercial vehicles with good safety scores and current credentials to bypass hundreds of inspection facilities using a secure, hands-free in-cab electronic device.
“Minimizing truck downtime is key for a fleet’s productivity and profitability,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The service and technology offered in PrePass exemplify how innovative products can streamline a carrier’s operations and increase efficiency throughout the entire supply chain.”
Within seconds of approaching a PrePass-equipped site, the service automatically pre-screens vehicles and notifies drivers if they are cleared to stay on the road and bypass truck scales, or if they need to pull in for inspection.
PrePass Plus offers electronic toll payment options. INFORM, included in both services, is a comprehensive data management suite that assists fleets in accessing and understanding their inspection, bypass and tolling data so they can take actions to improve safety scores and reduce operating costs.
“With steadily increasing costs and reduced productivity, the trucking industry needs to save time and money wherever possible without sacrificing safety,” said PrePass Safety Alliance President and CEO Mark Doughty. “PrePass works with carriers to ensure they maximize their efficiency and safety benefits by receiving the largest possible number of bypasses and eliminating toll road delays. The PrePass suite of services truly helps carriers improve driver satisfaction, retention, and ultimately, their bottom line.”
A complete list of ATA Featured Product companies is available at www.atabusinesssolutions.com or by calling 866-821-3468.
CTA Supports Modernizing Labour Code but Cautions Feds Need to Mind Methods and Pace of Change
TORONTO, CANADA… With the federal election now behind us, the Canadian Trucking Alliance is urging Ottawa to work with the industry to preserve exemptions to new labour provisions and continue efforts to modernize the Canada Labour Code in a balanced way that considers the operational realities of the trucking industry.
With a new cabinet set to be announced on November 20, CTA is encouraging Ottawa to solidify into regulation the exemptions related to the scheduling of workers while also working with the trucking industry as it consults on other proposed changes, such as the introduction of a new Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMPs) regime, efforts relating to new pay equity and pay transparency rules, and new requirements relating to accessibility.
“CTA agrees the Canada Labour Code should reflect the values of a modern Canadian society and supply chain – the two are not mutually exclusive,” says CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “At the same time, though, the government must recognize the complexity, scale, and diversity of our industry. Applying monolithic solutions to such a diverse and unique sector does not always work.”
Recently, CTA has provided comments to ESDC on consultations relating to Pay Transparency, Accessibility and the proposed AMPS regime. In general, CTA supports efforts to modernize these areas, but continues to raise concerns with the speed and sweeping nature of the changes.
“The trucking industry is aggressive in our attempts to attract Canadians to our sector, including those from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the trucking industry,” said Jonathan Blackham, CTA director of Policy and Public Affairs. “But as we continue to innovate, we must also caution government that all new measures need to be carefully examined for their cumulative impact on businesses of all sizes. As we work with the Government of Canada, it’s imperative they remain mindful our industry is unique and faces very different challenges than other federally-regulated sectors like banking and telecommunications.”
CTA is encouraging members who are interested in labour files to sign up for CTA’s Labour Committee as these files will be highly active over the next 24-36 months. To sign up, please contact your local provincial trucking association and indicate you are interested in CTA’s labour committee.
Help Deliver Driver Inc. Warning to the Supply Chain
The expansion of drivers and carriers operating within the underground economy through Driver Inc is a growing concern for the trucking industry. The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) have been leading the charge in Ottawa and Queen’s Park to rid the industry of the illegal scheme known as Driver Inc.
While government enforcement is key to forcing non-compliant drivers and companies into obeying the law, OTA is asking the industry to educate members in the supply chain about the growing challenges and dangers Driver Inc companies pose.
OTA has prepared a tip sheet for the supply chain that illustrates what Driver Inc is, how to identify potential Driver Inc participants, as well as possible associated business and liability risks of partnering with Driver Inc companies.
“This OTA document is intended to assist the supply chain in engaging an informed conversation about the impact of the illegal practice known as Driver Inc.,” said OTA President Stephen Laskowski. “Every member in the supply chain needs to understand how this practice is noncompliant from both a tax and labour perspective.”
To obtain a copy of the OTA document click here: OTA-DriverIncTipSheet_public.
