Trump backs U.S. trucker protest against ‘monopoly’ freight brokers. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Ezlogz CEO and Founder CJ “Sergey’ Karman discuss the issues on May 13, 2020.

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Ezlogz attorney reaches out to the DOJ for broker transparency under 49 C.F.R § 371.3(c)

To whom it concerns:
We write on behalf of our client, Ezlogz, Inc., a logistics and compliance support company for truckers and small business owners in the trucking industry, to report a systematic practice by industry brokers to circumvent the disclosure requirements set forth in 49 C.F.R. § 371.3(c) (hereafter, the “Disclosure Rule”). The brokers work with retailers to obtain loads and then broker those loads to independent operator truckers or to small trucking companies, among other carriers. Under the regulations set forth Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Department of Transportation, brokers are required to both maintain records – including the amount of compensation the brokers receive from brokering the load transaction – and share such information with all parties to the load transaction.
In reality, brokers have banded together to conceal from drivers the compensation cut the brokers are taking in brokering the loads. The result on the operators (many of whom barely make enough money to support their families) is wage suppression for the drivers. By refusing to comply with the disclosure requirements, brokers are not compelled to compete over price – the fees they take. The brokers have, in effect, formed a cartel and have – as an industry – colluded to conceal broker fees from drivers and trucking business owners in violation of the regulations.
Brokers accomplish this in a few ways. First, the industry has, at part of its standard contract, a “Broker’s Records” section that requires the carrier to waive the its rights to obtaining records pursuant to the Disclosure Rule. It is an industry-wide practice, so carriers have no choice but to sign. Second, where small businesses or independent owner-operators are concerned, brokers target non-English speaking drivers and others who are not aware of the Disclosure Rule or will not contest the broker’s refusal to share the required information. Those truckers who do request information under the Disclosure Rule are systematically blacklisted by the industry.
We are asking that the Department of Justice investigate the industry to confirm the widespread use of the required waiver language (which, incidentally, begs the question of whether such waivers are legally enforceable) and the targeting practices employed with owner-operators. Simple subpoenas to various brokers, including, for example, TQL, CH Robinson, Coyote Logistics, JB Hunt, Trinity Logistics, and Schneider could be a start. In addition, persons who have left the broker industry will almost certainly confirm that they work together to ensure that commission rate data required under the Disclosure Rule is never provided. Finally, drivers and business owners (and we can connect you with several) will confirm that there is no ability to ever negotiate the waiver of the Disclosure Rule that brokers uniformly require.
Please consider initiating this investigation as soon as possible. The industry has been ravaged by COVID-19, and the brokers anti-competitive practices only exacerbate the difficulties that drivers and small business owners in the trucking industry is facing.
We look forward to receiving your response.
DLA Piper LLP (US)

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#AmericanTruckers in D.C. follow up with letter to President Trump.

Dear President Trump,
We are the small business owner-operators in the trucking industry. We are the dedicated and hard-working men and women who hail from all fifty states in the union. We take pride in our important role in keeping America great. Trucking companies with 25 trucks or less haul the majority of the freight in the nation. We are the lifeblood that makes our economy the envy of the word. However, despite what we have achieved during this time of national emergency, we are in trouble, and it is our responsibility to make you aware of it. Mr. President, we seek your help in making sure that together we make trucking great again.
On May 1st, 2020, over 100 trucks and more than 30 operators in personal vehicles descended on our nation’s capital. Trucks parked on the tree-lined lanes of Constitutional Avenue and blared their horns respectfully in a mayday call to you. Mr. President, we are in distress, and we need your help now. We are here in representation of all of our brothers and sisters who could not accompany us into the capital because they are making sure that the supply chain isn’t broken. We have coordinated and united men and women from all creeds and backgrounds with the intent on making you and the American people aware of the crisis we face in the trucking industry today. We seek relief for all owner-operators, small business, and the American trucker who is currently struggling to remain afloat even while trying to keep our economy from total collapse.
While there are many issues such as rates, and safety, we have put together just a few that require immediate attention.
These are the issues that need to be addressed:

