We began business in 1955 with one unit, had 6 units in 1974 and part of 1975, then the fuel crisis set in, also the embargo on grain to foreign countries, stopping, or slowing shipment by trucks to river terminals causing a decrease in my operation.

Our problems are caused by various state rules and regulations that differ from other states, such as fuel permit laws, bonding rules, some states have us make reports monthly, others quarterly. We need stamps for each state we operate in, which we truckers call (Bingo) card stamps. We have to have our insurance filed in every state, we must have separate cab cards and plates for license in each state causing our rigs to look like a patchwork affair. Another large problem is trying to compete with neighboring state haulers who can scale 95,000 pounds when we can only scale 73,280 pounds. Surely something should be done about this very inconsistent and discriminating law. We have to file log books, keep files on drivers in our office, pertaining to their physical being, and much other information that really doesn't pertain to their labors.

I believe we need some regulation as to authority, but we need some cooperation between owner-operators, and carriers who have authority. Owner-operators should be allowed to haul non-exempt commodities using carriers authority without having to go through all the paperwork that now is necessary, also without having to give 30 to 35% of the revenue to the carrier. These haulers would eliminate many empty or deadhead miles and would eventually save much on fuel energy. Isn't energy the commodity we are short of? I wonder, the way our regulations are made.

If owner-operators, or single and small businesses are not allowed to make a decent profit on their work, because of unnecessary regulations, government bureaucracy, large companies taking advantage of their authority, etc., then when they go out of business the nation's transportation system will be controlled by a few large companies and costs will be much higher to the consumer. Free enterprise must be allowed to operate smoothly, competition is good and makes for efficient, energetic and healthy business. This is what America is supposed all about, isn't it?



My name is Bob L. Knisley. My home address is 2529 N.E. 53rd, Des Moines, Iowa. Trucking is my life. I have been operating on my own since April, 1965; and for seven years prior to that I was manager of a trucking firm. I now own three tractor-trailer combinations running primarily from Iowa to the West Coast, operating as an exempt for-hire carrier. I also have seven units under permanent lease to a certificated carrier. Actually it is the finance company and I together who own the rigs. My insurance company has financed some of the equipment; and, because of this, I have been limited to getting my insurance coverage from them. Right now I am paying out approximately forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) annually for insurance and am twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) behind in my insurance premiums. I am planning to pull one unit off lease and sell it to get the money to pay my back premiums. If and when I am able to pay the finance charges on my equipment, I will be free to shop around for cheaper insurance. Actually this past year I have had to sell operating equipment just to make expenses. All the money we take in goes right back into the business. My family and I do not live high. My son works in the shop as a mechanic for far less money that he could command from outside employment. My mother does my bookkeeping and is paid thirty dollars a month. I draw only two hundred dollars weekly. I do not consider my situation unique. I feel that my financial status is comparable to most truckers who are trying to be independent businessmen instead of just employees. In this our bicentennial year every effort should be made to free the people from the shackles of red tape and to promote free enterprise.

Because of the problems involved in prorating registrations, I don't even try to handle that paperwork myself; however, I don't have the money to hire

someone to handle the filings of fuel and mileage reports, so I struggle through those reports myself. Unless you have had the actual experience of filing fuel reports, you can't believe what is being required of the interstate trucker. There is a total lack of uniformity-some reports are filed monthly-other reports are filed quarterly. My New Mexico report is filed annually. Let me give you some illustration of what is required.

1. Iowa: The report is filed monthly, with miles and fuel purchases reported on a fleet basis. In other words, I do not have to show the miles and fuel purchases for each vehicle. There is a ten dollar penalty for late filing. The States refuse to mail the report forms to anyone other than the permit holder, and many times I am on the road when the reports come in the mail. If they are mislaid or not called to my attention, or if I am on the road for an extended period of time, the reports are delayed. This means a penalty must be paid. 2. Nebraska: The Cornhusker State has a twenty-five ($25.00) penalty for late filing.

