The National Owner Operators Association

Owner Operators Association Declares Nationwide Shutdown

The National Owner Operators Association (NOOA) recently declared a nationwide truckers’ shutdown in a move that has sent shockwaves throughout the trucking industry. This protest aims to draw attention to Congress’ perceived failure to enforce 49 Code of Federal Regulations 371.3, a crucial regulation that mandates freight brokers to maintain specific transaction records. This announcement comes from Mike Boston, a seasoned trucker with 15 years of experience who currently serves as the President of NOOA. Boston and other small fleets made headlines in recent months by boycotting brokerage giants like TQL and J.B. Hunt’s brokerage. Now, more than 70% of NOOA’s 30,000-plus members are planning to join the shutdown in protest.

The Nationwide Truckers’ Shutdown

The nationwide truckers’ shutdown is set to be a formidable demonstration of truckers’ collective frustration. It will involve truckers from coast to coast staging protests and temporarily suspending their operations to underline the urgent need for Congress to act on the enforcement of 49 CFR 371.3. According to Boston, “We will stay shut down until the DOT forces the FMCSA to rule on enforcing 49 CFR 371.3. This is our right, and they are refusing to enforce it.”

Understanding 49 CFR 371.3

At the heart of the truckers’ discontent lies 49 CFR 371.3, which mandates brokers to maintain detailed records of each transaction. These records should include information about the consignor, the originating motor carrier, the bill of lading or freight bill number, and most importantly, “the amount of compensation received by the broker for the brokerage service performed and the name of the payer.” Additionally, the regulation requires brokers to document any non-brokerage service performed in connection with each shipment, including compensation details and the name of the payer. Moreover, brokers must record the freight charges collected and the carrier’s payment date. These records must be preserved for three years, and all parties involved in the brokered transaction, including the carrier, have the right to access these records.

A Widespread Call for Transparency

NOOA is not the only entity advocating for more vigorous enforcement of broker transparency regulations outlined in 49 CFR 371.3. At an FMCSA listening session in March at the Mid-America Trucking Show, broker transparency concerns took center stage, with impassioned testimonies from various stakeholders. In September, when the FMCSA announced a delay in addressing broker-transparency-related petitions until the end of October 2024, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) expressed strong dissatisfaction. OOIDA’s president, Todd Spencer, exclaimed, “The continued delay is BS – transparency has been required since 1980! FMCSA stated in March 2023, the timeframe would be announced in the upcoming unified regulatory agenda. The agenda indicated June, and now they’ve inexplicably delayed over a year!”

Truckers’ Advocacy Efforts

Truckers, including NOOA’s Mike Boston, have been active in their quest for change. In September, they took their concerns to Washington, D.C., where they met with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other senators and congressmen. Secretary Buttigieg assured Boston and his fellow truckers that 49 CFR 371.3 would get his full attention and be taken care of quickly. However, with the shutdown underway, it is clear that patience is running thin among the trucking community, and they are determined to hold authorities accountable for their commitments.

The nationwide truckers’ shutdown represents a significant moment in the trucking industry’s history, as truckers unite to demand greater transparency and accountability in brokerage practices. As the shutdown continues and truckers make their voices heard, it remains to be seen how Congress and regulatory bodies will respond to their demands. One thing is sure: the issue of enforcing 49 CFR 371.3 has garnered widespread attention, and the pressure for action is mounting. The truckers’ shutdown is a stark reminder that the backbone of the American economy will not be silenced when it believes its rights and interests are at stake.




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