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get something done with them. Now, let me call Mr. Paul Ellerbrock, Ellerbrock Trucking, Sac City.
Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. I do.
Mr. HUNGATE. Please be seated. State your name and address for the reporter and the subcommittee.
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Paul Ellerbrock, Box 6, Sac City, Iowa.
Mr. HUNGATE. Let me make an entry of the previous witness. Mr. Blume had prepared an outline of his statement. Without objection, it will be made part of the record. You have one, Mr. Ellerbrock, I see, a prepared statement. Without objection we will enter it into the record. We extend a welcome to you, and you may proceed as you see fit, sir.
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Well, most of these things that I have down have been covered, but this pertains mainly to my business as a small independent. I would like to tell you of the problems of the small independent trucker. I have been in business 20 years. I have four tractors and trailers and have permits to run 15 States. We are geared mostly for long hauling. Each State has different regulations such as fuel permits, ton-mile tax, et cetera. I have to fill out reports each month for most of these States. I think we should pay one license fee and be able to run in all States.
Also I think we should be allowed to haul all commodities. At the present time I can only haul exempt commodities which are farm products such as grain. I have stated in a previous letter I wasn't able to obtain rights to haul all commodities. Since that time I have received forms to fill out from the Interstate Commerce Commission to apply for rights.
I am sending in these forms this week. I hope to receive these rights but think it is very doubtful. I have seen rights sell for $220,000, so I rather doubt if they will grant me rights for nothing.
Royal Industries here in Sac City would be willing to hire me if I could secure the rights. Attached is a copy from Royal Industries stating this fact. I am also enclosing a record of 8 days work by two of my trucks and the commission taken by companies with rights. This totals $739.90 for making out a piece of paper.
I bid on loads of popcorn from Lammar, Colo., to Van Buren, Ind., only to be underbid 65 cents a hundred by a major carrier that has rights to haul steel. If they haul my products, I feel I should be able to haul theirs.
I have to put up with the same regulations the major carriers do such as log books, safe equipment and all regulations set up by the Department of Transportation. I feel we as independents are being discriminated against.
The price of fuel, parts, tires, oil, and insurance have all risen in the last 2 years by about 50 percent. We are still hauling for about the same rates as we were 2 years ago. I feel that an independent trucker will be a thing of the past if not granted authority to haul all products. I would like to add a little more here besides the written testimony. In the last approximate 25 years of hauling, the hauling has changed, needless to say. I started with one straight truck and used to haul for
the farmer. Now, we have wagons that haul as much as the truck. I have changed with the times, but I feel the ICC has not.
I have gone as far as I can without rights, and maybe I have gone too far the way the trend is. My business has been based on services to the customers at all times. This is the thing that keeps an independent in business. The regulated carrier knows other people cannot infringe on his area so is more lax to the smaller shipper. I feel we should reregulate for more competitive industry.
Mr. HUNGATE. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. BEDELL. Mr. Ellerbrock, when you apply for rights, were your rights for hauling steel or popcorn or both or what? Mr. ELLERBROCK. I can haul popcorn now legally.
Mr. BEDELL. But you have applied to the ICC for a certificate?
Mr. BEDELL. Well, let's don't take that attitude.
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Well, I will.
Mr. BEDELL. What is it you applied for?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Well, I applied for rights to haul farm machinery and related products from the Sac City area to any State in the United States and return with the same product. I feel this is what it takes for me to make a living, not be specified to haul farm machinery out and then come back deadhead. None of this.
You have got to have rights to run and contact people and haul where you want to haul it.
Mr. BEDELL. Is this farm machinery that is produced in Sac City? Mr. ELLERBROCK. It certainly is.
Mr. BEDELL. Is it truckload quantities?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Yes.
Mr. BEDELL. Always truckload?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Yes.
Mr. BEDELL. Did you have that in your application?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. No; I didn't. Well, I mean, I am sure there are smaller shipments.
