Trucking industry evolves, impacts livestock producers | TSLN.com
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Trucking industry evolves, impacts livestock producers

The trucking industry is a constantly changing world of drivers, rules, regulations and profit potential. The livestock sector of the trucking industry isn’t immune to these changes, and the impacts are felt all the way down the line through every producer that uses the service.

“The biggest change I’ve seen over the years is the deregulation of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). With that change everyone was suddenly on their own, and could charge what they wanted. Because of that change, we see a lot of people trying their hand in the trucking business, and they get to undercutting the established guys. Pretty soon they’re not making enough money, and we see a lot of truckers come and go through that scenario,” explains Bill Proctor who has 25 years experience hauling cattle.

Lusk, WY Port of Entry Supervisor Kurt Gaukel says he encounters truckers who aren’t familiar with the rules and regulations, and that many of them are also newer to the business.



“In some cases it seems the companies that hire truck drivers aren’t doing a very good job of training those drivers on the rules and regulations they need to follow, or the companies themselves don’t know,” Gaukel notes, adding that this becomes more difficult to keep track of as state lines are crossed, and trucks and trailers continue to increase in size.

“They’re getting bigger all the time. Five-axel trucks used to be big, and now we’re getting eight- to nine-axel trucks coming through. With the increased size of trucks, it becomes more difficult to determine which configurations are legal, and changes may be necessary to make that clear. Drivers, and companies, also need to take the time to learn the rules and regulations of all the states they drive in,” Gaukel says.



“I would like to see some unification of regulations across the state borders. One example of what we deal with on the livestock side is we can haul 84,000 pounds in Wyoming, but only 80,000 pounds in Nebraska. When Wyoming cattle head across that border, we have a hard time getting customers to understand that we have to load for the lightest state we will haul through, even though in their state we may be able to legally haul more pounds.

“When the guy in Wyoming says he wants you to load to 84,000 pounds, and we know that we’re going into Nebraska, and reply that we can’t, it creates a choice. Either we can load to 84,000 pounds, or he can call another guy that will, and that makes us outlaws, which the majority of us don’t want to be. We would like to comply with the rules, but it seems when we do that we get our wings clipped because a customer will find someone else that will be an outlaw,” Proctor explains.

Gaukel agrees that there are truckers who work to keep informed of rules and regulations, and others that do not care.

“There is always going to be an unwillingness, especially if there is a known problem, to stop at a port because this is where we find and point out problems,” he explains. “In general, we deal with two kinds of truckers – those that try to operate within the law and those that operate regardless of the law. Those that operate within the law generally educate themselves and take the opportunity to use us as an educational tool. The other guys are going to try to avoid all ports, either because of unawareness of the consequences when they get to one, or a lack of education on their part and a lack of opportunity on ours to tell them what they need to do.”

“With livestock specifically, when we have overweight issues we have permits that can help those guys, depending on their route. If we have to tie up a cattle pot for more than 20 minutes, we have to notify the Wyoming Livestock Board and make them aware of the situation. They would then inform us what to do with those cattle, and if we need to keep them here we have available facilities with which to do so. We aren’t letting illegal trucks proceed just because they have cattle, but we try to work with people to get trucks in compliance, and it’s very rare that we have to call the Livestock Board,” Gaukel explains.

The trucking industry is a constantly changing world of drivers, rules, regulations and profit potential. The livestock sector of the trucking industry isn’t immune to these changes, and the impacts are felt all the way down the line through every producer that uses the service.

“The biggest change I’ve seen over the years is the deregulation of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). With that change everyone was suddenly on their own, and could charge what they wanted. Because of that change, we see a lot of people trying their hand in the trucking business, and they get to undercutting the established guys. Pretty soon they’re not making enough money, and we see a lot of truckers come and go through that scenario,” explains Bill Proctor who has 25 years experience hauling cattle.

Lusk, WY Port of Entry Supervisor Kurt Gaukel says he encounters truckers who aren’t familiar with the rules and regulations, and that many of them are also newer to the business.

“In some cases it seems the companies that hire truck drivers aren’t doing a very good job of training those drivers on the rules and regulations they need to follow, or the companies themselves don’t know,” Gaukel notes, adding that this becomes more difficult to keep track of as state lines are crossed, and trucks and trailers continue to increase in size.

“They’re getting bigger all the time. Five-axel trucks used to be big, and now we’re getting eight- to nine-axel trucks coming through. With the increased size of trucks, it becomes more difficult to determine which configurations are legal, and changes may be necessary to make that clear. Drivers, and companies, also need to take the time to learn the rules and regulations of all the states they drive in,” Gaukel says.

