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Is Congress Intentionally Screwing the Little Guy, Again?

We’ve highlighted this concern several times, but it’s worth bringing up again in light of Congress’ latest move. The House and Senate sent their transportation bills, STRR Act and the DRIVE bill, respectively, to committee to iron out the differences (with a re-vote pending on the results). The big issue is the “interim hiring standards” provision which gives a significant advantage to companies who have “Satisfactory” ratings.

According to a graph in this article, there are approximately 36,000 carriers representing nearly 1.6 million drivers who have that “Satisfactory” rating. That sounds reasonable. It seem logical; proper even, to award the companies and drivers who are keeping their rigs and our highways safe. And I would agree. The problem is there are roughly 430,000 carriers representing roughly 1.45 million drivers who have “unrated” grades.

If we are paying attention, the carriers who have the “Satisfactory” grades average 44.4 drivers per carrier. It would also make sense that the more trucks and drivers a company has out there, the more likely they are to be stopped, inspected, and graded. Conversely, the carriers holding “Unrated” grades average less than 3.4 drivers per carrier.

The obvious question here is, is Congress intentionally looking out for big business and screwing the little guy, or is this a case where the law of unintentional consequences rears its ugly head? Either way, the House and Senate need to fix this before it is passed into law.

Please contact your senator and congressional representative (you can find yours here) and urge them to rectify this legislative SNAFU.

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