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10/15/2012 8:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Opinion: A New Future for Trucking

By Mike Card

Chairman

American Trucking Associations

This Opinion piece appears in the Oct. 15 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Each year, American Trucking Associations elects a new chairman of the board to lead the organization for a year, and this year, I have been blessed and humbled by this honor.

In many regards I have been training for this position almost my entire life. My dad, Richard Card, was a truck driver and an owner-operator. He taught me trucking from the ground up, washing and working on his truck during the short times he was at home. Then I got in on the ground floor and built up the company he started. He always taught me you have to give back as much as you get in this life. I have been fortunate to have been given a lot, and I think it is only right that I give back.

ATA was the first trucking association we joined after we started the company — Combined Transport Inc., Central Point, Ore. Dad was always involved with one association or another and was at one time the president of the West Coast Truckers Association. He testified at Capitol Hill during trucking deregulation. I definitely wanted to follow in his footsteps, and ATA was the place I wanted to do it. I participated in many committees and task forces and even got to be chairman of the Highway Policy Committee and the Insurance Task Force.

I have always loved ATA and the people involved with it, even when I disagreed with a policy or direction. ATA is a great place to have open and honest discussions and debates. The key thing is that, as truckers, we need to speak with one voice, with a united purpose, on the same team. I am proud to be part of one of the greatest, most challenging and exciting industries in America.

While I am extremely honored to be a member of our industry, I don’t always believe we garner the respect we deserve from the news media, the general public and our political leaders. The image of our drivers and our companies needs a makeover. There has been some tremendous work done by ATA in the past with America’s Road Team, the Share the Road program and the Image Truck — to name a few initiatives.

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