Brokers, carriers show early support for compliance efforts

| Wednesday, June 04, 2003

“If Monday and Tuesday are an indication, it’s going to be a great month,” says OOIDA’s Gary Green on Truck Safety Month. “Day three has been real good, with an interesting show of early support from brokers and carriers.”

The association’s Business Services staff reports a day full of phone calls, faxes and e-mails, detailing accounts of truckers operating in strict observance of federal safety regulations and all laws.

Green says although June compliance month just officially kicked off, OOIDA has for several weeks been getting reports of coercion regarding the violation of regulations, primarily hours-of-service regs.

“Many of these guys have been really toeing the line for weeks, operating compliant in every way, including speed limits. Business Services is contacting brokers, shippers, carriers and receivers as soon as these reports come in,” says Green.

He says the most success comes from personal conversations with people at the highest levels of management at these companies.

“When we contact middle management over compliance issues reported by truckers, across the board they’re pretty much in the dark,” says Green. “However, when we contact upper management at these companies and explain we’re getting reports of issues that concern us – where drivers are either being forced or coerced or intimidated into violations – upper management has given us positive feedback in each case.”

“We had a member call to report that he was in Lee’s Summit, MO, at Toys R Us trying to unload,” Green said early Tuesday afternoon. “This member has been sitting since 7 a.m. and is being told he probably won’t be unloaded until 3:30 p.m. He called his broker, C.H. Robinson. The broker assured our member that the shipper would be contacted and the broker would make sure our member is fully compensated for the time he spent sitting.”

Green said another case involved a trucker who took a load from a brokerage. He arrived at the shipper for pick up at his scheduled time. The shipper reportedly took so long to load that he did not have enough available hours to make the delivery time.

“At that time, the trucker told the shipper he did not have the hours he needed and the product was unloaded from the driver’s truck.” According to the OOIDA member, he called the brokerage and was told “it was about time drivers took a stand with these shippers,” and the brokerage would back him fully.

OOIDA’s Kip Hough, Business Services, called Swain Brokerage and confirmed this conversation.

Green says some of the calls are from members who have committed the month of June to running “by the letter of the law” and are reporting positive experiences.

“One member called this morning to say he was loading at McFarland Cascade in Tacoma, WA, and was in and out in 45 minutes,” he said. “In another call, one member reported that the safety department at his company, Service First, is telling all drivers to run legal.”

OOIDA’s Karen England reports another positive response from Waller Truck Co. in Excelsior Springs, MO.

“On Friday, I was contacted by Tim Crowley, director of safety at Waller,” says England. “He thanked me for the information I had sent regarding June Safety Month and said the safety department at Waller supports OOIDA’s compliance month for not only June, but at all times.”

--by the Land Line staff

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