‘MR. FIXIT’ | 6

Biden rolls out plan to repair

20,000 miles of highways,

10,010 bridges


Fuel tax, VMT square off

as primary options for sustaining

Highway Trust Fund


Shared metrics, meetings, guidance

key benefits of TPP



New TCA Chairman Jim Ward calls on members

to tout importance of trucking | 22

For almost 100 years, Protective Insurance has been in the business of

safety. That’s what insurance is all about – keeping businesses, their assets

and their people safe.

When you work with Protective, you’re working with experienced professionals

focused on the transportation and logistics communities. It’s what we do.



Throughout the last 18 months, the world has cast a spotlight on our industry.

With that, there’s never been a better time to expand truckload’s reach and

highlight over-the-road drivers as essential workers.

Because of this newfound appreciation, now is the time to become an engaged

member of TCA if you are not already. As the only trade association whose collective

sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry, your involvement

has never been more important.

In mid-April, to encourage member participation in the direction of TCA and

to reunite the truckload community, TCA leadership and staff hosted its virtual

Spring Business Meetings. Despite members not being able to attend an in-person

meeting, the online platform provided a good alternative. We hope you found the

committee meetings, Congressional speaker Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH-1), and the

safety educational session to be informative.

Not able to attend the virtual event? Make plans to attend Truckload 2021: Las

Vegas as TCA’s committees and Board of Directors will meet again September

25-28 for a highly anticipated event. This is the premier event for truckload professionals

and will provide dozens of unique networking opportunities, insightful educational

sessions and panel discussions, a robust exhibition hall, and much more.

Additionally, ensure your company is represented at TCA’s Safety & Security

Meeting in St. Louis June 6-8. The in-person event offers a space for safety and

operations professionals to discuss problems, share ideas, and seek solutions to

make your businesses and our roads safer.

To learn more or to register for TCA events, visit

Looking to get involved in regulatory issues affecting our industry? TCA’s government

affairs department has been busy. Infrastructure discussions are heating

up, with TCA making truckload’s voice heard on key issues including truck parking,

automatic emergency braking, speed limiters, 18- to 20-year-old drivers, and more.

We also launched our new “Capitol Recap” monthly e-newsletter and corresponding

podcast; we encourage you to tune in.

Stay safe,

A Good Time

to Become Involved

John Lyboldt


Truckload Carriers Association

John Lyboldt

TCA President


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A On Good the Time Road to Become to Normalcy Involved with with John John Lyboldt | | 3


Senate “Mr. Showdown Fixit” | 6

| 6

Capitol Path Progress Recap | | 10 8

Capitol Recap | 10



| 16

Mayday, Learning to Mayday! Follow | 14

| 18

Accountability Carrier Profitability Factor | 16

| 20

$64,000 Game Changer Question | 18

| 22

Sting of the Pen | 20


Quick to React with Dennis Dellinger


Seizing the Moment with Jim Ward | 22


Carrier Profile with National Carriers, Inc. | 30

Best Fleets to Drive For TALKING with Nussbaum TCA

Transportation | 32

Those Who Deliver with Hirschbach | 30

Best Fleets to Drive For with Boyle Transportation | 34


A Culture Safety

of Award

Performance with

with Bison

John Transport

Lyboldt | 32

| 36

Extolling Fleet the Virtues Safety of Award TCA with with Jim Erb Ward International and Dennis Dellinger |38 | 34

Member Mailroom: Another Virtual Be Heard Success in Washington | 36


Safety, Retention, Small and Talk the Bottom |41 Line | 38

Member Mailroom: What New Events Members Does | TCA 46 Have in 2021? | 39

Become TCA Logbook a Rigster | 40


Truckload New Academy Members | Online| 46


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our professional truck drivers profitable. Truckload

Authority is a MUST READ.”





— Robert Low, President and Founder, Prime Inc.



‘Mr. Fixit’

Biden rolls out plan

to repair 20,000 miles of

highways, 10,010 bridges

By Lyndon Finney

“Mr. Fixit” was a popular Canadian instructional series that aired

on CBC Television from 1955 to 1965.

The series demonstrated home repairs and construction by Peter

Whittall, who was nicknamed Mr. Fixit. The show concentrated on

basic repair and construction techniques.

Fast-forward 56 years and you might say President Joe Biden hopes

to become America’s “Mr. Fixit” with the $2.3 trillion infrastructure improvement

plan that he has labeled the American Jobs Plan.

“It’s a fix plan,” said Truckload Carriers Association’s Manager of

Government Affairs Kathryn Pobre. The plan includes $155 billion

for repair of roads and bridges that the president said would modernize

20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets; fix 10 of

the most economically significant bridges in need of reconstruction;

and repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, thus “providing

critical linkages to communities.”

Considering the number of miles of highways and the number

of bridges in the National Highway System (NHS) the fix is only a


The 20,000 miles in Biden’s plan represent only 12.1% of the

164,000 total miles in the NHS.

There are 145,904 bridges in the NHS, 75,123 of which are rated

“fair” and 4,579 of which are rated “poor.” That’s 54.6% of NHS

bridges that are in fair or poor condition.

Pobre added, “Biden’s methodology is at first not focusing on

creating new roads, but repairing what’s broken now, so $115 billion

is just a drop in the bucket.” Much more is needed to really

raise the grades of roads and bridges on the 2021 American Society

of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report Card for American’s Infrastructure,

which rated the overall infrastructure a “C” and bridges were

graded at “C” and roads received a “D.”

“Growing wear and tear on our nation’s roads have left 43% of

our public roads in poor or mediocre condition, a number that has

remained stagnant over the past several years,” the ASCE reported.

Pobre said the Biden administration is so anxious about passing

the bill amidst Republican opposition that they are likely to move

it through the reconciliation process, which would require only a

simple majority vote in the Senate, with the deciding vote cast by

Vice President Kamala Harris.

For trucking, there might be an upside to reconciliation, Pobre

pointed out, because the Biden proposal includes the Protecting

the Right to Organize Act, known as the PRO Act. TCA opposes

the PRO Act, which among other things, (1) revises the

definitions of employee, supervisor, and employer to broaden

the scope of individuals covered by the fair labor standards and

threatens the independent contractor model used by trucking;

(2) permits labor organizations to encourage participation of

union members in strikes initiated by employees represented

by a different labor organization (i.e., secondary strikes); and

(3) prohibits employers from bringing claims against unions

that conduct such secondary strikes.

“Using reconciliation significantly constrains

what they’re allowed to include in the bill because it

must be tied to revenues and spending or toward

increasing the debt limit,” said Pobre, adding

she didn’t feel the PRO Act would meet any of

those requirements.

“It’s not a plan that tinkers around the edges,”

Biden said in support of his proposal.

“It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in


America unlike anything we’ve seen

or done since we built the interstate

highway system and the space race

decades ago. In fact, it’s the largest

American jobs investment since

World War II. It will create millions

of jobs, good-paying jobs.”

Another hope for really improving

the road and bridge system

lies with the fate of the Moving

Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion highway

reauthorization bill designed

to replace the Fixing America’s

Surface Transportation (FAST)

Act, which was originally set to

expire September 30, 2020, but

through a continuing resolution

was extended until September 30,


The Moving Forward Act was

passed by the House July 1, 2020,

but ran into solid Republican opposition

in the Senate.

The act included $300 billion for

repairing bridges and roads.

I think

lawmakers are trying

to get a new highway

reauthorization bill

introduced soon.

We anticipate it to

resemble H.R. 2, but

now that the American

Jobs Plan is out there,

we are waiting to see

what it will look like.”

— Kathryn Pobre, Truckload

Carriers Association’s Manager of

Government Affairs

Known as H.R. 2, the bill will have to be reintroduced in the current

Congressional session, and like Biden’s American Jobs Plan, H.R. 2 set

forth no mechanisms for funding.

“I think lawmakers are trying to get a new highway reauthorization bill

introduced soon,” said Pobre. “We anticipate it to resemble H.R. 2, but

now that the American Jobs Plan is out there, we are waiting to see what

it will look like.”

Two Democratic leaders say they’ll use a different approach to crafting

the bill this year.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-ORE-4), chairman of the House Transportation

and Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC),

chair of the Subcommittee on Highway and Transit, said

the new process will provide members of Congress the

ability to submit requests for highway designations

that are consistent with state and local infrastructure


In developing the Moving Forward Act, DeFazio

said his committee processed more than 700


It is the amendments that sometimes bog down

a bill and even cause it never to become law,

said TCA’s Vice President of Government Affairs

David Heller.

That might include bills of speed limiters,

minimum liability insurance, truck parking,

women in trucking, underride guards on trailers,

and the PRO Act should it be taken out of

Biden’s bill, Heller said.

Pobre said it will be hard to pass a reauthorization

bill with the current partisan

climate in Congress, and because there is a

limit on how often lawmakers can use reconciliation,

Democrats will have to be strategic

to successfully achieve a landmark infrastructure

bill in addition to their

other priorities.

President calls for

review of supply chain

The Associated Press

In an effort to ensure “more resilient and secure”

transport of critical supplies and essential goods,

President Joe Biden has signed an executive order calling

for a comprehensive one-year review of the U.S.

supply chain.

“The bottom line is simple: The American people

should never face shortages in the goods and services

they rely on, whether that’s their car or their prescription

medicines or the food at the local grocery store,”

Biden said during his remarks before signing the order

in late February.

The president pointed to reported shortages of personal

protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19

pandemic, noting stories of medical personnel resorting

to washing and reusing face masks.

“That should never have never happened. And this

will never happen again in the United States, period,”

he said. “We shouldn’t have to rely on a foreign country

— especially one that doesn’t share our interests

or our values — in order to protect and provide for our

people during a national emergency.”

Under the order, federal departments and agencies

are directed to identify ways to protect the nation’s

supply chain against a range of risks and vulnerabilities,

thereby protecting the U.S. from shortages of

critical products.

The order calls for an immediate 100-day review addressing

vulnerability in the supply chains for four key

products, including APIs (the part of a pharmaceutical

product that contains the active drug); critical minerals

required for defense, technology and other products;

semiconductors and advanced packaging; and largecapacity

batteries, such as the ones used in electric


A more in-depth one-year review will include a focus

on six key sectors that might be impacted by a supply

chain crisis — the defense industrial base, the public

health and biological preparedness industrial base,

the information and communications technology (ICT)

industrial base, the energy sector industrial base, the

transportation industrial base, and supply chains for

agricultural commodities and food production; a set

of risks for agencies to consider in their assessment

of supply-chain vulnerabilities; recommendations on

actions that should be taken to improve resiliency; a

sustained commitment to supply chain resiliency; and

a sustained commitment to supply chain resiliency.

“Success of any review will depend greatly on whether

the president and Congress are successful in passing

the jobs bill, which contains money for repair of

roads and bridges; the passage of a highway reauthorization

bill which includes building of new highways

to alleviate congestion; and finally, finding a source of

funding,” said Truckload Carriers Association’s Vice

President of Government Affairs David Heller.


Path to progress

Fuel tax, vehicle miles traveled tax

square off as primary options for

sustaining Highway Trust Fund

By Hannah Butler

When you think about America’s progress, it’s easy to look at the

advanced number of roads and highway systems as a symbol of that

progress. They’re the paths to our own personal progress: traveling

to work or school every day, to the next delivery or adventure. We rely

on roads to advance ourselves and to continue improving the nation

for the sake of progress.

But the path to collective progress means improving the nation’s

roads. The U.S. needs new access routes, climbing lanes, repavements,

and more. In the American Society of Civil Engineers’ most

recent “Infrastructure Report Card” released in early March, the group

gave America’s infrastructure a mediocre overall score of C-. Although

this grade is progress from the D+ given in 2017, the need for more

roads, accessibility, and infrastructure investments is evident.








Source: Tax Foundation






That means the nation needs trust — trust in its own Highway

Trust Fund (HTF). It’s what feeds the new roads, bridges, and highways

we’ve depended on for decades. The HTF is powered by the

federal fuel tax, which is set at 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline,

and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel.

But the federal fuel tax hasn’t been increased in more than two

decades. Meanwhile, inflation has steadily risen to 79% since 1993,

the same year the federal fuel tax was last increased.

Since 2008, the HTF has primarily been funded through a series

of general fund transfers from the U.S. Congress, rather than efforts

to increase the gas tax. Funds provided by Congress have reached

$158 billion, including $83.6 billion from the Fixing America’s Surface

Transportation (FAST) Act, according to the Congressional Research


“Increases in fuel consumption kept revenues growing until the

recession that began in 2007,” according to a March 1 report from

the Congressional Research Service. “Since that time, improving

fuel efficiency and slower growth in vehicle mileage have led revenue

to level off in most years, and spending from the HTF has

consistently outrun highway user revenues.”

The FAST Act — originally signed by President Barack Obama in

2015 — was reauthorized by former President Donald Trump in October

2020. This provided an additional $13.6 billion for the HTF. But

that authorization has an expiration date of September 30, 2021.

Policymakers have avoided increasing the fuel tax “since such

actions will noticeably increase the cost of fuel for nearly all constituents

in the short-term,” according to the American Transportation

Research Institute (ATRI).

At this rate, the HTF will be drained by 2022, according to the

Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

“Increases in fuel consumption kept revenues growing until the

recession that began in 2007,” according to the Congressional Research

Service’s report. “Since that time, improving fuel efficiency

and slower growth in vehicle mileage have led revenue to level off

in most years, and spending from the HTF has consistently outrun

highway user revenues.”

What will we rely on when there’s no funding left to fix our roads?

For the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Vice President of

Government Affairs David Heller, the focus for funding relies on the

fuel tax.



Source: Institute on Taxation

and Economic Policy



























“There is an opportunity to make the Highway

Trust Fund sustainable again, and doing

so in a manner that is the most cost-effective

is going to be the fuel tax,” he said.

Although it has not been increased since

1993, at least 36 states have already increased

their own fuel taxes.

“While the standing belief is that it can’t

get done, the reality is that it actually is getting

done,” added Heller. “It has been done in

36 states, over the past 10 years, which have

raised their fuel tax to help support roads and


Mandated tolling and a vehicle miles traveled

(VMT) tax have also been thrown out as

sustainable options for rebuilding the HTF, although

Heller disagrees with these measures.

The need for a VMT tax — a potential widespread

tax or per-mile charge on all vehicles

— could eliminate electric vehicle (EV) parity

issues. Today, EVs do not contribute to the fuel

tax since they do not visit the pump, which is

where the tax is collected

“While the trials, tests, and equipment are

out there, the VMT hasn’t made inroads answering

the questions that really need to be

taken into consideration right now,” he explained.

“VMT is not ready for a primetime

funding mechanism. We’re just not there yet.”

Initial implementation of a VMT could total

billions of dollars, according to Heller.

“Quite frankly, there’s no need to incur those

costs right now when we’ve got other mechanisms

in place, i.e. the fuel tax, to actually get

us there,” he said.

Administrative costs of tolling, along with

wear and tear on roads and bridges, and avoidance

of tolls cause concern for Heller.

