Tobin saw that technology was radically changing the freight-moving industry. Recognizing the trend and to motorization as more than a passing fad, he set out to organize the fast growing motorized truck delivery industry. He began by organizing motor truck drivers and prevailed on horse and wagon companies to train their drivers in automotive skills. In 1912, Teamsters were part of the first transcontinental delivery of goods by motor truck. The wave of the future was obvious to even the most die-hard traditionalists, and Teamsters had secured themselves a place as leaders of the transition.
For several years, trucks and horses worked some of the same jobs: Teamsters at the reins and at the wheel. Desperate to compete with the new motor carriers, horse-drawn freight firms tried to save money by eliminating feedings for Teamsters horses. Teamsters responded by striking, winning important safeguards for their animals’ well being. As further proof of their devotion to their loyal partners, even amid the many changes, Teamsters declared by proclamation at the 1916 Convention that the horse would always be the heart of the union and always remain a part of any badge, button, logo or flag.