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FMCSA Forms New Task Force to Combat Predatory Leasing Practices

Sarah Jones

May 1, 2023

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WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the nine members who will serve on the Truck Leasing Task Force (TLTF) chartered by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. TLTF will evaluate lease agreements in the industry and their potential safety and financial impacts on owner-operators.  TLTF is established as a statutory committee under the authority of Section 23009 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Pub. L. 117-58 (2021), in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2.

TLTF will address areas that have long needed intense focus. It will be tasked with providing best practices to assist drivers in assessing the impacts of a leasing agreement prior to entering into such agreement and recommendations on changes to laws to promote fair leasing agreements. TLTF’s work will contribute to FMCSA’s efforts to ensure that drivers have access to fair leasing agreements.

“At a time when our country needs truck drivers more than ever, we must do everything we can to support the men and women who work in this vital industry,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Truck Leasing Task Force is taking a hard look at leasing agreements as part of our effort to ensure every truck driver in this country has good working conditions and can make a good living.”

Truck leasing is an important step that many owner-operators in the trucking industry take to get started in the business. Leases that contain terms that are inequitable to drivers may discourage safe drivers from continuing to work in the industry. 

TLTF members include representatives from labor organizations, motor carriers, consumer protection groups, owner-operators, and other businesses, as well as attorneys and educators.  

The nine members who will serve on FMCSA’s Truck Leasing Task Force are: 

  • Tamara Brock, Brock Logistics, LLC and Lewis & Lewis Logistics, LLC (Independent Owner-Operator)

  • Paul Cullen, The Cullen Law Firm, PLLC (Attorney) 

  • Troy Hawkins, TTOH Consulting & Logistics, LLC (Independent Owner-Operator

  • Jim Jefferson, Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (Consumer Protection)

  • Joshua Krause, OTR Leasing, LLC (Business)

  • Kaitlyn Long, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Labor Organization) 

  • Steve Rush, Carbon Express Inc. (Carrier)

  • Lesley Tse, Animal Defense Partnership, Inc. (Attorney) 

  • Steve Viscelli, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Economic Sociologist)

“The Truck Leasing Task Force addresses one of trucking’s great challenges. Leasing can have a major impact on people choosing trucking as their career, and protecting drivers is of the utmost importance,” says FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “FMCSA is committed to addressing issues that may impact the recruitment and retention of drivers in the trucking industry.” 

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