Last week on October 5th- 8th the American Trucking Association (ATA) held its 86th annual Management Conference & Exhibition. Over 2,700 leaders in the trucking industry convened at the San Diego Convention Center to discuss key issues impacting their industry. Some of major topics of discussion along with the ATA’s plan of action are listed below.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hour of service regulations for truck drivers: ATA President Chris Spear believes there should be increased flexibility with those rules; furthermore, stating “What we submit will be laced with a lot of justification” when speaking of a proposal they are crafting.
- International Trade: They are adamant to push congress to pass the USMCA which would ramp up trucking activities
- Tort Reform: Newly appointed ATA Chairman Randy Guillot agrees with Spear that this would be a top priority moving forward. There are too many instances of lawyers targeting trucking companies and securing handsome jury awards, even in cases where the truck driver was not at fault in the crash.
- Drug Policy: Because recreational marijuana has become legal in many states, the ATA endorsed a new set of policies aimed at preventing impaired driving. The ATA will support employers’ rights to test for marijuana and want to look deeper into testing methods and impairment standards.
- Cybersecurity: Transportation companies are now a top target for ransomware attacks.
- ELD Mandate: Companies who have not updated their ELDs have until December 16th to do so. Carriers using grandfathered e-logs, or automatic onboard recording devices must adhere to this deadline.
Some other issues that were discussed as stated by Seth Clevenger at Transport Topics include highway infrastructure, artificial intelligence, automation and augmented reality in the industry. Overall this year’s conference featured 175 exhibitors from many different facets of the transportation industry.