Features
Land Line History
The past 25 years

During the anxious times of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, a small but determined group of people set out to improve their lot in life as truckers through the power of organization. They formed the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

Not long after the association was created, OOIDA's board of directors realized that they required a way to communicate with members and others. The truck magazines that were published at the time printed very little about the important issues affecting small business truckers. OOIDA needed its own mouthpiece to inform truckers of their rights, report what was really happening in Washington, to help professional truckers with their businesses and to report the activities of the association. The first issue of Land Line Magazine was launched in 1975.

From its inception, the mission of Land Line was clear. Its vintage issues were filled with news and features, aimed at keeping lone truckers informed and connected. Those issues also featured word-for-word testimonies presented to government officials, transportation committee members and anyone else who would listen. OOIDA wanted to make known the abuses perpetrated upon truckers and bring solutions to those small companies out there swimming with the sharks.

Twenty-five years later, OOIDA has been called the most influential of organizations representing professional truckers and its publication, Land Line, continues to serve its original purpose.

1975
Land Line reports on revenue skimming: Truckers now have the right to demand a copy of rated freight bill

1976
PA Congressman Joe McDade testifies to U.S. House on behalf of truckers: Says small-business truckers are competing with the twin giants of large business and large federal regulatory agency

1977
Dock time: ICC passes nationwide detention rule
Eye on oil companies: The bitterly cold winter serves as excuse for oil companies hoax energy shortage (yes, guys and gals - in 1977)
Does 55 mph save lives and fuel? Government studies try to show it does, but OOIDA says they aren't considering all the facts

1978
ICC leasing rule proposal promises to force carriers to give owner-operators a fair shake. ATA predicts adhering to these rules would become "such an irritation that the services of owner-operators would no longer be needed."
Plenty of controversy over proposed hours-of-service regs, including one option that banned driving from midnight to 6 a.m. On behalf of truckers, OOIDA's Jim Johnston voices strong opposition.

1979
ICC gives independent truckers new legal protection with new leasing regs
Shutdown '79: Pleas for fuel crisis relief fall on deaf ears.
Rep. Tom Daschle, D-SD, introduces HR4563, calling for gross weight of at least 80,000 lbs. and at least 65 ft.
OOIDA board of directors wants logbooks gone

1980
Lumping is a rip off: Will the Loading-Unloading Act of 1979 be a solution?
DOT says logbook still in
International registration: Changes in IRP being considered
ICC proposes restructure options on fuel surcharges: Owner-operators choose "none of the above"
Deregulation: (Motor Carrier Act of 1980) signed into law by President Carter

1981
DOT terminates a revision process of the hours-of-service rules started in 1976
Lumping: Government says rule revisions should clarify who is responsible for labor
Fuel surcharge replaced with mileage-based surcharge: ICC actions spur debate
One year after passage, the Motor Carrier Act provokes deluge of protest: Enforcement has been less than satisfactory

1982
American Trucking Associations contest leasing rules: ATA says owner-operators are treated fairly
The rate war: OOIDA petitions ICC to consider owner-operators' operating costs when determining rates
ICC finds no "quick cure" for lumping
OOIDA's first annual convention: April 17, 1982
A new concept for coping with paperwork: A fuel reporting program similar to IRP
Carriers are responsible for actions of their agents: Loophole in ICC's Leasing Rules (dating back to 1979) has been closed.
Operating authority: Eased entry means opportunities for independents

1983
Highway Use Tax: OOIDA calls it Highway Robbery Act of 1982 and vows to get it lowered.
Uniform detention rules eliminated
Shutdown Jan. 31, 1983: Issues are increased taxes, predatory rate cutting and discriminatory taxes
ICC denies owner-operator cost of operation petition initiated in 1982: Petition would have forced the ICC to address predatory ratemaking
Three states on board for IFTA
DOT offers alternatives to much-criticized $1,900 HUT. Alternatives will actually increase user tax, says OOIDA

1984
Single source (private) leasing approved: Unlimited opportunity for owner-operators. ATA quips, "You guys (owner-operators) will be taken to the cleaners."
ATA files suit against New Jersey's decal fee: OOIDA files to intervene, wants to ensure owner-operators who actually paid the fee get refunds
OOIDA's effort to reduce HUT pays off. Highway Use Tax is lowered from $1,900 per to $550 per year
LL features articles on recordkeeping and compliance: Cost to trucking industry estimated at $1 billion annually, plusthe taxes and fees
New Jersey hit again: OOIDA participates in suit against retaliatory tax
OOIDA files suit against Oklahoma's ICC registration fee

1985
ATA's new direction: Soliciting owner-operators for membership
Pennsylvania's $36 axle tax discriminates against out-of-state truckers: ruled unconstitutional by state court
OOIDA suit prompts Oklahoma to lower fees; refunds issued
OOIDA files suit against New Hampshire: Fuel decal fee unconstitutional
Deregulation: Which way now? Owner-operators welcome opportunity, but fear weak bargaining power
Thirty-day lease rule may be eliminated: OOIDA has asked ICC to approve this change
OOIDA participates in a suit against Indiana's SHU fee: Refunds awarded to owner-operators

