Lane Kidd

Lane Kidd

Lane Kidd and the Arkansas Trucking Association are going separate ways.

Kidd, 60, served as president of the association for 22 years. He said he is leaving to focus on The Kidd Group, a public affairs and investment group he founded last year. He also will continue to manage the Trucking Alliance, a group of carriers that lobby Congress for safety initiatives such as electronic logs, hair analysis for drug tests and higher insurance minimums.

Kidd said he’s making the move because it is difficult to do justice to all three activities at once, and he wants to own his own business.

Plus, he said, his passion is with the work of the Trucking Alliance.

“Over the past six weeks … it apparent to me that [the Arkansas Trucking Association] deserved to have somebody who could devote 100% of time to this job,” he said in an interview with Heavy Duty Trucking.

“So I made the decision, faced with one or the other, I really have a passion for the Trucking Alliance and what it is doing.”

Gary Salisbury, chairman and CEO of Fikes Truck Line and Arkansas Trucking Association chairman, credited Kidd with putting the state association on the map.

“During Lane’s tenure, he has taken a relatively unknown group of truckers and propelled us to the front of the line,” Salisbury said in a statement.

“The Arkansas Trucking Association is known across the country as a leader and an example for other associations to strive for. As chairman of the ATA, I speak for the Board of Directors when I say that Lane will be missed and we wish him well as he starts his newest pursuits.”

The association is starting a search for Kidd’s replacement, Salisbury added.

Kidd said he started his public affairs group last year with permission from the Arkansas Trucking Association board in response to queries from carriers seeking business advice.

Among the projects he has under way are branding efforts for carriers that are looking for drivers, and guidance on how to market carrier services, he said.

“We also have the capability to arrange private equity opportunities for companies in the transportation industry,” he said.

He said the Trucking Alliance, which has an office in Washington, D.C., will continue to pursue its safety agenda on behalf of its half-dozen members: Maverick Transportation, Knight Transportation, J.B. Hunt, Dupre, Boyle Transportation, Fikes Truck Line and Schneider National.

The Alliance was instrumental in getting the electronic logging and drug and alcohol clearinghouse mandates into the 2012 highway bill.

Both initiatives are in the final stages of rulemaking, but Kidd expects that the Alliance will have to keep pressure on to make sure they are fully implemented.

The logging mandate, which Kidd believes is the most significant positive initiative in trucking since deregulation, may face challenges in court.

“I feel compelled to spend more time there,” he said.

And he said the clearinghouse proposal contains a significant loophole: it does not allow hair analysis results into the database. The Alliance is pushing legislation in the Senate and House to change that.

Other initiatives on the Alliance’s agenda are mandatory speed limiters and alternative compliance methods for determining safety fitness.

Kidd and ATA posted a long list of highlights and achievements from the past 22 years, but he said the most important thing is not on the list.

“I’ve always tried to tell everyone I see how important trucking is,” he said. “I think that’s number one. Arkansas is a very pro-business, pro-trucking state today, and it wasn’t 22 years ago. So I’m leaving it in a lot better shape than I found it.”