Brought to you in part by:
Thirteen Years!

...

Nineteen Years!
.

Click here to see a list of our Supporters.
  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

It had to happen sooner or later

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    They sure don’t make it easy for the independents, it sure seems.
    '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

    My Mach's restoration progress
    My Sprint's restoration progress
    ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere View Post
      They sure don’t make it easy for the independents, it sure seems.
      You don't know the half of it Steve. Trucking is one of the highest regulated industries in the US. I have a one inch thick book with a lot of them, but not all. Most are petty stuff like color and sizes and placement of lights, others dip down into a driver's health, like bp, eyesight, etc. Some are needed, some are stupid. I could go on for a while on the stupid ones!
      ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
      -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
      -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
      " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

      "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

      Comment


      • #18
        What sucks is every minute you’re dealing with that, you aren’t TCBing. Only from the mind of bureaucrats...
        '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

        My Mach's restoration progress
        My Sprint's restoration progress
        ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

        Comment


        • #19
          I got an email response this past Monday, quicker than I thought. It was written by the same guy I talked to on the phone. "Status closed - no data correction made". So I've been sending an average of one email per evening to law firms, 2 have responded saying they don't do this kind of case, the other 5 haven't responded. The one I've sent Friday evening hasn't really had a chance yet, but I don't have much hope.

          There were 2 fairly short paragraphs in "explanation" of why they won't change it - I don't think it would be right to repeat it all here. He claims a committee made the decision, but I don't believe that, I think it was just him. "No data correction made" - funny how the truth kinda just slips out there sometimes, isn't it? Why didn't he say "no ~changes~ will be made"? So he knows it's incorrect? Also "The deputies at BCSO are trained through the same program as our state officers, so therefore they are aware of the proper methods/procedures for inspecting commercial vehicles." So yes, I did hurt his little feelings when I questioned the ability of non DOT people - that one probably really did cost me, but I'm not going to beat myself up for telling the truth.

          Also: "...you stated in our phone conversation that the load was not covered / secured because of a broken tarp mechanism. You also stated that you did cover the load before you proceeded away, hence you remedied that OOS condition before you left." I DID NOT say my tarp was broken, either he made a mistake, or he's lying, and I suspect it's the latter. If what he said was true, I'd have had to done repair work on the truck during the stop, and I never said or implied that. I think he's doing a dance. He also said that he had no control over how insurance companies determine a safety rating, but that 1 inspection isn't enough to determine an official safety rating, that federal calculations require 3. But he didn't explain why he couldn't take the "100% OOS" description off. Seems to me a good lawyer would be itching to pick up a phone and start barking at him. Maybe I'm dreaming.

          I have to keep looking, I suspect the reason no lawyer has yet responded is because they're afraid of the state of Ky. - that's where all those I've emailed so far are located. I might have to do some looking in Ohio or Indiana. I live very close to both of those states. I'm gong to run this by a lady at my church tomorrow who has a law degree - maybe she can steer me in the right direction.

          My insurance agent sent me one more quote, which pretty much wraps up all his connections for insurance, other than Progressive. It's for $20,819.87 for one year. That of course would put me out of business. Still a chance he can get me with Progressive for about $7000.00 per year for liability only. That's doable, I've been turning over in my mind the possibility of just selling out and driving a company truck for somebody else, either my dispatcher, or a local excavation company, but I'd take a pay cut of much more than $7000, and work a lot longer hours too.

          I called another insurance agent that, unlike the guy I have now, specializes in only heavy truck insurance. I explained everything to her, and she seems to think she can get me something reasonable, I think they have many more companies to work with than my guy does. So we'll see. If I can get something for $7000.00 or less, I'm going to have to go for it right away. But I'm not going to stop with this SMS thing until I can get some decent legal representation, I don't care if it takes years.

          I've seen a couple of Sheriff cars this week, and a little tongue of flame shoots through my gizzard each time I see one. It's too bad, I don't appreciate it at all when someone lumps all dump truck drivers into one class just because of the actions of one or two, but I guess it's just human nature to do that. I just have to try really hard to remind myself that all sheriff guys aren't necessarily like that one. Not easy.

