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As we start to see President Trump’s infrastructure plan unfold, what is in store for this Nation’s roads and bridges? Issue 1, 2017

Knowledge is Power Not All Trucking Companies Are Alike Trucking is all we do. When you choose Great West to insure your trucking business, you are getting over 60 years of experience in the trucking industry.


Our agents work with you. Not every insurance agent can represent Great West. With a keen focus on the trucking industry, our agents are knowledgeable, dependable, and responsive. They understand your needs and work with you to match the right coverage and level of service for your trucking operation. Do one thing, and do it right. Our agents can guide you through the process and customize a plan to provide you the broadest protection possible. You can also feel confident knowing that our agents’ service begins, not ends, with the issuance of your policy. GREAT WEST CASUALTY COMPANY – No matter where the road takes you, you will discover that at Great West, The Difference is Service®.


Issue 1, 2017



As the biggest consumers of roads and bridges, now is the time to secure our seat at the table to ensure the industry has a strong, unified voice in this ongoing conversation.

NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK As a sign of our commitment to you, our members, Lifeliner has been given a fresh, modern look that puts valuable content front and center.

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Listening In Chairman's Message President's Message Up Close & Personal Ask The Members Members in the News IMTA Update ATRI Update IMTA Events

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Iowa's Business Environment Economy Update Maintenance Technology Next Generation Speaks Membership Update Freight Advisory Council Update Final Thought


DEANN MOODY Executive Assistant Building Manager

JORDAN BJERKE Membership Manager

DON EGLI, CDS Director of Safety & Security

EMILY LARKIN Administrative & Communications Assistant

JANELLE STEVENS Director of Communications, Education & Events

SATURDAY MFG. Design & Cover Illustration

IOWA MOTOR TRUCK ASSOCIATION 717 East Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309 515.244.5193 |



Great West Casualty Central Trailer Service MHC Kenworth Quality Services Corp IMTA Cornerstone Sponsors

p18 Harrison Truck Centers p19  Thermo King Sales and Services


Northland Insurance


Thompson Truck and Trailer

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Renewable Energy Group

Taylor & Martin

JJ Keller DKI

Housby Mack

p37 IBC BC

HELP Inc. Truck Country Midwest Wheel Companies

ISSUE 1, 2017


“We’re all working off the same piece of paper, the same plan. We are in sync – the House, the Senate and the Trump administration, because this law is collapsing.”

“I had a contentious relationship with him and I think whoever the president is, is going to find out that Putin will push and push and push until someone stands up to him.”

SPEAKER PAUL RYAN on the Republican effort to come up with an alternative to Obamacare

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH on his first ever appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show

LISTENING IN “I want to say thank you to President Trump. I mean remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? It has been an amazing year for movies. Black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz. That’s what you call progress.”

“The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts … and the confidence to turn those hopes and those dreams into action. From now on America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears. Inspired by the future, not bound by failures of the past, and guided by a vision, not blinded by our doubts. I am asking all citizens to embrace this renewal of the American spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big and bold ... I’m asking everyone watching … to seize this moment, believe in yourselves, believe in your future, and believe once more in America.” PRESIDENT TRUMP during his first address to Congress

“Iowa is a shining example of what hard work and smart, tough choices can do for growing businesses and nurturing families.” GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD in the Condition of the State address, urging lawmakers to stay diligent in their efforts to keep the state budget in check

JIMMY KIMMEL as MC at the 2017 Oscars

"What do the Russians have on Donald Trump that he would do that?" HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI on her continued puzzlement toward what she says is Trump’s “soft” stance on Russia

“I look for this President to unleash the private sector. I don’t look for mandates, I look for innovation.” ATA PRESIDENT CHRIS SPEAR at his address to the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual meeting in Nashville

“The goal of the workers’ compensation system is to take care of Iowa’s injured workers and get them healthy and back to work. However, as Iowa’s system has deteriorated over the last decade, that hasn’t been happening. Instead, I receive almost weekly calls from members of all sizes that are experiencing significant increases to their premiums and fewer injured employees coming back to work. The system is broken and now is the time to fix it.” IMTA PRESIDENT BRENDA NEVILLE making comments in favor of workers’ compensation reform to the House Commerce subcommittee

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE Since 1942, Iowa’s trucking industry has had a voice at the State Capitol. In fact, the whole reason that IMTA was formed was because truckers from around the state wanted to be represented at the Capitol. Since day one, this has been the same priority to IMTA as it is yet today. I believe this is one of the most important benefits of my membership to the association. If you are like me, I have a long list of priorities that I need to deal with daily and they are all related to ensuring that Decker Truck Line is operating at the safest manner possible while still maintaining a positive bottom line. While I recognize that there are many legislative proposals and priorities that are important to my business, I have chosen to rely on the Iowa Motor Truck Association to handle that end of my business and I have complete faith that the job is getting done. Every day, IMTA has a presence at the State Capitol. Through the efforts of the staff as well as our lobbyist Dave Scott, our elected officials know who we are and what we need from them. IMTA maintains a positive working relationship with legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle as well as committee chairs, other lobbyists, and legislative staffers. All of these people play an important role in the process and we are in front of all of them before, during and after the session. While the legislators are only in Des Moines for three or four months, our advocacy efforts are implemented year-round. Throughout the year, we are in constant contact with legislators and most of what we do in these ongoing communication efforts is inform and educate them on our industry. This is an important and essential part of our advocacy efforts and this is where you come into play. Do you know who your legislators are? What are you doing to maintain a positive working relationship with them? While the association takes the lead on our advocacy efforts, every member has a responsibility to complement and strengthen the relationship with lawmakers and this is easy to do. The first step is to stay informed. Stay up to date with IMTA’s legislative activities by reading the weekly legislative report during the session and familiarizing yourself with our legislative priorities through the InfoFlash, this magazine and our website. Another important step is communicating with the association staff. If you have a particular opinion on

a legislative issue, share your insight with the IMTA staff. The staff is always interested in your position on issues because it helps them do the job of effectively representing the industry in front of lawmakers. The association is always sending out surveys on various topics of interest, so take a few minutes to respond. This data is important as we develop our legislative positions and your voice is heard through this process. Once you have become more engaged in the process, you will obtain a higher level of comfort in talking about our legislative priorities and then you need to reach out to your specific legislator. A phone call or an email from a voting constituent in their district will always get a response from a legislator. While IMTA is always represented at the Capitol, legislators are still much more interested in hearing directly from someone in their district. You represent a vote and that is a powerful incentive to an elected official, so take advantage of that by establishing a relationship with your legislators. I know that for some, this seems like a daunting and intimidating prospect. But IMTA staff is more than willing to help with this process and will be with you every step of the way. They will be happy to set up the first meeting and even be there, if you prefer, when you give a tour of your company or meet with a legislator. I promise you DON DECKER it is an easy thing to do and 2017 IMTA Chairman of the Board once you establish a positive working relationship with a legislator, it is a very positive addition to our ongoing legislative efforts. With trucking companies in virtually every county in the State, the trucking industry has a strong presence in Iowa and through ongoing grassroots efforts, our voice grows in effectiveness and influence. I urge you to be a part of that voice. I urge you to be engaged and informed about our issues and most importantly, I urge you to be involved and active in our efforts. There are many ways that you can contribute to our advocacy efforts and I promise you will get a great return on your investment.

ISSUE 1, 2017


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE Thank you for your support over the last several weeks as we have been working on various legislative priorities. We recently put out a request for the members to get involved, and the response always exceeds our expectations. We asked for folks to sign on to a letter urging legislative leaders to support the workers’ compensation reform legislation and we had over 75 members respond almost immediately. Of the over 250 names representing Iowa’s business community that appeared on that letter, Iowa’s trucking industry had the biggest representation. On two different occasions just in the last several weeks, we asked members to contact legislators and the numbers were mind blowing. In fact, so many emails and calls were made to Iowa legislators that in a few cases, our involvement was pivotal in moving a legislator from a “maybe” to a “yes”…. that is grassroots at its finest. As one legislator remarked, “I had no idea that I had so many truckers in my district. Their input was remarkable.” Of course the input was remarkable, because we represent an industry that is remarkable. Because of your involvement and support as a member, IMTA is an effective and respected association. The membership is committed, engaged and extraordinary on so many levels. As I have said throughout my entire career at IMTA, working for you and with you is a great honor. The men and women in Iowa’s trucking industry represent the drive, fortitude and commitment that must prevail to be successful in an industry as challenging as trucking. Every day I get the distinct honor to tell your story and represent your hard work. I carry that message to legislators, regulators, media, professional colleagues and virtually anyone that will listen to it. That story is what enables IMTA to have success in moving our legislative priorities forward as well as other

important priorities that strengthen us as an industry and an association. You represent the Midwest values that set us apart from the rest. Here in the heartland, we have an innate desire to work hard, take risks and provide leadership while relying heavily on our honesty, integrity and unwavering commitment to professionalism and excellence. You know the tremendous responsibility that is required to move this nation daily and you embrace that challenge every single day. Because of the outstanding job that you do, far too often, the services we provide are taken for granted. IMTA works very hard to ensure that trucking is not taken for granted. We are constantly reminding folks that the quality of their daily life is all because of the trucking industry. It is always very gratifying for me to make that statement and see the “light bulb” go off….suddenly I see someone nodding and agreeing that they just had an epiphany and I hope that they will forever look at the industry differently. That is our mission and our commitment to you as a member. Every day, IMTA members exceed our expectations by their involvement, their support, their trust, and most importantly by the unwavering commitment that is demonstrated daily by the members. I hope that we, as your professional staff, exceed your expectations as well. That is our goal and every day we are here working on your behalf and doing whatever we can to advance the priorities of IMTA and your priorities as a business owner. As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, I hope that you will join us in celebrating a rich and powerful history of member involvement and support. A history that will no doubt enable this association to excel, achieve and exceed expectations for another 75 years! Thank you for being an extraordinary member.



