Highway to Headache: Federal Regulations Affecting the Small Trucking Industry
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing to examine how federal regulations affect the small trucking industry and explore ways to provide regulatory relief to them.
“With many regulations taking a one-size-fits-all approach, small trucking companies are forced to comply with expensive, confusing, and time-consuming regulations. This is not only costing small businesses, but America’s economy as a whole, through lost time and delays in receiving all types of goods and products,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH).
One-Size-Fits-All Regulations Don’t Work for the Trucking Industry
Small trucking companies are subject to many of the same federal requirements as large trucking companies, and the regulations tend to take a one-size-fits-all approach. Industries that rely on the trucking industry or use trucking as part of their business model can also be subject to many of the same burdensome regulations.
“Frequently, regulations promoted by these large fleets are disingenuously billed as silver bullet solutions to enhancing highway safety, despite a distinct lack of reputable evidence to support their claims. In reality, they are economic weapons used to squeeze smaller competitors out of the trucking industry by increasing their operating costs. Continuance of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach has left the federal government complicit,” said Monte Wiederhold, President of B. L. Reever Transport, Inc. in Maumee, OH.
“Small business trucking bears a heavy load of rules, regulations, and red tape that are counterproductive to their stated intentions. These regulations, such as the inflexible HOS [Hours of Service] rules, the CSA [Compliance Safety Accountability] program, and the ELD [Electronic Logging Device] mandate add costs, time, and attention, as well as sap small firms’ resources unnecessarily. Instead of making the road safer, these rules and government mandates make both truckers and the driving public less safe,” said Marty DiGiacomo, Owner of True Blue Transportation in Harrisburg, NC.
“Our major concern with the current regulatory structure is that small industry stakeholders are continually swept into these ‘one size fits all’ transportation regulations that are best suited for large commercial companies,” said Stephen Pelkey, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, Inc. in Jaffrey, NH. “There are often many ways to achieve the same goals, and if small businesses are to survive, the DOT [Department of Transportation] regulatory agencies need to do a better job in recognizing the differences between small and big businesses, and that different approaches may be necessary.”
Chairman Chabot introduced H.R. 33, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, to ensure that federal agencies actually examine how their new regulations would impact small businesses and require them to consider ways to reduce unnecessary costs and burdens. The bill was included in a larger bill, H.R. 5 – the Regulatory Accountability Act – which passed the House with a bipartisan vote in January.