Trucking Moves America Forward Helps to Raise Awareness During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

TMAF is providing an online awareness and educational campaign to run throughout the month of January during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The goal is to help raise awareness of the human trafficking national crisis; to highlight the unique position that truck drivers are in to take action, and to provide a list of the warning signs of trafficking and the hotline for drivers to identify and report suspects.

TMAF is utilizing its social media properties — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn – to educate throughout the month with facts and information on the widespread, national crime and how the industry can help.

“Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery taking place in every state across the country,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF and president of Jet Express, Inc. “With 3.5 million professional truck drivers on America’s roads, the industry and truck drivers are in a valuable position to help identify and report possible human trafficking cases. It’s important that drivers and all members of the public know the warning signs for trafficking and are empowered with the knowledge on how to report suspicious behavior.”

“The trucking industry and individual truck drivers are invaluable in the fight against human trafficking,” Elisabeth Barna, COO of American Trucking Associations and a board member of Truckers Against Trafficking. “Truckers are the eyes and ears of our transportation system, which allows them to close the loopholes that traffickers exploit for their own personal gain. We appreciate that TMAF is helping to raise awareness and educate truck drivers on the important role they can take in stopping human trafficking.”

TMAF Shares Industry News from Holiday Season

This holiday season, trucking’s message resonated throughout the country from TMAF members. Below is a sampling of editorials and appearances in the news from national cable television programs to local weekly newspapers.

You can view full media stories by clicking on the bolded links.

In early December, Larry Spiekermeier, the owner-operator of Montana-based Whitewood Transport who delivered the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, highlighted the importance of trucking’s role in our economy and holidays in a Fox News op-ed and through interviews on Fox News and Fox Business News.

Manuel Perales, a professional truck driver for Pilot Flying J, authored an op-ed that ran in the San Antonio News-Express discussing how the trucking industry keeps communities running and local economies growing throughout the holiday season — as the Modern Day Reindeer.

Last week, professional truck driver Nate McCarthy of ABF Freight based out of Wyoming authored an op-ed in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle where he talked about how trucking makes the holiday season possible.

And, in Maryland, pro driver Bob Weller with Hahn Transportation brought attention to the major effort behind moving all holiday goods in his  piece published in the Carroll County Times. 

The role to deliver America’s Christmas tree to Washington is the “crown jewel” of his career.

Watch truck driver Larry Spiekermeier describe his cross-country journey on Fox & Friends.

View video on Fox News…

Delivering America’s Christmas tree is the ‘crown jewel of my career: Truck driver

Lawrence Spiekermeier, the truck driver who transported the national tree to the U.S. Capitol, says it was the highlight of his career.

View video on Fox Business…

I’m the truck driver delivering America’s Christmas tree to the US Capitol – and I couldn’t be prouder

By Larry Spiekermeier

I’m one of 3.5 million professional truck drivers on America’s roads working to safely deliver the goods that keep our lives and economy moving, but on my latest trip, my truck is longer and heavier than usual and I couldn’t be prouder. With a 79-foot-tall Engelmann Spruce in tow, I’m the driver who’s been safely traveling across the country to deliver this year’s Christmas tree to the U.S. Capitol.

I’ve been hauling for 49 years through 49 states and am proud to say I’ve traveled 3.5-million accident-free miles. But this is the proudest job I’ve had so far in my career. For over 50 years, a Christmas tree has been put on display at the Capitol each holiday season, and this year, I’ve been proud to be a part of it, along with Whitewood Transport, who was selected from over 500,000 trucking companies in the U.S. to haul the 2017 tree to Washington.

On November 13th, I departed Montana for a two-week adventure to make the 3,460-mile journey from the Kootenai National Forest to our nation’s capital. Day after day, I’ve been rolling across the country, with stops in Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, where thousands of people have gathered to take part in this annual and festive journey.

I am grateful and proud of my job. Trucking really moves America. The industry provides one out of every 16 jobs. Some may be surprised to know that 80 percent of our communities in America rely solely on trucking for the delivery of their goods that keeps us running. The trucking industry also makes investments to improve safety and protect the environment, providing billions of dollars to develop the most modern trucks to keep us all safe, which is our highest priority.