Mr. BEDELL. We are running out of time. Let me tell you the reason I asked that question. I may be one of those-to get personal, I am in the fishing tackle business. We send fishing tackle all over the country in small quantities, maybe 100-pound packages and so on. In order for that to work, I see how there is some need for a situation of truckers where they pick up less than truckload quantities and have daily service into the different communities and so on.
At least as I see it, it is quite a different situation when there are truckloads of produce being transported from one place to another. I don't see how that particularly interferes with the ability of those particular common carriers to furnish that type of a service into all of the different communities in our transportation. So I don't know how the ICC feels about it, but I would think that if on the application, if they were only for truckload quantities of shipments, I would think they would look at that more favorably than they would where it was all products in any quantity anywhere you wanted to ship it.
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Well, certainly they would.
Mr. ELLERBROCK. I understand this. I am not a BIE or an ICX or anybody. I have equipment that I can use in this business. It's set up for them, the whole thing. But I am not allowed to haul.
Mr. BEDELL. Did you have an attorney help prepare the forms for you?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. No; I didn't. I don't see why I should have to. Mr. BEDELL. I am not arguing that any. I am just trying to find out where we stand on it.
Mr. ELLERBROCK. I am going down to Omaha. In fact, I held up the filing this week because I hadn't received the forms. But I also had to have them in duplicate and they only sent one. Then I had to keep a copy of one which was three. So I didn't have three, so I will go to Omaha Monday.
Mr. BEDELL. You haven't filed yet?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. No; that's right.
Mr. BEDELL. Would you consider possibly in your application filing it for truckload quantities?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Certainly. This is what I have to haul anyhow. There is no way I can haul
Mr. BEDELL. Could you send us a copy of that application so we can check with the ICC?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Certainly.
Mr. BEDELL. I think it would be kind of interesting to check with the ICC.
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Yes.
Mr. HUNGATE. Well, I have one question about the logbooks. We are into that again. Some earlier witness said you had to keep those logbooks whether you were driving or weren't driving, dây and night and weekends; is that right?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. This is true. And it's also for the exempt hauler as well as the common carrier. I mean, everybody now has to keep a logbook. I mean, if we're out over 50 miles away from home, it doesn't make any difference whether we have got one cow or a bushel of grain or if we're empty.
The Iowa Commerce Commission will lay on us right now if we're out over 50 miles away from home and don't have any logbooks made up.
Mr. HUNGATE. Do I understand, let's suppose you had Wednesday off. You still got to keep a logbook on Wednesday?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. Well, yes. You write off duty.
Mr. HUNGATE. That's quite a mass of paperwork, I gather? Mr. ELLERBROCK. Oh, I mean, it's all right. It has to be done. It's a requirement. I think it's fine. But it doesn't give me a break over the common carriers. I have no breaks that I can see above the common carrier with it. I am not anywhere on his level.
He can haul my products, but I'm not allowed to haul his. He can bid against me hauling grain, hauling popcorn out of Colorado. He can beat me on this and everything. I realize he can and this is fine. The only thing is let me haul the steel back to Denver and pick up the popcorn and I will do it cheaper than he does because I can operate better than he can.
The only thing he has, he does have a few owner-operators. This man I am talking about has a few owner-operators that complain to beat hell. But there is nothing they can do about it because they are permanent leasing to him. If they say haul it, he better haul it even if he is not making a profit.
Mr. BEDELL. If you were to get the certification you have applied for, that wouldn't help you any on your popcorn and steel; would it?
Mr. ELLERBROCK. No. Popcorn, it would. I mean, not popcorn because I can haul this now if I can bid competitively. But there is no way I can bid competitively against a common carrier.
Mr. HUNGATE. Counsel didn't think you should have a weight problem with popcorn but it's not popped. [Laughter.]
You can't bring these people far enough west. Thank you very much. Mr. LYNCH. Is Mrs. Dobson here?
Mr. LYNCH. Mr. McQuade?
Mr. HUNGATE. Mr. Douglas McQuade, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.
Raise your right hand to be sworn. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. McQUADE. I do.
