161: Fighting for the Independent Trucker – Lewie and Bryce of OOIDA

This week on the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett chats with Lewie Pugh and Bruce Mongeon of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). During the episode, the group discusses the founding of OOIDA, how the organization advocates on behalf of truckers, updates on the AB5 bill, discussion around speed limiters, how truckers can get involved, and more.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Celebrating 50 years of OOIDA (3:38)
  • What does OOIDA do for truckers and drivers? (5:25)
  • AB5 and how it impacts drivers (10:04)
  • Other issues OOIDA is advocating for (15:14)
  • The constant battle of OOIDA pushing for changes in government (19:20)
  • Speed limiters (23:09)
  • Policies on CSA scores and violations (32:41)
  • The best ways truckers can support OOIDA (38:38)
  • Specific changes that have been made because of advocacy (42:54)
  • Connecting with OOIDA (46:55)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.


Lewie Pugh  00:12

If you want changes in your industry, excuse my language, but bitching on a CB or social media at the truckstop ain’t gonna change it. It doesn’t work, doesn’t change it. What changes it is making relationships with your lawmakers. Reach out to your lawmakers. Explain to them these problems and explain to them real world issues. why this works or why this doesn’t work. Why you need this, why you don’t need this. Just start that relationship.

Jeremy Kellett  00:41

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley trucking headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner operators and their families by giving them up to date information concerning Oakley trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an insight to outside truck drivers who might be interested in joining the Oakley family. There’s Jeremy kellett director of recruiting here at Oakley trucking. And I’m your host for this podcast. This is the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. And once again, we bring you some good information on this podcast. I kinda want everybody to know, I mean, we’ve gained a lot of new listeners lately. So if you’ve just started listening to this podcast, it’s something that we try to start out by being directed to our owner operators, and we still do most of the time. But we want to hear from our listeners and what they want to hear. You know, we only do it on YouTube. Also, It’s on all your platforms, so you can find it. But we put a lot of effort into this trying to give you good information. A lot of it’s about Oakley trucking, communicating with our owner operators and their families. There’s definitely a lot of that. To be honest with you, we just want to touch as many truck drivers as we can out there with this information. So what I need you to do is to help me do that. And by doing that you can share this with everybody, you know, if it’s our owner operators, make sure that the rest of the guys are listening to it. And the guys and girls, we got a lot of that too. So you know, share it, subscribe, comment, like and just talk about it. Give us some feedback on what you want to hear. And you want to talk about this show. And we’d be glad to try to put it out there for you and do a little research. Now I’ve always said in the past, that this is not a podcast of real news. We don’t do a lot of the latest news or that kind of stuff going on. We give you a lot of other things, but we’re going against the grain today. I’ve actually got Louis Pugh, the vice president of a wider owner operator independent driver association with me today and also brass Majan from the DC office with a wider staff and we’re going to visit awesome stuff that is very important in the trucking world today. Arrow Truck Sales has been in business for over 60 years and a longtime partner of Oakley trucking and the Oakley podcast, Tre Viser and Keith Wilson do a great job at putting you in the right truck to fit your needs and our needs here at Oakley. They carry all makes and models to choose from with on site financing through transport funding. So whether you are a seasoned owner operator or a first time buyer, be sure to contact Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales at 573-216-6047. And tell him you heard it on the Oakley podcast. We might not be able to get it real deep into it. But this is stuff that I feel like our listeners need to know and understand. Because these guys that a lot of are fighting for you. And a lot of times they need your help. And we’re going to discuss that a little bit about what they can do. But, you know, it’s these things that are going to help you be more successful as an independent contractor and as a truck driver. And that’s what we want to do today. So let’s visit with Louis and Bryce. How’re you guys doing today?

Lewie Pugh  04:19

Good. Thank you.

Jeremy Kellett  04:20

Great, good. Glad to have you guys. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to spend a little time with me and our listeners here at Oakley trucking. I noticed of course Louis has been with us a year or two ago. And of course like he said when he came on our listeners just skyrocketed. I mean it just took it to another level. But you know I was looking at you guys whips out earlier and this is your 50th anniversary year. Tell us about

Lewie Pugh  04:52

that. We’re pretty proud of that. We’ve been around for 50 years now and most people know a lot of trucking groups. groups go and Associates and so on. But we’ve stood the test of time, thanks to some of our founders and leaders. And even once we started talking pens, our president had been around so long, they figured out how to make it work and get guys together. And yeah, it’s our 50th. And, in fact, we’re really looking forward to September, the showdown at G bots, air and art, John Joplin and four states. We’re partnering with Brian Martin in four states having a 50th anniversary party for a band and their show together. So if you’re in the area, we’d love to have you stop any truckers Of course. And you know, Ron does a great job with that showdown as to, but yeah, 50 years of addressee mean, that’s what Oh, Ida is. We weren’t 1973. We were started due to the Arab oil embargo. So it’s kind of funny, chuckling, a bunch of truckers got together, and they went to Washington, DC and thought they could fix the problems and get back to trucking. And here we are, 50 years later, still fighting some of the same fights we were fighting when we got started. But we started in a camper trailer chained to a light pole in a parking lot in a truckstop, where our building sits now. And 50 years later, we’ve bought two trucks up toward downvote, and the building has become a whole lot bigger. We now have an office in DC, of course, Bryce is one of the key people they’re fighting for you every day, I get down there quite often. But I like to tell people our office is right across the street from D O T, and we look down on him.

