Celebrating our industry movement’s anniversary at the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show
Greetings from Louisville: home of the Kentucky Derby, pork chops and, of course, the annual Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS).
MATS is an important event for every member of the trucking industry – an opportunity to engage with our peers and see all that the industry has in mind for now and the future. But for those of us involved with Trucking Moves America Forward, MATS holds a special place in our hearts.
It was here at MATS, three years ago, that the industry-wide image and education movement officially launched.
Over the past three years, we’ve worked hard to tell the powerful story of trucking and its role to the economy and the livelihood of every community. Our success is all thanks to a dedicated support base of drivers, companies, owner-operators and others who contribute to the industry in so many ways.
As we celebrate each anniversary at MATS, we take the time to reflect on everything we’ve accomplished over the previous year. In 2016, as our Annual Report title says, we’ve been “Reaching New Heights.” We’ve grown our online subscribers and donor bases to ramp up our digital media presence and marketing.
There’s a lot to be proud this year, including expanding our branding efforts with nearly 150 TMAF trailer wraps rolled out on the road. These “moving billboards” are a great educational tool for the motoring public, demonstrating the value that trucks deliver. In 2017, we’ve set our sights on developing trailer wraps with 3-D images and new messages.
Our online subscriber database continues to expand year after year, and we’ve grown at impressive rates on social media. In addition to growing our Facebook and Twitter followers this year, we’re excited to be on Instagram and LinkedIn (and Medium!) for the first time.
With every effort, we’re continuing to tell the story of why trucking is a vital industry. We launched a creative advertising campaign during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in September, demonstrating how drivers are not only keeping America moving by delivering necessary goods – they are also our friends, neighbors and family members.
But appreciation for truckers and the industry goes far beyond a single week. It is something that we think about every day.
We’ve accomplished a lot these past three years, but there is always work to be done. As for the rest of 2017, we plan to keep the momentum going in a big way. We will soon launch a new industry branding video to further demonstrate the value of trucking. And soon, we’ll be introducing a new “member of the TMAF team” – stay tuned next month for that exciting news.
If you’re at MATS this year, you’ll find TMAF has a large presence – we’re at the American Trucking Associations, OOIDA and Pilot Flying J booths. Come speak with us, learn more and sign the pledge to be a part of the movement. Be sure to stop by to see the TMAF-wrapped Jet Express truck in the parking lot outside the exhibition entrance.
And throughout 2017, look for us at the next trade shows, online, in the news and on the road. I can’t wait to see what we’ve accomplished by MATS 2018.
Trucking was front and center at the White House today!
Members of the American Trucking Associations, including ATA President & CEO Chris Spear, along with TMAF Co-chair Kevin Burch and several professional truck drivers and company executives, were invited to meet directly with President Donald Trump.
Drivers gave a personal tour to the president as he took a seat inside the cab of a truck in front of the White House.
Later, a round table of trucking company leaders introduced themselves and their company one by one to the president. The president stated the importance of American companies and his pledge to repair the nation’s infrastructure problems.
Read more here!
From the March-April edition of RoadKing magazine:
Reporting on bottleneck traffic in the Dayton, Ohio area, and the results of ATRI’s latest traffic study, WHIO Channel 7 spoke with TMAF’s own Kevin Burch:
Trucking Moves America Forward, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes the trucking industry, has recognized Trinity Logistics for its charitable contributions.
Trinity Logistics, a Seaford-based trucking and shipping company, partnered with a local food bank and Perdue last month to feed 250 families a Thanksgiving meal. For Christmas, Trinity partnered with local organizations to provide presents and essentials for seven families in need as part of its Trinity Christmas Families program.
Trucking Moves America Forward highlighted Trinity Logistics for making a difference in the community.
“The holidays are a time when all of us — friends, family, neighbors, communities — come together and share special moments and I couldn’t be more pleased to highlight the integral role trucking has in making this happen each year,” said Kevin Burch, chairman of Trucking Moves America Forward and president of Jet Express Inc.
