American Association of Owner Operators Launches New Site, Shares Vision For 2018

by Jake Tully - Published: 2/22/2018

Being an owner-operator in the United States can be an incredibly fulfilling occupation, but most truckers will report that it is a career path frequently met with obstacles that many company drivers do not see.

Amidst the hurdles that an independent driver may face in their career, there are resources in the industry that exist to serve owner-operators and drivers within small fleets, with the American Association of Owner Operators known as a top-tier organization for such a class of drivers.

Kyle Mitchell, Marketing Manager at the American Association of Owner Operators (AAOO) reports that the association serves owner-operators who purchase a membership by providing them with a wealth of benefits- including a brand new look and interface for their site – from wellness programs to fuel cards to roadside assistance plans and several other programs that may benefit a subscriber.

‘’What I tell drivers on a daily basis when they ask us who we are is simple,” said Mitchell. “We provide the best benefits out to drivers – owner-operators, small fleets – to help them make and save more money on the road – that’s our main focus.”

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Over the course of the past few years, the AAOO has become one of the two leading Owner-Operator associations for American drivers, having found success in differentiating itself from other organizations by providing benefits that a driver can feel on a day-to-day basis rather than focusing on legal matters for drivers.

“How we are different from other organizations is that we don’t focus on the legal side like they do,” said Mitchell. “They may have some benefits but it’s not their main offering. That’s where we differentiate from them, they can only really focus on providing benefits in part and that’s why our benefits are far greater.

Moving into 2018 will be a year of greater benefits for members with the AAOO, reports the organization.

Alongside a newly revamped website and synergistic moves towards other prominent trucking resources, the AAOO hopes to secure health care offerings to its members, recognizing the deficit that several owner-operators and small fleets face when it comes to these particular options.

“The biggest thing we’re looking forward to this year is that we’re in the process of trying to get health insurance out to our members,” said Mitchell. “Independent truck drivers don’t have access to insurance the same way company drivers do so that’s something we’ve been trying to work on for a while – it’s something we should be closing in on shortly for our members if all goes well.”

Mitchell also reports that with the new website and presence in 2018, the AAOO will offer two different types of memberships – a free membership that gives users access to several helpful tools as well as the standard fee-based membership, which may be paid in installments of $5 per month.

“Our membership is only a cost of $60 per year to drivers,” said Mitchell. “As long as a member uses just a handful of the several benefits we have they’ll see a return on their investment.”

Aside from the benefits that the AAOO has to offer the industry, the association has experienced the unique opportunity to speak to several owner-operators from all over the country, listening to their concerns and needs.

Undeniably, one of the largest issues that the sector of owner-operators and small fleets are facing is the ELD mandate, a mandate that saw a December 2017 compliance date but is facing an April 2018 enforcement date.

Mitchell reports that many of the drivers the AAOO speaks to have a negative outlook on the ripple effect the ELD has caused in the industry and that non-compliance rates are still at relatively high levels.

“It will be interesting to see what happens this April,” said Mitchell. “That month will really determine where the industry goes. We’ve seen reports that up to 28% of owner-operators still don’t have their ELD.”

Despite the impact that the ELD mandate may have caused, the AAOO reports that it is proud to stand beside independent drivers and small fleets in order to provide the tools for success.

For more information about the AAOO, including information on how to register as a member, interested parties may visit the AAOO site.