Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Trucking Moves America Forward ... indeed it does

What does the word “movement” mean to you? Action, process? Take me -- a cause-oriented '60s kid and a longtime employee of OOIDA, an organization that is all about fighting for the rights of professional trucker. I guess I am somebody who can’t resist the launch of a big “movement.”

Today at MATS, a group representing people from every corner of the trucking industry got together and launched an industry-wide movement to shape a positive image of trucking. And it’s going to be done by telling the story of the people who make trucking possible.

Among the speakers were OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer, President of Jet Express Kevin Burch, driver Allen Boyd and technician Herschel Evans.

In the words of OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer, “we’ve got a story to tell.” And in my words -- it needs to be one that is shouted from the mountaintops. Because legislators and regulators need to keep hearing about the “essentiality” of truckers. Without them, the nation’s economy will hit the skids. That message seems to keep on getting ignored.

OOIDA Executive VP Todd Spencer
Photo by Suzanne Stempinski
Spencer said truckers are the most important people in the trucking industry. The job they do “moves the nation.”

“And the trucking industry needs to see it,” said Spencer at a press conference today in Louisville. “If we cannot see it, the public won’t either.”
The movement is called Trucking Moves America Forward – or TMAF if you must have an acronym. It brings all sectors of the trucking industry together in a positive movement that intends to do some serious steam-rollin’ in order to engage policymakers, industry professionals and the public.

Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express, cited a statistic I have not heard updated for a while but I jotted down. Did you know that 1 in 16 people in the U.S. are employed by the trucking industry? That doesn’t necessarily mean they are behind the wheel, but – 1 in 16? That’s impressive. Why can't this industry get the proper respect?

Plenty of people in the industry are on board with this one. Along with ACT 1, an initial founding member of the movement, other supporters include OOIDA, ATA, Allison Transmission, Bendix, Bridgestone, Cummins Inc., Daimler Trucks North America, Dana, Detroit and Eaton. Lots of familiar names. Here’s more: GE Capital, Goodyear, Great West Casualty, Hahn Transportation, Hendrickson, J.J. Keller, Jet Express Inc., Kenworth, Longistics, Love’s, Mack Trucks, Meritor, Michelin, Motor Carrier Service Inc., Old Dominion, Omnitracs, Pegasus, Peterbilt, Randall Reilly, Tennant Truck Lines, Tennessee Express, Trans Tech, TCA, Volvo and TRW.

You're going to hear more about Trucking Moves America Forward in the future. For now, check it out at or follow it on Facebook (Trucking Moves America Forward) or Twitter at @TruckingFWD.

Somebody has to do this.

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