As part of its ongoing effort to make sure its content is best meeting the needs of its audience, Heavy Duty Trucking has added an Editorial Advisory Board.
The board is made up primarily of 12 executives representing fleets of a variety of sizes and types, across multiple areas of responsibility and expertise. With the help of two non-fleet members who actively consult with fleets in the areas of maintenance and safety, the board will actively help HDT’s editors shape the content in the magazine, on Truckinginfo.com, at events, and so forth.
“They’re strong thinkers, active within the trucking community, with great communication skills, who aren’t afraid to tell us what they think, both good and bad,” says Deborah Lockridge, HDT Editor in Chief. “Our editors have always worked to maintain relationships with fleets, and we’ll continue to do so, but this adds a more formal element to that effort.”
The board’s members will be a sounding board for HDT’s editors and will help them keep on top of the most important topics to readers. Board members also will appear as part of HDT’s editorial content, including guest columns, interviews, etc.
The board consists of 14 members:
Bill Aboudi, Owner, AB Trucking
As owner of AB Trucking for more than two decades, Aboudi started out in the family trucking business in 1988. The small drayage company is based in Oakland, California. In 1994 he co-founded West State Alliance, an association of local businesses and community groups, committed to information-sharing among competitors and a collaborative approach to problem-solving. He also operates Oakland Maritime Support Services, a “one-stop-shop” truck service center providing a portfolio of trucking services at the port.
Bill Bliem, Senior Vice President, Fleet Services, NFI
Bliem, a former HDT Truck Fleet Innovator, enjoys the consistent changes in technology and the challenges of taking the NFI fleet to the next level. Every year he strives to improve on his fleet’s sustainability efforts, and in the next few years to come, he will strive to keep NFI at the top of the list of green fleets. For instance, NFI is one of the first in the country to test new Class 8 electric trucks in development. NFI is an asset-based third-party supply chain solutions provider, offering dedicated transportation, warehousing, intermodal, brokerage, transportation management, and more.
Joyce Brenny, President and CEO, Brenny Transportation
As a woman in the trucking industry for more than 35 years, Brenny has made it her personal mission to help bring respect to the profession of trucking. She also mentors women who are considering a career in trucking. After starting as a truck driver, she worked her way up to owning her own company. The primarily open-deck carrier has been honored numerous times for its employee-centric focus. She was honored as an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator for her work developing a program to bring younger drivers into the industry.
Andreea Crisan, Executive Vice President and COO, Andy Transport
Crisan, a 2018 HDT Truck Fleet Innovator, took on her current top leadership position in the family-owned company three years ago, after having earned a law degree. Working with her father, who started the company, she is working to accelerate the company’s growth, including opening the carrier’s own driving school and taking in maintenance work for other fleets. The Canadian company offers long-haul, dry van, truckload and less-than truckload transportation, and logistics. She says the information and knowledge she has gained from reading HDT has been a key factor in allowing her to ask better questions and most importantly to make better decisions.
Phil Byrd, President and CEO, Bulldog Hiway Express
Byrd is past chairman of American Trucking Associations, South Carolina Trucking Association, South Carolina Maritime Association, and American Transportation Research Institute’s Advisory Board. In 2018, Byrd’s alma mater, Charleston Southern University, named him Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Bulldog Hiway Express is a Daseke company that handles dedicated and for-hire, open-deck operations, intermodal port deliveries and heavy hauls. It has implemented innovative programs for younger drivers and minimum driver salary levels.
John Elliott, CEO, Load One
As CEO of Load One, Elliot oversees the third largest full-service expedite carrier in the United States. He also serves on the board of directors for ARC Supply Chain Solutions, a non-asset-based 3PL. He is currently an executive officer of the Truckload Carriers Association and a vice president at large with the American Trucking Associations. He was also past president of the Expedite Association of North America and was named an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator in 2015.
Eric Fuller, President and CEO, U.S. Xpress
As CEO of U.S. Xpress, Fuller took the company public in June 2018. In his role, he focuses on the future of trucking and ensuring that U.S. Xpress is one of the companies leading the charge to the future. Founded in 1985, U.S. Xpress says it is the nation's fifth largest asset-based truckload carrier by revenue.
David Heller, Vice President of Government Affairs, Truckload Carriers Association
As vice president of government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association, Heller is responsible for communicating and interpreting all trucking-related regulations – safety, legislative, and otherwise – to the membership of TCA and their congressional representatives in Washington, D.C. Heller has worked for TCA since 2005 and before that spent seven years as manager of safety programs for the American Trucking Associations. He is one of the few association executives to earn certification from the North American Transportation Management Institute as a Certified Director of Safety.
Ralph LoPriore, Director of Fleet Assets, Gary Merlino Construction
LoPriore, an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator in 2017, manages a combined fleet of 150 trucks for Stoneway Concrete and Gary Merlino Construction, including 85 mixer and 60 dump trucks. He prides himself on knowing everything about what he is managing, including cost per hour, mile, and the useful life of an asset. By creating specs for his assets based specifically on how that equipment will be used in his operation, he dramatically lowers owning and operating costs. He stresses that fleets should not become possessive in their process, so they will have a better chance of succeeding.
Gerald "Jay" Matthewson, Fleet Manager, Ben E Keith Co.
Matthewson has worked in the equipment and trucking industry since 1983. After owning his own forklift company for 15 years, he began working at private fleet Ben E Keith, a Texas-based foodservice and beverage distributor. After graduating from Wyoming Technical Institute, he was service manager for Job Handler Co. and a field service rep for Mark Industries.
Randy Obermeyer, Terminal Manager, Batesville Logistics
Obermeyer has a passion for vehicle maintenance and the use of lean tools to reduce waste associated with it. Managing the private fleet for Batesville Casket Company, he was honored as an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator in 2017 for his work adapting Lean practices to the trucking industry. He enjoys the opportunity to learn and share with others through networking at the various trucking industry trade shows and meetings. He stresses that he has been blessed with many great opportunities to grow in this fascinating industry and is proud to serve on this advisory board.
Don Orr, President, Central Freight Lines
At the less-than-truckload carrier since 2008, Orr previously was an executive for companies such a Moyes Enterprises, Comcar, Schilli Transportation, and Roberson Transportation. Central is a non-union, less-than-truckload carrier specializing in regional overnight and second-day markets. He was chairman of the Illinois Trucking Association twice as well as chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association. Orr was honored as an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator in 2007.
Steve Rush, President, Carbon Express
Born on a small farm in Maine, Rush served in the Air Force before starting a career in trucking in 1965. After driving for 19 years, he founded tanker fleet Carbon Express in 1983. He was honored as an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator in 2015 for his work in lightweight vehicle specs and advocating for e-logs. Carbon Express has stainless steel insulated trailers that allow it to haul as much as 50,000 pounds of cargo, compared to the industry standard of 44,000. He also is past chairman of the National Tank Truck Carriers.
Darry Stuart, Owner, DWS Fleet Management
Darry Stuart has more than 50 years of experience in the transportation industry. He is President/ CEO of DWS Fleet Management Services, serving as a “limited time executive” in transportation and fleet equipment management, providing various services in leadership, coaching, asset management, and legal support, as well as numerous speaking and training events since 1998. For 40+ years, he has been an active member, including General Chairman (2007-2008) of the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations.