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History of GMTA
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History of GMTA

One of the most successful and broad-based trade groups in the trucking industry, the Georgia Motor Trucking Association has been promoting its members’ interest in safety, business and good government since it’s founding in 1933.

It is hard to imagine today, but in that earlier era trucking was a new, paradigm-shifting technology. It held the promise of creating more personalized, market oriented movements of freight by companies that were more engaged, nimble and responsive than the few railroads that had long controlled cargo. Independent though they were, those early trucking company entrepreneurs soon discovered that market disruption brought political backlash. Thus GMTA was born of necessity. If the young industry was to survive and protect all the investments being made and the very qualities that made it so potentially valuable, its leaders would have to band together to ensure their competitors did not have sole access to the halls of power and the growing army of state and federal regulators.

Now, more than 80 years later, the industry has grown from market disrupter to market leader – moving more than 80% of all the freight moved in America – and GMTA has gone from one part-time employee walking the halls of the Georgia state capital to a service-oriented government affairs organization that works in all areas of state and federal government, promotes safety and education programs all year long and provides a spectrum of services to its membership.

In just the past few years the association has won victories for members in defeating onerous state regulations, in lowering taxes and in streamlining government-industry interaction. Thanks to GMTA’s work, Georgia is one of the best states in the nation in which to base and operate a trucking company and the organization is constantly working to make it even better.

GMTA maintains an active calendar to help members network, hone skills and work together. A typical year includes major events such as the Truck Driving Championships, the Annual Convention and the Fleet Expo – events that regularly draw world class CEOs and experts as speakers and often more than 1,000 attendees.

The association holds regular meetings for its members throughout the state to ensure good communications and to promote safety. It also maintains a slate of educational programs that deal with areas such as legal trends, technology and regulatory changes and compliance and, in some cases, professional certification and credentialing. In any given month GMTA members are likely to be conducting voluntary truck inspections, learning about new technologies and/or new regulations and giving of their time to visit schools and civic groups to promote safety and community.

To help members’ bottom lines with more than just tax bills, GMTA offers a network of business partners who create member-specific discounts or special offers as part of affinity programs.

Truckers make good citizens and GMTA helps ensure that as well. With the active support of its membership GMTA regularly steps out to help in a variety of charitable operations. For years, the association has been a consistent fundraiser for the Gary Sinise Foundation – one of the nation’s most efficient charities supporting wounded veterans, first responders and their families. Likewise, the association also works to support Truckers Against Trafficking. This unique effort combines education, enforcement and observation to help fight human trafficking as well as rescue and reclaim its victims.

But at its core, GMTA still focuses on representing its members in the halls of government. This year, the association has worked on fuel tax legislation – helping to ensure the industry is properly taxed and the funds properly used – fought for the right of owner-operators to continue to run their own businesses and worked to help improve highway safety in specific corridors that experienced sudden, anomalous increases in crashes. Simultaneously, GMTA maintains an active relationship Georgia’s congressional delegation and with the American Trucking Associations and ensures Georgia’s thoughts, needs and desires find their way into discussions at the federal level as well as in Atlanta.

Much of what GMTA does today could not have been imagined when it was founded by daring entrepreneurs decades ago. But much remains the same. Today, as it in the beginning, the Georgia Motor Trucking Association exists to serve and benefit its members and, today, as in the beginning, it does so incredibly well.