DOT-FMCSA Updates to Drug Screening

On June 5, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a Grant of Waiver regarding drug screening for truckers. This was done in response to furloughed truck drivers who found themselves out of work due to the coronavirus’s spread, which caused significant disruption to the industry and the employees it served.

As trucking employers begin to recall drivers who were laid off or otherwise not working for the company for more than 30 days, the cost and logistical barriers of testing many truck drivers in a short window of time are high FMCSA explained. This comes at a time when the trucking industry is facing economic challenges like never before.

This problem is further complicated by the reduced availability of controlled substances testing resources due to facility closures that continue to occur on account of the spread of COVID-19.

Granting an Extension

The FMCSA also noted that the waiver would extend from 30 days to 90 days, a period of time which drivers would qualify for the pre-employment testing exception currently held under 49 CFR 382.301(b). This would help employers out by allowing drivers to forego pre-employment testing who have participated in a controlled substance testing program that meets the requirements of 49 CFR within the previous 90 days of hire.

Allowing employers to push back pre-employment drug testing for drivers who were already tested within the previous 90 days will let employers see relief in the administrative burdens and costs related to administering tests. In turn, trucking companies can allow their drivers to get back on the road in a shorter time, thus promoting job growth and economic progress.

Moving Forward

The FMCSA’s waiver clarifies that it doesn’t change any of the remaining controlled substance and alcohol use testing requirements for a truck driver who performs safety-sensitive functions. Additionally, the motor carrier employers subject to the FMCSA waiver have instant and free access to driver-specific drug and alcohol violation information through the FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.

The waiver applies to both re-hires and new hires as long as they were in a program in the past 90 days. This is a reasonable response to the pandemic still making its way through the United States, affecting the commercial trucking industry, and the subsequent return to work process the country is experiencing.

About Western Truck Insurance Services


Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck, and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

DOT Promotes Flexibility in Trucking Hours to Maintain Trucker Safety

In a recently released memo, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) detailed final rules updating the hours of service to increase safety on roadways by updating existing regulations for commercial truck drivers.

The need for this change has come about due to the disruption in the nation’s trucking supply chain as a result of COVID-19. The outbreak of the virus this last spring upended everything from logistics to international shipping, which then trickled down to trucking companies, altering their service hours. In turn, this increased demand has affected trucker’s overall safety.

The solution from the FMCSA was implemented to bring more flexibility to new hours of operation, thus encouraging more rest and support for truck drivers.

Hours of Service Rules: A Closer Look

First adopted in 1937, FMCSA’s hours of service rules specify the permitted hours of operation for commercial truck drivers. In 2018, FMCSA penned an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to receive public comments on the HOS rules to limit unnecessary burdens placed on truck drivers while upholding Trucker safety on highways and roads. In 2019, the Agency published a detailed proposed rule which received plenty of public commentary.

Based on these comments and input, FMCSA’s final rule on hours of service offers some revisions to the existing rules.

First, the FMCSA will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.

Secondly, the FMCSA will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow truck drivers to split their required 10 hours of off duty time into two periods. Also, the FMCSA will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending the maximum window of time during which truck driving is allowed by two hours.

Lastly, the FMCSA will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the truck drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the truck driver may work from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

This change in hours of service rules is estimated to provide nearly $274 million in cost savings on an annual basis for the U.S. economy and American consumers. The trucking industry, although it has seen some disruption in recent years due to fewer available drivers and automation in driving technology, is still a major component of the national economy. The industry employs more than seven million people and moves nearly 75% of the nation’s domestic freight.

Since the onset of COVID-19, truck drivers have played a key role in getting the country through by driving supplies from state to state. FMCSA has provided relief to commercial truck drivers to get medical supplies, food, and household goods to Americans in need during these unprecedented times.

About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

Covid-19 FMCSA Updates

Amid all the confusion and new questions surrounding the wide-reaching effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, truck drivers and trucking operations as a whole have still been moving along, completing their tasks and moving goods around the country. But while business may seem as it usually has been, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been going to the drawing board to find solutions to freight and product needs that need to be met.

