SAN DIEGO -- Since its public launch at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March, the Trucking Moves America Forward program has made great strides toward its goal of showcasing the positive side of trucking for the public and law- and regulation-makers.
The TMAF campaign seeks to raise $1 million by the end of 2014 to fund education and outreach. It's well on its way, with more than $850,000 to date, organizers said in a status update for the trucking press during the American Trucking Associations' Management Conference and Exhibition this week.
The money will largely be used in an advertising and PR campaign in consumer publications aimed at the general public, inside-the-beltway publications aimed at lawmakers, city newspapers, radio talk shows, etc.
"We are shaping the way the public views the trucking industry and the ways we view ourselves," said Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express and vice chairman of Trucking Moves America Forward. "Public opinion changes public policy. We want better laws and better regulations that affect our businesses and our workforce. TMAF is reenergizing us and reminding us we should take pride in what we do."
Burch said that in addition to the funding, those involved in the campaign have had the opportunity to tell trucking's story to the media and to lawmakers, and trucking companies, suppliers and trucking associations are incorporating the movement into their daily businesses.
The movement has been working to spread the word via social media, with a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TruckingFWD and Twitter feed @TruckingFWD. Videos on its website are now on state trucking association websites and others such as Truckinginfo.com.
To help the organization function effectively, three committees have been formed to handle different aspects of its mission:
- Advocacy (to deliver the message in Washington, D.C. as well as state legislatures)
- Engagement (getting other trucking associations, including state trucking associations, involved)
- Internal (building the movement within the trucking industry)
"TMAF has been overwhelmed with the support we've received from all corners of the industry and look to continue this momentum this year and beyond," said Mike Card, chairman, TMAF Fundraising Committee, and president, Combined Transport.
At the MC&E, the Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry (ACT1) announced a $100,000 donation, and Meritor announced a contribution of $10,000. In August, ATA announced it was donating $100,000 to the campaign.
The largest donation to date was $1 million commitment over five years from Pilot Flying J.
TMAF also has been bolstered by significant financial contributions from, Old Dominion Freight Lines, Great West Casualty Company, Pilot Flying J, Trucking Associations Executive Council and Jack Cooper Transport. TMAF has also received support from industry leaders such as National Tank Truck Carriers, National Auto Dealers Association, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and Truckload Carriers Association, plus in-kind donations from Randall-Reilly, Love’s Travel Stops (which is putting the logo on its Nascar race car), Transport Topics, Maxim, Overdrive Magazine, Commercial Carrier Journal and Heavy Duty Trucking.