Excessive, costly background checks driving truckers out of industry: ATA

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is appealing to Congress to eliminate duplicative background checks for commercial drivers.

The association noted multiple background checks are onerous and costly for drivers and some veteran drivers are giving up their HazMat endorsements as a result.

Martin Rojas, vice-president of safety and operations, made the case to the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation Security.

“The screening of individuals involved in the transportation of goods is important to the trucking industry,” Rojas told the subcommittee. “Our industry has long supported a national, uniform process to check a commercial driver’s criminal history. However, the present multiplicity of background checks for commercial drivers, and their associated costs, creates a significant challenge for the recruitment and retention of qualified drivers.”

Rojas pointed out a background check for a HazMat endorsement can cost as much as US$150 and he estimated as many as 1.2 million drivers have given up their endorsement since 2004, in part because of the cost.

HazMat drivers who also require a Transportation Worker Identification Credential must shell out another US$132.50 for yet another background check, Rojas pointed out.

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  • 46+ years as a professional driver,
    $100+ to renew CDL + up to $100 background check (FBI)
    additional $50 to $85 for Hazmat. test + another background check
    TWIC card (for Ports access) $134 including background check
    Drivers physical $125+ (good for up to 2 years)

    soon to be Fed mandated:
    EOBR’s (Electronic On Board Recorders…. $1,000 to $5,000 per truck/tractor (and DOES NOT ENHANCE SAFETY WHATSOEVER!)

    Now “Big Brother” will be in your truck cab 24/7.. telling the driver when to eat,sleep,and even when to take a dump.

    Sleep Apnea Testing.. $1,000 to $5,000 testing & additional costs for the prescribed devices.

    Now Big Brother will be in your sleeper bunk telling you how to sleep

    And yet you wonder as to why the older most experienced drivers are leaving the industry in droves?
    Orwell’s 1984 is now here