CALGARY, Alta. - The National Truckers' Alliance of Canada (NTAC) has fallen by the wayside, but rising from its ashes is a new O/O group - the Owner/operator's Business Association of Canada (OBAC).A...
CALGARY, Alta. – The National Truckers’ Alliance of Canada (NTAC) has fallen by the wayside, but rising from its ashes is a new O/O group – the Owner/operator’s Business Association of Canada (OBAC).
At the association’s inaugural meeting in Toronto, Calgary-based O/O Dave Marson was named the group’s first president. He is a lease-operator for Economy Carrier Lines’ special commodities division, and draws on 24 years of experience in the trucking industry.
Marson is no stranger to the politics behind the industry, having served as a former vice-president of the Alberta Trucking Industry Safety Association (now the Alberta Motor Transport Association) and the Canadian connection to U.S.-based Owner/operator Independent Drivers Association.
Marson has also been actively involved on a number of other fronts, but leading this start-up group may be his biggest challenge yet.
So far, the group has already formed its vision, which he describes as “Through education and advocacy, contribute to the long-term viability of the membership and the personal and financial success of the members and improve the overall quality of their lives.”
Marson says OBAC will be a national group representing O/Os from right across the country.
The association will officially launch at Truck World 2002 and will begin recruiting members immediately using the show to meet and greet folks in large numbers.
“We’re just launching right now, starting from scratch as a brand new organization,” says Marson. “Right now we’re just setting everything up and getting all our ducks in a row.”
There will be no carry-over from the now defunct NTAC, and OBAC wants to form its own identity right out of the gates.
Some of the major issues on the agenda, however, are the same ones that other owner/operator groups have tried to address for years.
“The issues never seem to go away,” says Marson. “Some of the major issues are fuel surcharges, load brokerages, lumping abuse and waiting time.”
With the recently formed National Association of Professional Drivers (NAPD) recruiting O/Os in Western Canada, one may think OBAC runs the risk of butting heads with the western group. However, Marson feels both groups can work together towards a common goal.
“Our goals are to work with all levels of government and all associations,” says Marson, noting NAPD vice-president Don Robertson is on OBAC’s board of directors.
With the demise of NTAC, O/Os who feel they aren’t getting enough representation may be a bit skeptical of a new group starting from scratch with very little history to back it up.
However, Marson says the group is bringing in some of the most knowledgeable and experienced trucking industry representatives across the country to give the group credibility and ensure success.
“Our board of directors are people who have experience working with government and know how to lobby and to affect change which is a key element,” says Marson. “The other associations probably tried very hard to do what they could with what they had to work with, however, with our board of directors we have a lot of knowledge and experience.”
Anyone who keeps on top of the trucking industry will be familiar with some of the heavy-hitters surrounding OBAC’s boardroom table, as their names regularly grace the pages of Truck News.
They include Roy Craigen, Fred Nix, Kim Richardson and Pam Wilkinson just to name a few.
More information about the fledgling group will soon be available on the association’s Web site: www. obac.ca.
Initially, memberships will be available for $120 per year, but that is still up for review.
As time goes on, members will benefit from a number of programs aimed at saving O/Os money, but for now the group is still in the process of finding its legs.
“There’s nothing carved in stone at this point,” says Marson. “But by all means we’re going to have programs that are going to help out our members.” n
Inside This Issue…
Here we go again: Island truckers may face yet another battle against the U.S. over the now infamous potato wart virus.Page 15
Pennies from heaven: Investment capital is available to help you grow your fleet, but you’ll need to know where to look.Page 28
No go: One of the biggest fleets south of the 49th says it isn’t prepared to shell out for new engines.Page 34
A new voice: Welcome Mike Smith, OBAC director, as a new monthly columnist with Truck News.Page 90