“People may try to circumvent tolls and

send cars and trucks on roads and bridges that

aren’t used to having that kind of traffic, thus

making roads and bridges deteriorate quicker

because they’re just not built for that type of

traffic as people try to evade the toll booths,”

he said.

That does not mean increasing the fuel tax

comes without consequences.

“Make no mistake, there are some shortcomings

to increasing the fuel tax,” added


In addition to EVs escaping taxation, more

fuel-efficient vehicles are continuously being

developed that will visit the pump less, therefore

creating disproportion in taxation.

“EVs are not paying nearly as much, to say

nothing to the fact that today’s fuel tax rates

are woefully short of what they should be, so

they’re not capturing the dollars on what they

should, but raising it (the fuel tax) hopefully

helps make up the difference,” noted Heller.

There’s also a chance that those with a lower

income may not be able to afford the increased

fuel tax. That is a similar consequence of the

VMT, as well.

According to ATRI’s “A Practical Analysis of

a National VMT System,” the annual financial

transaction costs could be as high as $4.3 billion

and would require charging VMT users

almost 40% more to cover collection costs.

“The fuel tax right now represents the single

greatest economically sound manner of highway

funding. It has the lowest administrative

costs attributed to it, meaning that it represents

about 1% of overhead costs,” Heller said.

To provide adequate funding with an increase,

the fuel tax would need to be increased

to five cents a year for the next four years for

a total of 20 cents, or five years, at 25 cents.

“That’s just a yearly increase of a nickel per

gallon to eventually be capped at 25 cents, then

indexed to the cost of inflation using the CPI,

or Consumer Price Index,” added Heller. “That

would make it adjustable on an annual basis.”

With that increase, the HTF has a chance

of being sustainably funded and trusted

once again.


By Lyndon Finney, Linda Bunch-Garner, Hannah Butler and The Associated Press

Although the 117th Congress is just over four months old, lawmakers have been busy reintroducing bills related to trucking.

Perhaps the most widely watched is bipartisan legislation aimed at creating safe, secure parking sites for commercial

trucks. A bill requiring underride guards on new trucks and trailers would bring reassurance to families that lost loved

ones in underride accidents, sponsors say. Thirdly, lawmakers say the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act would

remove barriers that get in the way of women pursuing and retaining trucking careers.

Studies reveal that about 58% of all commercial truck drivers admit to parking in unauthorized or undesignated spots at least three times per week because of a national

shortage of safe parking sites.


Bipartisan legislation aimed at creating safe,

secure parking sites for commercial truck drivers

has been reintroduced in the U.S. House

of Representatives. Under H.R. 2187, known

as the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act,

$755 million would be set aside from the federal

Highway Trust Fund to help states finance

projects that would increase the nation’s number

of truck parking spaces.

The bill’s original cosponsors, Reps. Mike

Bost (R-IL-12) — a former truck driver —

and Angie Craig (D-MN-2), were joined by

Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA-3), Susan

Wild (D-PA-7), Dusty Johnson (R-SD-AL),

and Pete Stauber (R-MN-8).

“I grew up in a family trucking business

and spent years driving over the road,”

said Bost. “Since then, we’ve seen the need

for more trucks and drivers increase significantly,

especially during the COVID-19

pandemic when trucking helped to keep

our economy going. However, the number

of truck parking spaces hasn’t kept pace.

That means that drivers are forced to park

in unsafe locations, which puts both them

and other motorists at risk. Creating sufficient

parking options for long-haul truck

drivers will not only help keep them safe

during their rest breaks but will also mean

safer roads for everyone.”

Currently, there are more than 11 truck

drivers for every one parking space.

Studies show that 98% of drivers report

problems finding safe truck parking, and

the average driver spends 56 minutes of

available drive time every day looking for

parking. That wasted time amounts to

a $5,500 loss in annual compensation,

equivalent to a 12% annual pay cut. Moreover,

58% of all drivers admit to parking

in unauthorized or undesignated spots at

least three times per week to meet their

parking needs.



A bill requiring underride guards on certain new trucks and trailers

would bring reassurance to families who have lost loved ones in underride

accidents, but trucking groups have voiced opposition, citing

safety hazards for truck drivers and the industry.

The term “underride” refers to an accident in which one vehicle

partially slides underneath another, particularly when a passenger

vehicle slides beneath a large truck.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced

the Stop Underrides Act.

The Stop Underrides Act would strengthen requirements for rear

underride guards and add the requirement for single unit trucks.

Specifically, the bill would require the installation of rear, side, and

front underride guards on trailers and tractor-trailers weighing more

than 10,000 pounds, as well as on single-unit trucks that have a carriage

more than 22 inches above the ground and weigh more than

10,000 pounds.




America’s infrastructure has scored nearfailing

grades for its deteriorating roads, public

transit, and storm water systems due to years

of inaction from the federal government, the

American Society of Civil Engineers reports. Its

overall grade: a mediocre C-.

In its “Infrastructure Report Card” the group

called for “big and bold” relief, estimating it

would cost $5.9 trillion over the next decade to

bring roads, bridges, and airports to a safe and

sustainable level. That’s about $2.6 trillion more

than what government and the private sector

already spend.

“America’s infrastructure is not functioning

as it should, and families are losing thousands

of dollars a year in disposable income as

a result of cities having to fix potholes, people

getting stuck in traffic or due to repairs when

a water line breaks or the energy grid goes

down,” said Greg DiLoreto, one of the group’s

past presidents.

“It’s critical we take action now,” he stressed,

expressing optimism that the federal government

is now making it a “top priority.”

During Donald Trump’s four years in the

White House, his administration often held

“Infrastructure Week” events and touted transportation

improvements. But it was not able to

push Congress to pass any broad plan to update

the nation’s roads and bridges, rails, and


The overall C- grade on America’s infrastructure

— reflecting a “mediocre” condition with

“significant deficiencies” — is a slight improvement

from its D+ grade in 2017. The group

cited in part state and local government and

A pickup truck crosses the Franklin Street bridge in Michigan City, Indiana. La Porte County officials have begun

discussion of a replacement for the historic structure. America’s infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its

deteriorating roads, public transit, and storm water systems due to years of inaction from the federal government.

private-sector efforts, which have turned to new

technology to pinpoint water main leaks and

prioritize fixes.

But of the 17 categories making up the

overall grade, 11 were in the D range that

indicated a “significant deterioration” with a

“strong risk of failure.” They included public

transit, storm water infrastructure, airports,

and roads and highways, which make up the

biggest chunk of U.S. infrastructure spending

at $1.6 trillion, according to the group.

Four areas received Cs: bridges, which

dropped from a C+ to a C in 2021, as well as

energy, drinking water, and solid waste. Just

two areas — ports and rail — scored higher,

with a B- and B, respectively.

President Joe Biden’s administration and

lawmakers are laying the groundwork for

a long-sought boost to the nation’s roads,

bridges and other infrastructure of $2 trillion

or more.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg,

who has met with lawmakers about the effort,

has said the aim would be to rejuvenate

the post-coronavirus pandemic economy and

boost crumbling roads and bridges while encouraging

alternative forms of transportation

to cars, as well as create thousands of green

jobs by making environmentally friendly retrofits

and public works improvements.

In its report card, the group said years of inaction

has had consequences. It cited growing

costs being passed along to consumers as cities

and states grapple with funding shortages

to fix roads and bridges and delay other major

upgrades to infrastructure.


“Without adequate parking, truck drivers are forced to pull to the

side of the road or continue driving — both of which are risky,” noted

Craig. “I’m proud to join Rep. Bost to reintroduce the act, which would

increase truck parking spaces and improve safety for the folks who

transport our goods, and everyone on our roads.”

The Truckload Carriers Association’s Vice President of Government

Affairs David Heller said the lack of safe truck parking is top of mind

for the association.

“Truck parking consistently ranks as one of the most important issues

for the Truckload Carriers Association and trucking stakeholders

across the country,” shared Heller. “On a daily basis, our companies’

drivers face dangerous conditions due to the lack of safe and

convenient parking options. TCA applauds Reps. Bost and Craig for

their dedication to resolving this critical safety obstacle through this

legislation, which will devote significant funding toward the development

of suitable parking on our nation’s highways.”

The legislation would not only benefit the trucking industry; it could

also help make the nation’s roadways safer for all drivers, according to

the National Motorists Association President Gary Biller.

TCA applauds Reps. Bost and Craig

for their dedication to resolving this critical

safety obstacle through this legislation,

which will devote significant funding toward

the development of suitable parking on our

nation’s highways.”

— David Heller, Truckload Carriers Association

Vice President of Government Affairs

“Overall, more Highway Trust Fund money needs to be spent on

improving/expanding roads and bridges, but that should not be at the

exclusion of adequate parking facilities for commercial motor vehicles,”

noted Biller. “An expansion of options for long-haul truck drivers

made possible by the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act will

benefit all highway users.”



The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act was reintroduced

in Congress in late February by members of the Senate

Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, including

Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WIS), Jerry Moran (R-KAN), Deb Fischer

(R-NEB), and Jon Tester (D-MONT).

“In Wisconsin, we make things, and we need to ensure we have a

strong workforce to transport our goods to market,” said Baldwin.

“Removing the barriers that get in the way of women pursuing and

retaining careers in trucking is key. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan

effort with Sen. Moran, because more job opportunities for

Wisconsin women will lead to more economic security for working


The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act (S.2858) was

originally introduced in the last Congress, and was referred to the

Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The bipartisan

legislation, designed to support women in the trucking industry,

directs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to

establish and facilitate a Women of Trucking Advisory Board to promote

organizations and programs that (1) provide education, training,

mentorship, or outreach to women in the trucking industry; and

(2) recruit women into the trucking industry.

“Over the past year, we have relied on the essential service the

trucking industry provides to transport critical resources to Kansas

and across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic,” shared Moran.

“As the trucking industry continues to face a driver shortage, we

must find new ways to recruit and retain drivers, including supporting

women pursuing careers in trucking.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women make up

46.8% of the nation’s total workforce but make up just 24% of the

U.S. trucking industry — and only 7% of drivers are women.

“Truckers are essential to keeping Nebraska’s economy running,

but the industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers,” said

Fischer. “Examining ways to encourage more women to enter the

trucking industry is good policy and could connect more women

with good jobs.”

Tester noted that, while women are a growing force in transportation,

they still face obstacles when pursuing careers in trucking.

Members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in

late February reintroduced the Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act. The

bipartisan legislation is designed to support women in the trucking industry.

“This bill is a hat trick, ensuring we’re breaking down barriers for

Montana women, bringing more good-paying jobs to the Treasure

State, and strengthening our workforce so we can deliver more of

our world-class products to market,” added Tester.

The legislation received support from shipping and trucking organizations,

including FedEx, the Women In Trucking Association

(WIT), United Parcel Service (UPS) and others.

WIT President and CEO Ellen Voie shared that she believes the

proposed advisory board would help increase opportunities for

women in a variety of occupations within the trucking industry, including

drivers, technicians, company owners, trainers, and more.

“Although women have strengthened their presence in the supply

chain over the past few years, we know there are still issues that

cause women to reject a transportation career,” she said. “Our goal

is to better identify these concerns and address them to create a

more diverse industry.



Under current law, underride guards are not

required on the sides or front of trucks. Underride

guards are already required on the back

of a trailer.

If the bill is passed, a committee would be

formed to monitor the underride rulemaking

process. Identical legislation has been referred

to the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps.

Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) and Mark DeSaulnier

(D-CA-11). The bipartisan Stop Underrides

Act is being referred to the Senate Commerce,

Science and Transportation Committee and

the House Committee on Transportation and


This is the third time the bill has been introduced.

Previous versions of the bill, which

proposed retrofitting existing trailers and

trucks, never got out of the committee. The bill

Tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway

Safety showed that an aftermarket underride guard

attached to the side of a tractor-trailer prevented a midsize

sedan from sliding under the trailer in a 40-mph crash.

was drafted by Marianne Karth and Lois Durso

Hawkins, who started advocating for underride

protection after their children died following

separate underride crashes.

Karth and her children were traveling on

Interstate 20 in Georgia on May 4, 2013, when

a semi-truck hit the back of their vehicle, spinning

the car around and forcing the vehicle underneath

a second semi-truck. Karth and her

son survived, but her daughters, AnnaLeah

and Mary, were killed.

“I learned that it wasn’t the crash that killed

them, because I was in the crash and sitting in

the front seat,” shared Karth in a truck safety

news conference. “We survived because our

part of the car did not go under the truck. It

was the underride.”

Hawkins, who lost her daughter, Roya, in a

2013 underride collision, agrees that it was the

underride rather than the collision that led to

her daughter’s death.

“If [underride protection] had happened, I

wouldn’t be here today,” said Hawkins. “Many

other families would not have suffered that

loss either.”



Easy. Safe.

The enforcement emphasis during the 2021 Operation Safe Driver Week will be speeding.

Despite a drop in roadway travel last year because of the pandemic, traffic fatalities

increased nationally.


The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver

Week will take place July 11-17 with an emphasis on speeding. During this

week, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial

motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving

behaviors in or around a commercial motor vehicle. Identified unsafe

drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning.

“Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement

help reduce problematic driving behaviors,” said CVSA President Sgt.

John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “By making contact with drivers

during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to

make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.”

CVSA selected speeding as its focus this year because traffic fatalities

increased nationally over the last year, despite a drop in roadway travel due

to the pandemic. According to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) preliminary

estimates, the estimated rate of death on roads last year increased

24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven dropping

13%. The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-overyear

jump NSC has calculated in 96 years.

In addition to speeding, law enforcement personnel will be tracking

other dangerous driver behaviors throughout the week, such as reckless

or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper

lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use a seat

belt, evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc.

CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program was created to help to reduce

the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and passenger

vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. Operation Safe Driver

Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor

Carrier Safety Administration and with support from the motor carrier

industry and transportation safety organizations. This initiative aims to

improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner —

either in or around commercial motor vehicles — through educational

and traffic enforcement strategies.

Weigh and pay on a mobile device

without leaving the truck.

You know your drivers can trust CAT Scale

for guaranteed accurate weights.

They can get those same

guaranteed weights even faster

by using the Weigh My Truck app.


Under the bill, the Women of Trucking Advisory Board would identify

barriers that hinder the entry of women to the trucking industry, work

across organizations and companies to coordinate formal education and

training programs, and help identify and establish training and mentorship

programs for women in the industry. The legislation also requires

the FMCSA administrator to submit a report to Congress on the board’s

findings and recommendations.

U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WIS-8) and Sharice Davids (D-KAN-3)

introduced the bipartisan companion legislation in the U.S. House of


Your drivers will spend less time weighing,

so they can spend more time on the road.

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Learning to follow

Autonomous technology may

be ready before the rules are

By Cliff Abbott

The term “platooning” has mostly faded from trucking media, but it’s

a huge part of the march to total autonomy at Pittsburgh-based Locomation.