FMCSA Response Related to COVID-19

On March 18, the FMCSA issued an expanded national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers moving emergency relief products in response to COVID-19. This includes adding fuel and raw materials needed to assemble and manufacture essential supplies.

The declaration, spearheaded by Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, provides for regulatory relief for commercial trucking operations providing assistance supporting relief efforts meant to meet the needs for medical supplies and equipment for testing and treatment of the virus, food, paper products, and other groceries for restocking, fuel, persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, and more.

The declaration outlined that direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, however. Commercial fleets cannot add a certain quantity of qualifying emergency relief to a mixed truckload in order to obtain the same benefits as others under the declaration.

Trucking companies are having to reevaluate their daily operations and how they plan on covering losses due to interruptions or liabilities related to COVID-19. Necessary coverage such as general liability truck insurance is needed in order to protect any further potential for loss until entities, such as the FMCSA, outline relief targeted at helping trucking companies.

Here are some more updates from FMCSA to be aware of:

Temporary Waiver for Expiring CDLs & Med Certs

FMCSA issued a temporary waiver for States, CDL holders, CLP holders, and interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Given the limited availability and operations of State Driver License Agencies and medical facilities, FMCSA has determined that it is in the public interest to issue a waiver, limited in scope and circumstances, until June 30, 2020.

The FMCSA’s waiver specifically extends until June 30, 2020 the maximum period of CLP validity by waiving Sections 383.73(a)(2)(iii) and 383.25(c) for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests.

The waiver also waives the requirement in Section 383.25(e) that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test while also waiving the requirement in Section 391.45 that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020.

Furthermore, the FMCSA announced that it had also issued an Enforcement Notice, saying that the FMCSA will “exercise its enforcement discretion to not take enforcement action” on any drivers or carriers that meet the terms of the waiver.

About Western Truck Insurance Services


Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

FMCSA’s Entry-Level Driver Training Rule’s Compliance Date has Been Pushed Back to 2022

Last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made plans to schedule new entry-level driver training rules to be set for February 7th of this year. Now, that date has passed, the FMCSA is pushing the new rule until February 7, 2022, a whole two years after the original date.

Behind the FMCSA Change

The reason behind the move is that the government needs more time to finish the registry of approved training providers. FMCSA stated that the move will help to give the agency additional time to complete development of the TRP, the Training Provider Registry, which will allow commercial driving training providers to self-certify in meeting training requirements.

The extension also provides state licensing agencies more time to update their information technology systems and procedures in order to accommodate their receipt of ELDT data from the registry.

Pushing Things Back

Instead of partially delaying the rule, the FMCSA decided it would go all-in on the delay due to delays in implementation of the TPR that were not originally seen when the original rule was stated. Included in the extension process, FMCSA is also accepting public comments on the rule in the meantime.

The ELDT rule applies to interstate and intrastate truck drivers who are seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The ELDT requires that anyone seeking a CDL receive formal training, teach the proper curriculum, and register with the FMCSA, unlike a number of different state laws on commercial driver training.

The rule was mandated by Congress in 2012 as part of the MAP-21 highway bill. The FMCSA notes that the driving training rule was based on recommendations of its Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee, which held meetings discussing the rule back in 2015. The rule was originally adopted by trucking organizations and interests, such as the American Trucking Associations, but has turned into a controversial issue because it doesn’t include a certain number of hours required for behind-the-wheel training for new drivers.

Liability

This could give way to a potential rise in liabilities on the road due to lack of training and education. Trucking professionals and the companies they work for would be right to invest in commercial truck insurance to avoid major risks related to driver training or incidents caused by drivers not required to hit a certain amount of hours on the road. New drivers in general come with more liability as they start out their career of trucking professionally, so having commercial truck insurance regardless is a must.

The resulting rule through the FMCSA requires new applicants seeking a CDL to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in knowledge and training and the ability to drive well on a driving range and on a public road. Training providers must make a decision when it comes to determining that each CDL applicant is proficient enough in all required elements of the training to complete the program successfully.

