Freight Industry Applauds Hutcheson’s Confirmation at FMCSA

Chris Spear and Robin Hutcheson Spear and Hutcheson at the National Truck Driving Championships in August in Indianapolis. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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The recent Senate confirmation of Robin Hutcheson as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prompted praise from groups representing key aspects of the freight industry.

Soon after her confirmation on Sept. 22, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear congratulated Hutcheson. “In her time as acting administrator, Robin has been a true partner with our industry — working to confront a number of issues facing trucking,” Spear said.

“Whether it is addressing safety concerns, ongoing supply chain issues or workforce development,” he continued, “she has been open to engaging with our industry and we look forward to continuing our ongoing, candid dialogue about these challenges and to engaging with her and her agency to implement solutions that uphold safety and improve efficiency in trucking and across the supply chain.”



Truckload Carriers Association President Jim Ward shared a similar sentiment. “I am pleased to see this confirmation come to fruition,” Ward said. “In the short time that she has been there, the administrator has demonstrated a passion for safety improvement and a willingness to engage with the industry. We are looking forward to working with her on truckload-related safety measures in the future.”

“OOIDA has quickly developed a valued relationship with Ms. Hutcheson since her appointment as acting administrator in January,” said Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “Under her leadership, we are hopeful these discussions will result in solutions to long-standing problems within the industry such as parking, predatory leasing agreements, excessive detention time and inadequate compensation.”

“If the agency prioritizes issues like these in a cooperative manner with professional drivers,” Spencer added, “the trucking profession will become more appealing to all.”

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Ellen Voie, president of Women In Trucking, announced that Hutcheson is scheduled to deliver keynote remarks at the group’s conference in November. “We are so happy to see this confirmation, as we have been working with Robin Hutcheson to help her better understand the challenges our drivers face on the road,” Voie told Transport Topics. “She has been focused on representing our industry by learning as much as possible about our issues. We fully support Robin Hutcheson’s appointment as FMCSA administrator.”

Hutcheson was confirmed by the Senate by unanimous consent. As a nominee in June, she had won bipartisan approval from the Senate Commerce Committee. During a committee hearing prior to her confirmation, Hutcheson touted truck drivers’ contributions to the national economy. As she put it: “Now, more than ever, Americans are acutely tuned in to how our goods get to our homes — from the flour for the bread we eat, the clothes we wear, the bed we sleep in — we all have a better understanding that it probably came on a truck.”

Hutcheson served as the director of public works in Minneapolis where she oversaw a staff of 1,100. Before that, she was the transportation director at Salt Lake City, per background from the White House. She was formerly president of the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

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