Skip to content

Copy of IMTA History


Twelve trucking executives representing three different organizations that were struggling to represent Iowa’s trucking industry came together and made the decision to form one association. Mr. John Ruan organized the meeting and by the end of the meeting, the Iowa Motor Truck Association was formed.

IMTA History
IMTA History


The first IMTA Truck Roadeo was held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and over 5,000 spectators were in attendance for the finals..


The Iowa Council of Safety Supervisors was organized as an official division of IMTA.

IMTA History


IMTA is now recognized as a powerful and effective voice for the trucking industry at the State Capitol. The trucking industry comes under attack for ruining Iowa’s roads. IMTA invests association dollars in critical research to identify the structure of highway taxation in Iowa. As a result of that campaign, IMTA launches a PR campaign entitled, “Trucks Pay Their Fair Share”. This campaign would be in place for the next decade and was extremely successful in educating Iowans and lawmakers.


IMTA celebrates its 25th anniversary and despite tremendous opposition, the association determined it needed to hold an annual ‘convention’ in conjunction with this annual meeting. The inaugural convention debuted in 1967 and for the first time ever, there was a registration fee imposed. It was a tremendous success and is a tradition that remains yet today with the management conference that is held each September.


The Motor Carrier Act passed, and deregulation became a reality. IMTA leaders implemented an aggressive campaign opposing deregulation and even added a special assessment to the dues to cover the cost of the campaign. IMTA staff and board members hit the road and combed the state with press conferences and town hall meetings highlighting their concerns with deregulation of the trucking industry.


The Iowa Motor Carriers Foundation was formed because of the shortage of qualified diesel mechanics and a scholarship program was created to help further entice folks to get into diesel mechanic training programs.

IMTA History
IMTA History


IMTA celebrates its 50th anniversary. A series of events are held throughout the year and throughout the state with the culmination of the celebration taking place in September with a three-day event that was wildly successful.


IMTA launched its first leadership class. There were 18 IMTA members that participated in the inaugural program that spanned over 5 days of various educational sessions.


IMTA History


A land purchase agreement was signed for a parcel of land near the foot of the Iowa State Capitol. This part of Des Moines was very run down and considered to be a very “sketchy” part of the city. IMTA leaders faced criticism from the membership not only for the location but for pursuing building ownership.


A final vote is made and IMTA moves forward with building a headquarters building and implementing an aggressive fundraising campaign. Over $1,000,000 is raised in less than 10 months and the building is completed in 1996.


1995 groundbreaking


Landmark “anti-indemnification” legislation is passed in Iowa. IMTA leaders began working on this effort in the summer months to educate lawmakers on the value of this legislation and the votes were easily secured for its passage during the 2008 legislative session. The same year, legislation was passed that allowed 96,000 pounds on six axles to run on intrastate highways in Iowa. This controversial legislation highlighted the many differing opinions on truck productivity that were still prevalent in the industry.


After three years of hard work and ongoing lobbying efforts, a 10-cent gas tax is passed in the 2015 legislative session. The last gas tax had been passed in 1989. The influx of money into the Road Fund allowed work to continue almost immediately on many important road projects that had stalled because of a $225 million shortfall.


75th anniversary


IMTA celebrates 75 years as the trusted voice of the trucking industry in Iowa.  Throughout the year, events were held to commemorate the anniversary and to celebrate the same pride, passion and purpose that existed in 1942 when IMTA was formed.  To conclude the anniversary celebration, an elegant and impressive gala was held at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines with over 400 people in attendance.


The COVID-19 pandemic had the IMTA making a lot of adjustments.  Through the chaos we felt it was important that we provided some “calm” by protecting, promoting, and serving our members.  Whether it was through constant communication streams to picking up the phone to check in with members, the IMTA was certainly a reliable source of support and information.


group photo


Lawsuit abuse legislation passes!  The legislation went into effect as of July 1, 2023, and marked the end of a multi-year effort to get this historic lawsuit abuse legislation passed. The bill places a $5 million cap on noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium by a spouse, parent, or children. The parties injured and the party’s family jury awards are capped at a maximum of $5 million regardless of the number of plaintiffs in the family.

Scroll To Top