Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Find a Way to Win

DSCF7709 smallShannon Newton
President, ATA

I would love to use this column to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate all of you on a big win for the trucking industry, but maybe next time. This one's about perseverance, commitment and our willingness as an industry, as advocates, to call an audible and continue the work because there's plenty of it.

For the better part of three years, we have strongly supported the American Trucking Associations efforts to find a solution to the F4A issue of federal preemption.  State laws conflicting with federal laws have subjected interstate carriers to the impossible task of attempting to comply with multiple sets of overlapping rules and made the industry a target for greedy trial lawyers looking to catch carriers out of compliance with the duplicative requirements.

Over this time period, legislative strategies have been created, executed, scrapped and re-drawn numerous times.  Members of Congress have come and gone.  We’ve hoped for relief from the nation’s highest court.  But each time we were close to delivering a victory, language was stripped, votes were whipped, the petition for hearing by the Supreme Court was denied, and we came up short.

The individuals advocating for our industry on Capitol Hill worked tirelessly on this issue.  The effort has been exhaustive, and sometimes, exhausting. And frustrating, to say the least.

But just because the legislative effort failed does not mean we lose.  We are resourceful.  We are resilient.  We refuse to quit or give in. The best coaches plan ahead and practice for all contingencies, including the ones they consider unlikely or unpleasant. 

Only days after the compromise FAA bill excluding our language was passed, the American Trucking Associations filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation to preempt states from enforcing regulations that were not congruent with federal rules. The DOT is now seeking public comments on that petition.

We hear routinely from our members how these state-specific rules encumber interstate commerce. We relay those examples in our meetings with policymakers.  But DOT needs to hear them directly from you.  Please consider filing comments detailing the challenges of navigating competing rules while trying to maintain safety and efficiency on our nation’s highways. The comment period is open through the end of October.

Whatever the issue may be – F4A, tort reform, infrastructure funding – we don’t stop if the first, second, or tenth attempt doesn’t deliver. We go back to work, continuing to educate, advocate, comment, contact and vote.  Most importantly, we continue our efforts to find a way to win.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
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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