SUMMER 2019 Official Magazine of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association
FMCSA Safety & Compliance Seminar Take Back Our Highways Campaign Truck Day at the Capitol 2019 Annual Seafood Gala Andrew Guinn | Chairman of the Board Judicial Trucking Win
2019 | ISSUE 2
MEET THE LMTA STAFF ..................................................................................................2 LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | D. Chance McNeely ...................................3 SAFETY & COMPLIANCE SEMINAR | FMCSA .................................................................4 BILLBOARD BLIGHT | Infographic .....................................................................................7 TAKE BACK OUR HIGHWAYS | Advocacy ........................................................................8 WELCOME NEW MEMBERS | 2019 Quarter 2 ................................................................11 AT THE CAPITOL | Legislative Brief ...................................................................................12 TRUCK DAY AT THE CAPITOL | Baton Rouge, LA ...........................................................14 ANNUAL SEAFOOD GALA | New Orleans, LA ............................................................16 2018-2019 CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD SEND OFF | Andrew Guinn, Sr. .................... 22 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Grady Hunt & Stacey Brown ....................................................... 24 INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR OR EMPLOYEE? | Legal Briefing .......................... 26 JUDICIAL TRUCKING WIN | Douglas K. Williams ......................................................... 29 ADVERTISER’S INDEX ........................................................................................................31
Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA) is a Louisiana association of trucking companies, private carrier fleets and businesses which serve or supply the trucking industry. LMTA serves these companies as a government affairs representative before legislative, regulatory and executive branches of government on issues that affect the trucking industry. The association also provides public relations services and serves as a forum for industry meetings and membership relations. For information contact LMTA at: Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Inc. 4838 Bennington Avenue • PO Box 80278 Baton Rouge, LA 70898 • Phone: 225-928-5682 • Fax: 225-928-0500 www.lmta.la Copyright 2019 Open Road, Louisiana Motor Transport Association. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the LMTA.
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D. CHANCE MCNEELY | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Chance has worked with the LMTA since January 2018. As executive director, Chance reports to the board of directors and is charged with carrying out the strategic plan to advance the trucking industry in Louisiana. He also serves as the primary advocate to public officials at local, state and federal levels of government. Chance acquired his knowledge of the transportation industry through a decade of experience in government affairs, having served in the U.S. Congress and various state level positions. He served as the transportation and policy advisor to Governor Bobby Jindal and was appointed to the DOTD under Governor John Bel Edwards. Chance and his wife, Ashlee, have been married five years and have two young daughters. He enjoys hunting and fishing and aspires to do both more often.
DARRIN CARLTON | MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Darrin has worked with the LMTA for 4 months, but was a member of almost 10 years with Quality Transport, Inc. Darrin’s job responsibilities include membership recruitment, sponsorship development, and magazine and directory ad sales. His favorite part of working with the LMTA is getting to meet new people and listening to the members to be able to help them in any way he can. Darrin and his wife Melanie of 27 years have three children: Steven, 22, Dean, 18 a future SELU Pre-Med student, and Jenna, 5, who thinks she runs the place. Darrin’s hobbies include most outdoor activities, and he is interested in automobiles, trucks, and ATVs. A fun fact about Darrin is that he still has his CDL and enjoys getting behind the wheel of a big truck from time to time!
RACHEL JUSTUS | MEMBER SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
Rachel has worked with the LMTA for nearly 2 years. Her favorite parts of the job are managing the database and getting to know members. Rachel and her husband, John, have 3 children: Julia is a senior at the University of Alabama, Natalie is a sophomore at Birmingham-Southern College, and Caden is a 7th grader in the Gifted and Talented programs at Woodlawn Middle School. A fun fact about Rachel is that she owned a quilt shop before working with the LMTA and has been a quilter for over 20 years. Rachel owns a professional quilting machine, and has published some of her works. Her other hobbies include reading, traveling and spending time with her kids. She has lived at both ends of I-80: Northern New Jersey and Northern California. She’s also lived in a place with no interstates at all - Thailand.
