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Don’t forget the little guys (August 01, 2010)

The relevance of the smaller trucking associations has never been more important than it is today. The large carrier associations and special interest groups currently dominate the national safety cod...


The relevance of the smaller trucking associations has never been more important than it is today. The large carrier associations and special interest groups currently dominate the national safety code agenda. They are well funded financially and have a huge war chest at their disposal.

These groups have become very politically savvy and influential with all levels of government. You may not agree with their ideas or their concepts, but they work well for them.

Unfortunately, the smaller associations have it much more difficult. They have a lack of support, funding -and no war chest. Just dedication, self-motivation and a relentless commitment.

The trucking industry as a whole has done an extremely poor job of supporting and funding its smaller associations over the years, especially recently. The smaller associations have done some good work over the years, with favour-able results and the trucking industry as a whole has benefited as a result.

As an example, the Alberta Construction Trucking Association helped convince the Alberta government to remove the sunset clause and defer the axle weight restrictions on non-RTAC trailers and pups indefinitely. The effort took hundreds of hours and about five years to complete. Not only did we save operators of this equipment thousands of dollars per year per unit, they were also allowed to operate these units indefinitely.

Without our efforts, the owners of these units would not have been allowed to operate them past August 2009. The units would have been replaced with RTAC trailers and pups and non-RTAC units would have been rendered worthless. Their only value would have been as scrap metal.

The trucking associations are supported by a very loyal following and we surely appreciate their support. But that support comes from a minority of the trucking industry. These members are in the hundreds when they should be in the tens of thousands.

I don’t know what it will take for the trucking industry to wake up and smell the coffee! Using our association as an example, we will have to replace four members of our executive board of directors in the spring of 2011. The task of replacing them will be extremely difficult. Will members of the construction trucking industry step up and serve as replacements? I hope so. Time will tell. The word is out; we anxiously await the flood of nominees!

-Ron Singer is owner of Ron Singer Truck Lines and president of the Alberta Construction Trucking Association. He can be reached at 403-244-4487 or by e-mail at ronsing@telus.net.ACTA’s Web site is www.myacta.ca.


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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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