          Thanks for reading folks, I really do appreciate having a place to vent.
          Marc

          88 L-9000 tri-axle dump
          71 F-250 4x2
          88 F-150 4X2

          Comment


          • #20
            Marc, could you possibly lease your truck out to another company, then get on their insurance? That's the way mine is set up, I'm leased on to a company, they pay all the liability, and it's spread out over 400 trucks instead of just one. You would lose some of the flexibility of running independently, but should still have the ability to work when you wanted to.
            It would be very hard for me to go back to driving for somebody else, I'm too set in my ways.
            ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
            -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
            -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
            " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

            "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

            Comment


            • #21
              That is something I hadn't really thought of Bobby, thanks I will check with my dispatcher about it if need be. He has a partner also, with about 6 trucks, whom I get along with very well. And I'm pretty locked in with them, I don't seek or accept other work, except small stuff that I can work in without being unavailable to them. I was thinking my first choice would be to just drive for one of them, that way there'd be no change in my duties at all, and I really do like what I do. Two problems with that though, they're both about 25 traffic jam filled miles from me, and I can't be commuting in my 4 wheeler that kind of distance, they'd have to let me keep the truck at home, which they might not be able to do. The worst part of course is that I'd have to sell the Ford, and I couldn't get a third of what it's worth to me. The engine and trans are both fresh, but that claim means nothing to a buyer. I know it would mean nothing to me.

              The other piece-of-mind that I have is this local construction / dump trucking company that rents extra trucks from us a lot. I know and like many of those guys - 6 years ago when I was driving the Mack and having all that engine trouble with mine, one of their foreman tried to get me to drive for them, pretty much implied that I had a job with them whenever I wanted it. And they're busy these days, so I'd say that offer holds. They're close enough that a commute wouldn't be a problem. But I'd still have to take a big loss in selling the Ford. I'm set in my ways as well, this foreman stressed that I could walk away at the end of each day not worrying about the truck. But I know it's not that simple - there would be a process to report mechanical problems, likely to somebody who says "what did you tear up now?" as I'm approaching him. I'd rather fix stuff myself than deal with that kind of conflict. I also like to make my own decisions on when to replace brakes, tires, where and when to buy fuel etc.

              We'll see what happens, I gave the lady at my church with the law degree a copy of the email I'd been sending out, (her specialty is finance) but she said she'd make some calls and try to steer me in the right direction.

              Bobby, is the identification displayed on your truck your individual name, or is it the name of the company you lease under? Do you use their DOT number or yours? I also have the KYU complication. (mileage tax) Only 4 states do it, and Alabama isn't one.
              Marc

              88 L-9000 tri-axle dump
              71 F-250 4x2
              88 F-150 4X2

              Comment


              • #22
                Only name on my truck is the company I'm leased to, I use their number. We had a KYU number for years, but we don't put it on the trucks anymore. I'm lucky, the company figures all my fuel taxes and pays them, even the KY mileage tax if I go there. They also pay my IRP and IFTA, also my ad valorem, but I have to fill out and pay the 2290 {$550 Federal road use tax}.

                One thing I missed until just now, the letter you got back said it takes 3 reports to determine a safety record, probably true on the Federal level, but I was thinking that they had taken the safety reports down from their website and only published the given rating, if that's the case, how did the insurance people get a copy of a rating that doesn't yet exist? Sounds fishy....

                One other route might be to talk to OOIDA. They have their own insurance program, their own lawyers, etc, they might be able to give you a hand, even if you have to join it's I think $45 a year. I've been planning on joining myself, just haven't gotten around to it.
                ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
                -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
                -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
                " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

                "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

                Comment


                • #23
                  About as soon as I submitted that last message, I was wondering about your IFTA filings, you answered that all for me! I don't mind doing most of that stuff though. How many states are you licensed for?

                  I think all the insurance people did was go by what they see on the first page of my SMS - it shows a little table of "Out of Service Rates", for vehicle, driver, and hazmat. It shows national averages of 20.7 for vehicle, 5.5 for driver, and 4.5 for hazmat. Then it shows me at 100% for vehicle, 0% for driver, and has a blank for hazmat. That's the one thing I think I can get corrected if I can get a lawyers attention at all - that 100% rating for my truck simply should not be on there! To me, the Frankfort guy's wording on the "case closed" email confirms it. Hopefully I'll find out this week! Stay tuned......
                  Marc

