OOIDA board of directors Fall 1999 meeting report

The board of directors of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association met Oct. 21-23 at Association headquarters in Grain Valley, MO. The board, made up of owner-operators from all over the country, meets twice a year to conduct association business.

Directors heard reports from in-house staff outlining the association's continuing growth and updates on new programs (as well as enhancements to existing programs) to benefit members. Membership now exceeds 45,000 owner-operators and professional drivers.

OOIDA's attorneys presented an update on legal actions, including the implications of the recent Court of Appeals decision upholding the private right of action, an essential factor in the actions against Prime and Arctic. While the legal process is not a speedy one, developments are expected in a number of cases in the next few months. Watch future issues of Land Line for details. Potential targets for future litigation were also discussed, including shippers and receivers who may be violating lumping regulations.

The board discussed legislative issues before state and federal lawmakers, with the U.S. House passage of Motor Carrier Administration legislation heading the list. The board heard updates on regulatory issues, among them the lack of proposed rules for HOS revisions and delays in new cargo securement regulations.

The board gave final approval to a safe driving award program for OOIDA members. Watch for details early in the new year.

For some time, the issue of whether truckdrivers should be paid by the hour has been a source of controversy in the industry and in the media. The OOIDA board discussed driver pay issues at length, and voted to support paying employee drivers by the hour.

Larry Long, program engineer for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, spoke to the board about the need for truckers to report vehicle defects (see story page 54).

Dr. Michael Belzer from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute asked board members to develop a cost impact analysis for a number of different hours-of-service scenarios.

Special guests from Western Star

Robert Enright, president and COO of Western Star Trucks, and Lynn Voss, Dealer Development Manager for Western Star Trucks spoke to OOIDA directors about the history and growth of Western Star. A new production facility now operating in Charleston, SC, is expected to produce 20 trucks a day initially.

New facilities under construction in Kelowna, BC, will boost production from the present 31 trucks per day to 40 per day. Western Star currently has a one and six-tenths percent market share, but Enright told directors the company has set a goal of 6 percent of sales in the North American market by the end of 2003.

Directors learned Western Star has a number of new products in the works, including a special edition 4964EX Millennium model with all the bells and whistles, a Class 7 model, and new lighter weight 4964FLX that truckers will see for the first time at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March.

Enright, Voss and the directors discussed a special program for OOIDA members. Beginning in January, Western Star trucks will be available to OOIDA members at a substantial discount.