According to Chief Commercial Officer Glynn Spangenberg, the team

at Locomation believes that platooning is the fastest way to develop the

artificial intelligence needed to eventually replace human drivers.

“They (Locomation engineers) determined that ‘human-guided autonomy,’

that’s one of our mottos, was the best approach,” shared Spangenberg.

“With a human driver in control of the first truck, the second truck goes

through a progression of learning how to be an autonomous truck.”

“Learning” is a solid description of where autonomous trucks are today,

or, at least, the status of the artificial intelligence that drives them. That’s an

important distinction, according to a January 6 blog post from Waymo, that

said the company will no longer use the term “self-driving” in discussing its

technology, replacing it with the term “fully autonomous.”

While the difference may seem small, it underscores that something is in

control of the vehicle, making decisions and guiding its actions. At Locomation,

the human driving the first truck in a platoon is also a teacher.

“Each time the truck goes out under the control of a driver, the computer

records all of the usual sensor data and predicts how the computer would

have reacted to each situation,” explained Spangenberg.

The practice allows engineers to better understand where the artificial

intelligence differs from the human driver. “If the driver does something

different than predicted by the computer, an engineer analyzes why that happened

and makes necessary changes to the programming,” he continued.

“In this way, the truck learns from the human driver and will eventually be


That’s when Truck No. 2 becomes a “drone follower,” without a driver

at all, according to Locomation’s website. The step after that will be trucks

without drivers, first traveling from hub to hub and eventually dock to dock,

steps that will occur when the systems have “learned” enough.

Learning extends beyond the technology companies currently

working on autonomous technology. Auburn University has conducted

platooning trials on its 1.7-mile test track and on I-85 and U.S.

280 in Alabama. “We’re not only helping advance the technology,

but we’re developing future engineers to work in the field,” said Department

of Mechanical Engineering Professor David Bevly. “OEMs

and developers of autonomous technology have hired our graduates.”

Auburn recently unveiled its new autonomous vehicle research facility

at the track, announcing that it will aid researchers in the school’s GPS and

Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, or GAVLAB. Bevly’s group consists of 40 researchers,

mostly grad students.

While the names Auburn University and GAVLAB may not be familiar

in the autonomous trucking field, the technology they help develop

could end up in anyone’s product. “Since our research typically involves

algorithms and software, it won’t be highly visible to your readers but

could already be a part of many of the autonomous programs currently

working,” explained Bevly. “Our results are published by the Society of

Automotive Engineers (SAE) and are available to builders and vendors

who subscribe.”

The question on the minds of many trucking industry leaders is,

“When will the technology be ready to add to our fleet?” In September

2020, Locomation announced what it claims is the world’s first

autonomous truck purchase order, for 1,120 tractors equipped with

the Locomation autonomy system sold to Springfield, Missouri-based

Wilson Logistics.

“We’re looking at the second half of 2022 for the first Wilson trucks to

be ‘upfitted’ with the Locomation technology and begin being placed into

operation,” shared Spangenberg. The company has entered an agreement

with Rush Enterprises to fit new tractors with its autonomous technology.

“New trucks will go directly from the assembly line to Rush Enterprises,

where they will be upfitted with the Locomation system before being placed

into service at Wilson,” he said.

Locomation’s ARC technology is more than platooning software. The

program identifies lanes within the carrier’s customer base where the technology

could be used, helping truck drivers to maximize efficiency. “Many

carriers find that 35% to 50% of their current load portfolio is suitable for

the ARC platform,” noted Spangenberg.

Potential savings are considerable. “We estimate that for a 500-mile

length of haul that might normally cost the carrier $1.71 per mile, our model,

including initial investment costs, brings that down to $1.46 per mile,” he

added. That 14.6% reduction in cost could be attractive in an industry with

razor-thin profit margins.


It is certainly a priority of this

administration, this DOT [to cooperate]

with the Department of Labor to understand

the extremely real and broad impacts of

automation on people’s livelihoods.”

— Meera Joshi, Deputy Administrator of the

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Currently, an investment in ARC technology includes installation of the equipment,

training for drivers and a 36-month subscription to the ARC platform.

The platform could be offered to shippers, too, who might then group loads

by suitability for platooning with the expectation of benefitting from the reduced

cost. It’s even conceivable that trucks from different carriers could platoon together,

if the carriers were willing to share ARC information.

A potential drawback to autonomous technology is driver acceptance, but

Spangenberg thinks it’s a matter of attitude. “Instead of looking at jobs that

could be lost, look at the opportunities for drivers who can work within the

system,” he said. “(Ask yourself) ‘Where can I benefit?’” Technology could help

alleviate the current driver shortage before drivers are replaced.

The next big hurdle for autonomy is the regulatory landscape. “States are

taking a lead role in determining what they want to do,” added Spangenberg.

“The problem is that some states want one thing while other states want something

else. The federal government, through both legislation and regulation, will

need to implement a national strategy.”

Still, carriers will be limited in using the technology until nationwide standards

are adopted. One legislative concern is labor-friendly states that might

ban the technology over job-loss worries. “There need to be federal laws that

prevent states from adopting technology based on labor concerns,” he insisted.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi

addressed the topic at the agency’s 20th annual Analysis, Research and Technology

forum, held online March 10, 2021. “It is certainly a priority of this administration,

this DOT [to cooperate] with the Department of Labor to understand the extremely

real and broad impacts of automation on people’s livelihoods,” she said.

She raised concerns, however, by predicting “a major shift in the workforce”

would occur due to technology.

While the artificial intelligence that will one day drive trucks is still learning, the

industry is hopeful that the leadership that makes the rules is learning, too.

Auburn laboratory

solving problems for

tech marketers

By Cliff Abbott

Auburn University’s GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory

(GAVLAB) received a boost in February with the completion

of a new autonomous vehicle research facility at the site of

its 1.7-mile National Center for Asphalt Technology test track.

GAVLAB is headed by co-directors Department of Mechanical

Engineering Professor David Bevly and Assistant Research

Professor Scott Martin. The facility provides commercial vehicle

bays with lifts, office and conference space, as well as an observation

area overlooking the track.

Funding for the department comes primarily through the

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Department of

Energy (DOE) along with some private entities, which specify

the study subjects. “We’re always seeking partners,” said Bevly,

“but most of the OEMs and tech firms have kept development

programs in-house.”

Bevly’s team of researchers is currently working to solve platooning

issues that were exposed during early trials.

“Engineers like to be exact,” said Bevly. “We discovered a

problem with trying to maintain an exact following distance between

the trucks, which have different power needs at different


He explained a scenario that has Truck No. 1 cresting a hill

and throttling down while Truck No. 2 is still climbing. If truck

two reacts by increasing throttle to maintain the specified gap,

unnecessary fuel is burned. However, if the gap becomes too

wide, the second truck loses the fuel advantage of positioning in

the first truck’s slipstream.

“We’re experimenting with allowing a little more, if you will,

‘slop’ in the gap distance with an eye towards keeping the drafting

advantage without sacrificing fuel efficiency,” explained


Results to problems like this aren’t likely to win headlines, but

could have significant impact on future technology products.

Opposite page: Pittsburgh-based Locomation is using

“platooning” as a way to developing artificial intelligence

in autonomous trucking. This process allows a selfdriving

truck to follow a human-driven truck and

“learn” how to be an autonomous truck. This

page: Locomation’s ARC technology is

more than platooning software. The

program identifies lanes within the

carrier’s customer base where the

technology could be used.




Shared metrics, meetings,

guidance key benefits of TPP

By Cliff Abbott

Many industries have advocacy groups, and there are many reasons

for joining. The Truckload Carriers Association, however, has sweetened

the deal with its TCA Profitability Program (TPP). The first line on the program’s

webpage sums it up: The TPP “is the trucking industry’s premier

performance improvement solution, fusing TCA’s popular best practice

groups and the powerful inGauge online benchmarking platform.”

One of the most difficult parts of managing a business is gauging

how an operation stacks up, both against the competition and in terms

of lost income potential. TPP helps answer those questions so that

management teams can identify where improvement is needed and

maximize operational efficiency.

“We’ve been members of TCA for 55 years. From my seat as president

of D.M. Bowman, TPP is the greatest educational tool that is offered

by any trucking association to its members,” said TCA Chairman

Jim Ward.

“For me, it was the best advice I could get from anybody,” said TPP

Program Manager, Former President and CEO of Bestway Express, and

Past TCA Chairman Shepard Dunn. “I got more out of these meetings

than anywhere else.”

TPP Managing Director Jack Porter agreed. “The benefits are immense,”

he said. “If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to go from good

to great, TPP is a great program to get you there.”

In-person meetings form the base of the program, but the real benefit

is the sharing of information.

Group members become advisors and

friends. It doesn’t mean you’re giving away the

recipe for the ‘secret sauce,’ but you’re making

friends that you can bounce ideas for people

and processes off of.”

— Shepard Dunn, TPP Program Manager, former President and

CEO of Bestway Express, and past TCA Chairman

“After each meeting, we determine the topic for our next meeting

based on our discussion,” explained Ward. “We explore disciplines

common to each company such as safety, maintenance, human resources,

employee welfare and development, and operations.”

Selecting topics in advance helps participants prepare for each meeting.

Participants are encouraged to bring team members who manage

the specific business disciplines being discussed.

Dunn described the process. “A lot of what we do is sit around the

table and talk,” he said. “We obviously don’t talk about rates and protected

stuff, but things like best practices and successful strategies.”

“We send out a monthly composite that shows key metrics, ranking

them from best to worst. It’s very confidential,” emphasized Porter.


“Leaders can share the information with their teams and identify

what areas to work on. (They) can quickly see, is their benchmark

moving in the right direction?”

Dunn explained that sharing is a necessary part of the process.

“Group members become advisors and friends,” he said. “It

doesn’t mean you’re giving away the recipe for the ‘secret sauce,’

but you’re making friends that you can bounce ideas for people

and processes off of.”

Pottle’s Transportation’s President and CEO, and Past Chairman

of TCA Barry Pottle commented, “Trucking companies often

think they are the best at what they do and don’t want to

share their information. Here you find out you aren’t the best,

but there is a lot from the groups that you can take back and

learn from.”

Porter summed it up this way: “The No. 1 litmus test that the

business owner has to accept is that no owner is perfect; every

owner will do something wrong. The owner must have an open

mind and be willing to share current results so that others in the

program can offer meaningful guidance.”

Meetings aren’t the only place that “meaningful guidance” can

be offered. The networking opportunities provided by the program

have proven to be valuable to members who don’t want to wait for

meetings to discuss issues.

“Pottle’s has benefited from the groups and made many friends

through the groups. The networking is priceless,” added Pottle.

Ward echoed that sentiment, and noted there’s “a great deal

of value in having a network, being able to pick up the phone

and call a friend and peer who has dealt with the same issues.”

“It gives you the chance to seek counsel with other people in the

industry, peers, associates, people you can pick up the phone and

discuss areas where you might need help within your company,”

remarked Dunn.

Ward’s team at D.M. Bowman takes networking beyond phone

calls. “We periodically do visits to each other’s facilities,” he explained.

“We might send an entire team to spend two or three days.

Normally, we break up into groups, go through the various disciplines

in their organization, and bring back what they’ve learned.

We also share back with them our observations, so both companies

benefit from the experience.”

Knowledge is only helpful, however, when it’s applied. “Don’t

take the things you’ve learned and stick them in a drawer. Take action;

create a plan,” suggested Dunn.

Porter narrowed it down. “Go back to your organization and apply

what you have learned,” he said. “Don’t try and take 10 things

back. Identify one or two things. Then, set a goal and create action

items to reach it.”

When asked for examples of improvements seen by carrier participants,

the answers varied.

“I think there’s money on the table in maintenance,” shared

Dunn. “Usually, there’s a huge spread, as much as 15 to 20 cents

per mile between carriers.”

Ward emphasized cost. “If you continually look at operating cost

per mile and compare yours to others, you can learn from carriers

of all sizes,” he said.

Porter spoke about cost as a percentage of revenue. “The

revenue world in trucking is almost mandated by the shipping

community, so our success depends on how we manage that


Participate. Share. Plan. Implement. Profit. All are steps that can

make the TPP work for just about any size carrier.

More information about TPP is available at,

including recent webinars and cost for the programs.

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Game changer

Technology sparks development

of truck safety systems

By Lyndon Finney

Oh, how technology can change the playing

field. Smartphones are a prime example.

As smartphones have become a constant

companion for most people in the U.S., landline

phones are rapidly losing their relevance.

In 2004, more than 90% of U.S. adults lived

in households that had an operational landline


Now it is less than 40%, according to data

provided by the Centers of Disease Control

and Prevention, which has been tracking

phone ownership in the U.S. as a byproduct

of its biannual National Health Interview Survey

since 2004.

If the trend toward mobile phones continues,

and there’s little reason to believe it

won’t, landline phones could soon become an

endangered species, much like the VCR and

other technological relics before it.

Technology has also had an impact on

commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety

equipment. In the future, there will be fewer

and fewer trucks on the road without safety


“Heavy commercial vehicle technology

for safety has developed in capability and

application and is having a positive impact

on truck safety,” said CAVita Founder Peter


He founded the company on the premise

that now, more than ever, public and private

companies, municipalities, and organizations

need expertise to successfully navigate and

take advantage of the opportunities presented

by transportation’s evolution. “And the potential

for further safety improvements is exciting,”

he added.

Because of the size and diversity of the commercial

vehicle market, data shows the percentage

of tractor-trailers equipped with some type

of advanced safety system is quite high. A vast

majority of carriers have been adding safety

technology to their trucks in the years since

2005 when Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

introduced Bendix ESP (electronic stability

program), the Bendix-branded ESC system.

In fact, in mid-2015 the National Highway

Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a

rule that mandated electronic stability control on

all Class 7 and Class 8 trucks starting in 2017.

Perhaps the NHTSA mandate and growing

acceptance among carriers to heavily equip

their fleets with safety features will soon make

trucks with no safety features obsolete.

What overarching general technologies

made it possible to begin to develop the

safety technologies?

Two things, according to ZF North

American Commercial Vehicle Marketing

and Business Development

Leader Collin Shaw. ZF just recently completed

the acquisition of commercial vehicle technology

supplier WABCO.

“First is the availability of low-cost radars

and cameras that are more reliable and can

stand up to the rigors of automotive,” said

Shaw. “The second which isn’t as intuitive,

are the algorithms that have been continually

developed and refined to help radars and

cameras distinguish objects and vehicles.

Engineers have continuously worked to refine

the algorithms that allow sensors and braking

and steering technology to work together for

a more refined experience for drivers.”

“I always go back to sensors,” stated Bendix

Director of Marketing and Customer Solutions,

Controls TJ Thomas, when asked about technological

advances. “If you can sense more

items or more things around your vehicle or

on your vehicle, then you have an opportunity

to do something with that information.”

While CMV safety systems have been

around now for over 15 years, the past 24

months have been particularly good at ZF,

said Shaw.

“By acquiring a specialist and

market leader for commercial


A typical safety system now encompasses conventional and electric drive and chassis components and a comprehensive suite of sensors as well as fully integrated,

advanced braking, steering, and driver assistance systems.

vehicle braking systems, we could add a

stable and growing business segment and

enable our existing commercial vehicle

division to expand its expertise in vehicle

dynamics control. It also allows ZF to

capitalize on the opportunity to integrate

braking, steering and Advanced Driver Assistance

Systems (ADAS) like never before

and fully unlock the power of what ADAS

can do, including enabling new capabilities

like pedestrian advanced emergency

braking and adaptive cruise stop-and-go,”

added Shaw.

Thomas pointed out that one of

the advances at Bendix involves

the Bendix Wingman Fusion

system, first released in


“We’ve added new features and capability

of using the existing platform,”

said Thomas. “For example, when we

launched it, we did not have features like

highway departure, warning and braking,

or multilane AED. Those are new

features that we use with the original

radar and camera. We can also improve

the collision mitigation performance.

Going forward, you are going to see

more platform changes.”

Shaw said one of the upcoming features

will make steering easier.

“The core of our ADAS features for commercial

trucks is ReAX. This electronic control

system is designed to work together with

a hydraulic system to provide drivers with

steering that helps to make the truck easier

to drive while reducing fatigue,” noted Shaw.

“While traveling at highway speeds, ReAX can

provide a steering feel that is more rigid and

stable. And at low speeds, the adaptive system

is able to help reduce steering efforts required

of the driver, designed to make maneuvering

in a freight yard or backing up to a

trailer or dock much less fatiguing.

In essence, ReAX

brings much of the feel

and ease of operating

a passenger car over

to heavy trucks.”

Driver-assistance technology combines

information from the road, vehicle, camera

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of thepen

Biden wants to radically reshape how fossil

fuels are collected, transported, and consumed

By Dwain Hebda

Fracking may have come into the Biden administration’s crosshairs, but opinions are mixed

on what impact further restrictions and regulations would have on trucking, above and beyond

normal market forces.

President Joe Biden wasted no time making good on his campaign promise to radically reshape

how fossil fuels are collected, transported, and consumed. Among the first of a historic

flurry of executive orders and actions he signed in the first two weeks of his term were the

cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline extension and initiating steps toward tougher regulations

over oil and gas operations.

Proponents of the measure called it a bold first step in addressing climate change. Critics

decried the loss of thousands of jobs (up to 12,000 attributed to Keystone alone by some

estimates) and an economic hit that easily runs into billions of dollars. The negative impacts

include both directly displaced workers and those in affiliated industries such as pipe manufacturing,

storage, and, of course, transportation.

Pennsylvania-based Sage Corp. operates Sage Truck Driving Schools. President Chris

Thropp, said he expects an immediate impact on the number of trucking jobs directly related

to fracking.

“My general judgment, given that they will be banning fracking on federal land and making

the whole regulatory process for oil and gas more difficult, is there are going to be fewer and

fewer jobs for truck drivers,” he shared. “That’s a shame, because they really are good jobs.”

Thropp added that he feels “the kind of regulatory clamp” the administration could put on

fossil fuels will limit the opportunities for drivers.

“We had people coming from out West who already knew they were going to go to North

Dakota and West Texas, as they had jobs waiting for them and they were very high-paying

jobs,” he continued.


New Jersey-based Carbon Express President

and Owner Steve Rush agreed. However, he

said, from his view, fracking was already on a

downhill slide simply due to market forces.

“It’s a tough business to be in, and if you don’t

understand it, you really shouldn’t be in it,” he

said. “From the trucking perspective, for me at

least, I didn’t go into it hog-wild because I knew

it was a volatile industry. When I first got into

it, I asked, ‘What’s the shelf life in this?’ and the

gentleman I was dealing with from Calgary said,

‘You’ll probably have 10 or so years of drilling

and you’ll have about 10 of fracking.’ And he

wasn’t far off.”

That said, Rush added, government interference

and regulation don’t help.

“What I’m being told is there’s more gas and

more oil there. It disturbs me that [the administration]

is doing things to the energy industry

now, because we need those jobs,” he said.

As the oil industry licks its wounds over the

actions, the fracking industry is bracing for what

could be headed its way. Thus far, the directives

from White House have been limited to fracking

bans on federal land, according to Houston-based

Rystad Energy’s Vice President Thomas Jacob.

“We spent a lot of time looking at that, and

our conclusions were that in the immediate

term you would just see activity and capital

migrate to nonfederal lands,” he said. “There

wouldn’t be a significant impact, at least in

the U.S. in 2021. You wouldn’t see activity just

dropping dead or dropping off significantly.

You would see it be driven more by the oil price

fundamentals, other than a regulatory response

from the government.”

Jacob contends that in the near term, the aftershocks

of COVID-19 will be far more disruptive

to fracking production cycles and profitability

than what comes out of the White House.

“All of the operators were in so much uncertainty

that everyone went into their shells

a little bit,” he said. “When COVID-19 hit and

activity was plummeting, the supply chain

companies … took a huge hit. We did see a

lot of capacity coming off on the trucking side

because of all of that.”

We’ve already seen

the impact, particularly the

emissions standards on

trucks, because the diesel

particulate filters (DPFs)

have been very difficult to

deal with.”

— Chris Thropp, President of

Sage Corp., which operates

Sage Truck Driving Schools

After that initial shock to the economy, industry

experts were able to better evaluate the situation,

Jacob noted.

“Once things cleared up a little bit and there

was a more visibility into what was really happening,

you saw a lot of frack fleets being put

back to work in the third quarter,” he said. “The

second quarter was the bottom with respect to

completions activity. But then there was an uptick

in activity — and when there is a sudden

uptick in activity that is more than what people

were expecting, there is a shortage of drivers

and you see pricing on the trucking side going

higher. That’s exactly where we’re at right now.”

Both Thropp and Rush said that whatever the

future holds, the fate of fracking is far from the

biggest issue facing the industry these days.

Rush said the driver shortage and controversial

new measures regulating truck drivers

present far more challenges to the health of the

industry than who’s sitting in the White House.

“The average age of a driver today is 57. Two

years ago it was 55; two years from now it will be

59,” he said. “Drivers aren’t getting any younger,

and young people aren’t getting into this industry

like they used to.”

Thropp added that it’s a short hop from the

enhanced regulatory landscape governing fracking

and other fossil fuel production to other

regulations in the name of environmental quality.

These, he said, will potentially be equally difficult

for the industry to absorb.

“We’ve already seen the impact, particularly

the emissions standards on trucks, because the

diesel particulate filters (DPFs) have been very

difficult to deal with,” he said. “Especially for

students, where our trucks don’t run at highway

speeds and temperatures, the DPF doesn’t really

work. We have very expensive repairs as a result

of that. That’s just one example of what’s occurring

with environmental regulations that aren’t

thought through very well.”

According to a report last November by the

International Transport Forum (ITF), freight accounts

for 7% of total global CO2 emissions,

with trucking being the largest contributor. Given

this statistic, the industry hasn’t been standing

still when it comes to modifying equipment and

protocols to improve its environmental impact,

such as exploring creative ways to reduce miles

logged either while empty or at less than truckload.

Empty miles are estimated to have generated

about 17% of greenhouse gas emissions in

the U.S. in 2017, per Convoy Research.

Greener trucks are also being developed by

several manufacturers, with Daimler, Volvo, and

even Tesla at various stages of testing electric

models. The Western States Hydrogen Alliance

is among entities pushing hydrogen-electric engine

technology through various partnerships,

while other companies are exploring ways to leverage

renewable natural gas (RNG) technology.

Advanced technology that helps drivers lock

in on optimal speeds and acceleration and which

rely on sensors for everything from tire pressure

to aerodynamics is also expected to greatly improve

fuel efficiency — all of which, Thropp said,

comes at a cost.

“There’s no question that climate change is

going to be a big focus of the Biden administration,

and I think there are a lot of unknowns there

in terms of equipment,” added Thropp. “For our

particular business, as electrification takes place

and diesel engines are slowly phased out, the

whole training program has to be reassessed.

That’s going to be an enormous change.”



Foreword and Interview by Lyndon Finney

During his 30 years in trucking, Truckload Carriers

Association Incoming Chairman Jim Ward says

he’s watched the industry transition through three

interesting cycles. During the first of these cycles,

professional truck drivers were seen as the “knights

of the road,” professionals delivering America’s goods

and lending a helping hand to the general public when

in distress. Then came the stigma following the Burt Reynolds movie

“Smokey and the Bandit,” which led to a public image of drivers as

bad guys, cheaters, thieves, and worse. Then came the COVID-19

pandemic that restored trucking’s image and the nation’s recognition

of trucking’s “essentiality” in keeping America moving. As he assumes

the TCA chairmanship, Ward calls on the industry to seize the moment

and make sure everyone understands how vital trucking is to ensuring

the shelves are stocked with bread, milk, and — yes — toilet tissue.




Jim Ward, center, is shown with his

leadership team. From left: Misty Stouffer,

Anthony Triggs, Tom Mankowich, Brian Hall,

and Samantha Bodnar.

Congratulations on becoming chairman of the

Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). What does it

mean to you to be chairman?

It is an honor, and I am very appreciative to have the opportunity to

serve as the 90th TCA chairman. There are a number of people I have to

thank who have been instrumental and supportive of me on my journey

to the chairmanship. First, Don Bowman. Without his belief in myself

and TCA, this would have never happened. Second, the leadership team

at D.M. Bowman, whom I have always been able to rely upon. Third,

the friendship and support of the TCA past chairs, and finally, my wife

and best friend for over 40 years, Starla, who has supported me and

the family throughout my career. I could not have done it without her.

Can you tell the membership a little about your career

in trucking and about the company you lead, D.M.


Trucking has been very good to me and my family. I went to

work for Don Bowman in January 1986 as a safety supervisor. We

were growing at that time, so your role and responsibilities were

quite broad, no matter your title. Risk mitigation, driver hiring,

orientation, dispatch … we did whatever it took to service the

customer and keep our drivers moving safely. With growth came

opportunity, and one day, Don approached me about establishing

and leading a human resources department. Those same risk

mitigation skills were transferable from the highway to the corporate

office: employee development and welfare, training, group health

negotiations, establishing profit sharing, and the introduction of

an employee handbook. I was then promoted to vice president of

quality, and I became CEO in 1999 then later president and CEO.

Over the past 60 years, D.M. Bowman, Inc., has grown from an

irregular route, common contract truckload carrier to a logistics

company operating a diverse fleet of equipment (vans, flat, bulk

tanker, and containers) and managing a couple million square feet

of warehouse space, providing non-asset-based brokerage services

to assist customers with peak season demands.

In your acceptance speech at the recent virtual Spring

Business Meetings, you said you have experienced the

platform that membership in TCA offers, and that

justifying dues to TCA was a simple endeavor. What

has TCA meant to you and your company?

We have always found value in being an active member of

TCA, where we can network with like-minded people who are

confronted with many of the same challenges in operating a motor

carrier. Trucking is a complex and difficult business, so I’ve

always found it helpful to be able to pick up the phone and call

a TCA member to obtain insight on how they approached a similar

challenge. Over the years, I have also received these calls,

and have shared whatever knowledge and experience I may have

gained in the area of concern.






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Jim Ward, right, enjoys time at

home with his wife, Starla.

What is going to be your focus as chairman?

When you have been around the industry for 30-plus years, you

realize that the issues confronting the industry don’t change a lot;

they just seem to recycle. I remember attending a TCA annual meeting

when Art Fulton was chairman in 1991-92, and his year was going

to be centered around 18- to 20-year-olds driving interstate. The

first time I remember hearing about the “essentiality” of trucking was

during Dan England’s year as chairman in 1997-98. Don Bowman was

ATA chairman 1995-96, and he promoted improving the image of our

professional drivers. Don and Bill Webb from the Texas Trucking Association

moved forward the adoption of the first Driver Appreciation

Week. Finally, there is nothing more important to me than safety and

making sure that we are good neighbors on our nation’s highways.

All of these are important to our industry and still need our attention

and support today. I plan to continue to build upon the initiatives our

past chairmen have promoted and see they are reinforced with our

customers, suppliers, associates, politicians, and the general public.

As you become chairman, what is your message to

TCA members who are not actively involved in TCA

conventions and programs?

To me, association membership is a lot like most things in life: “You

tend to get out of it what you are willing to put into it.” Whether it’s relationships,

family, work, or association involvement, to get a reasonable

return on your financial investment one also needs to make a time investment.

I understand everyone’s situation is different, but I am living

proof that you don’t need to have all the answers to lead a successful

business or transportation practice. You just need a great network of

industry friends like Clifton Parker, Brit Colley, Rob Penner, Dennis Dellinger,

and Dennis Morgan, to name a few, who you can pick up the

phone and call to discuss your problem and get sound counsel to aid

you in navigating any situation. TCA membership consists of many of

these wonderful people; don’t miss out on building your network!

You have become chairman at a time when the

nation has spent the past four years hearing about an

infrastructure plan that never came to be. Now, President

Joe Biden wants to spend $2.3 trillion on the country’s

infrastructure, the definition of which goes far beyond

highways and bridges. Why is the plan important at

this point in U.S. history and, given the current partisan

culture, what do you feel are its chances of passing?

I think we have all seen the reports over the years which have painted

our roads and bridges in a negative light. Much like I referred to earlier,

this issue is one that seems to continuously be recycled because

we can never truly come to a resolution on it. The basic importance of

this proposal is the investment in our roads and bridges, funding that

is desperately needed to improve the efficient movement of freight and

create a better workplace environment for our professional truck drivers.

I am reluctant to lay out odds on the chance of something passing

in Congress today, but I would think that infrastructure, at its very core,

is an issue that Congress could rally around.

The plan includes about $115 billion to pay for fixing roads

and bridges, prioritized by those most in need of repair.

That includes 20,000 miles of the U.S. total 169,000-plus

highways and roads, the 10 most “economically significant”

bridges in the U.S., and 10,000 other bridges, 42% of which

are at least 50 years old. Is this an adequate investment for

highways and bridges?

I view our infrastructure in two parts: investment and maintenance.

I realize $115 billion is not a small investment, and it is desperately

needed to bring our roads and bridges up to the level that our nation

should expect. However, the maintenance aspect of our infrastructure

should be tied to the Highway Trust Fund, which is really the hard



discussion that our congressional leadership needs to have. Creating

a self-sustaining, long-term funding mechanism that supports the

original investment is paramount to ensuring that we, as an industry,

are not placed in this predicament again.

Of course, coming up with the $115 billion to pay for

those needed improvements is a story within itself.

Increasing the gas and diesel tax and/or implementing

a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax seem to be the most

discussed. What are the pros and cons of each, and

where does TCA stand on those two possibilities?