Jeremy Kellett  06:31

That’s good. But for new people that tune in to this podcast, you explained a little bit, but what is a lot? I mean, what is your main function? For people that maybe never heard of it, Louis?

Lewie Pugh  06:46

Yeah, and I appreciate that we’re our main hosts sole purpose is to advocate on the rights of small business truckers, and drivers, you know, get lost in law that our name is somewhat dated, we were started. Before deregulation, of course, back prior to deregulation, an independent driver was just a guy when a Teamster a truck drivers a team to win your company driver when a Teamster. So that’s why when the owner operator pays drivers Tuesdays, and I mean a lot of the laws and the rules and stuff that we fight for, whether you’re a company driver, or you’re an owner, operator, you’re gonna fall on our servers and stuff like that. But our main thing is advocacy as what we were started. We have programs here at our association that if you are a member that you can be a part of we do permitting, licensing, drug testing, insurance, we have what I think is a great thing. Remember compliance department, you work or your company, job, whatever. And this is part of your membership and membership, though it is very reasonable. It’s right now we have a special it’s only $50. For two years, usually it’s 45 a year, but compliance if you have a question you want to contract looked at, you think you got a ticket, you need help found a data cue you thinking about buying a truck or you’re leasing to a carrier, you can send it we’ll look at the contracts will tell you the good, the bad, the ugly. We’re not attorneys, we’re not prepaid li Wang like a lot of guys have ever been truck drivers. The biggest thing I like to point out as well. We were founded by truckers in 1973. Like I said, a bunch of them got together. And we’re still to this day, ran by truckers. I was a trucker for 25 years, Todd, our president was a trucker. Our entire board of directors is made up of people out there, either trucking our former truckers, so Ida still got our hand on the pulse of what’s going on. We got 150,000 members across country, I wish we had 300,000. But hey, you got we’re getting we’ll get there. So but that’s sort of our purpose. Like I said, the main thing here is advocacy. Another quick thing we have is our foundation. And they do a lot of research study and they offer if you go on Oh ida.com You can look at a lot of the courses and videos and stuff that they do about becoming an owner operator, leasing a carrier through all kinds of stuff like that. And they also do a training thing every year called track to success. It’s here in Kansas City or Green Valley by or Blue Springs right next to Green Valley, where they take you from A to Z becoming an owner operator, creating a business plan. You know what permits license insurance how to set up your business LLC sole proprietor leasing to a carrier, what to look for, when you lease to a carrier, you know, purchasing a truck if you decide you want to get your own authority, what it takes to do all that, working with customers working with brokers, all these things. So that’s I guess that’s a lot in a nutshell.

Jeremy Kellett  09:47

That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good because I mean, there’s a lot of things that go into just being a truck driver and especially being an owner operator and wanting to get your own business going. And that’s something I’d love to do. Just like Oakley, we send you guys our contract, and make sure you all approve it. It’s been a while since I’ve done that. I used to do that with Tom. Tom Crowley’s still there.

Lewie Pugh  10:11

Yes, Tom is still working hard over. He’s in compliance, the compliance department I was talking about. Like I said, if you’re a member, that’s a free service, and pay now that’s

Jeremy Kellett  10:21

good. And the only requirement is to have a CDL. Is that right? To be a member? Yes, sir. Well, we

Lewie Pugh  10:28

we got people here as members, I don’t know what I guess CDL, or no, they don’t have you don’t have to do I mean, you can be a member, we take on but you know, and which is fine. And we have some other kinds of deals too. But you know, he can be a full member, our CDL you can’t be on our board. I mean, like you can be a member. But to me, for me, I’ve been here, I’ve been on the board for 19 years, I came into office in 2017. But to be a board of director, you have to be actively driving, you have to be a member, you have to be a member for five years continuously, Lee, and be qualified and if you’re nominated the standard stuff. So there are restrictions for that, of course, to make sure that you’re a truck driver and be on our board. of governors.

Jeremy Kellett  11:12

It’s great. You guys have really done a lot with that association. Over the years for sure. And it’s, it’s representing these truck drivers that need some representation for sure. So with that being said, let’s cover a couple of these things that essentially notes on to see where we’re at to give our listeners an idea. And I guess, maybe since we got bras here, maybe start with this AB five that’s been out there forever. Now bras, I mean, how many years? Has this been? Still going on?

