, Land Line Digital Content Editor | Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Representatives of a diverse subset of trucking industry groups presented a unified message to Congress on Wednesday: Regulating the trucking industry is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
Members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, the American Pyrotechnics Association, and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association shared their concerns about burdensome government regulations with the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
During the hearing, OOIDA board member Monte Wiederhold, president of B.L. Reever Transport, Maumee, Ohio, testified about how the electronic logging mandate and hours-of-service regulation are having a negative impact on his small business trucking company.
“Too often, these costly and burdensome regulations are advanced at the behest of corporate motor carriers, who use the legislative and regulatory process to gain competitive advantages over smaller operators like me,” Wiederhold said. “Frequently, regulations promoted by these large fleets are disingenuously billed as silver bullet solutions to enhancing highway safety, despite a distinct lack of reputable evidence to support their claims. In reality, they are economic weapons used to squeeze smaller competitors out of the trucking industry by increasing their operating costs.”
Many of Wiederhold’s concerns were echoed by other witnesses, who also shared insights about regulations such as EPA emissions standards and minimum insurance requirements.
The committee heard about how the ELD mandate is estimated to cost impacted stakeholders more than $2 billion, making it one of the most expensive federal transportation rulemakings over the last decade.
Each witness who testified said the ELD mandate creates problems for their segments of the trucking industry – from being unable to adapt to groups like the fireworks haulers, who have a limited exemption to hours-of-service requirements around the July 4 holiday, to exacerbating issues like a lack of safe truck parking.
"The message that Washington must abandon the harmful one-size-fits-all approach to truck regulations came across loud and clear at today’s hearing, with the ELD mandate serving as a unanimous Exhibit A,” OOIDA’s senior director of legislative affairs Collin Long said after the hearing. “There is still time for Congress and the White House to provide relief, and today’s hearing illustrated that relief would be welcomed by a wide variety of industries.”
The groups testifying before the committee are seeking regulatory relief on a number of issues. Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, who chairs the committee, is a co-sponsor of HR 3282, a bill that seeks to delay implementation of next month’s ELD mandate. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, also spoke about the bill during the hearing, and about his request to the White House for a delay until April.
Watch the full hearing below.
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