Planning for this process is not an easy task. As a nation, we

must engage in discussions that address the present shortfalls of

infrastructure funding and plan for what the future holds. It is no

secret that every vehicle, both trucks and passenger vehicles, are

traveling farther on less fuel, but a fuel tax increase, at this moment,

represents the simplest and most immediate way in which we can

raise funding to support our roads. If 36 states can raise their fuel

tax, it is difficult for me to understand why the federal fuel tax is

off limits to be considered for an increase. However, as we see the

creation of more environmentally friendly options that rely upon the

notion of vehicle electrification, we would still need to explore options

that accurately track the vehicle miles traveled on our roads to

compensate for the lack of fuel consumption.

TCA supports an increase to the federal fuel tax as the most costeffective

way that dollars can be collected and distributed for important

road and bridge projects across the country. In the long run,

TCA staff is prepared to engage with Congress on the pitfalls of what

a VMT tax looks like for the future. TCA’s Highway Policy Committee

has done the lion’s share of work in developing these guidelines for

our leadership to consider when continuing down this road of VMT


Kyle James, right, puts a truck tire on the alignment

machine. Looking on are, from left, Jim Ward, Mike

Boarman, Troy Raffensberger and Mike Zimmerman.

There are at least three key issues facing the trucking

industry in 2021. Let’s look at them individually. First,

there is partisan politics. If the Democrats and Republicans

can’t get along, nothing can get done, including a new

highway bill. What does this mean for trucking?

Regardless of partisan politics, TCA has worked diligently to represent

the voice of truckload. We have a story to tell, and it is a good

one. Our focus must remain on our professional truck drivers and the

important job they perform. Acknowledging our driving force as essential

is one thing, but creating an environment that recognizes the

unique needs of these drivers should be the first action item this country

undertakes. The recent global pandemic has highlighted that. As a

nation, we faced shortfalls in PPE availability, vaccine distribution, and

the assurance that store shelves were stocked with the essentials that

every citizen needs. None of these things magically appear. They arrive

on a truck, operated by a driver who has placed their health and this nation

above partisan politics. I think everyone can agree that supporting

the industry in this capacity is something that should be at the forefront

of any political discussion.

Second, there is labor. One facet of the labor issue is

protecting the independent-contractor model. What are

your thoughts on this issue?

In 1959, some 62 years ago, D.M. Bowman started out when Don Bowman

climbed into his B model Mack to haul coal. In 1966, the company

obtained its ICC authority and joined TCA at just about the same time. In

saying that, none of this would have happened without the availability of

the independent contractor business model that exists today. Don had a

dream to start a business, similar to the dream many TCA members had

when their companies started out. It is imperative that we stand behind and

support this path to achieving an American success story.

Third, there is the technology issue, including automatic

emergency braking (AEB), cameras, and speed limiters,

each of which could be legislated on the trucking

industry. How do you feel about this technology and

what it means for trucking?

We continually strive for highway safety improvements to reverse

the trends in accidents on our roadways. Technology such as AEB,


Regardless of partisan

politics, TCA has worked

diligently to represent the

voice of truckload. We have a

story to tell, and it is a good

one. Our focus must remain

on our professional truck

drivers and the important job

they perform.”

— Jim Ward, TCA Chairman



forward to seeing what this technology holds for the future and personally

believe it will continue to have a positive impact on our industry.

D.M. Bowman

professional truck

driver Faith Bourne

smiles as she chats

with Jim Ward.

Four senators recently reintroduced the Promoting

Women in Trucking Workforce Act. Why is it important

to encourage more women to join the industry, especially

as drivers?

Encouraging women to join our industry is important in expanding

our nation’s driving force, but we should not just be viewing this issue

by relating it to one demographic. We certainly support making the

driving job better for everyone so that the attractiveness of this industry

as a career will not only entice women, which have been growing as a

percentage of drivers in our fleet, but anyone who strives to make a

living in an environment that will be welcoming to everyone.

As you assume the chairmanship, what excites you most

about the year ahead?

cameras, and speed limiters are devices that will aid in that effort. Our

company and the industry have begun to embrace these devices because

they move the needle on safety, and the results justify the investment.

We will continue the trend of implementing tools in our trucks that

prove through undeniable data that they can and do work. Additionally,

we must continue to view the data generated by these devices to better

our operations in terms of driver performance and enable ourselves to

operate in the safest manner and with highest level of efficiency. I look

This is the easiest question yet. After the year we have just experienced,

I am looking forward to returning to an environment where

our industry can be in front of each other again. After 30-plus years

in trucking, I have established lifelong friends and professional relationships

that I highly value, and COVID-19 has hampered the ability

to maintain those close connections in the manner to which we are

accustomed. I view the year ahead as an opportunity to renew those

relationships with the in-person meetings TCA is excited to offer,

starting with the Truckload 2021 event scheduled for late September.

I believe 2021 is going to be a great year for our industry, and I am

looking forward to the TCA Chairman experience and seeing everyone

in person again.

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Who Deliver

with Hirschbach

By Hannah Butler

Everyone has a critical role to play at Dubuque,

Iowa-based Hirschbach. The company is one big

team — and that’s what makes Hirschbach tick,

according to CEO Brad Pinchuk.

“We’re very proud to be truckers,” he explained.

“The people that are not driving in

our trucks, their critical job, in some shape or

form, is supporting those who are.”

This is the philosophy Pinchuk repeats

weekly in the orientation of new drivers. It’s

a philosophy that he wants all the company’s

drivers and support staff to carry with them,

both on and off the road.

It’s also a philosophy Pinchuk held when he

began his career in trucking. His first experience

in trucking took place in the U.S. Army.

As a platoon leader stationed in Germany, he

was responsible for all the heavy equipment,

including bulldozers, dump trucks, and scrapers.

That equipment also included semi-trucks

and drop-deck lowboy trailers, which were

used to transport equipment around for different

projects on the military bases.

Pinchuk’s experience was primarily in moving

the equipment — but he wanted to learn more.

“I just always had an interest in the equipment,”

he recalled.

“I’d go out to someone that was trained on a

piece of equipment, and I’d ask them to show

me how to operate it. The soldiers always

got a kick out of it,” he said with a chuckle.

“Maybe I couldn’t operate it as well as they

could, but some things are easier than others

— and it was easy to run a dump truck back

and forth. Operating a grader with 25 different

controllers was a lot more complicated, but I

always took an interest in it.”

When Pinchuk’s military service ended, he

set about finding a path to success in the civilian

world. His sights were set high on entrepreneurship

and becoming his own boss. He

didn’t really see himself getting into trucking

— but he had goals that were much like those

of an owner-operator, and his talents ultimately

led to the trucking industry.

To achieve his goals, Pinchuk knew he

needed to start small. His first role in management

was with a small trucking company.

When that company was bought out after

a few years, Pinchuk looked for another

company with which to grow. That company

was Schanno Transportation, one of four

companies owned by the Grojean family at

the time. Pinchuk started out as Schanno’s

manager 22 years ago, and the rest, as they

say, is history.

We have a very

dynamic culture, and

it manifests itself in

so many different

ways. I love creating

opportunities for people.”

— Brad Pinchuk, Hirschbach CEO

Eventually, the four companies merged into

Hirschbach. The company now specializes in

various types of refrigerated, dedicated, and

specialized transportation services.

“Our niche is in the temperature-controlled

space, primarily moving food products

and pharmaceuticals around the country,”

Pinchuk explained.

Before the merger, the four companies were

more focused on being long-haul carriers.

While Hirschbach still prioritizes those services,

the merger allowed the company to become

bigger and better, according to Pinchuk.

In addition to spurring company growth, the

merger propelled Pinchuk into the role of CEO.

In the past eight years, Hirschbach has grown

from a team of 450 to more than 2,200 drivers.

Hirschbach is now on-site at over 20 locations,

managing large trailer pools and yards. The

company has developed a proprietary software

system that provides visibility of the carrier’s

inventories and trailers at facilities, giving its

customers added peace of mind.


“We love winning in many different ways,”

noted Pinchuk. “One of those ways is not just

growing with our customers and earning more

business, but a lot of them recognize our annual

awards, and we work really hard to earn

those awards. We are very successful at being

recognized by our customers as either their

best transportation provider or if they recognize

a small group being recognized within an

elite group of carriers.”

Those awards include the Smartway Elite

Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection

Agency (EPA). Each year, the award is handed

out to only five companies. Hirschbach has

been one of those companies the last five

years in a row.

“We work really hard on the environment

and we’re known for being very progressive,”

he shared. “We’ve got electric trucks.”

For Pinchuk, being progressive means

constantly trying to be the best in every

area. Hirschbach has a mission to maintain

clear communication with its customers and


This also includes adding Pinchuk’s own

personal touch. Every Friday, he sits down to

do a podcast, dubbed “In the Box with Brad,”

for all of Hirschbach’s drivers. Through their

app, drivers can access and listen to the podcast

live, providing feedback or asking questions

of their CEO.

Not only does Pinchuk strive to create open

communication with his employees, but he

said he also wants the workplace to be fun, a

place with “quite a flair.”

“Art is a big part of who we are,” he related.

Years ago, Hirschbach was asked to donate

an old truck for a live graffiti demonstration

during an art event in Dubuque. Upon seeing

the finished piece, company representatives

realized the bold graffiti style resonated with

their drivers and their brand. Eventually, they

had the graffiti artist, Mario Gonzalez, also

known as “Zore,” design a dozen more trailers,

then 10 more. The graffiti art is now a part

of Hirschbach’s branding and provides inspiration

in its offices.

Executive Leadership

Brad Pinchuk

chief executive officer

Dan Wallace


Brian Kohlwes

general counsel & chief risk officer

Chris Schmitt

chief operating officer

Jessie Burnette

chief people officer

Mike Smith,

chief sales officer

Paul Herzog

chief financial officer

By the Numbers










“We like to be noticed,” said Pinchuk. “The

message is that we look different because we

ARE different. We’re different, we believe, in a

very positive way.”

With his teamwork mentality, Pinchuk has

found a new love for his role, noting that it also

fulfills what he wanted most — to become an


“I love solving customer’s needs,” he said.

“I love forming strong relationships with customers

and organically growing with them and

continuing to serve their needs.”

Pinchuk’s love of solving customer needs

and improving in every area of Hirschbach

carries over into the company’s style of employee


“We have a very dynamic culture, and it

manifests itself in so many different ways,” he

said. “I love creating opportunities for people.

I love giving the people who earn through their

performance … more responsibility and helping

them achieve their personal goals, professionally

or financially.”

Pinchuk said he believes creating opportunities,

and measuring productivity

with equitable compensation is what helps

Hirschbach retain its drivers. There are driver

options to keep them close to home every

night, as well as opportunities for drivers to

be trainers.

“There’s lots of different levels for what their

individual needs are, whether from a hometime

perspective or different opportunities

financially,” he added. “We do a lot of continuous

improvement and training, and lots of

awards and recognition (for drivers). We have

a big banquet every year where we bring in

tons of drivers and recognize the outstanding

jobs they do.”

When Pinchuk reflects on what he is most

proud of at Hirschbach, he says it will always

be the customers, and the fact that the Hirschbach

team is fully committed to its clients.

“Really, taking care of our people is how

servicing our customers starts,” he explained.

“It starts with having good people and treating

them the best we can — supporting them,

training them, giving them opportunities, and

building a dynamic culture.”

Without quality team members performing

a critical role, there would be no Hirschbach,

Pinchuk concluded.

Opposite page, top: A local art event in Dubuque, Iowa, led Hirschbach to commission Mario Gonzalez, also known as “Zore” to paint graffiti art on more than 30 Hirschbach

trucks. The graffiti style is intended to help the company stand out. Opposite page, center: Brad Pinchuk, CEO of Hirschbach, has an entrepreneurial spirit that led him to

the company. He was the manager of Schanno Transportation, one of the four companies owned by the Grojean family at the time, before becoming the CEO of the merged

Hirschbach. This page, from left: Jillayne Pinchuk (left) the chief culture officer and Brad Pinchuk (right) stand with Sara Hoffpauir, the driver of the company’s Breast Cancer

Awareness month truck, unveiled in March. Brad and his wife, Jillayne, have been together for 30 years and lived in 20 different places during that time. The two have three

daughters together.



Truckload Carriers Association President John Lyboldt, left, shown here with outgoing TCA Chairman Dennis Dellinger, center, and incoming Chairman Jim Ward, said the

opportunity to provide information about COVID-19 to the members who needed it became a daily driven duty that staff worked tirelessly to create and maintain, on top of

their other routine parts of their jobs.


TCA President John Lyboldt lauds

staff work ethic during pandemic

By Lyndon Finney

It has been over a year since the Truckload Carriers Association

(TCA) last met in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

TCA hosted its virtual Spring Business Meetings at its headquarters

in Alexandria, Virginia, giving its membership the opportunity to join

via Zoom.

“Addressing the membership with tacit knowledge of our association

is no simple endeavor,” said TCA’s President John Lyboldt. “So, to explain

the past year in terms of organization operations must be done in a

manner best described as ‘pulling back the curtains’ and revealing the inner

workings of a business wholly dedicated to serving its membership.”

He added that TCA’s “operations were primed for the virtual Spring

Business Meetings, to accommodate an unrivaled membership experience

in an environment totally new to everyone involved.” TCA’s

goal at the onset of the pandemic, when the association was compelled

to close its offices, was to provide uninterrupted service, basically

performing in a manner that its membership assumed that TCA

headquarters was fully operational.

“While the halls of TCA were eerily quiet, our virtual environment created

a culture of performance that proved our staff could demonstrate a

work ethic and commitment of those 10 times its size,” he said.

Lyboldt said the TCA staff was faced with providing an atmosphere

that simulated its very real, brick-and-mortar counterpart. A prime

example was the pivot to creating a virtual Safety & Security Meeting

to replace the usual in-person event last June.

“The membership embraced this evolution, to the tune of over

1,200 registrants compared with 200 for the last in-person safety

event, and the success didn’t stop there,” said Lyboldt. “Our educational

platforms excelled, consistently garnering 600-plus registrations

on meaningful topics important to carrier and associate members

alike. In essence, in the middle of a global pandemic, at a time

where even staff was denied face-to-face contact, we are proud to

have produced valuable information with timely speakers in a manner

that our membership has fervently supported.”

TCA’s daily COVID briefs were not only noticed but also acknowledged

for their timeliness, reliability, and fact-based content,

commented Lyboldt.


“The opportunity to provide information

to the members that needed

it became a daily driven duty that staff

worked tirelessly to create and maintain,

on top of the other routine parts of their

jobs,” he said.

Over the past few years, the TCA

government affairs department had

developed a plan for constant contact

with senators and members of

the House of Representatives. The

pandemic required a change in plans

for contacting lawmakers and forced

the cancellation of the annual Call on

Washington during which TCA officers,

members, and staff usually visit

in person with lawmakers.

Lyboldt added that even today, Capitol

Hill offices remain closed until further notice, with many informing

TCA that Labor Day can be viewed as a limited target date in which

some will be allowed entry in to the hallowed halls of Congress.