Bryce Mongeon  11:47

Yeah, I mean, honestly, it’s hard to to keep track of, it’s frustrating to keep track of, you know, we stay on top of it here in the office between the government affairs team of lawyers who we work with people who are tracking state government affairs, but even then it’s just hard to keep track of where exactly is this and I’m in the process. You know, right now, we’re still in the legal challenge phase of this. We are now a party to the lawsuit against AB5 in California. And those court hearings, and those court dates and those arguments are ongoing. And really, where we’re at right now is frustrating, like we’ve been all along because there’s still no clarity on how the law is going to be enforced. You know, how it’s going to be applied? How can someone continue to be an independent contractor, as an owner operator in the state of California, Louis already talked about the services that we offer to our members and kind of the advice that we offer to our members. But what we do with government affairs, what we do with this A B five, it kind of shows how that goes both ways. Because we’re relying in part on what we’re hearing from the state and what we’re hearing in California from our members to help inform our members about, you know, what they might be able to do. But as far as the most concrete information that we have a few months back now, but basically, the state said that they are going to be using both the old classification test and the new classification test for trucking cases that might come before the Labor Board, which, you know, something you probably could make up if you were thinking about this, but the state, I think, recognizes that with all these ongoing legal challenges and so much uncertainty. It sounds like they’re trying to cover their bases with this. So unfortunately, we don’t have any concrete answers. And I think it’s going to, unfortunately, be a while before we have any concrete answers. It’s going to take time for these legal challenges to play out. And even then, you know, it’s going to be up to enforcement for the state. It’s going to have to wait and see, what do they want to do, depending on how these legal challenges play out. So the bottom line is, it’s something we’re continuing to fight. That’s something we’re continuing to watch. In California Work classification is something we’re watching very closely at the federal level with Congress, and with the Department of Labor and other regulatory agencies to

Jeremy Kellett  14:21

The AB5 is so manly, it’s so confusing to a person that hasn’t kept up with it, you know, all the time. And I tried to do my best to read up on it now because it’s a big deal to us because we’re 100% owner operators, and that’s all we have here. So it really comes into play if some of that classification takes place, Louis, you know, it’s I don’t know, how far down the line this is going to be, how long it’s going to take to affect a company like us, or independent contractor status. I did like what Bryce said there. I didn’t realize that at the time I could do the old classification and the new. I’m assuming that news, those three questions they were asking, and gonna take that in consideration. Is that right, Lewie?

Lewie Pugh  15:11

Yeah, it’s my understanding, of course. Like he also said, Change all times or keep up with so who knows what the final was they’re not getting it clean, real clean. We’re getting a real clean idea, a clear idea of what’s really going to happen. And I think they’re making it up as they go along. Unfortunately, I was arrested, I just came back from Reno, from the eths. Show. So a lot of members from California came through, of course, being right there in Reno, it was very interesting. I asked a lot of them what they were hearing or how they were handling it or anything like that. And at the time, most of them said it, they’re even bothered by AV five couple guys are released to some nationwide carriers. They said two carrier equivalents told them they couldn’t move out of California anymore. That’s just how they’re handled. That we don’t know if that’s right, wrong or indifferent. But most of the guys out there, they say they’re just still doing the same thing. And they’re more concerned about carbs. What they’re concerned about AB five. Oh, really? Okay. Yeah. But California is crazy and wild tears? Who knows what’s gonna really shake out?

Jeremy Kellett  16:23

Yeah. Well, what, what else is on? You know, on you guys, radar, that’s pretty important right now that you’re talking about? Well, I

Lewie Pugh  16:32

I think one thing or a couple of things, first and foremost, is probably the parking bill that’s out there. And for those who don’t know, we got it to go to the house, or it’s passed through committee, it’s now on the House floor waiting to be voted on. So that’s a good thing. So, you know, I strongly urge folks to reach out to their members of Congress and ask them to support the bill, for this whole parking thing, because we think it stands a really good chance of passing the truck parking Safety Improvement Act, because it’s pretty much got bipartisan support, and it’s hr 2367. For those out there listening, you can, you know, reach out to your elected official in town to support it. And the Senate Bill mirrors it, and we think we’re gonna get it through the Senate, too. So there’s, this is probably the best chance we’ve ever had to get a parking bill passed, probably ever since always,

Jeremy Kellett  17:35

If it passes, Louis, what does that mean? I mean, that means private people can build parking lots or I mean, how many?

Lewie Pugh  17:43

You yes, there’s a way that truckstops and others can as well, it’s going to be a grant program and say it’s gonna lock seven or 55 million all out or to use for three years. And we’re states and municipalities and stuff can come up with a proposed rule, and it’s like a bid system, submit it, and they’ll look at it from his qualifications rather than the award than the money. Now, we’re truckstop. Like, if they want to extend their parking space or somebody like that, or somebody’s got some language for parking, they can do it too. But they have to go through their municipality. The only thing is, they can’t charge for any kind of money in his parking is paid for out of the bill, the truck parking Safety Improvement Act, it has to be free parking, so they can’t put these reserves and all this kind of stuff that we were seeing is gaining so much traction out there. So yeah, it’s a really good thing. And, you know, like I said, I asked, the way to get this done is to call your, you know, your representatives in the House, and ask them to pass this 2367. And to get it because like I said, it’s on the floor. Now all Congress is gonna get a chance to move through this pretty soon. So we gotta get it across the line, but we’re never gonna get better shot and we got right now I don’t think

Jeremy Kellett  19:05

Bryce You got any input on that truck parking bill.

