CALGARY, Alta. - The Alberta Trucking Industry Safety Association (ATISA) and the Alberta Trucking Association (ATA) have joined forces to form one organization representing the province's trucking in...
CALGARY, Alta. – The Alberta Trucking Industry Safety Association (ATISA) and the Alberta Trucking Association (ATA) have joined forces to form one organization representing the province’s trucking industry.
The end result of the amalgamation is the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA), which places an emphasis on safety, education and service.
Lane Kranenburg has been named the association’s inaugural executive director, and says he is honored to fill that role. The former ATISA general manager brings many years of first-hand experience to the table, and looks forward to the challenges ahead.
“I had my own fleet for 20 years so I know a little bit about what I’m speaking about,” says Kranenburg. “The thing that made our company successful was our safety programs.”
He adds that he is passionate about trucking safety and looks forward to increasing awareness through education. That means debunking the myths surrounding the industry.
“There is a perception out there that anyone can drive a truck,” says Kranenburg. “But these professionals behind the wheel are really being underestimated as per their ability. What we need to do as an association is that we need to recognize this industry is built on their backs.”
Educating people about the important role of today’s trucker is a priority for the AMTA.
“One of the focuses is to have the professional commercial driver recognized as a professional,” says Kranenburg. “I think that if we thought more about the requirements of our professional drivers than we could start attracting more people to this industry.”
Although the amalgamation has resulted in a newly formed organization, it is steeped in years of tradition dating back to 1938 when it was originally called the AMTA.
“Really, we’re going back in that respect, but we’re going forward in the respect of the initiatives we’re undertaking,” says Kranenburg.
The amalgamation is a result of 18 months of negotiating, he says.
“We found that there was a lot of overlapping between the two associations and we felt that we needed to have a combination of safety and education together,” adds Kranenburg. “There appeared at times to be a conflict between the regulatory issues and the safety issues so I worked with the ATA and their general manager Al Smythe, and of course the respective boards very hard at getting the middle ground … and we came up with an amalgamation.”
Smythe retains his position as general manager with the new association and he also says the change will benefit the membership.
“We’ll make every effort to expand the number of programs that we offer to the general membership,” says Smythe. “We’re going to be expanding our safety program area in response to an increased demand which will result from the increased representation.”
He stresses that the transition will be a smooth one. “The regulatory and operational issues that ATA was previously involved in will continue and, of course, there will be stronger representation because we have larger numbers,” says Smythe. Commercial and school bus lines are being viewed as sources for new members as well.
“There was apprehension at first but now there’s enthusiasm,” says Kranenburg. “The transition will be seamless.” n