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FMCSA seeks comments from truckers on unfair commercial vehicle towing fees

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking comment from the trucking community on transparency in commercial vehicle towing fees.

In a Notice to be published in the Federal Register on July 1, FMCSA said that it will extend the period for accepting written comments on the topic of commercial vehicle towing fees until August 1, 2024.

Officials previously issued a call for public comment on “current industry practices regarding the disclosure of towing fees to the commercial motor vehicle owners and whether the owner is made aware of costs and fees prior to the tow” with a deadline of July 1.

The FMCSA opted to extend the comment period following a June 21 listening session held in Washington, D.C., on the topic of tow fees during which several attendees asked the agency for more time to submit written comments.

So far, the FMCSA has only received five public comments on the “Transparency in Fees Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operators are Charged for Towing and Recovery Services” Docket.

Three of the five comments come from tow industry stakeholders, including the Towing and Recovery Association of America, which criticizes the FMCSA for their argument that “predatory” towing is widespread without conducting “any independent or government research to support the claims made in the comment or discussions with the towing and recovery industry.”

TransGas Inc shared the following comment on the topic of predatory towing practices:

Our company had a breakdown on a city (Revere, MA) road. The police called G/J Towing to tow our tractor trailer back to Lowell, Ma, a total of less than 30 miles at a cost of $1,400. We have had other tow companies tow our vehicles from similar mileages at a cost of $500 to $600. We had a tow company that would have gone to tow this vehicle but G/J towing got there first. We contacted the G/J towing and they said they charge $350/hr from the time the truck leaves their building to the time it returns. There is now way it took a total of four hours for this to occur and the pricing is outrageous. In our view this company took advantage of the situation as we needed to pay them or they would not release our vehicle.

If you would like to share a public comment on the topic of towing fees, you can visit this link and click on on the “Comment” button to submit online.

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