NATSO Applauds President and Congress for Renewing the Biodiesel Blenders Tax Credit
Alexandria, VA… NATSO, representing America's travel plazas and truckstops, has applauded Congress for passing and President Trump for signing legislation that would retroactively renew the $1 per-gallon biodiesel blenders tax credit and extend it through 2022. Reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit immediately incentivizes fuel retailers to once again begin buying and blending biofuels after years of market uncertainty. It is an enormous victory for not only the travel center industry, but also for the environment and America's truck drivers and consumers.
Such policy achievements are only possible when a diverse group of lawmakers, representing both parties, various geographic regions and demographic constituencies, work together to achieve mutually compatible objectives. It is reassuring to see that policymakers can still work together to make progress for American communities and businesses.
Specifically, NATSO would like to thank Representatives Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), Kendra Horn (D-OK), and Ron Kind (D-WI) for leading the charge among House Democrats, without whom the biodiesel tax credit would not have been extended. NATSO also thanks Representatives Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) for their strong support to get this policy extended. Republican lawmakers Darin LaHood (R-IL), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Kevin Hern (R-OK), and George Holding (R-NC) were also critical allies in this effort.
In the Senate, Iowa Republican Senators Joni Ernst and Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley -- the "Architect" of the biodiesel tax credit -- were essential to extending this policy. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) were also strong allies in this effort.
ON Ministry of Environment Highlights Path to Delete Kit Enforcement
Toronto, Canada… The Government of Ontario is taking action to protect Ontario’s air and reduce smog-causing pollutants by targeting the use of emission-control delete kits in the trucking industry.
In two Decision Notices posted just before Christmas, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) outlined its processes, action plan and timelines for addressing environmentally non-compliant carriers using delete kits. Members can read the full MECP approach by clicking here https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0416 and here https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0646
The MECP Decision Notice outlined the regulatory process for developing the electronic test to detect emissions tampering; the implementation of an environmental test component in the annual safety inspection for a truck; and the amendments that transfer responsibility for vehicle emission inspections and enforcement from the MECP to the Ministry of Transportation. I also highlighted how the non-compliant sector of the industry lobbied against this important environment initiative:
“Many comments were received about enforcement actions regarding the tampering or defeating of emission control systems,” it stated. “Mixed comments were received from individuals, with some in support and some opposed. Some vehicle operators that voiced opposition to enforcement against tampered vehicles indicated that they have or operate vehicles with tampered emission control systems. They state that enforcement actions will have a negative financial impact on them…In addition the failure to comply with emission control system requirements by some of the trucking industry is creating an unlevel playing field within the transportation industry.”
The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) applauds the direction of this vital environmental policy as well as the leadership of Minister Yurek for standing up against non-compliant carriers who assume they should not have to bear the cost of environmental compliance, says OTA president Stephen Laskowski.
“The non-compliant portion of our industry is becoming more brazen – to the extent of actually identifying themselves as lawbreakers to government and claiming they are above the law. Apparently, some in our sector actually believe governments should shield them from the same laws imposed on all compliant businesses,” he said. “This dangerous and growing sense of entitlement by the underbelly of our industry has led to selective regulatory compliance, which needs to end swiftly. Congratulations to Minister Yurek for protecting the environment and standing up for law-abiding carriers.
OTA is also encouraging shippers to show leadership by addressing transportation service providers who may be moving their freight through delete-kit vehicles and polluting the environment.
Shippers interested in becoming more proactive in this area should reach out to the Ontario Trucking Association.
Relatedly, MECP has also announced a reporting mechanism in the New Year for people to report polluting trucks or businesses/technicians engaged in tampering. OTA will be educating its members about using this reporting method in the New Year.
Ontario AG Highlights Safety Benefit of Drug and Alcohol Testing for Commercial Drivers
Ontario’s Auditor General has highlighted the lack of drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers. The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) continues to push the federal government for a mandatory drug and alcohol testing program for workers in safety sensitive positions like trucking.
CTA supports mandatory testing for truck drivers as a measure that needs to be adopted by all provinces. The Alliance would encourage all provinces to work with the Government of Canada to introduce mandatory drug and alcohol testing for both federally and provincially regulated trucking companies. Provincial policies related to drug and alcohol testing would only have authority on trucking fleets that do not leave provincial boundaries; leaving those fleets who conduct business out of the province not covered by this important safety policy.