Bryce Mongeon  19:08

does seem like there is a real opportunity to get something done here. I think what’s really important is we have buy-in from leaders on the transportation infrastructure committee from the Republican side. On the Democratic side. We have bipartisan support in the Senate. So we’re hearing a lot of people say good things about this. And, you know, Lee mentioned it passes the transportation infrastructure committee already. And we’re still getting just today, we got another co sponsor on the bill in the Senate. So I feel like we really do have a good opportunity here and just want to echo what Louis said, it’s so important for truckers to speak up on this issue. This is one where this issue is something where we’ve done a great job of making members more aware of the problem. It’s something people are actually talking about now. But there’s still always going to be members of need to be educated on


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Jeremy Kellett  20:31

Is it a constant battle to get people locked out of politics in Washington DC to take you seriously about truck drivers? Because, you know, I mean, that is our blood veins of the country that’s running. And I mean, I bet it’s just a constant battle for you to educate people on how important this is, you know, transportation and trucking is to these people.

Lewie Pugh  20:59

It’s very much a constant battle. And as you may know, I didn’t know a couple of weeks ago, I just testified in France Tni. And there’s a lot of questions about parking smarter stuff we’ll talk about today as well. And the Tni committee, a lot of them seem to get it. But, you know, the thing we truckers got to

Jeremy Kellett  21:16

Remember, what is it? What’s the

Lewie Pugh  21:19

transportation infrastructure committee? I’m sorry, yeah. But you know, when you have your congress as a whole, and then they have all these little sub committees coming, I guess a committee that’s like TSI is a transportation infrastructure is where most trucking things live or die. Those are the people that ever see trucking and air and rail and pipeline is the Tni come in, and it’s one of the bigger committees. And it’s actually one of the best committees that get things done on a bipartisan level, which is good, so it’s a good commandment for a big committee to come across an otter, probably Sam Graves from here in Missouri is the chair right now. And that’s the way it works. Like right now the Republicans control the House. So a Republican is the chair and a Democrat would be considered the ranking member. But anyway, so yeah, so T and eyes were most trucking. And that’s where the majority of our stuff that we fight for is t and I know there’s a few things, some small things, but DNI is your big thing there. But well, I was gonna say what truckers need. Remember why it’s so important to reach out to your lawmaker, is there’s plenty of people in DC, who are working against you, and don’t see things the same way you do. Some in the trucking business, or in essence, had been some in the trucking industry, a lot in the safety industry, a lot in big business money. There’s lots of things like just working against you, because everyone wants cheap freight things cheaply, quicker, you know, and all this kind of stuff. We all know this. And it’s easy to take, because truckers are out there working. They ain’t got time to be doing all these things. But it’s very important that you get a relationship with your lawmaker, and you do call in and say these things. Because I guarantee you, there’s lots and lots of people saying things against you. There’s not there’s, we’ve pretty much got this parking thing taken care of. But there’s still people out there that don’t want this to pass.

Jeremy Kellett  23:17

That doesn’t make any sense to me. It Doesn’t make any sense.

Lewie Pugh  23:22

It’s saved. It’s basic. Why shouldn’t people you know, what I tell people and after a couple of lawmakers have voted against this, and I turned him there, they’re worried about spending the money. I say you give millions of dollars to enforcement to write truck drivers tickets for not taking their breaks or not being parked in a safe place or whatever, to enforce the regulations. Why can’t you give some millions to put parking out there so the truckers can park and get off the road and get their safety brakes like they should where they have a place to do it. Because right now there’s one spot for every 11 trucks. It’s safe. That’s crazy.

Jeremy Kellett  24:04

That is crazy. That as well. So that’s a big topic. I’m glad to hear some kind of good news that looks like maybe something will happen but I’m sure it’s still going to take a long time to develop and get places to set up more parking, but least to get the ball rolling and get it going. I was having a conversation with one of our owner operators just about an hour ago about speed limiters, and he was really concerned about that. Because I mean, you know what he said. He said you really need to get the public’s view on speed limiters if trucks had speed limiters, not just truck drivers, but the public that drives the four wheelers around and what they think about Trump’s getting speed limiters and what they would say because he had a good point about that he you know, they’re not gonna lock it. They’re going at all and it’s something that is a little frustrating to think about. But is this something that’s the words that are being discussed right now?

Lewie Pugh  25:07

We’re waiting on FMCSA? Of course, they had a nurse pose rulemaking, Aaron, Congress, we’re waiting to hear from them when they’re supposed to come out with something it was supposed to come out this month. Now they kind of kicked the can down the road, Joe, I think September or something, right, Bryce? Yeah, that’s

Bryce Mongeon  25:24

what we heard. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s because of all the comments I’ve received, it took a long time to get through over 15,000 comments.

