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Fall Edition | TCA 2013
resolve to build consensus
As I look back on our 75-year history, I continue to be reminded that despite
the advancements the industry has made during that time, we continue to be
plagued by many of the same issues we have faced throughout our history. All this
on top of the new issues that have emerged. In some ways, we are an industry of
two steps forward, one step back. We find ourselves an industry that struggles to
find the unanimity we need to be decisive. Sometimes we work against ourselves
because consensus on issues can be difficult to find.
We have always been an industry that has been great at playing defense. For
decades we were successful at fighting attempts to raise user fees and taxes. We
lived by the mantra of “sometimes it’s not what you pass but what you defeat.”
Yet any coach will tell you that a good defense isn’t enough to win games. In
today’s legislative and regulatory world, it isn’t what you oppose, it is what you
can support. I have said a number of times over the last 10 years or so that we
need to decide what we can support or we won’t have a seat at the table. Notice
that I didn’t say two seats or three seats.
In a trade association the majority rules. If it is 51 percent on one side and 49
percent on the other, the majority wins. I think we all agree with that. However,
from a practical standpoint, the 51-49 proposition is wrought with challenges,
not the least of which is that almost half of the members will be working against
your efforts. In a larger sense if the trucking associations from the state level to
the national level are divided on the right course of action, our efforts to advocate
successfully are lessened at the outset for the same reason.
I find myself wondering if we need to pause to consider this fact. It is true that
we are one industry, but an industry nonetheless that remains divided in a number
of areas. When I consider that many of the issues we face today are the same as
yesterday, I can’t help but think that in part, it is because we haven’t been able to
build consensus within our ranks. I don’t mean to suggest that 100 percent support
on all issues is a realistic possibility, but the higher the majority the more
confidence we have in our positions. The more confidence we have in our positions,
and the fewer within our own ranks working against us, the more successful
we will be.
When I look at the size of our industry and the resources that should be at our
disposal, we have the capability to proactively bring our issues to the forefront
and be successful in advancing our agenda. But first, we have to agree on that
agenda. This requires the will to compromise and to prioritize. It is time to realize
the full potential of the trucking federation.
Truckload Carriers Association
Common Sense Crusader Common sense is
not so common these days, but Mike Huckabee
is doing his part to change that. Page 12
Future of Fuel, part two Is deploying an
NG powered fleet right for you? We give you
the facts. Page 20
75 Years Of TCA The Modern Era: Take
a behind-the-scenes look at the last two
decades of TCA. Page 34
TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority
555 E. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22314
chairman oF the board
Tom B. Kretsinger, Jr.
President & COO, American Central Transport
3 | Resolve to Build Consensus by Chris Burruss
6 | Unaffordable Healthcare Act
11 | From Where We Sit Obamacare Edition
12 | nationaL newsmaker excLusive
Common Sense Crusader with Mike Huckabee
17 | Capitol Recap
18 | Where States Stand
vice President – deveLoPment
director, saFety & PoLicy
First vice chair
President & CEO
second vice chair
Motor Carrier Service, Inc.
executive vice President
director oF education
FFE Transportation Services, Inc.
tracking the trends
20 | Future of Fuel, Part II
a chat with the chairman
24 | Uncommon Leader with Tom B. Kretsinger, Jr.
immediate Past chair
President & Founder, Prime inc.
The viewpoints and opinions of those quoted in articles in this
publication are not necessairly those of TCA.
in exclusive partnership with America’s Trucking Newspaper:
32 | Supporting TCA and Wreaths Across America
34 | 75 Years of TCA, Part II: The Modern Era
38 | Meet TCA’s Highway Angels
40 | Weight Loss Showdown Winners
42 | Trucking’s Top Rookie Driver
44 | TCA Officer’s Summer Retreat
46 | Mark Your Calendar
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4 Truckload auThoriTy | www.Truckload.org Tca 2013
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Fall Edition | TCA 2013
Unaffordable Healthcare Act
By Lyndon Finney
The date is March 23, 2010.
President Barack Obama is seated at a
desk in the East Room of the White House,
pen in hand, putting his signature on the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Surrounding him are a number of Democratic
lawmakers, administration officials
and a young African-American named
Marcelas Owens of Seattle, whose mother
died of a treatable disease after losing her
healthcare insurance, and who himself became
the administration’s poster child for
In the photo, Vice President Joe Biden
has a big smile on his face, as does then-
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid. The widow
of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, a healthcare
reform proponent, is behind Obama, she
too with a smile. Biden got so giddy at the
ceremony that after introducing the president,
the VP failed to remember that he
was still within earshot of live microphones
and uttered the now famous line “This is a
big (expletive deleted) deal.”
Turns out he was correct, but not in the
manner Democrats had hoped.
A close look at the act, now known
as PPACA (pa-pa-ka) by supporters and
Obamacare by detractors, had passed
without a single GOP “aye.”
Fast forward to September 2013.
Many of those Democratic smiles have
turned to scowls because the Obama administration
has seen cheers turn to jeers
and toasting become roasting as more and
more businesses and individuals figure out
that for most Americans, there’s nothing
affordable about Obamacare.
Obamacare, they say, has become a
monstrosity of a mess and a deadly financial
Set to go into full implementation Jan.
1, 2014, the administration has already
backed off one major proposition.
In what was obviously a political ploy,
Obama decided that businesses with 50 or
more full-time equivalents (FTEs) will not
have to provide “affordable” healthcare
plans to their employees until 2015.
Remember, there’s a mid-year election
in 2014, but Obama may have played the
wrong political card.
Most Obamacare opponents agree that
the requirement that every American purchase
healthcare insurance beginning January
1, 2014 — either through an exchange
approved by the federal government or
through their employer — will have many,
many more political consequences in 2014,
especially when policy holders see their
bills for coverage.
Those exchanges were scheduled to
be open October 1, but in August, the
administration announced it would not
sign agreements with those exchanges as
Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
Rate increases vary from 30
percent higher to 100 percent
higher than rates that have
been previously available for
a healthy individual through a
traditional insurance company
such as Blue Cross.
Tom Kane, Senior Vice President,
planned between September 5 and September 9,
putting into question whether the exchanges would
be up and running by October.
Of course, what employers who offer insurance
will charge their employees is generally a privately
held issue, but the public exchanges are a different
“It varies from what I’ve seen from 30 percent
higher to 100 percent higher than rates that have
been previously available for a healthy individual
through a traditional insurance company such as
Blue Cross,” says Tom Kane, senior vice president
of Stephens Insurance in Little Rock, Ark., which
has among its clients many trucking companies.
Stephens Insurance is part of Stephens Inc., one of
the nation’s largest off Wall Street financial investment
Kane says although costs to individuals who purchase
insurance through their employers might not
be known yet, there is one thing for certain — those
prices will increase and probably substantially.
A National Journal analysis of new coverage and
cost data puts an exclamation point on Kane’s prediction.
For the vast majority of Americans, premium
prices will be higher in the individual exchange
than what they’re currently paying for employersponsored
benefits, the report said.
Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to
consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in
deductibles under Obamacare.
The National Journal reported that health law
proponents have excused the rate hikes by saying
the prices in the exchange won’t apply to the
As the implementation date for Obamacare
nears, even Secretary of Health and Human
Service Kathleen Sibelius had to admit that
insurance premiums could rise for some with
Obamacare added a number of new taxes that
will be levied on businesses, including a tax
against fully insured premiums. While businesses
will pay the tax, most expect that costs
will be passed along to policy holders in the
form of higher premiums.
millions receiving coverage from their employers.
But that’s only if employers continue to offer that
coverage — something that’s looking increasingly
Already, UPS, for example, cited Obamacare
as its reason for nixing spousal coverage. And
while a Kaiser Family Foundation report found that
49 percent of the U.S. population now receives
employer-sponsored coverage, more companies
are debating whether they will continue to be in the
business of providing such benefits at all.
Kane noted that in Arkansas, it had already
been announced that healthcare insurance for public
school teachers would have to increase 50 percent
After all, insurance companies don’t have a
clue what’s going to happen when those 46 millionplus
Americans join the healthcare system either
through their employers or the exchanges, including
many who will be medical “train wrecks.”
“Their actuaries are really scratching their
heads,” Kane said. “The big guess for insurance
companies is how are the numbers going to play
out? How many people are going to sign up for
their plans and what kind of health and claims are
they going to bring to that insurance company?”
Employees of companies that offer medical plans can
opt to buy from the exchange, but don’t expect the
price at exchanges to be any cheaper, Kane said.
Obamacare does provide for premium tax credits
to persons who cannot afford coverage — individuals
or families with income between 100 percent and
400 percent of the federal poverty level.
So where is the money for those subsidies going
to come from?
By taxing everybody else, including trucking
There are about five different taxes, Kane noted.
“One is the health insurance fee that is a tax
levied against fully insured premiums for the entire
health insurance industry,” he said. “In 2014 it
is projected to be $8 billion. That will increase to
$14 billion and then indexed after that. So every employer
that has a fully insured health plan will have
about a 2.3 percent increase just for that one little
tax. Then you have the effectiveness research tax.
Blue Cross is telling us for the average employer, not
small group, but average employer with 100-plus
employee lives who are fully insured, will experience
a 4.2 percent increase just do to those taxes.”
Want to hear more about taxes?
“There’s the tax being placed on the
pharmaceutical industry, the tax on medical
devices and some other taxes and fees
that are all tangled up in this,” Kane said.
Guess who’ll wind up actually paying those pharmaceutical
and medical device taxes?
That’s right, the consumer.
But businesses, among them hundreds of carriers,
won’t escape the wrath of paying more.
Remember that under Obamacare, insurance
companies must use a single rating system.
No longer will they be able to give better rates
to companies with young, healthy employees who
have low utilization. Those companies will be assessed
the same rate as companies with older, less
healthy and high-risk employees who heavily utilized
OK, you say, it is wonderful that so many more
Americans will have access to medical care with
that new insurance.
But finding a doctor may be another thing entirely.
“You have a chronic shortage of primary care
physicians today,” Kane said.
Most large primary care clinics are filled to capacity
now. One professional organization says the
country will need 45,000 more primary care doctors
So what’s going to happen when those new policy-holders
can’t find a doctor?
“Interesting enough, Massachusetts has had
healthcare reform for five or six years and they
have less than 10 percent of their population uninsured,”
Kane noted. “In some cases emergency
room encounters have increased. Logic would make
you think if everybody has health insurance then
emergency room encounters should come down.
But that’s where they can be seen. For a lot of the
population, they don’t know where else to go.”
To help ease the shortage, Kane said states need
to pass legislation to enable healthcare extenders
such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners
to do more.
“We are going to have to give them more authority
and less oversight because we can’t produce
enough primary care physicians to solve the problem.
We have to look to other resources,” he said.
Many, many trucking companies in the 50 FTEplus
category did get a break when the provision
requiring them to provide an affordable health plan
was extended until 2015.
How should those companies spend 2014 getting
ready for 2015?
The first thing they will need to do is to conduct
a study on the impact on them as a company and
their people, Kane said.
“They should run an actuarial model where they
input the income of every single employee and the
cost of premiums and determine what the impact
is going to be to them if they offer insurance and if
they don’t offer insurance,” he said. “But probably
equally important is that they can see the impact to
their employees if they choose not to offer coverage.
There are some strategies that an employer
can offer a plan that is deemed a qualified affordable
plan (a plan with an employee cost of no more
than 9.5 percent of his or her household income)
knowing that a lot of those drivers won’t elect a
coverage. They don’t today. We are seeing a lot of
employers who are in those industries where they
have a lot of low-paid employees that are offering
what is called a skinny plan. Offering a qualified
plan right beside a skinny plan is one strategy that
we are seeing out there.”
But consumers need to be aware, he said. A
skinny plan is not comprehensive medical insurance.
“It’s going to have a limited benefit similar to
what we used to call the mini-med plans, but the
skinny plan would have some health benefits like
Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
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The biggest positive is their
low-paid employees are going to
have access to health insurance. The
negative is the cost to provide all of
this through the affordable care act is
going to be significant. Everybody is
going to be impacted by this.
preventive care. But if someone had a major cancer
and a half million dollars in claims, the mini plan is
not going to do them much good.”
But the so-called ‘affordable plan’ would provide
The federal government has established safe
harbor for businesses related to the 9.5 percent requirement,
“No employer knows what their employees’
household income is and they can’t require employees
to furnish that,” he said. “So the Internal
Revenue Service established safe harbor rules that
said if you benchmark your plan to the lowest W2
employee and your plan is less than 9.5 percent of
that income you are safe harbor.”
Employees may also wind up finding their portion
of the premium based on income, Kane said.
“An employer can have different levels of employee
contributions, so that as employees’ income
goes up, their share of the medical premium goes
up and that keeps them inside that 9.5 percent.”
Part of Kane’s job is to share both sides of
the story with clients, so what is he telling them
will be the biggest overall positive and negative
Many expect that President Barack Obama will be wiping his brow quite often on Nov. 4, 2014,
when the mid-term election results start coming in.
impacts of Obamacare?
