News Release from ATA:
Members of the American Trucking Associations, along with a contingent of America's Road Team Captains - ATA's group of elite professional drivers - visited the White House for a conversation about issues affecting the trucking industry, including health care.
"Trucking is the backbone of the nation's economy. We employ 1 in 16 people in the U.S. Driving a truck is the top job in 29 states. Trucking moves 70% of the nation's freight and 56% of GDP. To grow our economy, we need to take care of the people that move America forward, said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "The Affordable Care Act is just plain unaffordable. Replacing this law will help trucking employees, their families and our customers by lowering insurance costs, decrease mandates, liabilities and administrative burdens, and provide access to quality care and patient choice."
"The 7.3 million people who work in the trucking industry - of which 3.5 million are professional truck drivers - have a common thread - to be safe and dependable and that requires a healthy professional behind the wheel," ATA Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Inc., said. "One thing for certain the professional men and women drivers in America are proud of hauling America's freight. We are here to tell you Mr. President, that the trucking industry will support you as you work towards solving America's health care challenges. In addition, we look forward to working with you on improving our workplace, which is our highways."
"Truck drivers are in all 50 states - every single day. As a driver, we feel the weight of the numerous regulations placed on us, as well as our companies - and those that we serve," said America's Road Team Captain Don Logan, a professional truck driver with FedEx Freight, from Eskridge, Kan. "We proudly stand with you in your effort to improve the current healthcare law making it easier for us to make a living and serve America."
Burch and Logan were joined by a number of trucking executives: Jim Burg, president and CEO, James Burg Trucking Co., Warren, Mich.; David Congdon, CEO, Old Dominion Freight Line, Thomasville, N.C.; Mike Ducker, president and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, Tenn.; Eric Fuller, CEO, U.S. Xpress Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn.; Neal Kedzie, president, Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, Madison, Wisc.; Rich McArdle, president, UPS Freight, Richmond, Va.; Dennis Nash, CEO, Kenan Advantage Group, North Canton, Ohio; Tonn Ostergard, president and CEO, Crete Carrier Corp., Lincoln, Neb., and John Smith, chairman, CRST International Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
In addition, ATA was privileged to bring its Image Truck - Interstate One - and a trailer provided by Jet Express featuring Trucking Moves America Forward imaging, hauled by ATA's Share the Road Truck. These trucks are being driven and escorted by 12 professional drivers with a combined 319 years of driving experience and 29.4 million accident-free miles: Steve Fields, Independence, Mo., (YRC Freight); Ralph Garcia, Albuquerque, N.M., (ABF Freight System); David Green, Hot Springs, Ark., (Werner Enterprises); Rhonda Hartman, Des Moines, Iowa, (Old Dominion Freight Line); John Lex, Monroe, Ga., (Walmart Transportation); David Livingston, Springfield, Ga., (TCW Inc.); Don Logan, Eskridge, Kan., (FedEx Freight); Charlton Paul Jr., Chester, N.Y., (UPS Freight); Russell Simpson, South Vienna, Ohio, (Holland Inc.); Todd Stine, Altoona, Pa., (Carbon Express); Barney Earl Taylor, Orlando, Fla., (Penske) and Derrick Whittle, Fieldale, Va., (Cargo Transporters Inc.).