What were ATA's top news stories of 2015?
Monday, December 28, 2015
Posted by: Ford Boswell
With the close of another year upon us, your Alabama Trucking Association is grateful for your partnership in making 2015 among our most successful years in recent memory.
This success of any trade organization is incumbent upon the full participation and support of its members. Fortunately, our membership is dedicated, engaged and willing to do whatever it takes to make Alabama’s trucking industry stronger.
It was a particularly interesting year in terms of nice returns on our members dues investments with ATA officials producing several gains for Alabama truckers.
The most significant was a settlement against the Alabama Dept. of Revenue which replaced MSRP with a fair market price for assessment of property taxes on newly purchased vehicles. The result of that will yield nearly $400 saved on taxes for new trucks purchased in 2016. Meanwhile, based on member complaints, ATA alerted the Dept. of Revenue to its incorrect valuation of used trailers resulting in the recalculation of 2015 property taxes to be paid on permanent trailer tags. The savings yielded about $13 per trailer. ATA was also able to carve out interstate motor carriers from the 2 percent increase in sales tax for vehicles. That move will save state trucking businesses, about $2,600 based on the purchase of a new truck value of $130,000.
Meanwhile, other top developments for trucking in 2015 included the removal of carrier CSA scores from public view at the FMCSA website; longtime Golden Flake driver Benny Lewis earning the state’s top driver award; the appointment of Greg Brown as ATA Chairman of the Board; Congress finally hammering out a highway funding bill; and much more.
And now without further ado, here are ATA’s top news events for 2015:
10. BR Williams’ exec wins national fleet safety award
The American Trucking Associations tapped Allan Hicks of BR Williams Trucking in Oxford, Ala., as its 2015 National Safety Director of the Year during the group’s Safety, Security and Human Resources National Conference in Little Rock, Ark.
9. ATA selects Westin Las Vegas to host 2016 convention
The Alabama Trucking Association has announced that its 2016 Annual Convention & Meeting will be held April 28-30 at the Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, Nev. It isn’t the first time the group has travelled a considerable distance for its annual meeting (The group has met in San Antonio, Tex. Honolulu, Hawaii and twice to the Bahamas) but it is the first time in more than two decades.
8. UPS Driver wins Alabama TDC
Jeff Higgins, a driver for UPS Freight from Pinson, Ala. was the highest overall scorer at the Alabama Truck Driving Championship held June 12 in Pelham, Ala. Higgins posted a combined score of 348 points to win the 3-axle and eventually the Grand Champion trophy, which is sponsored by Southland International Trucks. Nearly 100 drivers from two dozen Alabama Trucking Association member firms competed in the event held at the Pelham Civic Complex, just South of Birmingham.
7. Filgo wins H. Chester Webb Award
The Alabama Trucking Association honored longtime Association President and CEO Frank Filgo with its H. Chester Webb Award for outstanding service to Alabama’s trucking industry. The group surprised Filgo with the lifetime achievement recognition during its 77th Annual Convention held April 23-25 in Destin, Fla.
6. ATA Golf Classic stays on par
According to ATA officials, this year’s ATA Golf Classic eclipsed all previous ones in terms of money raised and membership participation. Due to the size of the player roster, and a few new added services to improve the tournament experience for golfers, expenses were slightly increased this year. Thus, the net amount for TRUCK PAC was down slightly less over last year. Still, if taken into context with previous years, the tournament continued its amazing six-year growth trend.
5. Golden Flake driver Benny Lewis wins Alabama Driver of the Year
The Alabama Trucking Association’s Safety & Maintenance Management Council tapped Golden Flake Transportation's Benny Lewis as its Alabama Driver of the Year during its annual Fleet Safety Awards Banquet March 23 in Birmingham. The award was sponsored by Nextran Truck Centers.
4. FMCSA to no longer publicly display carrier safety performance online
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that effective immediately much of the information previously available on its website related to property carrier’s compliance and safety performance will no longer be displayed publicly. The agency acted swiftly in its decision to do so after the FAST Act of 2015, the five-year highway funding bill that passed both houses of Congress was signed into law by President Obama on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015.
3. Congress hammers out highway funding bill
It seemed to take an eternity but negotiators from the House and Senate announced in late November that they had reached an agreement on a five-year, $281 billion highway and transit bill that addresses many of the industry's priorities.
2. ATA taps Greg Brown as Chairman
The Alabama Trucking Association’s Board of Directors elected Greg Brown as its Chairman for fiscal year 2015-‘16. He began his term July 1 and will serve through June 30, 2016. Brown, 56, is Chairman and CEO the Oxford, Ala.-based B.R. Williams Trucking, Inc., which provides transportation, warehousing and logistics services to hundreds of customers across the southeastern U.S. The company employs more than 350 and maintains a current fleet of 170 tractors, 600 trailers. It also offers more than 1 million sq. ft. warehouse space.
1. ATA brokers several tax saving measures for Alabama carriers
ATA officials produced several tax-savings wins for Alabama truckers this past year. The most significant was a settlement against the Alabama Dept. of Revenue which replaced the MSRP with a fair market price for assessment of property taxes of newly purchased vehicles. The result of that will yield nearly $400 saved on taxes for new trucks.