ISSUE 1, 2017



CHRIS SPEAR American Trucking Associations President & CEO


What motivates you to come to work every day at ATA?

Knowing that I get to serve a tremendous industry, filled with some of the most hard-working, patriotic people in the country motivates me every day. Trucking plays an essential and critical role in every community across America, and I’m motivated to play a small part in that.


 hat are the three biggest challenges W that ATA faces as an organization at the current time?

First, we need to do a better job telling our story. It’s a good story, and one we tell a lot, but too often we’re only telling it to ourselves. We need to be out there, talking to lawmakers – at all levels of government – about the importance of trucking to their constituents. Second, we need to remain united as a Federation and as an industry. We need to, as best we can, speak with one, strong, unified voice. Our industry is diverse, and we have a diversity of opinions on issues, but making sure that we reach consensus and then advocate for that consensus is how we will secure wins for the trucking industry, and that’s my primary goal. Finally, we need to prepare for the future and look to embrace technology. With quickly developing autonomous vehicle technology and driver CHRIS SPEAR assistance technology, we need ATA President & CEO to be at the table – and we are – working with manufacturers, carriers, regulators and lawmakers to make sure we are driving an outcome that maximizes the potential benefits for our industry.

ow do you believe the trucking 3 Hindustry will fare under the Trump Administration?

The trucking industry is not a partisan one, and ATA is not a partisan organization. We have champions and supporters on both sides of the aisle and in every state and congressional district. That said, President Trump has talked about making long-term investments in infrastructure – which could be good for trucking, and we believe we may see a more inclusive and responsive regulatory environment than



we have had for the past eight years, which would also be good for our industry. Given how important international trade is to trucking, we have been concerned by the rhetoric – on both sides of the aisle – about unwinding a variety of trade deals, including NAFTA, so we will be carefully watching to make sure this rhetoric doesn’t ultimately become policy that could hurt the trucking industry.


 s a seasoned veteran in the political A scene in Washington, what is your interpretation of “special interests” and their impact on the political process? There is a special interest for everything so why all the “negative” pushback on the efforts of special interests…isn’t that what makes America great?

I’ll say unapologetically that I’m an advocate of trucking. My job is to represent, to the best of my ability and my team’s ability, the interests of this great industry. Over the years, lobbying has gotten a bad name in the press and in popular culture and I don’t think that’s entirely fair. It is important for all industries – and all viewpoints – to have representation and to make their case to policymakers: that’s how good policy gets made, but getting input from all sides and – more often than not – lobbyists play an important role in that.

a small carrier in Iowa, what would 5 Abes the biggest benefit for me to join

ATA? I feel as though I am more than covered through my membership with IMTA, which I am sure you hear a lot with 50 trucking associations, so tell me from your perspective why I should support ATA?

Shortly after signing the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin was supposed to have said: “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” Hanging together, having unity as an industry, is important to helping create an environment for success. By joining with ATA, you can help create that unity and shape the policies and laws that affect your business. You also get access to all the information and services that ATA’s policy, regulatory, and communications staff provides.


 hat does ATA have in its arsenal/ W toolbox that truly makes it an effective organization and voice for the nation’s trucking industry?

(FROM LEFT): Chris Spear, John Lynch, and Elisabeth Barna, all with ATA, attended the November IMTA Board of Director's meeting. Also pictured: Brenda Neville and Don Decker.

We have a tremendous story to tell – and that story and the people who tell it are our secret weapon. ATA has members in every state, we have supporters in every city, town and congressional district around the country. Being able to effectively tell that story with so many voices makes us very effective in advocating on behalf of this industry. In addition to the experience we have in Washington, so many of our staff have long and distinguished careers either inside or outside ATA that they have personal relationships with the people who are key to advancing our pro-trucking, pro-safety, pro-efficiency agenda.


Who were your mentors and how did they prepare you for your current position at ATA?

I am appreciative that I have had several mentors throughout my career. To mention two individuals in particular, I worked for and learned much from Elaine Chao, our current Secretary of Transportation, when she was the U.S. Secretary of Labor and I served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy. And Senator Alan Simpson helped launch my career, as well as taking a chance on me by bringing my wife and I to Washington. Senator Simpson’s actions and guidance truly helped shape my career.


Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words. I believe I can be described as dedicated, passionate and hard working.

9 Describe your “perfect” day away from ATA.

 arking near the beach and spending a day at the shore is P something my family loves to do.


If you could have a conversation with someone either dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would want to meet Winston Churchill, who had the ability to inspire and lead at the most difficult time, when the entire free world needed him.


 hat are your guiding principles as the CEO W of ATA and how do you rely upon those not only while leading members but also your own staff?

I play to win, and our members deserve a staff that feels the same, and is tirelessly advocating on their behalf.


 ow do you stay on the “pulse” of the H industry and get a good understanding and appreciation of what the “real people” in trucking are going through on a daily basis?

Interacting with our members daily keeps me very well informed of our members’ needs. I’ve visited 25 states in my first six months on the job, and I plan to continue to visit members across the country to keep my finger on the “pulse.”

13 What is your favorite truck? Twin 53’s.


 bove all else, what do you want people to A think/feel once you have met them for the first time?

I want them to know that I’m truthful, passionate, and that I mean what I say. I have a colleague who always used to say, “What you think, what you say, and what you do are all the same thing.” I believe in that mantra wholeheartedly.

Chris Spear is president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, the nation’s leading organization representing the interests of the trucking industry. As president and CEO, Chris leads ATA’s efforts to advocate and educate on behalf of the trucking industry. Chris came to ATA from Hyundai Motor Co., where he served as vice president of government affairs. Previously, Chris was ATA senior vice president of legislative affairs and worked for Honeywell Process Solutions.

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Harrison Truck Centers

MHC Kenworth

Des Moines Truck Brokers, Inc.


Midwest Wheel Companies

Interstate PowerSystems

Thompson Truck & Trailer, Inc.

McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.

Truck Country

O’Halloran International, Inc. Quality Services Corporation




Cornhusker International Trucks

Allied Oil & Tire Company

Reynolds & Reynolds, Inc.

Gatr Truck Center

Bauer Built Tire


BMO Transportation Finance

Bridgestone Commercial Solutions

Renewable Energy Group


CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP

Thermo King Christensen

Lube-Tech & Partners, LLC

Dave Syverson Truck Centers

US Cargo Control

Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales, Inc.

Donaghy-Kempton Insurors

Thermo King Sales & Service

Hanifen Company, Inc.

U.S. Legal Services

Majestic Truck Services

Wilson Trailer Company

Midwest Peterbilt Group


Want to see your company listed as an IMTA Cornerstone Sponsor? Contact the IMTA at 515-244-5193 or visit


Q: How will President Trump do?

“I think he will be good for our country, industry and economy. I am most looking forward to seeing the manufacturing sector grow. Trump is a business minded individual that will bring much needed change. It is up to us to support our new President.”

“I am positively optimistic. I think we at least will know where we stand. There is no beating around the bush with Trump.” GARY HANDLEY BTI Special Commodities, Inc.

AARON PETERSON Peterson Transportation, Inc.

“He is very pro-business and I hope he does well. Time will tell.” ERIC BIXBY BFT, Inc.

“I feel he is a business man that has had failures as well as a lot of success. That experience will be very helpful with the future of transportation as a whole and moving us forward to meet the critical transportation needs for the future.” JEFF FRANK Iowa Central Community College

“It’s definitely going to be a change from the past. It could be good. There are a lot of good possibilities that we haven’t been able to have in the past.” ANDY DEBOARD Perry’s Service

“He is our elected President and we need to stick by him. I think he will be good for the trucking industry.” MIKE TRUEBLOOD BFT, Inc.