“CTA applauds the Ontario Auditor General report for highlighting the safety benefit of requiring drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers,” says Scott Smith, chair of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “We appreciate and support the work to date on this matter by Transport Canada and hope to see the Government of Canada support this important road safety policy in 2020.”
In the Annual Report, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk reviewed some concerns and potential improvements related to commercial vehicle safety and enforcement in the province, highlighting the lack of drug and alcohol testing as a potential issue related to road safety and truck collisions:
“In Ontario, commercial vehicle drivers are not subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing either before or during their employment. In addition, Ontario drivers who hold a prescription for medical marijuana may operate a commercial vehicle with marijuana present in their system as long as they are not legally impaired, unlike those who use it recreationally,” she stated.
Dozens of Ontario-based fleets are learning that the deployment of the Driver Inc. scheme is starting to come with real consequences. As reported earlier in the year, several Ontario-based trucking companies have already received adjustments from the WSIB for over $200,000 for Driver Inc and related noncompliance. Since that time, dozens of other Ontario-based fleets have also received adjustments from the WSIB for Driver Inc. and similar offenses.
“The WSIB uses data-driven approaches to identify Driver Inc. companies and other non-compliance in our sector. We expect these efforts will keep WSIB enforcement personnel busy for some time to come,” said OTA’s director of Policy and Public Affairs, Jonathan Blackham. “Compliant carriers would like to thank the WSIB for being the only agency to date, provincially or federally, to put such a focused effort on ensuring compliance and protecting workers in our sector.”
Earlier in the year, the WSIB committed to the trucking industry it would switch from random audits to focused audits. To assist in the detection of noncompliance such as Driver Inc., the WSIB has a hotline available for drivers to report companies forcing them into the Driver Inc. scheme. Carriers can also use the hotline to report illegal activities, including Driver Inc. carriers.
The WSIB’s confidential tip line is: 1-888- 745- 3237
Before any enforcement action is conducted, the WSIB performs its own analysis to gauge the validity of the tip. This is an excellent way for misclassified workers and concerned carriers to bring noncompliance to the WSIB’s attention, says OTA.
“We believe the WSIB is doing everything in their power to address Driver Inc.,” said OTA Chair David Carruth. “Now that the election is over, we need CRA, ESDC and the federal government to do their part as well.”
The Driver Inc. model is the mechanism through which many unsafe and noncompliant fleets fuel their growth. However, Driver Inc. is not just a tax scam, it’s a truck safety, labour standards, and health and safety issue as well.
Prior to the election, the Minister of Labour, Patty Hajdu, committed to working with the industry on Driver Inc. While announcements by CRA regarding the mandatory use of T4A and the legal implications of Driver Inc. have been helpful in raising awareness, enforcement actions have not met the expectations of Canadian Trucking Alliance member carriers.
CTA conservatively estimates that Ottawa loses at least $1 billion in tax revenue to Driver Inc practices in the trucking industry.
Despite not taking swift action as of yet, CRA itself admits that non-compliance with the Tax Code is a major problem. In a report titled Tax Gap and Compliance Results for the Federal Corporate Income Tax System, the agency reported the corporate income tax gap for 2014 was between $9.4 billion and $11.4 billion.
OOIDA thanks Rep. Babin for speaking out on truck driver coercion, highlighting flaws with NCCDB
Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association thanks U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, for calling out federal regulators and their inaction regarding truck driver coercion. Rep. Babin sent a letterto the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expressing alarm that the agency’s programs that are supposed to address reports of unsafe or coercive behavior by some businesses within the trucking industry are wholly ineffective.
“The very agency that oversees highway safety among commercial vehicles should be a far better example of protecting the hard-working men and women expected to comply with its safety regulations,” said OOIDA President, Todd Spencer. “Instead, the programs intended to prevent or stop coercing drivers into violating safety regulations are not being implemented as intended.”
The letter points out the troubling practice of some motor carriers, shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries to threaten or punish drivers that refuse to operate in violation of federal safety regulations and the dangers this creates.