“Depending on the employer, the biggest positive
is their low-paid employees are going to have
access to health insurance,” he concluded. “The
negative is the cost to provide all of this through
the affordable care act is going to be significant.
Everybody is going to be impacted by this. “What
my concern is, is that the general public does not
understand today what this is going to cost. And
we won’t really know until after the rates begin to
It was Pelosi herself who as then Speaker of the
House said during the debate, “We need to pass this
bill so Americans can find out what’s in it.”
The Democrats did pass the bill, and Americans
are now beginning to find out after almost four
years, what’s in it.
And so while those same Democrats who were
smiling on March 23, 2010, may have a brief opportunity
to crack a small smile toward the end of
2014 because PPACA has survived at least one year,
there’ll be many who’ll be scowling and looking back
at the current administration with disdain as they
start looking for new jobs in mid-November.
Because Americans finally understood what
Obamacare was all about.
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10 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
From Where We Sit
executives discuss the NEW HEALTHCARE
REFORM LAW AND ITS IMPACT ON BUSINESS.
“There is no question that it will affect our bottom line and frankly it already has. Two or three years ago when it was
looming in the background of discussion, my health insurance broker said that 17 percent of our 20 percent renewal
increase was due strictly to Obamacare. We did an actuarial of our census roughly eight to ten months ago and if we
changed nothing in our program, the increase to provide healthcare would be somewhere in the range of $500,000-
$600,000 in premiums. It is bad legislation.”
Shepard Dunn, President & CEO, Bestway Express, Inc.
“One area of large concern is the impact on independent contractors. We are hopeful that the IRS will consider owneroperators
to be classified under the safe harbor provisions of the Internal Revenue Code in the same way as income taxes
are. However, there remains great uncertainty at this time. Owner-operators need to start learning about obtaining requisite
insurance as the law is implemented. They will need to either purchase qualifying insurance or pay penalties on their
Tom B. Kretsinger, Jr., president and COO, American Central Transport, TCA Chairman
“We’re evaluating all of our options right now. We want to continue to provide competitive benefits to our employees.
We do know the Affordable Care Act imposes new taxes on us that we have never had to deal with before,
and that will impact our bottom line. The new regulations are challenging and we plan to maintain a competitive
Cliff Yentes, Corporate Risk Manager, Dart Transit
“From the beginning, I always felt the premise of Obamacare was delusional. It would have been far more effective
if the president had said we need to make sure that the people who are uninsurable — not the ones who just choose
to be because they’d just rather buy a truck or a Camero and they just don’t want to spend the money on insurance
— are put in a high risk pool and let the government subsidize that pool. If they really are at a point where they are
not insurable in a traditional marketplace — and there are people like that — and we force an insurance company
to take them without regard to preexisting conditions with no lifetime benefits, that absolutely skews everybody’s
Mike Huckabee, former GOP presidential candidate and host of Huckabee on Fox
“It’s a mystery to most people; it’s thousands of pages of government regulations. Nobody
has read it. Senators, congressmen, the president ... none of them have admitted they’ve
actually read the whole thing. It was put together by a legal staff. I’m sure there’s some
good in it, there’s a lot of harm in it, there’s a lot of cost. The reason people are wary
is because they don’t trust the government, and they know anything the government
gets into is going to get muddled and fuddled, and it’s going to be twice as expensive
as they said it is, and it’s not going to create the intended result.”
J.J. Keller, president and CEO, J.J. Keller and Associates
TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 11
COMMON SENSE CRUSADER
Exclusive to Truckload Authority
By Micah Jackson and Lyndon Finney
One day several years ago, the senior vice
president of a major healthcare system in a
Southern state walked into his marketing and
public relations department carrying a handful
of wall signs.
The organization’s operational and personnel
manual contained thousands upon thousands
of words and was thicker than a National
Football League playbook.
The executive, himself, a man of few words,
had decided to write a CliffsNotes version of
the manual and now he wanted those words
prominently displayed in every office in the
department as a reminder that there is more to
running a department than reading rulebooks.
“The rule of common sense is practiced
here,” the signs read.
Although he is definitely a common sense
proponent, it’s fairly certain that Mike Huckabee
doesn’t have one of those signs hanging in
his office at Fox News where he hosts his television
show, “Huckabee on Fox,” every Saturday
and Sunday evening — nor in his office in
Florida where each morning he broadcasts “The
Huckabee Report” and hosts his three-hour
radio program, “The Mike Huckabee Show”
each afternoon on Cumulus Media Networks.
He doesn’t have to.
Because it doesn’t take a sign to know that
Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist pastor,
former governor of Arkansas and Republican
presidential hopeful, espouses common sense.
Call him the “Common Sense Crusader”
if you like, because crusading the conservative
cause [which many Americans believe is
a synonym for common sense] is exactly what
Huckabee’s been doing since he became vice
president of the student body at Hope, Ark.,
High School in 1971.
“You can’t spend money you don’t have and
you can’t borrow money you can’t afford to pay
back,” he says of the Obama administration’s
penchant to spend, spend, spend and borrow,
“We spend [healthcare dollars] on treatments
rather than prevention and cures because
there is no money in cures and there
is no money per se to be made in prevention,
but there’s a lot of money to be made in treatment,”
he intones about America’s healthcare
system, which consumes 17 percent of the
nation’s gross national product.
“[There once] was a universal understanding
that there is a God and that He’s part of
who we are as a nation, part of who our founders
believed was involved in us from our inception.
We’ve abandoned that and moved to this
notion that we are truly on our own, that we
make up our own rules,” he says in concern for
the national culture, which he believes is leaning
far too far to the left.
God has given Huckabee a pulpit for his
common sense beliefs for many years, first as
pastor of two churches in Arkansas where he
established 24-hour television stations, then
as governor of Arkansas [he’s the third-longest
tenured chief executive in the state], as a GOP
presidential candidate in 2008 and now as a
It was his frustration with the American
way of life that moved him from the pulpit to
“A lot of it had to do with being a father and
watching what was going on in my children’s
world — school and culture — and coming increasingly
to the conclusion that a lot of people
who had values like mine didn’t want to get
involved in the political atmosphere, which I
certainly can understand,” he said during an
exclusive interview with Truckload Authority.
“But the result was we’d essentially ceded
our nation over to people who had a world view
that was totally different than not only what I
felt was my world, but the world view that was
more traditional in the country. And I kind of
talked myself into it by realizing there comes a
point where I can complain about what’s wrong
— which is the equivalent of sitting up in the
cheap seats and screaming at the umpire — or
I can get down on the field and join the game,
and that’s what it came down to for me.”
It’s a move he never regretted because his
common sense beliefs are tied directly to a
personal belief that one should be satisfied with
whatever they are doing at the precise moment
they are doing it.
“Everything I’ve done has been a very satisfying
experience and at the time I did it, it was
absolutely the most satisfying,” he emphasized.
“So I really couldn’t say I am more satisfied
now because I loved being governor, I loved
being a pastor, I loved working in advertising
and communications, which is what I did before
I went into the pastorate. So in every endeavor
I felt like this is where I am supposed to be
right now and I loved being there right then.
People have asked me whether it’s ‘do I miss
the pastorate or do I miss the governor’s office,’
and I tell them if you mean do I look back
fondly, yes. Do I long for it and wish I was back
there, no. I feel like I’ve read that chapter and
it’s time to turn the page to the next one.”
That next one is using his broadcasting pulpit
to try and help bring that left-leaning nation
back to the right.
His message generally centers around three
topics about which he believes every American
should be concerned with addressing right now
— the economy, the culture and healthcare.
And, he has some very profound thoughts
about trucking as well.
As for the first lesson, point blank, Huckabee
says the administration’s economic strategy
is seriously flawed.
“To me that’s simple. You can’t spend money
you don’t have and you can’t borrow money
you can’t afford to pay back. That’s the rule
every individual has to live by, it’s the rule of
every business; it is not the rule of federal government,”
he said. “Their attitude is we spend
money and borrowing has no consequence, and
that’s simply not the case. The long-term result
is that it leaves a debt that future generations
won’t pay, but the short-term result is that it
really makes it impossible for particularly the
entrepreneurs in America to survive because
what happens is when the government takes
more and more of what those businesses earn,
it’s as if the government is saying ‘you worked
for your money, but we don’t value what you
do. We value what we do; therefore what we
12 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
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do is more important than what you did,
so we are going to take that money you’ve
earned because what you do with it is not
very valuable. What we do with it is more
But Americans don’t need to believe they
should get off scot-free, as the old saying
goes, so now it’s time for another common
“I do think people need to stop thinking of
taxation as evil because a certain level of it is
important,” Huckabee said. “What they need
to see is that when the government takes
something from us we have to assume they at
that moment believe that what they are going
to spend it on is more valuable, more important,
more critical than what we would have
spent it on.”
But sadly, he added, he thinks there are
very few Americans that would say “you know
I think the government is going to be far
more responsible than I would have been.”
Huckabee made his most renowned — and
widely criticized by the left — statement about
the nation’s culture following the Sandy Hook
Elementary School shootings last year.
He made headlines in the U.S. and abroad
for stating on Fox News: “We ask why there is
violence in our schools, but we have systematically
removed God from our schools,” and
further asked: “Should we be so surprised that
schools would become a place of carnage?”
The criticism, if anything, strengthened his
resolve about the national culture.
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14 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
The country has abandoned a long-held belief
that God is part of who we are as a nation,
Huckabee said, and that He was involved from
the very inception of the United States.
“First of all, it’s been harmful to us sociologically.
But I think it’s been untrue to our
[nation’s] foundation. And what I would say is
when people don’t believe there is a God, they
are responsible. So then they end up living
as they did in the time of the [Biblical] judges
when everyone did what was right in his own
eyes,” Huckabee said. “And so today, we don’t
have any moral standards that are fixed and
solid. We can redefine marriage, we can redefine
life and we can redefine personal responsibility
to each other. What’s happened is we do
have a god today, but [our] god has become
government and government has become the
Huckabee said an overwhelming majority
of the country is center right, but that if the
government and the media had their way, that
Like Washington, the media is totally out of
touch with mainstream America, Huckabee says.
“I tell people even at Fox [considered the
most conservative news media] there’s a mindset
that’s not necessarily liberal, it’s just that it’s
New York,” Huckabee said with a hint of chuckle
in his voice. “There’s a New York attitude that’s
just disconnected from the people who live in
Arkansas or Kansas or Montana or places outside
the big city. I have these discussions all
the time and I tell the people at Fox: ‘You guys
need to get out more because the audience that
watches you every night is not the audience
that you run into on the subways, Sixth Avenue
or 48th Street. The people that you are talking
to are people who go to church on Sunday,
they shop at Walmart, they drive pick-up trucks,
they probably have a deer head in their den;
they have a different world. They own guns.
You don’t get it.’ I tell people I live in the land of
God, guns, gravy and grits and it’s not at all the
world of New York or Los Angeles where these
are closed systems that are really, really out of
touch with so much of America.”
A prime example of “so much of America” occurred
in August 2012 when Chick-fil-A President
Dan Cathy ignited a national debate by publicly
expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage
and his support of the Biblical definition of marriage
between a man and a woman.
Gay right groups quickly called for a national
boycott of Chick-fil-A.
Huckabee immediately organized a national
“Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” event and had
Cathy appear on his television program.
Huge crowds turned out on the appointed
day, in some cases blocks long.
The Biblical definition of marriage is directly
linked to the Biblical definition of a family,
which brings us to common sense lesson No. 2:
America’s cultural shift goes back to
the sense that the base unit of government
shouldn’t be viewed as the federal institution
of government, rather it ought to be viewed as
the family, Huckabee believes.
“The family is the first unit of government
that any individual encounters; it’s the unit of
government that is most fundamental, basic
and necessary,” Huckabee said. “If it works
right, then we need less and less of the structures
that are above that. When it fails, we
end up with more and more structures that are
above that because when a family functions
right and a child learns the difference between
right and wrong, it diminishes the need for
authorities, whether they are policemen, counselors,
every kind of rehab-type therapist. The
more that individuals and families break down,
the more government is needed.”
If there is going to be a game changer in
the political landscape of the country and perhaps
hence a cultural shift back to the right,
healthcare — or more specifically Obamacare
— will be a catalyst.
“It will have a dramatic effect on the races
of 2014 and not in a good way for the Democrats,”
But he was quick to add a warning to his
own Republican Party.
TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 15
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“One thing that would save the Democrats from a disastrous 2014 is
if the Republicans spare the Democrats from having to face the consequences
of Obamacare by instead forcing them into a government shutdown
that would take attention totally away from the fact that millions
of Americans are moving now from fulltime to part-time employment.
That because of Obamacare, more millions of Americans will lose their
insurance rather than gain it and that because of Obamacare, more
millions of Americans will see a dramatic increase [in healthcare costs]
than a decrease.”
Common sense lesson three quickly became evident.