ALLISON STRAHAN | COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Allison is the newest member of the LMTA’s staff, starting her position as Communications Coordinator at the end of May. She graduated from Louisiana State University in December of last year, receiving her degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in public relations. Allison is responsible for designing Open Road Magazine as well as updating the LMTA’s social media accounts and website with new information for members. She also works closely with Keli on materials for LMTA events, such as the Annual Convention. Allison enjoys being creative in her new role and looks forward to meeting more of the LMTA’s hardworking members. Originally from Franklinton, Louisiana, located in rural Washington Parish, Allison moved to Baton Rouge in 2014. In her free time, she loves to draw and paint.
KELI WILLIAMS | EVENTS CONSULTANT
Keli Ourso Williams is the LMTA contracted event planner. She has over 14 years of experience in event management and association management. Keli brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, has been integral in executing the LMTA events and implementing new technology. She attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA, where she received a degree in Journalism with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business administration. Keli currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA with her husband, Heath, and their two children, Alex and Ally.
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LETTER FROM THE
n this edition of Open Road Magazine, we take time to celebrate the four-year commitment of our Chairman of the Board: Andy Guinn of Port Aggregates. Serving as an officer of the Association is a major commitment of time and resources, and we appreciate Andy’s leadership and commitment to the Association. We hope you enjoy learning about his career and why he is proud to be part of the LMTA. Separately, on the heels of the last legislative session before the 2019 state election cycle, we take time to review what happened and how things are likely to change. We are preparing for a lot of new faces at the capitol next year, which presents many opportunities and challenges. We hope you also will enjoy the many photos of our annual Seafood Gala, which this year reached near-record level attendance. Lastly, we include some great information about legal issues facing the industry. There are many good things happening at the LMTA because of the growing commitment that our members have to the Association. The trucking industry is strongest when it bans together, and that is what LMTA is all about. We hope to see you at this year’s Annual Convention on August 1-3 in Florida. If you haven’t registered, you can do so by visiting www.lmta.la and clicking on the events tab! Sincerely,
OFFICERS ANDREW GUINN, SR. CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD PORT AGGREGATES, INC. LAKE CHARLES, LA
GARY GOBERT PRESIDENT LAKE CITY TRUCKING LAKE CHARLES, LA
DAVID NEWMAN 1ST VICE PRESIDENT NEWMAN TRANSPORT, LLC. PEARL RIVER, LA
TODD RUPLE 2ND VICE PRESIDENT
TIM ORDOYNE VICE PRESIDENT AT LARGE PETERBILT OF LOUISIANA BATON ROUGE, LA
BEN HOGAN ATA VICE PRESIDENT
PREFERRED MATERIALS, INC.
ATA VICE PRESIDENT: ALTERNATE
DEDICATED TRANSPORTATION, INC.
LAFAYETTE, LA JUDY SMART SECRETARY
PREFERRED MATERIALS, INC. SIBLEY, LA
ROADRUNNER TOWING & RECOVERY, INC.
MIKE KNOTTS TREASURER
DOUG WILLIAMS GENERAL COUNSEL
COBBS, ALLEN & HALL OF LOUISIANA, INC.
BOSSIER CITY, LA
BATON ROUGE, LA
BREAZEALE, SACHSE & WILSON, LLP
BATON ROUGE, LA
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F E D E R A L M O T O R C A R R I E R S S A F E T Y A D M I N S T R AT I O N
SAFETY & COMPLIANCE S E M I N A R
ouisiana Motor Transport Association’s (LMTA) very own Darrin Carlton, Membership Development Manager, worked with the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) to promote safety among the trucking industry at another Safety and Compliance Seminar in Baton Rouge on April 10, 2019. This seminar provided attendees with an overview of complying with safety regulations. A Louisiana Division Federal Program Specialist led the seminar from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge. Registration filled up quickly for this special seminar,with professionals from all across Louisiana’s transportation industry attending. “I am very pleased at the positive response for the seminar and the fact that we were full to capacity,” said Carlton. “It really shows how devoted the Louisiana trucking industry is to promoting safety to its drivers.” The event was promoted to both LMTA members and nonmembers, and included topics such as driver qualifications, hours of service, compliance safety accountability, and vehicle inspection and maintenance. Attendees learned about drug and alcohol regulations, Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), personal conveyance, and exemptions. The LMTA thanks the FMCSA for leading this event. It is the goal of both of these organizations to ensure that any driver’s first interaction with D.O.T. not happen on the side of the road, and that they are prepared and ready for any interaction with D.O.T.
