Posted on 18 Nov, 2015
Categories: Trucking News
Congress passed a new highway bill, but the way it's written would leave most owner-operators and small carriers out in the cold.
The Senate and the House passed two different versions of the bill, and the problem is in the House version. The bill includes a new carrier hiring standard. According to the House bill, a broker or shipper can only hire a carrier who:
- Registered with the FMCSA
- Obtained the minimum insurance
- Has a "Satisfactory" safety rating
The last bullet would put a lot of truckers out of business. Most carriers haven’t been reviewed in full by the FMCSA, which is the only way you can get a "satisfactory" rating. Of all for-hire motor carriers, 83% are not rated. Another 3.5% are rated as "Conditional."
Luckily, the Senate version of the bill doesn't make the same mistake. That version says that brokers and shippers shouldn't hire carriers rated as "unsatisfactory," which only affects 0.02% of trucking companies. The two versions have to be reconciled before becoming law, so the safety rating issue will hopefully get fixed then.