“There will be anecdotal points at which some people will actually
see a decrease in cost but those will be overwhelmed by the number of
people who will have more than they can pay and it stands to reason
that if you add 30 million people to a system, or potentially you do, you
have fewer doctors in which to operate it. The people you add are the
sickest and the poorest — the ones who will need the most subsidies
and the greatest amount of healthcare — it’s actuarially impossible for
that to cost less money. That is completely beyond the realm of reality.”
Huckabee agrees with a statement by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., one
of the architects of healthcare reform, who once said that Obamacare
was a Trojan horse for socialized medicine.
“Ultimately, the only way a program like this can work is with a
single payer and the single payer is going to be the government. At
the time the law was being written, I really didn’t want to believe that
was the intent, but whether that was their strategic intent or simply
the law of unintended consequences, there aren’t many insurance
companies that are going to be able to live under the rules of Obamacare
and create a policy that’s affordable for the people who are going
to have to buy it.”
As for trucking, Huckabee quickly points to the role the industry
plays in the country’s success, regardless of political leaning, cultural
shifts and a spend, spend, spend, borrow, borrow, borrow mentality.
“Virtually everything Americans have in their homes from their
groceries to their office supplies to their clothing wouldn’t be there if
it were not for the truckers. Truckers move most of the materials from
point A to point B and the economy collapses without that kind of commerce,”
Huckabee said. “The second thing is that most people have no
idea the level of training and safety consideration that truckers first of
all out of responsibility but frankly sheer necessity, have to employ. A
big trucking company can ill afford for one of its drivers to do something
that costs that company millions in liability, which is exactly what
can happen if somebody is reckless or careless.
“So it is in the trucking company’s best interest to have very high
standards of quality for hiring people, maintaining those standards,
making sure drivers are well trained and well rested. All of the factors
that go into a safe and efficient delivery system are critical. People underestimate
that. They don’t think about that. But if they ever stopped
and backed up and looked at it, they’d understand the truckers are
probably the most responsible drivers on the road and the safest ones
and they are also carrying the things that we couldn’t do without.
“The main thing they need to understand is when they say ‘those
doggone truckers,’ they need to say ‘thank God for those truckers.’”
Now that’s real common sense.
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get mr. huckabee’s advice on how best to further
trucking’s legislative goals. Plus, find out if he is more
likely to run for president again in ’16 or return to his
work as a pastor. the answers could surprise you.
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16 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org
Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., in late July
introduced legislation that would raise the required
insurance minimum for motor carriers
from $750,000 to $4,422,000 per truck, an
increase of almost 500 percent.
Congress established the current insurance
Before being elected to Congress last year,
Cartwright was a member of the law firm of
Munley, Munley and Cartwright, a firm that
specializes in accident and injury claims. After
Cartwright was elected, he resigned from the
firm, which is now called Munley Law.
“This is a matter of public safety,” Cartwright
claimed. “Tragically, more than 100,000
people have been killed in commercial vehicle
collisions since 1980. This legislation is essential
to protecting our nation’s highways
and ensuring that victims receive the proper
amount of compensation for their losses.”
Executives familiar with the legislation
believe the new minimum would add about
$3,500 a year to the premium for each truck a
Dave Heller, director of policy and safety at
TCA, called the proposed minimum outrageous
and unfair to motor carriers.
“We are of the belief that this is not making
a mountain out of molehill, this is making
Mount Everest out of a molehill,” Heller
said. “TCA policy dictates that liability coverage
should be at a reasonable minimum level
to protect the public, not a level that leaves
plaintiffs’ attorneys salivating.”
David Owen, president of the National Association
of Small Trucking Companies, was
also very direct.
A review of important legislative and regulatory news
coming out of our nation’s capital.
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“It is a fact that even with today’s $750,000
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minimum requirement, regardless of fault at
the crash scene, the truck, its company, and
its insurer are the first to come under scrutiny
from lawyers looking for someone to sue.
“The very idea that the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration (FMCSA) through
CSA promotes the notion that a big truck-auto
crash where the truck is clearly not at fault,
goes against the carrier’s record equally with
at-fault crashes, fuels the fire of unfair, frivolous
and fraudulent lawsuits in today’s adversarial
agency atmosphere, and promulgates
litigation harassment of the entire industry.
“Raising liability minimums at this time is
short-sighted, has nothing whatsoever to do
with safety or fairness, and should not be considered
seriously. What we need today is tort
reform, not escalation of corporate liability.”
Given Congress’ agenda in the next few
months with both government funding and a
replacement bill for MAP-21 among critical issues
to be discussed, it’s unlikely Cartwright’s
efforts will go anywhere, but TCA members
should go ahead and contact their representatives
and ask them to help defeat the effort.
Nevermore to “Roll”
If the Department of Transportation adheres
to its schedule, the Final Rule on the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s
stability control rulemaking will be
placed in the hands of Transportation Secretary
Anthony Foxx before Thanksgiving.
This rule would require electronic stability
control systems on truck-tractors and motor
coaches that address both rollover and lossof-control
If you remember, early in the rulemaking
process there was discussion of whether the
requirement should be for a roll-stability system
or electronic-stability system.
Roll-stability systems control only for lateral
motion, while the term electronic stability
is what is better known as full stability.
Both platforms build on antilock braking
but move along the path toward intelligent
rollover avoidance. Full stability goes four
steps beyond roll stability to include not only a
lateral acceleration sensor but also a yaw sensor
to measure the vehicle’s position along a
vertical axis, a steer-angle sensor to measure
driver input and intent, a brake-pressure sensor
to measure the driver’s braking intent, and
a load sensor to control the trailer’s pressure
on the tractor.
NHTSA eventually opted for electronic, or
NHTSA said rollover and loss-of-control
crashes involving heavy vehicles is a serious
safety issue that is responsible for 304 fatalities
and 2,738 injuries annually, adding that
they are a major cause of traffic tie-ups, resulting
in millions of dollars of lost productivity
and excess energy consumption each year.
Of course, many motor carriers today
equip their trucks with safety technology far
beyond roll or electronic with advanced collision
mitigation systems that include the use
of radar to detect objects in the truck’s path.
In the very near future, video will add to the
impact of collision mitigation.
With the comment period closed on the
Final Rule, a check of the comments indicates
70 percent for the rule and 30 percent
The Final Rule is scheduled to be published
Since the rule is now mandated by MAP-
21, it is getting a lot of attention in Washington
and should be published by that date.
The implementation date will be part of
the Final Rule.
TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 17
An inside look at key
The Connecticut Legislature agreed to a bill stipulating that money coming
from the Special Transportation Fund may only be used for projects related to
transportation starting July 1, 2015. Last year, the state used $70 million from
the fund to help alleviate the fiscal 2012 deficit.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law an extra $1.5 billion in spending for road construction
and child welfare investigations.
To encourage alternative fuel usage, the state Legislature passed a bill that state
agencies can pay 10 to 20 percent more for alternative fuel vehicles than those
with traditional fuel. For vehicles that use natural gas, weight restrictions were
lifted to allow an extra 2,000 pounds. Natural gas Class 8 vehicles purchased in
the state will also receive a $15,000 tax credit under the new legislation, with
trucks weighing at least 33,000 pounds receiving an income tax credit.
In order to provide more transparency for transportation projects, including the
proposed $2 billion east-west highway toll road in the state (230-mile route
across the state that would connect Canadian points), the Legislature passed a
bill that allows all details of the project, including records, notes, summaries,
etc., totaling more than $25 million to be made available to the public. It refers
to the Department of Transportation’s public-private partnerships.
Gov. Martin O’Malley signed off on legislation that invests about $800 million
annually and $4.4 billion over six fiscal years on infrastructure. Under the
Transportation Infrastructure and Investment Act, the governor announced $1.2
billion for highway and transit projects. The legislation is estimated to create
more than 57,000 jobs.
18 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
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did not pass
State lawmakers voted to pass a transportation finance bill by overriding Gov.
Deval Patrick’s veto. The bill includes a 3-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase and $1
increase for cigarette tax. The bill is set to gain $500 million in new taxes, which
will be funneled into infrastructure and stalled highway improvement projects.
The state’s new transportation bill did not include an increased gas tax or metro
sales tax, but aims to include $130 million for Met Council transit projects and
$300 million for roads. A one-time payment of $95 million will go to the Minnesota
Department of Transportation for pedestrian and road updates.
Referred to as the “Strategic Mobility Bill,” transportation funding is now divided
into state, regional and local categories. Projects would compete for funding
with other projects in its category, a system that lawmakers believe will
create more growth and needed transportation updates for small communities.
The plan calls for the completion of 85 more projects in 10 years which would
add an estimated 65,000 jobs.
Under a two-year transportation bill, the speed limit on rural interstates was increased
to 70 mph and will provide $3 billion for long-term transportation projects.
Improving infrastructure under the bill will add about 65,000 new jobs,
lawmakers said. The bill also added a plan to sell bonds backed by the Ohio
Turnpike, which was under the wire to either be sold or leased.
Lawmakers passed the Interstate 5 Bridge replacement project in March, agreeing
to fund $450 million of the total $3.4 billion cost, paid for by federal grants
and toll revenue. However, the Washington Legislature will not pay its proposed
$450 million share. The bridge connects Portland and Vancouver.
After three special sessions, the Texas Legislature reached a deal that aims
to provide $1.2 billion a year for transportation, moving half of what comes
through the state’s Rainy Day Fund for roads and bridges. Voters will get the
final say about using money from the Rainy Day Fund in November 2014. The
bill also stipulated the Texas Department of Transportation find a way to save
$100 million to help pay off long-term debt.
A two-year, $109-billion transportation funding bill is aimed at highway, rail
and airport projects. It is projected to bring $408 million to the state within two
years. A 4 percent tax on gasoline will be phased in during those two years and
diesel will be raised by 3 cents per gallon. It also decreases the cents-per-gallon
excise tax on gas by 6.9 cents.
The Virginia Legislature implemented an additional $3.4 billion in transportation
funding. The state now has a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gasoline, with a
6 percent levy on diesel, which replaced the 17 ½ cent-per-gallon gasoline tax.
State sales tax also increased to 5.3 percent. The bill is said to generate $272 to
$335 million annually.
An $8.7 billion transportation budget signed by Gov. Jay Inslee is said to go
toward maintining state roads and major transportation projects. Inslee vetoed a
few proposals, including spending $81 million for a replacement bridge extending
Interstate 5 over the Columbia River.
West Virginia’s Legislature passed the state’s budget, with $7.2 billion dedicated
to state appropriations. The State Road Fund makes up 11 percent of those
appropriations for the 2014 fiscal year.
Gov. Matt Mead signed into law a 10-cents-a-gallon fuel tax which raised the
state diesel and gas tax to 24 cents. The goal was to raise about $71 million in 2014,
with $47 million going toward state highways, $16 million for country roads.
The Wisconsin Legislature approved a measure — which will be in the hands of
voters in November 2014 — that prevents the state from taking money from the
state road fund for projects other than transportation. Transportation advocates
say the legislation falls short of what’s needed for infrastructure. The fund is
said to be $6.8 billion less than what the state needs for infrastructure throughout
the next 10 years.
TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 19
Fall edition | TCA 2013
Tracking The Trends
Future of Fuel
Two-Part Investigative Report
Is NG a fit for your fleet?
Experts Discuss What
Carriers Need to Know
By Dorothy Cox
This is the second of a two-part report on the future of
natural gas and what carriers need to know about deploying
It’s Dallas in August, and the heat is shimmering in the air like
a living thing and wilting man, beast and machine.
But at the Clean Energy Fuels station just outside the
city, a tanker filling up one of the facility’s mammoth storage
tanks is wreathed in a cool mist and Clean Energy Fuels’ Matt
Feighner, vice president of the company’s national truck team,
explains the “fog” is moisture vapor in the air, created because
of the temperature of the fuel (liquefied natural gas or LNG is
loaded at negative 260 degrees), and the heat outside.
The LNG was manufactured and loaded up at Clean Fuels’
Willis, Texas, plant and trucked to the facility. It will take about
an hour to transfer the 10,000 LNG gallons or about 5,900
diesel-equivalent gallons, into the huge, conical storage tank.
All this is being done on one side of the station while on the
other side, there are lanes open for the public and for Dillon
Trucking, which Feighner said was awarded work by Owens
Corning on the condition they agreed to run natural gas trucks.
“They purchased a terminal and asked Clean Energy to build
them a public station,” he explains. “Dillon receives a very low
rate for their fuel as the anchor tenant for the site. They receive
a royalty payment for each gallon we pump to the public, which
further lowers their cost. It’s a great partnership.”
Indeed it is, and Feighner says this station “is a posterchild
for future projects. Almost from day one we’ve sold
more fuel to the public than we do to Dillon. This is a very
popular station.” FedEx, Frito-Lay and PAM Transport are
other heavy-duty fleets that fuel there, with trash trucks and
taxis fueling occasionally as well.
Clean Energy and other companies such as Shell, Northville
Natural Gas, Trillium and others are pursuing the natural gas
infrastructure dream as fast as they can, confident it is a costeffective
and viable diesel alternative.
