In October of 2018, Barry Pottle, CEO of Pottle’s Transportation based in Bangor, Maine, was elected the federation’s board of directors to serve as the American trucking Associations’ 74th chairman.
Pottle’s Transportation has a terminal in Allentown as well as in Bangor and since 1988, when Pottle purchased the company from his father, it has grown from 11 trucks to more than 160 trucks with more than 600 trailers.
On May 17, at the 2019 PMTA Annual Membership Conference and Expo, Pottle will be one of the first speakers on the schedule Friday morning.
Pottle took the time to speak with Brandon Moree of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association to reflect on his career and his new role with the ATA.
PMTA: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. Let’s start by talking about how you got your start in the trucking industry.
Barry Pottle: At a very young age, I was working at a truck stop and I interacted with all the drivers and it really inspired me to hear where the drivers had been and where they were going. And my dad was always in the trucking business so I had that background as well. That was what I always wanted to do: drive trucks. So I graduated high school in 1978, bought my first truck in July and went trucking for five years as an owner operator.
PMTA: Times have certainly changed since then, what allowed you to buy a truck at that age?
BP: When I was in high school, I just worked a lot. I had what a lot of kids didn't have because I worked so much. Back then, I was probably making $1.75 or $2 an hour but a brand new pickup back then was $5300. So compared making $20 today and a brand new pick up is $70,000. But I was able save money and my dad cosigned for me and I went trucking.
PMTA: What has been the biggest factor in the success that you have had growing Pottle Transportation into what it is today?
BP: There's no question, you have to surround yourself with good people. That's what I really always try to do; surround myself with people smarter than me. I encourage my people today in management, if you bring in a dispatcher or whatever, I try to get them to understand the people that work for you, teach them and work with them so that they can have your job. I've got a lot of guys that started washing trucks down at the shop that are number one mechanics today. I've got people that work for me that were hired as dispatchers that are director of sales and marketing. It's just trying to encourage people to do the best that they can do and I've tried to surround myself with good people and people smarter than I am.
PMTA: That's strong advice. Is that what you would advise people that might be just getting started in the industry?
BP: Absolutely. It's worked for me and I think it works for a lot of people. You've got the knowledge and everything but there are always people out there smarter than you are. I'm not just talking about the people that work for you. You have to have good accountants, good attorneys, you have to have everyone around you -- good bankers -- people that understand your business. When you do that, you will succeed in business.
PMTA: Switching gears a little bit, how did you get involved with state trucking associations and why do you think that those are so important?
BP: When I look at my history, being on the local level with the state association, having some of the issues that we've had to conquer, it's always been a state association doing it. Back when I was involved with the state association at an early age, I could see that we were making a difference and I just felt that if I was going to be a player in the trucking industry, I needed to also be a player in the state association. As I got more involved with the state association, that's when I wanted to know how things got done on the federal level. That's how I got introduced to the American Trucking Association. I started attending those meetings a long, long time ago, probably 30 years ago. Being a small carrier, I never thought that I would have an influence. But the more that I learned about what was going on, the more that I knew that I could have some influence.
The thing that I would say to people on the state level, if we didn't have the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, where would our state be today without the association fighting our battles in Harrisburg? And so, then what we say is, if we didn't have ATA, where would our industry be today? All the things that we fight and argue on and get done, it helps our industry one way or the other. If we didn't have our associations supporting our industry, we would be in a mess.
PTMA: There are a lot of items catching headlines right now but what do you think is the biggest challenge that state associations are facing right now?
BP: I think all associations are struggling with memberships. People have got to understand that we need to support our associations because that is what is supporting us. A lot of people sit back and say let the guy across the street do it but the more membership that we have and the more money that we have to fight our issues, the stronger that we can be. We need to be united on things. We're not always going to agree on things but if we all have a seat at the table and we have more of those people at the table, the stronger our associations can be on the state level and on the national level.
PMTA: So the best way to make a difference is to be active in the state association?
BP: Absolutely, have a seat at the table.
PMTA: Working at the national level with the ATA, what has been the most rewarding part of that work?
BP: Right now, I'm only three months into it, so it's early. But I would say, getting out and meeting people, learning what their issues are and seeing the businesses. I just got back from California, I've been gone nine days and I met with allied members and new prospect members and just people really like it when the Chairman of the Association is coming in and calling on them and shows interest in what they are doing. I think that's one of the biggest things that I've seen right now. People want to see you, they want to bend your ear a little bit, they want to know what you're up to, what you're doing, what your goals are and just tell their story.
PMTA: What is it that you believe to be your biggest challenge in the role of Chairman?