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DONâ€™T LET YOUR FIRST INTERACTION WITH D . O . T. H A P P E N O N T H E S I D E O F T H E R O A D !
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LET’S FIGHT BILLBOARD BLIGHT In 2018, over 7,000 ACCIDENTS were caused by “Outside of the Vehicle Distractions.” A Louisiana truck pays nearly $13,000 annually to use the highway system, while billboard companies pay an average of only $20 per year for each billboard.
Louisiana has over 7,000 BILLBOARDS across the state, which exist to take driver’s mind & eyes off the road.
There is a 1:1 RATIO of Distracted Driving accidents to the number of billboards found on our roads. It is estimated that Louisiana has just 2 PERCENT of the nation’s highway.
Louisiana has an estima`ted 10 PERCENT of the nation’s total billboards. ISSUE 2 | 2019
IT’S BEYOND TIME TO
TA K E B A C K O U R H I G H W A Y S
f you have ever driven down a state highway in Louisiana, you are all too familiar with the obnoxious, inescapable attorney billboards. It’s an embarrassment to Louisiana, and sends the wrong message to our residents and those who visit here. Facing an insurance crisis, the trucking industry has started to get creative with its solutions. Every year, the legislature tells us they want to help us but they “can’t do this” or “can’t do that.” We all know that tort reform is the key, but our legislature – because of the Judiciary A Committee in the Senate – can’t get it done. We gave a different opportunity to take a step in the right direction, and the legislative said no to that, too. In Louisiana politics, finding reasons to maintain the status quo are a favorite past time. That’s what keeps us at the bottom on every good list and the top of every bad list. Putting aside for a moment that tort reform is key, one other important reason companies will not insure trucks in Louisiana is because they have been to our state. They see the advertisements that demonize “big trucks” and “big rigs” all up and down the public highways of Louisiana. If you had
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money to invest in the insurance market, would you pick commercial auto in Louisiana? We put together a simple, common-sense bill to address our state’s billboard problem. Louisiana has billboards everywhere, so let’s stop putting more up along public highways. Billboards are designed to be viewed by drivers, so let’s make sure they aren’t absurdly distracting and that they advertise for a local business that provide a tangible service to motorists. After all, if billboards aren’t appealing to the needs of the traveling public, then why do we have them at all? A few states outlaw them all together; dozens of states ban them within certain jurisdictions. They do so citing public safety and beautification. The effect of our bill would have been that most attorney advertisements would have had to come down and be replaced by local businesses, which would have a been a win for local economies and the traveling public. Our legislation struck a very sensitive nerve with the billboard industry, who joined forces with their biggest clients –
I S ALNADTLIAVW EM A SK EERSSSLIOO T HLE ELG M TA O KNT O F I G H T BILLBOARD BLIGHT IN LOUISIANA.
billboard lawyers – to bankroll an aggressive effort to kill our bill. When you take on two of the most profitable industries in Louisiana who make their riches on our backs, expect fireworks. That being said, expect to see a lot of fireworks because LMTA isn’t backing down or shying away from what all it will take to save the Louisiana domiciled trucking company. For too long, we’ve kept our head down and hoped our circumstances would change. Those days are over. A special thank you to Representative Jack McFarland for his leadership and commitment to the trucking industry during this past legislative session. We look forward to working with him for many years to come. We also are very thankful to Senator Conrad Appel who authored a Senate version of this measure. He is term-limited, and we appreciate his long service to Louisiana and support of the business community. WE WERE ABLE TO REACH AN ESITIMATED 159,000 PEOPLE THROUGH A SERIES OF FACEBOOK POSTS FOR THE LMTA’S “TAKE BACK OUR HIGHWAYS” CAMPAIGN.
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CHRIS KING 17217 N. LAKE DRIVE PRAIRIEVILLE, LA 70769
DALTON SPECIALTY, LLC
DAVE LANDRY & SONS
DAVE LANDRY 1034 SUSAN COURT MORGAN CITY, LA 70380
DAVID LEBLANC TRUCKING
NEXT LEVEL SOLUTIONS, LLC
PATTERSON SERVICES, INC. RONNIE BROUSSARD 1081 AILLET ROAD BROUSSARD, LA 70518
ROCK’S TRUCKING, LLC
DAVID LEBLANC 6629 HIGHWAY 308 BELLE ROSE, LA 70341
DELL “ROCK” SCIONEAUX 536 HIGHWAY 1000 BELLE ROSE, LA 70341
TONY COOK 222 LEXINGTON DRIVE RAYNE, LA 70578
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KATHY RIDDELL 7618 SW MOHAWK STREET TUALATIN, OR 97062
JOHN LEE 310 ST, PHILIP STREET THIBODAUX, LA 70301
LISA JOHNSON 11816 SUNRAY AVENUE BATON ROUGE, LA 70879
JOEY CARRIER 200 N. MORGAN AVENUE BROUSSARD, LA 70518
DEEPWELL ENERGY SERVICES LLC
DENNIS STEWART EQUIPMENT RENTAL, INC.
