Bill Would Increase Carrier Hiring Standards

Non-Chain Truck Stops

A bill that was reintroduced this week would change trucking company hiring standards.

According to a press release from the Transportation Intermediaries Association, the bill, H.R. 7457, a bi-partisin bill sponsored by Ohio Republican Representative. Bob Gibbs, would require brokers or carriers to ensure that any carrier they contracted to transport a load, they must first make sure the company or owner operator:

  • Is properly registered with the FMCSA
  • Has obtained the minimum required insurance; and
  • Has not been placed out-of-service at the carrier level for any reason

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Tuesday, July 1.

The full details of the bill are not yet available, but the bill’s text summary says, the bill would “establish a national motor carrier safety selection standard for entities that contract with certain motor carriers to transport goods, and for other purposes.”

Chris Burroughs, TIA’s Vice President of Government Affairs praised the bill stating, “There is a huge safety gap that currently exists in the motor carrier marketplace, with 85% of motor carriers having an unrated safety rating. This legislation will drastically improve safety by requiring entities that are selecting motor carriers to check certain data points prior to tendering a load. There currently is no standard or requirement for entities to check prior to selecting a motor carrier.”

“H.R. 7457 has been introduced on a bi-partisan basis and is a fair, common-sense approach to improving safety in the supply chain. This legislation helps all entities in the supply chain ensure that only the safest motor carriers are selected to haul freight across this great nation. Simply put, this legislation is about public safety on our roads,” the press release states.

The news comes the same week that the House approved a bill that would double minimum insurance coverage — raising coverage from $750,000 to $2 million.

Hundreds of trucking companies have ceased operations in the past two years. Truckers have pointed to increased insurance costs, softness in the freight market, government regulations, and difficulty in hiring qualified drivers as reasons for shuttering operations. Some of these companies include including Falcon TransportLME, NEMF, and Celadon.