The FMCSA noted that it expects that many different organizations currently providing entry-level driver training, such as school districts and motor carriers, will be eligible to provide training that falls in line with the new requirements.

About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

FMCSA Proposes New Rule to Increase Service Hours Flexibility for Drivers

In August, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a long-awaited proposal for changes to hours of service rules that would help add more flexibility for truck drivers on the road.

These hours of service rules, first adopted in 1937, specify the permitted operating hours of commercial truck drivers and have gone through multiple revisions. The newer mandate requiring electronic logging of hours that took effect in December 2017 featured some of the shortcomings in how these rules are applied in the everyday driving habits of truckers.

The FMCSA, through an advanced notice period of proposed rulemaking, asked for comments from the public on how to help add flexibility in realistic ways to the industry. Based on those responses, the regulatory body came up with a new rule to increase service hours flexibility.

What to Know

The FMCSA came up with five components to the rule change, helping to keep safety in the spotlight. Trucking companies can face claims from truck drivers if they feel overworked, leading to accidents or injuries on the road. Commercial trucking companies can take out commercial truck insurance plans to make sure they are covered in the event of a professional claim, especially with something like workers’ compensation insurance.

And while protecting against claims is a must for trucking companies, it’s good to know what changes were made to the hours of service. They include the following:

  • Changing the 30-minute break requirement to require a break after eight hours of uninterrupted driving time, not on-duty time, and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty/not driving status, rather than off-duty status. If a driver has to take a break to add fuel to their truck or use the restroom or grab a quick bite, that can count as their required break.
  • Allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off-duty into two period. This can include one period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off-duty or in the sleeper berth. This would allow for a 7/3 or 8/2 split. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
  • Allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but no more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour on-duty window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift. This would alot drivers to take up to a three-hour break to bypass rush hour, without affecting their on-duty time.
  • Modify the adverse driving conditions exception, adding two hours to the maximum window during which driving is allowed. The current rule allows for that extra time but it still has to be within the maximum 14-hour workday. The proposal would allow that workday to be lengthened to as much as 16 hours in instances where things like extreme weather or major traffic congestion become a factor.
  • Change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by extending the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and lengthening the distance limit within which the driver may operate the wheel from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

The FMCSA expressed, through a press release, that the proposed rule wouldn’t increase driving time and instead would continue to prevent trucking professionals from driving more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute change in duty status. What’s more, the FMCSA says the proposed changes are estimated to provide $274 million in savings for the economy in the United States as well as American consumers.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

FMCSA Update: California Yields to Preemption Determination

Following the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s determination in December of last year that federal law preempts California’s meal and rest break rules, many trucking companies are trying to determine how this is going to affect them with the California courts.  Los Angeles Superior Court became the first state court in California to apply the determination to armored truck driver claims for meal and break rules in the state; decided in favor of the Federal Rules.

Let’s take a closer look at what the preemption determination is and how trucking companies should proceed.

How to Proceed with This Ruling

 The recent court orders are good news for trucking businesses with drivers subject to federal rules, but these companies should still be concerned about the state objectives on enforcing the meal and break rules. Trucking companies can still be hit with claims from drivers, and their opportunistic attorneys when it comes to rest and meal breaks. Having a knowledgeable commercial truck insurance broker to consult with is an added avenue of defense.

Preemption Determination

The FMCSA decided in December of 2018 that federal transportation law preempts (takes priority over) California’s meal and rest break rules when a driver is subject to federal hours-of-service requirements. Essentially, what this means is that California’s laws were looked at as incompatible with the federal regulations, which is causing a burden on interstate commerce.

Applying the FMCSA’s Rules

In May of this year, a district court in California ruled on the issue and dismissed a claim made for truck drivers meal and rest breaks. The court made it known that it doesn’t have the authority to enforce the regulations around meal and rest breaks. Following that ruling, the Los Angeles Superior Court, as mentioned above, made its decision surrounding armored truck drivers’ meal and rest break claims, determining that federal rules governing the hours of service for both long- and short-haul drivers preempt (take priority over) the state rules in California.