1986
OOIDA says that lower fuel prices may be wiped out by higher taxes
Highway Trust Fund under attack
Leasing policy change: 30-day rule eliminated
The high cost of 55: States are losing federal funding for noncompliance of national speed limit
OOIDA opposes substituting computer documents for rated freight bills: Another opportunity to skim owner-operators
National truckdriver licensing system mandated: Individual states to adopt single license system by 1992
Black boxes denied. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) petitions for mandatory "tachographs" (black boxes): The fed's immediate plans won't be calling for Big Brother
OOIDA participates in suit against Vermont's decal fee: Refunds awarded to owner-operators

1987
State fees on truckers under scrutiny: Current legal actions by OOIDA, ATA and Private Truck Council of America in 14 states
No more multiple licenses: Congress mandates one CDL
State Supreme Court strikes down PA axle tax: Estimates place the amount of revenue collected from tax between $300-$500 million. Under ATA's proposed refund plan, only companies registered with PA will receive the refunds.
Court declares New Hampshire fuel decal fees unconstitutional: Refunds coming
Taxes, O/O and refunds: OOIDA files application to intervene in case brought by ATA against Pennsylvania to ensure owner-operators receive refunds directly
A Drug Free America: The U.S. Senate approves new legislation requiring more than 4 million Americans that work in transportation be tested for drug use.

1988
OOIDA scores in NJ tax court: OOIDA, et al can intervene in a court challenge to have refunds sent directly to owner-operators
Uniform weights and lengths: A goal that may never be reached
Indiana Boycott - Several legitimate beefs: 55 mph, rates, taxes
Truckers rant over surprise ban on radar detectors
Election '88: Land Line interviews Bush and Dukakis on major issues of interest to the nation's independent truckers
DOT takes lead in "zero tolerance" drug testing parade: DOT Secretary Jim Burnley vows to have testing programs in place before his term ends
Is there a drug test in your future? OOIDA tells courts that DOT rules on random testing are unwarranted, unjustified and a violation of constitutional freedoms
Secretary of Transportation Jim Burnley announces DOT's drug testing rules: Within hours of announcement, OOIDA marches to doors of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to file suit
OOIDA participates in a suit against Maryland charging unconstitutional decal fee: Refunds awarded to owner-operators

1989
OOIDA's swift action on drug testing pays off: Judge strikes down DOT's random and post-accident testing rules, grants injunction
Burnley out/Skinner in: Sam Skinner appointed Secretary of Transportation and inherits drug-testing litigation
Court upholds OOIDA argument: Injunction barring random and post-accident testing remains in effect
Boycotts do work: Indiana governor signed into law a structure change in speed limits
OOIDA participated in a suit against Georgia, Florida charging unconstitutional retaliatory taxes: Refunds awarded to owner-operators
Random and post-accident testing (without probable cause) scheduled to be dropped from DOT regs, pending decision by the courts

1990
Discriminatory abuse of out-of-state truckers and warrantless cab/sleeper searches prompt OOIDA to initiate legal battle against Tennessee PSC
Fuel prices skyrocket
OOIDA intervenes in ATA suit against Maine's fuel use decal fee: Refunds should go to owner-operators who paid the fee
Bill introduced to establish national uniformity in registration, permits and taxation
DOT-mandated drug testing begins: Non-compliance could mean hefty fines
So-called safety project funding: ATA asks for portion of NJ refunds

1991
OOIDA files suit against Alabama: Fuel decal marker fee imposed on foreign motor carriers is unconstitutional
Feds see highway bill as "new vision" but truckers need rose-colored glasses to see it DOT's way
OOIDA participates in suit against Arkansas: Highway use taxes ruled unconstitutional; owner-operators included in refund plan
Should fuel-related increases be passed on to the actual buyers? ATA says no
Loading and unloading problems continue to plague truckers
Temperatures rising for TN PSC's Keith Bissell: OOIDA expands lawsuit after reports of crafty campaign contributions
New Jersey refunds increase by $500,000: ATA's proposed safety refund dropped
OOIDA asks FHWA to extend CDL 1992 deadline: States making slow progress
New Hampshire hit again: OOIDA participates in suit charging $20 fuel decal fee unconstitutional; refunds distributed
Senate passes highway bill, sends it on to House. House fails to deliver highway bill before recess. Negotiations broke down over 5-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase.

