Owner Operators - Owner Operator REXpert

Renew Authority / Broker Credit / Fuel Surcharges / Leasing Regs


By Rex Evilsizor

I am a retired Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Investigator with more than 45 years in transportation. For the past 11 years I have been a transportation consultant assisting those who would like to get their own motor carrier or broker authority. Send me your questions and I will use my expertise and knowledge to answer them.

Over the past many months I have enjoyed answering your questions. There have been many questions regarding leasing to a trucking company and who is responsible for what costs and paperwork. There have also been questions regarding getting your own trucking and/or broker authority. Continue sending me your questions regarding any aspect of the trucking/broker industry.

Q

Do you have to renew your trucking or broker authorities?


A

No. The only thing you have to do is keep your insurance up-to-date. As long as there is proper insurance on file at the FMCSA, your authority will be active. If you are paying anyone, it is an unnecessary expense.

Q

Is there any kind of list or book about brokers that I can get so that I know I will be paid by the broker?


A

Contact CompuNet Credit Services at 1-800-872-3748 or visit their website: www.compunetcredit.com/home.asp. They publish two books that I know of that would be of interest to any carrier. The one book is called "The Gold Book of Transportation Brokers." This book shows brokers who pay in 30 days or less. The other book is "The CompuNet Bulletin" and shows if they are a new broker, if they issued bad checks, and if there is a collection against them.

Q

What guidelines are used to apply fuel surcharges to freight bills? Are there any federal regulations regarding fuel surcharges?


A

There are no federal guidelines regarding surcharges. Surcharges actually came about years ago when there were common carriers filing tariffs with the ICC. This was a way for common carriers to protect their tariff rate and submit a supplement to their tariff adding the fuel surcharge. Some carriers today find this still useful. However, what is the difference between charging $1.25 per mile or charging $1.10 per mile plus $0.15 fuel surcharge? The "bottom line" is actually what is really important.

Q

I am an owner-operator leased to a carrier and I am paying for services and products that are not contained in my lease agreement with the carrier. What are the regulations regarding leasing?


A

The regulations for leasing are contained in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Here is the link to the FMCSA page outlining the regulations: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rulesregs/fmcsr/regs/376.htm. Please print the leasing regulations for your own review and possibly also provide your carrier with a copy. Take time to compare your lease with the regulations. These regulations are a "MUST" and must be obeyed by both the carrier and the owner-operator.

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Ask Rex...

Rex Evilsizor & Associates specializes in filing motor carrier authorities (both freight and passenger) with the Federal Highway Administration. Rex is a retired ICC investigator (Special Agent) and Licensed Insurance Agent with more than 49 years of transportation experience.

Due to the amount of questions we receive, we are unable to answer all of them individually. We will answer as many as possible in this column.

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