                  88 L-9000 tri-axle dump
                  71 F-250 4x2
                  88 F-150 4X2

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    This little saga of mine is far from over, but I do have a couple updates. These things do tend to move slowly. Most of the lawyers that I emailed weren't interested. There were 7, 2 said they didn't do this type of case, one said they were too busy, 2 never responded, and 1 responded only today, so I still have him for an option, but things are up in the air enough now that I don't know what to tell him, I've probably moved on from all those I emailed weeks ago. 1 of them did respond a week and a half ago, and I've been working with him, and it hasn't gone well. He's the only one of them that I knew from a past experience - he helped me set up my LLC formation 3 years ago. His main specialty is bankruptcy, but he told me to come in and he'd take a look at what I had. I showed him the SMS, the $20,000 insurance quote etc. and naturally it was a lot for him to digest during our 15 minute meeting. He seemed doubtful that he could do much since he knows nothing about heavy truck issues, but I told him I thought maybe a phone call from him to the guy in Frankfort might fix all this. He said he'd call him and get back to me. I left him a list of a few questions to ask him, including "why did he say I said my tarp was broken, did he have a recording of that phone conversation confirming that?" and also "if 1 inspection isn't enough to determine a safety rating, then how can it determine an OOS of 100%?" That was on Wednesday the 25th, it was Monday the 30th before he called me back. I could immediately tell that the Frankfort guy recognized his lack of knowledge of truck issues, and just bowled him over, He just told me that I have to keep shopping around for insurance, that proper rules are being followed, that this will drop off in 3 years, as if it's no big deal. I felt like telling him 3 years is a lot more to a 63 year old guy like myself than it is for 30 and 40 somethings like him and this Frankfort guy. But I was driving, needed some time to think, so I just said okay to all his ho-humming around. But after hanging up, I found myself thinking that it seemed like this lawyer called him for a basic education in what Frankfort's opinions were about truck violations, instead of representing ME.

                    So the next morning, as I'm in the truck on an intense, but somewhat boring 20 minute round-trip job, and regretting that I ever consulted this guy, I get a phone email from him that said I could drop off or mail him a check for $250 anytime I'm ready, if I don't need anything else from him. That's when regret REALLY set in, and it's a good thing I had the rest of the day to cool off, because it was so temping to call him right away and roast his ears right off. But by the end of the day, I decided to email him that evening, and not be so nasty that I couldn't show it, and his response, to the next lawyer I get. But it wasn't very loving - I told him I'd consider sending him his $250 after he emails me a WRITTEN description of just how the Frankfort guy answered those questions that I gave him to ask, and / or a summary of just how their phone conversation went, that I'd need it for my next attorney. And then I said, "or did he steamroll you / shout you down before you had a chance to ask those questions?" That was this past Tuesday evening, and I expected an angry phone call from him Wednesday, and I was wired and waiting for it. But it never came, instead an email came from him about 9:30 that morning, beginning "Marc, I understand how frustrating this is for you....." He then stepped through how his charges are for his time blah blah blah, that he fulfilled his duty. And he did actually summarize for me his phone conversation, excluding of course, answers to those questions, because I know he never asked them. But he was professional and smooth about it, I still wanted to call him a wimp, but what good would it do me to burn a bridge with him? There's a chance he could be useful to the next attorney, in some small way. Here's his last paragraph of the email from him that I asked for; "If you believe you have valid evidence to fight the underlying stop because your load was in fact covered, then he said what you need to do is from there is file a lawsuit to challenge their finding. As we discussed on the phone, I would not feel comfortable taking that case since you said your load was uncovered. Whether that is common practice or not, if the law is to cover your load, and you did not, that is a violation. My opinion is the SMS system is a bad system for single truck operators. Thanks Mr Winp."

                    So I emailed him back, saying I'd send him his check, and then ranted some about how I'm the only truck on this current six-truck job I'm on that's tarping loads (which is true - police are passing by not paying any attention to the other untarped trucks). I told one of the other drivers that I don't dare get caught with out a load tarped, considering the trouble I'm in. I also told the lawyer I'd let him know how this all turns out when it's over, since he'd probably be curious about it.

