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NATM Membership Renewals Tracks

NATM Membership Renewals By Kendra Fritz, NATM Assistant Director

Membership renewals will be hitting mailboxes soon and as the Association wraps up this year and begins anew in 2016, NATM is looking back at all that has been accomplished in 2015. What strikes staff most is that none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the continued support of the membership. Dues provide the foundation of the Association’s budget, allowing for programming and administrative work to continue. Combine dues with convention attendance, decal purchases, responding to surveys, communicating with the Board or staff about issues, and the Association has been able to forge a more collaborative relationship with NHTSA, increase Tracks circulation, have ST tires excluded from a tire tariff, and bring in convention speakers like General Motors' Shawn Ryan, among other things.

In NATM’s relatively short history, the Association has made incredible strides in improving trailer safety. It started with fi ve members who saw a need in the industry and determined that the way to fi ll that void was to join together. Since then, NATM has grown to nearly 800 members who have made this same commitment to safety and industry improvement. With the support of all of you, NATM committees, the Board, and staff have been able to achieve goals that would have been unimaginable in 1987.

In 2002, NATM was able to create a Compliance Verifi cation Program to ensure manufacturers have the knowledge and processes in place to build trailers in accordance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and industry best practices. In 2012, the members showed yet again their commitment to safety in voting unanimously to make participation in the program a mandatory component of membership. Through decal purchases that program has been completely funded and NATM consultants visit nearly 400 members in a two year period. In 2015, the program became an ISO 17020:2012 accredited program. ISO 17020:2012 accreditation lends great credibility to the program and to the members who have successfully completed the program, in addition to reducing liability for NATM and its members.

June of 2015 NATM saw the fruits of its labors – years of Capitol Hill visits and meetings with elected offi cials – begin to pay off when doubles towaway legislation allowing for tandem delivery of trailers was introduced as a single issue bill on both the House and Senate fl oors. Legislators have become increasingly aware of the detriment to the industry the current state by state, patchwork system causes. Though the bills will likely be included in a comprehensive transportation bill, Congress is confi dent such a bill will be passed by the end of this year and NATM is optimistic that the language allowing tandem delivery will be included.

But it is perhaps the soon to be released Early Warning Reporting (EWR) and Recall Guidance document NATM is creating with K&L Gates, that the Association is most excited to offer as a new benefi t of membership. With more than $45 million in fi nes levied against trailer manufacturers in the last year, NATM is working to ensure its members understand their obligations so that they can comply. The release of this document will include Tracks articles and a workshop at the 2016 Convention & Trade Show. NATM members are committed to doing what is required of them and it is NATM's hope to facilitate EWR and Recall compliance through this guidance document.

In the last year, NATM has run more Associate member company and product profi les than ever before, and at no charge. NATM is excited to add a speed networking opportunity to the convention to facilitate meetings for supplier members with the right people. The NATM website was overhauled this year in the hopes that member products and services would be more easily accessible and that the site itself would be more user friendly.

The continuation of a collaborative relationship with NHTSA is of prime importance as is fi nding new ways to connect with members such as regional events and webinars among others. But these things are only possible with your support. NATM looks forward to your continued membership. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns NATM staff and the board welcomes your feedback.

Cheers to the next year of success and growth!

November/December 2015


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