Blog Post

Q&A with Senator Jon Tester, Trucking Champion of the Month

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U.S. Senator Jon Tester

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana)

Senator Jon Tester is a member of Congress that knows trucking best. He's a CDL holder who to this day still drives truck on his farm in Montana. That view from the cab gives unique and valuable perspective to his duties in Washington, where's he's taken the lead on key issues facing motor carriers and the millions of Americans who work in trucking. 

Trucking is a vital industry in Montana, home to more than 4,110 trucking companies –– mostly small, locally owned businesses. They keep the state's economy moving by providing more than 21,960 jobs. Together they move 92% of goods in the state, totaling 31,180 tons of product every single day. 

"In a state like Montana where production agriculture is our number-one industry, and we have an abundance of natural resources, truckers play an essential role in helping folks get our goods to market," Senator Tester said. "Whether it’s hauling livestock to feed lots, or moving lumber from saw mills, Montana’s truckers get it done."

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Sen. Tester Trucking Champion

In a town where talk is cheap, Senator Tester shows others how to actually deliver. As one of trucking's leading advocates in Congress, he's advanced common-sense solutions to some of the industry's biggest challenges. He recently led negotiations and spearheaded passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. This great bill protects U.S. truckers from unfair and outrageous detention and demurrage charges levied by foreign-owned ocean carriers, and also promotes the exportation of America agriculture and other commodities. 

Through his role on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Senator Tester was instrumental in passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, providing long-overdue investments in our nation's road and bridges, and establishing the DRIVE-Safe pilot program to help recruit the next generation of trucking talent. He's also cosponsored new workforce initiatives, such as the JOBS Act and the Promoting Women in Trucking Act.

“Now, more than ever, the trucking industry and Congress need to work with one another to keep our economy moving and supply chains flowing," said Duane Williams, President of the Montana Trucking Association. "We are lucky in Montana to have representatives who understand the importance of trucking and the work they do for Americans across the country. I would like to thank Senator Tester for all of the work he does for the trucking industry–he is a true trucking champion.”

 

Q & A with Senator Tester

What do you appreciate most about the trucking industry?

Truckers get product to market and from market and are essential to us building a robust economy. They work long hours doing a tough job, and far too often folks fail to recognize how essential the industry is to our economy, and our day-to-day lives. Without truckers, businesses and consumers would be left hurting.

What role do truckers play in the local Montana economy?

In a state like Montana where production agriculture is our number-one industry, and we have an abundance of natural resources, truckers play an essential role in helping folks get our goods to market. Whether it’s hauling livestock to feed lots, or moving lumber from saw mills, Montana’s truckers get it done.

If you could describe Montana truckers in one word, what would it be?

Strong.

How can elected officials better support the men and women of trucking?

There are a few of things that our elected officials can do immediately to support the hard working men and women in the trucking industry. First, let’s get our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law implemented right away so that we can make hauling goods safer and more efficient. Next, we have to coordinate with Canada and Mexico about vaccine requirements for truckers, so that folks can cross the border and help unclog our supply chain. Finally, let’s get the Ocean Shipping Reform Act signed into law so that truckers can spend more time on the road, and less time waiting at ports. 

What song tops your long-haul playlist?

"I’ve Been Everywhere" by Hank Snow