Legislation and the Trucking Industry

There has always been a love/hate relationship between the trucking industry lawmakers at State and Federal levels. For the most part, the legislation that makes the headlines only serves to upset the trucking industry, or it is spun in such a way that makes trucking companies and owner-operators feel nothing but stress. Looking back over the past few years, there have been reports about California’s AB5, mandatory ELDs, Texas dialing back fuel production, the tariffs of 2018/2019 that caused major financial strains for the trucking industry, and many more. However, what rarely gets reported are the bills, laws, and smaller pieces of legislation that have a positive impact on the trucking industry.

The Truck Parking Improvement Act

Last May, the United States House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced HR2367, or “The Truck Parking Improvement Act.” The bill proposed the construction of additional parking spaces at both new and existing parking areas. The reasoning behind the bill is that ELDs have limited the hours of service for drivers, and no one wants to be fined or reprimanded for being unable to find a parking space at the end of a driving shift. Unfortunately, parking space is extremely limited in many parts of the country. The Truck Parking Improvement Act establishes a nearly $800 million grant that would not only provide extra parking spaces for commercial vehicles, but it would also make those spaces available at no extra cost. The Republican-introduced bill passed with a 60 to 4 bipartisan vote.

The LICENSE Act of 2023

The creatively named “Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently (LICENSE) Act of 2023,” otherwise known as HR3013 is designed to make it easier for new drivers to enter the workforce. The trucking industry is poised to be one of the hardest-hit sectors as aging drivers reach retirement, and younger workers need paths to new careers without red tape. HR3013 lowers the barriers by making the waivers issued by the FMCSA during the COVID-`9 pandemic permanent. This means that drivers with the skills and experience will have a more direct path to getting a commercial license. The larger impact is that more people can replenish the roles once held by retiring drivers, and working families can earn good salaries without having to go to college or jump through hoops to qualify for decent American jobs.


HR3447 stands out from the latest batch of legislation – not because it lacks a catchy name – but because it puts more control and freedom back in the hands of owner-operators and trucking companies. The bill proposes a weight exemption up to 2,000 pounds for hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles. This puts trucks powered by natural gas and batteries on the same footing, and gives carriers and owner-operators more flexibility when investing in trucks that use alternative fuel sources. The legislation received tremendous bipartisan support and passed in a 55 to 5 vote. HR3447 gives the trucking industry the option to invest in new vehicles – or modify existing ones – so they can pivot away from traditional fuel sources and avoid the unnecessary for-profit price hikes at the pump that the trucking industry experienced a year ago.

The CARS Act

Not to be confused with the CARES Act, the CARS Act stands for “Carrying Automobiles Responsibly and Safely.” While the legislation is directed to a niche part of the trucking industry, it does prevent significant reductions for carriers that transport vehicles. With the increased weight of certain vehicles, the trucking industry was going to be required to reduce the number of vehicles that trucks could carry. The CARS Act will allow a 10% increase on certain types of vehicle transportation, allowing carriers to haul the usual number of vehicles without any issue. While there was not overwhelming support for this legislation, it did pass with the recognition that reducing the amount of vehicles hauled would only lead to further supply chain issues.

Legislation-Proof Trucking Services

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