GARRETY & ASSOCIATES, LLC
SLAUGHTER LOGGING, LLC
TESTAMENT CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, LLC
UTILITY CONSTRUCTION SERVICES
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AT T H E C A P I T O L L E G I S L AT I V E B R I E F
his year LMTA was actively engaged in roughly 35 pieces of legislation. Our presence at the State Capitol is crucial to protect and promote the trucking industry, and we can’t do that without the support of our members. We exist to make Louisiana a better place for trucking companies to do business, and we have our work cut out for us. By coming together as an industry to speak loudly with one voice, we can make meaningful improvements.
HB 460 by Rep. Talbot created a tax incentive that would encourage trucking companies to purchase and install surveillance cameras. This bill was introduced after reports of rampant insurance fraud in New Orleans. We are very thankful to Rep. Talbot for authoring this bill, and for member Karl Mears for testifying in support. This bill did not make it all the way through the process, but it elevated the issue and got legislators talking about our issues.
We were successful in passing two pieces of legislation – HB 369 by Rep. Vincent Pierre and HB 217 by Rep. Walt Leger. HB 369 created the Louisiana Trucking Research and Education Council. This Council will include key agency officials on education, workforce, and highway safety, along with a majority of trucking industry representatives. The goal of the Council is to identify the shortcomings of existing efforts to promote workforce and highway safety in trucking, and then to do something about it. We are proud to be proactively improving our own future. HB 217 increased single-trip permit fees by 50 percent to help finance roads and bridges, dedicating new funds to the “lock box” to make sure the money actually goes to roads and bridges. This bill also included language making permit efficiencies for loggers and container haulers.
HB 164 by Rep. Franklin would have created a permit for dump trucks. This bill easily passed out of the House Transportation Committee but ran into trouble on the House Floor. We amended the bill to remove the permit language and provide only for a ten percent weight variance. The bill made it to the Senate floor but did not move forward. This debate was positive, and gave us ideas for a new approach next year. At the end of the day, most dump truck operators do not load themselves and have no ability to shift their load to try and meet axle requirements. Moreover, many dump truck operators have no way of knowing if they are overweight. LMTA President Gary Gobert testified in support and was instrumental in this effort. .
P A S S E D L E G I S L AT I O N : HB 369:
Creates the L o u i s i a n a Tr u c k i n g R e s e a r c h and Education Council
Increases certain special permit fees and dedicates the proceeds of the fee increase into the Construction Subfund of the Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n Tr u s t F u n d 12 ISSUE 2 | 2019
L O B B Y I N G F O R T H E T R U C K I N G I N D U S T R Y.
HB 372 by Rep Talbot was the omnibus tort reform bill that would have been a majority victory for LMTA and Louisiana. This bill includes various measures that would have stabilized the commercial auto insurance market in Louisiana, but it unfortunately died in Senate Judiciary A Committee as expected. LMTA was proud to support this bill, and we are very thankful to Rep. Talbot for his unwavering leadership on this issue. Members Greg Morrision and Karl Mears both testified in support of this bill.
L M TA T H A N K S :
R E P. P I E R R E R E P. L E G E R R E P. TA L B O T R E P. F R A N K L I N R E P. M C F A R L A N D SEN. APPEL ISSUE 2 | 2019
T R U C K D AY AT T H E C A P I TO L
ruck Day at the Capitol is an annual LMTA event that provides its members with the opportunity to meet legislative leaders from the entire state. Attendees join LMTA’s advocacy efforts in Baton Rouge for a day aimed at showing them how to locate and communicate with legislators. This year’s Truck Day occurred at the Louisiana State Capitol on April 16, which just so happened to be the same day several bills supported by the LMTA were heard by. During Truck Day at the Capitol, LMTA members and leaders met at the Lt. Governor’s Suite in the Pentagon Barracks, attending the hearing of HCR 4, and met for lunch in the Governor’s Press Room.