BP: I think it's helping ATA be sure that they are aligned with what our members want. Working with (ATA President and CEO) Chris (Spear) and his team on the insights from the carriers, and just making sure that we're out there doing the things that our members need us to do.
Tolling is going to be a major issue this year but we have to make sure to continue to do the things that affect our members and I think as Chairman, I try to follow that line and make sure that I'm staying engaged with our members and what their needs are and making sure that I'm conveying that to Chris his team.
This article appeared in the second quarter edition of PennTRUX Magazine, a publication specifically for members of PMTA.
Pocono Raceway and the Pennsylvania Turnpike are hosting a job fair on June 1 from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
The fair will take place at Pocono Raceway's Chalet Village located behind the grandstands and participation for companies is free. If companies would like to park a branded rig (cab only) in the job fair grounds, they may do so for $500 but spots are limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Companies that participate will receive six free tickets to the NASCAR Xfinity Series race that afternoon. For more information on the event, click here.
To register, complete this form and return it to Christina Rodis-Durst, the Partnership Sales Manager at Pocono Raceway.
Drivers looking for companies must present their CDL to gain entry to the job fair. Parking and admission to the fair is free and job seekers that attend will receive two tickets to the race as well as a $10 credit at the concession stand, courtesy of PA Turnpike.
For more information, visit www.poconoraceway.com/trucking or call 1-800-RACEWAY.
The ATA Technology & Maintenance Council holds a National Technician Skills Competition (“Supertech”) each year to recognize the skills of diesel truck technicians around the country. This event is supported by those states that have launched their own competitions. Although Pennsylvania does not currently have a competition, Maryland does. PMTA has worked out an arrangement whereby any Pennsylvania based technicians can compete in Maryland’s competition. If at least 5 techs from Pennsylvania compete, the winner will be recognized as the Pennsylvania champion and eligible to compete at the national Supertech event.
What is Supertech Maryland? A hands-on contest where technicians gather to test their abilities against their peers. It showcases the knowledge, training and skill needed by today’s maintenance professionals.
What skills are tested? The event begins with a written test based on TMC Recommended Practices and/or Manufacturers’ Practices. Contestants then proceed to hands-on skill stations, where they have 20 minutes to complete each station. Stations include:
When & where? Saturday, June 22, 2019, Center for Applied Technology – North, Severn, MD; 7:00 a.m.
Who can participate? Any truck technician in Maryland or an adjacent state without its own competition.
What can you win? Winners receive over $5,000 in cash and prizes such as tablets, trophies, a trip to the national TMC competition and more. All contestants receive lunch, an event t-shirt, and a goody bag.
How do I enter? Go to http://www.mmtanet.com/files/2019SuperTechASEpacket.pdf or call 410-644-4600.
The entry deadline is May 31, 2019. For more information, call Maryland Motor Truck Association, 410-644-4600.
Two-Way Traffic to Operate in Southbound Bore
Use I-695/Key Bridge or I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as Alternate Routes
BALTIMORE, MD – As part of the Maryland Transportation Authority’s (MDTA) $189 million I-895 Bridge Project, the northbound bore of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) will close 24/7 for 60 days starting the morning of Friday, April 12. Two-way traffic – one adjacent lane in each direction – will operate in the southbound bore.
Motorists should use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes. We ask our customers to be patient as we deliver this long-overdue project and remind motorists to drive safely through work zones.
As a reminder, northbound I-895 is closed 24/7 from the north side of the Harbor Tunnel to the Boston/O’Donnell Street exit ramp (Exit 11). Two-way traffic remains in effect on southbound I-895. Additionally, the I-895/Holabird Avenue exit ramp (Exit 10) remains closed 24/7. Northbound I-895 and the Holabird Avenue exit ramp will reopen to traffic in spring 2020.
In spring 2020, southbound I-895 will close 24/7 with two-way traffic operating on northbound I-895. Additionally, the southbound bore of the Harbor Tunnel will close 24/7 for 60 days in spring 2020 with two-way traffic operating in the northbound bore. Southbound I-895 will reopen to traffic in spring 2021.
The I-895 Bridge Project will replace the 60-year-old I-895 bridge, the MDTA’s only remaining structurally deficient bridge, located north of the Harbor Tunnel. Work includes replacing the Holabird Avenue exit ramp and rehabilitating the Harbor Tunnel, including repairs to the tunnel portal, approach ramps and walls, deck and tiles. Tutor Perini Corporation is performing the work. The project began in April 2018 and is expected to be completed in summer 2021.