                    Now for some good news, I got a call a few evenings ago from the son of the guy I rented the Mack from years ago, he's been driving tractor trailers for years. He told me about TVC, an organization that, among other things, has a network of lawyers that specialize in helping truck owners with police issues. I joined up, and am supposed to be contacted Monday for information on a local attorney that will look at this. As he'll see, I have a lot of the usual preliminary challenges to cases like this behind me, the Frankfort guy is totally doubled down, from Mr Wimps description above, the Frankfort guy is saying "bring it on" concerning a lawsuit. The million dollar question is, can a truck be designated "out of service" if it has no mechanical issues? It seems to me it can't - I don't see how a drivers action (not tarping a load) could place a TRUCK out of service. If I'm right, this could turn out to be quite fun. It will depend on my new lawyers analyzation of the exact wording / interpretation of the OOS laws.

                    Still waiting on more insurance quotes, my new truck insurance agent said her underwriters don't like to provide quotes before 25 to 30 days before expiration, mine is June 12th,

                    A week ago, I'd have been satisfied to just get the SMS report corrected. At this point, while it may not be perfectly Christian of me, I wouldn't mind getting some revenge against Mr Frankfort. Despite what he could possibly do to me down the road. Belonging to TVC could help me with that too.

                    However this turns out, I feel I've done my best. Stay tuned......
                    Marc

                    88 L-9000 tri-axle dump
                    71 F-250 4x2
                    88 F-150 4X2

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Man, what a swamp of BS to wade through, sorry man.
                      '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

                      My Mach's restoration progress
                      My Sprint's restoration progress
                      ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        This is the kind of crap that our industry has had to suffer with the past several years, and I don't see it getting any better. Regulation on top of regulation, the general public doesn't have a clue what we have to put up with. I would walk away from it today if I could. Not to get too political and get this tossed in the pit, but this is the kind of garbage you get when you have people who don't have a clue about the industry trying to regulate it, and ending up making a mess out of it. The deck is so stacked against the little guy that it's not funny. The SMS system is geared so that if you have 1000 trucks, one bad write up doesn't hurt you, but if you only have one or two trucks, it makes you look like an outlaw. The rule of percentages is against you from the start. That's why companies like Swift, JB Hunt, Werner and a lot of others can have multiple write ups, multiple fatality wrecks and still have a good safety record. And then you have people enforcing the laws that don't even understand them themselves, further dropping your chances. I've got 33 years in this industry, and what was once an honorable profession has turned into a big game of cops and outlaws, we are guilty until proven innocent and run around with a target on our backs. The game is rigged toward the big money guys, us little fish don't have a chance.

                        In the immortal words of Jerry Reed in the song "Westbound and down", "You gotta dodge'm and you gotta duck'em, keep that diesel trucking, put that hammer down and give it hell..."

                        Off my soapbox now........
                        ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
                        -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
                        -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
                        " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

                        "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Thanks guys. I hope my descriptions of this aren't too confusing, I can understand if someone would rather just see a more easy-to-understand generalization of what this is about. A simple example of EXACTLY what is going on here would be; someone is caught speeding in a car, doesn't get a ticket, but has a notation placed on his car's registration that makes it outrageously expensive or impossible to get insurance on the car, as if the speeding violation was the car's fault, made the car useless to society.

                          https://prodriver.com/

                          This webpage gives me hope! I love this line;
                          When Police See a TVC Pro-Driver Logo on Your Truck, They'll Think Twice about Pulling You Over to Hit Their Quota

                          I'm now a member, and I WANT one of those logos!!! I'll pay them for one if they don't send me a free one! I don't understand why my internet searching didn't bring them up, probably they get all the advertising they need through word-of-mouth. But I'm there now! Too early to count on miracles, but I am hopeful.
                          Marc

                          88 L-9000 tri-axle dump
                          71 F-250 4x2
                          88 F-150 4X2

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by fordtrucker View Post
                            Thanks guys. I hope my descriptions of this aren't too confusing, I can understand if someone would rather just see a more easy-to-understand generalization of what this is about. A simple example of EXACTLY what is going on here would be; someone is caught speeding in a car, doesn't get a ticket, but has a notation placed on his car's registration that makes it outrageously expensive or impossible to get insurance on the car, as if the speeding violation was the car's fault, made the car useless to society.