Trinity Logistics was founded in 1979 and now has five service centers throughout the United States. In 2005, the company’s employees formed the Trinity Foundation, a non-profit, to give back to the community. Since its inception, the Trinity Foundation has donated $450,000 to more than 100 different organizations nationwide.
Trucking Moves America has 3.5 million professional drivers throughout the country.
Link: Delaware Online
Trucking Moves America Forward, a trucking industry education and image campaign spearheaded by ATA, plans to make 3D trailer wraps and more affordable trailer wrap options in the coming year, the group announced last week.
Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express and chairman of American Trucking Associations, said in a press conference last week the 3D wraps are still in the drawing stage, but said they would likely be available by the end of next year.
He also announced more affordable bottom rail wraps will be available in 2017. The bottom rail wraps will go around the lower 36-48 inches of the trailer. Burch estimates each wrap is seen by about 16 million people a year.
The group also announced last week it now has more than 3,000 members in its database. TMAF aims to supporting the group, whose goal is to educate legislators and the motoring public about the positive impact of the trucking industry.
TMAF raised $1.2 million in donations in 2016, as well as between $3 million and $5 million in what Burch called “in-kind” services, such as advertising space.
Link: Overdrive Online
If you bought it, a truck brought it
Family gatherings with a delicious turkey on the table. Friends and communities joining together for holiday traditions. Stores and sidewalks bustling as we shop for presents to exchange with loved ones. Wreaths on doors and ornate decorations lighting up downtowns.
These are just some of the images I think about when the holiday season is upon us. And no matter who you are, which holidays you celebrate or where you’re from, all of these images share something in common — they’re all made possible by trucking.
The fact is, trucking touches every aspect of the holidays — and it goes beyond stocking grocery store shelves or delivering that perfect gift. In addition to providing all those goods and cargo, trucking keeps your family members moving on the roads for that special time together by ensuring our gas stations are amply stocked with fuel.
The trucking industry is proud to deliver the holidays, and we recognize the enormous responsibility that comes with it. When more than 100 million drivers are on the road this season — as AAA forecasted for year-end holidays last year — they’ll be driving alongside nearly 3.5 million professional truck drivers. That’s why professional truck drivers are trained and dedicated to ensuring the safety of all motorists on the road, and why the industry as a whole invests $9.5 billion each year in safety. The investment spans all facets of trucking safety, including driver training, compliance with safety rules, onboard safety technology, and awards and bonus pay for improved safety performances.
There’s no doubt that the investment is paying off. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that trucks have a crash rate that is 28 percent lower than that of other vehicles. The fatal crash rate has fallen 74 percent since 1980, and that figure has dropped 17 percent in the last decade alone. Further, trucks are principally at fault in only 25 percent of fatal car-truck crashes. This improvement comes even as the trucking industry is expanding, by operating an additional 2.7 million trucks and driving billions of additional miles each year.
In addition to keeping our roads safe — during the holidays and throughout the year — trucking works to better our communities. Many families and organizations answer a call to service during the holiday season, and the trucking industry is no exception.
To kick off a recent work retreat, dozens of trucking industry executives came together to volunteer at the Capitol Area Food Bank in Northeast Washington, D.C. There, we sorted various cooking and food items into large bins, then packed those items into individual boxes. Next, we stacked the boxes on pallets, which were loaded into the back of a truck and delivered to distribution centers throughout the Washington metro area. A few hours of service and generosity will now provide festive seasonal meals for hundreds of underserved families in our nation’s capital. It is true that the trucking industry is a vital part of delivering the holiday season, but this recent day of volunteering is another example of the human element that our industry brings to the holiday season.
The list of good deeds goes on, and it spans trucking-related companies of all kinds, at the community level all over the country. Dozens of trucking-industry organizations and state-level trucking associations are getting involved in everything from Toys for Tots and Adopt-a-Family efforts to assisting food banks, schools and the local Salvation Army to ensure children and families are cared for during the holidays.
