Call Us : 866 390 3888

Email :

Archive for February, 2012


Freight Broker Surety Bond Increase is Bad Legislation

Posted by Comments Off on Freight Broker Surety Bond Increase is Bad Legislation

Post to Twitter

Professional truck drivers are no strangers to fraudulent business practices within the trucking industry.  From the industry self-made driver shortage to the trucking company lease purchase deception, America’s long-haul truck drivers have very few true advocates on their side.  With that said, motor carriers can also fall prey to the many scams that exist within this industry, with one of the largest being from fly-by-night freight brokers.

Freight brokers have long been a point of sore discussion within trucking due to many motor carriers and owner operators failing to receive payment for their services.  In order to operate as a freight broker, a bond is required by the FMCSA in order to legally operate as a transportation broker.  Freight brokers match shippers with trucking companies which in turn, transport the goods.  Once completed, the motor carrier receives payment for their services from the broker.  The only problem is, that many times, the carrier is never paid due to the broker having actually been a fraudulent business.  A very large number of trucking companies and owner operators have gone out of business due to uncollected payments from brokered loads.

A surety bond is a “promise” to pay the company or owner operator a certain amount of monies for their services.  If the broker fails to pay, the hauler can then file a claim against the broker’s surety bond in order to receive compensation.  Currently brokers are required to have a $10,000 surety bond but when the broker turns out to be a fraudulent or fly-by-night scam business, the hauler is left empty-handed.

Because of this serious problem among trucking freight brokers, a new bill was introduced in June, 2011 known as the Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act of 2011.  The bill proposes to raise the amount of the surety bond from $10,000 to $100,000 with the reasoning being that the increase would combat against fraudulent broker businesses such as shady freight brokers and on-line load board scams.  The “thinking” behind the bill is if a want-to-be transportation broker can not afford the $100,000 surety bond, then they must be a scam.  This reasoning would prove to be the foundation for many smaller, good, honest and legitimate freight brokers to close their doors and go out of business.

Although the $100,000 surety bond would not have to be secured in full, normally 10% would be and the rest would be financed through monthly payments.  Currently, to finance the $10,000 surety bond would cost the broker about $250 per month in payments.  Should the bond be raised to $100,000 then the would-be-broker would have to come up with $10,000 down and finance the remainder at approximately $2,500 per month.  For a smaller broker who’s average carrier pay is $750, the financial strain becomes enormous.

There are already governmental laws in place to fight against such fraudulent business scams within the trucking industry, but the problem is that the laws are not being enforced.  Their solution to this problem is to create more government regulation for an industry that is already over-regulated.  There is no doubt that these scam freight brokers cost the industry billions of dollars per year, but placing further financial hardships on those brokers who do operate a trustworthy business is simply bad legislation.

Dan Metully of Transport Watch

Dan Metully of Transport Watch

Dan Metully, founder of Transport Watch, a company fighting fraud in the transportation industry as well as promoting legitimate trucking businesses, and owner of Truck Freight, Inc., believes that the $100,000 surety bond requirement could possibly put some bad brokers out of business, but depending on how the proposed bond is implemented, would put a “great many more good ones out of business as well.”

He explains:

“We are a small brokerage, currently employing the services of seven independent agents. These agents depend on the relationships that have been established over time between our brokerage and their customers and carriers. All this having been said, if someone told me tomorrow that I’d have to come up with an additional $90,000.00 to satisfy a bonding requirement, I believe you could imagine how this could potentially present me with an acutely insurmountable problem. Would it be proper to possibly put me out of business based simply on the fact that my brokerage is not large? By whose measure does my organization hold less value in the industry? Should carriers be required to run a certain number of trucks in order to be allowed to be considered viable?”

Bigger is not always better and in the case of adding more regulations to an all-ready over-regulated industry, the smaller brokerage firm which is operating in an ethical and moral standard, stands to lose their business because of other defrauders within the trucking industry.

Mr. Metully adds: 

“At the end of the day, I believe that good communication can solve most things, but again, we all need to be willing to stand and be counted. We all need to be a part of the solution. Most of all, we all need to understand that if we do what we can to protect each other as participants, we’ll also protect ourselves. The government will do as it pleases in regards to bonding requirements, but please be willing to see the damage that this legislation might cause. Be mindful of those honest people that will be effected by an overly aggressive approach.”

© 2012, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Social Bookmarking

Post to Twitter

Technorati Tags: $100, 000, broker, dan metully, FMCSA, freight broker bond requirement, freight broker surety bond, surety bond, transport watch, transportation, transportation fraud

Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Twitter and FaceBook Provide Live Coverage of FMCSA Meetings to Truckers

Posted by Comments Off on Twitter and FaceBook Provide Live Coverage of FMCSA Meetings to Truckers

Post to Twitter

“If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.”   Well, Not necessarily . . .

Todd Dills - Sr. Editor, Overdrive Magazine

Todd Dills – Sr. Editor, Overdrive Magazine

These days, Todd Dills and Richard Wilson are proving that the use of social media may very well bring the mountain to Muhammad, or in this case, drivers.

Attending the recent  FMCSA/MCSAC meetings, both were reporting back through FaceBook and Twitter with “live coverage” to professional CDL drivers who can find it difficult to attend themselves.

Earlier this month, the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board met and openly discussed some of the most concerning topics for drivers:  Obstructive Sleep Apnea, EOBR and Driver Harassment Related Documents, Passenger Carrier Hours of Service and Long Haul Trucking Pilot Project.

More professional drivers are attending these meetings and becoming more actively involved, however, many more times they find it difficult to attend because of their driving schedule and location.

Now, with the power of of Social Media, live updates were sent via FaceBook and Twitter to thousands of drivers.  Todd Dills of OverDrive Magazine and Richard Wilson of Transproducts and Services utilized their computers and smart phones, as it was happening, to transmit to drivers, the 10 recommendations presented by the Medical Review Board.

Among the 10 presented was the recommendation that would require all drivers with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater to be tested for sleep apnea.  Within moments of this recommendation, drivers active on Twitter and FaceBook were discussing and criticizing the recommendation as well as the potential of another regulation: the screening and treatment of drivers at risk for obstructive sleep apnea.

Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson, Safety & Compliance Expert

Rich Wilson joined in the following day as he sent back live “tweets”  regarding EOBR’s and the harassment of drivers. Drivers were sending him messages back, asking him to relay their questions and comments to the Joint Committee.

Although the most vital ideal is for drivers to attend and make their voices and presence known at these meetings, social media is now offering the second best thing . . . live coverage and the chance to become involved without being present.

Join us Thursday Feb 23rd, on Truth About Trucking “Live” as Richard Wilson and Todd Dills joins us as our guests to discuss the outcome of the meetings and the new live coverage aspect and involvement with drivers.

“The MCSAC was established by the Secretary of Transportation on September 8, 2006, and is charged with providing advice and recommendations to the FMCSA Administrator  on motor carrier safety programs and motor carrier safety regulations.”  View this page at : FMCSA MCSAC


© 2012, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Social Bookmarking

Post to Twitter

Technorati Tags: FaceBook, FMCSA, MCSAC, medical review board, Richard Wilson, sleep apnea, todd dills, truth about trucking, Twitter

Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Truckers unite to locate missing truck driver via social media

Posted by Comments Off on Truckers unite to locate missing truck driver via social media

Post to Twitter

Missing Truck Driver:Mark Williams

Who says that you can not get drivers to agree on anything?

Last week when OTR trucker Mark Williams went missing, a friend of his wife contacted Kari Fisher on FaceBook asking her if she could do anything to help locate him.

The police had told his wife, Jonda Williams, “to wait it out awhile”, when she called up frantically looking for him, explaining she had not heard from him in days, something very out of character for him.

Kari immediately posted on FB the information on her personal Page, Kari Fisher, and then on her" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" >“Share the Road Page Discussion Group” on FB  ( A page discussing how professional truckers can drive safely, sharing the road with  non-commercial motor vehicles.

Here is one of the posts that Kari posted on her FaceBook page. There were many prior to this one:

“Okay, we’ll repeat this, he drives for an owner operator, who is leased on with T-Luv Ontime Express, out of Winston Salem, NC. He loaded and left out on Tuesday, stopped in Kannapolis, NC for fuel. That was the last anyone had known about his location. He had intentions of going South on I-85 to Atlanta, then West on I-20 to Palestine, Tx. He has not been heard from since refueling, and has a habitit of contacting his wife and brother on a daily basis, This has Not taken place since Tuesday. He was driving a Gray, in color Volvo, year, model and tag number unknown. The trailer number is the same as the MC number, 729528. Anyone having seen this truck and/or it’s driver is encouraged to contact the State Police i.e., 911 immediately. for all we know, he may have stopped at a truckstop or rest area somewhere, parked, had problems and no-one has bothered to check the truck or contacted anyone as to why it has been sitting in the same place for an extended time. Folks, we need to watch out for each other, no one else does. Let’s get it together!”

Kari Fisher of Share the Road and Missing Truck Driver Network on FaceBook

Kari Fisher of Share the Road and Missing Truck Driver Network on FaceBook

It didn’t take long before hundreds of drivers were sharing the information on FaceBook with all of their contacts .

Another driver who became actively involved, Hal Kiah, posted the information on a trucking forum, Let’s Truck.  Driver Brandt Geiger read the info on the forum thread (has been removed) and noticed he was parked next to the missing truck at the T/A Truck Stop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Geiger immediately called 911 and the sad news followed shortly that the driver was deceased. There were no further details.

Within hours of the news, Kari Fisher and Hal Kiah created the FaceBook  Page Missing Truck Driver Alert Network, in memory of Mark Williams, which is rapidly gaining hundreds of members in the group. They are presently sending out letters to major trucking companies and organizations, such as OOIDA, to create an even greater and stronger alliance within the trucking industry for this much needed involvement.

Missing Truck Driver Alert Network Mission Statement:

“The ultimate goal of the Missing Driver Alert Network is to locate and return drivers reported missing to their family, without loss. While we realize that this may not always be the case, we will do our utmost to get the word out to everyone in the trucking community with that goal in mind. We will work with the law enforcement community and truck stops around the country in coordinating any search to achieve this goal.”

The sad truth is that drivers go missing all the time, and unless there is a GPS on the truck, it can be days before the truck is located.  Truck drivers need the security knowing that “someone cares” and this Network will hopefully do just that.

We are in a new age, the age of social media, where information can go viral in a matter of a few hours,  making social media a powerful tool and platform. Remember when Arrow Trucking closed their doors and left hundreds of drivers stranded?  It was those using FaceBook and Twitter that spread the word and eventually got the drivers home.

Join us Thursday evening on Blog Talk Radio, Truth About Trucking “Live”as we discuss the uniting of so many concerned drivers through social media as they compassionately located one of their own, joining together and helping another in need.

Kari Fisher will be our special guest as she explains the rapid sequence of events, from the first contact she had with Jonda Williams’ friend, Beth, and with widow Jonda Williams.  Jonda, Beth, and Mark’s daughter Lisa are now all members of the Missing Truck Driver Alert Group on FaceBook . . . a powerful display of human emotion and compassion.

Yes, drivers can agree on something . . . helping one another.  Our sincerest and deepest condolences to the Williams family during this difficult time.

Missing Truck Driver Alert Network

Missing Truck Driver Alert Network


© 2012, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Social Bookmarking

Post to Twitter

Technorati Tags: FaceBook, Hal Kiah, Kari Fisher, Mark Williams, Missing Truck Driver Alert Network, share the road discussion group, social media

Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Regulatory Safety Violations Catching Up with Trucking Firms

Posted by Comments Off on Regulatory Safety Violations Catching Up with Trucking Firms

Post to Twitter

Truck Safety Inspection

Truck Safety Inspection

For years, trucking companies have been pushing their drivers beyond the federally mandated hours of service rule, not to mention other various violations such as poorly maintained equipment and running over the maximum weight allowed.

These types of infractions have always been some of trucking’s “dirty little secrets”, only discussed privately among drivers and never shared openly.  Trucking social media has changed all of that.

When Truth About Trucking, LLC was launched in April of 2006, there were only a handful of trucking information sites on the web, but these sites provided information pertaining to various aspects of trucking such as business related topics.  There were also only a few trucking forum sites on the internet at that time, where drivers “talked among themselves” but never going public with the real truth about OTR trucking.

The Truth About Trucking website was the first to publicly expose the “dirty little secrets” of long-haul trucking, followed by the launch of the Ask The Trucker blog in August of 2007.  For the first few years, our sites took quite a beating from the industry.  Six years later, the “beatings” have, for the most part, subsided as federal government agencies have stepped up their enforcement in holding both outlaw drivers and motor carriers accountable.

Since 2006 there have been many others who have also had the courage to voice and share their thoughts and these are true advocates for the industry.  What has occurred within the past six years is a technological revolution, holding motor carriers and the industry responsible for their actions against the professional truck driver, voicing these concerns publicly and having become known as trucking social media.

Professional drivers, reputable trucking companies and industry leaders now have a new platform to share truth and express their concerns through trucking social media. It is this platform which has allowed many others to become, not just truck driver advocates, but supporters who believe that openly sharing knowledge, experiences and wisdom can ultimately transform the trucking industry for the better.

As the real truth about OTR trucking became widespread as it pertained to many trucking companies across America, it provided an insider look into the real world of over the road trucking and motor carriers are now being held accountable for their actions as we pointed out in a previous post:  Trucking Safety Violations Bring Steep Fines.

A few recent examples are:

  • D. A. Landis Trucking has been indicted on federal charges alleging falsification of driver logs, forcing drivers to work beyond the legal 14 hour rule.  If convicted, the company faces a maximum sentence of 5 years probation and a $5.5 million fine.  The owner faces a possible maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, 3 years probation and a $250,000 fine.
  • U&D Service, Inc., a small trucking company out of Indianapolis, has been shut down by the FMCSA due to multiple safety violations.  Within an approximate 85 day period, the company had been cited for:
  1. 12 citations for drivers operating a CMV without a CDL
  2. 10 citations for exceeding gross vehicle weight limits
  3. 8 citations for exceeding gross tire weight limits
  4. 21 citations for using CMV drivers who could not speak or understand English

Long haul motor carriers have been getting away with dodging the system for too many years and new FMCSA regulations such as the CSA,  are beginning to catch up with them

Trucking social media is not to attack this industry that is so vital to our way of life . . . it is a means to make known the problems that exist and to work toward the solutions to correct them, in order to make the industry a safer and more respected industry for everyone involved.




© 2012, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Social Bookmarking

Post to Twitter

Technorati Tags: FMCSA, hours of service, regulations, Safety, social media, trucking, trucking blogs, trucking forums, truth about trucking

Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog