GRAPEVINE, Texas — Shepard Dunn, president of Bestway Express Inc., in Vincennes, Ind., has been voted in as chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association at the group’s 76th annual convention here this week.
Close to 1,400 attendees are at the meeting that began March 22 and runs through March 26. The vote on Dunn, 56, was cast March 23 during the annual board of directors meeting. At that session, more than 50 board members addressed policy positions that ranged from insurance minimums for carriers to the crisis facing the nation’s Highway Trust Fund.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said early this year that the fund was projected to run out of money in August. However, a projection released this month is that the fund will be bankrupt by late July.
American Trucking Associations Chairman Philip Byrd Sr. appointed a task force this month to look at possible positions ATA and TCA might take on how to generate new highway revenue. The task force held its first meeting the first day of the TCA convention.
Dunn, who attended the task force meeting, said that ATA and TCA still believe that increasing the fuel tax and indexing it to inflation is the best short-term solution to the funding shortfall. However, they have crafted a list of 20 possible ways to produce revenue to support highways.
“If there’s no leadership on the federal level to address highway funding, then the states are left to figure it out on their own,” Dunn said, adding that such a situation could lead to chaos for carriers who could be forced to deal with taxing mechanisms that vary widely from state to state.