Mr. HUNGATE. Please be seated and state your name and address for the reporter and the subcommittee.
TESTIMONY OF DOUGLAS MCQUADE, SERGEANT BLUFF, IOWA
Mr. McQUADE. My name is Douglas McQuade. My address is Route 1, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, which is, by the way, a suburb of Sioux City.
Mr. LYNCH. Mr. Chairman, if I just might for a moment, I went over Mr. McQuade's statement with him at lunch. He is submitting two pages for the record but will not read them publicly because he mentions quite a few trucking companies.
Mr. HUNGATE. All right. Without objection the two pages for the record will be admitted into the record and you may proceed with that. I know Sergeant Floyd. I didn't know Sergeant Bluff.
Mr. McQUADE. Well, he is just down the road a piece.
The following information is submitted as testimony in regards to deregulating or reregulating the trucking industry and to make known the discriminations and hardships perpetrated on owner-operators and people who would like to be treated as independent businessmen and
The present rules and regulations set up by the ICC back in the 1930's are not only archaic but deprive one of his constitutional rights of equal opportunity. They do not do justice to the shippers or the trucking industry as a whole. The State laws of each individual State are so different from one to another that they are almost impossible to keep up with or comply with.
If you have ICC authority or inherited it, for instance, granddaddy authority, as they call it, you have it made. You can run slipshod over leased operators at your own free will. I have upon several occasions contemplated seeking my own authority. The ICC attorneys have discouraged me. This was due to the costs being so great and the protests of the big companies that I would encounter.
It is not right or just that any one company should be able to demand a certain percentage from a leased operator simply because they have a piece of paper giving them sole rights to a certain area. The leased operator in most cases has to put up with it if he wants to stay alive in the industry.
Some of my complaints besides those that have already been mentioned are many. The lessor does the collecting and in turn pays the leased operator his percentage when they get good and ready to. I tried collecting the bills on some of the shipments we have moved upon delivery in my name and then send the lessor his share. This can't be done. It is illegal because the authority the freight was moved under was not in my name.
Recently I moved two loads, one from South Dakota to Wisconsin for $600, another load from Nebraska to Wisconsin for $1,078. We were paid for both these loads of machinery on delivery. The check was made out to the people that we are leased to. I sent them the money. This was in April of this year. And I collected for these two loads the day before yesterday, my portion. To even collect that, I had to make a trip to Omaha, Nebr., to get it. So there really isn't much percentage on collecting on delivery if it's going to take you that long to get your share back.
These are but a few of the many things that a leased operator puts up with. The list goes on and on. If the ICC wants to do something to help the trucking industry and the individual that has the guts to get into it, open it up to all the people that may desire to get into the industry. The only control I feel they should retain is in the area of rates. That all people that haul freight of any kind be required to file a rate schedule and that it has to be competitive. Keeping big rich companies from trying to starve out small ones and assuring the small ones that they should not steal freight from bigger ones in order to try to stay alive.
It should also change the license and insurance rules. Licenses should be bought in the name of the truck owner rather than in the lessor. If he wants to change companies, he would not be paying double for them as the case has happened to us. All fuel tax permits should be issued in the name of the truck owner also. In 1011⁄2 years I have never received a fuel tax refund because the fuel tax permit on my trucks are issued to the company I lease to. They have trucks of their own. They submit all the fuel tax reports. Where they may owe money and I would have credit coming, they take my credit to offset the money that they owe.
It should require all States to set up uniform rules as to size and weights legally allowed on the highways. Also, all States be alike as to permitted loads of overdimension. Now, our primary commodity is articles of size and weight. In most cases the loads that we haul are running under special permits.
To buy these special permits on top of all the rest of the permits, licenses, etc., we have to have, really gets to be a hassle from one State to the next. The Interstate Highway System in quite a number of States cannot be used to move overdimension loads on them. It should be opened up as much as possible for safety reasons as well as ease of traveling.
Escort vehicles for overdimension loads should be done away with and loads up to 12 foot 6 wide. They are a greater hazard than they