AUTONOMOUS TRUCKS | SAFETY, RECRUITING, AND THE BOTTOM LINE | SPRING BUSINESS MEETINGS
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION o f t h e TRUCKLOAD CARRIERS ASSOCIATION
‘MR. FIXIT’ | 6
Biden rolls out plan to repair
20,000 miles of highways,
PATH TO PROGRESS | 8
Fuel tax, VMT square off
as primary options for sustaining
Highway Trust Fund
CARRIER PROFITABILITY | 16
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.
2 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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 truckload.org.
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.
A Good Time
to Become Involved
Truckload Carriers Association
Sting of the Pen
Trucking has mixed reactions to
President Joe Biden’s multifaceted
fossil fuel plan
Those Who Deliver
Hirschbach is one big team and that’s
what makes the company tick,
says CEO Brad Pinchuk
Extolling the Virtues of TCA
Immediate Past Chairman Dennis Dellinger
and Chairman Jim Ward speak to the
influence of TCA
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 3
Easily search your
yard for trailers
carrying full or
partial load in
Alert: Door Open
event outside of
More control, mile after mile
Alert: Tire Inflation
System has been
for more than 10
“I see your shipment’s
location and can
confirm the delivery
ETA is on schedule.”
More often than not, managing your fleet means dealing with the unexpected disruptions
that take over your day. But there’s another way. Our OEM-developed trailer telematics
platform gives you real-world, real-time visibility into your entire fleet. With its built-in
sensors and user-friendly interface, the FleetPulse TM platform gives you the information
you need, when you need it, to make faster, better decisions for an optimized fleet.
Learn more at www.fleet-pulse.com
entire fleet in
555 E. Braddock Road,
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) (703) 838-1950
Fax: Fax: (703) 836-6610
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Jim Ward, President
CHAIRMAN D.M. Bowman, OF THE BOARD Inc.
Dennis Dellinger, President and CEO
Cargo Transporters, VICE PRESIDENT Inc. - GOV’T AFFAIRS
VICE PRESIDENT - GOV’T AFFAIRS
VP- OPERATIONS AND EDUCATION VP-MEMBERSHIP OUTREACH
VP - James J. Schoonover
OPERATIONS AND EDUCATION
James J. Schoonover
MANAGER - GOV’T AFFAIRS SENIOR email@example.com
DIRECTOR - OUTREACH
- GOV’T AFFAIRS
SENIOR DIRECTOR - OUTREACH
firstname.lastname@example.org MGR. - DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS
MGR. - DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS
FIRST VICE CHAIR
John Elliott, CEO
Karen Smerchek, President
FIRST Load VICE One, CHAIR LLC
Veriha TREASURER Trucking, Inc
Jim Ward, President and CEO
David Williams, Executive VP
D.M. SECOND Bowman, VICE CHAIR
Knight VICE Transportation
CHAIR TO ATA
David Williams, Executive VP Joey Hogan, President & Chief
SECOND VICE CHAIR
VICE CHAIR TO ATA
Knight-Swift Transportation Adm. Officer, Covenant Transport
John Elliott, CEO
Joey Hogan, Co-Pres. & Chief Adm. Officer
IMMEDIATE Load One, PAST LLC CHAIR
Dennis Dellinger, President/CEO Pete Hill, Vice President
IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
Cargo Transporters, Inc. Hill Bros. Transportation, Inc.
Josh Kaburick, CEO
Pete Hill, Vice President
Earl L. Henderson AT-LARGE Trucking OFFICER
Hill Brothers AT-LARGE Transportation, OFFICER
John Culp, President
Ed Nagle, President
AT-LARGE Maverick OFFICER USA
AT-LARGE Nagle Toledo, OFFICER Inc.
