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October 22, 2013 6:30 PM, EDT

ATA Opens NTDC to State Association Members

ORLANDO, Fla — American Trucking Associations is opening participation in its National Truck Driving Championships to members of affiliated state trucking associations who may not be ATA members, officials announced.

Michael Card, outgoing ATA chairman and president of Combined Transport Inc., said at an Oct. 22 news conference during the group’s Management Conference & Exhibition that ATA’s board of directors voted on the change earlier that day.

“We had this ATA National Truck Driving Championships,” Card said. “With this change … it’s going to be really the National Truck Driving Championships.”

Under the former rules, NTDC would feature winners of state truck driving championships who drove for ATA member companies. Nonmembers were allowed to send drivers to NTDC only once, and ATA did not announce the carriers for whom the drivers worked.

“It was just uncomfortable and wrong,” Card said.

Philip Byrd Sr., ATA’s new chairman and the president of Bulldog Hiway Express, said the change is “good for our industry and our association and for the Truck Driving Championships.”