American trucking association

Truckers have massive responsibilities. They deliver goods and cargo from one place to another so the economy can function as efficiently and smoothly as possible. However, talented, knowledgeable drivers require support or professional networking from time to time. That’s where trucking associations come into the picture.

What Is a Trucking Association?

In simple words, a trucking association is an organization, usually but not always a nonprofit, that works to represent truckers or trucking companies or someone who provides supportive resources for those in the shipping and transportation industry.

For instance, the ATA or American Trucking Association provides several support resources for truck drivers, that includes educational resources, job opportunities, connections with legal representatives when necessary, and much more.

Typically, truck drivers join trucking organizations to gain access to these resources and join other employees with a purpose of collective bargaining. For example, truck drivers can protest if they’re all a part of the same organization to demand higher wages or better industry safety measures.

Note: Arguably, ATA (American Trucking Association) is the most significant trucking association to join.

What Are the Benefits of Being in a Trucking Association?

There are many advantages of being in a trucking association, whether you are an independent carrier or work for a big shipping company.

  • Firstly, being in a trucking association gives you access to a wealth of professional resources you can use to boost your career. Training materials, educational supplies, and access to industry insights and stuff through monthly newsletters and magazines are just the tip of the iceberg.

  • When you’re in a trucking association, you become a part of a collective network of fellow truckers. This collective network can be very crucial if you need legal assistance or wish to participate in protests or other collective bargaining pushes. Also, in some cases, you won’t be able to join strikes or collective bargaining events without being a part of the organizations that start them.

  • Moreover, joining a trucking organization can offer you legal support and defense if you need it. Many trucking organizations have connections to knowledgeable lawyers and other legal representatives who act as significant contacts for their members.

  • In addition, trucking associations are even more essential for underrepresented minority groups, like women (who only make up a fragment of the shipping industry’s workforce, also with the truck driver shortage). For instance, women can join the Women in Trucking Association to access women-specific support and resources, involving potential job opportunities.

  • When you’re in a trucking association, you can lift up or improve your career in multiple ways. There are generally member dues or annual fees you have to pay. However, these are ultimately minor, considering the benefits you get from joining these organizations in the first place.

Which Trucking Associations Support Truckers?

You can join different American trucking associations, but four are the most significant ones considering their benefits and applicability to specific truck driver demographics.They are:

1. American Trucking Associations

The AmericanTrucking Association or ATA is one of the oldest and most significant trucking associations overall. It was established when the Highway Freight Association and FederatedTrucking Associations of America merged in 1993.

This association worked with the US Army in World War II and helped in enlisting 5,700 truck drivers to work in the US Army Transportation Corps. Ever Since, the ATA has guided many interstate commerce initiatives and fights hard to ensure fair compensation and better treatment for American truckers. 

It has three primary policy platforms:

  • Safety – The ATA works hard to ensure and prioritize driver safety, so it also works in coordination with federal groups like the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
  • Sustainability – The ATA researches and validates environmental policies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Industry security – The ATA represents drivers and industry leaders with a motive that their importance in the American economy is never underestimated or misunderstood.

2. National Association of Small Trucking Companies

The National Association of Small Trucking Companies was established in 1989 and brought several companies together with an objective of lobbying and collective bargaining activities. It represents over 10,000 trucking outfits, so it’s a good organization to join if you run your own carrier business or are part of a small trucking company.

The ultimate mission of the NASTC is to equalize the playing field for all member companies, giving every small trucking company an opportunity at profitability and industry success.

3. Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association was established in 1973 and now has over 160,000 members and works hard to provide professional truckers a voice, specifically in collective bargaining activities. The OOIDA represents individual truck drivers rather than their employers, making it one of the most crucial organizations to join if you work for a large carrier company.

The motive of the OOIDA include pushing for equitable work environments and improving highway and on-the-job safety measures for drivers at all levels, including the international level.

Furthermore, in addition to the above associations, you should have a look into state trucking associations, like groups in New York, Tennessee, or Arkansas. These deal with local or state-level issues, so they may have information or other resources that apply to particular struggles or situations in your local transportation industry.

If it’s possible, research each trucking trade association to go through their policies regarding advocacy, fleet safety, and the board of directors. Researching the details of these organizations will help you choose the right associations to join.

4. Women in Trucking

Women in Trucking or WIT is a nonprofit founded by the current president and CEO, Ellen Voie. It was established in 2007 and supports for improved female inclusion in the trucking industry, working to promote employment opportunities for all the underrepresented women.

Major benefits of joining Women in Trucking include:

  • Gaining helpful insights into women’s issues in the freight industry.
  • Educational resources and materials.
  • Access to management and driver promotion opportunities for women.
  • Professional development resources and access to training seminars.
  • Access to entry-level trucker positions for newcomers to the industry.


In conclusion, as you can see, there are plenty of beneficial American trucking associations you might want to join. Whether you join one association or multiple associations, you’ll benefit from their resources, insider expertise, and support services.

Tushar C
Senior HR Officer at OpenFR8 | More posts

I'm a HR at OpenFR8 and a passionate blogger. Apart from my day job as HR, reading and writing books/blogs are two of my absolute favorite things to do. I like taking on new challenges and most importantly, I believe in bringing efficiency towards everything I do. I love expressing my thoughts and visions through the medium of words in the form of blogs or articles or books. Till this date, I've successfully published three short-novels on my own and will continue to do so.

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