John Culp, President
Ed Nagle, President
AT-LARGE Maverick OFFICER
Nagle AT-LARGE Toledo, OFFICER
Jon Coca, President Mark Seymour, President/CEO
Diamond Transportation System, Inc. Kriska Transportation Group
Karen Smerchek, President
Jon Coca, President
Veriha Trucking, Inc. AT-LARGE Diamond OFFICER
Transportation System, Inc.
Trevor Kurtz, General Manager
Brian Kurtz Trucking, Inc.
publication are not necessarily those of TCA.
In exclusive partnership with:
The viewpoints and opinions quoted in articles in this
publication are not necessarily those of TCA.
In exclusive partnership with:
1123 S. University Ave., Ste 325, Little Rock, AR 72204
Phone: (800) 666-2770 • Fax: (501) 666-0700
1123 S. University, Ave., Ste 325, Little Rock, AR 72204
CHIEF Phone: EXECUTIVE (501) OFFICER 666-0500 • www.TheTrucker.com
GENERAL MGR. TRUCKING DIV
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT email@example.com
STAFF WRITER + PRODUCTION
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR STAFF WRITER + COPY EDITOR
SPECIAL Christie CORRESPONDENT McCluer
SPECIAL Linda Garner-Bunch
NATIONAL Hannah SALES Butler
PRODUCTION Cliff MGR. Abbott
+ ART DIRECTOR
NATIONAL SALES MANAGER CONTRIBUTING WRITER
For For advertising opportunities, contact Meg Larcinese at at
© 2021 Wilshire Classifieds LLC, all rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission
prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All advertisements
and editorial © 2020 Target
by Truckload Reproduction
its exclusive permission
ner, and The editorial Trucker materials Media are Group, accepted on the andrepresentation published by that Truckload the advertiser, Authorityits and advertising its exclusive company
Trucker the supplier Publications, of editorial on the materials representation are authorized that theto advertiser, publish the itsentire advertising contents company and subject
and/or matter or the thereof. supplierThe of editorial publisher materials reserves the are right authorized to accept to publish or reject the any entire art from contents client. and Such subject entities
matter and/or thereof. their agents will defend, indemnify and hold Truckload Authority, Truckload Such Carriers
and/or their Target agents Media will Partners, defend, and indemnify its subsidiaries and hold included, Truckload by Authority, not limited Truckload to, The Trucker
Association, Media ers Association,
Group, harmless Target Media
from and Partners,
or other trademark by not limited
infringement to, Trucker
Publications Inc., harmless from and against any loss, expense, or other liability resulting from
any other claims claims or suits or suits for for libel, libel, violations violations of of privacy, privacy, plagiarism, plagiarism, copyright copyright or or trademark infringement
and any other claims or suits that may rise out of publication of such advertisements and/or
editorial materials. Press releases are expressly covered within the definition of editorial materials.
A On Good the Time Road to Become to Normalcy Involved with with John John Lyboldt | | 3
Senate “Mr. Showdown Fixit” | 6
Capitol Path Progress Recap | | 10 8
Capitol Recap | 10
TRACKING THE TRENDS
TRACKING Finally Flexible THE TRENDS
Mayday, Learning to Mayday! Follow | 14
Accountability Carrier Profitability Factor | 16
$64,000 Game Changer Question | 18
Sting of the Pen | 20
A CHAT WITH THE CHAIRMAN | 24
Quick to React with Dennis Dellinger
A CHAT WITH THE CHAIRMAN
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
Lyboldt | 32
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
Ambassadors Club Honorees | 46
Keeping a PULSE ON THE INDUSTRY
is absolutely essential in this business. Truckload
Authority’s WELL-RESEARCHED columns and
current events articles certainly help formulate
operational strategies within our company. Given
the political divisiveness currently in Washington,
D.C., it’s NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT
to have one voice with a strong direction that
advocates keeping our nation’s highways safe and
our professional truck drivers profitable. Truckload
Authority is a MUST READ.”
JULY/AUGUST MAY/JUNE 2021
T H E R O A D M A P
REACHING TRUCKING’S TOP EXECUTIVES
— Robert Low, President and Founder, Prime Inc.
