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: TMAF Announces Industry Mascot’s Name at Great American Trucking Show

TMAF invites attendees to take selfies with Safety Sammy, the mascot

Dallas, TX, Aug. 26, 2017 –  Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry movement founded more than three years ago, to celebrate the trucking industry’s contributions to communities nationwide, revealed the name of the new industry mascot. On the Red Eye Radio stage at this year’s Great American Trucking Show (GATS) in Dallas, TMAF co-chair, Kevin Burch unveiled Safety Sammy as the official name of the truck mascot.

“We are thrilled to officially announce the industry mascot’s name here at GATS, one of the trucking industry’s premiere events,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express, Inc., and chairman of American Trucking Associations. “Our mascot brings to life the great aspects of trucking, offering the more human aspect of the trucking industry. Safety Sammy represents the safety we strive for each and every day on the road. We’re looking forward to taking Sammy coast to coast, to tell the vital trucking story.”

TMAF first unveiled the mascot at the Pilot Travel Center in Knoxville, Tenn. in May. Over four months, the mascot’s naming has included public participation from TMAF’s grassroots support network. Five finalist names were selected from among nearly 2000 entries from the public, and over 2,000 people have voted for their favorite. Safety Sammy beat out four finalist names: Axle, Bob Tail, Seymour S. Miles and Wheels.

For companies and organizations interested in promoting Safety Sammy at your next event, please email

TMAF has been building a groundswell of industry professionals for three and half years.  It aims to change the perception of the trucking industry by promoting its economic contributions to America and the tireless work of truck drivers to deliver safely, and on time, America’s freight. Through news stories, digital campaigns and grassroots efforts, TMAF continues to educate and promote the industry.


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

Also join and follow TMAF through social media, on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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!

Roland Bolduc Crowned National Truck Driving Championships Bendix Grand Champion

Bryce Neilson Named Rookie of the Year at Trucking’s “Super Bowl of Safety”

Orlando, Florida – Today, American Trucking Associations announced Roland Bolduc as the Bendix Grand Champion of the 2017 National Truck Driving Championships.

“With an impressive showing this week, Roland Bolduc emerged as the leader of the field and is taking home our industry’s top prize,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “On behalf of ATA and the entire trucking community, I want to thank the strong field of competitors for participating in these championships and practicing safety every day on our nation’s highways. Your commitment to excellence makes us proud to be in the trucking industry.”

To clinch the esteemed title of 2017 Bendix Grand Champion, Bolduc’s driving accuracy and knowledge of truck safety surpassed the more than 420 other state champion professional truck drivers competing in all vehicle classes in Orlando, Florida this week.

Bolduc, who also took home the Sleeper Berth class title, lives in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and drives professionally for FedEx Express. He has more than 1.9 million safe driving miles in his career and has worked in the trucking industry for more than 36 years, spending the last 23 years with FedEx Express. Bolduc was named an America’s Road Team Captain in 2000.

ATA also recognized Bryce Neilson as the 2017 Rookie of the Year. Neilson claimed the title after performing well in the Flatbed division. Additionally, the team of drivers from Kentucky produced the best collective score, with an average of 307.13, and were honored as the top state delegation.

Professionalism and dedication to the trucking industry were key themes during the National Truck Driving Championships. Daniel Shamrell was honored during the awards banquet with the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award and Joe Smith was chosen as the Lifetime Volunteer Award recipient.

ACT 1 served as a premier sponsor of the 2017 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships, which took place Aug. 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Since 2011, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has been the sole sponsor of the Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion.

Champions from each of the 9 vehicle classes were also announced. Joining Roland Bolduc on the list of national champions are:

3-Axle: Glen Kirk, Franklin, Indiana, Old Dominion Freight Line

4-Axle: James Duffy, Marshall, Wisconsin, FedEx Freight

5-Axle: Michael Miltenberger, Cumberland, Maryland, PITT OHIO

Flatbed: Wayne Crowder, Louisville, Kentucky, FedEx Freight

Sleeper Berth: Roland Bolduc, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, FedEx Express

Straight Truck: Richard Bailey, Macomb, Michigan, FedEx Freight

Tank Truck: Scott Woodrome, Middletown, Ohio, FedEx Freight

Twins: Chris Poyner, Richland, Washington, XPO Logistics

Step Van: Michael Bills, Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, FedEx Express

Other Awards

Rookie of the Year: Bryce Neilson, Anaconda, Montana, FedEx Freight

Team Champions: Kentucky

Vehicle Condition: Bryan Wold, Reiles Acres, North Dakota, XPO Logistics

Highest Written Exam Award: Paul Brandon, Oxford, Connecticut, FedEx Freight and Don Logan, Eskridge, Kansas, FedEx Freight

Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence: Daniel Shamrell, Battle Ground, Washington, FedEx Freight

Lifetime Volunteer Award: Joe Smith, Kenco Management

Full results from today’s final competition below:

Final Standings
Class Place Name Employer State
1 Glen Kirk Old Dominion Freight Line Indiana
  2 David Rohman FedEx Express North Carolina
  3 David Murphy YRC Freight Idaho
  4 Walter McGuire Walmart Transportation Georgia
  5 Sam Wilson XPO Logistics Nebraska
1 James Duffy FedEx Freight Wisconsin
  2 Tony Archambault Walmart Transportation Maine
  3 Daniel Shamrell FedEx Freight Oregon
  4 Steven Ward FedEx Express South Carolina
  5 Darrell Shelton FedEx Freight Washington
  6 Bruce Quaal YRC Freight Minnesota
1 Michael Miltenberger PITT OHIO Maryland
  2 Jose Orozco XPO Logistics Arizona
  3 Artur Lesniowski FedEx Ground New Jersey
  4 Nicholas Jones FedEx Freight Oregon
  5 Tom Hopkins Walmart Transportation Nebraska
1 Richard Crowder FedEx Freight Kentucky
  2 Dennis Shirar Walmart Transportation Indiana
  3 Brian Walker UPS Freight North Carolina
  4 Donald Logan FedEx Freight Kansas
  5 Edward Mikan UPS Illinois
Sleeper Berth
1 Roland Bolduc FedEx Express Massachusetts
  2 Heladio Fernandez FedEx Freight Oregon
  3 Rick Pledger Walmart Transportation Texas
  4 Brian Hall Old Dominion Freight Line Tennessee
  5 Gary Mars Walmart Transportation Arkansas
Straight Truck
1 Richard Bailey FedEx Freight Michigan
  2 Brent Glasenapp FedEx Express Wisconsin
  3 Dale Brenaman UPS Kentucky
  4 Christopher Shaw FedEx Express New Mexico
  5 David Hawk FedEx Freight Alabama
Tank Truck
1 Scott Woodrome FedEx Freight Ohio
  2 Thomas Garner FedEx Freight Alabama
  3 Anthony Spero ABF Freight System Connecticut
  4 Gerald Wrinkle Walmart Transportation Kentucky
  5 Daniel Bartelson XPO Logistics North Dakota
1 Chris Poynor XPO Logistics Washington
  2 Jeffrey Rose YRC Freight Ohio
  3 Marcus Byrd FedEx Freight Mississippi
  4 Michael Flippin FedEx Freight Colorado
  5 Esteban Perez AAA Cooper Transportation Texas
Step Van
1 Michael Bills FedEx Express North Carolina
  2 Jason Imhoff Walmart Transportation Ohio
  3 Ceth Christensen UPS Illinois
  4 Bartholomew Masciulli FedEx Express Pennsylvania
  5 Kailen Bronson FedEx Ground Oregon

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on FacebookTrucking Moves America Forward.