ISSUE 1, 2017


MEMBERS IN THE NEWS Ruan Foundation Gift to Help Train Truck Drivers at DMACC The John Ruan Foundation has given a gift to Des Moines Area Community College in an effort to train more truck drivers at the school. The foundation gave the school $100,000 to purchase another driving simulator for the DMACC Transportation Institute. Students must attend classroom sessions for at least two weeks before they get behind the wheel of a big truck. During this time, the simulator is used in the classroom.

Mark Crall, co-owner of Panama Transfer showed Lt. Gov. Reynolds around the facility.

Lt. Gov. Reynolds Tours Panama Transfer Iowa Lt. Gov Kim Reynolds recently toured the 300-employee local trucking firm, Panama Transfer, as part of her Western Iowa small business tour. The tour included stops in Panama, Missouri Valley and Sioux City.

Mark Crall, co-owner of Panama Transfer, gave the Lt. Gov. a tour of the facility and shared the company’s dependable and

steadfast workforce and the company’s ability to compete throughout the Midwest delivering freight for a wide variety of regional and local companies.

“We are very grateful for this generous gift from the Ruan Foundation,” said DMACC President Rob Denson. “John Ruan was a leader and innovator in the transportation industry, he knew the importance of skilled, welltrained drivers.”

Panama Transfer is the largest LTL transportation company in Iowa, with over 300 employees, 141 tractors and 237 trailers. SOURCE: Harlan Tribune

Van Wyk Attends Indiana Governor’s Inauguration Dave Van Wyk, Van Wyk, Inc. attended the inauguration of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. Governor Holcomb was sworn into office January 9 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, along with several other statewide officers. Van Wyk spent some time talking with Governor Holcomb after the event was over. Vice President Mike Pence was also there, and although Van Wyk did not get a chance to talk with him, he did happen to be right behind VP Pence and Air Force Two on the tarmac as they were leaving town.



FROM LEFT: Bob Vander Plaats, The Family Leader, Indiana Gov. Holcomb and Dave Van Wyk, Van Wyk, Inc.

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS Iowa Driver Selected for America’s Road Team American Trucking Associations named 20 professional truck drivers, including Rhonda Hartman of Des Moines, to the 2017-2018 America’s Road Team, an elite group of professionals who serve as trucking industry ambassadors. Rhonda Hartman is with Old Dominion Freight Line and is also a former Iowa Road Team member. Rhonda has also participated in the Iowa Truck Driving Championships and helped with several IMTA outreach events.

“Rhonda exemplifies everything good about the industry and what it means to be a true professional. We are very proud to have another Iowa driver on ATA’s prestigious Road Team,” said Brenda Neville, IMTA President. Rhonda will be on the American Road Team for the next two years and will travel across the country promoting the industry. Congratulations to Rhonda and Old Dominion on this tremendous honor. Randall Luschen, a driver with Weinrich Truck Line, Inc. served on the 2015-2016 ATA Road Team. Senator Joni Ernst and Rhonda Hartman, Old Dominion in Washington D.C.

Fort Dodge Welcomes New Decker Development Park A ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held to open the new Decker Development Park on the east side of Fort Dodge. The Decker Development Park, also known as the Crosstown Connector Industrial Park, has more than 100 acres of land that can be developed for commercial use. Four Hirschbach trucks loaded wreaths in Maine to deliver to cemeteries around the country.

Hirschbach Hauls Veterans Remembrance Wreaths Each December, on National Wreaths Across America Day, Wreaths Across America’s mission to remember, honor and teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,100 locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad. Hirschbach volunteered to haul four loads of Remembrance wreaths for WAA. The loads departed from Maine and traveled to Arlington National, Allegany National,

Fort Sam Houston, and Saint Louis. All of the Hirschbach drivers who hauled the wreaths were veterans. The drivers included Steven Edwards, James Gile, Christopher Hub, and Adam Dean.

Don Decker credits the success of the project to a cooperative effort. He said support from Gov. Terry Branstad, the Iowa Department of Transportation and Fort Dodge City Council were all critical to making the project a success. The property is owned by Decker Investments, Inc. of Fort Dodge. SOURCE: The Messenger

SOURCE: Hirschbach

ISSUE 1, 2017



Cautiously Optimistic, but Concerns Still Prevail The Iowa Association of Business and Industry knows about business. Because of that, ABI members know how vitally important the trucking industry is to Iowa and to the nation. Our state is fortunate to have this very important industry served by a truly firstclass organization, the Iowa Motor Truck Association. IMTA is a valued partner of all who desire to help Iowa grow. ABI is pleased to join others in congratulating IMTA on 75 years of growth and success and our members wish IMTA all the best as the organization continues its work and leadership for the next 75 years! As a part of celebrating this milestone and on behalf of ABI, I am pleased to provide Lifeliner readers with a general review of the state of the business environment in Iowa. Trucking industry executives are like those in any other industry, in that you see some of the same metrics we do. Those metrics, whether they are housing starts, the PMI index, the unemployment rate, the Dow average, or whatever, are quite positive. Based on those metrics, the state of Iowa business is positive. However, at ABI, we have learned there is no better metric than that provided by our member companies. Thus, what they say about business is what guides us. In a recent survey and then in meetings held the middle of January, members had plenty to say about the state of business in our state. You know what? No matter the industry, no matter the size of the company, no matter




NO MATTER THE INDUSTRY, NO MATTER THE SIZE OF THE COMPANY, NO MATTER THE LOCATION OF THE OPERATIONS… ABI MEMBERS WERE EXTREMELY POSITIVE ABOUT THEIR BUSINESSES. the location of the operations… ABI members were extremely positive about their businesses. Nearly all said they were enjoying good cycles; some said they were enjoying record years. Production is up, sales are up, and revenues are up. And again, that cuts across geography, size, and industry. So, we can move on? No, because even though all the news was positive, everyone was

VERY cautious about the state of the economy. We probed a bit further, and that caution stems from three layers of uncertainty. The first was the global financial picture and uncertainty about President Trump's direction. That especially manifested itself in fears about protectionism. Iowa needs trade. The second was the status of the Affordable Care Act, or the law that is more commonly-known as ObamaCare. And by the way; that had nothing to do with politics. Our board has never debated the ACA, but like you, ABI members must implement it. There are concerns about costs, deadlines, and coverage. And about what will replace it if it is repealed. Third and last was worry about where workers would come from. That concern also cut across geography, size, and industry. ABI member companies are experiencing difficulty in recruiting and retaining enough workers. There were some incredible stories shared about just how desperate some employers have become when it comes to addressing workforce issues. So, while the current Iowa business cycle is positive, concern exists. Fortunately, organizations such as IMTA and ABI exist to help members deal with these concerns. Congratulations again to IMTA on 75 great years! Michael Ralston is president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Iowa’s oldest and largest statewide business organization. ABI works to improve Iowa by making Iowa businesses more successful. Mike is a former state tax commissioner and has a background in corporate taxation, public policy, and management. He is a former mayor and congressional staffer and he holds a degree from the University of Northern Iowa, which recognized him as an Outstanding Alumnus in 1992.


Trumpanomics to the Rescue After 8 years of government overreach and sluggish economic growth, America surprised the world when it elected Donald J. Trump the 45th President of the United States. My wife and I had the good fortune to attend the inauguration in Washington, DC on January 20. It was an uplifting experience as Mr. Trump’s inauguration speech set the stage for much needed regulatory reform, a long overdue overhaul of the tax code, and the positioning of our great country to, once again, realize its full economic growth potential. Not even the protestors, the rioters, or the extreme security measures could dampen the positive momentum unleashed by our new President’s powerful pro-business message. So, after a challenging 2016 for truckers of all shapes, sizes, and varieties, there is much hope for better days in 2017 and beyond. Throughout 2016 many carriers have wisely downsized their fleets to maintain utilization and driver satisfaction. Others have exited the industry altogether. The pesky inventory glut, which weighed on freight volumes over the past 18 months, appears to have been drawn down closer to e-commerce-adjusted, targeted levels. And, we mustn’t forget that the deadline for ELD compliance is rapidly approaching. That rule may take as much as 3-4% away from industry capacity as 2017 unfolds. Not far behind the ELD rule will be the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Rule, which will screen out many substance abusers. Next up is the speed-limiter rulemaking which, if not delayed or diluted by the Trump Administration, will result in further reduction in effective industry capacity. And with Mr. Trump occupying the White House, hope springs eternal that we may soon see a trillion-dollar infrastructure program, an energy self sufficiency program, trade initiatives focused on exports rather than imports, new investment in American manufacturing, lower taxes, and a slimmed down regulatory burden. The overarching objectives are to drive additional investment in America, create incremental high quality jobs for Americans, and to increase manufacturing activity on American soil. With Mr. Trump’s approval rating

