CCJ: Trucking’s ‘7 million reasons’ for a long-term highway bill

By James Jaillet on April 29, 2015


Trucking Moves America Forward
, a group who’s made its goal boosting trucking’s image to lawmakers and the general public, is in the midst of running an ad blitz in the D.C. area meant to press Congress to act on a long-term highway bill.

And its approach is not about just poorly maintained roads or freight efficiency, but about the toll those two key problems — and underfunded U.S. highways in general — would take on the millions of workers who call the trucking industry home.

Seven million workers, to be exact, says TMAF. And that’s the cornerstone of its ad campaign: “7 Million Reasons to Pass a Long-Term Highway Bill.”

It also pumps $682 billion other “reasons” the trucking industry needs Congressional support for surface infrastructure.

Here’s a look at the print and online ads running in the D.C. area, and TMAF’s radio spot, also running in Washington:

TMAF_Lawmaker_POLITICO_10x13.5_BRIDGE_FINAL

http://www.ccjdigital.com/truckings-7-million-reasons-for-a-long-term-highway-bill/

 

Trucking Moves America Forward Celebrates Industry Strides in Sustainability

April 22, 2015 – As Americans celebrate Earth day, Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide image and education movement representing all areas of the professional truck driving industry, celebrates the progress the industry is making toward a more sustainable future, which includes adopting industry recommendations to reduce carbon emissions.

“Trucking is greener than ever, and small changes in driving habits can make a big difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving fuel efficiency. The industry is also taking advantage of new technologies to improve air quality and reduce the environmental impact on our nation’s roads and highways,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express, Inc. and second vice chairman of American Trucking Associations.

Some of the many programs, efforts and technologies that trucking companies and drivers support include:

  • training that emphasizes fuel-saving driving techniques;
  • reducing wait times at loading and unloading docks to decrease engine idling emissions;
  • reducing pollution through ongoing participation in the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership program;
  • advancing alternative-fueled vehicles and fuels;
  • lowering fuel consumption by reducing empty miles driven and
  • promoting more efficient freight hauling and freight packaging practices.

Scott Grenerth, Director of Regulatory Affairs at the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, says “Professional drivers make choices which lead to a smaller carbon footprint every day. Habits like monitoring and scanning traffic to maintain an efficient speed and planning routes to avoid congestion are ingrained into a driver’s daily routine.”

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About Trucking Moves America Forward
Trucking Moves America Forward is a long-term industry-wide movement established to create a positive image for the industry, to ensure that policymakers and the public understand the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy, and to build the political and grassroots support necessary to strengthen and grow the industry in the future. To learn more, and to join the movement, visit www.TruckingMovesAmerica.com.

Join us through social media:

www.facebook.com/TruckingFWD
www.youtube.com/TruckingFWD
www.twitter.com/TruckingFWD

 

PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER HAS PETRO SAN ANTONIO, TX STOPPING CENTER RENAMED IN HIS HONOR

 Micheal Sheeds of Bandera, TX, named 2015 ‘citizen driver’

WESTLAKE, Ohio, April 22, 2015 – TravelCenters of America LLC, (TravelCenters), operator of Petro Stopping Centers® branded travel centers, has announced the Petro San Antonio, TX Stopping Center location was renamed in honor of professional truck driver, Micheal Sheeds, of Bandera, TX, selected as a 2015 Citizen Driver by a panel of industry leaders sponsored by TravelCenters.

Micheal, who drives for Werner Enterprises, was one of five professional drivers recognized as a “Citizen Driver” in March 2015.  Micheal’s hard work and dedication both on the road and off the road were key factors that played a role in his selection to recognize his achievement, the Petro in San Antonio, Texas, located at I-10, Exit 582, 1112 Ackerman Rd., San Antonio, Texas will be permanently renamed “Micheal Sheeds San Antonio Stopping Center”.

 

“I’m very pleased to have gotten to know Micheal through the process that led up to his being recognized as a 2015 Citizen Driver,” said Tom O’Brien, President and CEO of TravelCenters. “Not only has Micheal had an exemplary career so far, being both a trainer and driver, he, like all of past and present Citizen Drivers, is the kind of person that everyone in the trucking industry and outside of it, should be proud to know.”

 

Citizen Driver is designed to recognize professional drivers who evoke public respect for the truck driving profession through good citizenship, safety, community involvement, health and wellness, and leadership. The program, launched in May 2013, is a way for TravelCenters, the trucking industry and the public to recognize the best of the best, not just for being good at their jobs, but for being good people that everyone, everywhere, both inside and outside of trucking, can admire and respect. With more than 3 million professional truck drivers in the U.S., their impact on the average American’s life is largely unknown and underappreciated.

 

Micheal’s outstanding achievements include:

  • He received the President’s Safety Award and numerous other Werner Safe Driving awards offered for the past 24 years.

– more –

TRUCK DRIVER MICHAEL SHEEDS HAS PETRO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS NAMED IN HIS HONOR-2

  • Mike has been driving for 25 years accumulating over 3 million accident free miles.
  • He was nominated to take part in the American Trucking Associations’ America’s Road Team.
  • He helped save a car load of teens from a burning vehicle during an accident.
  • Mike spent a half hour performing CPR to a man he found unconscious at a truck stop.
  • He regularly volunteers in his community and beyond, including clean-up and stocking supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
  • Mike participates in charity races, such as the Running of The Bulls race in Houston to support fund raising for medical injuries.
  • He and his family have donated books to those who cannot afford them for their children.
  • Mike is a Unites States Marine Corps veteran.
  • Mike and his wife are proud foster parents of four daughters and have spent countless hours advocating for change and assistance for children who have been in foster care including numerous visits with state legislators and members of congress.

More information about Citizen Driver, including nomination forms for the 2016 program can be found at www.ta-petro.com/citizendriveraward.

About TravelCenters of America LLC

TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, is a leading travel center business in 43 states and Canada operating under the TA® and Petro Stopping Centers® brands. With 254 convenient full-service locations off interstate highway exits, TA and Petro Stopping Centers offer customers diesel and gasoline fueling services, more than 500 full- and quick-service restaurants, 24-hour convenience stores, heavy truck maintenance services, RoadSquad Connect™ (24/7/365 emergency roadside service), Reserve-It™ (truck parking reservations), and many other services – all within large, high traffic facilities. TravelCenters also operates gasoline/convenience stores primarily under the Minit Mart brand name. For more information on TravelCenters, TA, and Petro Stopping Centers, please visit www.ta-petro.com.  For more information on Minit Mart, please visit www.minitmart.com.

 

Contact:         

Tom Liutkus

TravelCenters of America

440-808-7364

tliutkus@ta-petro.com

Professional Trucking Industry Focuses on Health and Wellness this Spring

peteJ

Industry offers tangible tips for drivers from Pilot Flying J Health Champion Pete Thomas

April 21, 2015Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide image and education movement, along with Pilot Flying J Health Champion and NBC’s Most Successful “Biggest Loser,” Pete Thomas, offers professional truck drivers practical advice to achieve health and wellness while on the road. Thomas has inspired thousands of professional drivers with his personal story of transformative weight loss.

“We’ve listened to professional drivers and built the TeamPETE program to offer practical exercise tips and healthier food options for drivers on the road who don’t have the option of a gym or visiting a grocery store daily for food choices,” said Pete Thomas, author, motivational speaker and Pilot Flying J Health Champion.

Thomas says to remember the “3 Fs” for permanent weight loss:

  • Fluid – Don’t drink your calories. Drink a lot of calorie-free water or diet soda with your meal.
  • Filler – Eat plenty of low-calorie vegetables or salad with low-calorie dressing to fill up on healthy items first.
  • Feast – This is the food item you most want to eat. (That mouth-watering steak, filet, or dessert). Eat these “feast” foods sparingly, after filling up on healthy choices like vegetables.

Thomas offers drivers who are members of TeamPETE plenty of exercise and stretching recommendations to encourage movement while stopping to fuel at a Pilot or Flying J. He also provides healthy snack options, including energy foods, and advice on frequency of snacking.

Thomas has made it easy for drivers to choose healthier eating options while on the road through his “Pete’s Picks” list. Drivers can download Pete’s Picks from the Pilot Flying J website and learn how to commit to a healthy lifestyle.

