ATA Member to Congress: Trucking Policy Changes Will Hurt Small Businesses

Jun 17, 2011

In testimony before the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations, James Burg, President of James Burg Trucking Co., said proposed changes to the federal hours-of-service, which regulate the length of driving shifts for commercial drivers, were unwarranted and would harm small businesses nationwide.

ATA Member to Congress: Trucking Policy Changes Will Hurt Small Businesses

"These changes, if finalized, would have a profoundly negative impact on small businesses, would restrict productivity and would result in greater congestion and increased emissions," Burg, a member of American Trucking Associations' Board of Directors, said during a June 14 hearing.

Burg said that if the changes proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration following a court settlement with advocacy and labor groups were to take effect his 75-truck fleet based in Warren, Mich., would need to "add additional trucks and drivers – and their corresponding expenses – simply to counter the loss in productivity."

"By estimates, we would need to increase our retained earnings by between 20% and 25% just to maintain our current level of financial stability," said Burg, who added that productivity losses would also "likely be felt by small business shippers, manufacturers and retailers in the form of increased costs."

ATA has repeatedly said that the current rules are working and should be retained rather than changed based on political pressure.

"FMCSA's proposed changes to the hours-of-service rules are unnecessary and unjustified," Burg said. "Both safety and compliance have improved under the current regulations which have been time-tested since 2003. In contrast, FMCSA's proposal to replace these rules with an untested set of regulations leaves safety to chance."

[via PR Newswire]

Photo courtesy of Cupcakes2 and re-used under the Creative Commons license.