AMTA, LTANA team up to represent livestock haulers
May 1, 2002
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) has formed a livestock committee to work closely with the Livestock Transport Association of North America (LTANA) in representing an...
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) has formed a livestock committee to work closely with the Livestock Transport Association of North America (LTANA) in representing animal haulers. Both organizations were present at a meeting in Red Deer Mar. 12, where key industry representatives gathered to discuss some of the concerns plaguing the livestock hauling industry.
Tim O’Byrne, founder of LTANA, says the turnout indicates there is plenty of interest in the two newly formed groups.
“We had a really good turnout with an excellent cross-section,” says O’Byrne. “We had a lot of really good discussions and we had several people stand up and voice their concerns. Everyone came, and everyone hung their guns at the door.”
Livestock haulers, insurance companies, government officials and enforcement officers were among those who attended the meeting, and O’Byrne says it was interesting to see the role each of them play in the industry.
“It’s gotten so complicated, that just figuring out who’s playing this game is the first step, and that was the best part about this initial meeting,” he says. “To have Alberta Transportation there was fantastic, because that shows they’re committed to learning a little bit about the livestock process and being a part of it.”
While LTANA is slowly spreading its wings – it has gained support in Canada and will begin spreading its message south of the border – O’Byrne says it will work with the fledgling AMTA livestock committee very closely.
“Our relationship is one of co-operation,” says O’Byrne. “If it’s Alberta boys that are having trouble with the DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) in some states and it’s out of their range of jurisdiction, they realize that it would be far better to call LTANA in on that because that would be something we could handle together or on their behalf.”
Mayne Root, AMTA director of compliance and regulatory affairs, has headed the AMTA’s efforts to better represent Alberta-based livestock haulers.
“Most of the fellows who haul livestock in this province fall under the AMTA as members, and we’re just trying to get them all together on a committee … to represent their specific interests in the industry to the various levels of government in the province,” says Root.
Since the Mar. 12 meeting, the AMTA committee has met once more, in Lethbridge, and there is already a functional committee operating in that area. Because more livestock haulers from other regions of the province have shown some interest, Root says it may soon be necessary to expand.
“I’ve gotten interest already from several carriers in Central Alberta and Northern Alberta so I have a feeling we may need to go regionally, but at this point Lethbridge is the only one that is in operation,” says Root.
The Lethbridge committee is co-chaired by Robin Walker of Walker Transport and Keith Horsburgh of Grace Livestock Carriers. About 18 carriers attended the Lethbridge meeting, and Root is still scanning the ranks of the AMTA member list to see who else may be interested in joining forces. So far, he has scouted out about 60 members who haul livestock, but he believes there may be more.
Although in its formative stages, the committee has had no problems coming up with a list of issues that need to be addressed.
“We’re looking at insurance rate increases, we’re looking at Hours-of-Service concerns, we’re looking at cross-border issues and abuse of farm fuel tax issues,” says Root. Another key objective will be improving the industry’s reputation among the enforcement community.
“Having come from a long background in enforcement, their reputation in the enforcement side of things is not great, so we want to work on helping with that situation,” says Root, who spent 27 years with the truck enforcement division of the Calgary Police Service.
While the AMTA committee is still taking form, O’Byrne is packing his bags for a road trip that will see him garner support for his organization in the U.S. and Mexico.
“I believe that I have enough initial support in Canada to lay the first layer of bricks, now I’m going to go to the U.S. to gain that and I also have meetings with the Canadian Embassy in Mexico regarding the project,” says O’Byrne. “My push is to research and develop alliances south of the border.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and American trucking associations have shown some early interest, so O’Byrne is confident LTANA will be well-received in the U.S. as well.