The trucking industry in the United States is a critical part of the country’s economy. Trucks transport billions of dollars of goods every year, earns billions of dollars in revenue, and the industry employs hundreds of thousands of people.
However, the trucking industry is also facing several challenges. The high fuel cost is a significant issue, as is the shortage of truck drivers. The trucking industry must find ways to address these challenges to remain competitive in the years ahead.
The high cost of fuel is a significant challenge for the trucking industry. As a result, trucking companies must find ways to reduce their fuel costs to remain competitive. One way to do this is to use more fuel-efficient trucks. Another way is to ship goods by rail instead of by truck.
The shortage of truck drivers is also a significant challenge for the trucking industry. As a result, trucking companies must find ways to attract and retain drivers. One way to do this is to offer drivers better pay and benefits. Another way is to provide driver training and support programs.
However, one issue goes beyond these two and one that has more complicated solutions than before, and that is the laws regulating trucking.
The trucking industry is subject to several federal and state laws. These laws govern everything from the type of trucks used on the road to the hours that drivers can work.
If you are thinking about starting a trucking business, it is vital that you understand these laws. Here are seven essential laws you need to know before starting a trucking business:
The Right to Start a Union
The trucking industry has so many unions, and it is the right of every employee to be a part of one. As an employer, you should not interfere with forming a union, and you should not try to influence which union your employees join.
You also cannot retaliate against employees for being involved in union activity. For example, you cannot fire an employee for attending a union meeting. It’s also good to have a lawyer representing your company during such meetings. For example, a truck labor lawyer can do a lot for your trucking company. They can help you negotiate contracts, resolve disputes, and protect your rights as an employer.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a law that states the minimum wage, and other labor standards for full-time and part-time employees in the private sector and federal, state, and local governments.
The FLSA covers all employers engaged in interstate commerce, regardless of size. This means that even small trucking companies must comply with the FLSA.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked. The current minimum wage in the country is $7.25 per hour.
Employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime pay is 1½ times the employee’s regular rate of pay. For example, if an employee’s standard pay rate is $10 per hour, the employee would be entitled to $15 per hour for all hours worked over 40 in a week.
All trucking companies must have a policy that allows employees to work without fear of retaliation. This policy should be in writing and should be available to all employees.
The policy should state that employees will not be retaliated against for reporting safety concerns, refusing to work under unsafe conditions, or participating in union activity.
The Hours of Service Regulations
The hours of service regulations are designed to prevent truck drivers from driving too much. These regulations limit the number of hours that a driver can work in a day and a week.
The hours of service regulations also require drivers to take breaks after driving for specific periods. For example, drivers must take a 30-minute break after going for 8 hours.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for enforcing the hours of service regulations. The FMCSA has the authority to impose penalties on trucking companies and drivers who violate these regulations.
Driver Training & Certification
All truck drivers must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). To get a CDL, drivers must pass a written exam and a skills test.
Some trucking companies require their drivers to have additional training and certification. For example, some companies need their drivers to have a hazmat endorsement on their CDL.
This endorsement allows drivers to transport hazardous materials. To get this endorsement, drivers must pass a written exam and a skills test.
Trucking companies are also required to train their employees on the proper way to load and unload trucks. The company must provide this training before an employee can operate a truck.
Running a trucking business can be complicated, but you can avoid common legal mistakes with the proper knowledge. By knowing and following the seven essential laws we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be on your way to compliance and success. Contact a truck labor lawyer today for more information or help to navigate these laws.