Motorists should avoid I-895 and use I-695 and I-95 as alternative routes. Motorists also should pay attention to electronic and static signs for up-to-date travel information. To sign up for email/text alerts or view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
CAMP HILL, Pa. -- At the Safety Management Council Meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 18, Kevin T. McGarry, an associate at Post & Schell, P.C., will present “Witness to Everything: The Impact of Dash Cams on Litigation.”
Kevin T. McGarry is an Associate in the Firm's Casualty Litigation Department, representing insurers, third-party administrators, and self-insured clients in claims involving general liability, as well as commercial transportation liability, premises liability, products liablity, and construction defect/injury. His clients include companies in the trucking, manufacturing, construction, retail, and hospitality/entertainment industries.
Mr. McGarry is a former Assistant District Attorney with the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office. His experience includes the investigation and prosecution of felony and misdemeanor offenses with litigation appearances in both the Criminal Division and Civil Division of the Court of Common Pleas. During his tenure, he served as head of the Office's Elder/Care Dependent Abuse Unit, head of its White Collar Crime Unit, and as a member of its Major Crimes Unit.
He served as a clerk to The Honorable Kyran Connor, Superior Court of New Jersey.
Registration for the meeting is open and can be completed here.
CAMP HILL, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association is excited to announce that hotel rooms at Toftrees Resort for this year’s Annual Membership Conference have sold out.
In response to the high level of interest in attending the event, PTMA has secured more rooms at the Holiday Inn Express less than one mile away from Toftrees. There will be a shuttle available between the two hotels for the convenience of AMC attendees.
Rooms at the Holiday Inn will be available for the same rate as rooms at Toftrees, $99 per night, for the duration of the conference and those can be booked by clicking here.
The 2019 AMC is just five weeks away but there is still time to register for the event, which will feature speakers from the American Trucking Association, XM Radio host and former NFL Lineman Ross Tucker and others, in addition to some excellent vendors.
Click here to claim your spot at the conference.
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today launched an online survey to solicit professional driver input on preferences for data formats and delivery mechanisms of truck parking availability information. This data collection is part of ATRI’s 2019 top priority research topic to standardize truck parking information systems based on driver preferences.
ATRI initially surveyed drivers on this topic at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville last month where over 300 drivers completed surveys. The online survey launched today will provide drivers who were not able to attend MATS the opportunity to provide input on this topic. The lack of available truck parking continues to rank as a top industry issue in ATRI’s annual industry survey and in 2018 was the number two issue for drivers after the Hours-of-Service rules.
ATRI’s research findings will provide states and private sector entities providing truck parking information with the driver-preferred data formats and methods of information delivery.
Drivers can provide confidential input on truck parking information systems by clicking here. ATRI will collect driver responses on the truck parking survey through the end of May.
ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.
# # #
CAMP HILL, Pa. – The 2019 Annual Membership Conference and Expo is taking place at the Toftrees Resort in State College this year on May 16-18.
PMTA has sectioned off a group of rooms for attendees at the 2019 AMC and Toftrees has generously offered a discounted rate of $99 for those attending the conference. Attendees can book those rooms by clicking here.
Those rooms must be booked by April 16.
There is still time to register for the conference as well but those spots are limited and they are filling up at a much quicker rate than they have in the past. So act now and reserve your spot today.
Register for the 2019 AMC here.
Nestled within the secluded pine trees of Central Pennsylvania, Toftrees Golf Resort offers guests a unique experience with resort-like amenities in a peaceful, natural setting just minutes from downtown State College. With 102 guest rooms and suites, our resort offers full-service amenities; a 4.5-star, 18-hole golf course; and a warm, welcoming staff.
CAMP HILL, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association is hosting its annual sporting clay shoot on Sunday, April 7 at the Carlisle Fish and Game Association.
Registration forms are available here.
The initial cost for the clay shooting competition is $75 per person with the option for a $40 reshoot. In the morning, there will be the opportunity for skeet and wobble shooting for an additional cost of $20 each.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. with registration and will open at 11 for trap field and wobble. Lunch, which is included in the registration fee, will begin at 11:45. After a safety meeting at 12:45 p.m., the clay shoot competition will begin with the reshoot at 2:30.
Teams will consist of six shooters but if an individual does not have a full team, they will be placed on one.
Eye and ear protection are required and ammunition will not be provided.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for the event as well and start as low as $100 for a station sponsorship. PMTA is also looking for lunch and award sponsors.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the PMTA Government Relations Fund which helps defray the lobbying and lobbying related expenses the association incurs. Payment from incorporated and unincorporated businesses as well as personal checks will be accepted.
© 2012 Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association 910 Linda Lane • Camp Hill, PA 17011 • United States of AmericaPhone: 717-761-7122 • Fax: 717-761-8434