having risen from 40% to 57% in just a few weeks, the President’s America First message seems to be resonating with more and more Americans. Plus, the stock market’s 9% post-election surge also suggests that the investment community is reacting positively to the changes taking place in Washington. From the perspective of the trucking industry, all of these Trumpian initiatives and a more constructive view on the part of businessmen and investors bode well for a healthy increase in freight volumes. This anticipated volume spurt coupled with recent fleet downsizing efforts and the capacity sapping ELD initiative, which should be fully implemented by the end of this year, should close the gap between supply and demand in our industry. This tightening supply/demand dynamic should emerge as early as mid-2017 or perhaps as late as Spring 2018. The timing of the tightness is tough to pin down exactly as the timing will be a function JOHN G. LARKIN, CFA Marketing Director and Head of of the timing of all the factors Transportation Capital Markets mentioned previously. However, Research, Stifel Financial Corp once that tightness appears, carriers should be able to turn the tables on shippers and recover the rates lost in 2016 and, hopefully, then some. John Larkin joined Legg Mason (later sold to Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.) in October 2001 to form and lead the firm’s entry into the transportation markets. Over the years, Mr. Larkin has been recognized as an all-star analyst by Institutional Investor magazine, a Wall Street Journal all-star analyst, and has been awarded numerous Starmine stock picking awards. Previously, Mr. Larkin has served as: Chairman and CEO of RailWorks Corporation, a member of Alex. Brown and Sons' transportation team, and various roles in planning and economic analysis at CSX Transportation, Inc. Mr. Larkin earned his MBA from Harvard University in 1984 and a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont and the University of Texas, respectively. Mr. Larkin is a CFA charterholder. In addition, he is a member of The Boards of Advisors for CRST International, Comcar Industries, and TransVix.

ISSUE 1, 2017


IMTA UPDATE IMTA Leaders Committed to Moving IMTA Forward Each year IMTA’s Leadership Team reviews the priorities for the year and in that process, standing committees are named and then their work begins. Below are the individuals that will be serving on some of IMTA’s key committees.

IMTA Executive Committee The IMTA Executive Committee oversees, assists and directs the operations of the association and can act on behalf of the board if needed. The core areas of their oversight are in government relations/public policy issues, finance, membership activities and non-dues revenue programs. Don Decker Decker Truck Line, Inc.

Mark Olson Olson Explosives

Dave Dickey Dickey Transport, Inc.

Brad Pinchuk Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc.

Brenda Dittmer ATA State VP, Weinrich Truck Line, Inc. Murry Fitzer Florilli Transportation, LLC.

Jack Sawyer Des Moines Transportation Company Steve Schuster Schuster Company

Kevin Gass PDI, Inc.

John Smith CRST International Inc.

Mike Gerdin Heartland Express

Steve Sukup Sukup Manufacturing Co.

Jackie Johnsrud Johnsrud Transport, Inc.

Dan Van Alstine Ruan Transportation

Greg McCoy Foodliner, Inc.

Jeff Wangsness JMT Trucking Company

IMTA Finance Committee The IMTA finance committee provides oversight, counsel and direction to all aspects of IMTA’s finances. Ralph Arthur Retired (Treasurer)

Kevin Gass PDI, Inc.

Don Decker Decker Truck Line, Inc.

Jackie Johnsrud, Johnsrud Transport

Murry Fitzer Florilli Transportation, LLC

Steve Schuster Schuster Company

IMTA Compensation Committee As required by the IRS, IMTA must have a committee that conducts an annual review and implement a set of procedures specific to the oversight of the IMTA President & CEO. Don Decker Decker Truck Line, Inc. Kevin Gass PDI, Inc. Steve Schuster Schuster Company

Jackie Johnsrud Johnsrud Transport, Inc. John Smith CRST, International Inc.

Iowa Motor Carriers Foundation Board This board oversees all the activities of the Iowa Motor Carriers Foundation, an organization that operates separately than IMTA. Murry Fitzer Florilli Transportation, LLC – Chairman

Jack Sawyer Des Moines Transportation Company

Steve Schuster Schuster Company – Vice Chairman

Pat Storey Motor-Ways, Inc.

David Boyer Lube-Tech & Partners, LLC Dave Dickey Dickey Transport, Inc. Gary Handley BTI Special Commodities John Minor Midwest Wheel Companies



Delwin Van Wyk Harrison Truck Centers Dave Van Wyk Van Wyk, Inc. Jeff Wangness JMT Trucking Company

George Crouse Named Treasurer Emeritus IMTA Treasurer Emeritus, George Crouse and Don Decker, IMTA Chairman of the Board

For over two decades, George Crouse has served in a capacity that exemplifies the dedication, commitment and passion that puts him in a class all of his own. In 1993, after the sudden and untimely death of IMTA’s long time treasurer, Larry Miller with Ruan, George came forward and offered to step into the role of IMTA treasurer. George became treasurer at a time when guidance and oversight was extremely important. IMTA had just embarked on a new adventure by purchasing a parcel of land at the foot of the State Capitol and plans were underway to build a new building. George was instrumental in leading the fundraising effort that in a matter of months, raised over $1 million for the cause. And that was just the beginning of the legacy of George Crouse. For the next 22 years, George continued to provide the leadership that was needed as IMTA navigated through a number of challenges as well as victories. His unwavering focus and unyielding dedication to the role of treasurer always ensured that IMTA had a strong and viable financial base. George always took the role of treasurer very seriously and has provided the kind of leadership that ensures positive, lasting results. IMTA as an organization has been the beneficiary of George’s efforts and in an effort to show our appreciation, gratitude and thanks to George Crouse, the IMTA Board of Directors unanimously voted to name him Treasurer Emeritus. While George has remained engaged and involved despite some ongoing medical challenges, he determined it was time to pass the torch and IMTA leaders felt it was most appropriate to name George Treasurer Emeritus of the Iowa Motor Truck Association. As the “Treasurer Emeritus”, George will be able to continue to provide sound judgment and leadership as a standing member of the IMTA Finance Committee and continue to offer advice and counsel in the oversight of IMTA’s financial activities. “We need George’s steady and consistent presence in a world that is anything but steady and consistent. We respect George’s institutional knowledge and his demonstrated commitment and love of IMTA and always want him to be a part of IMTA’s leadership team,” said Don Decker, IMTA Chairman of the Board, as he announced George as Treasurer Emeritus.

IMTA UPDATE IMTA and other Business Associations Seek Milestone Workers Compensation Legislation IMTA, along with several other pro-business trade associations, started working on workers’ compensation reform legislation several months ago. Shortly after the November elections and Republicans moved into complete control at the Capitol, the thought of passing legislation aimed at reforming a system that had dramatically deteriorated over the last decade suddenly became very possible. “We have attempted to pass workers' compensation reforms the last several years, but it always stalled out in the Senate. But when Republicans regained control in the Senate after the elections, this legislation quickly moved to the top of the priority list. Legislative leaders were supportive so work quickly began on drafting meaningful and impactful legislation,” said IMTA President Brenda Neville. IMTA asked for members to serve on a task force and together the task force, along with several other associations, began the process of identifying key areas in need of reform. The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) spearheaded the effort and led a very effective effort that resulted in the legislation moving out of subcommittee and full committee on the final day of funnel week. IMTA President Brenda Neville and Jeff Arens with Schuster Company spoke at the subcommittee meetings voicing their support of the legislation. Within their comments both Neville and Arens provided examples of the abuse and significant premium increases that have plagued the industry for the last decade. Despite efforts by the several union groups and the trial bar to stop the legislation, it passed out of the House and Senate Commerce committees the day after the subcommittee meetings. The passage out of the committees now lays a path forward for full floor debates in the coming weeks.

Legislative leaders determined that a public hearing would be held on the legislation and on Tuesday, March 7th the public hearing was held in the House Chambers. The 90-minute hearing featured speakers for and against the legislation. Gary Handley with BTI Special Commodities spoke on behalf of IMTA and the trucking industry. Several other manufacturers, construction and business owners also spoke out in support of the legislation. Various union groups and attorneys expressed their opposition of the legislation. “This legislation was considered some of the most important legislation that we have sought in the last decade. If it is passed, this is a tremendous victory for Iowa’s trucking industry. I receive weekly calls from members expressing their frustration, anger and concern over a Jeff Arens, Schuster Company; Brenda Neville, IMTA President and Bill system that had become Ginter, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. at the State Capitol working on workers compensation legislation. very broken over the years. Premiums had increased significantly and legitimate injured workers were not Special Thanks to IMTA’s being served with the current system. Workers Compensation We believe this legislation will do what Task Force workers compensation was created to Jerry Bender Midwest Wheel Companies do – provide the necessary benefits to Tim Burns Decker Truck Line, Inc. get the injured worker back to work. Terry Keime Great West Casualty Company Preserving our workforce is our number Brian Kohlwes Hirschbach Motor Lines one priority and the current system was Chris Puetz Cottingham & Butler not doing that. Iowa’s trucking industry Lisa Stephenson CRST, Inc. should be very proud to have played such Jerry Suther Heartland Express an important role in getting this significant Bill Walton Ruan Transportation legislation passed,” said Brenda Neville.

