NTTC members convene in San Diego for annual conference
Jul 1, 2009 12:00 PM
National Tank Truck Carriers Inc (NTTC) returned to San Diego, California, for its annual conference after a nearly 60-year absence. The 61st Annual Conference and Tank Truck Equipment Show was held May 10-12 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel overlooking San Diego Bay.
Bill Usher Jr, NTTC's 2008-2009 chairman and president of Usher Transport, pointed out some similarities between the two meetings. “It is interesting to note that when NTTC met in San Diego in 1952, the nation was still involved in a difficult conflict in Korea, had just elected a new President, and faced economic challenges,” he said.
Despite the difficult economy, NTTC achieved a strong turnout for this year's event. Suppliers touted a wide array of products and services at 55 booths, and traffic through the exhibit area was brisk.
Political and economic issues dominated the conference. The political tone of the conference was set by Victor Davis Hanson, university professor and syndicated columnist, who discussed what the Barack Obama Presidency means for the United States in general and for business in particular.
“During Obama's short time as President, he has initiated huge spending increases that mean huge debt for this country,” Hanson said. “Sending is being financed by tax increases that are pushing us toward a 60% income tax burden. We're seeing an incredible shift toward social redistribution of wealth.
“The actions of this president will leave businesses with fewer avenues to create profits in the future. In eight years, Obama could stamp out the entrepreneurial spirit in this country. There would be no incentive to work hard or any willingness to take risk.
“We're moving toward the sort of socialist governments that they have in France and Germany. Obama's policies challenge the rule of law and change the foundation of free enterprise. Obama's programs are contrary to human nature, and they won't work. His message is false, and the reality will be a nightmare. If he is successful in pushing through his political agenda, this country could become little different from a South American dictatorship.”
John Conley, NTTC president, alerted association members to the threat posed by Congressional legislation that would prohibit retained product piping (wetlines) on all tank trailers used to transport hazardous materials. “This legislation was politically motivated and is included in the Highway Reauthorization bill,” he said. “This has become our big issue, and we need to do what we can to oppose it.”
Legislative and regulatory issues dominate the Top 10 truck industry challenges in 2009. The Top 10 challenges were outlined in “State of the Trucking Industry” report delivered by Charles “Shorty” Whittington, 2009 chairman of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and president of Grammer Industries Inc.
Federal actions will have a significant impact on the ability of the tank truck industry to operate profitably and efficiently. Government action could determine whether the trucking industry has adequate fuel supplies at an affordable price, according to Whittington.
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