Friday, May 31, 2013

Terry Button gets a seat at the table

OOIDA staff and members currently represent small-business truckers on all kinds of industry advisory and policy panels, including FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, the Transportation Research Board, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, DHS’s Highway and Motor Carrier Sector Coordinating Council, and others.

This week, we learned that another OOIDA member has been tapped to serve. Terry Button, Rushville, NY, senior OOIDA member and a member of the OOIDA Board of Directors has been selected to be a member of the newly-created National Freight Advisory Committee.

On Thursday, May 30, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced the names of the committee. From James Hoffa to Joan Claybrook, this diverse group has 47 voting members who will serve two-year terms and attend at least three meetings a year. The first one is June 25.

LaHood and company made a good choice in Terry Button. I’ve known Terry for years, and he is a thoughtful, hard-working guy who’s got the trucking chops to do justice to the committee. Let me describe Terry in three words: He gets it.

Terry describes himself as an owner-operator trucker, shipper, receiver, exporter, broker and family farmer. As the owner of Terry Button Farms – a one-truck operation – he says he makes all decisions for his business regarding equipment purchasing, rates and routes, and must constantly adjust to market conditions, fuel prices, and road conditions and weather. 

He hauls hay, agricultural products and produce from the New York/New Jersey region down to Florida. He also coordinates the shipment of hay from the New York/New Jersey region to along the entire Eastern Seaboard and inland to Tennessee and Texas. 

Like most small-business truckers, Terry is a one-man show, but he thinks bigger than that. His mind is not just where that next load of hay is going. He recognizes the important link between economics and safety and how policies at the national level will affect the truckers who are out there trying to move freight efficiently from point A to point B. This is a guy who understands the economic impact of delays and where the inefficiencies lie within the system.

No doubt he’ll bring brains, experience and common sense to the NFAC.