Heavy Duty Trucking: Trucking Moves America Forward Reports on Image Movement Progress

Kevin Burch gives an update on TMAF progress.

TMAF co-chairman Kevin Burch gives an update on TMAF progress.

LOUISVILLE, KY — Trucking Moves America Forward, the industry-wide image and education movement, reported significant achievements in the past year in its mission to change the public perception of the trucking industry.

The program has achieved is goal of putting more than 100 TMAF trailer wraps on the road, said Kevin Burch, TMAF co-chairman and president of Ohio-based Jet Express and a former HDT Truck Fleet Innovator, in a press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show Thursday.

Emphasizing that this is a movement, not a campaign — it will continue, there’s no ending date — Burch noted that this is the second anniversary of TMAF, launched two years ago at MATS. Among the goals for 2015 were expanding the movement’s reach, and building the donor base, which it did.

“These ‘moving billboards,’ each seen by as many as 16 million peopler per city, are sending a message every day that our industry is more than just large vehicles on the highways,” he said. “We’ve moving America forward by transporting the products and freight that make life possible, serving as an essential provider to our communities and adding value to our economy.”

John Elliott with Michigan-based expedited carrier Load One was the buyer of the 100th trailer wrap, Burch explained. He originally had purchased four, but at a recent industry convention, “We only needed 10 more to achieve the goal of 100 and John raised his hand,” Burch explained.

Taking the podium, Elliott (a former HDT Truck Fleet Innovator), joked that his CFO asked him to not do that again without getting permission. “I think we’re a great industry,” he said. “We are terrible at promoting what we do as an industry. We move this country, we save it in bad times, we help move the economy in good times, yet we are the silent backbone of this nation, and we have to stop being silent. We have to stop.”

The goal for next year is to get the trailer wrap number up to 200.

TMAF announced the following achievements in addition to the 100 trailer wraps:

  • more than 180 donors
  • more than 2,100 web subscribers
  • nearly 35,000 YouTube views (136% increase year over year)
  • a three-fold increase in Facebook likes to nearly 7,700
  • more than doubled the number of Twitter followers to 1,870
  • 24 news stories and 26 thought leadership editorials in the media
  • targeted advertising campaigns, including one aimed at legislators to push them to pass the long-overdue highway bill.

Dan Logan, an ATA America’s Road Team captain and a driver for FedEx Freight, pointed out that he has 2.4 million accident-free miles, “and there are thousands of drivers out there that are just like me. Here’s where we come up short. We need to improve the overall image of the industry and that’s why TMAF is so important and the resources the movement provides to help us tell our story.

“In short, TMAF is there for us, not only improving our image but in recruiting at a time when we have never been shorter of drivers and technicians in our industry. We want to reach out to the next generation and show them trucking can not only be a great career choice but one they can be proud of.”

Emphasizing the cross-industry nature of the movement (Burch is second vice chairman of the American Trucking Associations), there also were speakers from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

“I’d be proud to pull one of the trailers with the TMAF wrap on it,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive VP. “Folks need to be reminded… when they think about trucks they think about he most recent experience they had, generally a bad experience. We have a good story to tell; let’s share the message.”

TMAF continues to expand its presence online at www.truckingmovesamerica.com, with downloadable videos, advertisements, speeches, editorials, press release, fact sheets and more for those who sign up. The site also now includes a TMAF store, where hats, polo shirts, T-shirts, tumblers, back door decals and other TMAF-branded items are available for purchase.

“We need your support to keep this image movement going,” Burch said. “Every donation counts. Every trailer wrap counts. Every Facebook like counts. Every positive news story counts.”

Link: Heavy Duty Trucking

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Trucking industry drives interstate commerce

With over 500,000 trucking companies and nearly 3 million trucks on our nation’s roads, trucks move nearly 70 percent of America’s freight. In Nevada we are more reliant on trucking than any other transportation mode, moving 94 pecent of our state’s manufactured tonnage. There is a symbiotic relationship between trucking and every sector of the economy. Retail, manufacturing, mining, energy, agriculture and gaming all rely on trucks, and trucks are reliant on all of these sectors to drive our activity. Trucking is a key element in interstate commerce.

This wasn’t always the case. Although the modern trucking industry has existed for over a century it is still younger than the railroad, which still holds tremendous influence over transportation policy today. At the turn of the 20th century, trucks were used in limited local applications. If you needed freight moved coast to coast, rail was your only realistic option.

In 1919 a young Lt. Col. Dwight Eisenhower was part of a military convoy from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, Calif. It took a total of 62 days to make the trip. Nevada was particularly tough. Ike described the roads across Nevada from Utah to Carson City as a “succession of dust, ruts, pits and holes.” It was this trip that solidified his support for an interstate highway system, funded by fuel taxes, which would be designed not just to move munitions, tanks and troops, but interstate commerce. This system has driven our economy since its creation.

While the building and maintaining of our roads and highways to ensure seamless transport across our states has had a positive impact on trucking, the lack of stable funding for the interstate system is threatening Eisenhower’s vision. We have not had a fuel tax increase in America since 1992. In fact much of today’s current highway program is funded on budgetary schemes such as pension smoothing which allow companies to forgo tax deductible payments into their employee’s 401k programs, and then use the increased tax revenue for roads.

This has led to some states and members of congress to call for devolution, meaning states would keep the fuel tax revenue instead of sending it to the federal government for distribution. Losing sight of how roads connect communities, not just in a particular state but across the country wouldn’t just have a negative impact on the trucking industry, but on all of those economic sectors that rely on the efficient movement of freight.

Since 1980 when the trucking industry was economically deregulated it was a goal for trucking to be shaped by market forces under a nationally uniform set of regulations. This was a 180-degree change from where the industry was in 1935 when the federal government regulated truck rates, routes, and the type of freight that could be hauled.

Economically deregulating the trucking industry had a huge positive impact on the economy. Freight got a lot cheaper and enabled just-in-time delivery, which eliminated the need for retailers, manufacturers and others to have inventory and raw materials on site. There is no more storeroom at the J.C. Penny’s where they keep inventory not being sold on the floor — that storeroom is now on the back of a truck.

Even with innovations such as just-in-time delivery, no truck moves without a driver. Professional truck drivers need a great amount of skill and focus to safely pilot an 80,000-pound truck. For much of the 20th century, truckers were viewed as knights of the road, who would always stop to assist a stranded motorist. The CB culture of the 1970s, which brought us the “asphalt cowboy” has now migrated to truckers as true safety professionals. Although the view of truckers has made a positive turn, it is still a huge challenge to get qualified drivers behind the wheel.

Nationwide, we are 48,000 drivers short. We are an overwhelmingly male industry, 94 percent, with an average age of 49 years old. Lack of truck parking, being detained at shipper facilities and government regulation make the freedom of the open road less alluring.

As a nation and an industry we need to focus on the implementation of technology, and forward thinking policy changes that look at the transportation system in its entirety, so we can ensure that Trucking Moves America Forward.

Paul Enos is chief executive officer of the Nevada Trucking Association.

Link: Norther Nevada Business Journal 

Marking Its Second Year, Trucking Moves America Forward Demonstrates Successes in its Mission to Shift Industry Image

At Mid-America Trucking Show, industry movement announces milestones; requests continued support


Louisville, Ky. – March 31, 2016 –Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide image and education movement, is making significant strides in its mission to change the perception of the trucking industry. TMAF announced its achievements from the past year during a press conference at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), the same venue where the organization publicly launched in March of 2014.

Leading off the press conference in Louisville, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express, Inc., and first vice chairman of American Trucking Associations Kevin Burch, cited several successes achieved by a wide range of education and communications efforts, particularly seeing 100 TMAF-wrapped trailers on the road.

“After a successful first year, we knew there was still much that needed to be done to work toward changing perceptions and building a more positive image of the trucking industry, and I’m happy to say we’ve exceeded expectations to date,” said Burch. “I want to sincerely thank all of our members and supporters for helping us come this far since launching TMAF here at MATS two years ago.

“I’m especially proud to announce today that we now have achieved our goal of putting more than 100 TMAF-branded trailer wraps on the road,” said Burch. “These ‘moving billboards,’ each seen by as many as 16 million people per city, are sending a message every day that our industry is more than just large vehicles on the highways; we’re moving America forward by transporting the products and freight that make life possible, serving as an essential provider to our communities and adding value to our economy.”

The TMAF-wrapped truck will be parked in the front North Pavilion during the duration of the conference.

Leaders of TMAF and professional drivers presented an overview of the movement’s other major accomplishments through its consistent and dedicated marketing, education and recruiting efforts throughout 2015. To date, TMAF is pleased to announce the following achievements:

  • more than 100 trailer wraps purchased;
  • more than 180 donors;
  • more than 2,100 subscribers;
  • 34,455 YouTube views (a year-over-year increase of 136 percent);
  • 7,674 Facebook likes (a year-over-year increase of 329 percent);
  • 1,870 Twitter followers (a year-over-year increase of 210 percent);
  • in earned and owned media more than 20 million impressions, which includes 12 press releases issued and 50 news stories (24 news stories and 26 thought leadership editorials);
  • more than 3.3 million advertising impressions
  • and more than 2 million impressions due to in-kind donations from media outlets including Transport Topics, Landline Magazine, Sirius XM Radio and more.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president and board member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), spoke on behalf of industry owner-operators.

“There is a lot that we can celebrate today – and I’m especially encouraged by the way in which TMAF has supported the rights of drivers while connecting our entire industry,” said Spencer. “I look forward to seeing TMAF continue to expand, because whether you’re an owner, driver, supplier, or other industry professional, the movement helps shine a positive light on one’s career and contributions.”

Professional truck driver Don Logan with FedEx Freight and an America’s Road Team Captain, also spoke about the important role TMAF has played in improving the image of truck drivers across our nation’s roads and highways.

“Millions of people contribute to the story of the trucking industry and, as drivers, we recognize that we are the face of the industry,” said Logan. “We take that responsibility seriously, and that’s why we’ve seized the opportunity – with the help of TMAF’s many resources – to show how safety on the road, respect for fellow drivers, and commitment to our communities are central to our professional roles.”

Also at MATS, TMAF will encourage industry professionals to join the movement by signing the TMAF Ambassador’s Pledge. Those who take the pledge, at one of the participating show booths – American Trucking Associations, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Pilot Flying J, Kentucky Trucking Association, Tennessee Trucking Association and American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) – will be entered into a raffle to win an iPad mini or TMAF-branded merchandise. The drawing will take place on Friday, April 1 at 5 p.m. in front of the trailer featuring a TMAF wrap, in the North Pavilion area.

TMAF continues to expand its presence online via www.truckingmovesamerica.com, offering the industry valuable resources. The site’s member resources section provides downloadable videos, advertisements, speeches, editorials, press releases, fact sheets and more for those who sign up. These materials can also be obtained by contacting info@truckingmovesamerica.com.

The site also now includes the TMAF e-store, shoptmaf.com, where hats, polo shirts, t-shirts, tumblers, and other TMAF-branded items such as backdoor decals are available for purchase to demonstrate one’s pride in trucking.

Throughout 2016, TMAF’s goals will be to continue to activate and engage the industry through education sessions, speeches, marketing and public relations strategies; support local and state advocacy efforts focused on improving highway infrastructure and the operational environment; develop strategies for the public message by aligning with research measurements; continue to build pride within the trucking industry to make trucking an attractive career option; and encourage fundraising at all levels of contributions, big and small.

There is also a goal to see an additional 200 trailer wraps on the road.

Said Burch: “There is much more work to do, and we need your support. Every donation counts. Every Facebook Like counts. Every trailer wrap on the road counts. Every positive news story counts. Every in-kind donation or service counts.  It’s a movement that cannot happen without you.”


About Trucking Moves America Forward

Trucking Moves America Forward aims to establish a long-term industry-wide movement 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, visit www.TruckingMovesAmerica.com.

Also join and follow TMAF through social media:

Land Line: Faces of the Future