Lewie Pugh  25:32

Yeah, that’s how bad it says, but your driver, your owner, operator, he’s right. And that’s what we’ve been trying to do is get this out into the public, try to get it on local news channels. We’ve put billboards up across the country, talking about this trying to get the motoring public to realize because when people hear – that don’t know anything about trucks – hey, we want to slow these trucks down, they think, Oh! That’s a good idea. Well, they don’t stop to think about the bigger     picture and what’s going to happen when you do that and the safety thing.  We all know, it’s safer when all trucks go at the same speed. So, that’s what we need to do and all traffic should be going the same. The good thing is, I don’t know what FMCSA is going to do. I feel like they’re going to do something and set some sort of speed limit. But, the good thing is, there’s a fine congressman in Oklahoma, who’s got a bill out there right now that came out a couple of weeks ago, HR 39. And if that would pass, that would prevent any kind of speed limit or bill from coming on. And like so again, in our time, ma’am, truckers need to get out there, and probably can tell your friends, tell your family everybody, reach out to your elected officials and tell them to be co-sponsor and to support. HR 3039. Right, Bryce?

Bryce Mongeon  26:57

Yep. HR 3039. Yeah. And just to piggyback off what Luke was talking about, we’ve been doing meetings on Capitol Hill about that legislation. And, you know, for anyone who’s thinking of contacting the lawmaker, it’ll be very informative for them. In fact, when I’ve gone to meetings, some people have said, Oh, yeah, we’ve heard from some truckers about this already. So this is something that’s kind of percolating out there. But, you know, it’s so important, because sometimes we’ll start talking to staff. And they think, as that kind of makes sense, you know, is this a speed limiter that’s going to set it to the speed limit? You’ve got to tell them no, what FMCSA is looking to do is put trucks at one single speed for every single spot in the country, every single road, every single interstate. And then the other thing do is, you know, you start talking to some people, and when they clicks of what you’re talking about, they’re like, Wait, you mean, they’re going to be putting trucks at 60 miles an hour, no matter where, and especially you start going into offices like Texas, you know, Oklahoma, like the bill sponsor immediately, like, well, this doesn’t seem like a very good idea for our roads. So that again, that’s why it’s so important to talk to your lawmakers, talk to their staff and educate them. Because this is an issue where hopefully, once they’re made aware, once they’re made aware of it, they can see the problem with it.

Jeremy Kellett  28:20

Do they do FMCSA just I mean, is their whole reasoning behind their speed limiters. Is safety mean? Is that what they’re saying? I mean, it’s safe. I mean, what it looks to me like they came up with the CSA score and safety has been nothing but worse, since they came up with it. But I don’t know about, you know, speed limiters just don’t seem practical or common sense to me.

Lewie Pugh  28:49

Yeah, I would agree with you. Yeah, that’s why they’re throwing this out of safety as it was petitioned for safety. But yeah, I’m right there with you. I don’t care about your safety, I think we can, I think we can look at a lot of things that FMCSA has done over the past 10 to 15 years. It was some of their mandates that I didn’t have didn’t upset and upset you know, in fact, if anything’s had a reverse effect, you know, I mean, ERD is I still think it’s one of those things because we hear so many guys call in here and tell us they just feel like they’re racing the clock and I mean, I saw when I was getting out of the Off The Record guys flying through the truck stops because they’re trying to you park before we run hours and and because it’s not and it’s not the it’s the flexibility and hours of service. It’s not enough places to park, there’s so many things that go into it. And ELD kind of gets blamed for it. But I guess mostly there’s nothing good about an ELD. It brought some of them to the top of these problems. We’ve been telling them for years and years. It finally I guess brought the chickens home to roost. But it’s just so many things but yeah, this is all supposed to Really safety driven, but I just drove by from Reno in a semi, and I want to car stay to this minimum of 7580 mile an hour, they’re talking, there’s rumors that it could be as low as 60 Be at 20 mile per hour speed difference between cars and trucks if this would go through that. And my personal opinion, you know, I don’t, I’m not condoning driving too fast. But to me a person driving too fast, they just blow by me and they’re gone. And maybe they hit some burden. That’s true. But shame shouldn’t happen. What I don’t like and I’m sure we’ve all been there. Because when you’re driving up the road at 70 miles an hour Radio 75, whatever speed emanates, and you come up on that car that’s 1520 miles by going slow, and you bought random because you just come upon him so quickly. And you’re doing the speed limit. I mean, we have minimum speed limits on the interstate for ease. So yeah, a 20 mile per hour difference is possible. That’s crazy to me.

Bryce Mongeon  30:58

Yeah. And I think kind of getting back to what Elijah does and why it’s important. We’re here in DC, doing what we do and doing what we do for our members. Like Louie was saying before, there’s people who are always telling the other side of the story or telling a different story than we are. So on the speed limiter issue, you have large carriers who already used to be limiters. And sure, maybe if you have 1000s of trucks, that’s employees, and, you know, for your fleet management, maybe it makes sense to use a speed limiter. So if you know if a light is not out here, and if owner operators and drivers aren’t out here, talking to FMCSA, or talking to lawmakers, they’re just going to hear well, safety advocates like it big trucking companies like it. So what’s there to lose on this? It seems like a good deal. So that is why it’s so important to make sure that you’re speaking up. So that small business perspective and that driver perspective.

