Manitoba Trucking Association turns 75

by Steven Macleod

WINNIPEG, Man. – Any way you look at it, 75 years is a significant amount of time. Roughly translated, 75 years equates into 27,375 days or 300 seasons.

Regardless of how it’s calculated, 75 years is the time span the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) has been in operation – and it is poised to continue for another 300 seasons through the strength of its membership.

When discussing the association’s milestone, MTA general manager Bob Dolyniuk is quick to credit the current members and the past presidents who have led the association during the years, for the organization’s continued success.

“Number one, first and foremost, is it’s an association founded by the industry itself,” noted Dolyniuk. “It’s an indication of the support the members continue to give to the MTA.”

To celebrate 75 years of support and dedication of its members, the MTA held a special dinner and dance at The Gates in Winnipeg on Apr. 20.

Today, the MTA has roughly 300 corporate members and another 100 to 120 members through the vehicle maintenance council. Throughout the years the association has developed a number of safety and driver training programs, a committee structure to serve all aspects of members’ needs, and a strong working relationship with government agencies.

Building a relationship with the government of the day was essentially the reason a number of Manitoba truckers banded together back in 1932 to establish a provincial trucking association.

“They’re the ones that reckoned with the government working to enforce regulation, they should band together to deal with the government. That was the genesis of the MTA,” Dolyniuk told Truck News.

Since its inception in 1932, Dolyniuk credits the association’s lengthy tenure to the hard work and dedication of the founding members, who served on boards and as presidents, and the continued effort of the owners who have followed in their tracks.

Throughout the years, the association has lobbied long and hard on behalf of its membership for benchmarks to assist the industry’s economic viability. As well as being in the middle of safety, road maintenance and weight restriction issues, the MTA has worked to help establish a number of standards for the industry.

“Our lobbying has allowed our industry in Manitoba to be more reliable and efficient, which as a result makes us more competitive,” added Dolyniuk.

When the province first introduced Manitoba Public Insurance, the MTA lobbied long and hard to establish policies, which would be fair to commercial carriers, noted Dolyniuk.

The MTA has continued to lobby on behalf of its members to establish fair criteria in a number of different industry areas.

“The association lobbied long and hard for the lifetime trailer plates in the early 2000s,” explained Dolyniuk. “On the regulatory side, we were strong lobbyists of the implementation of the National Safety Code. Back in the 1980s we were steadfast in the stance that there had to be measures to provide public safety.”

Through the efforts of the MTA and its dedicated members, the association has been able to prosper through a number of industry changes and monumental events which define social eras.

“It’s interesting to note we have an association that survived through the depression in the ’30s, survived through World War II, it survived through the growth of the ’50s, deregulation and most recently NAFTA,” said Dolyniuk. “We’ve seen significant changes in the industry and our lives; and the association was able to maintain viable and strong throughout.”

Part of the MTA’s success throughout the decades has been the association’s ability to lobby for the betterment of the industry while maintaining positive working relationships with government agencies.

The strategy has so far proven beneficial for the MTA and Dolyniuk is looking to continue with the same strategy as long as it remains viable.

“If you’re successful in what you’re doing, do you want to change? I can see us conducting our business in a like-minded fashion,” he explained. “We’re not very public in our affairs, unless we have to be and that seems to be a successful recipe. I can see us continuing that practice in the future as long as it continues to work.”

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