White Papers
Title Dated

A New Direction Needed For FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) needs a new approach to meeting their stated mission objective of reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. In order for FMCSA to regain their credibility, the Agency needs an approach to highway safety that is: (1) Proactive and not reactive; (2) Based on accurate data; (3) Reliant upon "substantive safety" of scientific findings; (4) Based on effective counter measures for reducing crashes and their severity; and (5) Based on the utilization of true safety experts.

06/27/2014 View

Analysis of Cost to Owner-Operators in Raising the Insurance Requirements

Representative Cartwright, an attorney who specialized in the representation of consumers in personal litigation, has introduced a bill in Congress to raise the public liability mandate to $4,422,000 for all commercial carriers with trucks weighing 10,001 pounds and greater. In order to justify his proposed bill, Rep. Cartwright utilized spiraling medical cost as a catalyst for mandating higher insurance coverage. Instead of seeing this as a reason to examine the escalating medical cost, he uses these out of control percentages, along with the CPI, to justify his bill.

12/04/2014 View

Analysis of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Policy: Reducing Fatalities with Increased Financial Responsibility

Dr. Robert Pritchard, a primary author of Volpe’s report on Financial Responsibility Requirements, wrote for his dissertation, a paper that called for increasing financial responsibility requirements. However, the paper was more of a political opinion piece than a dissertation. Although Mr. Pritchard admitted that the number and rate of crashes and fatalities have decreased steadily for the past ten years, he declared that the free market economy (Capitalism) has been a failure in regulating the trucking industry concerning safety.

11/21/2014 View

Analysis of Volpe Report – Financial Responsibility Requirements For Commercial Motor Vehicles

FMCSA contracted the Volpe Center to evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the current minimum levels of financial responsibility for large trucks in response to MAP-21. The research team concluded, “The findings overall provide preliminary justification in favor of increasing the current levels of financial responsibility.” However, the report is perforated with evidence and statements that are contrary to the study’s conclusion.

12/03/2014 View

Comparison of FMCSA and FAA Medical Handbooks

OOIDA is concerned with the lack of uniformity of certified medical examiners across the nation, as well as the information found in the FMCSA Medical Handbook, which may have negative and unintended consequences for small business owners and professional truck drivers subject to the regulations. In order to promote harmony among the MEs practices and to prevent possible bias, OOIDA believes that FMCSA should take a closer examination of its medical guidance, along with studying the FAA medical guidebook as a model. The Association suggests that FMCSA should restructure their Handbook after the FAA Guide for Medical Examiners.

09/12/2014 View

Entry-Level Driver Training

Although a legal basis for truck driver training has been established since 1935, currently there are no federal or state requirements that tractor-trailer drivers receive formal training as a condition for licensing and there are no minimum federal standards governing the training that may be provided. OOIDA is a strong advocate for entry-level driver training, which will improve highway safety for all motorists, including both private and commercial segments.

10/19/2012 View

EPA/NHTSA Phase 2: Concerns for the Owner-Operator

In February 2014, President Obama directed the EPA and NHTSA to create the second phase of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and GHG standards, which are estimated to take effect March 31, 2016. In developing the second round of standards, the two agencies will consider and assess advanced technologies. Nonetheless, OOIDA desires to bring to light the concerns and issues that the small business owner-operator has with these technologies, and to make sure their voice is heard during the developing of the next Phase of fuel efficiency and GHG regulations.

03/04/2014 View

EPA's Myopic Cost Benefit Analysis

The EPA has been myopic in its determination and mission to improve the quality of air. While certainly laudable in intent, the ensuing unintended consequences have actually resulted in the loss of jobs, fewer choices in engine configuration, and less people investing in the technology. The unrealistic expectations of engine manufacturers, the underestimation of costs, the failure to anticipate the risk aversion of buyers, and a lack of understanding of the trucking industry have all contributed to undermining the environmental goals of EPA, and have intensified the mistrust and judgment of the agency as well.

11/03/2014 View

Examination of Publically Available Data from FMCSA on CSA Scores and Motor Carriers

The premise behind safety technologies such as ELDs and Speed Limiters is that they will increase HOS compliance and eliminate speeding, thus increasing on-road safety by reducing crashes. However, when analyzing real-world data, the proclaimed safety benefits of these devices are not evident. Instead, the data tells a different story altogether by indicating that carriers that utilize such safety technologies experience more crashes than those carriers that do not.

