What You Should Know About FMCSA’s New Plan to Tackle ‘Predatory Truck Leases’

Washington D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is launching an investigation into “predatory truck leasing arrangements.”

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) signed into law late last year orders the FMCSA to create a Truck Leasing Task Force (TLTF).




 

Assisting the FMCSA in forming the TLTF will be the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

According to a statement last week from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the TLTF will “review leasing arrangements to identify actions that could make leases more equitable and transparent.”




 

Specifically, the USDOT said the focus of the TLTF will be to report on:

• Truck leasing arrangements for ports that involve a requirement for trucks to convert to zero emissions.
• Loans and other arrangements between incoming driver trainees and training schools and/or trucking companies to understand the extent to which these result in outsized and unanticipated debt for incoming drivers.
• Looking into predatory truck leasing arrangements with DOL and in coordination with the CFPB.

OOIDA Is Cautiously Optimistic

Lewie Pugh, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the largest industry group representing owner-operators, welcomes the new study.

“The whole lease purchase model is completely one-sided,” Pugh told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) in an exclusive interview on Monday. “They are designed for you to fail. We have people who lose their houses and everything to these things.”

 

Norita Taylor, OOIDA’s director of public relations, told TNN she’s excited about the possibility the TLTF’s findings could lead to needed lease purchase reform.

“We’ve been fighting to get lease purchase agreements done away with or some sort of oversight for years,” she said. “If the FMCSA can help people who have entered into predatory leases, that would be great.”

However, Pugh did offer a bit of caution to those hoping the TLTF will lead to any meaningful changes.

“There’s definitely a huge economic interest for these findings to show these things work really well to keep the lease purchase model going. Let’s hope we can get past the economic interests of big business and get to the interests of the people who drive the trucks,” he said.




 

Both indicated talks are ongoing with the Agency about OOIDA having representation on the TLTF.

“There’s vital input OOIDA can provide and should be able to do so,” Taylor commented.

TransportationNation.com will continue to follow this investigation.

 


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