The 97-year-old Northville, based in New York — perhaps
the lesser-known company — has been in the natural gas
fueling business since the fall of 2011, and has two CNG
stations open in Frankfort, Ind., and Vincennes, Ind., another
under construction in the Midwest, and five in the planning
stages in New York, Georgia and Kentucky.
Major competitor Trillium CNG, a business unit of Integrys
20 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
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Energy Group, just opened a new site at the Green Team of San Jose, Calif., a refuse
and recycling collecting facility and Trillium also is replacing all of its bus fleet — 152
buses — from diesel to natural gas, and 78 paratransit vehicles from gasoline to
natural gas as vehicles are retired from the fleet.
It’s simple: On the supply and development side there is money to be made, and
on the trucking/transportation end, there is money to be saved.
Investor T. Boone Pickens said at the Great American Trucking Show last month
that the estimated 8 million Class 8 trucks in America could save 3 million barrels of
oil a day if they switched to natural gas.
“There’s 25 billion gallons of diesel sold in this country every year and as an
industry we’re going after all of it,” says Feighner.
So far, he adds, CNG is the more familiar fuel to the public but that will change.
As far as LNG, which is seen as more applicable to long-haul trucking,
liquefying and transporting the fuel are two cost components you don’t have
with CNG, he says.
LNG, however, best “replicates the diesel experience in terms of fuel.”
A downside with LNG is that it’s extremely cold: -260 degrees Fahrenheit,
and is delivered in a cryogenic trailer to the LNG station and stored in cryogenic
tanks. Over-the-road transportation can impact the price compared with pipeline
transportation of CNG.
And although LNG stores twice the energy volume as CNG, it has a 7-day
shelf life — if you don’t use it, the fuel will slowly vent over a few weeks’ time
Is NG a fit for everyone? No. Is it the be-all and end-all diesel alternative? No.
Another downside with LNG is that the federal government has its hand
in the till in the form of a more expensive excise tax, something Feighner
says is being quickly rectified.
“The federal government is taxing LNG on a volume metric basis, not an
energy-equivalent basis, so it gets taxed at 1.7 times the amount as diesel.
Diesel is 24 cents and LNG is 41.
“As an industry, we are in the process of correcting this. There’s a bill
on the floor [in Congress] to fix that. We’re not asking for any favors; we
just want parity with diesel,” Feighner says.
Even the most ardent supporters say natural gas will never replace diesel, as did
Daimler Trucks North America’s General Manager of Marketing and Strategy David
Hames in August at the fourth annual Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference. Y
On a diverse panel discussing the future of fuel economy, Hames —
acknowledging that Daimler “is deep into the natural gas market,” shared he
was “not of the mind that natural gas will replace diesel. It’s an alternative
fuel that will take an increasing role” in trucking.
Some stakeholders say NG equipment is too cost-prohibitive.
One carrier executive says the additional cost of up to $70,000 for a 450-
hp engine with 650-mile fuel range is too high, and wouldn’t be economically CMY
feasible for his company until that figure is closer to $20,000.
The cost of the engine is in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, noted Robert
Carrick, sales manager, natural gas, Freightliner Trucks. “The majority of
the cost,” he said, “is in the tank packages. Most customers are trying
to put the same amount of fuel on board that they have on their diesel
products, and that drives the cost up.
“However, if they carefully choose routes that make sense in terms of
mileage and fuel availability, they will find that less fuel onboard will work. As a
result, the upcharge for the engine and tank packages can be in the $55,000 to
$60,000 range, but then you need to add FET and state taxes to that amount,
which can add another 20 percent to those figures.”
www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 21
Jim Harger, chief marketing officer for Clean
Energy, said the weight of the CNG 135-gallon
truck is 2,200 pounds heavier than a diesel truck
with the same amount of fuel. Conversely, an
LNG truck with the same capacity is less than
250 pounds heavier, he notes.
Then there’s the length of time it takes to fill
up. Refuse trucks can sit overnight at a terminal
and “time fill” for six hours, then be ready for
drivers in the morning, while that’s not a fit for
With LNG, “You have twice the range and it also
pumps faster at a minimum of 12 gallons a minute
and up to 24 to 30,” Feighner says. That bears
on Hours of Service regulations, where “the companies
are slip-seating those trucks. They need
rapid fueling; they need to keep their trucks on
the road hauling and earning money — not queuing
Harger explains that in order to achieve a 135-
gallon “complete fill,” a CNG-powered truck would
need to be “time filled over several hours to avoid
heat gain, and hence storage loss, from a fast-fill CNG
station.” And like Feighner, he agrees this impacts a
driver’s HOS for most trucking applications.
Of course maintenance needs differ from
diesel and some training and special clothing
is needed for LNG fueling, whereas there are
no special clothing or safety devices needed
for fueling with CNG, says Cummins’ Roe East,
general manager of on-highway NG business.
When fueling with LNG drivers wear gloves
and safety goggles to prevent contact during the
fueling process. Feighner says if LNG gets on the
skin, there’s enough oil on the skin’s surface to
make it glance off. “The only part of your body
Outside it’s a sweltering summer day, while inside this liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker, the negative 260-degree fuel is
forming ice crystals on the outside of the pump as it’s being put into a mammoth storage tank.
that can’t handle contact with LNG is your eyes.”
Regarding maintenance on NG vehicles, East
says that “the safety risks with NG are not different
than diesel, just the precautions are different.”
He explains that when some diesel escapes,
it drops to the floor, whereas with natural gas,
it rises to the ceiling as a vapor. So, just as
typically one wouldn’t find equipment or devices
that create sparks or open flames near the floor
with diesel, so with NG there can be no ignition
sources set near the ceiling and there should be
good ventilation near the ceiling.
Also, ventilation has to be in conjunction with
use of a methane detector. There are fire code
guidelines which are governed by a local fire
marshal, East says.
“We don’t envision a world where everything
runs on NG,” East says, “but some fleets will find
it very attractive to run on NG.”
That’s what truck and engine OEMs and the
companies like Clean Energy and Shell and the
others are banking on.
Just do the math, says Feighner. “A barrel
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22 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
Fall Edition | TCA 2013
A Chat With The Chairman
THE ABILITY TO DO MORE
In the heart of every great leader lies
an unshakeable awareness of what’s
most important in life. Uncommon people
have a keen awareness that today’s
insurmountable obstacles and never
ending tasks will often later be exposed
as trivial when gazing through the prism
of time and experience. Chairman Tom
B. Kretsinger, Jr. is certainly one of these
few uncommon leaders. He knows
what’s most important and, for him, it all
starts with his family.
In the second of four illuminating
“chats” with Mr. Kretsinger, he gladly
pulls the curtain back and gives
Truckload Authority readers an exclusive
inside look at his family life and, in
particular, his relationship with his father
and mentor, Tom B. Kretsinger, Sr. Also,
he lets us in on his most embarrassing
moments, his favorite ways to relax, the
one thing that annoys him most in the
workplace, and how he got his very
unusual middle name. Plus, as his oneyear
term as chairman hits the midway
point, he gives us an exciting update
on the efforts and progress being made
under his leadership thus far.
Foreword and Interview by Micah Jackson
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It’s important for TCA members to get to
know you both professionally and personally.
Identify for us some of your key
mentors in trucking and how they have
First of all would be my father, Tom Kretsinger,
Sr. I graduated law school and passed the bar in 1981,
a year after deregulation. My father and grandfather
both had practiced law as motor carrier lawyers. I
came in on the tail end of that. I would also include
my mother, Carolyn Kretsinger. I remember my freshman
year in college I planned on being an art major.
My mother prudently advised that it would be better
if I went to law school and used art as a hobby.
I thought that made a lot of sense. (Although, I quit
painting shortly thereafter).
In 1972, my father bought a company originally
named E.K. Motor Service out of Joliet, Ill. Back then,
what he really wanted was the authority. That was
prior to deregulation and he started growing that
company. With him I’ve learned the legal side of
trucking as well as the other types of law. In 1998, I
closed my law practice and came to the trucking business
fulltime. He was really the one who led me, or
restrained me, when needed, as I learned the business
side of trucking.
Others in the industry … I have the utmost respect
for Duane Ackley. He is smart, really knowledgeable,
very modest, and very giving of his advice and I’ve
always listened very carefully to everything he says.
When you get into the TCA officer lineup and you are
in that for a number of years, some people cycle in
and out. I’ve learned a lot from the fellow officers and
particularly Robert Low. He is a very smart guy and
a great businessman, a very good person to listen to
and learn from. I’ve definitely taken advantage of his
Your father, as you mentioned, played a key
role in your life, both professionally and personally.
Tell us about your relationship with
him through the years and even to this day.
He’s 83 today and still comes into the office a
few hours every day. The thing I would say first and
foremost about my father is he is a family man. We
are a large family. I am the oldest of eight children,
seven of whom are alive. The next generation is 20
some people (lost count) with the following generation
just starting at three with one on the way. At the
Christmas picture when we get together, there are
over 40 people. So if you know him well, you know
his first priority on everything goes back to family.
I am fortunate to have been raised by a mother
and father who care about that. In this world, that’s
increasingly rare. They’ve been married 58 years in
We also had the opportunity to meet your
daughter and your three beautiful grandchildren
earlier this year. Tell us about your
My wife of 31 years, Jo, and I have four children
(now young adults). There is Mary, 29, the mother
of my three grandchildren, Ian, Mira and Adam;
there is Tom III who is 26. He’s going to have a baby
in another month, a girl. There is my independent,
adventurous daughter Bess, who is 24, and she’s very
interesting. She lived in Italy for a while. She’s ridden
a bike across the United States for charity. My youngest
Benjamin is about to turn 22.
Chairman Kretsinger is part of a large family that includes seven living brothers and sisters, four
children and three grandchildren and another due September 30. From left are the children of his
daughter Mary; Mira Elise Wilhoit, 4; Adam Louis Wilhoit, who will be 2 years old on December 3rd;
and Joshua Wilhoit, 6.
Like many businesses in trucking, American
Central Transport is a family-run operation.
So what’s it like to work side-by-side with
your dad and brothers, and what have been
the keys to making it work?
There are three brothers in the business. There’s a
lot more family outside the business. I think the thing
that everyone realized early on is we all have different
abilities. I think my brothers would be the first to
tell you they don’t think they can do what I do and I
would be the first to tell you I cannot do what they do.
That works. Family business is interesting and if you
study trucking, almost every trucking company is a
family business, even public companies. Most of them
are really young businesses. They started in the ’80s
and ’90s, so you have a situation with most where the
founder is aging—in their sixties, seventies and eighties—and
the next generation is coming into play.
The advantage of a family business is that you
think long term. If you work for a public company, it’s
all about meeting expectations for the next quarter.
We think long term, even in generations, really, in a
family business. I think another advantage is family
businesses tend to look at what they are doing as
more than a job. And so they are more vested in the
long-term success of the company.
The downside depends on how you handle it. In a
family business everybody wears different hats. One
hat may be as an employee or management. Another
hat may be as an owner or stockholder. Another hat
may be as a sibling, a son, a daughter or a parent. I
think where conflict typically arises is when those
things overlap and people forget which hat they are
wearing and wear more than one hat at the same time.
The answer to that is for people to always be aware of
what role they are acting in in any given situation.
Another thing—and I learned this a long time
ago from Dan England, who’s probably the industry
expert on this — family members can come to believe
they own a position or division they’ve been in it for
years and create little fiefdoms. Every family member
must understand that they are in a particular role for
the purpose of helping a business and when the business
needs something different—it could be because
of growth, it could be because increasing complexities
of the business exceed skill levels—that a family
member can’t consider themselves to be owners of a
particular division or position. They need to be able
to flex to meet the needs of the company instead of
the company flexing to meet their individual needs or
wants. In all families, the company is really the goose
that lays the golden egg, so you need to be able to take
care of the goose. It is an interesting dynamic.
Alexis De Tocqueville once noted that there is
no permanent aristocratic class in America with the
elimination of fee tails, or the ability to leave property
in a family for generations. Without that, simple multiplication
eventually dooms family businesses over
a couple generations. Many today should develop
long-term succession or exit strategies as the family
members multiply and the founder ages.
You are well known as a hunter and fisherman.
What do you love about these hobbies?
These hobbies are a good excuse to be outdoors.
I grew up on a farm where my brothers and I and
sister Ruth spent a lot of time outdoors. I like being
outdoors. I became passionate about fly fishing about
three years ago. Being from the Midwest, I’ve always
loved mountains and streams, but so much of your
life you don’t get to spend any time in mountains and
streams, especially living in the Midwest. Fly fishing
gets you into some really beautiful places that you
otherwise would never be … Fishermen all lie about
how big the fish was and how many they caught, but
it’s really more about being out in beautiful places
than the fish … I practice catch and release. Hunting’s
fun and we get a bunch of guys together. It happens
mostly in Arkansas, around Stuttgart … and it’s a lot
of fun. We have an annual pheasant hunt in South
26 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
Sponsored by Mcleod software
McLeodSoftware.com | 877.362.5363
Dakota. You drive down with your buddies, talk the
whole way, spend a few days eating all that Arkansas
food, which is absolutely terrible for you because
everything is fried, and get up early and shoot some
ducks and have a ball. As chairman, I have taken full
advantage of many of my trips by taking a rod and
reel and adding a day for the mountains.