At the printing of this magazine, the legislation had passed the Iowa House and was moving to the Senate.

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ince President Trump threw his hat in the ring for a run at the White House, he talked about transforming America’s crumbling infrastructure. He repeatedly

talked about the importance of pursuing a policy that supported investments in transportation, clean water, electricity, and several other pressing infrastructure needs. He elaborated time and time again that an investment in infrastructure was also an investment in creating thousands of job and transforming the employment and economic landscape that would be associated with such a bold endeavor.



On January 17th, Vice President elect Mike Pence was the featured speaker at the US conference of Mayors and he told hundreds of mayors, “We’re going to do an infrastructure bill and it’s going to be big.” Shortly after his inauguration, President Trump promised to unveil a bill within his first 100 days in office and it would aim to invest $1 trillion over 10 years by providing tax credits to investors. Trump's transportation nominee, former Labor Secretary Elain Chao, told senators that the administration would assemble a task force that would identify funding proposals for the country’s transportation system. Secretary Chao went on to say that “public-private partnerships are ideal funding vehicles for infrastructure projects.” We are now starting to see this infrastructure plan unfold. Trump’s vision for a massive infrastructure overhaul is anchored by his unwavering belief that infrastructure investment strengthens our economic platform which in turn makes America much more competitive, creates millions of jobs, increases wages for American workers and reduces the costs of goods and services for all American consumers. His commitment to “America’s Infrastructure First” calls for a refocus on government spending that is targeted on infrastructure and away from the Obama-Clinton globalization agenda. As part of that vision, President Trump has outlined a number of key points to the plan which could be found on the Trump/ Pence website during the campaign season. Here are just a few

“Transportation infrastructure is important to continue economic growth and job creation. These projects are vital to the health and economic vitality of communities in every state.   They require significant investment, and the challenge of financing the tremendous need is always facing policy makers and transportation planners.  The Trump administration has said it intends to put forth an infrastructure plan.   I’m open to hearing about what might be new, innovative ways to finance the projects.  Meanwhile, I’ve been working with the State of Iowa and other entities on priorities for our state.  I’ll work to get Iowa priorities included in an infrastructure plan where there are legislative opportunities to do so.” SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY

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of the highlights of the Trump infrastructure “vision” that appear on his website. »» Provide maximum flexibility to the states »» Create thousands of new jobs in construction, steel manufacturing and other sectors to build the transportation, water, telecommunications and energy infrastructure needed to enable new economic development in the US, all of which will generate new tax revenues »» P ut American steel made by American workers into the backbone of America’s infrastructure »» Harness market forces to help attract new private infrastructure investments through a deficit-neutral system of infrastructure tax credits »» Implement a bold, visionary plan for a cost-effective system of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, ports, waterway and pipelines in the proud tradition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed the interstate highway system »» Link increased investments with positive reforms

to infrastructure programs that reduce waste and cut costs. Complete projects faster and at lower cost through significant regulatory reform and ending needless red-tape. The trucking industry has long been frustrated by Congress’ inability or unwillingness to address the federal highway trust fund shortfall with real and sustainable funding solutions. The obvious first choice is to simply increase the federal fuel tax which hasn’t been done since 1993 and consequently has lost 40% of its purchasing power to inflation. But the political will to take a vote on the fuel tax has been lacking to say the least as federal lawmakers are convinced it would be political suicide. This, despite evidence to the contrary, demonstrated by the fact that in the states where fuel taxes have been increased in recent years (including Iowa) the reelection rate is roughly 97% for legislators who voted in favor of an increase. But given this seemingly perpetual obstacle on the federal fuel tax front, ATA President & CEO Chris Spear

"I recognize the clear need for investing in America’s infrastructure. I can’t think of a better example than the Flood of 2008 that devastated Cedar Rapids. We should invest up front to prevent these disasters instead of spending millions of taxpayer money cleaning up after the fact. I am also looking forward to working with the Trump Administration to put together infrastructure legislation that includes Iowa projects like the Cedar Rapids flood wall. As a career businessman I understand that these types of projects truly are investments in our country, not merely expenses." CONGRESSMAN ROD BLUM



"While driving around Iowa and meeting with folks, I see firsthand the condition many of our roads and bridges are in, and I hear all the time about the need to improve infrastructure in our communities. Investing in infrastructure creates jobs that can’t be shipped overseas, has a direct impact on our economy by allowing farmers and businesses to move supplies and goods, and ensures the safety of Iowans. I am cautiously encouraged that infrastructure appears to be a top priority for the administration. While nothing concrete has yet been proposed, I am hopeful a major investment in our infrastructure will help us address Iowa’s needs, including the I-74 Bridge in the Quad Cities, Hwy 61, Hwy 63 and the I-80/I-380 intersection.” CONGRESSMAN DAVE LOEBSACK

last October established an Infrastructure Funding Task Force because “ATA must be prepared to realign our policies with the realities on Capitol Hill, beginning with a new means for funding our nation’s infrastructure.” Spear added “while this does not mean ATA is abandoning our historic support for the fuel tax or opposition to tolling existing highways, it does mean we will be examining alternatives to help the new administration develop long-term, sustainable infrastructure funding.” The cornerstone of President Trump’s plan relies heavily on private funding, but unfortunately this can be problematic for road users. A 10-page white paper posted on the Trump Campaign’s website highlighted that the proposal would offer $137 billion in federal tax credits to private investors who want to back transportation projects, which Trump says would free up to $1 trillion work of infrastructure investment over the next 10 years. The Trump plan points out that construction costs tend to be higher and take longer when the government builds projects instead of the private sector, thus the reason they believe the “private sector” element of the plan is so critically important. According to ATA’s Spear, “P3s can be a small part of, but not the entire, solution to generating revenue to fund infrastructure but since P3s are generally directly paid for by tolls, and have some sort of a profit motive beyond simply paying for the construction of the new road or bridge, we have concerns. Additionally, they’re not a solution for funding projects everywhere; they may work in congested urban cores or busy corridors in populous areas, but rural interstates and other connecting projects that trucking relies on as an interstate industry are ill-suited to these types of projects because they don’t have the traffic volumes “ATA must be to support them.” prepared to realign Experts in the finance world our policies with the echo that sentiment that pubrealities on Capitol lic-private partnerships can Hill, beginning with work on projects that create a new means for revenues but in our country, funding our nation’s they have proven to be inefinfrastructure.” fective in many cases where CHRIS SPEAR, ATA highway infrastructure is involved. According to the Congressional Budget Office, only 14 highway projects have been completed using public-private partnerships and there is no data as to how successful or effective these 14 public private funding projects were in the long term. There are, however, more than a few instances where the private entity that built the facility has declared bankruptcy and the road has been given back to the cash strapped state who is unexpectedly forced to identify funding methods to pay for the upkeep.


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John Lynch, Senior Vice President of Federation Relations and Industry Affairs for ATA, says “PPPs often get oversold as the panacea to our nation’s infrastructure funding woes. ATA does not oppose their use on new construction – provided the industry is not legally bound to the facility of course – but ATA does oppose “brownfield projects” (sale/lease of an existing asset – e.g. Indiana Toll Road) and has worked successfully with the state trucking associations in Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to block the sale of existing toll roads in recent years. Those type lease/sale arrangements equate to a private entity being gifted a virtual monopoly by the state for 50+ years in return for a large and often fungible sum of cash leaving the toll road user paying off a massive loan at a very high interest rate.” Other key points of the plan, highlighted in a white paper on the Trump website, include: »» Reduction in regulatory “red-tape” – President Trump wants to tackle the “mountains of red-tape” that hamper and slow down construction projects on a regular basis. »» Trump’s plan would pay for itself – Trump claims that his infrastructure ideas would be revenue neutral because they would pay for themselves. This will be extremely important since many fiscal conservatives on Capitol Hill will not support any legislation that adds to the already eye-popping deficit. ($441 billion) »» Trump wants to work with both sides – While President Trump has been talking about his plan for many months, it is far from final and he has continued to say that he is “open to ideas” from both Democrats and Republicans.

