Thursday, May 1, 2008 – When a carrier or broker collects a fuel surcharge the surcharge should be passed on to the trucker or company that actually buys the fuel – and a new bill in the House of Representatives seeks to make sure that happens.
“It’s only fair,” Rep. Thomas Petri, R-WI, said Wednesday, April 30, as he introduced HR5934 the “Trust in Reliable Understanding of Consumer Costs Act,” also called the “TRUCC Act,” in the House.
The House version of the TRUCC Act mirrors a one introduced in the Senate by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-ME, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, this past week. The Senate version, S2910, is also called the TRUCC Act. It has been read twice in the Senate and assigned to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
In introducing the TRUCC Act in the House, Petri stressed the hardships created when fuel surcharges are collected but not passed through.
“I am introducing this bill in response to independent truckers and small trucking companies in my district and the state of Wisconsin, who have told me that there are occasions where they must pay for the cost of fuel but the broker or carrier that they are working with is not passing on to them fuel charges that are being billed to the shipper,” Petri said in a press release announcing the introduction of the bill in the House.
“In normal circumstances, this seems patently unfair, but in this day of $4-plus per gallon diesel fuel, it is unconscionable that a fuel surcharge is being assessed but not passed on to the one actually paying the fuel bill.”
Petri went on to relate a story about one of his constituents who is a truck driver and will soon be officially filing for bankruptcy. The trucker said not receiving fuel surcharges that were collected but not passed through certainly contributed to his financial demise.
“It’s not right, and it should be corrected,” Petri said. “The TRUCC Act is the least we can do to send the message and be clear that they should not be deprived of the payments they deserve.”
HR5934 has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Truckers who want to express their support for the House version of the TRUCC Act, bill HR5934, or the Senate version, bill number S2910, should contact their representative and two senators in Washington, DC. Those who don’t know who their representatives or senators are can call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and provide their ZIP code to the operator to be connected to the appropriate offices.
To read HR5934, click here.
– By Jami Jones, senior editor