As businesses and organizations resume work following the COVID-19 lockdowns, the landscape of networking and annual conferences has changed drastically. The Michigan Trucking Association (MTA) hosted their annual meeting and conference on Friday, August 28 in a virtual setting, allowing members to meet through the online meeting service Zoom.

The MTA made this year’s annual convention free to its members thanks to their sponsors who have donated resources to put this virtual event online. Sterling Oil, like many small businesses, needed to alter their internal strategy following COVID-19 and that included what national organizations they would be members of. They concluded that the MTA is vital for their business as it offers valuable information on understanding trucking in Michigan, regulations, hours of services, and offers quality networking with similar businesses.

The Annual meeting began at 9 a.m. with an Independent Contractors Impacting the Trucking Industry session for those that registered followed by the MTA Board of Governors meeting. They have replaced the Safety Awards Banquet with Truck Safety on the Road which took the MTA to each fleet and driver safety nominee, worksite. Those awards will be given out the week of Sept 13, 2020 during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

They also offered a session on An Overview of the Current Political/Legislative Landscape in Michigan. The general discussion during this session was about when and if the roads were getting fixed and when they do, how will it effect the trucking industry.

The current Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, ran on the promise of fixing the roads and she has yet to implement that plan. The unknown in the room was if the roads getting fixed would be a priority for this administration, especially with a split government in Lansing, Mich., and what will be the tax ramifications for the trucking companies. The uncertainty has put many owner/operators on edge as their revenues have significantly dropped since COVID-19 hit in March and couple that with possible new taxes, the state trucking competitiveness could be at stake. Similar companies in states like Ohio and Indiana could take advantage of any legislation that Michigan writes that make the states trucking industry vulnerable.

Sterling Oil & Chemical’s almost 40 years of experience in blending our own industrial lubricants provides our customers with resources, expertise, and connections. We supply or assist clients in attaining base oils and other components. Then, we offer custom and toll blending with on-site quality control, testing, and certification – resulting in finished, high-quality industrial lubricants and greases. Sterling Oil also offers small-volume runs and repackaging of these products, including drumming, tote filling, and filling 5-gallon pails. For clients in the Midwest, we go beyond deliveries, with the value-added services of samples, local inventory for emergencies, and on-going small volume deliveries.