Here are some rapid-fire questions ...
The books you would most highly
I read a lot of history, a lot of English and American
history. I particularly like Alison Weir on British
monarchs and anything Churchill. I like Shakespeare,
particularly Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day speech. I am
currently devouring anything Hemingway, having
just finished “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway.
I like philosophy. Franz Kafka’s “The Trial”
is one of my favorites. I read a lot of stuff people
wouldn’t be terribly interested in. I like what I call
factions. They’re history, but written as a novel. Those
are always interesting … Gore Vidal, Leon Uris, James
Michener. I just read “The Paris Wife,” by Paula
McLain. It’s written about Hemingway’s stay in Paris
through the eyes of his first wife, Hadley. That was
kind of interesting. I also engage in some light reading
about fly fishing and fly tying. My favorite is Norman
McClean’s “A River Runs Through It,” and Hemingway’s
“Big Two Hearted River.”
Your favorite childhood memory:
I grew up on a 100-acre farm back in the day before
air conditioning was popular or used by many
people. Bill and Bob (my brothers) and I spent all
of our time outdoors on the farm, and my favorite
memory is walking barefoot across a dusty farm road
and feeling my toes in the warm dust.
You are an avid chef. What is your culinary
Well, what I’m really good at is not something
that’s good for you. I know quite a bit of Italian
cooking. I can make pasta a number of different
ways and I do like cooking. My routine after work
typically is go to the store, see what’s good, what’s
fresh, what’s on sale, go home and cook it.
The way you most often spend a Sunday
We’re home bodies and spend most weekends
at home. Sometimes it’s outdoors on the back deck.
Sometimes I’m tying flies or reading a book. Our
routine … I’ll go in the office on Saturday, Sunday
mornings and fiddle around while everybody is sleeping
and maybe write an article or maybe catch up on
cleaning out my desk and then in the afternoon we’ll
watch football or tie flies or read a book and by 3
o’clock I’ll start to think, “what am I going to cook for
What’s the most difficult class you ever had
in college or law school?
You don’t know study until you go to law school.
I thought I studied in college and thought I was a
decent student, but law school was on a completely
different level. I would say in law school, the most
difficult time was first semester for a couple reasons.
One, you not only have to read everything, but you
have to read it three or four times until you really
understand it. And read the footnotes and everything.
And the other big adjustment is I got through
college with a good memory, so if the answer was
“A,” I could remember that and do well on tests. That
doesn’t help you in law school because they’re not
black and white, right or wrong answers, like you
get in college. They’re more discussions around the
issues. First you learn to spot an issue. That was a big
adjustment and took a lot of reading just to get there.
Then you must discuss the arguments and supporting
law on each side and reason to a conclusion. In law
school your entire grade in each class is based on one
test at the end of the class and it’s all essay. The first
year we did a practice test that didn’t count halfway
through and I flunked everything. And I’d never gotten
below a “B” in my life so that was, from a difficulty
standpoint, crossing that hurdle was the hardest
I’ve ever worked in my life. It’s referred to “thinking
like a lawyer” and it takes about a year. But once you
cross that hurdle law school becomes easy and even
A particular class that
was hard? I could never get
What are some of your
biggest pet peeves?
I can spot politics pretty
well. I had a lot of exposure to
politics when I was practicing
law. When I see it in business,
it peeves me quite a bit.
But as my Bishop once said,
“Whenever two or more of
you are gathered … there will
Where is your favorite place to visit?
Well, I’d say right now it’s a toss-up. I really like
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. But being newly acquainted
with Big Sky, Mont., I’m impressed. It’s got all the
beautiful things of Colorado, except the crowd and
the best fly fishing I’ve ever experienced.
What has been your most embarrassing
moment or your most humbling moment?
I’ve been known to show up at a meeting with
two different colors of penny loafers, one black and
one cordovan. I’ve done that and not noticed it until
I was up on stage. So that’s pretty good. I remember
in my early speaking days I was called up on stage
and they gave me a lavalier microphone. I had never
messed with one of those before. As I was walking up
the steps, I tripped a little bit and that thing fell on the
floor and broke into a million pieces. I was down on
the floor getting the pieces, trying to figure this thing
out. I’m not very mechanical. Clumsy runs in the family.
I’ve got it and Mary has definitely inherited that
from me. That speech could’ve gotten off to a better
AS Members may or may not know, your
middle name is Bark. Tell us how you got
It’s the surname of my great grandfather, Tom B.
Bark. He walked into northwest Iowa as a young man
in the 1800s, settled there, and became a prominent
banker and businessman in that town. My grandfather
Kretsinger, from Kansas City, was playing in a
band at Lake Okoboji in the Roaring Twenties where
he met this man’s daughter, my grandmother, Katherine
Bark. Tom Bark told him, I’m not going to have
my daughter marry some “horn-tooting Valentino.”
He told him that if he wanted to marry his daughter
he needed to go to law school and make something
of himself. So, he did. He went to Kansas City Law
School, passed the bar, and they got married and
moved to Kansas City. Their oldest son they named
Tom Bark Kretsinger, my father, who then had me.
My son is also named that. Four Tom Barks. Actually
up until sixth grade everyone called me Bark as my
first name. As you might imagine this was fraught
with explanation every time I introduced myself. So in
the seventh grade we switched schools and they asked
me, “What’s your name?” And I said “Tom.” As a result,
everyone in my family and everyone in Kearney,
Mo., calls me “Bark.” To everyone else, I’m “Tom.”
28 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
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Let’s turn our attention to your work as
We are at a midway point in your
chairmanship, so bring us a report on the
key initiatives being strengthened under
your leadership thus far.
There are a lot of good things happening, The
Financial Oversight Committee has been active and
they’ve done a lot of good things that improve corporate
governance and tighten our financial practices
and reporting. This will be a benefit to the association
for many years to come. This initiative was started
under Chairman (Robert) Low and I’ve continued it
and watched it grow and improve.
There are other exciting things happening. In May
we got together and held a strategic planning session.
The officers focused on the big picture and called out
critical objectives for TCA over the next three years.
After that meeting, the staff was tasked with coming
back with action plans, which they did and presented
at our officer’s meeting in August. There are some really
good things in there. The action plans cause us to
meet our objectives in the strategic plan. They are specific,
have a timeline and have an owner. We looked to
see that they were realistic in terms of our budget and
our resources and we asked the question “how do we
measure this?” This work is being refined prior to the
officers meeting in October at the American Trucking
Associations Management Conference and Exhibition
in Orlando. Upon final approval, we will put these
in a balanced scorecard to measure if we are winning
the game or not. The scorecard is something staff
can review regularly and the officers as a group on a
monthly basis. This will focus the organization and
lead us to even greater accomplishments.
I am very excited about the officers group. We
have a lot of smart people, a lot of good people who
are committed to the organization and to improving
corporate governance over the years as we work
through our respective terms. So I am very excited
The Wreaths Across America program is growing
and this month on September 12 we have our first
charitable gala in Washington to raise money for the
program. I see more things to come from that. Check
www.truckload.org for the Wreaths Across America
television commercial for members to run in their
local markets to help us enhance trucking’s image.
I encourage all to find a way to get involved as we
move toward our goal of decorating the graves and
honoring of all our servicemen and women over the
years. You can donate money, a truck, a dispatcher or
running the commercial.
Lindsay Lawler, the Highway Angel spokesperson,
has embarked on a multiple truck stop tour that
will further spread the good word about our driver
heroes. The Scholarship Fund has grown to $1.5 million
and is funding about 75 scholarships a year and
that’s continuing to grow.
We are raising the bar set by former Chairman
Robert Low on driver health even farther and in addition
to the Weight Loss Challenge, on Driver Appreciation
Week there is a big effort to increase the number
of free health fairs available to our driver force at 18
TravelCenters of America / Petro Stopping Centers
across the nation September 17-18. In the future our
webpage will become the “go to” resource for drivers
interested in becoming healthier.
TCA again is sponsoring the Capitol Christmas
tree as it makes its way across the nation later this
Truckload Academy is growing and recently
added a fleet manager certification to its list of certification
programs. Webinars and other content are
available online to keep our members at the forefront
of information and education needed to succeed in
this increasingly complex business.
TCA leadership and officers recently met
for a few days in a fantastic locale. Tell us
about that and some of the fun things the
We have a gentleman on staff, Bill Giroux, who
knows a lot about setting up meetings in these locales
better than anyone I know. Traditionally the chairman
picks the place each year where we get together and
meet, plan and have some team building activities.
What I told Bill was that I would like a place with
mountains, trout streams and something for the ladies
to do. He came up with Big Sky, Montana. I’d never
been there before. It’s a wonderful place. On top of
that, it is surrounded by some of the best trout fishing
in the world. We met for three days and did a lot
of work on the budget, on strategic planning and on
reviewing the various TCA programs.
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30 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
We had some fun, too. One of the biggest thrills
for me was we gave the officers and their wives a
choice of activities that they could participate in one
morning, and 14 of them signed up for fly fishing.
They’ve never done that before. Fly fishing can be like
golf; it takes a little coordination, which is why it took
me so long to learn it. I wasn’t sure how this would go
off. Everyone learned it, everyone caught fish and on
the way back on the bus you could see the excitement
that everyone was having. After that meeting I stuck
around Montana for three days. I spent one day with
an old college swim teammate who works as a guide
on the Madison River. We fished all day and then I
went up to Helena and saw Ray Kuntz of Watkins
Shepherd. (He now knows not to invite me fly fishing
unless one is serious). We had ball fishing for two
days. One interesting thing was we fished the Missouri
River near Helena. Now the Missouri River goes
through Liberty, Mo., and is a big, wide, muddy looking
river in Missouri. But up in Montana, it’s quite
different. It’s clear, it’s in mountains, and it’s much
smaller and narrower and holds a lot of trout.
What feedback are you receiving from
members since the new HOS tweaks were recently
I think it’s too early to tell the impact and the reason
I say that is that July and the first part of August
are typically the softer months in the year. So I think
that tends to mask whatever productivity hit there is.
I think the jury is out on what the loss to productivity
is. Clearly, there’s a hit in a couple regards. One is
some of the time is taken away. You can’t take away
time without taking away some productivity. The
other thing the rules do is take away flexibility. And
you can’t take away flexibility without impacting
productivity to some extent. How much remains to
be seen. The last time we talked, we were still awaiting
a court decision so people were still hoping that
wouldn’t happen. I think now that’s a done deal the
challenge in this industry will be to look at a driver’s
time as a valuable resource and learn to use that to its
Since we last spoke, the Obama administration
announced a delay in implementation
of the employer mandate. Do you believe
that delay was motivated more for practical
reasons or political reasons? perhaps
I think both, but I think you can chalk up most
of what they do in Washington to political reasons.
And lots of moves made now are in anticipation of
the mid-term elections for next year. I think there are
a lot of practical problems with the Affordable Health
Care Act. I think people in Washington underestimate
the ingenuity of Americans. They may not like
what’s going on but they will figure it out and if that
means converting a lot of people to 29 hours a week
they’ll do that. If that means providing insurance for
the employee but not the spouse they’ll do that. I just
don’t think these “technocrats” we have in Washington
really understand the subject matter of this much
less the business impact. It’s going to continue to be
uncertain; even the experts on it are still learning as
regulations come out.
The thing that concerns me the most about all this
is what will happen to our owner-operators. Hopefully,
we won’t see an attempt to reclassify them as
employees to bring more people under this because
they don’t have enough people under it to pay for it.
Or if that does not happen are they still going to have
to opt into something and what does that look like?
I do believe that regardless of what happens,
healthcare will be more expensive. It has to. We are
covering more things and somebody has to pay. It’s
not free. There are a whole lot of taxes in this. All
those are simply going to be passed on to the users,
so I really don’t see anything good coming out of
this. Whoever is the next president will have a mess
on their hands. They will kick the can down the road
to that person. In the meantime, businesses and employees
continue to wonder what is going to happen
Find out what tom believes
are the traits every great
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TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 31
Fall edition | TCA 2013
“I couldn’t be in Washington for
TCA’s Wreaths Across America gala.
What can I do to show my support for the program?”
Thank you for supporting our veterans.
There are actually quite a few ways to help. You can start
by visiting TruckloadOfRespect.com, which TCA set up to raise
awareness of and funds for Wreaths Across America. It costs $15
to place a remembrance wreath on a veteran’s gravestone, and
this site provides you with a couple of options for helping to cover
that expense. You can make a simple donation to pay for the
placement of one or more wreaths, or you can help raise money
by setting up your own fund-raising page that is connected to
TruckloadOfRespect.com. You can set your own fund-raising
goal and personalize the page. Then, you can use the tools on the
page to send your URL to your friends and colleagues with a message
about supporting this great cause.
Several companies have come up with interesting ways of their
own to raise money. One held a golf tournament and another designed
and sold a mug to its customers. Both gave the proceeds
to Wreaths Across America. Two other companies “adopted” either
a local cemetery or a specific section of Arlington National
Cemetery. They then rallied their employees to cover the cost of
placing wreaths on gravestones at their sites.
