serving the trucking industry since 1931
On March, 10, 1931, NHMTA was established. The first minutes were recorded; the Constitution and
By-Laws were drafted of what was then called the New Hampshire Truck Owners’ Association.
The object of the Association has changed very little in the past 70 years, attesting to the wisdom of the founding members.
Headquarters of the Association in 1931 were in the Eagle Hotel in Concord, directly across Main Street from the Capitol Building. Secretary of the Association was Robert E. Thomas, who also was Secretary-Treasurer of the Automobile Dealers Association of NH. The first President of NHMTA was Fred N. Putnam of Nashua. Concord attorney Robert W. Upton represented the new Association in the legislature in 1931 and would continue to do so for many years.
The first annual meeting of the Association was held on October 7, 1931 at the Rice-Varick Hotel in Manchester, followed by a Board Meeting where the following officers were elected for 1931-32. Harry E. Ingham, President; Arthur J. Boutwell, Vice President; Harold L. Barnard, Treasurer; and Robert E. Thomas, Secretary-Manager.
From notes that were discovered, there were meetings earlier than 1931 and perhaps even in 1930 as officers had been elected. Minutes from there meetings have not been found.
NHMTA was born in the depths of the Great Depression. The trucking industry had proven itself during World War I, and the years following. Trucks were beginning to run between cities, rather than just deliver locally for the railroads. The rails were becoming understandably upset with their new competition and began to flex their muscles, especially in the legislature, where they had plenty of friends. Competition between the young trucking companies was also fierce, with rate-cutting running rampant. There were no tariffs, as we know them and no system of classification.
The carriers charged what the traffic would bear, usually patterned after – and just under – rail rates. The highway system was woefully inadequate for intercity travel, and in Northern New Hampshire was usually closed to truck traffic in the winter and spring. In order to join together to solve some of the problems facing them, a few farsighted individuals met one day in 1931 to solve some of the problems facing them. A Constitution and By-Laws were adopted which gave the objective of the Association as:
- To promote and maintain an organization of all persons and firms who own and operate motor trucks
- To cooperate in securing rational legislation for the advancement, promotion and protection of the interests of the motor truck industry, to protect owners and users of motor trucks again unjust or unreasonable legislation and to secure the enactment of proper ordinances and regulations governing the use of motor trucks.
- To promote and encourage the construction of good roads and maintenance of the same and to encourage the development of a spirit of cooperation and courtesy among users of the highways.
Louis Vogel, Vogel & Hadley – Manchester
Fred N. Putnam, Nashua Gummed & Coated Paper – Nashua
Harry Ingham, Law & Ingham Transportation Company – Nashua
Arthur Boutwell, Boutwell Lumber Company – Concord
Harold L. Barnard, Barnard’s Express – Concord
George E. Dearborn, Dearborn’s Motor Express – Exeter
Herbert L. Capron, Holbrook Grocery Company – Keene
Arthur H. Todd, Todd’s Express – Wilton
Ed Robie, Logger Ashland Richard Shelly Palmer Simpson Company – Laconia
It is interesting to note that of the twelve members elected to the Board in 1931, six of them were private carriers, which would seem to indicate that the private carriers had just as much interest as the for-hire-carriers – then as now – in legislature and in good highways.