The questions from members and Land Line readers keep coming, and as usual, we have some interesting ones to share.
Question: I’m fairly new to trucking and need some help with a logbook question, so here goes … after a heavy rainstorm, I was forced to wait in my truck in traffic that was stopped for over two hours while debris from a mudslide was cleaned off the road. Should I have recorded this time on my log as on-duty, not driving, since I was really not able to move the truck at all until this mess was cleaned up, or was I right to record it as driving time?-M.J.L.
Answer: According to section 395.2 of the FMCSRs, driving time is defined as “all time spent at the driving controls of a commercial motor vehicle in operation.” You logged it correctly as driving time.
Question: If an authorized motor carrier is named as an additional insured on its leased owner-operator’s primary liability policy, does that eliminate the need for the motor carrier to maintain a primary liability policy of its own? Also, may a motor carrier who maintains liability and cargo for its leased owner-operators make money from the premiums that are charged back to the lessors?-unsigned
Answer: The answer to both questions is absolutely not. The authorized motor carrier must maintain its own liability insurance covering all owned and/or operated equipment in order to meet its financial responsibility for the protection of the public. This obligation must be met regardless of any insurance coverage that is maintained by leased owner-operators.
A motor carrier may not make a profit from insurance coverage that is charged back to its lessors. If they are doing so, it is illegal. A motor carrier is not an insurance company and therefore cannot sell insurance to its lessors. They can offer the insurance through a licensed provider, but they cannot force leased owner-operators to purchase coverage through them; however, they can charge back any premiums they have paid for insurance on the lessor’s behalf provided that it is specified within the wording of the lease contract and signed by both parties.
Question: Can I carry a handgun in my truck?-R.R.
Answer: The answer to this question varies according to the state you are traveling in. According to FMCSR 392.2, “a commercial motor vehicle must be operated in accordance with the laws, ordinances, and regulations of the jurisdiction in which it is being operated.” If you plan to carry a handgun in your truck, you should definitely check the state and local laws of the places you travel. The National Rifle Association web site provides some useful information regarding the various state laws. If you have Internet access, visit www.nraila.org. You can also contact each state’s attorney general’s office for information on this subject.
Question: The company my husband is leased to hasn’t been paying him for loads. I would like to know the time frame in which a company has to pay because promises don’t pay bills. What can we do to get the money owed to us?-J.S.
Answer: According to federal leasing regulations (item f), the lease agreement must specify that payment will be made to the lessor within 15 days after the necessary paperwork is delivered to the authorized carrier. This paperwork is limited to logbooks and any documents the carrier needs in order to receive payment from the shipper.
If your husband has provided the required paperwork, he should make it clear to the carrier that he expects payment within 15 days per federal leasing regulations. If such prompting does not result in payment, your husband has legal recourse. OOIDA’s Business Services department (collection division) has been very successful in assisting members collect money that is owed to them, so you may want to give them a call to see if the issue can be resolved outside of court.
Question: My dad was given a ticket today in CA. The trooper wrote him up for speeding and also for a logbook violation. My parents run team and my dad had not written in his log that he had taken over driving. Can the trooper take the log page as evidence and make you write a new one? I know they can make a copy, but I didn’t know they could take your copy. -S.J.
Answer: Yes, a law enforcement officer can take an original page from a driver’s logbook. Your father then would have to prepare a second original record of duty status to replace it. He should note that the trooper took the first original and include a brief explanation of the circumstances. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to request the trooper to sign the second original.
If you have questions that you’d like answered, please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Although we won’t be able to publish all questions in Land Line, you will receive a response.