Groendyke Participates in NTTC Call on Washington
In March, Groendyke Transport participated in National Tank Truck Carriers Call on Washington, where NTTC and leaders of its company members met with 15 representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill.
Why it matters: In-person advocacy plays a critical role in NTTC’s efforts to influence legislation and regulatory changes that benefit employees in the tank truck industry, especially drivers.
What they’re saying: “It’s important for all of us who work in the tank truck industry to make our voices heard, and this event gives us unmatched access to do exactly that,” said Groendyke Transport President and CEO Greg Hodgen, who participated in the event. “The tank truck industry has unique challenges even when compared to the rest of the trucking industry, and we play a vital role in the nation’s economy. So it’s important we have a seat at the table for any legislation affecting our segment of trucking.”
The big picture: While the tank truck industry only accounts for 6 percent of the trucking industry’s revenue, it also makes up 33 percent of the tonnage hauled. The industry hauls fuels for all transportation, including travel by road, rail, air and water. It delivers raw materials for manufacturing, machinery, and even infrastructure upkeep through products like asphalt.
As a founding member of NTTC, Groendyke has understood the importance of advocating for the industry’s needs for decades. The Enid, Okla., based carrier has had three past NTTC Chairmen – former President Max Barton, Chairman of the Board John D. Groendyke, and Hodgen.
“Without the fuel, raw materials for manufacturing and machinery, and infrastructure materials such as asphalt, all segments of the U.S. economy would grind to a screeching halt,” Hodgen said.
Every other year, NTTC schedules this event near the beginning of the term to increase their chance to meet with as many members of Congress as possible. This year, some of the priorities addressed that affect Groendyke and its employees were:
- Emissions regulations and the push for electric vehicles: The current zero emissions vehicle acquisitions target of 2035 is unrealistic for the industry. NTTC and GT advocate for a seat at the table to discuss a realistic way forward that includes the discussion of technology, infrastructure and the role of hydrogen fuel cells.
- Electronic shipping papers: NTTC and GT push for electronic shipping information as a more practical alternative to paper copies. Specifically, they advocate for PHMSA to amend regulations requiring hard copy shipping paper to accompany the shipment on the vehicle, allowing electronic information as an alternative.
- TWIC and HazMat process harmonization: In 2022, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introduced a bill in the Senate that would allow drivers to use one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) application for two or more TSA programs, including TWIC and HazMat. NTTC and GT strongly support this bill.
- Lawsuit abuse reform: While American Trucking Associations (ATA) is taking the lead on this issue, NTTC and GT support its efforts addressing extreme and unjustified verdicts driven by plaintiffs’ attorneys – the root cause of increased insurance rates. ATA’s advocacy in this area has led to the introduction of the Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2021, which was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security in November.
- Workforce development: NTTC and GT continue to push for programs that spark an increase in drivers and other professionals entering the tank truck industry, including the reintroduction of the DRIVE Safe Act.
- F4A Changes: NTTC and GT advocate for Federal DOT rules regarding wage, hours, breaks, etc., to supersede all state regulations, opposing a patchwork of state rules and regulations in these areas. F4A refers to the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994. Title VI of the act declares that states shall not be prohibited from enforcing safety regulatory and related insurance matters with respect to motor carriers.
Other topics lower in priority discussed during the Call on Washington were:
Go deeper: NTTC members spoke with the following members of Congress during the Call on Washington:
What’s next: All employees of the tank truck industry can do their part to advocate for this vital part of the nation’s economy by contacting your U.S. Representative or Senator.