After writing for 10-4 Magazine since June of 1994 (26 years) and after 31 years in business, I have decided to take advantage of the COVID-19 situation along with the slowdown in all businesses. I have concurred with the staff and decided it is time for a new look at NTA. More than likely, due to the current workplace situation, we will start by downsizing our office space and continue to let everyone work from home.
At the beginning of this month (September), I turned 76. Wow, I can’t believe that I’m over three-quarters of a century old now. I still feel like I’m still 21, but with fifty-five years of experience in my head – although sometimes my body doesn’t agree. I still have a few things I want to checkoff my bucket list before I ride off into the sunset. I can’t wait to redo this organization and website and sell the whole “kit and caboodle” so I can retire. I may be crazy in my old age, but I’d like to have a small ranch in Colorado and raise bison.
The NorthAmerican Transportation Association (NTA), as of August 2020, has over 287,750 motor carrier subscribers to Hi-Way Hi-Lites. This electronic newsletter tries to keep everyone up to date on what is going on in the trucking world of rules, regulations, and events that may affect their business or livelihood. This is a free service on our website. There are so many things I would like to cover I feel like a mosquito at a nudist’s camp – I just don’t know where to start!
Now, when I said new look, I also meant a new logo and a new website. We even went so far as to go up to Calgary, Canada to find our new award-winning digital marketing agency/web developers. They come highly recommended and all of their references came back with great reviews. At the time of this writing, even I have not seen what we are going to have. One thing for sure is that the new website design will be more user friendly. From what I understand, the website will automatically recognize what type of device you are using and adjust accordingly. For example, no matter if you are using a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smart phone, our system will be able to communicate back to you in the appropriate manner so that you can read and use everything.
So, this is the time for your input. Let us know what you want to see or what benefits you’re looking for. Remember the old saying that “Knowledge is Power” and we will try our best to make you the most knowledgeable person at your company. You’re going to see new ads and easier form filing/sign-up processes. For the first time, to the best of my knowledge, we will have a “Chat Line” so that you will be able to chat (via email) freely with a professional regarding the FMCSA Clearinghouse, occupational accident, misclassification rules in your applicable state, drug testing, and more.
We also decided to upgrade our benefits and services, making them more accessible, as well. We will be adding a Member Sales Representative in the near future to make sure everyone understands the benefits we offer and especially know how to use these benefits to their advantage. So, we will be taking applications shortly. If you think you may be qualified, you can send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. More than likely, this will be a home office position, but this may change. I will keep you posted.
Everyone knows that it is mandatory to do background checks. We have a service so superior that background check companies use our service to do background checks for other trucking companies. So, get rid of the middleman, get your results in minutes (in some cases), and save money on our Background Check Package.
To the best of my knowledge, NTA is the only association that reports its members to a financial organization on a monthly basis. The reason we do this is that we understand just how tough it is to run a small business. By reporting our members, this gives our members a chance to upgrade their credit scores with each monthly payment. I am also proud to announce that this financial organization, Ansonia Credit, which was recently purchased by Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting agencies out there, will be integrated into PayNet, an Equifax company that provides credit and analytics on both small and medium enterprises. This is a great thing.
We believe the combination of Ansonia and Equifax makes strategic sense on a number of levels. We have found that when factors, credit managers, and lenders have tools to mitigate risk, they are more likely to make credit available to help companies grow successfully – particularly small business. Therefore, when factoring through Orange Commercial Credit (OCC), they will check out your prospective shipper ahead of time. If they won’t factor the freight, then you should not haul the load. This can help save you a lot of headaches.
I am really excited about our new Affiliate Membership Program. Every member will be automatically enrolled free of charge. Every time a member refers a new member that signs up, that member will automatically get a credit against any outstanding invoices. I want this to work so that all sole proprietors and fleet members will be able to gain enough credits to eventually have free membership. And speaking of free, for sole proprietors who have their own authority, we will continue to offer free random drug testing, as long as they are in one of our occupational accident programs.
On a final but different note, we have just found out that the Ninth Circuit plans to hear oral arguments on September 1, 2020 in CTA v. Becerra – the federal district court decision enjoining the State of California from enforcing California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) against motor carriers. The Ninth Circuit typically issues decisions within three months to a year of oral arguments, so we may know where the Ninth Circuit stands on the enforceability of AB 5 against motor carriers by the end of the year. This does not necessarily mean an end to the AB5 controversy is in sight, considering most pundits agree the decision will be appealed to the United States Supreme Court regardless of where the Ninth Circuit lands on the issue, but at least something is happening. Stay tuned!