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BILLS HEARD DURING T R U C K D AY:
HCR 4: BILLBOARDS HB 369: TRUCKING RESEARCH & EDUCATION COUNCIL HB 164: DUMP TRUCK PERMIT HB 217: TRUCK PERMIT FEE INCREASE
L E G I S L AT I V E S E S S I O N
A P R I L 1 5 , 2 0 1 9 | B AT O N R O U G E , L A
LMTA MEMBERS ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE AT THE ANNUAL TRUCK DAY AT THE CAPITOL HELD TUESDAY APRIL 16, 2019.
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A N N U A L L M TA SEAFOOD GALA O
ver 1,150 members and guests of the LMTA enjoyed this yearâ€™s Seafood Gala at The Sugar Mill in New Orleans, presented by Diamond Sponsor Frisard Companies. The festivities started Friday, May 17 with a Hospitality Suite presented by RoadRunner Towing & Recovery at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street. This premier networking event brings the trucking industry and their families together over food, music and dancing. Another Hospitality Suite was hosted at the Royal Sonesta following this yearâ€™s Gala on Saturday, May 18.
BY FRISARD COMPANIES
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N EM AY W 1 8O, 2R0 L1 9E |AT N H E SS ,U GLA RA M I L L NEW ORLEANS, LA
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A N N U A L L M TA SEAFOOD GALA
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NEW ORLEANS, LA M AY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9 | T H E S U G A R M I L L NEW ORLEANS, LA
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A N N U A L L M TA SEAFOOD GALA
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ANDREW GUINN, SR. 2018-2019 CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
hroughout the years, Andrew Guinn Sr. has made a noticeable name for himself in both the concrete and trucking industries. In 1971, Guinn started a small construction business out of Jennings, Louisiana, which grew into a construction materials company as the years went on. By 1979, the once small operation established itself as Port Aggregates, Inc., (PAI) which opened an aggregate yard that same year in Mermentau, Louisiana. By 1990, PAI signed with Vulcan Materials, opening another yard in Westlake, Louisiana. From here PAI would only continue to grow, opening its first concrete plant in 2000 out of Jennings, Louisiana. By this point, PAI had become the largest independently owned concrete company in Louisiana, with 18 Ready Mix plants and almost 130 trucks pouring over 535,000 yards of concrete yearly. Port Aggregates Inc.’s history parallels that of CEO Andrew Guinn Sr., who has worked tirelessly to grow his business. Andrew “Andy” Guinn Sr., is the second oldest of six children, born June 6, 1949, to Lloyd and Marcelette Guinn. He would go on to attend school at the University of South Louisiana (USL) in Lafayette. During this time, he also served in the military and returned from active duty at Fort Ord, California. He has four children: Dawn, Holly, Drew and Adam. After returning from the military, Guinn worked several construction jobs before becoming a Shift Foreman
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for Gulf Coast Aluminum. While Guinn says he will “never forget” his experience with Gulf Coast Aluminum, he “felt the need to join the self-employed of this great country.” As Interstate 210 began construction, Guinn soon saw an opportunity. He approached Henry Rimmer and Thomas Garrett, the contractors for the interstate project, and asked to be hired by their company to load trucks. After the pair reached an agreement, Guinn then looked to Calcasieu Marine National Bank for a loan to buy a Model L Insley Dragline. The small loan of $7,000 is what started Guinn’s business, eventually leading to the creation of PAI. Later, Guinn would join forces with his brother George to create Guinn Dragline Works in 1972. As the construction company grew, the brothers changed the name to Guinn Brothers, Inc., after incorporating their business in 1976. 1979 would see the final name change to Port Aggregates, Inc., after opening the Mermentau Facility that year. PAI became a subsidiary of Guinn Brother, Inc. By 1982, Guinn was handling most of PAI and Guinn Brothers, Inc.’s day-to-day operations. After the early 1980s proved to be a challenging time for PAI and Guinn Brothers, Inc., 1984 provided much-needed relief for the company. That year several contracts helped the business grow. In 1987 Guinn’s brother George retired, splitting PAI from Guinn Brothers, Inc.
