LOADING AND UNLOADING MOTOR VEHICLES
TITLE 49 UNITED STATES CODE
(49 U.S.C. §§ 14103 (a) and 14103 (b)
Effective July 1, 1980
The Motor Carrier Act of 1980, Section 15, "addresses the problem that some motor carriers and owner-operators have had with being coerced by so-called 'lumpers' into paying to have their trucks loaded and unloaded. . .regardless of whether the trucker is willing to perform the services himself."
"For example, the practice of lumping is often permitted, if not encouraged, by companies who own the loading docks. This allows these companies to avoid having to do the loading or unloading themselves. Further, shippers or brokers who arrange for the transportation services often refuse to reimburse the trucker for the lumper payments. . .Similarly, an owner-operator under lease to a regulated carrier may have difficulty getting reimbursement for such expenses from the carrier."
"The purpose of this provision is not to suggest or endorse any particular apportionment of loading or unloading responsibilities between and among shippers, receivers, carriers, and owner-operators. In fact this is...[believed] that this apportionment of responsibility is a market decision to be determined by the parties to the transaction. Further, it is not...[intended] to change the situation where a carrier's tariff does not specifically mention loading and unloading charges but instead includes them as part of its line-haul rate. Accordingly, where a line-haul rate in a tariff includes loading and unloading, or where, as a matter of practice, the tariff has been construed as including compensation for loading or unloading, the law or practice remains unchanged.
"What this provision is intended to do is make it clear that the parties must agree among themselves who has responsibility for the loading and unloading and how much compensation that person should be paid for that service. Further, where the person arranging the transportation has agreements with both the receiver and the trucker and those agreements are inconsistent, the parties may wish to place responsibility on the person arranging the transportation for any losses that occurred as a result. . .Similarly, where an owner-operator is leased to a regulated carrier. . .the lease [should] specify the responsibilities of the carrier and owner-operator regarding loading and unloading, including compensation."
(Excerpts from 1980 H.R. Rpt. No. 96-1069, 96th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 30-31)
§ 14103 (49 U.S.C. § 14103 reads:
(a) Whenever a shipper or receiver of property requires that any person who owns or operates a motor vehicle transporting property in interstate commerce (whether or not such transportation is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under sub chapter II of Chapter 105 of this title) be assisted in the loading or unloading of such vehicle, the shipper or receiver shall be responsible for providing such assistance or shall compensate the owner or operator for all costs associated with securing and compensating the person or persons providing such assistance.
(b) It shall be unlawful to coerce or attempt to coerce any person providing transportation of property by motor vehicle for compensation in interstate commerce (whether or not such transportation is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under subchapter II of chapter 105 of this title) to load or unload any part of such property onto or from such vehicle or to employ or pay one or more persons to load or unload any part of such property onto or from such vehicle, except that this subsection shall not be construed as making unlawful any activity which is not unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act or the Act of March 23, 1932 (47 Stat. 70; 29 U.S.C. 101 et seq.), commonly known as the Norris-LaGuardia Act.
"This section addresses those situations where the trucker is subjected to extortionate practices regarding the loading and unloading of his or her truck. It does not apply to the activities which are lawful under the National Labor Relations Act or the Norris-LaGuardia Act. for example, it does not apply to threats to strike or picket, or to the actual engaging in strikes or picketing." (1980 H.R. Rpt. No. 96-1069, 96th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 31).
PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF RULES RELATING
TO LOADING AND UNLOADING
The penalty for violation(s) of §14103 can be found in the FMCSRs under Appendix B to Part 386, (g) Violations of the commercial regulations (CRs) number (14). It reads, "A person who knowingly authorizes, consents to, or permits a violation of 49 U.S.C. 14103 relating to loading and unloading motor vehicles or who knowingly violates subsection (a) of 49 U.S.C. 14103 is liable for a penalty of not more than $11,000 per violation".