1992
Intermodal Surface Transportation and Efficiency Act (ISTEA) finally approved. Includes provisions for single state registration; driver training
FHWA denies OOIDA's plea for CDL deadline (April 1, 1992) extension
Got your CDL? LL publishes tips on how to keep it
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Wiseman rules in favor of the PSC on cab searches as part of routine truck inspections. Discriminatory abuse of out-of-state truckers still before the court. OOIDA vows to take warrantless cab/sleeper searches to higher court.
Corruption uncovered in TN: OOIDA allowed to conduct more depositions that should beef up charges against Bissell
ATA wants $12 million in attorney fees from PA axle suit: OOIDA says that's too much for any lawyers' piece of pie
NAFTA: Agreement contains significant transportation provisions that could have a profound effect on the trucking industry's future
Random roadside drug/alcohol testing begins: DOT kicks off a four-state pilot program running through 1993
OOIDA files suit challenging constitutionality of random roadside testing: Petition calls for an emergency injunction to stop program
OOIDA participated in suit against Mississippi's bingo stamp fee: Refunds awarded to owner-operators

1993
OOIDA vs. Commissioner Keith Bissell and the Tennessee PSC goes to trial in Nashville. The proceedings last 11 days.
Hours of service - OOIDA tells FHWA to consider new realities. OOIDA supports 24-hour rule, but want conditions
PA prepares to refund axle tax: More states have refunds in the hopper
Single state registration takes shape: New system expected to save hundreds of millions in dollars and mountains of paperwork
Court refuses to enjoin random roadside testing program: OOIDA calls for an expedited hearing
FHWA kills proposal for 24-hour rule
OOIDA participates in suit against Massachusetts charging fuel decal fee unconstitutional: Refunds awarded to owner-operators
Closing motions in OOIDA vs. TN PSC filed: U.S. Hatch Act charges await Bissell
Constitutionality of random roadside testing program to be decided by U.S. District Court
Court rules in favor of random roadside drug testing pilot program: OOIDA files immediate appeal
OOIDA participates in suit against Kentucky's SHU and VIC fees: Refunds pending

1994
Aftermath of Shutdown '93: Fuel pricing, NAFTA, meal deductions among problems government will address
The National Highway System: A plan to move the nation's surface transportation into the 21st century
Radar detector ban: OOIDA tells federal court its discrimination
SSR - is it working? No, and the nightmare continues
OOIDA proclaims "We kicked ass in TN." Four years after declaring war on the TN PSC, the U.S. District Court finds PSC Commissioner Keith Bissell's campaign-funding tactics violated truckers' rights.
LL reports on new alcohol/drug rules: What you don't know can really hurt you
Loading and unloading abuses: Despite anti-lumping laws enacted more than a decade ago, violations are common
Congressional budget actions drastically reduce power of ICC: Agency and its supporters are waging a fierce campaign to elude dissolution
SSR: Functioning, but a lot of wrinkles to be ironed out

1995
TN PSC abolished: Department of Safety will inspect trucks
State tax suits bring results: Millions of dollars in refund checks have been distributed as a result of OOIDA's efforts
NAFTA: DOT announces that Mexican border will open to trucks on Dec 18. (But will it happen?)
Goodbye, double nickel: Will Congress repeal national 55 mph?

1996
National Highway System approved: OOIDA succeeds in blocking attempts to lower speed limits for CMVs
ICC sunset: Oldest U.S. regulatory agency abolished by ICC Termination Act. Through OOIDA's efforts, the termination act included the "private right of action" for truckers. This allows truckers to settle carrier disputes by filing a civil suit, bypassing the DOT.
NAFTA: OOIDA lobbys hard against opening border. But on the morning of scheduled opening, DOT calls a halt.
OOIDA wins a big one for truckers in Alabama: Refunds of unconstitutional fees are the largest of any state trucking tax
Truck safety continues to improve: The rate of fatal accidents in 1995 involving CMVs was the lowest on record, according to NHTSA

1997
OOIDA and Congress ask White House to keep Mexican truck restriction in place
Hours-of-service revision process: FHWA looks at changing 60-year-old regs - OOIDA takes the position for common sense
Leasing rules challenged: OOIDA initiates legal action against Arctic Express, others
Battle escalates over size and weights: OOIDA says "We've been down that dead-end road:"

1998
OOIDA launches new wave of legal action: Lumping, credit card surcharge, escrow account violations and insurance overcharges draw fire from OOIDA's lawyers
The owner-operator bill of rights
Work comp fraud alleged: OOIDA sues ROCOR
Ex-Tennessee PSC chief owes OOIDA: Bissell ordered by court to pay OOIDA $600,000 in court costs

1999
OOIDA vs. Prime: Private right of action is the issue. Who will hear the case?
Double taxation: OOIDA charges Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and New York over tolls
NAFTA: Still no solid date for Mexican trucking
OOIDA wins appeal against Prime and Arctic: 8th Circuit upholds private right of action for truckers to bring their case before the court

2000
Shaping hours-of-service regs: OOIDA vows to use all its resources to assure that the revisions allow trucking to go forward with rules that provide realistic solutions
OOIDA vs. Pilot, Flying J - over credit card surcharges
Land Line exclusive: What owners are saying about their Volvos
Truckers rally at the Capitol: Fuel costs spur OOIDA action
The cost of diesel threatens owner-operators: OOIDA's lobbying results in fuel surcharge legislation
The impact of the new HOS proposal: OOIDA testifies to officials on the negative impact of the proposal
Tennessee finally pays OOIDA court-ordered check for $583,700. OOIDA says check will go to litigation fund.