Of course, if you work for a trucking company, another key
way to help is answering the call for volunteers to transport
the wreaths from Maine to veterans cemeteries across the nation.
In October, be on the lookout for an e-mail about this
If you have additional questions about how you can get involved,
please contact Debbie Sparks, vice president of development
at Truckload Carriers Association, at dsparks@truckload.
org or (703) 838-1950.
32 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
Fall Edition | TCA 2013
Lana Batts, TCA President 1994-2000
This is the second in a series of three articles
on the past, present and future of the
Truckload Carriers Association.
In this issue, 1990-present.
By Aprille Hanson
It was Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Camus
who once said, “Freedom is nothing but a chance
to be better.”
After the trucking industry was deregulated in
1980, it was truckload’s chance to do better and
In 1990, 10 years after deregulation of the trucking
industry, truckload carriers were free to thrive, unions
fell apart and less-than-truckload was weakening.
“What that did was allow people like Fikes Truck
Line to come in and contract authority for 48 states
and not have to go through the process” of seeking
approval on a federal level, said Gary Salisbury,
president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line. “It opened
up the playing field for so many big companies like
J.B. Hunt all the way down to even Schneider National
and the big guys to help make them into the
success they are today.”
The young bucks of truckload were here to stay
and the taste of victory was sweet.
While truckload was giddy, so were shippers
“Like most businessmen, and this is the case
of shippers, they’re looking at other cost factors. If
they can see their transportation costs decline as a
lesser expense, they’re going to be happy,” said Bill
Giroux, executive vice president of the Truckload
Just like a fresh-faced 18-year-old finally getting
a taste of adult freedom, truckload wasn’t about to go
back to being regulated. It even got a new name in
1997 — going from the Interstate Truckload Carriers
Conference to TCA.
“By the mid-1990s, there was a realization that
what we ended up with was regulation from a different
agency,” said Lana Batts, president of TCA from 1994
to 2000, adding the U.S. Department of Transportation
took on that role. “There was a recognition we are not
Chris Burruss, TCA President 2004-present
deregulated; that a deregulated industry was a joke.”
In the early 1990s, 50 percent of employees for
businesses in transportation, maritime and aviation
were subject to random drug testing.
“That concerned many pro deregulators that
somehow that was going to creep back in and
change the industry again,” Giroux said. “They
weren’t against doing the testing; it was the number
of employees that would be doing it, so it was
more splitting hairs on that.”
Besides drug and alcohol testing hitting the industry
in the 1990s, other signs of regulation came
from the “megatrends” taking place in Washington,
“There was a need for cleaner environment; it
means you’re going to go after trucks,” Batts said.
“Safer highways means you’re going to go after
trucks. You just go down the list of what was there,
it was pretty evident.”
In the mid-1990s, a decision of TCA’s future
was hanging in the balance — does the organization
become the “lead dog” for truckload or would
they work hand-in-hand with the American Trucking
“TCA made the decision they were going to work
within the ATA structure and that our goal was to make
sure the ATA policy and what ATA was doing reflected
the needs of the truckload industry,” Batts said.
However, as TCA began to gain more traction in
the world of motor carriers, boosting membership
and with attendance at annual meetings, a rift was
formed between TCA and the ATA.
“Walter McCormick came on board with ATA and
all that changed,” Batts said. “Rather than have truckload
be a partner with ATA, he viewed our efforts as
sponging off of ATA. It caused a huge rift in 2000.”
The tipping point was McCormick’s proposed
plan, the “Wren Report.”
“Basically, it said in order to be a member of TCA,
you first had to become a member of ATA. ATA’s dues
are substantially different than TCA’s dues. TCA employees
were going to become ATA employees. There
was just a feeling that was not the way to go.”
Batts said the key point of the plan was to try to
make more carriers get involved, but TCA voted the
plan down in March of that year.
“I always kind of viewed it as ATA is a nonprofit organization
like a church. You have those who are going
to come every Sunday and those that are only going to
come on Christmas and Easter,” Batts said. “You can’t
tell the people that only come on Christmas and Easter
that they can’t come. And that’s what ATA’s Wren Report
attempted to do.”
While the rift “set truckload back for a while,”
Batts said more of a partnership between the two
organizations begin to form when former Kansas
Gov. Bill Graves became ATA’s president and CEO
in 2003 and Chris Burruss became president of TCA
in March 2004.
“When I came to TCA, the relationship between
ATA and TCA had improved, but was still very much a
work in progress. While we had in place an affiliation
agreement and had carved out our roles, the lines of
communication really didn’t exist,” Burruss said. “We
seemed to continually step on each others’ toes despite
trying to color in the lines with respect to our
areas of focus. Having grown up around the federation
and having been with two state associations prior
to coming to TCA, I have seen the federation at its
best and worst. I know very well that a strong national
presence hinges on strong state presence and the two
must feed each other. All politics is local in nature. As
the organizations that represent the largest part of the
industry, ATA and TCA need a strong relationship that
allows each to leverage off each other to fulfill their
respective missions. Bill Graves and I remain committed
to eliminating any barriers that exist to prevent
us from doing that. We have established more direct
communication ties between the leaderships of both
organizations and have found ways to elevate the visibility
of each organization to the other.”
When he came on board, Burruss found many policies
“We worked to align our policies with those
of ATA,” he said. “This was a little give and take.
Where we could, we modified our policies to mirror
ATA’s. Where we were firm on an existing policy we
pressed ATA to compromise. Today, with perhaps
one exception our policies are largely harmonious.
This is healthy for the entire industry.”
During the turmoil that had existed prior to Burruss
joining TCA and Graves joining ATA, TCA did find one
new purpose — be the teacher for truckload.
“If ATA was in fact wanting to be the government
advocacy group [for trucking] what TCA would become
is the operational advocacy group,” helping motor carriers
run their companies better, Batts said. “So we focused
on education and training. Our annual meeting
didn’t invite political guys. It was, ‘How do you recruit
drivers?’ … ‘How do you get your fuel miles down?’
What my goal and how I wanted to get membership,
is to say, ‘Come to our meeting and we’ll either figure
out how to make you more money or not spend as
One of those members who benefited from this
new style was Shepard Dunn, president and CEO of
Bestway Express, Inc. out of Vincennes, Ind.
Dunn said he was just a “pup” when he joined
TCA in 1994 and is still “wet behind the ears” compared
“In those days I was so green to trucking … I’d
go to these meetings and I didn’t have a clue what
they were talking about because I didn’t understand
the lingo,” Dunn said, who is now the TCA first vice
chairman. “I kept trudging through and talking with
people. It took a while and then the light flickered on.”
With each passing year, truckload was putting
its foot down, leaving a deeper impression
on the industry.
“They were much better at figuring out costs
down to the tenth of a mile,” Giroux said of truckload
carriers. “They were really the experts at that
time too and being able to figure out the differences
between using different tires and different aerodynamics
and doing different things to the truck that
made them more efficient.”
In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) opened the borders for free trade between
Canada, the United States and Mexico. Due to
the political instability in Mexico, Giroux said Canadians
have benefited most from the agreement.
“It opened up more opportunities for Canadian
companies to come south,” Giroux said. “Since NAFTA
has taken place … free trade has doubled, maybe tripled
since that time.”
During the 1990s, the TCA conventions had less
glitz and glam and more mud flaps, Dunn said.
“The technology has changed so much. It used to
be tractors and trailers and mud flaps and oil com-
34 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
panies and that has changed for sure,”
Dunn said. “You see more of technology
and smartphones and all the gadgets
that make a truckers’ lifestyle easier.”
During Batts’ tenure, TCA only had
13 employees, but the organization was
able to pull off annual meetings where
“It was interesting the way we did it.
I would say, ‘You can bring your spouse,
but they are going to be doing this or
that,’” Batts said. “My mother would
come and be behind the registration
desk folding T-shirts … No one could say,
‘my job is done.’”
At the conferences, staff meetings
would always be bright and early with a
batch of “fluffy eggs.”
“Eggs are not fluffy at 5 in the morning,”
The dawn of the 21st century
brought technology advancements, but
also economic and natural disasters.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated
much of the South. Truckers were
ready to help, despite the blow to the
industry — several roads and bridges
were destroyed, which interrupted fuel
supplies. The industry’s fuel bill was $83
million higher than in 2004.
“I remember it well. I remember
sending trucks down there, I remember
everybody pitching in,” said
Don Freymiller, who served as chairman
of what was then the Interstate
Truckload Carriers Conference in
1990-1991. “I remember the trucking
industry rose to the need in a very
Beginning in 2007 and extending
into 2008 and beyond, the United States
got the biggest wake-up call since the
Great Drepression of the 1930s.
In trucking, 3,000 companies
— mostly small companies or owneroperators
— went out of business.
The stock market plunged; between
October 2007 and March 2009, stock
market losses totaled $11.2 trillion.
Throughout 2008 and 2009, 8.4
million jobs were lost. Throughout
three years, the average working
household saw their income decline
by $2,700. The eight trillion dollar
housing bubble burst. By 2009, the
median price of a home fell back by
nine years. In 2008, more than 3
million homeowners foreclosed.
In 2009, 176 banks went under in
the United States.
Long-standing U.S. companies,
particularly automakers like General
Motors and Chrysler faced bankruptcy.
The federal government
stepped in with expensive bailouts.
The United States was in economic
crisis and the trucking industry
was along for the ride.
“Things became very difficult
for trucks,” said Ray Haight, CEO of
Transrep and chair of TCA from 2008-
2009. “Many thought we lost about
10 years of advancement … We had
to reestablish our business.”
The joke, as Haight said it was
put, was, “If you want to buy a
small trucking company, just buy a
big one and wait.”
The economic outlook was bleak. In
2009, gas prices reached $4.70. Truck
bankruptcies increased and the used
truck market tanked, with 200,000
trucks sold to overseas companies.
Dark times called for a guiding
light and TCA once again became the
spotlight for its members.
“There are things with TCA that
will help you become more efficient
and a better business person,”
Haight said. “The focus was still as
it has been today and is that it still
has value … We stayed the course.
We reinvented ourselves and recommitted
ourselves to education
and how trucking companies can
run their companies efficiently.”
Part of reinvention meant educational
webinars and online training,
in order to help members who could
no longer travel much outside of
work because of strict budget cuts.
At that point, the organization
had to “pull the covers back and
show what we got. As far as I’m
concerned TCA had more to offer
on return investment than any association,”
“We did lose membership,” he
Thousands of drivers across the nation participated in the first health and wellness fairs
held in conjunction with National Truck Driver Appreciation Week at Travel Centers of
America/Petro Stopping Centers locations last September. The second annual celebration,
now themed “Make Your Destination Another Birthday,” were scheduled this year during
A truck loaded
with wreaths pulls
into Arlington National
December as part of
the Wreaths Across
America program. TCA
is a strong supporter
of the program and
in September held
what will become an
annual gala event to
raise awareness of and
support for Wreaths
said. “I can appreciate some companies
had to do that and I’m proud
to say many of those companies are
And despite the cut-throat economic
climate, Haight said TCA still created
long-lasting friendships and some
“I remember Kevin Burch speaking
at an independent contractors division
meeting when the lights went out and
he continued to talk when it was pitch
black in the room,” Haight said with a
laugh. “I’ve formed life-long friendships
with people. We keep in contact, we see
each other, we vacation together. TCA is
sort of like the Wizard of Oz – you’ve
got this whole production and you look
behind the curtain and it’s such a small
staff that puts this on.”
Kevin Burch, who took the TCA
helm from 2009-2010, said he and
Haight shared the same “passion for
the industry,” and did their best to
keep the organization afloat.
“Back in ’08, ’09, ’10, it was pretty
difficult times,” Burch said. “They were
calling me saying, ‘Kevin we’ve never
used our line of credit’ … there was not
a lot of retaining the membership.”
The image of the industry and best
practices for companies took center
stage in Burch’s chairmanship, he said.
If the people couldn’t come, Burch committed
to going out to the people.
“I went to every conceivable get-together
I could. I figured it up … I traveled
more than 55,000 miles,” Burch
said, with the message, “‘We’re in there
for you’ … Chris Burruss and I really
traveled a lot. It was a change in the
way TCA did things. Before, chairmen
just kind of went to the annual convention,
Though the economy was struggling,
new, safer technologies like electronic
logging devices and mobility systems
were being pushed onto companies.
Giroux said the technology surge,
the “high tech bubble,” appeared in the
late 1990s to the early 2000s and burst
soon after, seeing start-up businesses
collapse. Those that survived were still
dedicated to pushing their products during
“People were coming out with all
these new technologies. It’s tough
to buy a new truck with government
regulations with EPA issues, roll-over
technology, when you were just trying
to meet payroll,” Burch said. “So
I think in the years since I was chairman,
every year the technology was
getting better, more affordable.”
Burch, president and CEO of Jet
Express based in Dayton, Ohio, said
his company now has trailer skirts
and trailer tails — only a dream a
few years ago.
“We’re seeing a dramatic improvement
on our mileage, but I’ll
be honest: back in 2009 we couldn’t
have afforded to buy it,” Burch said.
At the height of General Motors’
uncertainty in Detroit, it was the very
spot that Burch, the city’s native,
chose to have the TCA officer’s retreat.
It was a fitting scenario to the
trucking industry as a whole — the
economy may have been suffering,
but TCA was there to lend a hand.
“We went to a food bank to help
package food for the needy,” Burch
In 2004, Hours of Service regulations
were changed for the first
time in 60 years.
“It led to a chain of lawsuits, from
both sides of the aisle in the industry.
Some propped up by trucking organizations,
some anti-truck groups,” Giroux
said. “It started and it continues.”
The rule was written and rewritten
and lawsuit after lawsuit was filed until
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
agreed to throw out all the previous
rules and start all over.
“Seems this is about the sixth
change in Hours of Service due to
lawsuits,” Giroux said.
The most recent ruling, which became
official July 1, was handed down
on August 2 by the U.S. Court of Appeals
and upheld the rule with the exception
of one minor aspect that does
not impact long haul trucking.
However, as most trucking organizations
attest, there is a glimmer of
hope in the court’s most recent closing
statement that FMCSA “won the
day not on the strengths of its rulemaking
prowess, but through an art-
TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 35
The road to
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less war of attrition” as trucking would
still like to see more flexibility in the
sleeper berth provision.
Trickle-down effects from continuous
HOS variations have made a permanent
mark on the miles that freight is
delivered. Most major retail companies,
like Walmart and Target, have more distribution
centers popping up around the
country so sending freight directly from
coast-to-coast isn’t always necessary.
“A decade ago, the average run of
trucks was somewhere between 800
to 1,200 miles. That’s down around
500 now,” Giroux said. “Some of that’s
due to the additional CSA, the driver
shortage, trying to get drivers home
Giroux added the new HOS ruling
may be an end to a “normal” weekend.
“If you do the math based on the
rest periods between 1 and 5 a.m. …
you’ll quickly find out you cannot get
that driver home on the weekend because
it continues to shift because of
that rest period,” Giroux said. “That’s
going to be a challenge to the industry
that says, ‘You’ll be home on the weekend,’
… in our process of this, what is
a weekend? Weekends for some people
are a Tuesday and Wednesday now.”
Salisbury said more drivers today
are numbers driven — often with degrees
in transportation and logistics,
straight out of college — rather than the
emotional truckers of yesteryear with
“diesel in their blood.”
“Part of what has forced that to
change is guys don’t want to go out and
stay for a month or two months. They
want to have a life outside of that truck,”
Salisbury said. “Predominately going
forward, we’ll see the average length of
haul get a little shorter. What that’s going
to create probably is more trucks on
the road and learning how to be a little
more efficiently run … That opens the
Pandora’s Box of Hours of Service.”
Within the last five to seven years,
Dunn said he’s seen more drivers gravitate
from long-haul to short-haul, which
goes back to what have always been issues
in recruiting: lifestyle and wages.
“It’s home time, or lack of should
I say; wages today were the same as
they were 25 years ago, less inflation,
but there’s something wrong with that
picture. It’s tough to make a living,”
Dunn said. “In today’s society more
people aren’t willing to do those things
with growing families as they used to.
I’m not so sure we’ve fixed those issues;
we still have a long way to go.”
However, Dunn said there was a
definite switch on how to draw in drivers
— to bring in a trucking executive
his company referred to as “a doctor
“We wanted someone to be that
driver advocate from the trucker executive
side. What can we do to better
serve them,” Dunn said. “We had
a driver’s lounge with fruit baskets
out to try to make them healthier,
so they were able to throw an apple,
an orange or banana in the cab
with them … anything to make them
feel welcomed, warm and fuzzy. The
shift has moved; you couldn’t hire
them if you didn’t have a new truck
to offer them. And that’s not what’s
happening today. It’s funny to see
the changes over the years and
what’s important to them.”
From top to bottom, business magnate
and financier T. Boone Pickens, publishing
executive and former GOP presidential
candidate Steve Forbes and country music
artist Lindsay Lawler have appeared at
TCA’s annual conventions.
Companies are also doing their
best to design products with transportation
“For instance, televisions are now
very, very thin. You can ship one
truckload of televisions that may have
been three truckloads 10 years ago,”
For Salisbury, the biggest issues
of his chairmanship from 2011 to
2012 and the previous years haven’t
changed today — recruiting good
company drivers and owner-operators,
driver pay and the public’s image
of the average trucker.
“That’s the biggest similarities
from 1990 to 2013. It’s still the driver.
He’s the guy that makes it all happen.
I think we put Band-Aids on a lot of
the stuff,” Salisbury said. “At some
point in time, we have to turn our attention
back to the driver.”
Burruss’ initiation into the trucking
industry in 1992 revolved around
“One of the first projects I was
handed was the driver shortage,” he
recalled. “While the demand for drivers
ebbs and flows with the economy, the
shortage has continued to be there. We
just seem to push it under the surface
when that demand ebbs. While there is
some debate over how large that shortage
is, there is no question in my mind
that it is real. This has been fueled by
retirements from the existing pool, driver
qualification standards and the lifestyle
itself. The reality is that we must
find a replacement pool.”
Lifestyle and regulations will
play a big part in building that pool,
“Today, people largely don’t want
to spend weeks at a time away from
home,” he said. “People don’t want to
36 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org
Congress approves and
President Bill Clinton signs
the North American Free
Trade Agreement opening
the border between
Canada and Mexico to
The Interstate Truckload
assumes responsibility for
the Professional Truck
Ambassadors Club for longtime
ITCC changes its name
to Truckload Carriers
TCA establishes Truckload
Academy to provide
for all levels of truckload
carrier personnel, from chief
executive to driver.
Over 1 million trucks
in the United States.
work in an environment where the rules governing
how they can do what they do change constantly.”
Salisbury said in the 1990s, the image of the
everyday trucker fell apart.
“We didn’t get the reputation we got now overnight,”
Salisbury said. “It’s going to take awhile to
turn this big ship around.”
However, as always, TCA is working hard at
righting the ship with programs like Highway Angel
designed to raise public awareness of heroic acts by
professional truck drivers.
“I believe improving the image of trucking
remains extremely important,” Burruss said. “How
we are viewed by the general public has a direct
effect on the rules and laws that govern how we
operate. If we are to fight against rules and laws
that have no proven positive impact on safety,
we will need the help of others in the future. Our
challenge over the years hasn’t been that we can’t
come up with a campaign, it’s that we haven’t
been successful in presenting the picture of our
industry we want people to see. We talk about it at
our meetings and we all agree on the great things
this industry does, we just haven’t presented that
to those outside our industry. Part of the challenge
is that we must find a way to fund a campaign
that draws financial interest from the full scope of
our industry not just our members; our collective
federation members have been funding these
efforts alone for years.”
Salisbury said: “TCA’s always been at the forefront
of changing the industry; public opinion drives
public policy … To change the image is to change
“One thing I see TCA doing is getting better and
stronger,” Salisbury added. “I think the best days are
ahead of us as an association.”
Looking forward, Batts said there must be a culture
of commonality between trucking interests to
“You can’t make the differences become defining
differences,” Batts said.
While TCA members can be proud of 75 years of
growth and change, the words of Winston Churchill are
fitting: “If we open a quarrel between past and present,
we shall find that we have lost the future.”
The future is ours.
From left, TCA Director of Education Ron Goode, TCA President Chris Burruss and TCA Chairman Tom B. Kretsinger Jr.,
right, congratulate Kenny Cass of FedEx Freight, who was named 2012 Highway Angel of the Year during an awards ceremony
last December. The Highway Angel program, which recognizes drivers’ good deeds, is a TCA image program.
TCA takes over the
administration of the North
which provides training and
certification of fleet safety,
maintenance and driver
The Hours of Service rule is
changed for the first time
in 60 years with the most
being the increase in the
daily driving limit to 11
hours from 10 hours.
In the final installment, we will explore the future
of the Truckload Carriers Association and present
the views of current executives on how truckload
carriers will continue to thrive in the midst of more
regulation, an uncertain economic outlook and the
looming driver shortage crisis.
A major engine greenhouse
gas emissions standard
eliminating what had been
common for years — black
smoke billowing from an
exhaust pipe on the side of
The recession results in
the closure of over 3,000
motor carriers, mainly small
carriers. Many independent
contractors are also put
out of business.
With the recession easing,
demand for drivers
increases 20 percent.
After two years of testing,
the Federal Motor Carrier
TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 37
TCA Honors America’s
By Aprille Hanson
Highway Angel recognition is
awarded for a driver’s good deeds
ranging from simple acts of kindness
— such as fixing a flat tire
— to heroic life-saving efforts, such
as pulling someone from a burning
vehicle and administering CPR.
The program, sponsored by Internet
Truckstop, focuses on improving
the public’s image of truck driving as a
profession and helps make individual
drivers feel better about themselves
and the industry they have chosen.
As the program continues to focus
on improving the public’s image of
truck driving as a profession and providing
a program that recognizes drivers
and helps individual drivers feel
better about themselves and their profession,
companies use this program
as a source of increasing morale and
self image among their driving force.
The Highway Angel program and
the image it reinforces is being emphasized
during a Highway Angel
Truck Stop Tour headlined by country
recording artist Lindsay Lawler,
the national spokesperson for the
Highway Angel program.
The tour began in August in
Prescott, Ark., where Fikes Truck
Line, headed by former TCA Chairman
Gary Salisbury and the latest
sponsor to sign on for the tour,
debuted the official Highway Angel
Truck Stop Tour truck and stage.
Each stop on the tour features
an hour-long acoustic performance
by Lawler from atop the flatbed
truck, as well as a live, two-hour
radio remote through Renegade Radio,
with whom Lawler already hosts
two radio shows (including On The
Road to Music City, which is trucking
Tour stops continue through October
Other tour sponsors include TA/
Petro Stopping Centers and Tennant
Truck Lines. In this issue, we feature
recent recipients of the Highway
of Hartsville, N.C.,
drives for Epes
Inc., of Greensboro,
of North Little Rock,
Ark., drives for ABF
Inc., of Fort Smith,
of Cleburne, Texas,
is an independent
to American Central
Transport, Inc. of
of Oklahoma City,
drives for FTC
of Oklahoma City.
of Portage, Ind.,
drives for Ruan
of Des Moines,
Carl and Eva Marshall, owner-operators,
drive for Marshall Trucking in Payette,
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38 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
8/9/13 11:02 AM
angel award recipients
of Portage, Ind.,
drives for Ruan
of Des Moines,
of St. Pauls,
N.C., drives for G&P
Inc., of Gaston,
of Leland, N.C.,
drives for Con-way
Truckload of Joplin,
of Battle Creek,
Mich., drives for Pitt
Ohio of Pittsburgh,
of Anna, Ohio,
drives for Freight
System, Inc., of
Fort Smith, Ark.
of Kelowna, British
for Bison Transport
of Council Grove,
Kan., is an owneroperator
to Dart Transit
Company of Eagan,
of Valparaiso, Ind.,
is a driver for ABF
Inc., of Fort Smith,
of Mesquite, Nev., is
a driver trainer for
of Omaha, Neb.
Country singer Lindsay Lawler
is surrounded by truck stop employees
and drivers during a stop
on the Highway Angel Truck Stop
Tour that continues through October
Read their acts of
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TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 39
weight loss winners
By Lyndon Finney
Keith Kitch, a driver manager for
Halvor Lines, had been invited to the
home of his boss Buck Hammann to
watch a NASCAR race.
As is the custom with most gatherings
of that sort, everyone arrived ahead
of race time and the conversation turned
to the Truckload Carriers Association’s
Trucking’s Weight Loss Showdown.
Halvor Lines owner John Vinje, who
stresses health and wellness to his employees,
had decided to enter his company
into the competition.
Hammann mentioned they needed
one more employee to complete the 12-
“My wife kind of nominated me,”
Kitch recalled recently. “She said, ‘why
don’t you do it?’ So I told my boss if they
needed one more person I would.”
Some 10 weeks later, Kitch had lost
56 pounds (22.4 percent of his starting
body weight) and had won individual
honors in the competition along with a
check for $2,500 from the sponsor of the
individual contest, Cline Wood Agency of
What’s more, Superior, Wis.-based
Halvor also won the team competition by
losing 380 pounds and along with that
honor received $11,000 worth of Lindora
Clinic’s services, donated by TA Petro of
Team Halvor Lines’ total weight loss
represented a 13.2 percent drop in the
team’s combined weight. All 12 members
of the team lost 5 percent or greater
of their starting body weight.
The top driver was Tessa Ramsey,
who dropped 54 pounds.
Trucking’s Weight Loss Showdown is
managed by the Lindora Clinic, a personalized
weight management company.
It addresses the trucking industry’s
weight problems and related medical
conditions in an innovative fashion
through friendly and informative competition.
Teams of 12 professional drivers and
office staff from six carriers worked hard
to determine which company and which
individual could achieve the greatest
percentage of weight loss.
Over a 10-week period that started
in June, participants followed the Lean
for Life program, a moderate-carbohydrate,
low-fat, moderate-protein menu
plan that is coupled with exercise, nutrition
education and lifestyle changes. The
competitors received weekly phone calls
from Lindora’s coaches, who educated
them on nutrition and behavioral changes,
helped boost their morale, supported
them through their personal challenges
and recorded their weight loss.
“I had tried to lose weight on my
own before,” Kitch said, but was never
able to do what he did during the competition.
His first-week loss of 10 ½ pounds
motivated him to push ahead with fervor.
“It was a much better program than
I’d been on before,” he said. “I had a
coach that I talked to every week and
if I had questions or a problem, I could
call her at any time. We had support every
day through an e-mail that included
a pep talk. The information book they
gave us was easy to follow. You read
a segment a day instead of the whole
book at once. That way you didn’t get
overwhelmed with information and
could focus on the message for that
So, 56 pounds lighter, how does he
“Great. I have a lot more energy,”
Kitch said. “You don’t realize how much
weight that is until you carry a 50-pound
sack of dog food. I have a lot more energy.
I’m not as stressed and that helps
me be more focused on my work.”
Becca Mathews, the health and
wellness coordinator for Halvor Lines,
Inc. said, “We are so grateful that we
were chosen to compete in this Showdown.
Our thanks go to both Cline
Wood Agency and TA Petro for their
generous prizes. We plan to use the
team’s prize for future wellness programs
here at Halvor Lines, as we are
committed to building a strong culture
of safety and health improvement for
According to Mathews, since only
12 people could participate on the company’s
official Showdown team, Halvor
Lines began an internal weight-loss
challenge earlier this year that was open
to anyone. She stated that 730 pounds
were shed throughout the entire company,
including the weight lost by the official
team. “Our ultimate goal is to lose
1,000 pounds by the end of this year.
The Showdown has given us the opportunity
to showcase our commitment to
provide health resources and initiatives
for all our employees and their families,”
Overall, 72 people — 44 drivers
and 28 staff — participated in the third
Keith Kitch, left, a driver manager for Halvor Lines, accepts a check
for $2,500 from John Cline of the Cline Wood Agency, after being
named individual winner of the third Trucking’s Weight Loss Showdown.
The Cline Wood Agency sponsored the individual competition
in the showdown.
Showdown. Between all of them,
1,604.5 pounds were shed. On
average, all teams lost about 9.8
percent of their collective weight,
and 54 individuals — or 75 percent
— lost 5 percent or more of their
starting body weight.
Other carriers participating
were American Central Transport
of Liberty, Mo.; Bay & Bay Transportation
of Rosemount, Minn.;
E.W. Wylie Corp. of West Fargo,
N.D.; Freight Exchange of North
America of Chicago; and Grand
Island Express of Grand Island,
“When TCA launched the
Showdown, we took up what
many considered to be an insurmountable
drivers and the rest of our industry
live longer, healthier lives,” TCA
President Chris Burruss said. “But
as the results of each of our Showdowns
have proven, nothing is impossible
if we work together.”
40 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
Independent contractors are the backbone of the industry
and the National Association of Independent Truckers, LLC (NAIT) and TransGuard
General Agency, Inc. (TransGuard) are working to provide superior insurance
products to Owner/Operators.
TransGuard has a singular focus on the transportation industry; it’s all we do.
TransGuard has provided NAIT members with leading edge
products for years and we are proud to be associated with
NAIT, an exclusive TCA-endorsed member program.
Our leading-edge products backed by extraordinary
customer service improve life on the road.
TransGuard coverages include:
– Corporate, Fleet, Casual Labor
These coverages are membership benefits exclusively available through NAIT
with insurance services provided by TransGuard. TransGuard has a nationwide
network of retail producers who, coupled with 30+ years of experience in this
market, is an industry leader in providing risk solutions to Owner/Operators and
the Motor Carriers they support.
Since 1981 the National Association of
Independent Truckers (NAIT) has offered
benefit programs and money-saving
services. Member benefit categories
include Health and Wellness benefits,
Insurance, Business Tools, and
Entertainment programs. NAIT provides
buying power to our members – savings
on just about everything needed by an
independent trucking entrepreneur.
For additional information on our
Independent Contractor Program,
please contact Business Development services.
TCA Honors America’s
By Aprille Hanson
Professional trucker Kyle Lee’s philosophy for
getting a load delivered is simple — “if you’re ontime,
“I’ve got to be there at least 15 minutes prior,”
Lee said. “I’m always ready, always up early.”
It is this kind of attitude that led Lee, a driver for
TMC Transportation based out of Des Moines, Iowa,
to be named Trucking’s Top Rookie at the Great
American Trucking Show in Dallas Aug. 23 from a
group of 10 finalists.
“I was proud to be honored in that way. I’m
still kind of shocked because all the bios for all the
other rookies are awesome,” Lee said. “It means a
lot to me because I’m achieving in all the areas I
hoped to. I’m staying professional. I’m above where
I guess I thought I was at.”
The Top Rookie, sponsored by several trucking
entities and organizations, including the Truckload
Carriers Association, receives several prizes including
$10,000, a custom plaque, a one-year supply of
5-Hour Energy drinks, another $1,000 and 100,000
MyRewards points from Pilot Flying J.
The other nine finalists receive $1,000 and a
prize package. There were 46 drivers from more
than 20 companies competing for the honor. Five
fleets were represented in the finalists.
Randy Castle, Lee’s fleet manager who nominated
him for the title, said it was “overwhelming”
when Lee was named Top Rookie. His “get-up-andgo”
drive sets him apart from other drivers, Castle
“When a job comes up, he goes and gets it. He
goes from point A to point B. There’s no messing
around,” Castle said. “When a problem comes up,
he doesn’t let it shake him up.”
Lee, 25, of Ottawa, Kan., joined the U.S. Army
in February 2009, serving just shy of four years as a
wheel mechanic. He was primarily stationed in Germany,
but did one tour in Afghanistan.
“I drove an unarmored civilian Freightliner. My
biggest duty as a mechanic was to fix and repair
any issues on the military trucks … and to help with
recovery and moving big items” in the Middle East,
Lee said. “Being over in a life-or-death area, it becomes
more like your family rather than a bunch of
people,” he added of his fellow soldiers.
Before his military service, Lee had worked a
few warehouse jobs and at a post office, but when
his time in the U.S. Army ended, the jobs just
“Trucking was,” Lee said. “It was the best option
Top Rookie Kyle Lee and his wife Kayla smile as
they receive the check for $10,000. Lee is holding
5-month-old Adelaide. Son Koy, 5, stands in
front of his mother.
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42 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
driver of the year
Lee drives a 2006 379 Peterbilt flatbed, running
primarily in the Midwest and is home on most weekends
to spend time with his three children. He also
serves in the National Guard.
“They are awesome about it,” Lee said of TMC.
“I tell them I got drill and whether it’s a Friday, Saturday,
Sunday drill, they get me back for it. If I got
drill the next two weeks, they’ll say, ‘OK, hit us up
when you get back.’”
The treatment he’s received from TMC Transport
officials has been unlike any other job, Lee said.
“They have just treated me and my family so
well,” Lee said. “When my daughter was born, they
said just take the week, help your wife get back in
the house, spend time with your baby girl.”
His wife Kayla and two of his children, Adelaide,
5 months old, and Koy, 5, were with him when he
was named Top Rookie. Lee also has a 5-year-old
Kayla Lee said the family had prayed that
whoever needed the money would receive the
honor and receiving it was “awesome” for their
family. Kyle Lee said they will use the money to
pay off debt and set some aside to help buy a
At the ceremony, his son Koy said he was proud
of his father, smiling while holding a large plaque
for the honor.
“I’m pretty proud of myself too,” Koy said, looking
at the large plaque.
“It has your name on it,” Koy said to his father.
Several speakers were on hand to congratulate
and share stories about each of the finalists.
TCA President Chris Burruss spoke before Lee
was announced as the winner.
“I appreciate what you guys do not only for our
country and the economy but for me and my family,”
Burruss said. “Thank you for bringing the groceries
and medical supplies, books for schools and
parts for cars; the list goes on and on. You truly
make a difference out there. I would simply say we
need drivers for our industry, but we need quality
drivers and each of you are surely that.”
Lee said he is thankful for comments of support
from those like Burruss, who is a veteran.
“It makes me proud of what I did,” Lee said.
“I’m still proud I’m serving my country and for others
Looking to the future, Lee said he’s excited
about becoming a trainer for TMC Transport.
“I am really looking forward to taking TMC’s
training a trainer course, to take on other new rookies
and hopefully rub off some of the ways I run,”
which includes being safe, on-time and [using]
strict route management, Lee said. “I would just
say [to other rookies] stay positive. If you get into
it, just put your head down and go with it … Like a
line on a football field, you just got to look at what
your goal is and just keep pushing to achieve.”
Lee added if his children wanted to pursue a career
in trucking, he’d support them continuing this
new family legacy.
“I’d tell them be smart about who they decided
to work for,” Lee said. “It’s a good industry to be in
… make choices wisely and be careful.”
Drivers were nominated through motor carrier
employees, the public or training organizations. To be
eligible, those CDL-holders had to be employed by a
trucking company for less than a year and graduated
from a certified training school. Drivers had to submit
an essay and answer several questions in a nomination
form and testimony letters from those that nominated
a driver were included in consideration for the
honor. Other judging criteria included on-time deliveries,
work record and non-job-related activities.
TCA 2013 www.Truckload.org | Truckload Authority 43
TCA Officer’s Retreat Big Sky, Montana
Each year the officers and staff gather at a retreat chosen by the
chairman to conduct business, to fellowship and to team build.
This year’s retreat was held at Big Sky, Mont., where the group
looked at where we currently stand on our budget, where we believe
we will finish the year financially, to review the budget for the coming
year and to discuss ways to grow the association.
This year a unique aspect of the retreat was the presentation of a
three-year strategic plan, development of which began at the Safety
Meeting earlier this year.
Another primary purpose of the retreat is for officers to get to
know the staff, for staff to get to know the officers and for both
groups to get to know spouses and significant others.
The afternoon was devoted to business, the morning given over
to recreational activities so everyone could get to know each other
on a more personal basis, a reversal of the normal retreat schedule
because of the rainy afternoons in Montana during the summer.
Top row, L-R: Dan Doran (President, Ace Doran Hauling &
Rigging) and Russell Stubbs (President, FFE Transportation, Inc.)
gather around a campfire. / TCA First Vice Chair Shepard Dunn (President
and CEO, Bestway Express) and TCA Chairman Tom Kretsinger,
Jr. (President and COO, American Central Transport) partake of one of
the outstanding meals at the meeting / Chairman Kretsinger.
Middle row, L-R: Chris Burruss (President, TCA) discusses
TCA business with staff and officers, including Immediate Past
Chairman Robert Low (Founder and President, Prime, inc.) and Tom
Kretsinger, Jr. / Rafting group back row, left to right, Aaron Tennant
(President and CEO, Tennant Truck Lines), Michael Nellenbach (Director
of Communications, TCA), Josh Kaburick (COO, Earl L. Henderson
Trucking), Shepherd Dunn, Rob Penner (COO and Vice President,
Bison Transport), Bill Giroux (Executive Vice President, TCA). Middle
row, left to right, Ashley Bollaert, Jane Witt, Tom Witt (President,
Roehl Flatbed & Specialized), Libbet Dunn, Kathy Penner, Dan Doran,
Tom Kretsinger, Jr., and Robert Low. Front row, left to right, Kim
Kaburick, Jeff Arnold (N. American Transportation Management Institute),
Anne Doran, and Ron Goode (Director of Education, TCA).
Bottom row, L-R: The afternoons were given over to the
business of the association. Pictured are Jeff Arnold, Shephard Dunn,
Tom Witt, Josh Kaburick, and Aaron Tennant; Rob Penner is all smiles
in anticipation of a trip on the rapids; Janet and Tom Witt grab a quick
bite before beginning another day of recreational activities; Shepard
and Libbet Dunn pose for the photographer before a meal.
44 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
Mark your calendar
To register or to learn more about any upcoming events
visit truckload.org or call 703.838.1950.
November 4 - 5
March 23 - 26
March 8 - 11
Wreaths Across America Gala
Fine-tune Your Background Check Policies:
Avoid EEOC’s New Initiatives
Benchmarking TC-05: Scottsdale: Invitation Only
Benchmarking TC-01: Minneapolis: Invitation Only
Benchmarking TC-06: Chicago: Invitation Only
2014 Recruitment and Retention Conference
2014 Annual Convention
2015 Annual Convention
Grand Hyatt, Washington D.C.
Internet - Webinar
Scottsdale Marriott Suites, Old Town
Renaissance O’Hare Suites Hotel, Chicago
The Renaissance Nashville Hotel
Gaylord Texan, Grapevine, Texas
Gaylord Palms, Orlando, Fla.
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46 Truckload Authority | www.Truckload.org TCA 2013
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