“The Associated General Contractors of Iowa was very excited that President Trump spoke about the need for rebuilding America’s infrastructure moments after he was declared the winner in November of 2016. AGC of Iowa feels new funding through increased user fees is the best way to pay for this investment.  If the new program is based on bonding, private ownership of highway infrastructure or tolling roads to support bond payments then that is not a good fit for Iowa.  However, we stand ready to work with the President and Congress to find long term solutions to dealing with our nation’s roadways.” SCOTT D. NEWHARD Vice President for Public Affairs, Associated General Contractors of Iowa


President Trump is committed to infrastructure. What he exactly continue to unfold. Now more than ever we will need to secure means by the word “infrastructure” is still somewhat unclear, while our seat at the table and ensure that we have a strong, unified, he has talked about bridges, roads, and waterways, he has also lumped and effective voice in the ongoing conversations about how this electricity grids, schools and hospitals into important infrastructure investment will the discussion as well. That broad definition be structured and most importantly, who is what continues to make a lot of people very will be footing the bill. The bottom line is PPPs at times nervous. In our world (trucking), our view of As ATA’s Lynch warns, “The bottom line can work (see Florida Port infrastructure is roads and bridges and one is PPPs at times can work (see Florida Port Tunnel) but the devil is in the of my colleagues has even suggested that we Tunnel) but the devil is in the details and details and people must rememrefrain from using the word “infrastructure” people must remember that Wall Street is ber that Wall Street is not interin our discussions and more specifically refer not interested in PPP projects out of the ested in PPP projects out of the to it as “road and bridge” funding in any of goodness of their hearts. Their motivation goodness of their hearts. Their our conversations. is purely ROI driven. Unfortunately, what motivation is purely ROI driven." However we end up interpreting the we’ve seen is too often financial engineers JOHN LYNCH, ATA word “infrastructure” there is no denying fleecing DOT civil engineers and leavthat we have a President that has a vision ing highway users facing tolls increasing that includes roads and bridges, two very important and essen- annually and for perpetuity at a much higher rate than they tial components of our livelihood. As the biggest consumers of customarily would.” roads and bridges, we are watching this conversation and debate Stay tuned……

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GHG Phase 2 Continues Push Toward Lower Emissions For the past ten years, the transportation industry has been awash in an alphabet soup of emission regulations. Starting with EPA2007, and recently ending with GHG 2017, the objective of this sea of regulations is to clean the air we breathe. Unfortunately, these same regulations have technology solutions were not specifically increased the acquisition and operating costs identified in the regulations, several were menof our equipment over the past decade. We tioned, leaving the door open for later changes. are now facing another round of regulations As with previous regulations, GHG Phase 2 which will require further reductions of CO2 will not achieve its objectives without impactemissions for new equipment. GHG Phase 2 ing our industry. The EPA estimates that the begins in 2018, with increasing reduction tar- cost of a new tractor/trailer combination gets, culminating in 2027. will increase by at least $12,000 by 2027 due GHG Phase 2 is different from previous directly to GHG Phase 2 regulations. Although regulations in that it does not target one tech- the EPA does not project costs associated with nology path to reduce engine emissions, as maintaining these systems, it did include five in prior regulations. GHG Phase 2 is also dif- year warranty coverage for all new technology ferent in that it manrequired to meet the dates increased fuel program’s objectives. efficiency perforEPA estimates EPA ESTIMATES THAT THE mance of the entire that the technology TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT vehicle, including investment required REQUIRED BY GHG PHASE 2 TO trailers, as a path to by GHG Phase 2 to LOWER EMISSIONS, WILL SEE A lower emissions, lowering emissions. RETURN ON THE INVESTMENT will see a return Beginning in 2018, WITHIN TWO YEARS. trailer manufacturon the investment ers are expected to within two years. improve overall fuel Although the EPA’s efficiency of new trailers. Although GHG track record on predicting industry costs has Phase 2 will impact most trailer types during been suspect in past years, it appears that this its implementation, the most significant fuel time around they may be on the right track. economy improvements are expected to come The technology improvements are generally from van trailers. The EPA has targeted the low risk and will increase fuel economy; resultuse of technologies such as aerodynamics, low ing in a high probability that fuel cost savings rolling resistance tires, vehicle weight and auto will exceed the cost of the new technology. inflation systems for tires, to improve overall Although a positive ROI is a strong possibility, vehicle fuel efficiency. there are still lots of unanswered questions on GHG Phase 2 is less specific regarding tech- the technology and the political scene to make nology that will lower engine emissions and/ this a certainty. or improve fuel economy. Although complex Due to recent political changes there is a




Vice President of Fleet Services

possibility that GHG Phase 2 could be modified or thrown out in its entirety. California is also challenging the regulations calling for stricter guidelines in a shorter timeframe. Due to these conflicting opinions, the implementation of GHG Phase 2 is not a certainty. As major stakeholders in this discussion, it is important that we stay close to this issue in the coming weeks and months. Staying involved with organizations such as the IMTA and ATA will be important in shaping the future direction of GHG Phase 2 and its potential implementation. James Cade’s forty-year career in transportation began as a technician and advanced to the role of Vice President of Maintenance during his twenty-five-year career with Ryder System. After leaving Ryder, James has led the fleet organizations of several large transportation companies including National Express and USA Truck. James is an Iowa native that returned to accept a position with Ruan Transportation as the Vice President of Fleet Services. In his role, he is responsible for the strategic management of Ruan’s fleet from its two hundred and sixty operating terminals across the country.


Are You Going to Embrace the Technology Boom or Run From It? The Iowa Motor Truck Association was born in 1942, an era where truckers were considered “Knights of the road,” living by “the drivers code” always stopping to help a stranded trucker or motorist. It was a time before CB radios where truckers would use hand signals and flashing headlights to warn others of hazards that lie ahead. A lot has changed over the last 80 years and as evidenced with the autonomous trucks, platooning and changing consumer habits, that change will continue. I think about what other impacts this technology will have in the future. Will it reduce the need to build new roads due to increased capacity through the uniform speeds of driverless cars? Will zero fatalities be an achievable goal? Will the industry see our first productivity gains in a generation when one driver can now move 3 trucks? The technology has the ability to solve the issue of an aging industry that can’t find enough drivers to fill all of our trucks, but what skills will be lost and what new skills will be needed? It amazes me how many people my age and younger can’t drive a stick shift—a skill that has been lost through automation. What skills are our drivers going to be losing? Will the next generation of truck drivers be less proficient at backing up and docking because they won’t need those skillsets? Are we going to lose the skillset that requires drivers to plan their movement ten steps ahead? Will computers make that premeditation obsolete? It’s going to be an interesting time rivaling 1935, when the Motor Carrier Act was

passed, the formation of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s and the subsequent deregulation of industry in 1980. There were winners and losers, both broadly and in our industry with each change. I don’t think resisting this change to autonomous trucks is going to be an option that results in success. Just look at the companies that didn’t change their model after deregulation: P.I.E. and Consolidated Freight are among the companies that are gone. On a macro scale, it has been great for the economy, reducing the average cost of transportation built into a product from 25 percent to 7 percent or less, but I know many older drivers who say that it has hurt the strength of the industry. An old Confucius proverb/curse states, “May you live in interesting times.” For trucking, those times are now.


Nevada Trucking Association CEO

Paul J. Enos serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Nevada Trucking Association and a lobbyist for the trucking industry. In May 2016, Otto made its public debut of autonomous trucks when a truck drove down Interstate 80 in Nevada while the driver sat in the rear of the cab. Then a few months later, in September 2016, the State of Nevada issued its first autonomous vehicle restricted driver’s license issued in the US to Sam Schmidt, a Nevada resident and former Indy Racing League driver who was paralyzed from the neck down due to a racing accident.

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(FROM LEFT): Melinda Anderson, Jennifer Brim, Brad Bailey, Justin Walters, Mallory DeZwarte, Corey Murphy, Adrian Dickey. Seated: Lindsay Kearse and Christina Grissom.


Laying the Foundation for the Next 75 Years IMTA has always been committed to investing in the future leaders. In 1993. IMTA started its leadership program and it has been going strong ever since. In fact, it is the longest running leadership program among state trucking associations. Because of the leadership program, over 200 IMTA members have had the opportunity to participate in a program that focuses on both personal and professional development. In 2016, to further strengthen the foundation of support by the next generation, IMTA established the Lead IMTA Council. The purpose of the council is to provide an additional forum of input and feedback. The Lead IMTA Council will help IMTA as an organization reach out to another segment of the membership and provide services, events and activities that are specifically targeted to the future leaders of the association. “IMTA’s leadership program is excellent, but far too often, we were seeing folks go through the leadership class and then we don’t see them again. We need to determine the best way to keep these folks engaged and involved so we decided to form the Lead Council and get a group of members to help us with our efforts,” said IMTA Chairman of the Board Don Decker. While the Lead Council is only in its second year of existence, the group has already made a powerful and



positive impact. Through regular meetings, the group gains a better understanding of IMTA’s priorities and provide input on a variety of important topics relative to IMTA’s efforts. In 2016, council members helped with the spring golf outing, volunteered at the truck driving championships, and spearheaded an effort to add a Silent Auction to the Foundation’s annual fundraising activities. The Lead Council also oversaw the planning for the annual LEAD IMTA Conference, and the efforts were extremely successful. “The input we receive from the Lead Council is extremely valuable. They give us perspective that we need on virtually everything we do because the these individuals are the future of IMTA,” said IMTA President Brenda Neville. The council recently held their annual planning session and they will continue to provide a leadership role in the activities listed above, but more importantly, they will be the eyes, ears, and voice of the future leaders of IMTA. “Both my grandpa and my dad were big supporters of IMTA. I have seen the importance of being involved and am happy to now have my turn to give back to an organization that means a great deal to my family. We have a responsibility to give back to IMTA and I want to see others my age gain the appreciation and respect of IMTA that I have,” said Lead Council member Adrian Dickey, Dickey Transport.