11/25/2014 View

Review of FMCSA Studies

The primary mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. In pursuit of its mission, the Agency has conducted numerous studies to support their proposed rulemakings. However, the OOIDA Foundation, while examining and analyzing FMCSA’s research, has discovered a pattern of manipulation and falsification of data.

01/26/2015 View

Review of FMCSA's Attitude of Truck Drivers and Carriers on the Use of Electronic Logging Devices and Driver Harassment

According to the study published by FMCSA, “The evidence in this survey research does not support concluding that harassment occurs due to being in a situation where HOS are logged using electronic logging devices.” However, the study’s own research validated that not only is harassment possible by using an ELD, but that it is also instituted by carriers that utilize ELDs, and that ELDs can in fact be cheated. Therefore, it is evident that ELDs do not increase HOS compliance, but can contribute to the overall problem of fatigue. Hence, FMCSA’s premise for the mandatory use of ELDs for all CMV drivers is not supported by their own research.

11/18/2014 View

Review of FMCSA's Evaluating the Potential Safety Benefits of Electronic Hours-of-Service Recorders Final Report

The entire premise behind safety benefits associated with the installation and use of EHSRs involves the improvement of HOS compliance, which in turn would reduce fatigue, resulting in fewer crashes. Nonetheless, the study did not find any safety benefit between the EHSR and non-EHSR equipped carriers for US DOT-recordable and fatigue-related crashes. Therefore, the hypotheses that EHSR equipped trucks are more compliant with the HOS regulations, thus reducing the drivers’ fatigue, and mitigating crashes is false.

05/15/2014 View

Summary of the Affordable Care Act: The Effect on Owner-Operators and Professional Employee Drivers

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is set to go into effect January 2014, and requires most United States citizens and legal residents to have health insurance. Unfortunately, the regulations of the ACA could be detriment to the owner-operators and the professional employee drivers. While some individuals and families will be able to receive premium tax credits and subsidies to help them afford health coverage, the average owner-operator earns too much gross income to be eligible. The self-employed business owner will have to go through the individual market Exchange in order to purchase health coverage.

07/01/2013 View

The Case Against FMCSA

Unfortunately, the pressure to continuously reduce accidents and fatalities on the roadway has created a systemic infection within FMCSA where bureaucratic government employees, with no transportation experience, make policy and oversee the agencies agenda. It is time that a realistic examination of FMCSA be conducted in order to stop the zealous self-aggrandizement that will force the small business-trucking firm out of business.

06/27/2014 View

Analysis of FMCSA’s Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance; Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) Final Rule

In response to the Presidential Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” (January 18, 2011), which was designed to remove significant information collection burdens without adversely impacting safety, FMCSA released the DVIR Final Rule. However, after reviewing the Agency’s calculations, OOFI has found the proclaimed net benefits to be a gross overestimation of the facts.

02/23/2015 View

Are Enterprise Carriers More Safe than United States-Based Carriers: Fact or Fiction

In January 2014, the Congressional Research Service released a report in which the following question was posed, “Are Mexican trucks less safe than United States trucks?” However, CRS attempted to compare inspection and OOS rates of 14 Mexican carriers, which accumulated 1,646 inspections in 2013, with OOS rates for over 500,000 U.S. carriers, which had approximately 3.5 million inspections. By utilizing FMCSA data, OOFI demonstrated that Mexican and enterprise carriers are not held to the same standard as US-domiciled carriers, and if the OOS rates for equivalent violations were administered equally, the data would show that US-domiciled carriers have a better safety performance.

12/29/2014 View

Myths and Statistics: Edition I

Myths and statistics is a living research report that focuses on a number of statements which are commonly made about the trucking industry and are often accompanied by “statistics” in order to supposedly verify those statements. Unfortunately, many of these statements are taken at face value and accounted as fact. The OOIDA Foundation has taken some commonly held “statistic backed statements” concerning the trucking industry, and looked at the facts that counter these self-validating statements.

05/08/2015 View

Analysis of NHTSA’s Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles Final Rule

In June 2015, NHTSA submitted a final rule mandating electronic stability control systems be equipped on truck tractors and large buses. However, OOFI found limitations within NHTSA's research, and while OOFI is not against technology, we highly question the ideology behind mandating ESC systems for every new truck. Moreover, OOFI strongly adheres to the fact that a professionally trained driver will be able to mitigate many untripped rollover type situations from ever occurring.

