What’s in a name?

In political and regulatory arenas, name recognition goes a long way. But, it’s been suggested to me a number of times that if OOIDA truly represents all truckers, we should change our name.

When our name – Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association – was developed, it was intended to be all-inclusive, meaning owner-operators and company drivers.

Remember, it was 1973 – and that was years before trucking was deregulated. Back then, big carriers ran the show and small-business truckers were not privy to their own authority. “Independent” did not mean a trucker who had his own authority. “Independent” was not a type of trucking business.

The phrase “independent drivers” was chosen to represent all drivers who chose to think for themselves.

That part of the name truly reflected – and still does – an independent state of mind and attitude.

We have fought hard for the past 30-plus years to make the name OOIDA known to lawmakers and government agencies. We are making great strides in this area and for us to change our name now would be like starting over. Making sure the interests of professional truckers are considered at various levels is a constant struggle and we can’t afford to lose any ground we have gained.

What we can do is continue to get the word out that OOIDA represents all professional drivers. We strive to do this via Land Line Magazine, the daily Web reports on the Internet, our radio show “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio, and on the OOIDA Web site. We also use marketing ads in other trucking publications and, most importantly, we rely on word-of-mouth communication from our members to others in the industry.

We will continue to be diligent in our efforts.