IMTA’s 2017 LEAD Council Melinda Anderson Ennis Corp. Brad Bailey Central Trailer Service, Ltd. Adam Clark Midwest Wheel Companies Jennifer Brim Decker Truck Line, Inc. Mallory DeZwarte Ruan Transportation Corey Murphy MHC Kenworth Adrian Dickey Dickey Transport Christina Grissom UNFI, Inc. Justin Walters West Side Transport, Inc. Tyler Todd Thompson Truck & Trailer Lindsay Kearse Hanifen Co., Inc.


The Main Concerns Facing the Industry in Iowa Why are you a member of the IMTA? Fortunately, in the past 6 months of working for the IMTA, I have had the opportunity to visit members from all parts of the state, speaking with them on why they decided to join our association. I have seen firsthand how valuable becoming an IMTA member is for anyone in the trucking industry, big or small, vendor or carrier. It has been through these member contacts that I have gained even more of an appreciation for what the IMTA is doing for the trucking industry. While speaking with our members, there has been two main issues that our member trucking companies have been facing.

DRIVERS The trucking industry is facing a shortage of drivers, and is struggling to find enough qualified drivers to fill the seats. According to the American Trucking Association, the shortage stood at roughly 48,000 in 2015. This was due to demographics, regulations, and the long time spent away from home as a driver. To help assist our members in facing this ongoing issue, we created This website is meant to connect individuals seeking employment within the trucking industry or even considering a career change to transportation. From drivers to office staff, you can post them all. It’s DOT compliant, simple and secure. In fact, we are excited to launch a new version of this spring that offers IMTA members the ultimate member benefit.

ELD’S With the December 18, 2017 ELD compliance date quickly approaching, I have talked with members in favor and not in favor of ELD’s. Through my conversations, most are not in favor. This is due to the added expense that comes along with buying the units and the training that goes along with the install, for both staff and drivers. The segment of our membership that have installed ELD’s, have had good feedback from their drivers after using them consistently. To ensure our membership is one step ahead, we have hosted educational webinars and seminars, helping the transition from paper logs. If you have not decided on ELD’s yet, the Iowa Motor Truck Association has a member discount through our preferred partner, PeopleNet. Through this partnership, IMTA members will receive $100 off hardware, a monthly service discount and a credit for an onsite training session. I look forward to our continued work and success together for YOUR association. The IMTA is here to help you every step of the way.


IMTA Membership Manager

IMTA’S Newest Members American Trailer & Storage Omaha, NE C H Wilson Transport, Inc. Charles City, IA Copart, Inc. Eldridge, IA Dallas Johnson Greenhouse Council Bluffs, IA Dave Lyon Repair Underwood, IA Erickson Transport Massena, IA Goetz Trucking Defiance, IA Hite Trucking LLC Ottumwa, IA JXE Peterbilt Hartland, WI North American Commercial Vehicle Show Chicago, IL Stewart-Petersen Group, Inc. West Bend, WI

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The Freight Advisory Council & It’s Impact on the Iowa Trucking Industry As the emphasis on freight transportation increases nationally, the state of Iowa continues to be on the cutting edge of engaging freight stakeholders. One such method for doing so is through Iowa’s Freight Advisory Council (FAC), which is facilitated by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). This group, which has met quarterly since August of 2012, provides a forum for the exchange of ideas to help the Iowa DOT better understand the complexities associated with freight movement, with the ultimate goal of more effectively guiding public investment in the freight transportation system.

FAC ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES »» Advise Iowa DOT staff involved in freight transportation activities. »» Identify obstacles, challenges, and inefficiencies in the current freight transportation system. »» Proactively identify emerging trends that may impact freight mobility. »» Assist in the development of the Iowa DOT’s State Freight Plan, including providing stakeholder input and reviewing draft analysis and content. »» Review and comment on modal (i.e. highway, rail, aviation) plans and the state long-range transportation plan as they relate to freight mobility. »» Review and comment on proposals for freight policies, programs, and investments. »» Consult with interested constituents as appropriate. »»  S uggest potential planning initiatives and research topics. The FAC includes representatives from the trucking, rail, barge, distribution, energy, and agribusiness industries, as well as regional development groups, metropol-

itan planning organizations (MPOs), regional planning associations (RPAs), and a variety of state and federal agencies. All of these individuals provide input on the specific topics and issues addressed. Trucking industry representation on the council is strong, including the outgoing FAC chair, who was an independent trucker, and new FAC members Don Egli of IMTA and Kris Vander Kamp, Hy-Vee’s Director of Transportation. In its first year, the FAC was engaged to provide input on a set of freight issue white papers, which ultimately led to the identification of possible solutions and eventually shaped the direction of Iowa’s first State Freight Plan. Over the years, the FAC has provided extensive input on a variety of matters, including the framework for the State STUART ANDERSON DOT Director of Planning, Freight Plan, responses to a Programming and Modal Division related Freight Mobility Issues Survey, and the development of freight goals, strategies, and performance measures. At the FAC’s most recent meeting last December, IMTA staff was invited to represent the trucking industry on a panel regarding the future of freight, including challenges and issues facing the industry as we head into 2017. Stuart Anderson graduated with a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University in 1991 and is currently Director of the Planning, Programming and Modal Division at the Iowa Department of Transportation. The Division is responsible for long-range multi-modal transportation planning and programming and the administration of modal funding programs.

For more information regarding the Iowa FAC, please visit:

ISSUE 1, 2017


ATRI UPDATE Behind the Scenes at the American Transportation Research Institute For many years, ATRI was described as the trucking industry’s best kept secret – always well respected for its credible research but not well understood as an organization. Just as we strive for transparency in our research, here’s some background on how we’re organized.


Want to get more involved with ATRI? There are a number of ways you can be part of this vital industry organization: »» P  articipate in ATRI’s research. When ATRI puts out a call for carrier data or asks for responses to an industry survey, take the time to participate. More is always better when it comes to research and we encourage you to join the growing number of motor carriers, professional drivers and industry suppliers who all regularly take part in ATRI’s studies. »» C  ontribute to ATRI. Join your peers in the industry and STEP UP with a charitable contribution to support ATRI’s research. Giving is easy and can be done online at »» S uggest a research topic. ATRI is always looking for new research ideas for the RAC to evaluate. »» J oin the RAC. Want to be involved in setting the trucking industry’s research agenda? Send us an email letting us know you want to be considered for a nomination to serve on the RAC. »» S pread the news. When ATRI releases research results, please Tweet, Facebook and otherwise share the findings with your colleagues and peer network so that everyone benefits from our work on behalf of the trucking industry.



ATRI’s predecessor organization, the American Trucking Associations Foundation, was founded in 1954 by trucking industry suppliers who were looking for a way to support the industry’s image campaign. Over the years, the ATA Foundation became engaged in research to provide the data to populate the industry’s message of essentiality. By the mid-to-late 1990s, the ATA Foundation was involved in a fairly sizable portfolio of government contract research on a variety of trucking industry topics. The ATA Foundation at that time also had a series of regional offices staffed to provide research support to the state trucking associations. IMTA housed one of the ATA Foundation regional offices. Upon being appointed chairman of the ATA Foundation in 1999, Roadway Corporation CEO Mike Wickham convened a group of industry CEOs to answer the question – if the ATA Foundation did not exist, would we create a foundation and what would it look like? ATRI is the result of those deliberations and the reorganization of the ATA Foundation into ATRI was completed in 2001. Organized as a 501c3 charitable organization, ATRI is markedly different from the ATA Foundation.

