A Little Bit of History

Most DMTA members are not aware of just how far back your Association goes. Some old brochures found in the office say that DMTA was founded in 1938. However, public records plus minutes we have on file tell us that 1939 was most likely the year in which your Association got started.

Those same documents state that the original name was the Delaware Trucker’s Association, Inc. One of the first acts of the organizational committee in 1939 was to invite Ted Rogers, then president of ATA, to speak to the group about joining ATA’s Federation of State Trucking Associations. In 1945 DMTA and ATA made the affiliation official.

Another action in 1939 was to change the name to the Delaware Motor Truck Association, Inc. and elect the first slate of officers and directors. Robert McCormick (McCormick Transportation) was the first President; Homer Pepper (H & H Poultry) was elected First Vice-President; and included on the Board of Directors was Clarence Schwartz and John Burris. Some of those names should be familiar to many of us as their families are still involved in trucking and DMTA.

Earnest V. Keith was hired as the first General Manager to run the association. In November of 1939 he explained to the Wilmington Morning News, “The interest of the association lies in good highway laws, reasonable highway taxes, better motoring conditions, and safety improvments.”

In 1954 DMTA had another name change, one that is with us today: Delaware Motor Transport Association, Inc.

So our history goes back further than you might imagine. Our founders knew that when truckers and business people allied with the trucking industry get together, good things happen. When they don’t come together as a group, bad things can happen. To keep good things happening and stop the bad things, we are hoping our members will make an extra effort to get together more often in 2018.

We are dealing with issues and technology that our founders could never have imagined: electronic logging devices, greenhouse gas emissions standards, connected and autonomous vehicles, virtual weigh stations, and much more. A lot of the old issues are still around too. Unfair tax diversion as well as highway and equipment restrictions would be issues with which our founders were familiar.

Our Membership Directory was recently published and distributed to members. Page 9 contains a Calendar of Events for the entire year. If DMTA is going to accomplish things for our members, we need member input and participation. So go to page 9 of the Directory and mark your calendar. We want to see more of you.