The closures, however, didn’t impact the nature of TCA’s ongoing

contact with lawmakers and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“TCA has transitioned to virtual visits, using Zoom to organize visits

with congressional staff and representatives to tell our story, message

our policies, and quite frankly, inform our elected officials of the

ramifications that potential legislation may have on our industry,” said

Lyboldt. “I can attest that our positions do not fall on deaf ears. Our

message has been heard, and TCA is being recognized as an organization

willing to help and eager to assist.”

In essence, in the middle

of a global pandemic, at a time

where even staff was denied

face-to-face contact, we are

proud to have produced valuable

information with timely speakers

in a manner that our membership

has fervently supported.”

As a regular part of the truckload story, TCA

opinions and viewpoints are consistently recognized

in comments filed with the DOT. Also,

Lyboldt noted that Vice President of Government

Affairs David Heller was recently appointed

to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s

Safety Advisory Committee.

“It’s a role I am confident that he will succeed

in,” added Lyboldt.

Lyboldt said a recent addition to TCA’s

communication with its members is Capitol

Recap, a vehicle designed to educate members

on the undertakings of the government

affairs department and the positions that

members have determined through the association’s

sound policy committee work

and dedicated involvement.

Included in the e-newsletter is a podcast

feature that captures unscripted dialog with staff about the critical

discussions being undertaken on Capitol Hill.

“This government affairs endeavor can pivot to be reflective of issues

that may require, from time to time, your immediate attention,”

said Lyboldt. “Breaking news, member involvement on an actively

moving piece of legislation, and even an opportunity to contact your

representative has made this a vehicle of member involvement like

no other.”

In closing, Lyboldt called for member involvement in the association.

“Our mission of success does not get better unless we have members

who are vested within the association,” said Lyboldt. “Oh, and

welcome to the end of the tunnel.”

Lyboldt recently completed his fifth year at TCA president.

— John Lyboldt, President

of the Truckload Carriers Association





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Left: Outgoing Truckload Carriers Association Chairman Dennis Dellinger said despite the COVID-19 pandemic business of the Truckload Carriers Association continued in a manner

that has made him proud to serve as chairman during what he called “these unprecedented times.” Right: Incoming Truckload Carriers Association Jim Ward said his 43 years in the

transportation industry had led to a lifetime of transportation experiences and the rewards and challenges associated with them.


Outgoing Chair Dennis Dellinger, incoming Chair

Jim Ward speak to the influence of TCA

By Lyndon Finney

It is a traditional rite of passage at the Truckload Carriers Association’s

annual convention:

The outgoing chairman stands before the audience of some 1,200

members, commending them for a job well done during the year that

just ended.

Shortly thereafter, the incoming chairman stands before the same audience,

thanks them for the privilege of serving as chair, and talks about

how much TCA has to offer and how the association has impacted him.

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that traditional rite

took on a different look as outgoing Chairman Dennis Dellinger and

incoming Chairman Jim Ward delivered their remarks via video to

participants at TCA’s virtual Spring Business Meetings.



“Everything turned upside down,” said Cargo Transporters, Inc.’s President

and CEO Dellinger. “Little did we know that the association calendar

would be altered in such a dramatic way, allowing no in-person meetings.”

But, despite the drastic changes, TCA had a good year.

“This past year, TCA, much like the industry we are a part of, called

on us to unite, to stand proud, and to succeed as an association,”

said Dellinger. “Though I can’t boast improved numbers at in-person

meetings this past year, I can tell you the business of this association

continued in a manner that has made me proud to serve as your chairman

during these unprecedented times.”


Dellinger said it would have been quite simple for TCA to fold the

tent and go home … to have packed it in for a year and just write it

off to a global pandemic.

“Yet because of the strength of our membership and the determination

of our staff, the exact opposite has happened,” he shared.

“The TCA staff went into response mode. Like clockwork, each

morning at 10:30, the daily COVID-19 briefing was sent, reaching

beyond our membership, delivering fact-based information in

a time of uncertainty. It was well received by an industry that was

deemed essential, and one that answered the call of duty, when

many other industries found themselves closing up shop.”

Dellinger cited multiple TCA success stories from his tenure as


As with most meetings in 2020, TCA had to shutter its in-person

Safety & Security Meeting last June, which typically garners 200

safety professionals. The virtual event was wildly successful, attracting

more than 1,200 individuals.

Additionally, office closures on Capitol Hill derailed the annual Call

on Washington last September, as well as and on-site Fall Business

Meetings, but TCA pivoted to host a successful virtual meeting featuring

Rep. David Price (D-NC-4) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MISS) discussing

truckload issues with attendees, as well as answering questions as

follow up.

“After being thrust into an environment best described as virtualcentric,

demand for educational and recognition programs saw

exponential participation growth,” shared Dellinger. “Webinar registrations

continued to generate in excess of 600 participants, affirmation

that the topics are relevant and that sponsorships justify

dollars spent.”

Dellinger asked virtual attendees, “How do we keep up the current


“Prior to my chairmanship, we had individuals with the foresight

to understand the importance of a transition that recognizes success

and prior accomplishments while maintaining continuity and

completing objectives and goals that define the association,” commented

Dellinger. “This unpredictable year, COVID-19 and all the

other obstacles have tried to place hurdles, but our membership,

with ardent resolve and steadfast direction, has not lost stride,

clearing the way for an even smoother transition and a stronger

TCA tomorrow.”

Dellinger said this will be a year that he will always remember.

“I have witnessed the determination of an industry destined to

serve its country, the passion of our membership anxious to support

its association, and finally, the dedication of a staff devoted to

This unpredictable year, COVID-19

and all the other obstacles have tried to

place hurdles, but our membership, with

ardent resolve and steadfast direction,

has not lost stride clearing the way for an

even smoother transition and a stronger

TCA tomorrow.”

— Dennis Dellinger,

Truckload Carriers Association outgoing chairman

In my time as a member, an officer,

and now, your incoming chair, justifying

the dues to TCA was a simple endeavor.

There is tremendous value in being

associated with like-minded people who

are dealing with similar situations.”

— Jim Ward,

Truckload Carriers Association incoming chairman

moving the association forward,” he said. “We have been blessed

with an industry that breeds a willingness to succeed and a desire

to prosper. While my time as chairman has reached its end, my

time as a member of TCA has not. I look forward to tomorrow and

what it holds for this association I love dearly. Thank each of you

for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your chairman. It has

been an absolute honor.”


“I had hoped to address the convention audience in person, but

obviously the environment surrounding this pandemic has prevented

that from happening,” said D.M. Bowman Inc.’s President Ward.

Ward said his 43 years in the transportation industry, 30 of those

in trucking, have led to a lifetime of transportation experiences —

and the rewards and challenges associated with them.

That includes time spent as a member and officer of TCA.

“I have experienced the platform that membership in this

great organization offers,” shared Ward. “In my time as a member,

an officer, and now, your incoming chair, justifying the dues

to TCA was a simple endeavor. There is tremendous value in

being associated with like-minded people who are dealing with

similar situations.”

Ward noted that over the years TCA has put a price tag on something

each member treasures, more so now than ever before.

Ward said TCA members have been able to surround themselves

with people that live the same lives, deal with the same problems,

and celebrate the solutions that may not always come easily. “TCA

has provided the very foundation for my wife, Starla, and me to

build a network of professionals and dear friends through the

years,” commented Ward.

Ward’s trucking career began at Western Maryland Railroad.

In 1986, he transitioned to D.M. Bowman which was founded 62

years ago when Don Bowman climbed into his B model Mack to

haul coal. In 1966, the company obtained ICC authority and joined

TCA at the same time.

“Yes, you heard that right, and maybe even did the math. D.M.

Bowman has been a member of this organization for 55 years and

is a better company today because of our participation,” said Ward,

who expressed excitement about the opportunity to see the membership

in person at Truckload 2021: Las Vegas.

“This revamped schedule demonstrates the time in which we live,

and also shows the flexibility of the association to pivot so that our

membership wants and needs remain at the forefront when it pertains

to steering this organization,” Ward concluded.



The Truckload Carriers Association’s Spring Business Meetings were held virtually this year, which allowed members to attend the meetings from anywhere.


TCA members shape policy, define goals during

Spring Business Meetings

By Linda Garner-Bunch

Even though continuing COVID-19 gathering restrictions

prompted the Truckload Carriers Association to move Truckload

2021: Las Vegas from April to September in hopes of having an inperson

annual convention, TCA members still had the opportunity

to share thoughts, shape policy, and attend informative sessions

during April.

TCA’s Spring Business Meetings, held virtually April 19-20 and

open only to association members, included strategic committee

and board meetings, as well as a timely and relevant educational

session. The event also featured a U.S. congressional speaker.

Thanks to event sponsor DriverFacts, TCA members were able to

attend the meetings free of charge.

DriverFacts President and CEO Dave Widly, along with his wife

and company co-owner, Lori Widly, recognize the importance of

TCA’s work, and felt it was important to ensure members had the

chance to freely participate in the sessions, according to Driver-

Facts Director of Business Development Mylene Patterson.

“DriverFacts has been involved with TCA for 14 years and serves on

committees, provides information, products, and services in our areas

of expertise such as compliance, safety and driver retention,” explained

Patterson. “We support TCA whenever and however we can.”

During the first day of the session, Monday, April 19, more than

200 TCA members had the opportunity to attend a variety of committee

meetings, including Communications and Image Committee,

Highway Policy Committee, Independent Contractor Practice Policy

Committee, and Recruitment and Retention Human Resources


Attendees were also invited to tune in for an interactive educational

session presented by TCA Profitability Program (TPP) Retention

Project Plan Coach Ray Haight and Jetco Delivery CEO and

TCA’s Making Safety Happen facilitator Brian Fielkow.

“Safety, Recruiting, and Your Bottom Line,” geared for senior

leaders, explored the relationship between a company’s safety culture

and driver retention. The conversation, moderated by Haight

and Fielkow, allowed audience participation so that industry leaders

could share their thoughts and expertise.


Left: Jon Coca (second from right) was recognized for his years of service as chairman of TCA’s Independent Contractor Practices Policy Committee (ICPPC). Coca was

presented a plaque during TCA’s virtual Spring Business Meetings in Alexandria, Virginia. Also, pictured, from left: TCA President John Lyboldt, TCA ICPPC Staff Liaison

David Heller; and TCA outgoing Chairman and Cargo Transporters, Inc., President and CEO Dennis Dellinger. Right: Although the Springs Business Meetings were held

virtually this year, some TCA staff and board members met at the association’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, to host the meetings.

On Tuesday, April 20, attendees were encouraged to attend meetings

of TCA’s Membership Committee, Regulatory Policy Committee,

and TCA Scholarship Fund Committee (open to trustees only).

In addition to Tuesday’s committee meetings, attendees were given

the opportunity to hear remarks from Congressional Speaker Rep.

Chris Pappas (D-NH-1).

During Pappas’ presentation, he discussed the various infrastructure

proposals being considered by Congress and updated

TCA members on the efforts of the Transportation and Infrastructure

Committee to move legislation this year. Pappas also highlighted

trucking-related measures that will be added to the larger

infrastructure bill and shared his thoughts on how Congress will

fund infrastructure moving forward.

The last session of the day was TCA’s Board of Directors Meeting,

during which outgoing TCA Chairman Dennis Dellinger handed

the reins to incoming Chairman Jim Ward, President of D.M.

Bowman, Inc.

TCA received numerous positive comments from attendees,

including Garner Trucking, Inc., President and CEO Sherri Garner

Brumbaugh, an active TCA member who also serves as Chair of the

American Trucking Associations.

“TCA’s spring meetings were a great opportunity to meet virtually

with legislators and regulators and allow industry peers to

discuss policies and have a voice in new laws and regulations that

will affect them,” she shared. “Plus, we thanked Dennis Dellinger

for leading the association during a challenging year, and we welcomed

new Chairman Jim Ward, who will lead TCA this next year.

Thank you, Dennis and Jim, officers and gentlemen.”


To view submitted photos from the Spring Business Meetings, visit





Strong leadership is key to the success of any motor carrier

By Linda Garner-Bunch

While motor carriers across North America may differ in size and leadership

style, two factors directly affect every company’s financial bottom

line — fostering a culture of safety and implementing an effective process

for recruiting and retaining quality team members.

During the Truckload Carriers Association’s virtual Spring Business

Meetings, held April 19-20, industry thought leaders TCA Profitability

Program (TPP) Retention Coach Ray Haight, along with Jetco Delivery

CEO Brian Fielkow, an accomplished author, trainer, and speaker, moderated

a session to help senior leaders ensure their companies’ success.

“Strong leadership is key to achieving success in both (a company’s)

safety program and the retention program,” noted Haight. “Laser focus

on the issue at hand is critical to success.”

The session, presented as a free-flowing conversation with audience

interaction, explored the following topics:

• Why safety and retention efforts fall off track — and how to put them

back on track;

• More than money: What drives world-class retention and safe behavior;

• The power of process;

• How to build trust among your team; and

• Your culture is your secret weapon: Tips for building a culture that

generates safe outcomes and that is highly valued by employees.

During the session, Haight and Fielkow shared insights on how a carrier’s

safety processes impact its employee retention, and how both factors

can make or break the company’s profit margin.

“Companies that excel in retention also lead the way in safety,” shared

Fielkow. “They are likely the most productive and profitable, too. This is

because all of the competencies are tied to culture: Everything grows in a

healthy culture, and everything wilts in an unhealthy culture.”

Driver turnover is a key concern for most truckload carriers, and Fielkow

warns against becoming fleet managers and other management

staff becoming complacent if a company’s turnover rate is lower than

the national average.

“If annual driver turnover in the industry is 100%+ and yours is 60%,

don’t kid yourself,” he shared. “You may beat the average, but the numbers

are still bad.”

The same goes for a company’s safety ratings. Accepting fewer crashes

than the average only makes a company “less bad,” he continued.

“Safe outcomes and the retention of ‘best of the best’ employees both

require a commitment to be world class,” he advised. “’Less bad’ is not

a worthy goal.”

Developing a mindset of safety among drivers and working to retain

quality employees should extend far beyond the initial driver orientation.

“If your company is like mine, you might have higher turnover among

employees in their first year,” said Fielkow. “It can take a year to fully integrate

an employee into your culture. The typical one-week new-hire orientation

program is insufficient. Develop a longer-term integration initiative.”

A carrier’s turnover rate — whether good or bad — can be related to

During Truckload Carriers Association’s Spring Business Meetings, TCA Profitability

Program (TPP) Retention Coach Ray Haight, left, and Jetco Delivery CEO Brian

Fielkow moderated an educational session, “Safety, Retention, and the Bottom Line.”

the performance and mindset of every member of the team, from the

highest-level executives to the support staff.

However, Fielkow noted, raw turnover data may not be the best measure

of the success of a company’s middle management: Sometimes

an employee is simply not a good fit, or does not meet the company

standards, and needs to go.

“If you have an employee who demonstrates unsafe behaviors, try to

coach them. If the coaching effort fails, the employee needs to go,” he

said. “Measuring managers on raw turnover may unintentionally incentivize

them to keep employees who will cost you dearly in the long run. If

managers weed out uncoachable team members, they are guarding your

gates and should be commended.”