Thomas was on the “Biggest Loser” television program for 62 days in 2005 and lost 83 pounds. After he went home, he achieved further weight loss of 102 pounds, for a total of 185 pounds. He has kept the weight off for 10 years. In 2010, Thomas and Pilot Flying J formed a partnership to coach professional drivers through their journey to living a healthier lifestyle.

Learn more about this partnership and sign up for TeamPETE at PilotFlyingJ.com/health.

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About Trucking Moves America Forward
Trucking Moves America Forward is a long-term industry-wide movement established to create a positive image for the industry, to ensure that policymakers and the public understand the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy, and to build the political and grassroots support necessary to strengthen and grow the industry in the future. To learn more, and to join the movement, visit www.TruckingMovesAmerica.com.

Join us through social media:

www.facebook.com/TruckingFWD
www.youtube.com/TruckingFWD
www.twitter.com/TruckingFWD

About Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas is the Season 2 $100,000 At-home Winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” As an acclaimed motivational speaker, highly skilled TV personality, teacher, weight-loss coach and corporate spokesman, Thomas helps corporations educate, motivate and engage employees in their wellness programs. Pete Thomas also provides cutting-edge content for health and fitness oriented blogs, books and magazines. More can be found at www.PeteThomas.com.

 

About Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America, is committed to making life better for professional drivers. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot Flying J has more than 650 retail locations. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 65,000 parking spaces for trucks, 4,400 showers and 4,000 diesel lanes, with more than 4,100 offering DEF at the pump. Pilot Flying J subsidiary Pilot Thomas Logistics is one of the fastest growing independent energy logistics companies in North America. Together, Pilot Flying J and Pilot Thomas Logistics employ more than 24,000 people. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 7 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies. Visit www.pilotflyingj.com for more information.

Fleet Owner: Trucking groups call for long-term funding for highways


Fleet Owner

Senators call for peers to get with the program

With time running out on the current federal funding plan for highways and transit, trucking groups have renewed the call for a stable, long-term solution. The plea comes as the Senators who pushed through the MAP-21 funding bill three years ago are again pressing their lawmaking peers to see the benefits of coming up with a multi-year plan—and the damage done by short-term extensions.

American Trucking Assns. President and CEO Bill Graves urged the Obama administration and Congress to “to step up and deliver a plan – and funding – for the transportation system our country needs and deserves” before the May 31 expiration of the current highway program.

“One of the things that makes this country great is our mobility – the freedom to travel this country without restriction,” Graves said. “However, we are threatening our ability to smoothly and safely move goods and people through our collective inaction. We again call on our leaders in Washington to find the appropriate funding to pay for the improved and expanded roads and bridges we need to continue moving America forward into the 21st century as the economic leaders we believe ourselves to be.”

Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide image and education effort, likewise is calling on lawmakers to pass a bill to safeguard America’s federal highway program.

“Our federal highway program is at a pivotal crossroads, and the passage of a long-term highway bill is critical to modernizing our aging infrastructure and ensuring our roads are safe for our professional drivers and America’s families alike,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express, Inc., and second vice chairman of ATA.

The professional trucking industry drives $682 billion in revenue every year, making it a vital contributor to the nation’s economy, TMAF emphasized.

Additionally, nearly a third of the nation’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and one out of every nine bridges are structurally deficient, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers report card. TMAF advocates for infrastructure spending to improve highway networks that are most critical to the movement of freight and interstate travel.

And improving the highway system also prioritizes the safety of the motoring public, TMAF adds.

“Well-maintained roads and bridges are safer roads and bridges,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “Safety is further improved when investments are focused on adding capacity where needed to reduce congestion.”

Earlier this week TMAF launched an advertising campaign to reach lawmakers on Capitol Hill to reinforce the positive impact professional drivers have as the nation’s chief movers of interstate commerce. The campaign includes a series of print, digital and radio advertisements placed in Washington news outlets.

“An updated transportation network is crucial to our nation’s success. Congress should stop punting and pass a long-term highway bill to improve our nation’s roads and bridges before the current authorization expires in May,” Burch added.

