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OOIDA has been fighting for truckers for 50 years. Here’s what they’ve accomplished.


Content Sponsored By Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)

The nation’s most powerful advocate for small business truckers is celebrating a major milestone in 2023.

Looking Back On 50 Years Of OOIDA

This year marks the 50th anniversary of OOIDA, so the CDLLife team decided to take a look back at how the organization was founded, highlight some of the group’s biggest victories on behalf of truckers, and learn more about how OOIDA can help your business truck better.

OOIDA was founded in 1973 amid major turmoil in the trucking industry. An OPEC oil embargo dramatically increased diesel prices and frustrated independent truckers came together for a three-day nationwide strike. Lawmakers listened to truckers but for the most part refused to act on their behalf. Fuel prices continued to increase, threatening the nation’s supply chain and the livelihoods of thousands of truckers. The need to organize became obvious, and OOIDA was formed.

Even in the earliest days, OOIDA established itself as a group capable of influencing policy at the highest levels of power in Washington. By 1979, the group scored their first major victory when they convinced Congress to create truth-in-leasing regulations to protect smaller trucking businesses. This landmark OOIDA victory proved the efficacy of the organization and paved the way for more wins in the years to come.

In the mid-1980s, OOIDA began a years-long legal battle that ultimately succeeded in obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars worth of refunds in illegally collected truck taxes on behalf of Owner-Operators.

In the 1990s, OOIDA scored a major legal victory against the powerful Tennessee Public Service Commission (PSC), a group that relentlessly harassed the trucking community with warrantless cab searches. During the investigation into these illegal cab searches, OOIDA investigators uncovered a widespread campaign financing scheme that discriminated against out-of-state trucking companies and trucking companies that did not contribute. Following a long legal fight, the Tennessee PSC was abolished in 1995 in a victory considered by late OOIDA President Jim Johnston to be one of the organization’s most satisfying accomplishments.

In the 2000s, OOIDA leadership and members took part in a convoy at the U.S. Capitol to peacefully demand more fair taxation and compensation policies. OOIDA officially took a stance against speed limiters and split speed limits that the group still holds to this day. During the 2000s and beyond, OOIDA won ground-breaking victories in the courts against a number of large carriers for violations of the federal truth-in-leasing rules.

In the 2010s, OOIDA fought case after case in court on behalf of truckers. The group won a major legal victory over the Minnesota State Patrol over fatigue inspections that were determined to be in violation of the Fourth Amendment. In 2015, OOIDA reached a $44.4 million settlement with the state of New York over discriminatory truck taxes.

In 2020, OOIDA supported the men and women of trucking by calling on President Trump for help for truckers serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump declared a national emergency and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provided historic nationwide relief from hours-of-service rules for truckers hauling in direct assistance to the COVID-19 crisis.

Decades Later, OOIDA Is Fighting Harder Than Ever

In 2023, OOIDA is still the loudest voice in the room fighting on behalf of Owner-Operators and smaller carriers. The group is leading the charge against unpopular FMCSA plans to require speed limiters, Automatic Emergency Braking Systems, and electronic identification numbers for trucks. OOIDA has taken a strong stand against proposed legislation that would increase insurance minimums for motor carriers. They also support legal maneuvers that are good for truckers, like increased federal spending on safe truck parking, regulations requiring increased freight broker transparency, and the formation of a Truck Leasing Task Force to protect drivers from predatory lease agreements.

What Can OOIDA Do For You Today?

As they have for decades, OOIDA continues to offer invaluable resources for small business trucking operations.

Insurance Solutions For Owner-Ops And Small Carriers

OOIDA insurance plans help Owner-Operators and Leased Owner-Operators keep more money in their pockets. OOIDA offers multiple coverage options including personal property coverage, gap coverage, roadside breakdown coverage, and towing and cleanup coverage. To learn more about OOIDA’s for trucker-friendly insurance solutions, click here.

Join Today With This Money-Saving Membership Deal

To celebrate 50 years of OOIDA, you can enroll in two years worth of membership for only $50 — a $40 savings off of standard membership costs. The 2 years for $50 deal is valid for both new and renewing members. You can click here to sign up today. 

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