The trucking industry’s critical issues of 2012


After topping the list of the trucking industry’s most critical issues from 2009 to 2011, the economy is no longer the most pressing industry issue, according to the latest American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) Top Industry Issues Survey.

This year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) safety monitoring program eclipsed the economy, which fell two places to third. The federal commercial driver HOS regulations ranked second this year, unchanged from last year.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization. The annual survey of more than 4,000 trucking industry executives, now in its eighth year, is an important tool for increasing awareness of industry needs.

Last year’s top industry issue, the economy, fell two spots this year to third place. That issue topped the list for a record three consecutive years and remains a source of concern for many in the industry. 


Remaining top 10

The others issues on the ATRI’s top 10 list of trucking industry concerns:

4. Driver shortage.

5. Fuel issues/fuel prices.

6. Electronic onboard recorder/electronic logging device mandate.

7. Driver retention.

8. Truck parking.

9. Driver health and wellness.

10. Tie: congestion/truck bottlenecks and highway infrastructure.


Issues 12 to 15

As a result of the methodology changes to the 21012 ATRI Top Industry Issues Survey, it is now possible to determine the issues fall just beyond the top ten ranking.

Those issues, in order, were: driver distraction, tolling/vehicle mileage, taxes, tort reform and independent contractor.


Using the findings

The results of American Trucking Associations (ATA)-commissioned survey, plus the proposed strategies to deal with the critical issues, will be utilized by the ATA Federation to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the U.S. trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders.

“ATRI’s annual survey of critical industry issues gives ATA, and all trucking stakeholders, a clearer understanding of the challenges our industry faces,” said Dan England, chairman of the board, C.R. England, Salt Lake City, UT, and chairman of ATA - the largest national trade association for the trucking industry.

“As we all know, the trucking industry operates in a complex and evolving environment and we must constantly work to understand how economic and regulatory changes will impact the industry,” ATA president and CEO Bill Graves said. “By improving our understanding of the issues, we can be better stewards of the important job our industry is tasked with. 

“ATRI’s work once again gives ATA the information we need to effectively represent the industry.”

A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI by visiting