From safety to service, the trucking industry is dedicated to ensuring the holidays happen for all of us. It’s the only industry that can say it directly ships to every community in America, helping to make this time of the year brighter for all families — snow, sleet, rain or shine. Professional truck drivers sacrifice time with their own families to ensure our gifts are delivered, our tables are set, and our roads are safe — a true embodiment of the holiday spirit.
If you’re not acquainted with a truck driver or industry professional, I have a small challenge for you this holiday season. Take a second to acknowledge a truck driver who’s refueling next to you at a truck stop or delivering a gift to your front door. That small recognition can make a profound difference in his or her busy day of delivering the items that we enjoy, but sometimes take for granted.
Kevin Burch is chairman of the American Trucking Associations.
Link: Washington Times
WASHINGTON — The leaders of Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the trucking industry’s effort at education and image, today held a telephone press conference to discuss TMAF’s latest results for 2016.
“It’s hard to believe that we’re in year three, when many people thought we’d never get this off the ground,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express Inc. and chairman of the American Trucking Associations (ATA). “Since our last public update this past spring, we’ve hit new, positive milestones on so many fronts – from expanding our reach with a member database topping three thousand, building our donor base, and further engaging with lawmakers, the industry, the media and the public,” “Our progress is a testament to all that our donors and supporters have done throughout the year, signaling a bright future ahead for TMAF.”
TMAF kicked off at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show, he said.
Burch also highlighted the success of the TMAF trailer wrap program.
“Trailer wraps educate millions of people,” he said. “We’ve done about 140 trailer wraps and we need to keep our goal of 200 within reach.” Burch added that each wrap, according to industry research, is seen by about 16 million people.
“We have a story to tell about what we do and why we do it,” he said.
Elisabeth Barna, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Industry Affairs at ATA, said the industry sees TMAF as a major tool for telling a story and changing perceptions and pointed to the efforts to lobby for infrastructure improvements.
“We are very excited that President-elect Trump has announced that he will make infrastructure a priority” for the new administration, she said. “To keep our efforts moving forward, TMAF needs support from organizations throughout the industry. We are building a true grassroots movement one step at a time. We are seeing examples of our efforts working, and we are thrilled.”
Wendy Hamilton, senior manager of sales marketing at Pilot Flying J, spoke about how TMAF has successfully bolstered its online community and engagement through digital and social media, adding that TMAF surpassed 10,000 Facebook likes this past summer and increased its Twitter following by 25 percent.
Steve Ponder, executive vice president of Great West Casualty and TMAF co-chair, reminded listeners of the industry’s image campaign during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW) in September.
During NTDAW, TMAF communicated the economic value of trucking and a positive image of drivers through its “amateur/professional” campaign, portraying truck drivers in family situations. The ad buy yielded more than 8 million impressions and included billboards and newspaper print and digital ads in major trucking corridors, such as Missoula; Dallas; Kansas City, Missouri; Knoxville; Dayton and Indianapolis, Ponder said.
“We’ve received national recognition,” he said. “In August, PR News named TMAF a finalist for its platinum award in the branding category. We also achieved success through earned media. In addition to Kevin Burch, we enlisted some drivers to write op-eds.
“Part of our efforts are to demonstrate not just the economic value of trucking, but to improve the image of drivers – proving that drivers are family members, neighbors, and community members just like anyone else,” said Ponder. “This theme was highlighted again throughout 2016 and shone through in a big way with our robust earned and paid media campaigns.”
The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s almost that time of year…
Trucking plays an integral role in making the holiday season special – from stocking store shelves and putting food on the table, to taking part in Wreaths Across America and the lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.
Now we want to hear from you!
Tell us what you or your company have planned, in terms of charitable acts, community events, or other activities that make us proud as an industry to say Trucking Moves the Holidays.
Send an email to email@example.com (by the Thursday, Dec. 8 deadline), to have your organization included in TMAF’s end-of-year release to industry and media – which will also be featured here on TMAF’s website and on our social media channels.