american trucking associations

The American Trucking Associations

What is the ATA and what you need to know about it

American Trucking Associations, ATA

American Trucking Associations

Founded in 1933, American Trucking Associations is the single largest nationwide trade organization overseeing the trucking and transportation industry. With chapters in all 50 states partnering with various transport-related conferences and boards, the ATA has become the authority and governing body for the entire industry.

ATA's stated objective and mission statement is to effectively advocate and communicate efforts that are designed to improve safety and profitability for our members through strict adherence to the association's strategic plan and vision. The ATA's has set the standard as the leader in transportation advocacy, and providing representation for only the safest, most responsible, and fiscally lucrative carriers.

Not only has the ATA set forth its goals, it has also instituted a five step plan to make sure that they are not only reached, but exceeded. These steps include:

  • The positioning of the trucking industry as one that acknowledges safety first
  • To see continued increase and improvement in efficiency and productivity
  • To successfully brand ATA as the authoritative voice of the trucking and transport industry
  • To provide solid leadership that both engages and educates the trucking industry and the general public
  • To maximize both financial and human resources to fulfill this mission

ATA also organizes members into a number of different policy committees, a Board of Directors, an Executive Committee, and a large number of conferences, councils, and other related groups designed to handle various issues and achieve shorter term goals on a state by state level.

ATA councils exist for the express purpose of aiding and assisting trucking professionals who are seeking to develop and maintain industry best practices, as well as providing technical advice and assistance to the various policy committees. Policy committees and advisory boards are comprised of elected members who are responsible for setting policies and priorities for carriers of all sizes and specialties, as well as charting the course for ATA when it comes to addressing those issues that can and often do affect these businesses.

ATA also remains active in the legislative arena, working to influence various directives on both the state and federal levels, and electing candidates for public office who understand issues relevant to the industry and supporting the trucking community.

ATA continues to provide outreach and information programs designed to positively enhance the public image of the trucking industry, along with providing litigation assistance to protect providers' interests through first rate legal counseling and advocacy.

With the passage of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, which effectively deregulated the trucking industry, the ATA has become the self-governing body in the US, providing accountability for transporters and carriers as well as peace of mind for customers and clients who may have problems, questions, or concerns.

ATA's policies are constructed around three basic core components:

Trucking as an essential part of the nation's economy
80% of US communities receive their freight and goods exclusively by truck, and freight tonnage is expected to increase on the order of 26% by 2021. ATA is an advocate of continuous improvement of highway infrastructure in order to ensure the most efficient movement and delivery of goods and services.

Ongoing efforts on the part of the industry to improve and refine highway safety
Focusing on improving driver performance, safer vehicles, and safer carriers, ATA is committed to preserving the trucking industry as one of the safest in the world. In 2008, an 18 pint safety agenda was implemented to improve highway safety, making recommendations such as uniform testing standards for drivers, maximum speed limits, electronic speed governing, and new crashworthiness standards.

The continued commitment to reduce emissions and carbon output
ATA has proposed six recommendations designed to reduce carbon emissions in the trucking industry: enforcing a national 65 mph speed limit, governing truck speeds to 65 mph or lower, decreasing idling, maximizing fuel efficiency, improving highways to eliminate congestion, more productive truck combinations, and new national fuel economy standards for all truck classifications.

The ATA also recognizes a Driver Of The Year, acknowledging and celebrating operators for excellent driving habits and customer service. Contestants start out winning at the company level and then move through the ranks to national recognition. This is the highest honor that a commercial driver can receive.

American Trucking Associations continues to work diligently in order to promote and represent the best that the transportation industry has to offer through the provision of accountability and self-improvement resources, as well as proper branding for safety and responsibility in what is often a misunderstood field.

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