Just say no

Proving the old saw that every vote counts, members of the Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA) voted by a slim margin (213-206) not to integrate with the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) during TCA's recent annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.However close it was, the vote also proved anticlimactic. That's because no follow-up vote or other action has been taken to determine the future course TCA will follow.Still

Proving the old saw that every vote counts, members of the Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA) voted by a slim margin (213-206) not to integrate with the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) during TCA's recent annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

However close it was, the vote also proved anticlimactic. That's because no follow-up vote or other action has been taken to determine the future course TCA will follow.

Still up in the air is whether TCA will formally break from ATA - declare its independence, as it were -or find someway to stay within the ATA orbit without kowtowing to its demand that all TCA members also be members of ATA and a state trucking association.

During a press conference held right after the vote, newly elected TCA chairman Bob Hansen, president of Gail Force, revealed little more than the willingness to seek a compromise.

"There's no way this industry can speak on every issue with a single voice," Hansen stated. "But ATA needs our financial support and we need their lobbying influence."

For many carriers, the big bone of contention about integrating with ATA has been the cost of ATA dues, which can range from $50 to $500,000, depending on carrier size. On the other hand, one reason given for the closeness of the vote is the simple fact that 45% of TCA members already belong to ATA.

Preliminary data from NHTSA shows that there were fewer crashes involving heavy trucks last year than the previous two years. In 1999, 394,000 trucks weighing more than 10,000 lb. were involved in traffic accidents in the U.S., down 4% from the 412,000 truck crashes reported in '98 and 11% from the 444,000 in '97. The number of fatalities last year dropped 3% from 1998 figures.

To reflect a broader business scope, CNF Transportation Inc. has changed its name to simply CNF Inc. CNF companies include Con-Way Transportation Services, Emery Worldwide, and Menlo Logistics.

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