“Congress recognized the importance of protecting America’s truckers from coercion when it required FMCSA to establish a process to investigate carriers, shippers, and receivers that push drivers to violate safety rules,” said Rep. Babin. “While the agency has established this system, I’ve heard from too many truckers that it has not been effective or reliable. It is time to make sure that FMCSA is holding up its end of the bargain and properly addressing claims brought forward by drivers.”
The Association looks forward to working with Congress and the agency in making sure the problems in those programs are resolved and commercial drivers can confidently report incidences of coercion and ultimately improve highway safety.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.
PA Turnpike Reminds Travelers of 2020 Toll Increase
HARRISBURG, PA… The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) wants to remind customers that effective Jan. 5th, tolls increasedsix percent for cash, E-ZPass and TOLL BY PLATE customers. The increase, approved by the commissioners last July, takes effect on all sections and extensions excluding three western PA “cashless” tolling facilities.
The most common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase from $1.40 to $1.50 for E-ZPass customers and from $2.30 to $2.50 for cash customers. The most common toll for a Class-5 tractor trailer will increase from $3.70 to $4.00 for E-ZPass and from $16.30 to $17.30 for cash. The cashless toll at the westbound Delaware River Bridge will increase from $5.30 to $5.70 for E-ZPass customers and from $7.20 to $7.70 for those who use PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE.
Since 2009 the PTC has increased tolls annually to fulfill a funding obligation required by Act 44 of 2009. As a result, the PTC has delivered more than $6 billion in funding to PennDOT in the last decade. By law, these payments support mass transit statewide, with the bulk of funding supporting transit in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
The PA Turnpike Commission strives to provide a reliable roadway that outpaces national averages in ride quality, safety and incident-response rates. More than 85 percent of the PTC’s capital plan reflects a focus on mobility and safety. To date more than 144 miles of its roadway system, which turns 80 years old this year, have been reconstructed.
To check toll rates for any Turnpike trip visit https://www.paturnpike.com/toll/tollmileage.aspx
Schneider Named a Top Company for Women to Work for in Transportation
GREEN BAY, WI… In recognition of its dedication to employment practices and opportunities for females, Schneider (NYSE: SNDR), has been named a Top Company for Women to Work For in Transportation by the Women in Trucking Association (WIT). The honor is given annually by WIT’s official magazine, “Redefining the Road,” and celebrates companies that encourage the employment of women and minimize the obstacles they face in the trucking industry.
Over 150 companies were nominated and 11,000 votes cast to identify the companies named to this year’s list, which is comprised of a range of business sectors in the commercial freight transportation industry. The honor distinguishes nominated companies on several criteria, including:
•Corporate culture fostering gender diversity.
•Competitive compensation and benefits .
•Career development and advancement opportunities.
“We’re committed to creating a company that promotes and celebrates inclusion and equality,” said Erin Van Zeeland, Schneider’s senior vice president and general manager of logistics services. “We’re proud to receive the honor of being a Top Company for Women to Work For, and of all the talented and driven women at Schneider who exemplify what we stand for.”
Schneider has a strong track record of promoting the employment and advancement of women. As a charter member of WIT, the company is a leader in providing opportunities to women in a traditionally male-dominated industry. In 2007, Schneider established the Schneider Women’s Network with the goal of positioning the company to attract, develop and retain female talent. Through the Schneider Women’s Network, associates gain opportunities to accelerate professional development and build relationships within the company, with customers and suppliers and in the greater community.
Schneider professional driver and training engineer, Kellylynn McLaughlin, was also recently named a finalist for WIT’s Influential Woman in Trucking award. Over 100 women were nominated for the award, which recognizes the achievements of female role models and trailblazers in the trucking industry. Previously a child passenger safety expert for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and SafeKids, McLaughlin has held a number of positions in the transportation industry. Now a professional driver stakeholder representative at the local, regional, national and international levels, McLaughlin mentors new Schneider drivers and is a strong advocate for women in trucking.
To learn more about Schneider’s dedication to providing career opportunities to women, please visit https://schneiderjobs.com/truck-driving-jobs/women....
For more information about Schneider, visit www.schneider.com or follow the company socially on LinkedIn and Twitter: @WeAreSchneider.
Transport Canada Continues work to Reduce Driver Distraction – Carrier Survey Input Required
As previously noted, Transport Canada (TC) has embarked on developing comprehensive training material to help mitigate driver distraction in the motor carrier industry. The deliverables will include training material for drivers and a fleet management guideline for managers, and both will be made available free of charge to the industry. Education and training to combat distracted driving were a key recommendation in the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s 10-point Action Planto improve truck safety and compliance.