Jeremy Kellett  31:53

Yeah, because most of the big companies are already doing it. Right.

Lewie Pugh  31:56

Yeah. And you know that some argue it so much, whether it’s a CVSA, or with FMCSA, or even some lawmakers, why are we mandating driver management systems? Okay, that’s a business choice. And I get why a big fleet or immediate eras, medium sized players, some of them use some of these practices for fuel, and different things like that. But the guy that owns the truck, it’s his truck, it’s his fuel, it’s his party, his money is everything. And as you all know, Jeremy rabbit hole fleet owner operators there. They, if they don’t need all these driver management tools, because it’s their stuff, they have an investment, they get skin in the game and a lot of skin in the game. So not the company drivers are bad, but they probably pay a little more attention. Because, you know, if they do something wrong, they’re out of a job, they’re out of a business, they’re out of Korea, they could lose their house and everything, you know, because they got such a big investment here. So it’s very frustrating that we want to mandate it. You know, driver management tools make that a lot. Yeah, and it’s safe.

Jeremy Kellett  33:05

It just seems like they don’t, it seems like the FMCSA sometimes doesn’t see a difference between company drivers and independent contractors. They just want to put them all in one pool, and we’re gonna control them all.

Lewie Pugh  33:20

Yeah, of course. They don’t enforce it. So you know, it’s just a shame.

Bryce Mongeon  33:25

One of the things that’s crazy to me, though, is in the, you know, this rulemaking has been going on a long time the speed limit or rulemaking that they previously said in the rulemaking that, you know, we recognize this may disadvantage small businesses, this is going to take away some of their efficiency and some of their competitive advantage. So it’s like, well, thanks for recognizing that, but you know, it’s frustrating even when they do recognize it. Well, Oh, well. We’re gonna do it anyway.

Jeremy Kellett  33:52

Yeah. One more time. One other thing I didn’t actually put on your list, but I just thought about it during our conversation, and then we’ll get off here. I know, you guys are busy getting stuff to do. But this is really good information. I really appreciate y’all doing this because it goes a long way with our listeners, and especially our independent contractors, we’ve got almost 900 of them. And they they listen religiously to this podcast, but the CSA I mean, and these violations and stuff play a big role in an owner operators and a truck drivers, sometimes their pay, because there are companies like us that we associate their pay with violations that you know, want them to be a safe driver. So do their changes come in with how they do these basics and the CSA scores? Have y’all heard anything changing on that? The reason I say that is because I had a meeting a while ago and we were talking. And the safety director said that now if you DOT gives you a he can’t give you a violation for a nonsense nonworking headlight during daylight hours.

Lewie Pugh  35:10

I don’t know if that’s right. I haven’t heard that. I checked with that because the last damn ticket I got with my truck was just that right there. I’ve always dropped my lights day and night just because I thought it was safe for people to see me better. And DAG gonna do T competent state of Ohio pulled me over at noon on a sunny day and said Joe Are you gonna headlight out route me a violation everything for me like how much version A was working on, you know today. So I hope you’re right, but I haven’t heard that right yet. But they are working supposedly on the system and supposed to be changing. They came up with one when Martinez was in charge and FMCSA. And I can’t tell you what the name of the system the fingering was. But nobody could explain it. You know, if you’re a scientist or like Tom weakly our Foundation who does all these, he understood it. He explained to me, I still didn’t understand it. And Ray Martinez was smart enough at the time to say, if I can’t explain it, to where people understand it, we’re never gonna get by and ain’t gonna work. So I know they’re trying to get my personal opinion. And this is just me this ain’t even though Ida talking my personal opinion. I don’t think they know what to do. I think they know it’s a screw up and it’s not working. And it didn’t do what it was supposed to. But they don’t want to say that. So they’re just trying to figure out how to bow out gracefully to me.

Jeremy Kellett  36:43

Yeah, I think you’re right. What’s your take on brass?

Bryce Mongeon  36:46

I know, along the same lines, we’re always kind of trying, we’re always talking a little bit down here and chopping around lawmakers, is there anything we can do on data Q and data Q or form? Because we know that’s a big problem for carriers. So that’s, this gets so confusing, but this is all kind of part of that same system of how do you get good information in so you can get good information back out and actually have some sort of data and, you know, some sort of scores that is accurate and make sense and can be used for something because what we don’t want is that obviously that data, you know, wrong, incorrect citations. But we also are just trying to figure out how we can support things that will actually support safety and not just support compliance for clients, say?