3. Oregon: Has a monthly highway use tax report. Miles must be reported individually for each vehicle by company number, make of vehicle, declared combined weight, total miles operated, Oregon miles, type of fuel and the beginning and ending speedometer readings. If late in filing, there is a penalty of five percent of the total tax due.

4. California: Individual trip records must be prepared showing the date of the trip, highways used in California, total miles, miles outside California, miles in California, total fuel used, fuel used in California, fuel purchased in California listing vendors name and address, number of gallons purchased, and amount of tax paid to the vendor. The California penalty is ten percent plus one-half percent per month.

5. Idaho: Everyone talks about the friendly West, but they must not have heard about Idaho's one hundred dollar penalty for late filing.

6. Oklahoma: This Southwestern State has a two page report. All purchases of fuel must be listed including the date, invoice number, name of station, location of station, type of fuel, and number of gallons purchased. A separate schedule calls for listing of mileage by unit; that is, miles travelled not only in Oklahoma but in every State. I must show the average miles per gallon of fuel purchased and consumed in each state.

7. New Mexico: The fuel report is on a pre-printed form. I must produce official receipts of fuel purchased, or my figures will not be accepted. Again I am required to show mileage and fuel purchase data by vehicle.

The Eastern States also assess penalties. Pennsylvania assessed five dollars a day Maine also has a five dollar daily penalty, and New Hampshire assessed one dollar a day penalty.

Time does not permit my reviewing each State's requirements; however, I am confident you will recognize the burden that is being imposed monthly on the interstate carriers-it is like a snowball rolling downhill and gaining momentum and size along the way. But as I struggle over these reports, trying to meet deadlines, I ponder over what it actually means by the phrase "There shall be no undue burden on interstate commerce." Since I am registered on prorate in the Western States, I can travel in those states at 78,000 pounds; however, when I come to the Eastern border of Nebraska and cross the bridge over the Missouri River into Iowa, I must make certain that the combined loaded weight of my tractor-trailer combination does not exceed 73,280 pounds. I must either remove part of my load or travel in Iowa illegally, running the risk of being apprehended and tickets for over-weight. Permitting me to operate in every state at 78,000 or 80,000 pounds would help tremendously. If Congress can require acceptance of the fifty-five miles an hour speed limit or face the loss of federal highway funds, then it would appear that Congress could require the States to adopt uniform weights and sizes. The trucking industry has become the whipping boy in the State of Iowa. Any legislator who would dare to introduce legislation to increase the weights and sizes of trucks in Iowa would be attacked by the news media, and the proposed legislation would be labelled "special interest"-the kiss of death. Pressure by Congress is the only thing that will get Iowa and other regressive States off dead center.

Thank you for the opportunity of presenting my views.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa., June 9, 1976.

Mr. BEDELL: I believe in the right of free enterprise in the market place. It gives people a drive to make things better and easier, to experiment with ideas. Those people who say that deregulation will not work or will cause havoc, are foolish. For an example look at the produce industry. We get those crops moved and a heck of a lot faster and better than regulated commodities to all points in the U.S.A. and Canada. I know, because I haul meat products for a regulated carrier one way and I haul produce for a truck broker the other way.

I pay the regulated carrier 27 percent of gross revenue. I pay the truck broker 8 percent. My insurance and handling of permits which the regulated carrier furnish is worth approximately 6 percent, add on 8 percent for the brokerage they furnish that brings it up to 14 percent and the other 13 percent goes for the rights. Please help. Thank you.



LINCOLN, NEBR., June 28, 1976. DEAR CONGRESSMAN BEDELL: I am Donald Mulder, I am an Independent trucker and also President of the Independent Truckers of Nebr., Inc.

I am enclosing a statement that I very much wanted to present in person at your hearings in Sioux City on June 5th. Due to a severe cold I was unable to attend this meeting.

