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50th Anniversary Mid-west Truck & Tractor Show

In the fall of 2011, the Mid-west Truckers Association (MTA) contacted the ITEA and asked if we would like a booth for the 50th Anniversary Mid-west Truck & Tractor Show in Peoria, IL.  This was an opportunity the ITEA was not about to miss!  Those that attended had a great time and we want to thank the leadership of MTA for inviting us and their great hospitality.  The ITEA met hundreds of truckers and handed out information to thousands.  We were able to spend some time with old friends from other government agencies and forge new relationships with people from the private sector.  Great dialogues…a few heated, but most were complimentary or inquisitive…but at the end of the event, the ITEA came away better for it.

It is easy sometimes to get caught up in the issues that pertain to our daily individual lives and not see the big picture…issues in the trucking industry are no exception.  While truck concerns at the local level are no less important than concerns at the state, national, or even international level, it is always good to see things from a broader perspective.  The mission and vision of the ITEA was not only confirmed during this event, but bolstered.  Here are the top three categories of issues we heard about…all foundational statements of the ITEA:

Uniformity Trucker after trucker we talked to was burdened by police from one jurisdiction enforcing the same law differently than police from the next jurisdiction.  While some laws leave room for discretion, no laws are never meant to abrogated.  Many of these concerns we have heard before, but the sheer volume of complaints about the same 3 or 4 issues (and unfortunately a handful of law enforcement agencies) only proves the truth of confusion.  Our 40-hour basic truck enforcement training for new truck officers and 8-hour certification training for current truck officers were big hits with the industry.

Resources The key to solving uniformity is resource.  Too many resources out there are singular in nature…they have not been vetted against all spectrums of truck world.  While the genesis of ITEA resources comes from law enforcement, all resource documents and standards of practice have been drafted, debated, revised and reviewed by not just our cops, but state officials, truckers, and attorneys.  Narrowly creating resources that have only been seen by one or two sets of eyes leads to bias and errors.  We added hundreds of people to the distribution list that receives this weekly email, so now for a quick marketing plug! We hope this blog is a great resource, but our best resources are available to the membership.  You can become a member by visiting our main website…you will not be disappointed by what the ITEA has to offer.

Legislation Weight.  Size.  CDL’s.  Cellular Phones.  Hours of Service.  These hot button legislative topics came up over and over again.  It was great to able to tell truckers how the ITEA, ISP, IDOT, SOS, MTA, and Illinois Trucking Association all worked together last year to reorganize the weight law, add new provisions and fix some old ones.  We hope to be able to do the same with the bloated size law in the near future.  Our good friends from the SOS were right behind us to help with the complexities of registration and the new CDL medical merge process.  We were able to clear up enforcement authority confusion between federal law (Illinois State Police only) and state law (ISP & local police) and how that pertains to new cell phone and hours of service regulations.

This economy has taken its toll on everyone, including the truckers.  The cost of doing business is high and the industry deserves the best from law enforcement.  That message was heard loud and clear…and the ITEA will respond.

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