The Florida Trucking Association (FTA) was incorporated in 1934 in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Lewis Raulerson of Jacksonville was one of the first to recognize the need for the new industry to become affiliated, so in 1933, he attended an American Trucking Associations (ATA) meeting in Chicago to seek guidance in organizing Florida’s trucking industry.
He learned that unity was the first order of business and was told to, “bind yourselves into an organization to handle collectively the problems you are unable to handle individually.” Recognizing the logic of this, Mr. Raulerson paid the $200 fee for a Florida chapter and came home to spread the word. After a number of preliminary meetings, six men signed the charter of the Florida Trucking Association on October 5, 1934, in Jacksonville. The FTA was created as a non-profit organization to sponsor reasonable rates and regulations for both the industry and the public, to disseminate information to its members, and to encourage high standards.
At the same time, south of Jacksonville, a loosely knit group of truckers organized themselves under the leadership of Sid Allen of Tampa. They registered themselves in Duval County on September 25, 1934 as the Florida Truck Owners Association. In November 1934, Sid Allen called a meeting in Ocala of prominent truckers including I. W. and Paul Holstun, Ed Rowland, J. Fogarty, and Talbert Leonard, to discuss joining forces with the FTA.
The organization got off to a slow and shaky start, since few trucking companies had the time or money to put into strengthening the organization. However, in December of 1937 a reorganization meeting was held at the Marriott hotel in Ocala, which brought more attendees out. By then more and more motor carriers were seeing the benefit of having a unified voice, and over the years more members joined the Association strengthening the FTA. Members of the FTA spent a lot of time in Tallahassee developing relationships with the Florida Legislature and educating them on the trucking industry’s contribution to Florida’s economy. By 1942, the Association that began with a membership of six had grown to a membership exceeding seven hundred.
The first offices of the FTA were built in 1938 and located at 657 E. Bay Street in Jacksonville. The city had been selected because of its key role in the trucking industry, and it remained the home of the Association for more than forty years. In 1981, as the need for a closer working relationship with the legislature became more and more important, the FTA moved to its present location in Tallahassee.
After these many years, the FTA continues to play a vital role in the business environment of its members and is a well-respected member of the Florida business community, as evidenced by the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce awarding its “2008 Association of the Year” to the FTA.
The trucking industry continues to evolve and adapt to changes in transportation laws and policies, and in energy costs. More than 80 percent of freight by weight is hauled by the industry, making trucking the cornerstone of commerce in the United States. Truckers haul fuel, agriculture, and other important products from fourteen ports to thousands of locations throughout Florida and the United States.
On April 15, 2008, the Florida Trucking Association received a resolution from the Governor and Cabinet in honor of Truckers Day at the Capitol. Similar resolutions were presented in the House and Senate Chambers. These special recognitions are indicative of the importance the FTA places on maintaining strong working relationships with the Legislative and Executive branches of government.
The FTA is here to be the dynamic advocate and resource for Florida’s trucking and transportation industry. We are here to serve and represent the interests of our members, while promoting highway and driver safety, and a healthy business environment.
Florida Trucking Association: Your Tomorrow Is on a Truck Today
FTA PAC, Inc.
Committee of Continuous Existence
The purpose of the FTA PAC, Inc. is to promote and facilitate the accumulation of voluntary contributions from members of the Florida trucking industry and persons engaged in allied industries who are supportive of this corporation’s aims and goals. Contributions are used for the support of various candidates for local and state offices who have taken responsible positions on issues involving the trucking industry, as well as issues of local and statewide importance.