                            https://prodriver.com/

                            This webpage gives me hope! I love this line;
                            When Police See a TVC Pro-Driver Logo on Your Truck, They'll Think Twice about Pulling You Over to Hit Their Quota

                            I'm now a member, and I WANT one of those logos!!! I'll pay them for one if they don't send me a free one! I don't understand why my internet searching didn't bring them up, probably they get all the advertising they need through word-of-mouth. But I'm there now! Too early to count on miracles, but I am hopeful.
                            Kind of like when I was a kid and got caught doing donuts in a empty parking lot and the cop wrote me a ticket for driving to endanger, the same charge rich kids got their DWI offense reduced to with the help of a pricy lawyer. For years my insurance had me lumped in the same category as that guy, and priced accordingly.
                            '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

                            My Mach's restoration progress
                            My Sprint's restoration progress
                            ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Very interesting although dis-heartening thread. I'm a 2nd generation tractor trailer driver, been at it for 30+ years not counting 4 years in the USAF transporting nukes for Uncle. The same Uncle makes it so tough for a hard working guy who plays by the rules to make an honest living to provide for your and the welfare families living. I've never had the onions to own my truck, company driver for the get go. I can only guess the BS my boss has to go through to keep his 200+ freight haulers rolling along. That said, I've never had a day I wish I had chosen another career, I absolutely love my job, hey I get to listen to what ever radio station I want to, enjoy the everchanging scenery here in NH and listen to a turbocharger whine all day. I'm a simple man and those simple things have allowed me to provide food and shelter to my family all these years. Thanks for posting your challenges here, some folks think all you do is buy a truck, put your letters on the door and that's it. wishing you luck in your quandry......
                              1970 Mach 1, my wife's first car purchased for $1800 in 1977. .30 over 351 Cleveland 4V FMX tranny. Best ET with 3:00 to 1 gears 13.9 @ 102 mph

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Finally have a chance to post up the latest on this, the worst is over, I got, and accepted an insurance quote from the truck-insurance-only agent that I referred to above. It was $2500 more than last year, but I trimmed it down by about 800 by doing away with collision coverage on the truck, I've been without collision most of the time I've owned this truck anyway.

                                The TVC organization that I referred to above ~finally~ had one of their lawyers contact me about this a few days ago. She was from California, so I immediately didn't have much hope, I really think I need someone from my state for this. But she briefly listened to my description of what happened, and didn't seem very interested. She said if I contested it with the Kentucky VE, that's about all that can be done. The amount of time that has gone by since the stop is probably a big part of my difficulty in finding legal representation on this. Seems kind of strange - TVC's literature makes it clear they're pretty much focused on fighting tickets, speeding, following too close, overloads, etc. - all things that the truck is actually usually guilty of. Anything other than tickets doesn't seem to interest them, even though something like a false SMS report can easily be more costly than a fine, it can destroy a business.

                                Since business is really good and I'm able to keep going un-interrupted, I've pretty much decided to forget about trying to fight this. But I did order an official copy of the CVSA Out Of Service handbook. It's largely what I expected, a 200 + page detail of what every nut and bolt of a perfect truck should look like, with little clarification of just what is, and isn't considered "Out of Service". I found nothing specific about tarps, just vague references to load securement on tractor-trailers. But on page 73, it does have this paragraph;

                                ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE: All out-of-service orders must be confirmed. Vehicles shall only be declared out of service after online or telephonic verification of the motor carrier's out of service order.
                                Confirmation? Verification? Out-of-Service Order? I've never seen any of this. Maybe I'm reading this the wrong way, but this tells me that an out-of-service declaration is a pretty big deal, one that should, by law, require some pretty serious guideline following by these authorities. Their neglect in informing me of this back in July of last year is probably the main reason I'm unable to get legal representation now, and of course, the reason I now have to pay thousands more in insurance costs.

                                Again, I'm done expecting anything to be done to change what has happened to me this time. But now, in the coming weeks, I'm going to enjoy carefully, politely, (well kind of politely ) and concisely, laying out a nice written description of this entire episode, and send it by postal mail to just about every politician in the state of Kentucky that's even remotely involved in my district. I'll leave Mitch McConnel and Rand Paul alone, but no one else is safe! Most of them will ignore it of course, but maybe one or two will open their eyes, if they care at all about the possibility that a little tyrant in Frankfort can hold his ego far above what's best for the state, and that the damage that tyrant can do can easily snowball into something that could cost him his next election.

                                (any collections taken up for my bail will be appreciated) .

                                Marc

                                88 L-9000 tri-axle dump
                                71 F-250 4x2
                                88 F-150 4X2

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X