  1. No double and/or co-brokerage-Prohibit brokers from selling the same load more than once.
  2. Transparency-Mirror government policy on freight. All information, including financial details, must be available to parties involved before the load is booked. Set up packages that include a clause to waive rights to review the record of transaction, hence violating federal regulation 49 CFR 371.3.
  3. Cap brokers –Brokers shall be capped at a certain percentage from the gross.
    We are ready to provide the needed data and details to move this process and policies forward to both yourself and also forwarding to DOJ. The 1989 Quantum agreement between J.B. hunt and Santa Fe railway needs to be reviewed. The set-up packages from brokers that includes verbiage that waives the rights to review record of transaction needs to be forbidden. The attached document shows the cost vs the current rates offered. This movement is to improve the trucking industry and to help the truckers. We appreciate your time, Mr. President.

#Truckers United

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Ezlogz CEO #”CJ”SergeyKarman asks for broker transparency in letter to President Trump.

Dear Mr. President,
I am writing this message on behalf of truck drivers that united in requesting for assistance that is direly needed. There is a pandemic in the trucking industry in America right now. My name is CJ Sergey Karman, and I started in the industry in 2009 as a truck driver and became a broker in 2011. Now, as founder/CEO of my own Fleet management software company, I am here to stand up for truck drivers that are being taken advantage of by some brokers. We need immediate relief, as the truck drivers are the backbone of this country. All other areas of the trucking industry are currently regulated, and it is time to make changes before it is too late.
On May 1st, 2020, over 70 small-business trucking companies lined their trucks along Constitutional avenue and blared their horns as a Mayday call to you, Mr. President, we need help now! Rick Santiago organized this movement to give hope to the struggling drivers that are currently being robbed of fair opportunities in the industry. Everyone involved has been standing with these truck drivers in Washington D.C., to move this agenda forward, and get this letter into your hands. While there are many issues such as rates, and safety, we have put together just a few for focus.
Below listed are issues that need to be addressed:

  1. No double and/or co-brokerage. Prohibit brokers from selling the same load more than once.
  2. Transparency – Mirror government load policy, so all parties dealing with the load are listed. The amount every party is charging shall be on the Bill of Landing and announced before each load is booked.
  3. Cap brokers –Brokers shall be capped at a certain percentage from the gross.
    We are ready to provide the needed data and details to move this process and policies forward to both yourself and forwarding to DOJ. This movement is to better the trucking industry and to help the truckers. We appreciate your time, Mr. President.
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FMCSA Issues Temporary Final Rule That Continues Entry-Lev-el Driving Education Rules.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published a temporary final rule providing for a two-year delay in implementing the final agency rule of December 8, 2016, “Minimum Requirements for Training Entry-Lev-el Commercial Vehicle Operators,” the latest ELDT rule.

The provisional final rule extends the date the rule is observed from February 7, 2020, to February 7, 2022.

A notice posted in the Federal Register says that a delay in the compliance date will provide FMCSA with additional time to complete the development of a Training Service Provider Register (TPR). The Extension will allow training providers to independently confirm that they meet the training requirements.  The TPR will further provide an electronic interface, which will receive and store (ELDT) certification information from training providers and transmit this information to state driver licensing authorities (SDLA).

For participants in the US automotive market, the notification of the Federal Register was not a surprise, since FMCSA announced at the end of November that it was preparing a notification, but did not know when it would be published.

This ELDT rule is in the interest of everyone’s safety. In turn, CVTA will continue to push for ELDT implementation before the 2-year delay.

This extension applies to all requirements established in the December 2016 final rule, including:

  • The date by which the training service providers should start uploading the training certification information for a specific driver to TPR, an electronic database that will contain ELDT information;
  •  The date by which the 5DLA must confirm that applicants for Commercial Driving License (CDL) have complied with ELDT requirements before passing a specific knowledge or skill test;
  •  The date by which training providers wishing to provide ELDT must be indicated in the TPR;
  • The date by which drivers seeking CDL or approval must receive the necessary training as indicated in the final ELDT rule.


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FMCSA Exempts Transco, Inc. From The 30-Minute Rest Break

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On August 27, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granted Transco, a large grocery retailer, their request for 30-minute rest break exemption. 

