For the Record
The American Trucking Associations Jan. 12 announced Captains of the 2011-12 America’s Road Team. The premier group of million-mile, accident-free truck drivers will spend the next two years representing the trucking industry and delivering its highway safety message.
These 18 drivers, with a collective 483 years behind the wheel and over 36.5 million accident-free miles, were selected from 34 finalists. The competition included a review of trucking industry expertise and a demonstration of their communication skills, combined with their community service and lifetime safety records.
“The America’s Road Team puts an impressive face behind the wheel,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “These ambassadors to the industry have remarkable safe driving records and an unmatched enthusiasm for their job and for the industry.”
ATA created America’s Road Team in 1986. It continues today with the support of Volvo Trucks North America. “Volvo Trucks congratulates the highly skilled drivers chosen to serve as trucking industry ambassadors in 2011 and 2012,” said Ron Huibers, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks North America.
While maintaining their jobs as full-time professional drivers, the new America’s Road Team Captains will travel the country speaking on behalf of the trucking industry to the community, news media and public officials.
The captains are Willie Atkinson and Danny Fuller of Con-way Freight; Gary G. Babbitt of Central Freight Lines; Joe Allen Boyd and Kenny Lowry of Wal-Mart Transportation; David Boyer, Nate McCarty and Tim McElwaney of ABF Freight System; Randall Dee Briggs and Alphonso Lewis of YRC; Samuel Douglas Lee of Old Dominion Freight Line; Dennis Martin and Roger L. Nicholson of UPS Freight; J.W. Ray of Werner Enterprises; Dion Saiz and Brooks Washburn of FedEx Freight; Jeffrey Wade of Southeastern Freight Line; and Robert L. Weller of Hahn Transportation.
For more information go to www.americasroadteam.com.
U.S Xpress Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Marking their 25th anniversary, U.S. Xpress executives are optimistic the trucking industry will gain momentum in the future despite hurdles.
“To use a technical term Bill Strauss with the Chicago [Federal Reserve] uses, it stinks,” U.S. Xpress Co-chairman Max Fuller quipped about the current trucking climate. “If you look at [Gross Domestic Product] running at 3.2 percent, you’d think that business would feel a lot better. The reason it doesn’t feel better right now is the inventory rebuild component that has really affected the economy this past year.”
Fuller said if you take the inventory rebuild component out of the equation, the GDP is really running at about 1 percent and that’s what most companies are feeling. Using Strauss’ forecast, the GDP should hit 4 percent in the second quarter, and business confidence will improve.
“At 4 percent, the consumer will kick in, businesses will kick in and we’ll start consuming some of this inventory that has built up,” Fuller said. “We should then right-side to what GDP is running at so we’ve got a lot of confidence that as we get into the second quarter and the balance of this year and even into 2012, business is going to be extremely good.”