Continue reading at Fox News…

American Trucking Association’s Kevin Burch Wants Trucking’s Story Heard

By James Jaillet

The trucking industry has a story to tell, says Kevin Burch, outgoing chairman of the American Trucking Associations, but, he says, the industry hasn’t in the past done its duty to make that story known to lawmakers, regulators and the public at large.

Initiatives taken this year by Burch’s ATA intend to change that, he says.

Kevin Burch, outgoing chairman of the American Trucking Associations
Such efforts were on national display last week when President Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of fleet executives, drivers and other industry personnel — organized by ATA — on the merits of his tax reform plan at a stump speech in Harrisburg, Pa. About 200 trucking industry personnel were in attendance at the event, says Burch.

Burch not only attended the speech but was mentioned by name by Trump during the address. Burch, said Trump, is a would-be beneficiary of the administration’s proposal to cut taxes on small businesses. “He wants to create more American jobs. We are helping him do exactly that,” Trump said.

Burch spoke to CCJ in an exclusive interview this week about Trump’s speech, ATA’s push to make its story heard and ATA’s chief lobbying efforts for the current Congress and administration. “We need to tell people how vital and how essential the trucking industry is,” Burch says. “The president has helped us tell that story to people. We made it clear to the White House staff [earlier this year] that we move America’s goods and we’re vital to all the things he’s trying to do.”

“It’s refreshing,” says Burch, to hear the president use words like “heroes” to describe those in the trucking industry. Burch is the president of Jet Express, a roughly 330-truck fleet that hauls loads for the automotive industry. He’s worked in trucking for north of four decades.

Burch’s Jet Express runs about 100 company trucks and contracts with about 220 owner-operators.
In addition to the shout-out during Trump’s speech last Wednesday, Burch also greeted the president personally after he deplaned from Air Force One and was in attendance a day later at the signing of an Executive Order that, in part, aims to make it easier for trade groups and associations to provide health insurance plans to small businesses.

ATA’s support for the Executive Order on healthcare doesn’t signal the group’s intentions to enter the realm of insurance providers, says Burch. But it represents the group’s push for broader healthcare reform that, like tax reform, could benefit trucking companies, says Burch. “We feel it’s going to help our members,” Burch said of the Executive Order. “The health of our drivers is important. We want quality healthcare for our drivers. The safety and health of our drivers should supersede anything else and has always been our priority.”

Continue reading at Commercial Carrier Journal…

Disaster relief resources stretch as more need approaches with Irma

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas nearly two weeks ago and the outpouring of support and supplies continues for the victims.

But with another major storm on the way, more people will soon be in need of help.

Hurricane Irma is churning its way towards the U.S. and millions of people are in its path.

Now organizations say they fear they will have to stretch their resources.

Supplies and passion are all in a truck heading to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“Just the devastation for the people down there,” said Matt Hart, Executive director Illinois Trucking Association. “And we’ve been overwhelmed by the number of the members of the Illinois Trucking Association that’s been wanting to help.”
Thousands across the nation are pouring their time into disaster relief.
But now a category 5 hurricane is approaching Florida and resources are wearing thin.
United Way said organizations are running into difficulties.

Link: Fox Illinois

Trucking Gives Generously to Help Houston Recover from Harvey

Trucking industry companies across the nation are pledging charitable support for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the long recovery effort ahead.

The following is just a small sample of companies and people who have seen the destruction from Harvey’s floods and decided to give support in any way they can.

In a joint effort, U.S. subsidiaries of Daimler, including Daimler Trucks North America and Mercedes-Benz USA, are donating $1 million in total to victims of the storm. The donation will be given to the American Red Cross to be used for immediate disaster relief, emergency assistance, and other services.

The Illinois Trucking Association is collaborating with the Texas Trucking Association and has contacted its members that have terminals near Houston to offer equipment, supplies, and money to the Harvey recovery effort. ITA has asked any members with trailers or available trucks and drivers to assist in taking supplies to the area. It also asked for collections of supplies to be picked up by ITA, and for monetary donations as well.

Link: Trucking Info

The Trucker: Trucking Moves America Forward’s mascot gets a name – Safety Sammy – at GATS

Image result for the trucker logo

By: Klint Lowry

DALLAS – You can’t very well be the walking symbol of goodwill for an entire industry and have people referring to you as “what’s-its-name, that truck thingy.”

But from its debut in May, that was the Trucking Moves America Forward mascot’s lot in life, even as it began its duties as the embodiment of TMAF’s mission to promote and enhance the image of the trucking industry, appearing at the Truckers Jamboree in Wolcott, Iowa, and at the National Truck Driving Championships in Orlando.

Even during the first two days at the Great American Trucking Show, as it moved around the convention floor, posing for pictures, occasionally breaking out in dance and leaving a trail of happy faces behind it, it did so anonymously.

All that changed on the opening of Day 3, however, as Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Inc., chairman of the American Trucking Associations and co-chairman of TMAF, took to the Red Eye Radio stage just outside the convention floor entrance to officially reintroduce the mascot, by name.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, meet Safety Sammy.

Trucking Moves America Forward was created three years ago to promote a positive image for the trucking industry and to educate the public as to trucking’s scope and importance.

“TMAF is an industrywide image movement,” Burch said. “It’s not a campaign. Campaigns are finite. This is something intended to be continuous.

Kevin Burch, co-chairman of Trucking Moves America Forward, officially christens Safety Sammy, the TMAF mascot, at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. The name was chosen from five finalists in an online vote that drew over 2,000 ballots. (The Trucker: KLINT LOWRY)

“We have a mascot because it is long overdue. We need to tell our story, what we do every day. The mascot’s helping us amplify trucking’s voice both within the community and outside the industry.”

Burch was on hand in May when the then-unnamed mascot was unveiled at the Pilot Travel Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, in May. Its effectiveness as an attention -grabber was immediate.

“People wanted to gravitate around the mascot,” Burch said. The same thing could be seen at GATS. Kids, especially, want to have their picture taken with it.

It was also announced at that Knoxville debut that the mascot needed a name, and they wanted suggestions from the public. That in itself helped draw attention to TMAF. The response was overwhelming, Burch said. In a month, nearly 2,000 entries poured in on the TMF website. From those they chose five finalists. In addition to Safety Sammy the other choices were Axle, Bob Tail, Seymour S. Miles and Wheels.

Online voting continued right up until midnight the night before the announcement, with about 2,000 votes tallied overall.

Immediately after the announcement, Safety Sammy was fitted with a custom license plate bearing his name, after which he got back to work, taking a celebratory lap around the convention floor.

“Safety Sammy represents the safety we strive for each and every day on the road,” Burch said. “We’re looking forward to taking Sammy coast to coast, to tell the vital trucking story.”

Link: The Trucker

TMAF at GATS 2017: The Mascot’s Schedule

TMAF’s new mascot will have a BIG presence at GATS 2017! Look for us at TMAF’s booth, our partners’ booths and throughout the show. See below for the mascot’s full GATS schedule:

Thursday, August 24
12:00 – 12:30 p.m. American Trucking Associations / Booth 12044
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. TMAF Booth / Booth 40018
2:45 – 3:15 p.m. Pilot Flying J / Booth 22024

Friday, August 25
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. American Trucking Associations / Booth 12044
11:15 – 11:45 a.m. TMAF Booth / Booth 40018
12:15 -12:45 p.m. OOOIDA / Booth 21017
2:45 – 3:15 p.m. TMAF Press Conference / Press Room / Lower Lobby AB

Saturday, August 26
9:00 – 9:10 a.m. Red Eye Radio Stage – Name Announcement
9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Photo Opportunities / Red Eye Radio Stage
11:00 – 11:30 a.m. American Trucking Associations / Booth 12044
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. TMAF Booth / Booth 40018

Send your mascot selfies to mascot@truckingmovesamerica.com!