Some big names in the American trucking industry are teaming up to put pressure on policy makers to take steps to increase commercial trucking productivity.
The Truckload Carriers Association and the American Trucking Associations, the two largest trucking industry trade groups, announced at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition that they were calling on elected leaders to do more for American trucks.
“The trucking industry, like any family, sometimes takes a while to reach a consensus, but we’re happy that we have been able to bring our respective policies on truck productivity in line,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said in a release. “It is critical that we petition our elected leaders with one voice and this brings us closer to our industry unity.”
TCA President Chris Burrus said working together would be a major component in spurring commercial trucking growth.
“Considering all of the challenges we face as an industry, it should always be our priority to find common ground on as many issues as possible,” Burruss said. ”I applaud the leadership of TCA and ATA for finding common ground on this difficult issue.”
Specific issues cited by the trucking trade groups include cuts to hours-of-service and technology requirements and regulations.
“With possible hours-of-service changes threatening to limit capacity, congestion choking our highways and the driver shortage worsening, we need to find ways to improve our industry’s productivity in order to continue delivering the nation’s essential goods,” ATA Chairman Dan England said in a release. “Studies have shown that more productive trucks are safer, more efficient and greener than conventional combinations without causing more wear and tear on our roads, and now that we and TCA have come together on this issue, we’re in a better position to continue to make that case to policymakers.”
TCA Chairman Gary Salisburry also added that advances in brake technology will allow commercial trucks to meet new federal rules limiting commercial vehicle stopping distance. “By amending our policies and compromising, TCA and ATA have set the trucking industry on the road to success,” Salisburry said.
Trucking officials said part of the reason for encouraging more truck-friendly policies is because the demand for commercial trucking services continues to grow. As the economy rebounds more manufacturers are turning to trucks and trucking officials worry unwise policies could stunt further growth.
Trucking officials are also looking for ways to encourage more people to consider a career as a commercial truck driver because the need is growing each year for CDL trained professionals that have the right kind of training to drive both short and long hauls. CDL training programs like the Diesel Driving Academy are equipping students with the right training to enter this growing market and meet the demand for more drivers.