Telling the story of a complete truck | Commercial carrier log

As the midterm elections approach, policymakers are rightly eager to communicate with voters about the challenges affecting the country. In this political context, it is important that the trucking industry seizes this opportunity to tell our story.

As President of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), I have been able to help voice this effort, as the industry makes tremendous strides towards a safer, more productive and more financially secure work environment. TCA, while working with other industry stakeholders, has achieved several key victories in this regard.

Fortunately, these are often done alongside our partners in government. Recently, TCA met with agency officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Highway Administration to secure funds to address the national truck parking shortage. While the mission to secure dedicated federal funds remains, the industry has been successful in get billions in state grants to help solve problems with truck parking and other infrastructure. Left unchecked, truck parking shortages will continue to wreak havoc on safety and efficiency across the industry. TCA members have stressed that this is a top priority and the association remains committed to leading this effort.

TCA was also thrilled that Robin Hutcheson was confirmed as head of the FMCSA, making her the agency’s first official leader since 2019. At the time of her appointment, the association expressed its strong support for her. Since then, we have established a collaborative relationship with the administrator and look forward to developing it further.

While sometimes our work with government goes hand in hand, other times the issues require industry to push the needle against our legislators and regulators. For example, TCA recently submitted regulatory comments to the FMCSA in support of the Trucking Alliance’s hair test request, while the agency is postponing action. Promoting the inclusion of hair testing in the FMCSA drug testing program was also a key issue championed by our members during their visits to Congress at our Call on Washington event in September.

One of the biggest victories in recent memory was the cancellation of Rhode Island’s toll system, which was found to discriminate against truckers by a federal court. TCA has been outspoken against the practice of tolls and has contributed $50,000 to the American Trucking Association’s litigation efforts. With this legal victory, the trucking industry has stopped these types of tolls from spreading to other states and across the country.

Unfortunately, not all issues have resulted in wins for trucking — but in those cases, TCA keeps fighting. We are deeply disappointed with the US Supreme Court’s decision to allow AB5 because it restricts the independent contractor business model, a foundation of our industry. TCA’s Government Affairs team is working to educate policy makers on the benefits of this model and the negative impact its dissolution would not only have on the industry, but also on the national economy. Additionally, a new proposition by the Ministry of Labor on classification, could bring this issue to the federal level. Due to these developments, TCA maintains this issue as an advocacy priority.

While all of these issues and more were discussed at our Call on Washington event, it’s important to emphasize that TCA works year-round to amplify the truck story and advocate for our members. With the half term approaching and the end of the year fast approaching, now seems like the perfect time to reflect on all the accomplishments so far, while charting a course for the work ahead.

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