The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. More than 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.
The mission of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.
WHAT WE DO
Since 1973, the Association has actively advocated the views of professional truckers through its interaction with state, provincial and federal government agencies, legislatures, the courts, other associations, and private businesses to advance an equitable environment for commercial drivers. OOIDA is active in all aspects of highway safety and transportation policy, and represents the positions of professional truckers on numerous committees and in various forums on the local, state, provincial, national and international levels. The Association participates in virtually every significant rulemaking affecting professional truckers, testifies at all major hearings on trucking issues, and participates in industry-wide organizations and conferences.
OOIDA was formed as a result of global trade and economic issues in the early 1970s. The OPEC oil embargoes literally shut down the trucking industry and nearly crippled the nation. The association’s founding members (which included the late Jim Johnston, former OOIDA president) traveled to Washington, DC to present the problems of the trucking industry before lawmakers. Fuel availability and pricing topped the list.
After a few weeks and many long meetings, the group left Washington very frustrated but none the less enlightened on what would need to be done. They understood that to accomplish anything in our nation’s capital, they would need to be better informed, funded and unified. OOIDA was formed in 1973 and in 1975, Jim Johnston was elected as president of the association, a position he held until his passing in 2018. Jim often joked about being elected saying “there wasn’t much competition because it involved a lot of hard work, frustration and not much pay!” The first headquarters was located in the parking lot of a truck stop in Grain Valley, Mo. along Interstate 70, in a trailer chained to a light pole.
Our national headquarters is still located on the outskirts of Kansas City, in Grain Valley, MO.
All OOIDA officers and directors are now, or have been, professional truckers, and are elected from the membership, by the membership. The 22-member board helps define OOIDA’s position on all major trucking issues.
OOIDA has a fully staffed Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to helping small business truckers and professional drivers participate in the legislative and regulatory process and to tell their story to lawmakers. OOIDA’s Government Affairs office maintains an active grassroots advocacy effort that alerts members whenever legislative or regulatory developments necessitate a call for action.