Jeremy Kellett  37:39

Oakley Trucking is a 100% Owner Operator company we specialize in Hopper, bottom and dump and pneumatic drivers. We provide the trailer free of charge and you provide the truck. We have a large customer base that reaches the whole United States as well as parts of Canada. Our owner operators live anywhere from Texas to North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Wisconsin and everywhere in between and we get them home weekends. We take it seriously when you join Oakley trucking because we need you to be successful. Oakley offers great benefits and a competitive mileage base. So you know that when your wheels are turning, you’re generating money, no matter if you’re loaded or empty. We understand that you want to make a good living and that you make our living. We only take on independent contractors and to be honest with you, we are very particular on who we lease on. You must have a good driving record, good work history, and a clean, dependable truck. So if you’re interested in Oakley trucking or just want some more information, you can go to Oakley trucking.com. Listen to our weekly podcast, the Oakley podcast and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Yeah, thank you, Ron. I think you know, it’s, you know, it’s been something that’s been in play now for 10 plus years. And I mean, it has brought I will say this by those violations. It’s helped me as a recruiting department, I can tell you that because I can see maybe a pattern that somebody has by running a PSP on him to where as used to you weren’t able to run that I was you got was the NVR. So it’s helped us I think lease on better contractors, just by seeing a pattern that maybe they’ve had in the past that I normally wouldn’t see. That I think has helped on as far as kids are looking at it, but men are in so much gray area there, whether they can give them a violation or not. And I don’t know, you know, it has its good and bad, but we’ll see what happens down the road. You know, we’re just in that situation. Louis and Bryce were a trucking company. We don’t get to make the rules. We just got to figure out how to abide by him this weekend and make everybody happy. So that’s what we do. What is it? You said it a couple of times, but just for our listeners and owner operators. What is the best way for them to get involved with OData and support you guys as much as they can, what do they need to do?

Lewie Pugh  40:09

It’s really easy. You can either get on our web page, which is Oh ida.com, which that’s really easy. And that can get you to become where to become a member, you can call here, the office, we’re open from 730 to 530, Central Time, Monday through Friday 816-229-5791, get asked for our membership department good thing about our audit, you don’t get an automated system, you’ll get a real person. You know, they get you their membership department and get you signed up. If you want more information on some of the stuff we’ve been talking about, as far as what’s going on in DC, and trucking on the advocacy front, and there’s some other issues like underride, guards, restroom belts and stuff that we didn’t even talk about today, go to fighting for truckers.com. That’s our website, we have all that information there. And the biggest thing besides being a member, and like say, we got specialists, or 50 or two years for 50, when usually it’s 45 per year. So take advantage of that, of course, as well. So while I’m at it, the biggest thing after that is getting involved, like I said, if you want changes in your industry, excuse my language bitching on the CB or social media at the truck stop, ain’t gonna change it. It doesn’t work, doesn’t change what changes it is making relationships with your lawmakers. Now, I know not everybody’s got the best lawmaker and gets what they want. But a lot of people have good lawmakers. And a lot of times lawmakers just don’t know, you know, they’re not from trucking. But we got a couple of truckers in Congress. But that’s just two that I can think of off the top of my head. And but with that being said, and you know, they don’t know these issues, they don’t understand them. Reach out to your lawmakers, of course, you’re trying to talk to them, you get to staff, explain to them these problems, explain to them real world issues, why this works, or why this doesn’t work, why you need this, why you don’t need this, follow up with them. Ask for their transportation person when you call me about but just start that relationship and start it. It makes Bryce’s job and the rest of my guys in DC and even my job much easier when they walk into an office. And there’s been three or four phone calls about this parking problem or the speed limiter thing? Or what are they talking about? Because we’re a known entity. So they ask us, and they reach out or they start getting calls, we don’t even have to walk in the office, the staff will pick up the phone and say, hey, oh, hey, what’s going on here. And it’s good for them to say they’re a member of our item. And if you don’t want to call me, you want a really easy way to do it. If you go to that fight for truckers.com. Like I said, we’ve got a place there, where you can file comments, message your lawmaker, find the phone number for your lawmaker, whoever it is really easy, it’s really simple. It’s a one stop shop for you. We usually have some sort of prefilled messages for certain things, it’s gone. But you can go in and edit them and you can take away whatever you want to do. And what I tell everybody, you can go to fighting for truckers.com Send a message to a lawmaker about a parking issue or a speed limiter error and these things in the same amount of time, if not quicker, that you can put a post on a social media site complaining about it. And I guarantee the time you wasted on social media saying you’re gonna do anything for you. But there’s a good chance that the lawmaker, you’re going to make some headway. That’s what we need. We need more truckers getting engaged. And it’s really easy. I mean, gotta find truckers on your phone. And I, you know, do not get off my soapbox. But it’s really easy. And that’s the way we change things. I’ve been in this business a lot of years, over 25 years. And I’ve heard lots of complaints and awful things. But the only way we’re really going to change it is you’ve got to get involved. And we’ve got to do it on a political level.

Jeremy Kellett  44:10

And that’s very good, because I was gonna ask, yeah, I was gonna ask you brass. So a lot of people, you know, everybody’s told to do that. And I think automatically, a lot of them think it falls on deaf ears. And I think, you know, tell us how it doesn’t fall on deaf ears that it actually does work. Yeah.

Bryce Mongeon  44:28

So in a previous life, I actually worked on Capitol Hill was a legislative aide for a member of Congress and the, you know, when you hear from a constituent when you get that email in there that, you know, says I’m a constituent, especially if there’s a personalized message, or if someone’s calling the office and they’re telling you about their experience, that is what should get a staffers attention and most of the times it does, because these lawmakers are here to represent you. And you know, you Sometimes it may fall on deaf ears. But I do think more often than not, lawmakers do care about serving their constituents, regardless of you know, regardless of their politics, you know, you might think your lawmaker is a far left part of the right what have you. But if you’re, if you live in their district, and you call them and say, hey, when I’m trying to do my job, driving a truck, and I can’t find a place to park, that’s something every single one of them should care about. So, you know, don’t be afraid or hesitant to call, you are an expert on these issues, you know, more than I, I feel competent, saying more than any staff you’re going to talk to. So it really can make a difference, especially if you can offer yourself as a resource. And when trucking issues come up, if you can develop a good relationship with staff, or with a lawmaker, they can look to you as someone who knows what they’re talking about. So, you know, it doesn’t happen again, I’ll reiterate, it doesn’t have to be some big long, complicated call, it’s as simple as picking it up, picking up the phone, sharing your experience with them, leaving them your contact information. And if you’re in a white, a member wants to leave, you know, our contact or tell this is who you’re calling for, you can tell them that too. So they know you know, down here in DC, if they have any other follow up, they can do that. And the last thing I’ll just highlight is that fighting for truckers.com, you don’t even have to be in a white a member, certainly we would love for you to be in a way to member but you go on there, put in your email address, and you can get signed up for all kinds of alerts, whether it’s a call to action to contact your lawmaker, as Lou was describing, or one of the things that’s great that we do is send out informational updates. You know, we don’t, we’re not going to overwhelm your inbox. But what I really love is that we tell the information to our members. I think about just, you know, a year or two ago, as we’re working through a highway bill and you have hundreds of different policies and a highway bill, you know, our job is to pull out what is important for small business truckers, and get that information out to our members. But anyone who’s signed up on fighting for trucks or so, you know, go in, Sign Up Free to do. It’s a great way to stay up to date on traffic issues.

Jeremy Kellett  47:10

You guys also have a podcast, don’t you, Louis? Do y’all do weekly or monthly podcasts?

Lewie Pugh  47:16

We have a radio show on XM every night. It’s seven, Eastern, and six Central landlines now. And then it goes into podcasts the very next morning, the whole show. It’s an hour long show about news, talk about government affairs. I’ve talked about all kinds of different stuff. But it’s mainly geared as an information show, as opposed to an entertainment show, I guess you would say try to keep guys up to date on what’s going on. But yeah, you can catch it as a podcast. And again, I think it’s a landline now the show, and I’m terrible. Can’t tell exactly. You get a landline so that you find a pod. Yeah, I think it’s on all the platforms. You can use Apple and all that stuff. Right? Yeah. Or if you got XM Radio, like I said, it’s on every night at six Central seven Eastern. Yeah, I’ve

Jeremy Kellett  48:08

listened to it quite a bit, you know, and it’s got some good information on there. But I can’t tell you enough. How good this information is that you guys have given me today. That just helps clarify a lot of things for me, and actually gets me excited. So, you know, I want to tell all of our listeners, especially our owner operators here at Oakley, you better get signed up if you’re not a no member, you better get it done. Especially while there’s specials going on for the 50th anniversary and congratulations to those guys. That’s a milestone right there to have been in business for 50 years.

Lewie Pugh  48:43

Thank you, Jeremy. We appreciate Yeah, we welcome all you guys and you know, I know some guys from back in when I was trucking a few guys that work for you guys. And I never didn’t mean by by you. And you guys used to load up proud of my backyard in New York. So Ohio, aluminum place. Oh yeah, I’d see your guys come in and out and your trucks always look like good equipment. Good. They’re always very professional. I’d be in there dropping ingots or picking up calls or songs and you’d have said you guys gonna stand up. Well, I

Jeremy Kellett  49:11

appreciate Louis Bryan brass, appreciate you joining us from Washington DC and giving us some good, practical information that we can make sense out of. And it helps tremendously to do that. Because, you know, it just seems like that stuff can get complicated real quick. And I appreciate you guys joining us this week and, and giving us all the good information. Appreciate all the listeners out there listening to the Oakley podcast, we come out with a new one every Wednesday. I will try to bring you some good information here. Be sure and touch base with me to get any questions. If you’ve got any questions for blue your bras, send them to me if you want to. I’m sure you’d call them also, but if you want to send it to me, I’ll email it to them and they’ll get back with you. Once again. I appreciate everybody listening, and we’ll talk to you next week. Thanks for listening to this episode with Oakley podcast trucking biz Listen family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show in the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience. So if you’ve got a question comment or just want to say hello, head over to our website, the Oakley podcast.com and click the leave a comment but we’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening!