The knights of the road are making a comeback 


 The Trucking Moves America Forward campaign was announced March 26 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The mission of this movement is to create a positive image for the industry, to ensure that policymakers and the public are aware of the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy and to build the political support necessary to strengthen and grow the industry in the coming years.


I am thrilled anytime when we can do things to promote a positive image for the trucking industry. Many groups and associations throughout the industry have jumped on board with the image campaign. Some of these include: Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Many of the OEM’S and other industry suppliers are supporting this initiative as well.


Our public image is created from our actions on a daily basis and further reinforced with the stereotypes portrayed in many Hollywood movies. Remember the movies years ago… Convoy, Duel, Smokey and the Bandit. These movies are not the reality of a truck driver’s life and have created a false sense in some people’s minds. In my opinion, this is where the industry started to lose its image of the driver being a “Knight of the Highway.”


I will be attending the Great American Truck Show (GATS) in Dallas next week and I plan to find out more information on a first hand basis. I had plans to attend the kick off at Mid America earlier this year, however scheduling conflicts did not allow for me to participate. The Trucking Moves America Forward has been aggressive in raising quite a bit of money to date and at this year’s GATS they will introduce the “High-5 and Show Your Pride” campaign on August 20, 2014. This campaign encourages attendees to donate five dollars to the TMAF movement in hopes to reach their goal of one million dollars its first year.
Our image will be restored when we as adults are encouraging the younger generation to follow in our footsteps in becoming a truck driver. When I speak with other professional drivers in the industry, a low percentage of them are encouraging their offspring to embark on a trucking career. For me, this industry has had its ups and downs but overall it’s enabled me to provide my family with an above average lifestyle. The wheels of our industry may be a bit tarnished at the moment, however if we each take responsibility we can polish the blemishes from our industry.

 

Comments (6)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/T™, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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That was a great story Darren . This is the type of human kindness the general public needs to hear more of . I know these type of acts happen everyday .

August 26, 2014 7:37:08 AM

Great article Henry, no doubt we have many hurdles to overcome to restore our image. In my early years trucking on the island of Newfoundland (565 miles east to west), it was not uncommon for several trucks to stop to assist a motorist or another truck on the side of the highway. These days this has become quite rare, either from time constraints, increased risk of highjacking and just plain apathy. Back in the mid nineties on a Christmas Eve, I once pulled up behind a car with its 4-ways flashing on a desolate section of highway on the west coast of Nfld. Turns out it was a young family with an 8 year old girl that had run out of gas and the car was frosted over from the cold ( it was below zero that night). With no way to get their car going, I had them board my truck and drove them the two hours to the next town where they were able to call a family relative that lived nearby to come pick them up. While the husband and I had a coffee inside the wife and sleeping child stayed in the truck. He said it had been over an hour they had been there before I came along and really appreciated me stopping as that road is not well travelled at that tine of night. Once their ride showed up, they thanked me and I was on my way again. Just a simple act that I'm sure made a difference.

August 25, 2014 13:02:30 PM

Sorry for the mix up, I'm typing on my new I pad and touch the wrong key. But anyway like I was saying, this car decided to speed up and not let me over. Good thing I had enough space to pass by safely. At that moment I was thinking some bad thoughts.😈 but I decided to pray for that person. 🙏

August 24, 2014 18:58:05 PM

That's RITE ! Because in our on way, we are responsible for the image that we want to project. I have to be honest, just today as I was driving along. I noticed a vehicle on the side of the road. So as usual I check my mirrors, and when it's cl

August 24, 2014 17:01:02 PM

Well Spoken Henry. The Image is everything. If Hollywood can tarnish it, Then Hollywood can Polish it. Keep pushing forward and we just might get there.

August 24, 2014 13:01:54 PM

My parents are affected by this trucker sterotype. They think that I shouldn't be a trucker when I become older. However I tell them that it is what I want to do and how I want to live MY life. Great article, Henry.

August 24, 2014 12:05:55 PM