January 28, 2014 12:30 PM, EST
ATA Chairman Asks Dealers to Help Fleets
Byrd Urges ATD to Join Image Campaign

NEW ORLEANS — The chairman of American Trucking Associations pleaded with truck dealers to make adjustments to their operations to better assist fleets, and asked them to join the campaign to improve the industry’s image.

In an address Jan. 26 during the American Truck Dealers annual convention here, Philip Byrd Sr., president of Bulldog Hiway Express in Charleston, S.C., said fleets need better communication with dealers on warranty pricing and processing, greater parity in labor rates and additional use of electronic data.

Byrd said there is a need for dealers to help fleets “reduce the cost of vehicle downtime.”

He said ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council is studying several of these areas, and he encouraged dealers to become involved.

“If we can accomplish these things, we will be better positioned to move America’s freight,” Byrd said.

He added that an optimistic outlook for the economy means greater freight demand in the coming years.

“The nation’s aging fleet will need modernizing, and that will means selling more trucks on your part,” Byrd said.

He spent a significant portion of his speech encouraging dealers to get involved in “Trucking Moves America Forward,” the industry’s image campaign that was first promoted at the federation’s Management Conference & Exhibition in October. It will officially be launched in March at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Extended coverage of ATD’s convention will be in the Feb. 3 issue of Transport Topics.