06/05/2015 View

Meeting the Challenges of Reaching Long-Haul Truck Drivers with Health and Wellness Information and Coaching

Unfortunately, over the years, many health and wellness programs have failed to reach the long-haul truck driver. In 2014, OOIDA partnered with Human Factor Health in order to develop the first wellness program to achieve just that. The pilot program, called Well For Life, was a monumental step forward in OOFI's desire to educate the truck driver with health and wellness information.

06/08/2015 View

Review of the United States-Mexico Cross-Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program

In January 2015, FMCSA submitted a report to Congress stating that Mexico-domiciled motor carriers operated as safe, or better, than U.S. and Canadian-domiciled carriers after conducting an analysis on the ability of Mexican carriers to operate safely beyond the commercial zones. Nevertheless, OOFI’s analysis of the Pilot Program is in stark contrast to FMCSA’s subsequent report. Specifically, OOFI found fault in the program’s statistical validity as well as FMCSA’s overall execution of the program. Not only are the conclusions that FMCSA drew from Pilot invalid, but OOFI seriously questions the Agency’s ability to properly and adequately monitor the program if it proceeds into the future.

09/03/2015 View

I Cannot Afford to File for Bankruptcy

08/04/2020 View

OOIDA Foundation Statement on Flaws in Driver Shortage Narrative

Numerous media outlets in recent months have sought to cover various issues impacting the trucking industry, including the notion of a chronic and persistent driver shortage. However, a careful review of the facts paints a different picture; one that is marked by retention issues and, at times, an unattractive working environment due to long hours and inadequate compensation.

11/15/2021 View

Truckers Prefer Cocaine: Study or Marketing Material

The Trucking Alliance in partnership with the University of Central Arkansas released a report concerning hair testing in the trucking industry. Lane Kidd and the Alliance present serious allegations against truck drivers in the report. However, the OOIDA Foundation demonstrates that the reliability, validity, and ultimately, the conclusions of the Alliances report are highly questionable. The report merely proves that Alliance member drivers have historically used cocaine more than marijuana.

01/18/2022 View

The Challenges of Automated Vehicles in the Trucking Industry

What began as a seemingly quiet process to develop driverless cars behind the closed doors of major tech companies and vehicle manufacturers, has suddenly become catapulted into the limelight. Though the revolution of automated technology had its roots in cars, it has quickly transitioned to large trucks. And while several experts have estimated that highly automated commercial vehicles (HACVs) are at least a decade away or more, many corporations and lawmakers have sought to fast track the development of what has been termed the largest technology revolution since the horse and buggy.

04/06/2018 View

In response to Doug Voss, professor of logistics and supply chain management at UCA co-author of the report: Comparing Drug Testing Methods in the Trucking Industry: The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse V. Hair Testing

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Foundation, Inc. (OOFI) offered its critique of the report issued by the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) that compared pre-employment urine and hair drug test results gathered from the Trucking Alliance and the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DAC). Dr. Voss of the UCA issued a response to OOFI's critique. This paper represents OOFI's rebuttal to Dr. Voss's comments.

02/09/2022 View

Review of NHTSA and FMCSA's Speed Limiting Devices NPRM

On September 7, 2016, NHTSA and FMCSA issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would require vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with a 60 mph, 65 mph, or 68 mph speed limiting device. While analyzing the NPRM, OOFI discovered numerous flaws in the agencies’ interpretations, science, and reasoning. This report illuminates what we found.

10/03/2016 View

Review of NHTSA and FMCSA's Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis concerning Speed Limiting Devices

On September 7, 2016, NHTSA and FMCSA issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would require vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with a 60 mph, 65 mph, or 68 mph speed limiting device. As part of the rulemaking process, the agencies were required to conduct a preliminary regulatory impact analysis (PRIA) due to the projected cost of the rule. In its analysis of the PRIA, OOFI discovered a number of limitations with the agencies’ research. The following paper not only summarizes the agencies’ analysis but also enumerates the many flaws found throughout the PRIA.

09/27/2016 View

Response to ATA's Fact Sheet

In response to the GOT Truckers Act, ATA released a white sheet in opposition to the bill, presenting seven supposed myths and facts supporting ATA’s position. However, as the OOIDA Foundation will demonstrate below, ATA’s statements border on the foolish and occasionally cross over the line.

11/28/2023 View