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“Nobody knew the Alliance, but con- gressmen certainly knew the names of the companies in the Alliance and the number of people they employed in their districts.” And those relationships resulted

in U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) introducing the two bills in the Senate; Congressmen Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) and Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) did the same in the House of Representatives. There were many detractors, mostly

from within the trucking industry. One senior trucking lobbyist remarked that the Trucking Alliance wouldn’t get its EOBR legislation heard in committee, much less put up for a vote. And since the proposals were already in the regu- latory channels at the U.S. Department of Transportation, others wondered why Congress would even bother to consider them. But as Chris Lofgren would later

remark, “We didn’t know we couldn’t be successful.” The Trucking Alliance launched

a strategic approach, reaching out to those congressmen who had employees of the five trucking companies living in their districts. The strategy proved effective. Sen. Pryor, joined by the late U.S.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), was able to vote both bills out of the Senate Commerce Committee and later, passed both measures through the U.S. Senate. Soon after, the American Trucking

Associations voted to join the effort. When Congress passed a long-

awaited transportation bill in 2012, the drug and alcohol clearinghouse and the electronic logging mandate were in the bill. In fact, other than a couple of studies, the two measures were the only trucking-specific laws passed in the leg- islation. Sen. Pryor and others gave the

Trucking Alliance much of the credit for spearheading the effort to pass the legislation. Those efforts gave the Trucking Alliance newfound credibility on Capitol Hill that continues today.

While it does not actively recruit

new members, today the Trucking Alliance has 17 affiliated corporations and two new board members. Heartland Express recently accepted an invitation to join and Mike Gerdin, chairman and CEO, will soon become a member of the Alliance board of directors. And Gary Salisbury, president of Fikes Truck Line, former Truckload Carriers Association chairman and current chairman of the Arkansas Trucking Association, now sits on the board replacing the late Pat Quinn. While meeting at the historic

Capital Hotel in downtown Little Rock, Ark., the Alliance directors took a break to discuss their views on industry prof- itability, the EOBR mandate and the future of the Alliance. Facilitated by Lane Kidd, the dis-

cussion included Craig Harper, Kevin Knight, Steve Williams, Chris Lofgren and Gary Salisbury.

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