On Wednesday, Sen. James Inhofe and Sen. Barbara Boxer, the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate committee charged with developing a highway bill, rallied with by a broad coalition of businesses, labor, and transportation organizations to highlight the importance of a long-term surface transportation bill and the need for Congress to act.

The two senators, a conservative and a liberal, have used the Environment and Public Works committee as a bully pulpit for bipartisanship. Inhofe has said short-term extensions are costly and “not the conservative solution” while Boxer has said that she and conservatives “don’t see eye to eye on much,” but that keeping roads and bridges from crumbling should be a priority for all lawmakers.

Boxer said at the Capitol press event that a proposal to provide refunds to middle-income families will be tied to an increase in the federal tax on gasoline and diesel, the source of income for the Highway Trust Fund.

Over in the House, reports suggest a bill is about to be introduced by Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) that would tie the gas tax to inflation and create a bicameral committee to explore a long-term, reliable highway funding source.

Also this week, Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx told a gathering of construction unions that state and local transportation projects are already being delayed or cancelled because of funding uncertainty.

“We need to say ‘hell no’ to short-term funding,” Foxx said.

Groendyke Driver Receives Star Treatment

James Starr_Groendyke

ENID, OK, April 15, 2015 – It’s not often in the trucking business that the term “star struck” is used,  but this past week Groendyke Transport, along with National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) and Peterbilt Motors Company, had the opportunity to honor a driver whose name is befitting of his national title. James Starr, a Groendyke Transport driver and current NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year, was presented with a brand new Peterbilt 579 Sleeper straight off the production line in Peterbilt’s Denton, Texas plant.

The original idea came to David James, Groendyke Chief Operating Officer, during the company’s annual management meetings.

“James attended our Groendyke Leadership Summit and we had one of the new 579 Peterbilt trucks displayed. He remarked that he liked the truck and I thought it would be a great way to celebrate Jim’s career accomplishments and his status as the NTTC’s reigning Grand Champion.”

Starr, a 42-year trucking veteran was presented the National Tank Truck Carriers Professional Driver of the Year award at its 66th Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV. The award, which is sponsored by Baldwin & Lyons, celebrates excellence in the safety and professionalism that is required of tank truck drivers across the nation. These men and women serve as ambassadors for an industry which is tasked with transporting liquid and sometimes hazardous bulk, in order to provide essential services to the general public. Starr is the first recipient of the award.

“What a tremendous thrill to see James and Gwen Starr receive the well-deserved praise and respect of the entire Peterbilt production crew,” said NTTC Chairman Dean E. Kaplan.  “It was a special day for all of us to be there in support of James and our thanks are due to both Groendyke and Peterbilt for including NTTC’s leadership.”

The next National Tank Truck Carriers Professional Driver of the Year award will be named at the 67th NTTC Annual Conference in Boston, MA on April 27th.

About Groendyke:

Groendyke Transport is one of the largest tank-truck carriers in the nation with more than 80 years of expertise to liquid bulk shipping operations.  Throughout North America, Groendyke operates with industry-recognized on-time performance and unparalleled dedication to safe and responsive service. The Company is an ISO 9001-registered carrier with the highest-quality commitment and processes in place to meet the most stringent qualifications with each and every load—more than 420,000 last year alone.

About NTTC:

The National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. has represented the tank truck industry before Congress and various federal agencies since its founding in 1945.  NTTC’s membership is comprised of over 240 trucking companies that specialize in bulk transportation services by cargo tank throughout North America.  Additionally, the organization also has over 350 associate members that service our industry including cargo tank repair facilities, tractor manufacturers, tank trailer manufacturers, and other related tank truck equipment and services.

CONTACT:
Megan Kmiotek

National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc.

(703) 838-1960

www.tanktruck.org
mkmiotek@tanktruck.org

 

CCJ: Trucking Moves America Forward: Long-term highway funding critical for trucking industry, U.S. freight movement

TMAF_LawmakerBanner_300x600.v2.By James Jaillet @trucknewsJJ on April 15, 2015
The trucking image campaign group Trucking Moves America Forward this week launched an advertising and lobbying campaign aimed at pressing Congress to pass a long-term highway funding bill, calling it a critical move needed to modernize U.S. infrastructure and ensure safe movement of the country’s goods and traveling public.

TMAF, which launched in late 2013, says its campaign includes print, digital and radio advertising placed in news outlets in the Washington, D.C., area.

To the right is an example of TMAF’s ads from its campaign. Click here to see more of its banner ads and hear its radio spot, all of which center on the 7 million people that TMAF says work in the nearly $700 billion a year U.S. trucking industry.

“Nearly a third of our nation’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and one out of every nine bridges are structurally deficient, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers report card,” TMAF says in its announcement. “TMAF advocates for infrastructure spending to improve highway networks that are most critical to the movement of freight and interstate travel. Improving our nation’s highways also prioritizes the safety of the motoring public.”

Congress has only until the end of May to pass legislation to push revenue to the country’s Highway Trust Fund, which is set to run dry by May 31. The HTF is currently being funded via a stopgap measure passed last year following the expiration of 2012’s two-year MAP-21 highway funding act.

Click here to read CCJ’s previous coverage of the highway funding conundrum.

 

Trucker News Service: TMAF calls on lawmakers to pass long-term highway bill

The Trucker News Service 

WASHINGTON — Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide image and education movement representing all areas of the professional trucking industry, is calling on Capitol Hill lawmakers to pass a long-term highway bill to safeguard America’s federal highway program and provide certainty for the nation’s future transportation needs.

“Our federal highway program is at a pivotal crossroads, and the passage of a long-term highway bill is critical to modernizing our aging infrastructure and ensuring our roads are safe for our professional drivers and America’s families alike,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express Inc., and second vice chairman of American Trucking Associations.

The professional trucking industry drives $682 billion in revenue every year, making it a vital contributor to the nation’s economy. Seven million trucking professionals nationwide move food, fuel and critical cargo in manufacturing, healthcare, retail and more.

Nearly a third of the nation’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and one out of every nine bridges are structurally deficient, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers report card. TMAF advocates for infrastructure spending to improve highway networks that are most critical to the movement of freight and interstate travel. Improving the nation’s highways also prioritizes the safety of the motoring public, stated a TMAF news release.

“Well-maintained roads and bridges are safer roads and bridges,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “Safety is further improved when investments are focused on adding capacity where needed to reduce congestion.”

Today, TMAF launched an advertising campaign to reach lawmakers on Capitol Hill to reinforce the positive impact professional drivers have as the nation’s chief movers of interstate commerce. The campaign includes a series of print, digital and radio advertisements placed in Washington news outlets, including Politico Morning Transportation, which can be viewed at: http://www.politico.com/morningtransportation/.

“An updated transportation network is crucial to our nation’s success. Congress should stop punting and pass a long-term highway bill to improve our nation’s roads and bridges before the current authorization expires in May,” Burch said.

To view the TMAF advertising campaign, go towww.truckingmovesamerica.com/advertising.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article ateditor@thetrucker.com.

Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.

Trucking Moves America Forward Calls on Lawmakers to Support Long-Term Highway Funding Bill

Legislation is critical to modernizing federal highway network, keeping roads and motoring public safe

WashingtonApril 13, 2015Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide image and education movement representing all areas of the professional truck driving industry, is calling on Capitol Hill lawmakers to pass a long-term highway bill to safeguard America’s federal highway program and provide certainty for the nation’s future transportation needs.

“Our federal highway program is at a pivotal crossroads, and the passage of a long-term highway bill is critical to modernizing our aging infrastructure and ensuring our roads are safe for our professional drivers and America’s families alike,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express, Inc., and second vice chairman of American Trucking Associations..

The professional trucking industry drives $682 billion in revenue every year, making it a vital contributor to the nation’s economy. Seven million trucking professionals nationwide move food, fuel and critical cargo in manufacturing, healthcare, retail and more.

Nearly a third of our nation’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and one out of every nine bridges are structurally deficient, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers report card. TMAF advocates for infrastructure spending to improve highway networks that are most critical to the movement of freight and interstate travel. Improving our nation’s highways also prioritizes the safety of the motoring public.

“Well-maintained roads and bridges are safer roads and bridges,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “Safety is further improved when investments are focused on adding capacity where needed to reduce congestion.”