The court ruled that it was “obligated to recognize the supremacy of federal law under the United States Constitution and the oath of judicial office”. The court also determined that it has no choice “but to respect and enforce the FMCSA Administration’s preemption determination without trying to second-guess its legal or policy correctness.”

This issue will be continually evolving. Keep an eye out for future blogs with updates on this ruling.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

FMCSA Establishes Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for Commercial Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) has recently announced it will be establishing the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a new database that will include information related to violations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and its controlled substances and alcohol testing program.

Currently, the Clearinghouse rule requires FMCSA-regulated employers, Medical Review Officers (MROs), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs), consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPA), and other service agents to report to the Clearinghouse information that’s notable in violations of the drug and alcohol regulations. These are specific to regulations in 49 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 40 and 382 by prospective employees as well as current employees.

What’s Required and What’s Expected

The main issue with the Clearinghouse is that it’s trying to help trucking companies be prevented from hiring employees who have been prohibited in the past or are currently prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations. If trucking companies violate these terms and regulations it can spell trouble for them legally and in business.

That’s why having a commercial truck insurance plan in place to protect against liabilities, such as hiring employees with checkered pasts, is vital to keep operations running smoothly and above board.

Pre-Employment Checks

Companies will have to check in with the Clearinghouse for all new hires to see if they have any drug and alcohol violations that keep them from performing safety-sensitive functions. This means that the driver in question must be registered with the Clearinghouse as well.

The Clearinghouse will make sure to provide FMCSA and employers the important tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating these vehicles, so as to avoid this kind of issue. Having a prohibited driver hired on can create not only conflicts from a regulatory standpoint but can also create a number of risks for the road, putting the safety and overall well-being of others out there in the driver’s hands.

The Clearinghouse will also help to ensure that drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads. More specifically, information maintained in the Clearinghouse will enable employers in the trucking industry to spot drivers who commit a drug or alcohol program violation while working for one employer, but who fail to inform another employer (such as a contractor would).

Records related to any drug and alcohol program violations will be kept in the Clearinghouse for five years, or until the driver in question has completed the return-to-duty process.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.

Will California Require Truck Drivers to Take Unpaid Rest Breaks?

In December of 2018, a ruling from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stated that California trucking companies, while still requiring their employees to take rest breaks, are exempt from providing truck drivers paid rest. The ruling has been controversial to say the least and has already been set up to be challenged in court. Teamsters have already sued over the decision and petitions have been signed to reverse the ruling.

According to the FMCSA, there have been more crashes involving trucks in the northern California area, heading into Oregon. This has been due, in part, to a decline in parking. If a trucking professional can’t park and take a break, they simply keep on driving. This is a reason why it’s important for commercial truck insurance to be in place to protect drivers, their trucks and their companies.

The FMCSA holds the position that paid rest breaks reduce productivity, so not paying for them will motivate drivers to be more efficient in their work. Teamsters unions, on the other hand, are arguing that federal laws can’t overrule California’s state labor laws. Another argument from teamsters is that not having breaks covered will actually motivate drivers to forgo taking the right amount of rest while they are behind the wheel, causing them to decline in health, focus and safety.

Currently, the American Trucking Association has stated that it wants to do away with rest breaks altogether, promoting the idea that rest breaks would be bad for corporations. But attorneys for those who are suing say that the ATA’s arguments related to loss of productivity are not really supported.

In California, state labor laws stipulate specify that workers should get a 30-minute meal break for shifts longer than five hours and also that transportation workers rest for 10 minutes every four hours. The U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit in California ruled that carriers in the state must make sure that truck drivers get the right amount of rest and meal breaks.

The ATA has appealed to Congress before when it comes to these rulings, pleading over and over that rest breaks are bad for business. They’ve even gone as far as looking for support from the Trump Administration. The only question now is how will this all play out in court? Will it be a long, drawn-out fight?


