Strength In Numbers

Trucking associations can be valuable sources of support and information for owner-operators who want to be more politically involved or who need help with specific problems.

“We tell our members what the issue is, what the politics are and what their letter should say,” says Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. OOIDA represents members by filing lawsuits, lobbying for legislation and participating in meetings and forums.

While OOIDA is the primary owner-operator trade association, there are also trucking associations in every state, which are members of American Trucking Associations, the nation’s largest trucking trade group. The state associations’ main interests are those of fleets. Still, these groups are open to owner-operator membership, and owner-operators with their own authority might find benefits from being associated with much larger carriers who share some of the same concerns.

“Whether it’s a state trucking association or an association for owner-operators, it is important that drivers or owner-operators are involved in the process,” says Tom Whitaker, executive director of the Kansas Motor Carriers Association. “It’s like the old adage that there is strength in numbers, and one voice speaking for a lot of people in an industry can have a big impact.”

Membership rates vary from state to state, but they are often a fraction of what major carriers pay to join. In Texas, for example, owner-operators pay $65 per year if they are contracted to a Texas Motor Transportation Association Member and $95 annually if not. The Montana Motor Carriers Association charges owner-operators with one truck $170 a year; South Carolina charges $75.

Whitaker says his organization sends information bulletins to its 1,400 members, telling them about pending legislation and calling on them to act when necessary.

“In order for our message to have the strength that it needs, that legislator or that official needs to hear from the people who vote for them,” he says.

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Derek Brown, communications director of the 650-member Alabama Trucking Association, believes members who contacted their representatives had a strong impact this year. Every piece of legislation wanted by the association passed; everything it opposed was defeated.

Many of the 1,500 different pieces of legislation that are proposed to the Kansas Legislature each year would affect truck drivers, owners and companies in some way, Whitaker says. “If you’re not involved, and you don’t stay informed, it can cost you not to know,” he says.

Trucking associations also help to strengthen the voice of truckers through political action committees. The PACs raise money from members, then make donations to elected officials and those running for office.

“We let lawmakers know that we want to help and that we have lots of substance and lots of votes,” Spencer says of OOIDA’s PAC.

Owner-operators who join state associations may also be eligible for group discount programs, including insurance, tires and telephone service.


Alabama Trucking Association
(334) 834-3983

Alaska Trucking Association
(907) 276-1149

Arizona Motor Transport Association
(602) 252-7559

Arkansas Trucking Association
(501) 372-3462

California Trucking Association
(916) 373-3500

Colorado Motor Carriers Association
(303) 433-3375

Motor Transport Association of Connecticut
(860) 520-4455

Delaware Motor Transport Association
(302) 698-1266

Florida Trucking Association
(850) 222-9900

Georgia Motor Trucking Association
(404) 876-4313

Hawaii Transportation Association
(808) 833-6628

Idaho Motor Transport Association
(208) 342-3521

Illinois Transportation Association
(708) 452-3500

Indiana Motor Truck Association
(317) 630-4682

Iowa Motor Truck Association
(515) 244-5193

Kansas Trucking Association
(785) 267-1641

Kentucky Motor Transport Association
(502) 695-4055

Louisiana Motor Transport Association
(225) 928-5682

Maine Motor Transport Association
(207) 623-4128

Maryland Motor Truck Association
(410) 644-4600

Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association
(781) 270-6880

Michigan Trucking Association
(517) 321-1951

Minnesota Trucking Association
(651) 646-7351

Mississippi Trucking Association
(601) 354-0616

Missouri Motor Carriers Association
(573) 634-3388

Montana Motor Carriers Association
(406) 442-6600

Nebraska Trucking Association
(402) 476-8504

Nevada Motor Transport Association
(775) 673-6111

New Hampshire Motor Transport Association
(603) 224-7337

New Jersey Motor Truck Association
(732) 254-5000

New Mexico Trucking Association
(505) 884-5575

New York State Motor Truck Association
(518) 458-9696

North Carolina Trucking Association
(919) 834-0387

North Dakota Motor Carriers Association
(701) 223-2700

Ohio Trucking Association
(614) 221-5375 or (888) 382-1574

Oklahoma Trucking Association
(405) 843-9488

Oregon Trucking Associations
(503) 513-0005 or (888) 293-0005

Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association
(717) 761-7122

Rhode Island Trucking Association
(401) 729-5210

South Carolina Trucking Association
(803) 799-4306

South Dakota Trucking Association
(605) 334-8871

Tennessee Trucking Association
(615) 777-2882

Texas Motor Transportation Association
(800) 727-7135

Utah Motor Transport Association
(801) 973-9370

Vermont Truck & Bus Association
(802) 479-1778

Virginia Trucking Association
(804) 355-5371

Washington Trucking Association
(253) 838-1650

West Virginia Motor Truck Association
(304) 345-2800

Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association
(608) 833-8200

Wyoming Trucking Association
(307) 234-1579