Groups representing various sectors of the trucking industry plan to kick off a broad publicity and education campaign at this week's Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., to enhance trucking's image among policy makers, motorists and the public.
The effort is designed to create understanding of the industry's importance to the economy and build political and grassroots support for measures to support its growth. One of the goals is to explain how the industry has become safer and cleaner through investment in new technologies.
A preview of the industry's mission was previously highlighted in November
in AS Daily
The American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association, National Tank Truck Carriers, truck stop operators, truck manufacturers and others are collaborating on the image makeover and have created a website, www.TruckingMovesAmerica.com
Officials say the image campaign is aimed to strengthen the industry's case to rollback or block new safety and other regulations that hurt the bottom line without achieving their intended effect. One of the biggest complaints voiced by truckers involves new hours-of-service rules that significantly reduce available driving time each week, which they say hurts productivity.
Motor carriers would also like to see more federal investment in upgrading highway infrastructure. The subject is currently being debated in Congress in advance of crafting legislation to reauthorize federal transportation programs.
Some sectors of the trucking industry continue to push for raising the size-and-weight limits on over-the-road trucks, saying longer combination vehicles or heavier trucks with an extra axle are extremely safe and would make the industry more efficient.
Painting big rigs in a more positive light could also have positive benefits in the courtroom in civil accident cases involving trucks, officials say.