The Truck Leasing Task Force was launched in July with the goal of ending predatory lease-purchase agreements in the trucking industry.
On Oct. 17, the task force’s second meeting is expected to take a deeper look at current inequitable lease agreements between drivers and motor carriers.
Such agreements involve programs where a carrier leases a truck to a driver for a certain amount of money and takes a percentage for the load. In some instances, drivers have claimed that they owed the carrier money at the end of the pay period. Commonly, the driver never ends up owning the truck despite making numerous payments to the carrier.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents the interests of truck drivers, helped get a provision included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 that ordered the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create a Truck Leasing Task Force.
The next Truck Leasing Task Force meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 17.
The meeting will be held virtually and is open to the public. Advance registration is required by Oct. 13. Requests to submit written materials or for disability accommodations must be received by Oct. 10. There will be designated times for public comment.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg attended the first meeting to show the administration’s desire to fix the problem.
“We’re working to make sure truck leasing agreements are not trapping drivers into predatory situations, and that is going to be the focus of this board’s work,” Buttigieg said during his opening remarks. “We’ve seen a lot of ways that lopsided leases are preventing drivers from ever getting ahead and even leave them in a worse place than where they started through no fault of their own.
“These conditions are unacceptable for any worker in America and certainly for essential workers like those who get our goods to where they need to be through trucking.”
Buttigieg also spoke about the problem with Land Line Now.
“We have to make sure that there are the right kinds of rules and parameters and guardrails around what those leasing agreements can contain,” Buttigieg said. LL