The TC project is on a two-year timeframe and was initiated in July 2019. The first phase, which is now complete, involved reviewing scientific models of driver distraction and driver training to identify the issues that should be covered in training material and fleet guidelines.
The second phase includes a survey administered by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and aims to identifying current practices to mitigate driver distraction (company policies, driver training, etc.) in the Canadian motor carrier industry. On the basis of this data, TC will be able to assess if and to what extent the issues identified in phase one are being used in current practices. This will allow the research team to identify gaps and to develop comprehensive material that will address them.
“Distracted driving is a growing epidemic that affects all road users. Proactive efforts to deter distraction are critical. This work by Transport Canada will enhance materials and information available to all parties in the trucking industry and addresses a key point identified in CTA’s 10-point plan on truck safety,” said Geoff Wood, senior VP, Policy, Canadian Trucking Alliance. “CTA will continue to work with its provincial associations, carrier and supplier membership as well as like-minded organizations such as the Traffic Injury Research Foundation to provide as much support as possible to prevent distracted driving and make roadways safer.”
Both driver training material and fleet management guidelines to mitigate driver distraction are expected to be available by March 2021.
If you are interested in participating, please click here for a link to the survey. Further questions about the Research and Survey Work can be directed to Matthew Camden ([email protected])or Jeff Hickman ([email protected])
Truckers And Industry Experts Contest California Gig Economy Law
New legislation in California could rewrite the rules for large parts of today’s gig economy. Advanced Training Systems’ John Kearney cautions that applying the law to long-trucking could be both unhelpful to truck drivers and dangerous to the U.S. economy.
(St. Petersburg, FL) December 10, 2019—On September 18, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law California Assembly Bill 5. The new law, which takes effect January 1, limits companies’ ability to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.1 On November 12, the California Trucking Association filed suit in federal court, arguing that AB5 will deny California-based truck owner-operators the ability to work as independent self-employed drivers who profit from their own vehicles and set their own schedules.2 “This legislation is well-meaning,” says John Kearney, CEO, Advanced Training Systems LLC, “and it addresses some real issues in today’s labor economy.” Kearney, whose company is a leading designer and manufacturer of virtual simulators for driver training, among other applications, adds, “Applying it to the trucking industry, however, would be neither useful nor helpful.”
Other states, notes Kearney, are also considering measures aimed at worker reclassification. A bill pending in the New Jersey legislature would reclassify virtually all workers in the state as regular employees.3 A coalition of labor groups is pursuing similar legislation in New York, and California’s example could encourage the revival of failed attempts in Washington State and Oregon. New York City adopted a minimum wage for ride-hail driers working for companies like Lyft and Uber, but did not classify them as employees.4
The new California law specifies an “ABC” test to determine a worker’s status. Workers will be classified as employees if they:
(A) Perform tasks under a company’s control;
(B) Do something integral to the company’s business;
(C) Do not operate an independent business in that trade;
As such, he or she is entitled to the area’s prevailing minimum wage, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, expense reimbursement, paid sick leave and paid family leave. In addition, the employer is required to pay half of the employee’s Social Security tax.5
The trucking industry, Kearney says, is structured in such a way as to make the ABC test a poor fit.. The U.S. has approximately 3.5 million truck drivers,6 the vast majority of whom are local and short-haul drivers already classified as employees. There are also, however, approximately 350,000 independent business people who own and operate their own trucks and whose businesses are based on contracting—usually with trucking companies—to make long-haul, full-truckload runs.7
As plaintiffs in the AB5 case have pointed out,2 about 70,000 of these people are based in California and have made it clear that they do not want their businesses disrupted. In addition, notes Kearney, the California law, if applied to truck drivers, may be in violation of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994, which bars states from enacting or enforcing laws affecting the transportation of property by motor carrier.8
“Trucking,” says Kearney, “is essential to the U.S. economy—it’s how we move over 70 percent of all goods sold. The industry is currently struggling with a severe shortage of drivers, especially drivers willing and able to make the long-haul runs that keep American commerce functioning. To attract and retain the new drivers we need, the industry is changing rapidly. Issues of employment status and compensation are of course arising as part of these changes, and are being addressed; shotgun legislation like California’s AB5 would simply be a distraction from that effort. What trucking needs today are solutions, not more problems.”