Haight points to a carrier’s dispatch team as a crucial element to both

safety and employee retention.

“I believe the relationship between dispatch and driver is critical to

success, and tying driver turnover to a number on each board is critical,”

he explained. “I am never looking for ‘bad guys’ in the exercise though,

but heroes that others can learn from.”

On this point, Haight and Fielkow have a slight difference of opinion, with

Fielkow placing the responsibility on the company’s culture as a whole.

“I agree that the individual dispatcher should be measured on safety

and retention outcomes,” said Fielkow. “However, if the frontline manager

operates within a dysfunctional organization, he or she is doomed

from the start. Key dysfunctions include abdicated leadership, acceptance

of subpar results, and failure to view safety and retention as core

strategic initiatives.”

While Haight and Fielkow may differ slightly on some factors regarding

safety and retention, when it comes down to “where the rubber

meets the road,” so to speak, the two have a united message: Clear,

effective communication between all levels of a company’s team is vital

to fostering a culture of safety, as well as to attracting — and keeping

— top-quality drivers.




What events does TCA

have coming up in 2021?


TCA is excited to host an amazing lineup of in-person and virtual meetings

where you will have the opportunity to network, engage with peers and

industry experts, and learn about the latest products and services in our

robust exhibit halls. Each event is unique and tailored to meet the needs of

its participants.


June 6 – 8 | St. Louis, Missouri

Safety professionals will gather to discuss problems, share ideas, and seek solutions

to make their businesses and our roads safer. Attendees will enjoy informative sessions

on topics like Occupational Safety and Health Administration, data, litigation, and

more. Also, attendees are encouraged to attend our Third Annual Fireside Chat, a pointcounterpoint

discussion with TCA’s David Heller and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety

Administration’s Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator Jack Van Steenburg,

moderated by SiriusXM Road Dog Trucking’s Dave Nemo.


June 8 | St. Louis, Missouri

This meeting is designed to address the specific needs of trucking professionals in

flatbed operations. Following lunch, attendees will be treated to engaging discussions on

insurance strategies and best practices for profitability and reducing cargo loss claims.


July 14 – 16 | Albuquerque, New Mexico

This is the premier event for industry professionals focusing their operations on

temperature-controlled equipment. Attendees will enjoy attending social events, a golf

tournament, and educational workshops on topics such as insurance strategies, the

future of politics, cybersecurity, and more.


September 25-28 | Las Vegas, Nevada

Our annual convention is the premier truckload event, which provides a forum to connect

with peers and industry experts, learn from educational content, and explore vendors

providing the latest technology and services in our exhibit hall. Two key highlights include:

keynote speaker Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank” will share his best business

tips, and general session speaker Jim Kwik will help audience members unleash their true

brainpower and live a life of greater productivity and purpose.


November 17 | Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Industry executives and regulators will meet to discuss current and potential crossborder

issues that are facing our industry on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.

For more information, visit the TCA events page or contact TCA’s Meetings Coordinator

Caitlin Smith at or (571) 444-0306.




Professional truck drivers William Church, Stan

Clayton, Demetrius Fields, Morgan Kirkland, Christopher

Lloyd, William “Bill” McNamee, team drivers

Kloe Myers and John Dowdy, John Vesey, and Bill

Younger have been named Highway Angels by the

Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) for their acts of

heroism while on the road.

Since the program’s inception in August 1997,

nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been

recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary

courtesy, and courage they have displayed while

on the job. The program is made possible by presenting

sponsor, EpicVue, and supporting sponsor,



William Church, who drives for CFI and lives in

DeLand, Florida, is being honored for stopping to

help a family after their vehicle caught fire.

Church was driving on Interstate 80 near

Council Bluffs, Iowa, one evening in late July 2020

when he saw flames coming from underneath the

car in front of him. Without a moment to spare,

he pulled over to the shoulder when the driver did

and jumped out of his cab to assist.

“The flames were coming from underneath

the engine,” Church shared with TCA. He quickly

helped the two adults pull two small children, a

toddler and a 4- or 5-year-old girl, out of the vehicle.

As Church ran to get his fire extinguisher,

he told the adults to get the children as far away

from the vehicle as possible. Church was able to

extinguish the fire. He said he is thankful no one

was injured.

“The kids were crying, so I let them see inside

the passenger side of my truck,” he said. “I gave

them each a cookie and let them honk the horn.”

Although the driver and passengers were shaken,

they thanked him for stopping to help. First responders

arrived within five minutes.

Church, who has been driving for 14 years, always

carries a first-aid kit with him.

“I love this profession,” he said. “This is a career

for me, and I want to make a difference. I

enjoy what I do, and I like being helpful. I want to

make sure everyone’s okay out here.”


Stan Clayton, who drives for ABF Freight System,

Inc., of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and lives in

Cherryville, North Carolina, is being honored for

helping a fellow truck driver after his truck rolled

over on a highway exit ramp.

It was the evening of June 26, 2020, and Clayton

was traveling on Interstate 26 near Spartanburg,

South Carolina. As he approached the exit

ramp for I-85, he witnessed another truck with a

53-foot trailer lose control on the ramp and topple

over onto its side.

“It was a dogleg hook and it looked like he was

going too fast for it,” recalled Clayton. “He laid it right

over on its side.”

Clayton and a car in front of him safely moved to

the shoulder and rushed over to the overturned truck.

“I looked through the front windshield and he

was lying on the driver’s side door,” Clayton shared.

The truck’s engine was still in drive and the tires

were spinning, and the driver seemed to be disoriented.

The windshield was already bowed, so Clayton

popped it out carefully and crawled inside the cab.

“The driver was just looking around,” he said.

“He said the seatbelt was hurting him. The steering

wheel was pushing into him, too. He didn’t know

what happened and didn’t believe me when I told

him he had a wreck.”

Clayton turned the engine off and then worked

to release the driver’s seatbelt. His attempts to free

the disoriented driver scared the driver who pushed

him back, causing Clayton to fall out of the broken

windshield. He sustained a serious laceration to his

leg that began bleeding quite heavily.






When the paramedics arrived, they were

concerned about Clayton’s injury. However,

he refused an ambulance ride to the hospital,

insisting that he wanted to get his truck safely

secured first. According to his manager, Clayton

got back in his ABF tractor and returned to

the service center, clocked out, and then proceeded

to the emergency room to get medical

attention. The slash to his leg cut an artery and

required 22 stitches. Clayton’s injured leg has

healed well and he’s back at work.

Clayton later learned the driver had been

running empty with about 44,000 pounds of

steel racks in the back. He believes the racks

must have shifted when the driver took the

curve on the exit ramp.

To watch a video of Clayton as he recounts

his story, visit



Demetrius Fields, who lives in Atlanta

and drives for Hirschbach of Dubuque,

Iowa, is being honored for stopping to

help a family after their vehicle spun out

in the middle of a busy highway during a

winter storm.

Fields was driving through Pennsylvania

on December 16, 2020, as Winter Storm Gail

was closing in. He was heading to Indiana,

and Pennsylvania was preparing to close the

interstates as conditions worsened.

“It was coming down heavy, pretty much a

whiteout,” he recalled. “You could barely see

the hash lines on the road.”

As Fields drove along, he saw a vehicle

ahead spin out, hit the guardrail, and end up

in the middle of the roadway. “He probably hit

black ice,” shared Fields.

Acting swiftly, Fields pulled to the emergency

lane and put on his flashers. A Swift

Transportation truck driver pulled over at

about the same time. “We both jumped out,”

noted Fields. “There was heavy traffic coming

up behind, especially trucks. We wanted to

get the vehicle off the roadway because of the

poor visibility.”

Fields and the Swift driver worked quickly

to help the driver out of the vehicle, and the

three of them risked their lives to push the

vehicle into the emergency lane. “We then

got the driver’s wife and kids out and put the

kids in my cab to keep them warm,” shared

Fields. It took first responders more than 30

minutes to arrive.

“God put me and that Swift driver in the

right place at the right time,” said Fields. “If

I was in that situation, I would hope someone

would do the same for me.” The driver

later contacted Hirschbach to say that the

A lot of people don’t

acknowledge what we

do. We’re out here day in

and day out, running up

and down the highway,

trying to make sure

people across the country

are taken care of. It’s a

lot more than holding a

steering wheel. It’s 90%

mental and 10% physical.”

— Demetrius Fields, driver for

Hirschbach Motor Lines and TCA

Highway Angel

experience with Fields had given him a

newfound respect for truck drivers.

“A lot of people don’t acknowledge what

we do,” Fields added. “We’re out here day in

and day out, running up and down the highway,

trying to make sure people across the

country are taken care of. It’s a lot more than

holding a steering wheel. It’s 90% mental and

10% physical.”

Fields has been driving for five years and

was also a trainer for a couple years. “I enjoyed

it,” he concluded. “My very first student was my

father. It was supposed to be a one-and-done

but I enjoyed it so I kept doing it.” He says he

does this work for his wife and four children.


Morgan Kirkland, who lives in Milton, Florida,

and drives for Groendyke Transport of Little

Rock, Arkansas, is being honored for his skill

in preventing a deadly head-on collision while

transporting methanol.

A light rain was coming down as Kirkland

was traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 90

around 2 a.m. in late September 2020 between

Pensacola, Florida, and Pace, Florida,

hauling methanol. While driving across a

bridge, only one of the two eastbound lanes

was operable because of Hurricane Sally,

which had washed out the other lane.

“There was usually a DOT person standing

there, monitoring the sides of the road so that

no one would use them,” shared Kirkland. He

noticed a set of lights in front of him, but the

rain was distorting them. At first, he thought

it was a Florida Department of Transportation

employee on the side of the road.

“Before I knew it, the lights swerved, and

I realized it was actually a car on the wrong

side of the road coming at me full speed. I

couldn’t tell exactly where he was until the

last few seconds,” he recalled.

Kirkland had nowhere to go, and had a line

of cars behind him. “I knew that if I moved to

the side of the road, those behind me would

have been killed. They wouldn’t have known

what was coming,” Kirkland said, adding that

all he could do was slow down and get everyone

to move over.

“I was able to get a third of my rig into the

bad lane, but unfortunately, it resulted in me

pinning a vehicle between the bridge wall and

the back end of my highly explosive trailer,”

he added.

Kirkland couldn’t completely avoid a collision.

The oncoming vehicle, a Jeep, hit his

trailer. “It ripped the entire axle out from under

my trailer and just missed my tractor,” he

said. “It scraped along the side of the tank

and took out the rear end of the trailer.”

Kirkland carefully got out and approached

the Jeep. The driver was conscious. Kirkland

told him he was hauling methanol, which was

very volatile and instructed him not to open his

door, as it could create a spark. Meanwhile,

Kirkland said, help arrived quickly and everyone

was immediately evacuated. The driver of

the oncoming vehicle was cited for DUI and

driving the wrong direction on the roadway.

“My worst fear almost came true, that I

would die in this truck,” said Kirkland. “What I

do for a living scares me to death. I’ve got six

beautiful children ranging from 5 to 21 years

old. I’ve got a loving wife. I thank God for the

speedy recovery of the vehicle and emergency

management getting there so quickly.”


Christopher Lloyd, who lives in Forest, Mississippi,

and drives for Airline Transportation

Specialists of St. Paul, Minnesota, is being honored

for stopping at the scene to rescue two

motorists after their car slammed into a utility

pole and erupted in flames.

It was 3 a.m. one morning in late November

2020, and Lloyd was driving along a surface

street on his way to the FedEx hub in Nashville

when he came upon a single-vehicle crash. A

car had struck a galvanized power pole at a

high rate of speed. When Lloyd arrived moments

later, the car’s engine compartment was

completely engulfed in flames.






“There were other vehicles pulling up and

watching, taking pictures, but not getting out

to help,” Lloyd shared. Without a moment

to spare, he safely pulled over and called

911, then grabbed his fire extinguisher and

jumped out of his cab.

“I couldn’t get the flames out completely,”

he recalled, adding that he tried the car’s

doors but found them locked. “I ran back to

the truck for a winch bar and my 10-pound

hazmat extinguisher to finish putting the fire

out and to bust out the windows.”

The car’s cabin was filled with smoke.

Other people now stopped to help. Lloyd

found the female driver pinned behind the


“She was unresponsive, but breathing,”

he said. “The male passenger ended up in

the back seat and was in pretty bad shape.

I checked and found a pulse, and he was

breathing.” He directed another person to

hold the man’s neck still and not to move

him. Lloyd said that since the fire was extinguished,

that was the safest thing to do until

emergency responders could arrive.

The driver and passenger were both in

critical condition and were transported for

medical care. Lloyd later learned that he was

the only one who called 911. A police officer

told him the pair would have burned alive if it

were not for him.

“That wasn’t my normal run that night,”

said Lloyd. “The driver that usually takes that

run had broken down. The dispatcher called

and asked if I could take it. I was delayed by

over an hour, but somehow it all lined up for

me to be there at that precise moment in time

to hopefully save their lives.” He hasn’t been

able to get an update on their condition but

said “I hope the best for them.”

Lloyd shared that he became a volunteer

firefighter at the age of 16 and went to a firefighting

academy. He later joined the U.S.

Coast Guard. “The night of the fire, it all came

flooding back … how to manage a scene,”

he said. “Just like it was yesterday.”


William “Bill” McNamee, who lives in

Christopher, Illinois, and drives for Carbon

Express of Wharton, New Jersey, is being

honored for stopping to help a seriously

injured girl after her family’s vehicle was

involved in a head-on collision. This is the

second time McNamee has been named a

Highway Angel.

McNamee was traveling east on I-44

near Marshfield, Missouri, just before

5 p.m. on September 10, 2020, when he

noticed traffic was slowing up ahead. An

eastbound SUV had driven off the road,

broken through the cable barriers in the

median, and entered the westbound lanes,

where it crashed head-on into another vehicle.

Other drivers had already stopped to

help. Without hesitation, McNamee pulled

over and rushed to the scene.

“Someone was getting a toddler in a car

seat out of the backseat, and two people

were pulling a uniformed officer out of

the driver’s seat,” he recalled. Someone

had laid a little girl on top of the collapsed

cable barrier on the grass, but no one was

tending to her, McNamee recalled. He ran

over to the girl, who appeared to be around

7 years old, and began assessing her injuries.

McNamee, a first responder with his

local fire department, shared that she was

severely wounded.

“She was unresponsive and was having

trouble breathing,” he said. Someone handed

him a small Army medic kit. He opened the

girl’s shirt revealing chest injuries too massive

to allow him to perform CPR.

“I was praying for her,” he said. “I was

telling her to keep breathing.” Another person

was with the girl’s father, an off-duty

sheriff’s deputy, whom he later learned had

That wasn’t my

normal run that night. The

driver that usually takes

that run had broken down.

The dispatcher called and

asked if I could take it. I

was delayed by over an

hour, but somehow it all

lined up for me to be there

at that precise moment in

time to hopefully save

their lives.”

