While many seniors tend to slow down a bit, the Oklahoma Trucking Association, a nonprofit trade association, is rolling along with plans for its new digs, which should be complete just in time for its 75th anniversary. Dan Case, executive director, Oklahoma Trucking Association, said a group of industry pioneers formed the association in 1932. It works to promote and protect the interests of the trucking industry in Oklahoma. The association recently broke ground on a new 3,892-square-foot office building at NE 38th Street and Lincoln Boulevard.
"Oklahoma's trucking industry employs more than 100,000 people a year," Case said. "Trucking is one of Oklahoma's top 10 industries with a $3.3 billion payroll per year. We look at our new office building as more than an office, it is our home. " Case estimated the overall cost of the building to be about $400,000. "The new office will serve two purposes," Case said. "We will memorialize our past with granite tiles on the walls featuring the people who have meant a lot to the association for the past 75 years. At the same time, it will be a very modern-looking building because we're looking forward to the future. " He said with 352 members, including many large trucking companies, the Oklahoma Trucking Association's move nearer to the Oklahoma Capitol will allow for closer legislative ties as the association works on issues important to the trucking industry. "The board room will be quite large and a little showy because that is where we will hold our fundraisers for our legislative needs, and we'll be closer to the people who we represent," he said. Case said the association has been busy with monthly meetings of the Oklahoma Safety Management Council and the Technology and Maintenance Council. "There are no mechanics anymore," Case said. "They're technicians. There are new things coming down the pipe every month. We discuss technology like intelligent brakes and intelligent shocks. People don't realize that most trucks have GPS systems and there are even software programs that will tell you where you can fill up your truck for the least amount of money. " He said high fuel costs are having a negative impact on Oklahoma's smaller trucking companies because the "medium and big guys are able to counter the higher costs with surcharges. " As a result, consumers are seeing higher prices across the board at the checkout counter. Pipeline problems in Colorado and western Kansas have also caused the trucking industry some headaches. Despite this, Case said he doesn't see a slowdown in Oklahoma's trucking industry soon. "Our fuel prices are competitive, and we're the crossroads of America," he said. "We remain very busy and in good shape. "