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2024 Trucking Industry Challenges: Compliance

posted by TrueNorth Transportation on Thursday, March 21, 2024

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​If you missed the first part of our 2024 trucking challenges series where we shared the inspiration behind this series and discussed the freight market, be sure to check that out first here.

In this installment of the series, we will look at compliance and why this continues to be a challenge for trucking companies and what changes we expect to see in 2024.

Compliance is important for many reasons, beyond wanting to avoid any fines or additional repercussions from the enforcing agencies. Safety and compliance are interconnected, and by meeting various regulations set by organizations such as FMCSA and DOT, companies can further ensure the safety of their drivers and others on the road.

Compliance: Navigating Regulatory Complexity

Transportation companies must comply with countless regulations, on top of keeping a pulse on new ones and amendments to existing ones. Chris Gulker, Executive Vice President of Transportation at TrueNorth, describes why this continues to be so complex , "Because interstate trucking spans multiple jurisdictions (federal, state, and local), companies need a working knowledge of the operating and regulatory environment across their entire operation, not only where their business is domiciled. It requires a diligent approach to managing a business.”

Changes This Year: Addressing Independent Contractor Rule and Maintenance Scores

One major change companies need to prepare for this year is the final independent contractor rule that the Department of Labor announced in January. This rule will go into effect in March and dictates how companies classify independent contractors versus employees and what they can enforce.

Gulker explains, “While there’s a lot in this rule to unpack, it does allow for a trucking company to enforce safety requirements, so long as it is for the sole purpose of compliance with a specific law or regulation without blurring the lines of independent contractor status.” The complexity within the rule lies within the potential for IC misclassification. It is imperative that motor carriers understand this rule's intricacies and review their driver requirements to avoid misclassification.

Austin Doyle, Safety and Loss Control Specialist at TrueNorth, shares his thoughts on another compliance challenge motor carriers will face this year - rising Maintenance Scores. Doyle advises, “There are not enough technicians to keep trucks moving legally. It will be on drivers to make sure they are doing very thorough and proper pre-trips every day on their equipment.” His quick check-list for drivers includes:

  • Keeping lights in good order

  • Checking their brake pads

  • Ensuring air lines are not chaffing or are unsecured

  • Maintaining proper tire inflation

Additional Resources: Podcast Insights and Looking Ahead

While we touched on only a couple of the compliance-specific challenges companies will face this year, there are many more to be aware of. We dive into more in recent episodes of our TN Truck Thought Podcast with Scopelitis Transportation Consulting:

Episode 16: What will the government bring to the transportation industry in 2024?

Episode 17: Navigating Trucking’s Independent Contractor Terrain Considering the New DOL Rule of 2024

Coming Up: Cybersecuirty

In the next blog, we will discuss cybersecurity – including what it is, why trucking companies need to have a strategy around it and expert input. Make sure you don’t miss it!

Get in touch with the TrueNorth team today.



About Author

TrueNorth has more than 120 dedicated transportation staff, with deep specialization to each facet in the industry. Our solutions beyond the insurance policy help transportation companies reduce risk in new, innovative ways. Learn more about the solutions we offer here or call us at (800) 798-4080.

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