FleetOwner: Raising the profile of trucking nationally

Photos circulated widely last week of President Trump at the American Trucking Assns.’ (ATA) visit to the White House. What many may not have seen — or didn’t realize they were seeing — was a major ATA effort to raise the profile of trucking with the American people and motoring public.

Now three years in the running, ATA’s Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF) program designs attention-getting trailer wraps intended as “moving billboards” promoting the trucking industry and the role of drivers in keeping the supply chain and economy — and everyday life — moving.

ATA COO and Exec. Vice President of Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna. (Aaron Marsh/ Fleet Owner magazine)

“These moving billboards, as we call them, are a great educational tool for the motoring public,” said Elisabeth Barna, ATA’s chief operating officer and a member of the TMAF executive committee, at the Mid-America Truck Show in Louisville. “They paint a picture that truck drivers are just like you and me — moms, dads, sisters, brothers — diminishing the notion of large trucks simply taking up space on the highways and instead, demonstrating the value that trucks deliver.”

She noted that at the time, ATA had sold 149 of the TMAF trailer wraps nationally and is now “well on the way to reaching a goal of 200 wraps on the road by the end of the year.” Barna also unveiled a round of new trailer designs at the show. The new designs, she said, “really bring what we carry and haul on those trailers to light, and these trailer wraps show how we make an impact on everybody’s everyday lives.”

In addition to the trailer wraps, the TMAF program also looks to engage the media in writing about trucking and connect with the public via social and digital media and marketing campaigns. The White House meeting last week was a big step in those efforts.

At the meeting, Barna explained, ATA was able to bring two trucks. One had a trailer with a U.S. flag, “and the other truck we decided to bring was one with a TMAF trailer because we thought it was so important to showcase Trucking Moves America Forward.”

A slide showing several new trailer wrap designs released by the Trucking Moves America Forward program. Click to enlarge. (Aaron Marsh/ Fleet Owner magazine)

“These two trailers were right outside the Oval Office on the South Lawn, which was a first,” she added. “And one of the reasons we were excited to be at the White House wasn’t just about ATA, but our entire industry. We were able to showcase what trucking is all about.”

One of ATA’s goals is to engage and work with President Trump and his administration on issues like infrastructure funding that affect the trucking industry, according to ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. The group also wants to emphasize trucking as an essential cog in the U.S. economy, which the new administration is focused on growing, and see that any changes to trade agreements like NAFTA — which also clearly would affect the U.S. trucking industry and many other businesses — are made with all due consideration.

But raising the profile and awareness of trucks and trucking among the American people is also part of the plan. It’s no small task, with many among the passenger car portion of the motoring public unaware of trucking’s critical contributions to the economy and exposed to trucks and trucking as more of an “us vs. them” situation as they encounter and perceive them out on the road.

Dayton, OH-based Jet Express brought one of its trucks with a TMAF trailer wrap to the Mid-America Truck Show. (Aaron Marsh/ Fleet Owner magazine)

RoadSquad Radio

Listen to what RoadSquad Radio had to say on TMAF’s three-year anniversary, following MATS 2017:


TMAF in 2016: By the Numbers


Live from Louisville: TMAF Turns 3

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.

Norita Taylor, Director of Public Relations, MarketingOwner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Trucking Moves America Forward Celebrates Third Anniversary, Announces Milestones and Plans


Industry movement provides update at 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show

Louisville, Ky. – March 24, 2017 – Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide image and education movement, today provided an update on its continued efforts to promote a positive image of the trucking industry. TMAF announced recent achievements and provided a preview of its 2017 plans during a press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS). The press conference marked the three-year anniversary of TMAF, which was publicly launched at MATS in March 2014.

The press conference was led by TMAF Executive Committee members, Elisabeth Barna, chief operating officer of American Trucking Associations, and Wendy Hamilton, senior manager, sales marketing, at Pilot Flying J. Barna and Hamilton provided an update on the movement’s latest successes, citing the recently released 2016 TMAF Annual Report, “Reaching New Heights.”

“In just three years, TMAF has made impressive strides in our goal to alter the image of the trucking industry, from educational campaigns to earned media and member engagement,” said Barna. “We owe that success – and our gratitude – to our supporters, from drivers and companies to owner-operators and those who contribute to the industry by providing in-kind services and in so many other ways.”

TMAF’s Annual Report highlights the movement’s accomplishments in 2016, including growing its member database, expanding social media presence and increasing visibility through paid and earned media. In 2016, TMAF:

  • Grew its online database to 2,900 subscribers
  • Secured 44 earned media stories and 16 op-eds in national, regional and community news outlets – resulting in 38.8 million total impressions
  • Surpassed 12,000 followers on Facebook and reached nearly 3,000 on Twitter
  • Launched 3 new digital platforms: LinkedIn, Instagram and Medium
  • Reached a potential in-person audience of more than 130,000 at trade shows and other events

Barna also announced that TMAF has today distributed 149 trailer wraps, surpassing its goal to put 100 wraps on the road. The organization is working toward a new goal of selling 200 trailer and tank wraps. A TMAF-wrapped truck will be on display at MATS in the main parking lot for the duration of the conference.tmaf-1

TMAF unveiled a new generation of wrap designs, including 3-D designs and new messages. The wrap designs will depict the vital goods delivered by trucks, reminding passing motorists of trucking’s necessity.

Hamilton announced the production of
a new TMAF branding video this year. The video, which tells the story of trucking, will add to TMAF’s growing bank of free online resources, available at truckingmovesamerica.com.

Hamilton concluded the press conference by announcing the addition of a new, special member of the TMAF team. The newest team member, to be unveiled in April, will further assist TMAF’s efforts to spread the positive message of trucking in 2017.

“We’re so proud of everything TMAF has achieved since MATS last year, but there is always work to be done,” concluded Hamilton. “We are working to gain even more pledges at this year’s conference, and you’ll see TMAF at trade shows, in the news, online and on the road throughout 2017.”


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, on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Medium.

Trucking Goes to the White House

Trucking was front and center at the White House today!

TMAF white house2

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!

RoadKing Magazine Features TMAF

From the March-April edition of RoadKing magazine: