All posts by JKC Trucking

It begins: Trucking company refuses to travel to cities that defund police – ‘Who is gonna protect us?’

SUMMIT, IL – Mike Kucharski, the co-owner of JKC Trucking, joined Fox News to discuss his companies decision not to run routes in cities that defund the police. 

Kucharski said:

“Our first priority is to support our drivers and their safety when they are on the road,” 

Pointing to the high value of the cargo that his drivers have in and on their trailers, he said:

“Defunding the police is a bad idea, because when you are on the road for weeks and days at a time…with valuable cargo, everybody wants to steal this. When you are a truck driver long enough on the road, there is no safe place. Violence is everywhere. So if there are no police to rely on, who is going to protect our drivers?”

A recent survey of truck drivers showed that 79% of respondents were concerned about driving in and through cities with no legitimate police presence. 


1,283 people responded to the following questions from   LET Unity – It’s being called the “Netflix” of the Emergency Responder and Veteran CommunityPlay Video

Would you pick up and/or deliver in cities with disbanded police? 1,014 of them said no. 

Here are just a handful of the comments that drivers submitted with their survey responses: 

“…if something was to happen and you have to take matters into your own hands, and then you risk being prosecuted for protecting yourself.”

“This is not an area you need to act fearless and think you’d look like a fool for saying no…Imagine what kind of fool you look like for driving into a hot spot and putting your life in danger.”

“I will not deliver to an area with a disbanded police department. My life matters and I do this for my family. We are already at the mercy of these towns and cities with laws and hate against us for parking, getting a meal or even using a restroom.”

“Simple. We may not like it all the time, but law and order is necessary.”

“Most places we go already can be dicy [sic] and about only time you see a cop is when lights is on behind you.”

“For my own safety and security of my customers’ loads, I have already informed my dispatcher that I will refuse all loads to cities that have defunded their police departments.”

CDL Life reached out to Kucharski for a comment, and he supplied one, saying:

“Defunding the police is not the solution. We all have to work together with critical thinking and find a solution. The problem, during this time of crisis, is that the government has been behind the steering wheel. It’s time for small businesses to take over the steering wheel and make the right decisions, to sit down with the politicians. I welcome the politicians to sit down with us so we can educate them on what is best for the economy and small businesses. Last time I checked small businesses were the backbone of America.”


But, not everyone was applauding Kucharski’s decision. One Twitter user commented:

“Who gives 2 shits about JKC. More loads for the rest of us.”

That individual must have been part of the 21% of the survey that indicated they would continue driving in those cities.

But hey, the only cities that would really be affected would be New York City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland, right? 

Fox pointed to an article in USA Today that itself highlights a report set to be released soon from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). The non-partisan group said that of the 258 agencies they surveyed in July, nearly half of them reported that their budgets have either already been cut, or they expect them to be reduced soon. In some instances that decrease is substantial.  

We could argue that any decrease is substantial.

The study pointed to some of the cities mentioned above, but also included Baltimore, Tempe, and Eureka, California, to name just a few. 


And in the midst of the budget cuts, many of these cities are seeing a spike in violent crime. 

Chuck Wexler, the Executive Director of PERF, spoke with USA Today about the biggest budget cuts law enforcement agencies were dealing with since the 2008 recession.

Here is what he had to say about the situation:  

“Unfortunately, the situation this time is only certain to get worse because of the pandemic’s resurgence and the convergence of the defund police movement,” 

Wexler continued:

“It’s a combustible mixture for police departments, because reform is often achieved by hiring a next generation of officers and acquiring new technology that can assist their work. The unintended consequence of these times is that those reforms will now be held back.”

Here is a look at the spike in crime is taking place in NYC, all the while, politicians continue to scream for defunding. 

Trucking company not going to cities pushing to defund police: ‘We have to keep drivers safe’

Soon-to-be released survey of 258 police departments shows almost half have had budgets cut

A trucking company owner told Fox News on Wednesday that in order to keep drivers safe, he will not direct services to cities that are pushing to defund the police.

“Our first priority is to support our drivers and their safety when they are on the road,” co-owner of JKC Trucking Mike Kucharski told “Fox & Friends First.”

Kucharski said that defunding the police is a bad idea because drivers carry valuable cargo on the road for weeks.

“Everybody wants to steal this,” Kucharski said.


A soon-to-be-released survey of 258 police departments nationwide shows almost half have had their budgets cut amid calls for police to be defunded despite increases in gun violence and otherwise violent crime in some parts of the country, according to USA Today.

The outlet was first to report that the Police Executive Research Forum publication, which is expected to be released in the coming days, shows cuts in the police budgets are largely being made to training and equipment.


Protesters are pushing to “defund the police” over the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans killed by law enforcement.

Floyd died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, held his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd’s several shouts that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd was handcuffed at the time.


Kucharski said that his company is also avoiding states pushing to defund the police because his insurance coverage is prone to dissolve.

“Another issue that I am seeing in the future is I have cargo insurance, liability insurance, fiscal damage insurance, and I am very curious how when I renew my contracts at the end of the year, if there is going to be language — if I am going to even have coverage going into these places,” Kucharski said.

“Right now I have coverage going all over domestically. You have to get special coverage for Canada or Mexico or you might have to buy special riders for this on top of everything.”

Fox News’  Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.

Trucking secures as much as $12 billion in government-backed PPP loans

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) provided hundreds of billions of dollars for cash-starved businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with many customers idled by government-mandated shutdowns, tens of thousands of trucking companies were among those standing in line for a slice of the PPP funds.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) last month said it had approved 4.9 million loans through the end of June totaling more than $521 billion as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act signed into law last spring.

According to data compiled by CCJ from SBA listings, upwards of 100,000 trucking companies received funds ranging from loans of less than $10 (yes, ten dollars) to some in excess of $5 million. Local and long-haul trucking companies snagged as much as $12 billion, more than 2% of all the PPP cash handed out by banks across the United States. Those listings exclude household goods movers.

More than 60% of fleets responding to a CCJ survey last month that measured the coronavirus’ impact on motor carriers said they had applied for PPP funds, with some carriers noting the money was vital for post-pandemic survival. Likewise, in a recent survey of owner-operators and very small fleets (those with nine trucks or fewer) conducted by CCJ sister publication Overdrive, more than half said they had applied for PPP loans.

The number of loans awarded and the size of those loans show the toll that the coronavirus-spurred downturn had on carriers’ cash flow.

Mike Kucharski, co-owner and vice president of JKC Trucking, the largest refrigerated trucking fleet in the Chicago Metro area, said that without the more than $2 million loan that JKC received via the PPP, his company would have endured layoffs en masse, as the majority of its customer base of bars and restaurants were crippled by stay-at-home orders.

“[The loan] was a Band-Aid, but it was a great Band-Aid,” Kucharski said. “Without that money, we would have to cut pay [and] cut drivers a long time ago.”

Nearly 11,000 trucking companies (10,872), as categorized by SBA’s North American Industry Classification System, received PPP loans for amounts greater than $150,000, according to disclosure documents released by the U.S. Treasury Department and SBA last month.types of trucking companies receiving more than $150,000

                                                                                          CCJ graphic by Richard Street

Among the companies receiving $150,000 or more, general freight companies collectively snagged between $3.1 billion and $7.4 billion. Long-haul truckload carriers received between $1.3 billion and $3 billion, leaving between $176.7 million and $411.9 million for less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers and between $1.68 billion and $4 billion for local carriers.

Long-haul specialized fleets altogether received between $371.75 million and $870.7 million, while local specialized carriers received between $658.25 million and $1.6 billion.

With the SBA-backed loan in-hand, JKC Trucking managed to keep all its employees and diversified its business model to add more flexibility.

“Before COVID, we had too much freight,” Kucharski said, noting the company specialized in LTL before adding more truckload business during the pandemic. “We started picking up product where we could to keep the wheels rolling. In the trucking business, there’s a lot of fixed cost. We have to fill that big gap.”

Kucharski used the money for payroll, a condition that should allow the loan to be forgiven. However, administrators continuously amend the rules governing the PPP, and financial institutions have a hard time explaining the evolving conditions to loan holders.

“Even if it doesn’t get forgiven, I think the interest rate they’re going to charge us is a pretty good deal,” Kucharski said. “It’s a win-win scenario for us either way.”

Loans of more than $150,000 represent nearly 75% of total PPP dollars approved, but only a fraction of the number of actual loans. According to SBA, about 87% of all loans totaled less than $150,000. More than 91,000 trucking companies raked in just more than $2.1 billion in loans under $150,000. Texas led the way with $219 million, with California ($180 million) in second. Illinois (more than $164 million) rounded out the Top 3.

John Ganiev, owner of Philadelphia-based Dream Transportation, secured a $50,000 loan when the market receded, and the 200-truck dry van and reefer fleet with mostly owner-operators used the funds to cover payroll after drivers and office staff went home. Ganiev said he is trying to put the remaining funds to work to “generate more money” by hiring more people and investing in equipment and technology to “get back on my feet.”

Pennsylvania trucking companies such as Dream Transportation that received amounts under $150,000 soaked up $76.4 million of the state’s PPP funding. While Ganiev said he doesn’t think the PPP loan is a long-term solution, he is grateful that “it got me out of the hole. I’ve got better cash flow now, and everything is going good.”

Ganiev said he was told by a friend who is an SBA officer that his company may not be required to pay back the loan, adding his friend told him to take the money, use it and, if/when the first payment comes due, pay off the full amount.

Trucking companies: Defund police effort puts drivers at risk

The truckers who help Americans get through the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders by keeping store shelves stocked are on the front lines again, this time rolling into massive protests, rioting and a defund-the-police movement that they say threatens drivers’ safety.

The owner of a large trucking company in Illinois will have to halt his drivers going into Minneapolis and other big cities if police departments are defunded, saying his drivers’ safety has to be the top priority.

“It’s getting harder and harder to do business,” said Mike Kucharski, co-owner of JKC Trucking. “If they defund the police in Minneapolis, JKC trucks won’t go there.”

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Labor statistics out in December of last year revealed transportation incidents were the leading cause of workplace fatalities and truck drivers rank as one of the top 10 deadliest jobs.

Accidents contribute to deaths and injuries, but so does hijacking and crime, said Mr. Kucharski. He noted many drivers make their deliveries early in the early morning when it is still dark.

“A lot of drivers are worried about going to places that were defunded,” he said.

Drivers also have been trying to avoid those areas, as anti-racism protests turned violent across the country and rioting persisted in cities such as Seattle and Portland.

In Portland, where sometimes violent protests have lasted for more than two months, Police Bureau spokesman Officer Derek Carmon said he wasn’t aware of any truck drivers caught in the mayhem or requesting help.

“I am unaware of truckers reaching out for assistance for anything related to safety. We welcome them to do so in order for us to address their specific concerns,” he said.

A spokesperson from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said the group has been monitoring the protest situation across the country.

“We know that there were concerns about protest areas, but we know of no recent disruptions to the supply chain,” said Norita Taylor, the Association’s director of public relations.

Truckers have a reputation for being tough and fiercely independent. They also share camaraderie with police.

Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, said law enforcement regularly relies on truckers to find runaways and missing persons, to look out for human trafficking, and to provide tips for high-profile fugitives.

“Truckers are vital employees and trucking companies are essential service providers. The reliable and safe transportation of goods and products is crucial not only to the economic vitality of a community but also to its safety,” Mr. Johnson said. “After all, it was a trucker who first reported the location of the D.C. Snipers at a Maryland highway rest area, a report which led to their capture.”

He said trucking is already a dangerous profession.

“Removing the protection of our police from cities and communities will understandably make it more difficult or even impossible for truckers and other transport and delivery workers to perform their jobs,” Mr. Johnson said.

JKC Trucking driver Brenda Echols, who lives in Texas, said truck drivers are accustomed to delivering to dangerous neighborhoods — and then the anti-police movement erupted.

“I’m always concerned about [safety] even without defunding police,” she said, adding that she supports the Black Lives Matter message. “Being a female in a truck alone having an early morning delivery in an area where there are homeless people, there could always be that issue.”