About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Auto-Issued DOT Numbers- What We’ve Seen and What You Can Do

We’ve been seeing something a little strange lately here at Western Truck Insurance Services and we wanted to keep all of our loyal clients informed. We haven’t seen much information about this online, but it is something that several clients have experienced. If you’re having problems with this, or with anything else relating to your insurance, give us a call and we’ll happily help you sort things out.

Last year all clients with a California MCP # only were automatically issued a DOT #. We believe that the California DMV forwarded the information to the FMCSA for the applications. The problem is, much of this information was outdated. We had clients receiving their DOT # with an incorrect address, old registration information, etc. These clients never asked for or applied for this number. It was automatically issued to them. The California DMV is trying to transition to using DOT #s and provided this information to the FMCSA from their last update, but if things changed during the year, the information was outdated.

What Can Be Done?

If this happened to you, or happens to you in the future, what can you do? If you have insurance through Western Truck Insurance Services, get in touch with us and we’ll help you sort things out. This is what we’re suggesting:

  • Go online and check your information. This would typically be at the FMCSA website (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration). You can also call them at 800-832-5660.
  • Order your PIN for future updates. This allows you to update online in the future.
  • Print the MCS 150 page.
  • Call your insurance agent and discuss how to fill everything out properly. This is very important. Make sure things are filled out correctly to avoid future problems down the road. Please call us first!
  • Fax/mail in the documentation and keep a copy for yourself.
  • This is the first time we’ve seen something like this happen, but as the transition goes through, we’ll be here to help you with this and all of your other insurance needs. Get in touch anytime you have a question. We’re here to help you ‘Travel with Care’.

Will the Changes to Freight Broker Requirements Impact You?

Brokers and freight forwarders play a valuable role in the transportation industry often acting as the go between for carriers and consumers. They match willing trucks with loads that need hauling and help get goods from one end of the country to the other. Since those doing the shipping are often unaware of the intricacies and difficulties involved in transportation, brokers and freight forwarders save carriers a lot of trouble by helping ensure everything is ready to go. As any busy trucker knows you don’t have time to spend hours on the phone; brokers and freight forwarders deal with the customer so you can focus on driving (and getting there safely).

The FMCSA recently made changes to the requirements for freight brokers. Will these changes have any impact on you?

Freight Brokers Must Hold $75,000 Surety Bond

Beginning Oct. 1, 2013 the amount of bond a freight broker must hold increases to $75,000, up from $10,000. This is a big increase and will primarily impact small and new brokers. Group surety bonds are not currently allowed, but the FMCSA may revise this after evaluation.

Definition of Broker Changed

Another big change is a change in wording redefining broker as a person that arranges the moving of freight for a fee. The new law specifically prohibits motor carriers from brokering loads unless they are registered brokers. If you arrange for loads to be moved, you must register as a broker, even if it’s just a few loads on the side. Enforcement for this provision might take time to develop as it is difficult to determine how many motor carriers also broker loads.

Motor carriers that want to register as brokers should file an OP-1 Form with the FMCSA. Include your US DOT number, but leave the MC number blank. The FMCSA issues a separate MC number for brokering authority.

Actionable Changes You Can Make

The new laws mean changes for the transportation industry. Here are a few changes you might want to make in accordance with the new laws:

  •  Avoid accepting loads from unregistered brokers.
  •  Register with the FMCSA as a broker if you currently broker loads.
  •  Increase your bond amount if you are a registered broker.

How Will These Changes Affect You?

The full results of this change are yet unknown. It may result in less brokering fraud since it will be more difficult to start up a new operation. Bond premiums will be higher and more difficult to obtain. Freight rates may also increase since the new bond requirements will be more expensive, thus pushing up the cost of transportation. This may also lead to less competition and fewer brokers, especially small brokers. With fewer small brokers large brokers may increase profits and decrease payouts to owner operators. Larger bonds will provide more protection for non-payment. Only time will reveal the full impact of these changes on those across the transportation industry. The one thing we do know however is that these changes will make an impact.

While the FMCSA’s recent changes primarily deal with freight brokers, they will have an effect on all involved in transportation. How do you see these changes impacting you?