Guinn then became the owner of PAI, with two of his siblings becoming minor shareholders. By 1990, PAI opened another yard in the Industrial Canal south of Lake Charles to receive ships from the Vulcan Materials Company. In 1993, the two businesses would sign another long-term distribution contract that would help PAI to grow steadily into the new millennium. In 1999, PAI opened its first concrete precast plant in Jennings, Louisiana. The following year a concrete plant would open in that location to serve the precast plant, which used more than 15,000 cubic yards annually. By this time, PAI was employing over 50 workers. Over the next several years, PAI would acquire several smaller businesses such as Harless Limestone, Decker Concrete and Heck Industries. In 2012, the corporation acquired all Angelle Concrete assets west of the Mississippi River as well as its employees. In 2017, Guinn turned over his position as President to his son, Adam Guinn. He continues as CEO and Chairman of the Board, remaining active to this day in the company’s operations. He spends his leisure time in Florida with his wife Kelley, enjoying their new home in Destin and working on his ranch property in nearby Milton. Today PAI is the largest Ready Mix producer in the state,
pouring over half a million cubic yards of concrete annually. Guinn was elected to the National Ready Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA) Board of Directors in 2016; that same year he also served on the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance (LCIA) board. Along with serving as 2018-2019 Chairman of the Board for LMTA, Guinn is a member of the executive committee and plans to “be as active as he has ever been” going forward with LMTA.
A LR EE FGL EI SC TLI OANT IO V F EH I SS EC SA RSEIEOR NA N D T I M E W I T H T H E L M TA .
ANDREW GUINN AND HIS WIFE, KELLEY.
“I think it’s a great organization,” Guinn says, “I’m excited about where the LMTA is going! I’m excited about how our organization bands together and fights. A lot of my trucks are in the concrete industry and might not be reflected as much in the LMTA. But they are trucks and drivers. I like that LMTA stands up and helps my industry.” Looking back at his year as Chairman of the Board, Guinn says, “I think we’ve made some important movement when it comes to regulatory reform. This year, I think a big thing we did is we got a lot of regulations taken off instead of adding more on.” “We’ve been able to not only lobby our state legislators but also our federal legislators,” Guinn explains, “We’ve got their ear, and they’re listening to us which I think is huge.” Moving forward, Guinn hopes to work with other past board members to “to give advice and guidance.” He jokes, “I’m 70, I’ve been around the clock a couple of times, so I figure if there’s something I’ve learned in my life that could actually help the organization, I’m more than willing to share.” “To all our members, you need to be involved.” Guinn stresses, “give your opinions, someone is always open and willing to listen. Come in with passion and the idea that you’re going to work and put your time into this organization, and from there we can only grow.”
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rady Hunt has been in the trucking industry for over thirteen years. He first started his career in 2006 at Dupre Logistics as a Field Safety Manager. Throughout his ten and a half years with Dupre, he also served as a Senior Field Representative. In 2016, he was hired as a Safety Operations Manager by Walmart, Inc., based out of Opelousas, Louisiana. Hunt has recently been promoted to Regional Safety Manager over Texas and Louisiana for Walmart, Inc. There is no “typical day,” Hunt claims, “every week brings something different and a new challenge.” Hunt’s main objective is to “make sure that I’m a resource for all of my managers and employees.” Currently, Hunt has roughly 1,250 drivers under his supervision in his region. Not only is Hunt an active LMTA Member, but he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Private Carrier Position. Prior to his position on the Board of Directors, Hunt served as both Vice Chairman, then Chairman of the Safety Management Council; each was a two-year term. Through the Safety Management Council, he was heavily involved in the annual Truck Driving Championships. In 2015, Hunt received the “Safety Professional of the Year” award after being nominated by his peers, an experience he shared to be “very humbling.”
Hunt started his relationship with LMTA early in his career while at Dupre Logistics and has been a large part of his career since. “I think it’s great that LMTA has given me the resources to be able to reach out if I need expertise in a different field than I’m used to.” “The camaraderie and friendships that you make, it’s all been an amazing resource for me,” Hunt said, “Probably one of the most important things is that the LMTA is like a family.”
S TA C E Y B R OW N
tacey Brown has been a part of a commercial truck dealership for nearly 20 years. A Florida native, Brown began his career in Tennessee at a dealership after college. After 14 years in Tennessee, Brown took his current position with Lonestar Truck GroupShreveport where he has been a Freightliner and Western Star dealer for over 5 years.
