Monday, September 8, 2014

A Brief History of the American Trucking Association

For well over 80 years now, the American truckingAssociation has worked hard to fight for the rights of truckers, as well as developing innovative new technology to ensure the highest standards of highway safety and environmental sustainability.

It all began and 1933, when the Federation Trucking Associations and the Highway Freight Association met during a Chicago spring break to talk about the best way to fulfill get businesses to comply with the Code of Fair Competition.  Fortunately, both groups united to form the present day American Trucking Associations with Ted Rodgers appointed as the first president.

During the roaring 30’s, they were able to sustain many conferences and annual conventions. However, most importantly the government was able to issue the first rules in regards to service hours for truckers all around the country.

The 40’s then began on the right foot with the acquisition of a wonderful set of headquarters in Washington DC.  Cooperation together with the Navy and Army allowed the American trucking Association to army personnel as a new form of responsibility, resulting in many more conferences during the war.  Under the direction of Chairman E.J. Buhner, the ATA enjoyed a powerful conglomeration of state organizations, councils and the actual staff of the headquarters.

The 50s and Onward

The introduction of new technologies such as trucks being powered by gas, electricity and steam made the use of horses obsolete.  The ATA now had the additional responsibility of promoting more research for the entire trucking industry. During this time, the federal-aid Highway act was signed into law as new interstates were being built all over the country.  They were also able to move into six-story headquarters on P Street, while expanding their lobbying efforts a great deal.

Failures and Successes for the American Trucking Association

While the ATA initially failed to lobby for increases in truck size and weight limitations, they successfully won their struggle in 1974.  During this time, they were able to purchase additional properties on First Street that asserted their presence on Capitol Hill.  With a large task force in place, they thought to do regulate the entire trucking industry and were successful in 1980 with the passing of the Motor Carrier Act.

The ATA continues to fight for the rights of truckers with the development of new service hours rules to significantly reduce truck crashes, fighting for lower fees and taxes, developing the “Share the Road” program  to educate drivers on the importance of sharing the road with large trucks, as well as developing a strong sustainability program in order to reduce the carbon footprint over the next decades to come.

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