I sincerely hope that you will take time to read this short but very important statement.

If I can be of any further assistance or can furnish you with any information, please feel free to ask for it.




Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to appear before your Subcommittee. While the Independent Truckers of Nebraska organization is not an old one, nor a large one, I do feel that I can represent many, many independent truckers and owner-operator types of operations throughout the Midwest.

I have followed with interest many of the presentations that have been made before your committee over the past several weeks, and I have had the opportunity of reading news accounts of their statements. Therefore, I do not intend to repeat the very same things that you have heard on many other occasions. I will try to confine my remarks to areas that you have possibly not had previous indepth presentations.

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The subject of skimming has been presented to you on several occasions. By way of quick review, this is a practice of a regulated carrier who agrees to pay an owner-operator possibly 75 to 80 percent of the total tariff for transporting a given load. Unfortunately, the man furnishing the equipment, driving the rig, and handling all of the line costs of the transportation move, is not always privileged to know the exact rate under which commodities move. Therefore, while he has signed a lease arrangement for a certain percent, in many cases he has the problem of not knowing the actual amount received by the certificated company. The I.C.C. regulation requiring the availability of extended freight bills on demand to owner-operators places particular pressures on owner-operators that have the net effect of making this rule inadequate to prevent the practice.

Therefore, since companies are somewhat reluctant to produce actual freight bills for review by the owner-operator, it would seem very reasonable to simply alter this rule to provide that the company holding the certification under which the load will be transported must provide the necessary tariff data and the gross dollars received for the movement of the commodities. Under this procedure, if the owner-operator has any questions relative to the properness of the amount, he is then in a position to request verification of the tariff charged directly from the ICC. In fact, it would seem reasonable for the I.C.C. to develop a one-page

document that would strictly set forth the pertinent details as to the company holding the certification, the tariff under which the load moved, and other data necessary to determine that the appropriate tariff was utilized. This form would be provided from the regulated company with each movement of commodities by an owner-operator. Owner-operators, at their discretion, could forward this form to the I.C.C., enabling the I.C.C. to do random sampling of companies and the shipments being transported by owner-operators. With ample teeth for violations, the I.C.C. could stipulate in their rule and regulation that companies violating this would ultimately be severed on their operating rights. If this were the case, there would be very few companies that would continue illegal practices such as skimming. This would have the net effect of having a built-in deterrent on the holder of the certification to either dispense with skimming or not start it.

Briefly, if there are any assistances that can be given to aid the small trucker on the interest charged on the money borrowed to purchase equipment, this certainly would be most helpful. I know, for instance, that we still have the excise tax on all of our rolling stock as we purchase it, and certainly, this would go a long ways to aid our cause in the price of the equipment we purchase. However, if there could be any type of a guaranteed loan program that possibly wouldn't require the Federal government to put up any money but would have the net effect of reducing our interest by guarantees in case of default that the Federal government would be able to enter the picture, this possibly could decrease our interest fees as much as 15 or 20 percent.

Next, Mr. Chairman and members of your committee, I wish to emphasize to you the importance of increased Federal support to develop uniform procedures among all states in the various licensing, reporting, size and weight laws, and other state laws that affect individual carriers. The International Registration Plan is a great plan for licensing requirements if we could simply move forward faster in implementing it and making it a part of all of the 48 continental states. In 1976 less than 50 percent of the states are utilizing this IRP program for licensing requirements, and the remainder had a "hodge-podge" of other requirements on licensing procedures.

In the fuel tax field there are 41 states that have a fuel reporting law and, frankly, we've got 41 different sets of interpretations. requirements, and procedures for those particular laws. It's time that the Federal government not necessarily take over fuel tax reporting but certainly "jawbone" the states into developing uniform standards that the industry and the fuel tax administrators recognize are necessary. Other states have different requirements covering third structure taxes as well as filings before those state regulatory bodies on an annual basis. Still others have specific requirements on income tax which is absolutely impossible for a small trucker, operating as an independent or an owner-operator, to understand as to how to conform. Additionally, the Federal government could go a long ways in getting their own house in order for small carriers and independent owner-operator type of truckers, if they would simply set up a uniform procedure for paying the Federal Use Tax on trucks.

