Maine inching toward fuel surcharge legislation

| 2/3/2009

It’s not a done deal yet, but an OOIDA member from Maine is reporting progress on behalf of anyone who has had a fuel surcharge pocketed by someone else in the freight chain.

OOIDA member Larry Sidelinger, owner of Yankee Pride Transport, continues to be optimistic that corrective legislation is right around the corner in his state.

“We’ve just got to keep the pressure on,” Sidelinger told Land Line Now, OOIDA’s daily XM satellite radio show. “The more pressure you put on, the more questions you ask, the more the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Sidelinger, who helps run the Coalition to Lower Fuel Prices in Maine, has had positive meetings with lawmakers.

State Sen. Elizabeth Schneider, D-Penobscot County, is reportedly close to filing legislation to provide transparency and disclosure of motor carrier fuel costs.

Schneider sponsored one of several bills that passed in 2008 to provide relief to struggling logging truckers.

Sidelinger also reported that meetings with Maine Gov. John Baldacci have gone well.

“We’ll take our victories in small doses and keep moving forward and see where we go with it,” Sidelinger said. “We’ve got a dialogue and this has all come over the fuel going up last year.”

Sidelinger is encouraging truckers to contact their lawmakers at the state level in Maine and at the federal level to push for pass-through standards.

“Hopefully we’ll get a line item on exactly what that freight paid, what the broker’s fee was, and what the fuel surcharges were,” Sidelinger said.

– By David Tanner, staff writer

Staff Reporter Reed Black contributed to this report. He can be reached at