• DATVF.ATLPHL
    2.026
    0.053
    2.7%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.929
    -0.026
    -1.3%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    1.332
    0.051
    4%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.321
    -0.035
    -2.6%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.968
    0.070
    7.8%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.196
    0.068
    6%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.159
    0.040
    1.9%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.717
    0.032
    1.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.536
    0.032
    2.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.327
    0.009
    0.7%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.563
    0.055
    3.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    12,209.780
    10.030
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.280
    0.030
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,205.070
    10.340
    0.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.680
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    159.000
    19.000
    13.6%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    2.026
    0.053
    2.7%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.929
    -0.026
    -1.3%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    1.332
    0.051
    4%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.321
    -0.035
    -2.6%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.968
    0.070
    7.8%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.196
    0.068
    6%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.159
    0.040
    1.9%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.717
    0.032
    1.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.536
    0.032
    2.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.327
    0.009
    0.7%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.563
    0.055
    3.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    12,209.780
    10.030
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.280
    0.030
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,205.070
    10.340
    0.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.680
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    159.000
    19.000
    13.6%
Driver issuesNewsTrucking

‘No regrets’ as truck driver leaves California, citing hostile business climate

“Tired of being persecuted for being a truck driver,” Brian Gray and his wife, Karol, packed up and left California to start over in Oklahoma.

Brian Gray says he and his wife, Karol, are slowly adjusting to their new lives in Oklahoma, but have no regrets about leaving California as costly laws and regulations are squeezing small-business truckers’ profit margins.

“Starting from scratch in a state where we know no one has been difficult, but it will be worth it,” Gray told FreightWaves. “I miss the contacts I had in California, who could vouch for my work, but eventually that will happen here.”

The Grays bought a piece of land and moved to Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, in early December ahead of the new AB5 labor law that was set to take effect on Jan. 1 which would limit the use of independent contractors. 

Federal Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District Court of California issued a preliminary injunction on Jan. 16, which blocks AB5 from being enforced pending the outcome of the lawsuit filed by the California Trucking Association in November

Even with the pause on AB5, Gray, who has been trucking for nearly 25 years, said he won’t go back and live in California. That’s because his 1999 Peterbilt is no longer compliant with the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB)  Truck & Bus rule that took effect in January. Under the new rule, he said he wouldn’t have been able to register his vehicle with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

“I keep my Peterbilt is great shape, but I can’t afford to buy a new truck to comply with the new emissions rule, so I just decided it was time to leave,” he said. “I am tired of being persecuted for being a truck driver.”

Gray, who hauls construction equipment, said business has been slow this winter, but he has his first job lined up on Jan. 25 to haul concrete and other materials for a home builder.

“I think this will help get my name out there,” he said. “I think Oklahoma is going to be business-friendly toward us.”

Read more stories by FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 13 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Trucks.com. Clarissa lives in the Kansas City area with her family. If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to chawes@freightwaves.com.

33 Comments

  1. Complaining is all I hear from these snowflakes. At first they hated E-logs, but it turned out to be a great tool for drivers to run legal.
    CARB requirements are helpful to the environment and create jobs for technicians that want to expand their business.
    AB5 was meant to help drivers that lease their trucks to big companies that offer insurance, permits and parking except they are really offering sharecropper rewards. AB5 if used right would increase the power to deal for OO. There’s so much work in California, I currently make around 3-4k a week running local, oh but I only work 3-4 days.
    Go ahead and leave to OK, you’re going to eventually be forced to drive in California, you need to adapt to this ever changing industry.

    1. You’re outnumbered.

      MANY of us have refused to go in&out if California for YEARS.

      People who haul heavy equipment
      (I am one) often never even leave their home state.

      I do but the company I run for right now does NOT go to California.

      The last few companies I’ve worked for wouldn’t go to California.

      Say what you want and stay in California-
      It matters not to me.

  2. California is and always will be a pain in the rear for drivers….. their State Government is a Joke honestly….. this AB5 law is a Savage Move though….. All sorts of people are leaving California not just drivers….. costs are too high out there….. nice to drive through it tho…. even going 55mph LMAO

  3. I do feel sorry for all independence drivers in California and all others who leaving this state. California is making things impossible for businesses and self employed to made a living here. I’m too packing up and getting ready to leave soon and before too long California will be filled with illegals, jailbirds, and people who are too lazy to find work. California need to change from the golden state to THE SHITTY STATE.

  4. I am other people are camped out at queens park in Toronto Canada as insurance companies are short changed hurt drivers. The homeless shelters can not handle them all with the large numbers of sick injuries and homeless. The Ford government is doing nothing to protect truck drivers and lease drivers. At least California is trying to protect truck drivers. You do understand the problem until you get hurt or sick.

  5. Bonjour aly marone je suis sénégalaise âgée de 32an calibater j’ai beaucoup d’expérience sur conduire des camions j’ai besion de travailler chez vous

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