ABOUT ATRI »» ATRI is a standalone organization, separate from ATA, with its own bylaws and a Board of Directors comprised of industry CEOs. »» The research that ATRI undertakes on behalf of the trucking industry is identified as a priority by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee. RAC members represent motor carriers, industry suppliers, driver groups, law enforcement, government and academia and are charged with annually developing the trucking industry’s top research priorities. IMTA President Brenda Neville is currently a member of ATRI’s RAC. »» ATRI depends on the financial support of trucking industry stakeholders to advance the research agenda identified by RAC. A charitable contribution from your organization allows ATRI to continue to produce critical research studies on topics as varied as truck parking, hoursof-service, driver training, congestion mitigation, and autonomous trucks. »» ATRI makes all of its research available, free of charge, to all interested parties. ATRI reports can be ordered online through ATRI’s website at

ATRI UPDATE How do Iowa’s Top Issues Compare? Since 2005, ATRI has been surveying the industry at large to identify the trucking industry’s top issues. The survey is commissioned by the American Trucking Associations and the results are used by ATA and its Federation partners in the State Trucking Associations to identify and prioritize the industry’s most pressing concerns. The survey is conducted every summer and asks respondents to pick their top three concerns from a list of over 30 critical industry topics. Additionally, the survey asks respondents to rank potential strategies for dealing with each issue.

2016 Top Industry Issues

The 2016 survey generated a record-breaking 3,285 responses, a 137 percent increase over the previous year’s total, and by far the highest response rate since the inception of the survey. Respondents represented motor carriers, professional drivers and other industry stakeholders across North America. For states that meet a certain threshold in the number of responses generating from that state, ATRI also provides an analysis to the State Trucking Association of how the issues were ranked by the state’s industry stakeholders. The 2016 Iowa responses show a different prioritization of the issues compared to the national results.


1. Electronic Logging Device Mandate

Iowa-Based Respondents Driver Shortage

2. Hours-of-Service Cumulative Economic Impact of Trucking Regulations 3. Cumulative Economic Impact of Trucking Regulations


4. Truck Parking

Driver Retention

5. Economy

Electronic Logging Device Mandate

6. Compliance, Safety, Accountability

Compliance, Safety, Accountability

7. Driver Shortage


8. Driver Retention Federal Preemption of State Regulation of Interstate Trucking (F4A) 9. Transportation Infrastructure/ Congestion/ Funding

Truck Parking

10. Driver Distraction

Driver Health and Wellness

Look for the 2017 Top Industry Issues Survey to launch in August and take a few minutes to provide input on your top concerns.

What Will Autonomous Trucks Mean for the Industry? One of the latest studies from ATRI identifies potential impacts of autonomous vehicle technology on the trucking industry, which include significant safety and productivity benefits that may result from autonomous technology adoption. This research was identified as the top research priority for the industry in 2016 by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee.

These improvements, however, will require federal leadership and significant input from the trucking industry. ATRI’s research also documents a number of potential public sector impediments to autonomous truck deployment including poor infrastructure quality, uncertainties related to tort law, and the possible need for federal preemption.

The analysis mapped potential autonomous vehicle impacts to the trucking industry’s top ten issues as surveyed annually by ATRI. From hoursof-service to the driver shortage to driver health and wellness, benefits and challenges to commercial drivers and motor carriers were identified across the top ten issues. For instance, ATRI identified numerous changes to the hours-of-service regulations and the ELD mandate that would allow commercial drivers to improve safety and productivity through autonomous vehicle operation.

“ATRI’s research underscores how critical it is that the trucking industry have a seat at the table as autonomous vehicle issues are debated,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “These impacts will be real and have significant consequences for the entire supply chain if they are not deliberately and thoughtfully approached with input from all stakeholders. Now is the time to make sure that autonomous vehicle technology is a win-win for the economy.”

ISSUE 1, 2017




IMTA EVENTS Iowa Council of Safety Management In January, ICSM welcomed its regulatory partners; Shirley McGuire, FMCSA; Dave Lorenzen, Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement and Brett Tjepkes, Iowa Highway Patrol. They joined members to share insight on issues and policies that are presently impacting the trucking industry. February’s meeting brought ICSM members to the FMCSA offices in Ames, IA. ICSM members toured the facility and sat down with Shirley McGuire and other FMCSA staff for a roundtable discussion on regulatory issues. TOP (FROM LEFT): Larry Spain, Acuity Insurance; Sid Carroll, Great West Casualty Company and Dan Gardner, Walmart Transportation, LLC at the January ICSM meeting. RIGHT: ICSM members traveled to Ames to visit with the FMCSA.

IMTA Webinars One benefit of IMTA membership is access to complimentary monthly webinars hosted by IMTA and its’ partners in the industry. Topics covered include: »» Preparing for New Overtime Rules »» Technology in Trucking »» T he ELD Mandate & What You Need to Know »» Taxes: Where We Are & Where We Are Going



»» FMCSA’s Latest: Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse & Driver Entry Level Training »» Food Safety Modernization Act »» Driver Wellness


Decker Truck Line, Inc. continues to promote a positive image of trucking with signs in each of their terminals and t-shirts for staff to wear throughout the year.

Decker Uses Campaign Winnings to Continue Industry Promotion Decker Truck Line won the Carrier Division 1st place prize in the 2016 IMTA Image Campaign. They took home $1000 cash and used the money to continue their efforts of promoting a positive image of the trucking industry. Throughout the campaign, and long after, Decker has continually been active in Iowa and around the nation, representing the trucking industry

while partaking in volunteer activities, educating students and giving back to their community. They used their winnings from the Image Campaign to buy new t-shirts promoting the image of trucking for their entire staff. They also bought personalized metal signs that read “IMAGE MATTERS” to hang in all of their terminals across the country.

ELD Seminars

The Iowa Motor Truck Association’s Board of Directors is comprised of just over 40 people representing 40 different trucking companies and suppliers.

IMTA Board Members Top $10 Million in Charitable Contributions to the State of Iowa It was announced at the beginning of the year that over $10 million in charitable contributions were made by IMTA board members to their local communities throughout the state. The number was revealed as part of IMTA’s “Trucking Moves Iowa Forward” public relations campaign. During the 2016 IMTA Image Campaign, community involvement, including donations, was tracked throughout the year.

With the deadline for the electronic logging device mandate rapidly approaching, IMTA hosted seminars across the state of Iowa to help members stay in tune with the upcoming rule. At each seminar, the rule was discussed in detail so that IMTA members fully understand what it means, how the transition affects businesses and what can be done to be fully prepared before the mandate goes into effect. Seminars were held in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Sioux City. Over 100 members and non-members registered for the seminars across the state.

ISSUE 1, 2017


FINAL THOUGHT This is a special year for the Iowa Motor Truck Association, we are celebrating our 75th Anniversary. That is an important milestone and we are excited to use this anniversary to not only recognize and highlight the progress, accomplishments, and victories of the past, but equally important, we want to use this anniversary event as a springboard of continued progress, participation, and growth in the future.


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ration and respect on both the state and national level. You have played an important role in the evolution of IMTA and we hope that you will take the time to join us as we celebrate the value of IMTA during this anniversary year. We want all members to be a part of this celebration. We will be holding anniversary events throughout the State to highlight the history of this organization and extend our thanks and gratitude to the legions of people that have helped make IMTA what it is today. We will be sharing enthusiastic accolades from members, public officials, lawmakers, and regulators on this important milestone as well as giving all the members an We want this anniversary celebration to create enthu- opportunity to step back in time and learn the rich history siasm, excitement, and support to the next generation of the association through an anniversary publication. of IMTA members and leaders. We need to keep the We will have a gala event in September that will be the momentum going and we are hopeful that this year of culmination of our anniversary year and will serve as a celebration will do just that. poignant reminder that “celebration” and “fun” can IMTA has a rich and deep history and should be synonymous with trucking steeped in involvement and and the Iowa Motor Truck Association. engagement by its members. Monthly updates specific to tor t o Despite a lot of changes in our 75th anniversary began in m r a the industry and February and we the association hope that you will over the past 75 take the time to years, a lot has read those updates Anniversary remained the same and join in the enthusuch as a strong and siasm of this celebration. dedicated membership There are many ways that base that truly appreciates you can get involved and we as s o c ti o n and supports the value of hope that you will be a part of ia being part of an organization. this celebration because you have Collectively we have overcome played an important role in getting us challenges and obstacles and preto this point in time. vailed in being a unified and effective voice This industry is challenging, unforgiving and for Iowa’s trucking industry. That is no small feat and the demanding at all levels. But in order to be a part of this success of this organization is due in a large part to the industry, we also believe it is important that you step foundation of members from across this state. Members back from time to time and take stock of all the “good” show their dedication and commitment to a greater cause that this industry has to offer as well. every time they write a dues check to IMTA. We believe that the IMTA is part of that “good” equaFor 75 years that commitment has prevailed and we tion, so please consider joining us in our anniversary all need to take pride and satisfaction in knowing that festivities and help us celebrate our past and prepare we have built a great organization that garners admi- for the next 75 years!

GEORGE CROUSE Crouse Transportation 75th Anniversary Co-Chair



DON DECKER Decker Truck Line, Inc 75th Anniversary Co-Chair



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2017 Lifeliner Magazine (Issue 1)  
2017 Lifeliner Magazine (Issue 1)  

Cover Story: America's Infrastructure