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CALGARY, Alta. — The Alberta Trucking Industry Safety Association (ATISA) and the Alberta Trucking Association (ATA) are joining to form one organization representing Alberta’s trucking industry.

The end result of the amalgamation is the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA), which will emphasize bolstering safety, education and service as its key directives.

Lane Kranenburg, named the association’s inaugural executive director, is the former ATISA general manager and brings many years of first hand experience to the table. He adds he is looking forward 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.”

ATA general manager Al Smythe retains his position with the hybrid association and he insists the change will benefit the membership and the province’s healthy trucking industry.

“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 now,” says Smythe.

Although the two associations have approved the amalgamation, there is still a lot of work ahead for the AMTA. They will hold their first official general meeting on Apr. 30, to form a new board of directors.

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