Nevada Trucking Association – Featured State Trucking Association
Starting with the Nevada Trucking Association (NTA) and its CEO Paul Enos, we’re going to take a close look at each of the state trucking associations and talk with their stakeholders to learn more about the organizations and the people who lead them.
Nevada Trucking Association CEO Sees State Associations’ Role as Evolving
When U.S. Sen. Howard Cannon, D-Nev., and U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., introduced Senate Bill 2245 37 years ago, Nevada Trucking Association chief executive officer Paul Enos was just 5 years old. At that time, few Nevadans, including the young Paul, understood the impact that historic piece of legislation would have on all of their lives.
“That senate bill (which is better known as the Motor Carrier Act of 1980) unleashed what has been the most disruptive force in our economy in modern times,” says Paul. “Before we had big box stores, Netflix, or Amazon, the de-regulated trucking industry laid the foundation for many of those innovations in internet commerce and just-in-time deliveries. The trucking industry has had a tremendous impact on our nation’s economy.
“Do you remember when you would go into a J.C. Penney and look for a pair of Levis and if they didn’t have it on the shelf, the sales person would say, ‘Well, let me go check the backroom to see if we have any more?’ ” Paul asks. “Stores don’t have backrooms anymore because the freight is all shipped just-in-time by truck. It’s the truck that’s become the backroom.”
Highest Participation Rate
As CEO of a state trucking association with 580 members, Paul takes pride in the fact that among all of the state trucking associations in the country, the Nevada Trucking Association has the highest participation rate in the country. About 20 percent of Nevada’s trucking fleets are NTA members.
Since he took the helm of the NTA in 2006, Paul says he has continued leading the organization’s efforts in educating community leaders, state and federal legislators and regulators and the voting public about the importance of the trucking and motor coach industries to the U.S. and state economies. Paul serves on the board of directors for the Nevada Transportation Network Self-Insured Group – the state’s premier administrator of self-insured groups for workers’ compensation. He also serves on the American Transportation Research Institute’s research advisory committee and on the board of directors for the American Trucking Associations’ Political Action Committee or TRUCKPAC. Paul even co-hosts with Sam Shad, a non-partisan statewide public affairs, television and radio show called Nevada Newsmakers – http://www.nevadanewsmakers.com, which is aired on KOH 780 AM Radio from 7 to 9 a.m. on Sundays.
Paul’s Grandpa Drove a Mack Truck for PIE
“Since then, I’ve always had an interest in politics and public policy,” he adds. Paul’s grandfather, who drove trucks for Pacific Intermountain Express (PIE) in the 1960s before becoming a law enforcement officer, sparked his interest in the trucking industry. A polished chrome Mack Bulldog hood ornament from his grandfather’s PIE truck adorns his desk in the NTA’s Reno office.
Paul says he’s proud to be leading an organization whose mission is to advocate for safety in the trucking industry, to help improve the trucking industry’s image and to ensure the trucking industry maintains a voice in the development of transportation programs, regulations and public policies. Paul says he doesn’t want to see a return to heavy and excessive regulation of the trucking industry. Before deregulation, transportation costs represented a quarter of the cost of most goods grown or produced in the United States and shipped by truck. Depending on the type of commodity, truck transportation costs now range from a low of 3 percent to a high of 10 percent, he says.
Need Something Moved in Nevada? Most Likely It’s a Truck
While trucks carried about 43 percent of all domestic freight by tonnage nationwide in 2015, the percentage of freight moved in the state of Nevada by truck is much higher – nearly 92 percent by tonnage. “That means 9 out of 10 things Nevadans and visitors to Nevada buy in this state were moved by trucks,” Paul says. Additionally, about 80 percent of Nevada’s communities rely on trucks as their sole means for freight transportation.
“While people are often astounded by how critical trucking is to the Nevada economy, it shouldn’t come as a surprise,” he adds. “After all, Nevada doesn’t have seaports and there’s not a Mississippi River that flows through the Silver State.”
Daimler Unveiled Industry’s First Self-Driving Truck in Nevada
As for what the future holds for trucking, Paul says despite the attention self-driving trucks have been getting recently, he believes trucking, and specifically truck drivers, will still play major roles in moving freight. “There’s been a lot of speculation about autonomous trucks, which we’re certainly proud the state of Nevada played a major role as Daimler’s venue for the unveiling of the industry’s first self-driving truck two years ago.
“I see self-driving trucks playing more of a supplementary role for truck drivers even after many more are rolled out,” he says. “Much like how airline pilots rely on autopilot systems to fly and even land jetliners, drivers will use this technology to help them do their jobs safer and more efficiently.
Trucking Associations Can Play Critical Role in Technology Adoption
“In the meantime, there’s a lot of moving parts in converting highways to handle autonomous vehicles,” Paul says. “So, I think it’s important that the trucking industry, through the work of the NTA and other state trucking associations, make sure the feds (Federal Communications Commission) have secured enough bandwidth for communications to and from trucks.
“That’s just one example of the roles state trucking associations can play as technology brings new changes, innovations and challenges,” he says.
AT A GLANCE
State trucking association: Nevada Trucking Association
Address: 8745 Technology Way, Suite E, Reno, Nevada 89521
Web site: nevadatrucking.com
How to join: Visit https://www.nevadatrucking.com/join/ or call the NTA office.
Membership: 580 trucking companies
Motto: Motion and purpose are a truck’s greatest virtues.
Mission: The NTA works to help legislators and community leaders understand the impact of proposed legislation and public policies on the trucking and motor coach industries and to help them craft laws, regulations and policies that improve Nevada’s business climate. The NTA also helps raise awareness among the public about the contributions the trucking and motor coach industries make to the Nevada state economy.
CEO: Paul Enos is a third generation Nevadan, born in Elko. His grandfather drove trucks for Pacific Intermountain Express in the 1960s.
Industry’s biggest challenge: Paul believes the single greatest challenge facing the industry is finding qualified truck drivers.
Favorite trucking movie: Paul doesn’t necessarily have a favorite trucking movie, but admits when he was a kid, he admired the maverick image of Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville, played by Burt Reynolds, outwitting Sheriff Buford T. Justice, played by Jackie Gleason, in “Smokey and the Bandit.” And he admired Philo Beddoe, played by Clint Eastwood, running cross-country with his orangutan sidekick in “Every Which Way But Loose.” However, as a grown-up, the more serious Nevada Trucking Association CEO says he finds both characters represent images that have no place in today’s trucking industry. “We’ve grown up. We’re all part of an industry that not only must take responsibility for safely moving a growing portion of the freight in North America, but also we must hold a dim view of drivers and carriers who act as irresponsibly as Bandit and Philo and cast our industry in a negative light. As much as the kid in us might fantasize about being these mavericks out there on the open road, the adult in us knows that’s not reality.”