Finally—deregulation! Some of your Department of Transportation so-called experts obviously don't know anything about transportation. Here they are, attempting with everything that I have seen from the DOT and the Administration, proposing "over-kill." Mr. Chairman, and member of the Committee, for gosh sakes let's make those necessary corrections in our present structure, but let's not "throw the baby out with the bath water" simply because it didn't end up snow white.

No one would argue the point that there needs to be some revisions and some improvements in regulatory matters. And we certainly know that there has been too much general social regulation on all businessmen, both large and small. But in the field of economic regulation in the trucking world, let's study and affect those changes that are necessary rather than alter the complete system. While some independents and owner-operators probably feel that they may be "captives" to the certificated companies-with certain corrections-that is by far preferable to becoming the captives of the broker firms who would certainly control the destiny of all shipping throughout the entire nation if total deregulation would come to pass. As a matter of fact, that would come about even if there was implemented the proposal to exempt the so-called “back haul” of any products regardless of whether they are regulated commodities or not.

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A small owner-operator or independent trucker certainly does not have the time, the knowledge, or the money that would be required to take on the liability that would of necessity fall on his shoulders if he was not under lease, to secure the proper permits, cab cards and decals necessary in each of the states, to serve as his own broker and acquire the loads in his own right, as well as compete with the giant shipping units who would no doubt establish their own little "pet" carriers who would become their "pawns" for all of the more attractive loads and would leave the rest of us to pick up the "dribblings" that might remain.

This nation is dependent upon the movement of freight as fast as possible, yet at the lowest available cost. Many of the stumbling blocks that are in our road in helping accomplish this, serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever. However, those that do provide a proper framework within which all parts of America can share and share alike in the movement of commerce, should certainly be retained and improved rather than destroyed.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to appear here today to epxress these viewpoints. This concludes my prepared testimony.



Under present laws, the owner operator is required to insure his equipment (tractor, trailer, cargo and liability). While under trip lease to common carrier, this particular equipment for all intense purposes while under this trip lease, is forced to be insured by two different companies for the same purpose. The insurance that the above owner operator is required to carry costs up and above $4.000.00 for a single unit. The majority of the common carriers are self insured, but it is a plain and simple fact that a portion of the average 25% revenue deducted by the carrier goes to insure this unit the second time. I believe it is long past time for the lawmakers of this country to take a good look into this problem area, and rewrite laws conforming to everyones needs.


The rate structure for produce moving form the west coast to the midwest and east is simple, SUPPLY AND DEMAND. This rate structure being controlled by growers, buyers and shippers; for example a load of soft fruit such as grapes, cherries, peaches, etc., moving by truck (owner operator) from any part of the west coast on Monday through Wednesday, going from point A in the west to point B in the east has a different rate than the same product moving from the exact same point Thursday through Sunday, the difference being as much as $300.00 per produce load.

The growers, buyers and shippers are controlling the rates by the availability of owner operators in a given area to haul their commodity. In the winter time all produce rates drop drastically, yet we travel the same miles with the same overhead, plus the added dangers of winter driving.

Members of Congress, I believe it is way past time and a dire need for immediate REFORM is in order in this particular problem area with particular emphasis being placed on the rate structure of the independent owner operator.


At certain times of the year when work is slow, an owner operator is asked to pay a under the table fee above the average 25% just for the privilege of getting a load. After arriving at the destination, he is sometimes required to pay an unloading fee, thus being ripped off by the Carrier Agent and the Consignee. This problem can be corrected by allowing the owner operator to find their own loads and being able to haul regulated freight in one direction, only with strict adherence to published tariffs. Members of Congress, I strongly believe if the

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