Fuel costs, economy top trucking’s list of industry concerns

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The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, on Monday, Oct. 6, unveiled its list of the top 10 critical issues facing U.S. truckers. The cost of fuel and the nation’s economy top the list in ATRI’s survey of more than 5,000 trucking industry executives.

The complete results were released in New Orleans at the 2008 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations, the nation’s largest gathering of motor carrier executives. ATRI also solicited and tabulated strategies for addressing each issue.

Aside from fuel costs and the economy, other top 10 issues include driver shortage and retention, government regulation, hours of service, congestion, tolls and highway funding, among others.

The ATA-commissioned survey results and proposed strategies will be utilized by ATA to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the U.S. trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders.

“The annual ATRI survey proves invaluable in helping us chart a course of action for the future, and as ATA chairman, I will work to see that the industry-identified strategies are implemented,” says incoming ATA Chairman Charles “Shorty” Whittington of Grammer Industries, based in Grammer, Ind.

“On every legislative and regulatory topic, issues come and go so quickly today,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “If we’re not at the table with sound science-based information and a common-sense plan of action, then we’re going to get left behind, and saddled with solutions that have no bearing on moving America’s freight safely and efficiently.”