Like many in the trucking industry, Brown says “I never have a typical day. If I could figure out how to have one, I would. Mine runs the gamut. I can spend the day out of the office visiting existing customers or cultivating new business, or I could be at the office working through day to day operations.” Brown claims that one of the highlights of his job is the “interaction with our customers arid helping them with their transportation needs. Whether it’s a new truck acquisition or getting them back on the road after a breakdown event.” In addition to serving customers, Brown operates a high-volume store and has approximately 60 employees under his direction. Brown joined the LMTA soon after arriving at Lonestar Truck Group-Shreveport. He says he “knew it was important as an allied member to become a part of and support the LMTA.” As an active member of the LMTA, Brown considers it “a privilege to serve” on the Board of Directors and as part of the Legislative Committee. Brown notes that now is a great time for new and current members alike, that “the strategic plan we have prioritizes things greatly. It’s a very exciting time for our industry.” He also pushes those thinking of joining the organization to “take a good look at their business and then come to a meeting or an event, and see what we have to offer.”
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L M TA M E M B E R S :
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- S TA C E Y B R O W N
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ISSUE 2 | 2019
LEGAL BRIEFING INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR OR EMPLOYEE: T H E D E B AT E O N D R I V E R S C O N T I N U E S
s trucking companies know, the decision whether to classify drivers as independent contractors (owner-operators) or employees can be difficult. States often have different laws used to determine whether a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or employee, and as a result, employers who operate across State lines must contend with a patchwork of different State laws when addressing this. Courts across the United States have struggled with the interplay between State independent contractor rules and the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA), which prohibits a State from enforcing laws related to a motor carrier’s prices, routes, or services with respect to the transportation of property. Employers had hoped that the U.S. Supreme Court would clarify the issue by deciding that the FAAAA preempts State laws regulating how motor carriers classify drivers in a case that was on appeal from the U.S. Ninth Circuit, California Trucking Association v. Su. However, the Supreme Court declined to review the case--leaving employers to continue navigating a maze of State laws governing independent contractors. In California Trucking Association v. Su, the Ninth Circuit had previously ruled against the Trucking Association when it decided that the FAAAA does not supersede one of California’s independent contractor tests, often referred to as the Borello standard. Under Borello, the main question is whether a company has control ( or the right to control) the manner and means used to perform the work. The Association argued that the Borello standard interfered with contracts between motor carriers and drivers, in which the companies and drivers had agreed to treat the drivers as independent contractors. However, the Ninth Circuit decided that the FAAAA does not preempt the California law because the State law did not significantly impact the carriers’ prices, routes, or services, as required for the FAAAA to apply. The Court remarked that, at most, the California law may result in “modest increases in business costs.” Given the Supreme Court’s refusal to review the case, the Ninth Circuit’s decision still stands and shows that motor carriers cannot defeat an independent contractor classification challenge by arguing that the
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FAAAA automatically preempts all State wage and hour laws in the States where they operate. Instead, companies should ensure compliance with all applicable State laws. Further, courts continue to wrestle with the independent contractor issue in other contexts. In another recent California case, Western States Trucking Association v. Schoorl, a California Federal District Court held that the FAAAA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations do not preempt a different California rule--often referred to as the “ABC” testwhich governs the classification of independent contracts for the purposes of California ‘’wage orders.” Wage orders typically govern minimum wage, maximwum hours, and working conditions like meals and rest breaks in different industries in California. To qualify as an independent contractor under the ABC test, a contractor must perform work that is different from the company’s usual course of business. Western States argued that this requirement effectively bans the use of independent contractor drivers, because the rule makes it impossible for trucking companies to hire independent contractors to transport loads. Because the law would force companies to hire drivers as employees, it would result in increased prices, reduced services, and limited routes, and the Association argued that this violated the FAAAA. The Association also pointed to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidance issued in December 2018, which concluded that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations preempt California’s meal and rest break rules, but the Court sidestepped this argument as well and held that neither the FAAAA nor the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations preempted the California law.
