ATA unveils program for small motor carriers

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The American Trucking Associations today, Aug. 7, announced a new membership benefit aimed at generating greater purchasing power for small motor carriers. Known as the ATA Small Carrier Program, motor carrier operators earning $11 million or less in annual revenue and private fleets with 100 or fewer trucks can experience a measure of parity with their larger industry counterparts by taking advantage of discounts and monthly rebates for services and products like fuel, tires and equipment.

“ATA has long supported the small carrier community, which faces many daily situations that make the business of trucking a challenge,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “Now, ATA is reaffirming its commitment to aggressively advance the interests of small motor carriers by maximizing opportunities for the small trucking companies that comprise the bulk of our national fleet.”

Under the Small Carrier Program, participants receive rebates of up to 3 cents per gallon for fuel purchased at more than 500 truck stops; for a fleet of 10 trucks, these savings equate to $5,400 per year, according to ATA. Small carriers who join ATA under the new program also will be able to receive rebates of up to $1,000 on new and used trucks; additional discounts are offered on tires, parts, mobile communications, technology, insurance, legal services, office supplies and lodging, among other things.

Motor carriers generating less than $30 million in annual revenue represent the overwhelming majority of the nation’s trucking fleet. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that of the more than 560,000 motor carriers on file, 96 percent operate 20 or fewer trucks, and 87 percent operate six or fewer trucks. Smaller trucking companies, however, are more vulnerable to escalating operating costs, including increases in fuel prices, supplies and insurance premiums, as well as the ongoing driver shortage, government regulations and tolls.