— Christopher Lloyd, driver for

Airline Transportation Specialists and

TCA Highway Angel

been gravely injured. “He was calling out

to his daughter that ‘Daddy’s here. Everything’s

gonna be okay.’ I kept telling her

she was going to be okay, that help was

coming, and to listen for the sirens,” added


Meanwhile, a nurse stopped to help. “She

stabilized the girl’s neck, and we got her

ready for emergency transport,” he shared

with TCA.

McNamee is uncertain what happened to

the other driver. “He just stayed in his vehicle.

Apparently, he was traveling across the


The other driver passed a breathalyzer

and chemical test. He also was transported

to the hospital. McNamee learned the offduty

deputy, just 26 years old, who had

also sustained massive chest trauma, did

not survive. He added that the family was

extricated from the car because those first

on the scene saw smoke and were worried

about a fire. However, the “smoke” was

dust from the airbags.

“They were everyday citizens (trying to

do the right thing),” McNamee said, noting

that he’s proud of the four other truck

drivers and the nurse who stopped to help

the family.

“I don’t know who they were but trucking

still has some knights of the road,” he


said. The young girl was flown to a children’s

hospital with several serious injuries requiring

surgery. He learned she is home now and

has begun attending school. The little boy

sustained minor injuries.


Team drivers Kloe Myers and John

Dowdy, both of Thomaston, Georgia, who

drive for Hirschbach of Dubuque, Iowa, are

being honored for stopping to help motorists

whose vehicle caught fire.

It was March 16, 2020, and Myers was

behind the wheel and her partner, Dowdy,

was in the sleeper. She had just passed

through a weigh station off Interstate 75

outside Atlanta when she saw people in distress

on the side of the road, with the bed of

their pickup on fire.

“There were two males and a female,”

recalled Myers, “and only one person had

stopped to help.” Without hesitation, she

knew she had to help them. She safely pulled

over and maneuvered her truck to force traffic

around the scene. She awakened Dowdy

and grabbed the fire extinguisher as he scurried

to get dressed. Myers was able to quickly

extinguish the flames as Dowdy helped the

others pull boxes and bags of smoldering

items out of the pickup bed.

“We were trying to prevent the fire from

spreading to the car they were towing,” she

added. Dowdy ran to their truck and handed

off gallon jugs of water they were carrying.

The group used them to douse everything

and stomped out smoldering embers. “I ruined

a pair of shoes, but it was worth it,”

said Myers.

The driving team learned the three motorists

were in the process of moving. “We were

able to prevent damage to the car, but they

were pretty upset that they lost everything

they were moving, mostly personal items

and all their kids’ toys, but they thanked us

for stopping,” said Myers. “It all happened so

fast.” First responders arrived after the fire

was out.

Myers has been driving for less than

two years. She and Dowdy have been driving

together for over a year. They’ve come

upon fires in the past and try to always be


“I try to help everyone I can when I

see them broken down on the road,” she

shared. “If I can’t stop, I feel bad. The side

of the road isn’t always big enough for me to

pull over.” Thankfully, Myers’ quick thinking

and heroic actions that day helped prevent a



John Vesey, who lives in Oregon, Illinois,

and drives for Hirschbach Motor Lines of

Dubuque, Iowa, is being honored for stopping

to help a fellow driver who lost control of his

truck during a fire and drove off the road.

It was December 19, 2020, and Vesey was

westbound on U.S. 34, near Galesburg, Illinois,

on his way to Monmouth to pick up a

load. It was late in the morning when another

truck driver passed him in the left lane of the

four-lane divided highway.

“As he got out about a quarter-mile ahead

of me, he started to lose control,” explained

Vesey. “He went into the center median and

then careened over to right side, went off in

the ditch, and into a corn field.”

Vesey slowed down right away and pulled

over. “Once he got to the corn field, the driver

jumped out of the truck while it was still

moving,” said Vesey. “I could see a flash of

smoke and fire coming out of the cab.”

Vesey grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran

across the field. “I yelled out to him to ask if

he was OK, and he said he was.” Vesey continued

running toward the truck and emptied

his fire extinguisher into the cab. “I then went

back to the driver to see if he was all right. He

ended up having second-degree burns on his

hands, and his hair was singed on the back.”

Vesey then called 911. He went back and unloaded

the driver’s fire extinguisher as well,

to be sure everything was okay. The fire was

contained to the center console area.

As Vesey helped the truck driver back

across the field to the road, police, fire, and

ambulance crews were arriving. “Another

driver across the highway came over to help

as well. The whole thing was maybe 10 minutes

from start to finish,” he said. “Pretty

good for a rural community.”

Vesey is trained as a paramedic and has a

lot of emergency response experience. “I interned

and spent the first year as a paramedic

and EMT in Chicago and got my paramedic

license. It was an awesome experience,” he

shared. “I spent a year on the private ambulance

side and then moved up to Northwest

Illinois and was a paramedic there.”

He was also an Eagle Scout and is a U.S.

Navy veteran. He’s been driving for eight years

and also has office experience. “I choose to be

on the road,” he said. “You get a little bit of the

road in you, and you gotta scratch that itch. I

love driving.”


Bill Younger, who lives in Sallisaw, Oklahoma,

and drives for John Christner Trucking of




Sapulpa, Oklahoma, is being honored for stopping

to help a young woman after her vehicle

struck a deer late at night.

It was around 11 p.m. on November 20,

2020, and Younger was driving along the Indian

Nation Turnpike, south of Henryetta, Oklahoma,

when a young woman passed him.

“The next thing I knew, a deer came up an

embankment right in front of her and she hit

it. She didn’t have a choice. It was so fast,

and there was nowhere to go,” he shared.

Without a moment to spare, Younger

safely pulled over, grabbed a flashlight, and

hopped out of his cab. “It did a number (on

her vehicle),” said Younger. “She was scared

to death. I’ve never seen a car (end up) like



For the seventh year, the Truckload Carriers Association is honored to continue its partnership with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.


The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a U.S. national memorial in

Washington, D.C., honoring service members of the U.S. armed

forces who fought in the Vietnam War between 1955 and 1975.

Some 58,220 members of the military are considered to have died

in the war, including about 40,000 killed in action.

The 2-acre site is dominated by a black granite wall engraved

with the names of those service members who died while serving in

Vietnam and Southeast Asia during the war.

The wall, completed in 1982, has since been supplemented with

The Three Soldiers statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Realizing that most of the 2.7 million men and women who fought in

the war would never be able to come to the nation’s capital to see the wall,

on Veterans Day in 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF)

unveiled a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.,

designed to travel to communities throughout the U.S. Since its dedication,

The Wall That Heals has been displayed in nearly 700 communities

throughout the nation, spreading the memorial’s healing legacy to millions.

“Bringing the Wall home to communities throughout our country

allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist once more

among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings,”

said VVMF CEO Jim Knotts.

Knotts added that the traveling exhibit provides thousands of

veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing

the Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own

communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.

In 2015, Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) members

began hauling The Wall That Heals, which features a three-quarter

scale replica of the wall in Washington. The replica is 375 feet in

length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point.

Like the original memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a

chevron shape, and visitors can do name rubbings of individual service

member’s names on the Wall.

Also similar to the memorial, the names on The Wall That Heals

are listed by day of casualty. Beginning at the center/apex, the names

start on the East Wall (right-hand side), working their way out to the

end of that wing, picking up again at the far end of the West Wall

(left-hand side), and working their way back in to the center/apex,

joining the beginning and end of the conflict at the center.

To see the traveling exhibit, make plans to attend one of these

events near you this year:

• Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania: May 13-16

• Columbus, Ohio: May 28-31

• Franklin, Indiana: June 3-6

• Harrison, Ohio: June 10-13

• Champlain, New York: June 24-27

• Townsend, Massachusetts: July 1-4

• Nahant, Massachusetts: July 15-18

• Tonawanda, New York: July 22-25

• Athens, Ohio: July 29-August 1

• Clinton Township, Michigan: August 5-8

• Riverview, Michigan: August 12-15

• Rice, Minnesota: August 19-22

• Marysville, Kansas: August 26-31

• Brighton, Colorado: September 2-5

• Farmington, New Mexico: September 9-12

• Blackfoot, Idaho: September 16-19

• Longview, Washington: September 23-26

• La Pine, Oregon: September 30-October 3

• Corona, California: October 7-10

• Bullhead City, Arizona: October 21-24

• Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona: October 28-31

• Sulphur Springs, Texas: November 4-7

• Murfreesboro, Tennessee: November 11-14

VVMF will work closely with each community to make certain that

community health and safety protocols are met. Communities will have

to permit gatherings of 250 or more people. Volunteers will be required

to wear masks. Visitors will be encouraged to wear masks and practice

social distancing to safeguard the staff, volunteers, and other visitors.

“Nothing is more important to VVMF than the health and wellbeing

of our Vietnam veterans and their families. We will work to

provide the best visitor experience while keeping the safety of our

staff, volunteers and visitors at top of mind,” said Knotts.

To learn more, or to get involved, visit:





Join the more than 700 industry professionals who have participated

in TCA’s Certificate of Fleet Management (CFM) program. The program

features updated content based on feedback from previous program

participants, and includes interactive content covering the role of the

fleet manager as a leader, best practices to enhance performance, strategies

for communicating more effectively with drivers and customers,

and the fleet manager’s role in creating a culture of safety.

Christenson Transportation’s Don Christenson and TCA President

John Lyboldt unveiled and encouraged participation in the program

via the Dave Nemo Show on SiriusXM Channel 146. Listen to a recording


McLeod Express Operations Manager Geoff Owens, a recent CFM

participant, shared, “The program has proven to be a valued addition

to our driver manager’s best practices and daily routines. Not only

does it provide an impressive introduction for employees with little or

no experience in the field, it also gives a detailed refresher for those

who have been in this industry for many years. We have seen positive

results in the various skills, compliance, and driver management issues

that directly result in our company’s success.”

Booker Transportation Dispatcher Kasey Putman agrees. “The

program is a highly interactive and powerful tool that offers anyone in

your organization the ability to improve their management skills and

understanding of the industry,” Putman said. “Being that our industry

is 24/7/365, the program allows for each user to start, pause, restart

The program features updated content based on feedback from previous program

participants that includes interactive content covering the role of the fleet manager

as a leader.

and complete at their own pace. I would recommend this program to

anyone with any level of knowledge and experience. “

Interest in learning more? Contact TCA at Truckload or by calling TCA’s Associate Director of

Education at (571) 444-0309.



Are you ready to improve yourself and your team in 2021? Want to

earn continuing education credit? TCA has you covered, and you can

even self-report directly through TCA’s website.

TCA’s online learning center provides access to insightful webinars,

expert-led workshops, sessions, and panels from TCA’s meeting

and events. Did you miss a webinar, workshop, or TCA event?

Don’t worry: you can access a recording by visiting


TCA is also an official North American Transportation Management

Institute’s (NATMI) certification and recertification affiliate. Let

TCA be your resource as you progress through professional certification.

Learn more about the following industry certification categories:

• Certified Director of Safety;

• Certified Safety Supervisor;

• Certified Driver Trainer;

• Certified Director of Maintenance/Equipment;

• Certified Supervisor of Maintenance /Equipment; and

• Certified Cargo Security Professional.

Questions? Contact TCA at

or visit


this. It was all structural damage. She had

a piece of plastic on the car, the structural

cover, that went underneath the car. It was all

ripped up,” he added. “She asked if she could

drive it. I got in there and had to bust it all

out from under the car. It was probably 4 to

5 feet wide and 5 or 6 feet long. The bumper

was fastened to it.”

Younger took the license plate off for her

and then got under the car to check the radiator

and hoses for leaks. “She started it up

and it ran real good,” he said.

He then did a safety check. “She had a lot

of structural damage, but we tested everything

to make sure she could safely drive it.” He

then followed her about 40 miles to Henryetta.

“She called me when she got to her destination


A friend of the young woman later

called Younger’s employer, John Christener

Trucking, to commend Younger for everything

he did to help that night and said he

represented the company well.

For their willingness to assist fellow drivers

and motorists, TCA has presented each

Highway Angel with a certificate, patch, a lapel

pin, and truck decals. Their employers have

also received a certificate acknowledging their

driver as a Highway Angel.

To nominate a driver, or to meet additional

recipients, visit



Honoring TCA Ambassador

Club Members

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) created its prestigious Ambassador

Club in 1996 as a way to honor companies that have maintained

membership in the organization for 25 years or longer. Each year,

at TCA’s Annual Convention, companies are recognized if they are being

inducted into the Ambassador’s Club for the first time or if they have

reached the next milestone of membership longevity. Special recognition

is bestowed when a company reaches the 50- or 75-year mark. In

this issue of Truckload Authority, companies that have been members

for 31-34 years are saluted.

Help TCA recognize its longest-standing members. TCA appreciates

their ongoing commitment to the organization and the industry.

The Truckload Carriers Association

welcomes companies that

joined our association in

February and March.


Fortigo Freight


Navajo Express

Equity Transportation

Instico Global


Grant Thornton


GX Transportation

BCB Transportation

Store & Haul

OnFreight Logistics

Paladin Capital of



Fleet Complete

Tucker, Albin &


Blume Global

Bluewire, LLC

Relay Payments

CDL Life

First Business Bank

Roberts Perryman

RAN Wireless





Baylor Trucking, Inc. • National Carriers, Inc. • Paschall Truck Lines, Inc.


J & M Tank Lines, Inc. • Mercer Transportation Co., Inc.

TCG, an SMC3 Company • Wabash National Corporation


Ameri-Co. Carriers, Inc. • Challenger Motor Freight, Inc.

Cottingham & Butler, Inc. • Epes Transport System, Inc. • Freightliner Trucks

Great West Casualty Company • J & R Schugel Trucking, Inc.

John Christner Trucking, Inc. • Kenworth Truck Company, Inc.

Landstar Transportation Logistics, Inc. • Michelin North America

Omnitracs, LLC • Peterbilt Motors Company • Pride Transport

Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson, & Feary P.C.

Sunrise Express, Inc. • USA Truck, Inc.


American Central Transport, Inc. • BJ Transport, Inc. • CAT Scale Company

Covenant Transport • Davis Express, Inc. • Five Star Trucking, Inc.

Fortune Transportation Company, Inc. • Garner Trucking, Inc.

Jet Express, Inc. • Katz Sapper & Miller LLP • Knight Transportation, Inc.

Lawrence Transportation Companies • Lessors, Inc.

Tennessee Steel Haulers, Inc. • WEL Companies, Inc.

Be sure to check for more Ambassador Club members in the next

edition of Truckload Authority.


Renee Crabtree Photography


Associated Press: P. 11

Christie McCleur/The Trucker Media Group: P. 8, 9

Hirschbach: P. 30, 31

IIHS: P. 12

iStock: P. 3, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 16, 20, 21

Locomation: P. 14, 15

Renee Crabtree Photography: P. 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29

TCA: P. 3, 5, 32,33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

ZF: P. 18, 19




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