Transco filed a request in October 2018, which the FMCSA has now granted. However, the exemption allows the drivers, “to comply with the 30 minute break requirement while performing on-duty not-driving tasks.”

In Transco’s request for exemption, the company told the FMCSA their drivers are at a higher safety risk with the 30-minute rest break because they operate at lower speeds, make frequent stops, and have set driver schedules. 

The FMCSA noted that, “in most cases Transco relies on team drivers who alternate during shift deliveries. Total trip time averages 17.2 hours. However, total driving time for both drivers combined averages just 9.1 hours. Each driver spends, on average, only 4.55 hours or 32.5% of their shift engaged in driving.” Transco argued that the 30 minute rest break actually decreases their drivers safety.

In addition, the FMCSA stated 3,580 drivers who make wholesale deliveries to grocery and convenience stores are eligible for the 30-minute rest break exemption. 

The exemption is valid for five years.

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State of Emergency—Tropical Storm Dorian

Hurricane Dorian is making its way towards Florida, and is expected to reach a category 4 storm before it hits land. President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency and ordered federal assistance for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has also issued an emergency declaration for the states and territories that are expected to be effected by Hurricane Dorian.  

Florida is preparing for what could be the most powerful storm in 27-years. Governor Ron Desantis, of Florida, issued an executive order on Wednesday, declaring the following counties in a state of emergency, suspending HOS for drivers providing aid: Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Volusia and Union.

The FMCSA’s declaration states, “This emergency declaration addresses anticipated emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of supplies, equipment, fuel and persons and provides necessary relief.” Precisely, the FMCSA’s notice allows exemption from parts of 390-399, of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), which cover parts and accessories needed for safe operation, HOS and longer combination vehicles. Drivers aren’t exempt from requirements relating to CDL, drugs and alcohol, hazmat, size, weight and registration requirement. 

The declaration issued by the FMCSA applies to the following states and territories: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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New 7 Mile Truck Route Opening Next Month

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced the Starke Truck Route, a four lane truck route implemented to reduce traffic congestion on U.S. 301, will open sometime in September this year.

The Starke Truck Route started construction in August 2016, located on the west side of Starke, Florida. The $90 million, 7.3 mile long, route is constructed between County Road 227 and County Road 23. Which is expected to provide additional capacity for future growth in the area and improve safety. 

The route is estimated to carry over 25,000 vehicles per day in 2020, and increase to over 31,000 per day by the year 2040. Despite mixed feelings about the project from the locals, after hearing concerns that the route will negatively impact local business the Florida Department of Transportation assured “the new road was constructed with the safety and needs of residents and businesses alike in mind”. 

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Missouri Truck Drivers Want to Ban Driverless Trucks

In fear of losing their jobs, truck drivers rallied at the state capitol building in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Tuesday, to raise awareness of the impact self-driving semi trucks will have on the trucking industry. 

The drivers also showed their support for Rep. Mike Moon, who greeted his supporters at the capitol building and invited them inside to listen to their concerns. Moon created a bill that could ban driverless truck technology in the state of Missouri. Moon argues driverless trucks will not only rob good people of their jobs, but they’re also a safety risk to the public. 

The event was organized by veteran owner-operator Bill Bogar, who stated he fears the impact driverless technology will have on his job. Bogar explained, “This is my job… once these things come in, I’m done; I’m out. Most of these people coming in today are literally a week out of being out of business.” Bogar continue to say many companies are lining up to join automated trucking because there’s numerous grants available.

Additionally, participants voiced their concerns about HR 1511, which would require drivers to provide barriers on their trailers to prevent under-ride crashes, which are rare. Furthermore, the type of skirts legislation wants to require are too expensive for operators.

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New Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The US Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a secure online database where employers, FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement can access real-time information pertaining to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on CDL drivers drug and alcohol testing program. 

Carriers will be required to report drug and alcohol violations and check their employees records if prohibited from performing certain functions, including operating a commercial vehicle, due to a program violation which a driver has not successfully completed the return-to-duty (RTD) process.  

Canadian carriers who operate into the U.S. are required to register and comply with the new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Registration for the clearinghouse will open this fall and go into effect January 2020.

All records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the clearinghouse for five years or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process. 


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