OOIDA prepares to celebrate 30-year anniversary and membership milestone

| Wednesday, November 05, 2003

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will host a celebration Nov. 14 commemorating the 30th anniversary of the formation of the national trade association for professional truckers. The celebration will also equally highlight the association’s recent milestone of surpassing 100,000 members and pay tribute to the many truckers who contributed to OOIDA’s growth and development.

OOIDA was formed in 1973 during the height of the Arab oil embargoes, which had nearly shut down the trucking industry and crippled the nation. Determined to give professional truckers a voice in legislative and regulatory processes at federal and state levels, OOIDA is now the only national trade association dedicated to the rights of truckers. A not-for-profit organization, OOIDA is composed of more than 102,000 owner-operators, professional drivers and small-business truckers from all 50 states and Canada. OOIDA’s membership represents more than 150,000 trucks. It is directed by three permanent executive officers and a 21-person board of directors, most of whom are active truckers elected by the general membership.

Over the years, OOIDA has achieved significant success in carrying out its mission of representing truckers and unifying the driver segment of the trucking industry. Some of those successes have included a number of high-profile court cases against states and motor carriers for violations of truckers’ rights and federal regulations. The judgments in some court actions have resulted in the return of millions of dollars illegally collected from large numbers of truckers over a period of years. OOIDA has also motivated several important landmark federal regulations and pieces of legislation to protect the interests of small-business truckers and blocked many that were considered unconstitutional or discriminatory to drivers. Through its OOIDA Foundation, the association undertakes in-depth industry research and serves on many national and international educational, research and scientific panels dealing with the trucking industry.

The celebration will be held at OOIDA’s national headquarters in Grain Valley, MO, east of downtown Kansas City. A number of national, state and local political figures are scheduled to attend and speak at the event, as well as representatives from industry groups, media, past and present board members, members and employees. Also speaking will be OOIDA President Jim Johnston, who helped create OOIDA and has led the association for nearly its entire existence. In addition to the 30-year and 100,000-member milestones, Johnston will use the event to dedicate the new 40,000-square-foot building expansion to the headquarters.

OOIDA employs approximately 230 people who coordinate its lobbying efforts and administer the member benefits it offers, such as comprehensive truck insurance, medical benefits and a variety of business services for the small-business trucker.