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 5
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
“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
6 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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.
lawmakers are trying
to get a new highway
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
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
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
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.
“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
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.
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 7
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.
HIGHEST STATE GAS TAXES
CENTS PER GALLON
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
8 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
STATES THAT HAVE RAISED FUEL TAXE SINCE 2010
Source: Institute on Taxation
and Economic Policy
RI MD CT
“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,”
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
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 9
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 TRUCK PARKING LEGISLATION REINTRODUCED
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
SEE PARKING, PAGE 11
LEGISLATION REQUIRING UNDERRIDE GUARDS PROPOSED AGAIN
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
SEE UNDERRIDE, PAGE 12
10 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
US INFRASTRUCTURE GETS C- ON REPORT CARD FROM ENGINEERS
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
“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
“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
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
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.
PARKING, FROM PAGE 10
“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
— 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.”
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 11
SENATORS REINTRODUCE BILL TO PROMOTE WOMEN IN TRUCKING
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.
SEE WOMEN, PAGE 13
UNDERRIDE, FROM PAGE 10
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
12 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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
OPERATION SAFE DRIVER WEEK
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.
WOMEN, FROM PAGE 12
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.
catscale.com | weighmytruck.com
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 13
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 13
TRACKING THE TRENDS
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
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
“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.
14 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 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.”
— 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.
solving problems for
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
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.
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 15
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
“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.
16 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
“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
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,”
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 truckload.org/abouttpp,
including recent webinars and cost for the programs.
Moving Forward with
TCI Business Capital
Accounts receivable financing gets you
where you want to go.
A/R Financing with TCI Includes:
Lines from $50,000 to $10MM
Funding in 24 hours or less
High advances, low rates
Dedicated relationship manager
Senior VP, Business Development
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 17
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 17
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
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,”
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
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
“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,
“By acquiring a specialist and
market leader for commercial
18 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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,”
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
and steering module to provide lane
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 19
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
“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.
20 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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
— 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,
“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.”
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 21
A CHAT WITH THE CHAIRMAN
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.
22 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 23
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.
SPONSORED BY McLEOD SOFTWARE / McLEODSOFTWARE.COM / 877.362.5363
24 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
McLeod’s FlowLogix Business Process
Automation combined with Insight
gained from McLeod’s IQ Business
Intelligence give our customers the
ability to be the best innovators in the
Give us a call, we’ll show you how.
877.362.5363 | McLeodSoftware.com
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
SPONSORED BY McLEOD SOFTWARE / McLEODSOFTWARE.COM / 877.362.5363
26 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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,
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 27
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
— Jim Ward, TCA Chairman
SPONSORED BY McLEOD SOFTWARE / McLEODSOFTWARE.COM / 877.362.5363
28 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
forward to seeing what this technology holds for the future and personally
believe it will continue to have a positive impact on our industry.
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
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.
Values Drive Performance
Shared Values Can Lead to Organizational Excellence
We understand you are in business to make a profit. Our Value-Driven ® Company modules can
help you reduce losses and increase profits by focusing on influencing employee behavior, changing
culture, improving communication, and managing risk successfully.
We believe it is everyone’s job to do what they can to prevent losses. We have developed a
variety of training tools to help get all employees involved in safety. From seminars and webinars to
Self-Service e-Tools and FAQs, we have solutions to fit your operations.
We see “Critical Crashes” as a risk to your company. Our Value-Driven ® Driving program focuses
on helping drivers do what they can to prevent these types of accidents: rear-end, loss of control, lane
change, and run under. All of our driver training programs are FREE to our insureds and can be accessed
24/7 on Great West’s Online Learning Library.
GREAT WEST CASUALTY COMPANY – No matter where the road takes you, you will discover that
at Great West, The Difference is Service ® .
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 29
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,”
“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,”
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.
