Press Release

ATA Names Sen. Todd Young as Trucking Champion of the Month for June

Washington – The American Trucking Associations is proud to announce June’s Trucking Champion of the Month, Senator Todd Young of Indiana. Representing a state that is nicknamed the crossroads of America, Senator Young is no stranger to the importance of trucking to our nation’s economy and supply chain. 

In Indiana, trucking represents 195,000 jobs or 1 in 14 jobs in the state. As a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Senator Young has worked to find policy solutions to trucking industry’s workforce development challenges that have led to an 80,000 driver shortage. Notably, the Senator’s support and co-sponsorship to the DRIVE Safe Act resulted in a pilot program included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  This pilot program will attract the next generation of our nation’s drivers and train them with the most up-to-date safety features. As a result, companies can begin to recruit and hire younger drivers, giving them a solid middle-class job as the average pay for a truck driver is $54,000.

Recent supply chain woes have created a massive backlog of manufactured trucks. Manufactures have built the trucks and assembled them, however, they are inoperable because they lack semi-conductor chips needed for operation. As a result, Senator Young has been a leading advocate in providing funding to boost domestic semi-conductor manufacturing and near-shore the industry, so the U.S. is not reliant on international suppliers. This issue is especially relevant to Indiana where trucks move more than 91% of manufactured tonnage. Quite literally, when trucks stop, food does not get delivered to shelves, PPE does not make it to our doctor’s offices, and supply chain shortages persist. The trucking community is thankful for champions like the Senator who are working down in Washington to get more trucks on the roads.

In addition to leading efforts to increase truck manufacturing and recruit younger drivers to the industry, Senator Young has been instrumental in helping to pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act which updates Federal Maritime Commission rules. These updates protect drivers from unfair detention and demurrage charges levied against them by foreign owned ocean carriers.  

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Sen. Todd Young

Sen. Todd Young

“As a Senator who represents a state that proudly touts the moniker of the “Crossroads of America,” I deeply appreciate the economic and societal contributions made by the trucking industry,” said Senator Todd Young. “Truckers move 70% of all freight in the U.S. and we all rely on them for everything from food to medicines to commodities. The trucking industry is a critical component of so many supply chains – we know we can rely on our truckers to get products from point A to point B in good times and bad times – as was evidenced by their resiliency during the pandemic.”

“Indiana plays a key role in our nation’s ability to enable commerce. Since first elected, Senator Young made clear his understanding of the important role the trucking industry has in that effort. His unyielding determination has been critical in passing legislation which is well on the way to addressing the truck driver shortage,” said Indiana Motor Truck Association President Gary Langston. “In addition, we are reminded through Senator Young’s work on China competitiveness that his personal focus of responsibility extends well beyond the state that elected him to the welfare our entire nation. We are very fortunate to have a strong leader like Senator Young to represent Hoosiers on these important matters.”

Q&A with Senator Young:

What do you appreciate most about the trucking industry?

As a Senator who represents a state that proudly touts the moniker of the “Crossroads of America,” I deeply appreciate the economic and societal contributions made by the trucking industry. Truckers move 70% of all freight in the U.S. and we all rely on them for everything from food to medicines to commodities. The trucking industry is a critical component of so many supply chains.

What role do truckers play in the local Indiana economy?

On a daily basis, truckers contribute to just about every aspect of the Hoosier economy. We know we can rely on our truckers to get products from point A to point B in good times and bad times – as was evidenced by their resiliency during the pandemic.
If you could describe Indiana truckers in one word, what would it be?
Essential.

How can elected officials better support the men and women of trucking?

Elected officials can and should do a number of things to support the men and women of our trucking industry. First, we should immediately take every step to address the truck driver shortage in the near and long term. My Drive-Safe polit program is in the process of being implemented by the Administration and will provide new career opportunities for young Americans who want to train to be a truck driver while also making the roads safer through enhanced training requirements. Also, it is vital that we reduce the regulatory burdens on our truckers in any way we can to allow these hard-working men and women to do their job in a safe and effective manner.

If you were a trucker, what song would top your long-haul playlist?

Right Down the Line by Gerry Rafferty.

 

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American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on