Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front - The Power of Association Continues


From The President's Desk


The ‘power of association’ is a phrase we often use. The phrase is perfect in the way it describes how the Arkansas Trucking Association (ATA) has consistently performed well for its’ member companies. Simply put, the power of association is about leveraging the collective strengths of individual companies. Conversely, the power of association describes the benefits that accrue to individual companies from the collective knowledge of the whole.

There are many analogies to illustrate how that works, but it essentially boils down to having strength in the number of companies we represent, especially when the companies are among the best in business.

Consider the largest and most profitable freight transportation companies in the United States. For their entire management prowess and all they do well, the business and economic climate in which those large companies operate would be much different if associations didn’t represent their interests – and, so would their profitability.

Now, there are some executives who would doubt the truth of that statement. They consider themselves and their companies to be effective on their own. But consider one flat screen TV made in China. How many cost factors affect that TV from origin to destination? 

The loading and unloading requirements in international, national, state, and local protocol, clearances, labor laws, rules and regulations, national and state taxes, and fees, all of these factors affect a transportation company’s cost of doing business.

Individual companies can muster little effect on the structure, systems, costs, or compliance with any of those factors. If companies sit on the sideline, they simply respond to what is given them. If they are involved in associations, they can help shape the process and determine the outcomes as those factors are formulated.

Associations can also facilitate industry growth – either by eliminating barriers, saving money, or creating new opportunities for their industry. All companies, large and small, benefit.

The power of association also spreads knowledge and wisdom. Information shared on the common issues experienced by all companies makes the whole industry more efficient. Everyone wins – or at least everyone who participates in the process.

Not all companies participate, and unfortunately for them, their lack of success often shows it. It’s fairly simple. If you want to be a winner, hang around with winners. That’s why the executives for some of the largest and most successful companies hang with each other – at the ATA’s meetings, forums and councils.

So, with more than 25,000 readers of the Arkansas Trucking Report, we’d like to invite your company, whether in Arkansas or not, to experience the ‘power of association’ by joining the Arkansas Trucking Association in 2014.

As you know, freight doesn’t stop at the state line, and neither does the work of our association. Our reach starts in Little Rock and goes all the way into Washington, D.C., where many of the issues that affect your environment and our member companies are decided.

The Arkansas Trucking Association offered a wide variety of services to its member companies and executives. Plus, we were engaged in advocating specific legislative and regulatory achievements to improve the operating climate for our member companies. Here are some of the results of our work in 2013:

Company owners are finally assured that when they buy a new or used truck or semitrailer in Arkansas, they can do so tax-free, as the Arkansas General Assembly passed measures to make this important exemption permanent. This sales tax exemption will save trucking companies about $21 million per year at current sales volumes.

The State of Arkansas will find it more difficult to reclassify an owner operator who gets hurt on the job and files a claim that he was actually an employee of the trucking company.

An owner operator will now have the same opportunity as a company driver to obtain workers compensation insurance without jeopardizing his status as an independent contractor.

The Arkansas Highway Department and the trucking industry will jointly work to improve commercial vehicle safety enforcement, training, education, and promote ways to move freight on our highways more efficiently with the creation of a $2 million annual fund that will, for the first time, dedicate money for these purposes.

By 2016, all commercial trucks will be required to install electronic logging devices to track the number of hours a driver is behind the wheel thanks to the work of Arkansas’ congressional delegation in passing this legislation.

Trucking companies will have access to a national database in 2014 to identify any person who has previously tested positive on a DOT mandated drug and alcohol pre-employment exam, again, thanks to the work of Arkansas’ congressional delegation.

One hundred and thirty five (135) companies were represented by 322 attendees at the 2013 Arkansas Trucking Association Business Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Make plans to join your colleagues in May 21-23, 2014, at the Branson Hilton and Conference Center.)

The Arkansas Trucking Championship hosted 121 drivers and 83 technicians in the Arkansas Truck Driving Championship, the Arkansas Maintenance & Technology Championship and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspection Competition, organized by the Arkansas Highway Police competition.

The ATA Safety Management Council (SMC) consists of 77 companies and 166 executives who regularly meet on issues related to state and federal regulations, driver issues, and safety compliance. The SMC met eight times in 2013, on such topics as pre-employment screening program, highway bill, post-crash inspection, Level 1 Inspection demonstration, medical card requirements, hours of service, OSHA compliance.

The ATA Maintenance & Technology Council (MTC) is comprised of 72 companies with 188 representatives. The ATA MTC met 8 times in 2013 and covered topics such as: technician training sessions, natural gas technology, collision avoidance demonstrations, reduced stopping distance, and diesel particulate filter technology.

The ATA 40 Under 40 Council currently has 34 transportation executives representing 17 different corporate members. Members of this council must be nominated by their company and approved by the ATA Board of Directors. The Council met three times during 2013 and speakers included political consultant Bill Vickery, ATA president Lane Kidd, ABF Freight System president and CEO Roy Slagle, and U.S. Senator Mark Pryor Chief of Staff Andy York.

The ATA Self-Insurers Fund continues to provide affordable and reliable workers compensation insurance to member trucking companies, providing our carriers’ with insurance coverage for their drivers throughout the United States.

We invite you to visit to review even more services and benefits of our organization. Join your fellow trucking companies and private fleets in what we believe, is one of the most powerful trucking associations around!

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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