LOUISVILLE, KY -- Trucking Moves America Forward, the industry-wide image and education movement, reported significant achievements in the past year in its mission to change the public perception of the trucking industry.
The program has achieved is goal of putting more than 100 TMAF trailer wraps on the road, said Kevin Burch, TMAF co-chairman and president of Ohio-based Jet Express and a former HDT Truck Fleet Innovator, in a press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show Thursday.
Emphasizing that this is a movement, not a campaign — it will continue, there’s no ending date — Burch noted that this is the second anniversary of TMAF, launched two years ago at MATS. Among the goals for 2015 were expanding the movement’s reach, and building the donor base, which it did.
“These ‘moving billboards,’ each seen by as many as 16 million peopler per city, are sending a message every day that our industry is more than just large vehicles on the highways,” he said. “We’ve moving America forward by transporting the products and freight that make life possible, serving as an essential provider to our communities and adding value to our economy.”
John Elliott with Michigan-based expedited carrier Load One was the buyer of the 100th trailer wrap, Burch explained. He originally had purchased four, but at a recent industry convention, “We only needed 10 more to achieve the goal of 100 and John raised his hand,” Burch explained.
Taking the podium, Elliott (a former HDT Truck Fleet Innovator), joked that his CFO asked him to not do that again without getting permission. “I think we’re a great industry,” he said. “We are terrible at promoting what we do as an industry. We move this country, we save it in bad times, we help move the economy in good times, yet we are the silent backbone of this nation, and we have to stop being silent. We have to stop.”
The goal for next year is to get the trailer wrap number up to 200.
TMAF announced the following achievements in addition to the 100 trailer wraps:
- more than 180 donors
- more than 2,100 web subscribers
- nearly 35,000 YouTube views (136% increase year over year)
- a three-fold increase in Facebook likes to nearly 7,700
- more than doubled the number of Twitter followers to 1,870
- 24 news stories and 26 thought leadership editorials in the media
- targeted advertising campaigns, including one aimed at legislators to push them to pass the long-overdue highway bill.
Don Logan, an ATA America’s Road Team captain and a driver for FedEx Freight, pointed out that he has 2.4 million accident-free miles, “and there are thousands of drivers out there that are just like me. Here’s where we come up short. We need to improve the overall image of the industry and that’s why TMAF is so important and the resources the movement provides to help us tell our story.
"In short, TMAF is there for us, not only improving our image but in recruiting at a time when we have never been shorter of drivers and technicians in our industry. We want to reach out to the next generation and show them trucking can not only be a great career choice but one they can be proud of.”
Emphasizing the cross-industry nature of the movement (Burch is second vice chairman of the American Trucking Associations), there also were speakers from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
“I’d be proud to pull one of the trailers with the TMAF wrap on it,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive VP. “Folks need to be reminded… when they think about trucks they think about he most recent experience they had, generally a bad experience. We have a good story to tell; let’s share the message.”
TMAF continues to expand its presence online at www.truckingmovesamerica.com, with downloadable videos, advertisements, speeches, editorials, press release, fact sheets and more for those who sign up. The site also now includes a TMAF store, where hats, polo shirts, T-shirts, tumblers, back door decals and other TMAF-branded items are available for purchase.
“We need your support to keep this image movement going,” Burch said. “Every donation counts. Every trailer wrap counts. Every Facebook like counts. Every positive news story counts.”