“I would like to see some unification of regulations across the state borders. One example of what we deal with on the livestock side is we can haul 84,000 pounds in Wyoming, but only 80,000 pounds in Nebraska. When Wyoming cattle head across that border, we have a hard time getting customers to understand that we have to load for the lightest state we will haul through, even though in their state we may be able to legally haul more pounds.

“When the guy in Wyoming says he wants you to load to 84,000 pounds, and we know that we’re going into Nebraska, and reply that we can’t, it creates a choice. Either we can load to 84,000 pounds, or he can call another guy that will, and that makes us outlaws, which the majority of us don’t want to be. We would like to comply with the rules, but it seems when we do that we get our wings clipped because a customer will find someone else that will be an outlaw,” Proctor explains.

Gaukel agrees that there are truckers who work to keep informed of rules and regulations, and others that do not care.

“There is always going to be an unwillingness, especially if there is a known problem, to stop at a port because this is where we find and point out problems,” he explains. “In general, we deal with two kinds of truckers – those that try to operate within the law and those that operate regardless of the law. Those that operate within the law generally educate themselves and take the opportunity to use us as an educational tool. The other guys are going to try to avoid all ports, either because of unawareness of the consequences when they get to one, or a lack of education on their part and a lack of opportunity on ours to tell them what they need to do.”

“With livestock specifically, when we have overweight issues we have permits that can help those guys, depending on their route. If we have to tie up a cattle pot for more than 20 minutes, we have to notify the Wyoming Livestock Board and make them aware of the situation. They would then inform us what to do with those cattle, and if we need to keep them here we have available facilities with which to do so. We aren’t letting illegal trucks proceed just because they have cattle, but we try to work with people to get trucks in compliance, and it’s very rare that we have to call the Livestock Board,” Gaukel explains.

The trucking industry is a constantly changing world of drivers, rules, regulations and profit potential. The livestock sector of the trucking industry isn’t immune to these changes, and the impacts are felt all the way down the line through every producer that uses the service.

“The biggest change I’ve seen over the years is the deregulation of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). With that change everyone was suddenly on their own, and could charge what they wanted. Because of that change, we see a lot of people trying their hand in the trucking business, and they get to undercutting the established guys. Pretty soon they’re not making enough money, and we see a lot of truckers come and go through that scenario,” explains Bill Proctor who has 25 years experience hauling cattle.

Lusk, WY Port of Entry Supervisor Kurt Gaukel says he encounters truckers who aren’t familiar with the rules and regulations, and that many of them are also newer to the business.

“In some cases it seems the companies that hire truck drivers aren’t doing a very good job of training those drivers on the rules and regulations they need to follow, or the companies themselves don’t know,” Gaukel notes, adding that this becomes more difficult to keep track of as state lines are crossed, and trucks and trailers continue to increase in size.

“They’re getting bigger all the time. Five-axel trucks used to be big, and now we’re getting eight- to nine-axel trucks coming through. With the increased size of trucks, it becomes more difficult to determine which configurations are legal, and changes may be necessary to make that clear. Drivers, and companies, also need to take the time to learn the rules and regulations of all the states they drive in,” Gaukel says.

“I would like to see some unification of regulations across the state borders. One example of what we deal with on the livestock side is we can haul 84,000 pounds in Wyoming, but only 80,000 pounds in Nebraska. When Wyoming cattle head across that border, we have a hard time getting customers to understand that we have to load for the lightest state we will haul through, even though in their state we may be able to legally haul more pounds.

“When the guy in Wyoming says he wants you to load to 84,000 pounds, and we know that we’re going into Nebraska, and reply that we can’t, it creates a choice. Either we can load to 84,000 pounds, or he can call another guy that will, and that makes us outlaws, which the majority of us don’t want to be. We would like to comply with the rules, but it seems when we do that we get our wings clipped because a customer will find someone else that will be an outlaw,” Proctor explains.

Gaukel agrees that there are truckers who work to keep informed of rules and regulations, and others that do not care.

“There is always going to be an unwillingness, especially if there is a known problem, to stop at a port because this is where we find and point out problems,” he explains. “In general, we deal with two kinds of truckers – those that try to operate within the law and those that operate regardless of the law. Those that operate within the law generally educate themselves and take the opportunity to use us as an educational tool. The other guys are going to try to avoid all ports, either because of unawareness of the consequences when they get to one, or a lack of education on their part and a lack of opportunity on ours to tell them what they need to do.”

“With livestock specifically, when we have overweight issues we have permits that can help those guys, depending on their route. If we have to tie up a cattle pot for more than 20 minutes, we have to notify the Wyoming Livestock Board and make them aware of the situation. They would then inform us what to do with those cattle, and if we need to keep them here we have available facilities with which to do so. We aren’t letting illegal trucks proceed just because they have cattle, but we try to work with people to get trucks in compliance, and it’s very rare that we have to call the Livestock Board,” Gaukel explains.


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