30 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
“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.
chief executive officer
general counsel & chief risk officer
chief operating officer
chief people officer
chief sales officer
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
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
“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,
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
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 31
SPRING BUSINESS MEETINGS
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.
A CULTURE OF PERFORMANCE
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
“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,
32 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
“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
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
CDL TICKET DEFENSE.
IT IS ALL WE DO.
WE HAVE IT COVERED FOR YOU AND YOUR DRIVERS
WHEN THINGS DON'T GO AS PLANNED.
One ticket is all it takes to potentially ruin a truck
driver's livelihood. We've successfully defended
over 375,000 cases and know what it takes to WIN.
When your driver hires our national law firm, they get
our national law firm. We are not a referral service.
Drivers Legal Plan is America's most experienced
CDL Defense Law Firm and has been protecting
the rights of truckers for over 30 years.
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 33
SPRING BUSINESS MEETINGS
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.
EXTOLLING THE VIRTUES OF TCA
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
The outgoing chairman stands before the audience of some 1,200
members, commending them for a job well done during the year that
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.”
34 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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
“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
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
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
— 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.”
INCOMING CHAIRMAN JIM WARD
“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
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.
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 35
SPRING BUSINESS MEETINGS
The Truckload Carriers Association’s Spring Business Meetings were held virtually this year, which allowed members to attend the meetings from anywhere.
ANOTHER VIRTUAL SUCCESS
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
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.
36 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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.
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 truckload.org/Flickr.
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 37
SPRING BUSINESS MEETINGS
AND THE BOTTOM LINE
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
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.
38 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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
SAFETY & SECURITY MEETING
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.
TRUCKLOAD 2021: LAS VEGAS
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.
BRIDGING BORDER BARRIERS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (571) 444-0306.
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 39
A QUICK LOOK AT MORE IMPORTANT TCA NEWS
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
“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.
40 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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 www.highwayangel.org/
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
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
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
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
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
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,”
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.
SEE ANGELS, PAGE 42
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 41
ANGELS, FROM PAGE 41
WILLIAM “BILL” McNAMEE
“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
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
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
“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
— 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
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
“I don’t know who they were but trucking
still has some knights of the road,” he
42 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
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.
KLOE MYERS AND JOHN DOWDY
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,”
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
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
Bill Younger, who lives in Sallisaw, Oklahoma,
and drives for John Christner Trucking of
KLOE MYERS and JOHN DOWDY
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
SEE ANGELS, PAGE 45
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 43
For the seventh year, the Truckload Carriers Association is honored to continue its partnership with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
ATTEND A WALL THAT HEALS EVENT
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: vvmf.org/The-Wall-
44 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
GAIN CONTINUING EDUCATION, PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATION
TO SHOW COMMITMENT TO LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE
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
Academy@truckload.org or by calling TCA’s Associate Director of
Education at (571) 444-0309.
TCA PROVIDES ACCESS TO TIMELY, RELEVANT EDUCATIONAL
CONTENT FOR EXECS, SAFETY AND OPERATIONS PERSONNEL
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 truckload.org/
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 TruckloadAcademy@truckload.org
or visit truckload.org/about-truckload-academy.
ANGELS, FROM PAGE 43
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 highwayangel.com.
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 45
Honoring TCA Ambassador
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.
Store & Haul
Paladin Capital of
Tucker, Albin &
First Business Bank
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
ADDITIONAL MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY/GRAPHICS:
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
46 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021
and/or Owner Operators?
The Trucker Media Group Can Help
Just reach out and let us show you our proven solutions for recruiting
drivers and owner operators.
Leads are delivered to app system or email.
Let us generate the leads, so you can focus on hiring the
professionals you need.
Add print branding to your
campaign with The Trucker
newspaper and The Trucker
Meg Larcinese, National Sales Manager
TCA MAY/JUNE 2021 WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG | TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY 47
48 TRUCKLOAD AUTHORITY | WWW.TRUCKLOAD.ORG TCA MAY/JUNE 2021