In addition, Ms. Echols noted, truck drivers often cross state lines, limiting their ability to legally carrying a firearm. She said new laws are needed that would allow more drivers to arm themselves.

Ellen Voie, president of the industry advocacy group Women in Trucking Inc., said most of the focus during the COVID-19 crisis and racial upheaval has been for drivers to tell their employers if they feel unsafe.

“I’ve talked to some CEOs and they are cautioning their drivers if you feel unsafe to let us know and we will route you around it,” she said of the unrest in several cities, most recently Chicago and Portland, Oregon. “The carriers are trying to make sure the drivers feel safe.”

Ms. Voie also said drivers have been very diligent, sharing information about how to reroute around massive gatherings.

“It’s a very close-knit community where they really do look out for one another,” she told The Washington Times.

Safety for female drivers has always been a concern, even before COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests, but given today’s times, more focus is being placed on keeping drivers out of harm’s way — including various safety protocols and amenities being implemented at truck stops.

“Nobody wants our drivers to be in a situation,” Ms. Voie said. “It’s just how a company’s culture is in regard to giving the driver control over their own safety.”

Trucking Exec Warns Cities Defunding Police…”You’re Going to Run out of Food!”

Chicago, IL – The co-owner and vice president of a large refrigerated fleet is speaking out and issuing a warning to leaders and residents of cities defunding police.

In a series of recent national and international media interviews, Mike Kucharski, co-owner and V.P. of Illinois-based JKC Trucking, is pulling no punches when it comes to the growing “Defund the Police” movement.

Kucharski, who is a second-generation truck driver, says he was once attacked by an intruder who burst into his truck while making a delivery, and refuses to send his drivers into areas without the presence of law enforcement.

“No load or cargo is worth my driver’s life or safety,” he recently told Canadian radio show host Roy Green. “JKC supports our drivers and police is the critical part of protecting our drivers on the road.”

Kucharski indicated JKC drivers are also expressing their concerns.

“Most of my drivers have already come to me and said, ‘Hey, are we going to have to go into these states?,’” Kucharski told Green.

Major cities such as Seattle, WA and Los Angeles, CA, have already taken steps to defund its local police departments and redirect those funds into social programs.

Just last week the New York City Council voted to slash $1 billion from the New York Police Department’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget.

The move will cancel a nearly 1,200-person police recruiting class set for next month.

However, leaders in Minneapolis are going further by seeking to replace its entire local law enforcement model.

On June 26, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously (12-0) to move ahead with a proposal to disband the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and replace it with a “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.”

Kucharski reserved his most direct warning to Minneapolis city leaders and Minnesota state officials.

“The state of Minnesota is going to be in big trouble if truck drivers won’t deliver essential goods groceries or perishables,” he said. “What are they going to do? They’re going to run out of food within three days max.”

Kucharski’s assessment is certainly notable given the fact he operates a 210-truck fleet specializing in the transportation of refrigerated and temperature-controlled items.

In a recent guest appearance on the Vicki McKenna Radio Show, Kucharski doubled down on his warning and broadened it to include every other state considering such defunding or dismantling efforts.

“These drivers have the right to refuse a load because they are worried about their own safety. If these drivers all refuse to go into these areas, the food supply chain collapses. There’s going to be no more essential goods. The people in these states are going to run out of food. Then there’s going to be complete chaos. I’d say 72 hours and that’s it. The party’s over,” he said.

While most major trucking associations and executives of larger companies have remained publicly quiet on the issue, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has spoken to many who are concerned about the implications of taking more police off of the streets and the possible ramifications.

To this point, Kucharski admits most trucking executives aren’t speaking out about it, but says he believes many motor carrier executives feel similarly as he does about this issue.

“I would say the majority feel just as I do,” he told Green.

Truckers have flooded TNN’s social media and members only pages in recent weeks with comments similar to Kucharski’s.

“Truck drivers are already sounding the alarm!” Kucharski told McKenna.

However, the question remains, are leaders in these cities listening to truckers’ concerns or even considering what could result if the trucking industry refuses to offer service to their residents?

Kucharski told Green that is one of the reasons he is speaking out about it now.

“I would love to discuss what are we going to do? How are we going to keep our drivers safe?”