Recently, Western States filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit and has indicated that if necessary, it will take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, in the midst of this debate amongst courts, there is at least one bright spot for employers-the Department of Transportation’s December 2018 guidance which concluded that California’s meal and rest break rules are preempted by Federal regulations. Although employers cannot rely on guidance alone-which does not have the force of law-and not all courts follow such guidance (like the California Federal District Court in Western States), the guidance shows that States may be somewhat restricted in their attempts to regulate the trucking industry. Further, other courts-particularly those outside of the more liberal Ninth Circuit-could disagree with Western States and apply the Department’s guidance to rule in favor of Federal preemption. In light of these recent developments, motor carriers should revisit their classification of drivers to ensure compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local laws governing independent contractors. To successfully adapt their business operations and minimize their risk of liability, employers should consult with experienced labor and employment counsel.
The attorneys at Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson serve as a key resource to transportation companies throughout Louisiana in matters that are unique to the industry. The BSW transportation team is on call 24/7 to assist clients with their legal needs during a crisis.
RACHAEL JEANFREAU Rachael Jeanfreau is an attorney in the Labor & Employment Section of the Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson law firm, which represents management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISSUE 2 | 2019
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TRUCKING JUDICIAL WIN T H E B AT T L E A B O U T P H A N T O M D A M A G E S
n ongoing battle in personal injury litigation has to do with phantom damages. Most frequently, the term “phantom damages” refers to the write down of a medical bill (i.e. the difference between the amount billed and the amount actually paid). Many states (such as Louisiana) allow recovery of the amount of a bill issued by a medical provider, regardless of the amount actually paid for that medical service. Other states (such asTexas) limit recovery to the amount actually paid (since the write off does not represent an expense or damage incurred by the injured person). Recently, the Louisiana Supreme Court, in Simmons v. Cornerstone, No. 2018-CC-0735 (La. 5/8/19), did not allow a plaintiff to recover phantom damages (the write down of the medical bill). In the Simmons case, plaintiff was allegedly injured by the acts of a third party. The plaintiff filed suit against the alleged responsible party. Plaintiffs medical expenses were paid by plaintiffs employer, under the Louisiana Worker’s Compensation Act. Under the Louisiana Worker’s Compensation Act, physicians are only allowed to charge the amount permitted by a “schedule of medical expenses” provided for by the Louisiana Worker’s Compensation Act. The healthcare provider is not entitled to any payment above that amount, and the injured person has no legal obligation to pay the amount of the write down. In addition, an employee is not required to pay any premium to receive a worker’s compensation benefit. The Louisiana Supreme Court conducted a very thorough analysis of the history of the “collateral source rule.” In the end, the Court held that plaintiffs recovery against the responsible party was limited to the amount actually paid to the medical provider, and not the amount billed by the medical provider. Thus, when an injured party’s medical expenses are paid pursuant to the Louisiana Worker’s Compensation Act, plaintiff may not recover phantom damages, i.e., the amount of the write off. While this is an important ruling, it will not impact a plaintiffs ability to recover phantom damages where the medical expenses are paid by the injured party’s health insurer. Eliminating phantom damages in that situation will most likely require a legislative fix.
L M TA
DOUGLAS K. WILLIAMS PARTNER Douglas K. Williams is an AV-rated partner at the Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson law firm. He practices in the areas of medical malpractice defense, insurance defense, product liability defense and interstate common carrier matters. He can be reached at email@example.com.
ISSUE 2 | 2019
Join 3,000 of truckingâ€™s top decision-makers to: Get the Latest Pulse in Trucking Influence Regulatory Policy and Legislative Issues Discover New Innovations in the Exhibit Hall
Network and Exchange Ideas Celebrate Industry Victories and Enjoy Entertainment by Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Evening at the Annual Reception & Banquet
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Program Highlights LTMA’s 2019 Annual Convention includes a great schedule featuring industry professionals, key membership meetings, knowledgeable speakers, impactful panels and informative breakout sessions you don’t want to miss! There will also be a variety of networking opportunities between the Family Welcoming Reception, Mimosa & Bloody Mary Breaks, LMTA Dinner Reception and Officer’s Banquet.
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In our Summer issue of Open Road Magazine, we reflect on outgoing Chairman of the Board, Andrew Guinn's career and time with the LMTA. We wi...
Published on Jul 8, 2019
In our Summer issue of Open Road Magazine, we reflect on outgoing Chairman of the Board, Andrew Guinn's career and time with the LMTA. We wi...