Today, TMAF launched an advertising campaign to reach lawmakers on Capitol Hill to reinforce the positive impact professional drivers have as the nation’s chief movers of interstate commerce. The campaign includes a series of print, digital and radio advertisements placed in Washington news outlets, including Politico Morning Transportation, which can be viewed at: http://www.politico.com/morningtransportation/.

“An updated transportation network is crucial to our nation’s success. Congress should stop punting and pass a long-term highway bill to improve our nation’s roads and bridges before the current authorization expires in May,” Burch added.

To view the TMAF advertising campaign, click here: www.truckingmovesamerica.com/advertising.

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About Trucking Moves America Forward
Trucking Moves America Forward is a long-term industry-wide movement established to create a positive image for the industry, to ensure that policymakers and the public understand the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy, and to build the political and grassroots support necessary to strengthen and grow the industry in the future. To learn more, and to join the movement, visit www.TruckingMovesAmerica.com.

Join us through social media:

www.facebook.com/TruckingFWD
www.youtube.com/TruckingFWD
www.twitter.com/TruckingFWD

Automotive World: Transport’s image makeover shifts into second year

By Megan Lampinen

The US transport industry’s image makeover kicked off one year ago with the Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF) movement. Officially launched at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), the industry’s largest truck event, TMAF seeks to project a positive image and stronger connection with policymakers and the general public. At this year’s MATS it marked its oneyear anniversary, celebrating a number of achievements including reaching its goal of raising US$1m.

Co-chairman of TMAF, President of Jet Express, Inc, and SeconTMAF-FB600x600-Shareables-007d Vice Chairman of American Trucking Associations Kevin Burch spoke to Automotive World about the key accomplishments during the first 12 months. “We had some naysayers, who questioned, ‘What will you do if it’s not successful?’ We had to lay the groundwork. Laying the foundation takes time,” he explained. In the past year, the movement has attracted more than 140 donors; 3,000 subscribers; 25,400 YouTube views; 2,330 Facebook likes and 890 Twitter followers. “It’s not all about money,” said Burch. “We’re getting a lot of support inkind.”In fact, TMAF received more than US$4m of in-kind donations through advertising, sponsorships, trade shows and printing. “This momentum is building. I’ve talked to several vendors/suppliers, who said that they were really interested in TMAF because as more people get involved, they are able to better sell their

products. ”

While considerable headway was made in terms of laying the groundwork, Burch believes there is much work still to be done. “What a great time to be in trucking. The economy in North America is picking up, fuel costs are a bit lower, but we still have a driver shortage and we still need to work on the image. We have done a terrible job telling our story,” he said. Over the years, some of the pride associated with the industry seems to have been lost. “In late 1960s and 1970s, things changed. Now we’re trying to eat healthier, educate drivers, try to get family home time,” he pointed out. TMAF wants to make sure drivers are portrayed as skilled professionals and devoted family people who value safety, efficiency and reliability. The trucking industry contributed US$682bn to the US economy in 2013 and moved 80% of all freight in the country. Today, an estimated 1 in 17 Americans is involved in trucking and TMAF wants to make sure everyone understands just how essential this industry is and how hard its members work. “We’re safe, we’re reliable, we’re needed. We wanted to inform the motoring public and the people making rules for our industry, and let the people in this profession know how important they are,” said Burch.

He has always maintained that TMAF is “not a campaign, this is a movement. It’s going to keep going.” Moving into its second year, the campaign will continue to raise money to get its story across. “We want more people to get on Facebook and to get more acquainted with what we have online. We want to take our story to city government, organizations that should know what we’re doing,” he said. The vibe from the trucking industry today is a positive one. Commenting on the this year’s MATS, Burch observed: “This was my third time at MATS and I noticed that this year’s event by far was more attended. There were younger people, family people, couples holding hands. I saw people taking notes with vendors and suppliers. The mood was so much better than two years ago and better than last year. The economy has picked up and the interest was a lot sharper.”

This should bode well for the movement going forward and Burch hopes to see more pride taken in the industry in general. “We need to get back to the environment where families stop at places where truckers stop because they know they can get good food at reasonable prices,” he said. “We call drivers the Knights of the Road and we want them to take pride in what they do.”

www.automotiveworld.com