About Advanced Training Systems LLC:
Advanced Training Systems (ATS) is a technology and engineering firm that has revolutionized the design and manufacture of high-tech simulator systems to improve training for operators of all types of motor-powered vehicles. ATS, the holder of multiple patents in its field, is dedicated to providing cutting-edge adaptive training at an affordable cost to all involved in the transportation industry, resulting in more qualified drivers/operators and safer streets. For more information, visit www.atstrainingsystems.com
1. Myers, John, Bhuiyan, Johana, and Roosevelt, Margot, “Newson signs bill rewriting California employment law, limiting use of independent contractors,” Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2019.
2. Bollag, Sophia, “California’s new gig economy law challenged in court by truck drivers,” Sacramento Bee, November 12, 2019.
3. Britschgi, Christian, “New Jersey Takes a Swipe at the Gig Economy With New Independent Contractor Bill,” Reason, November 21, 2019.
4. Conger, Kate, and Scheiber, Noam, “California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees,” New York Times, September 11, 2019.
5. Said, Carolyn, “AB5 gig work bill: All your questions answered,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 16, 2019.
6. “Truck Drivers in the USA,” alltrucking.com, 2019.
7. “Owner-Operator and Professional Employee Driver Facts,” Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, 2019.
8. Fesenden, James C., and Drapalski, Anet, “Perspective: What AB 5 Means dfor California Trucking,” Transport Topics, November 4, 2019.
Used Truck Market Remains Strong for PacLease Trucks Coming Off Full-Service Leases
BELLEVUE, WA… With a large inventory of used trucks on the market, buyers have a lot of choices. According to PacLease, that means top quality vehicles await for those who do their homework.
“How a truck ‘looks’ is one thing, but the mechanical condition is a totally different matter,” said Justin Barnhart, General Manager – PacLease Texas Company Stores. “You want both, so pay particular attention to the trucks maintenance records before you make a purchase. That will help guide you to the best purchasing decision."
According to Barnhart, trucks coming off full-service leases from PacLease are sought after by truck buyers due to their detailed maintenance records, and the way they were spec’d. “We’ve always felt PacLease trucks coming off a lease were one of the used truck industry’s best-kept secrets, and a best buy,” he said. “With our lease program continuing to grow not only in Texas, but throughout the country, it means we’re now offering more PacLease units in the used market.”
According to Barnhart, PacLease’s used Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks come with full maintenance records, which have been maintained by PacLease technicians that have extensive training on Peterbilt and Kenworth equipment. PacLease also adheres to an aggressive preventive maintenance program. “That means PacLease trucks coming off lease – both long haul and medium duty – have plenty of low-maintenance life left,” said Barnhart. “The trucks are anywhere from 3 to 6-years old with lower miles than most used trucks of their vintage. What’s more, most qualify for extended warranties for added assurance and protection. They served our lease customers well, they’re now ready to do the same for our next customer. It’s why our dealers often get calls from customers asking when PacLease trucks are coming in for sale. They want first crack.”
PacLease used trucks are sold through most Kenworth and Peterbilt dealership locations, but they’re not visually marked as PacLease vehicles. “It’s best to ask the used truck salesperson if they have any PacLease trucks in stock, then they can match up specs to see if there is a fit,” said Barnhart. “Each PacLease truck was originally custom spec’d for an application – which means they’re typically designed with high productivity, weight savings, and fuel economy in mind. They’re cream-of-the-crop when it comes to used vehicles. In addition, when PacLease trucks are spec’d they frequently include the latest technology such as electronic stability control systems, automated manual transmissions, and adaptive cruise control -- features that are considered standard options in new trucks today, but may not have been as common when the truck was built.
“Driver satisfaction and retention is also a very important metric that plays a vital role in the health of a transportation business,” said Barnhart. “That’s not lost on used truck purchasers who see the added value Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks bring to their fleet.”
PACCAR Leasing is a part of the financial services group of PACCAR Inc, a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR shares are traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market, symbol PCAR, and its homepage can be found at www.paccar.com.