So far, he says he has yet to hear from any policy makers about these concerns.


Amid protests, truckers determined not to become the next Reginald Denny

Reginald Denny, a 39-year old white truck driver who was brutally beaten by an angry mob during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, haunts the minds of today’s truck drivers as violent protests have erupted over the death of George Floyd.

Following the acquittal of the Los Angeles Police Department officers involved in the beating of Rodney King, a black motorist, a local news chopper captured video of four men pulling Denny from his dump truck and beating him. At one point, Denny was hit on the head with a cinder block.

The attack left Denny nearly dead until four black residents protected him and drove him to the hospital after seeing the footage of the assault on television. However, the former truck driver still has permanent physical damage from the 1992 beating, and today’s truckers fear another similar attack in today’s environment is just around the corner.

Mark Staite, a 20-year professional driver out of Melbourne, Florida, wrote a May 31 post on a popular trucker Facebook forum he created called the Rookie Room, writing in part:

“Dear America…”

Staite continued, “We will defend ourselves every time, up to and including, using our 80,000lb trucks and it’s 1,800 foot-pounds of torque to run you over. We don’t want to, but will if we have to, to save our own life.”

“Cities where looting, rioting, and stopping trucks is happening…. You are hereby put on notice,” he added.

Staite’s post received overwhelming agreement from drivers and retired drivers in the forum.

Mike Kucharski, owner of JKC Trucking, confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Denny is on the mind of his drivers.

“Yes. Everyone remembers Reginald Denny,” said Kucharski.

“If you’ve been in the trucking business long enough, somebody’s gonna break into your truck, break into your trailer,” Kucharski said. “They’re gonna want to steal something from you.”

“They’re gonna want to hijack something from you,” he said. “It’s inevitable, because wherever they go, they’ll run into these people. So, truck drivers will try to defend themselves.”

Truck drivers over the past several weeks have already been targets of angry protesters since Floyd, a 46-year old black man, died while being held down by a Minneapolis police officer, since fired, during an arrest in late May.

As riots broke out in different cities, truckers were targeted, causing drivers to reach out to one another on social media to post about dangerous circumstances, such as reports of rocks and bricks being thrown from overpasses onto vehicles below, or crowds of protesters stopping and swarming vehicles.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz confirmed on May 30 that truck drivers were being stopped by rioters and vehicles were robbed.

“They are stopping semis by blocking roads and then raiding what’s in them. This is not about George’s death. This is about chaos being caused,” he said at a press conference.

Denny’s story from 28 years ago has caused drivers to be more vigilant and establish ways to stay safe when protests turn violent. But some efforts have also led to unavoidable confrontations with protesters.

A FedEx truck dragged a man to his death in St. Louis early last month after it was forced off Interstate 70 by protesters and looted.

According to KMOV, as the truck slowed down to stop, demonstrators positioned themselves in front of the vehicle and began pounding on it while crawling onto the passenger side.

Police say two people on the passenger side of the truck aimed guns at the driver as others ran off with packages from the vehicle. The driver, reportedly in fear for his life, sounded his horn and drove away. Attorneys for the family of the deceased dispute the presence of any guns.

One owner-operator, Bogdan Vechirko, plowed a fuel tanker through a crowd of thousands of protesters on I-35 West in Minneapolis on May 31. Although he did not hit anyone and there were no injuries, the protesters pulled him out of his truck and beat him until other demonstrators stopped the assault.

Colin Mooney, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, told Overdrive Online that drivers are better off to plan ahead and avoid areas of protests when possible.

Mooney says he understands truck drivers do “not want to be the next Reginald Denny.” “You never want to be in a confrontational situation. The best course of action is always avoidance and not being caught up in the middle,” he said.


Co-Owner Mike Kucharski makes a guest appearance on One America News interviewed by Graham Ledger to speak about truck drivers needing to protect themselves while on the road.

JKC Trucking Inc – Fox Business LIVE!

JUNE 19, 2020 – 4:30 – JKC Trucking co-owner and vice president Mike Kucharski makes a guest appearance on FOX Business LIVE to talk about how Truckers want expanded gun rights because of the pandemic & Protests.