TCA teams with independent truckers

During the Truckload Carriers Association’s Annual Convention at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, the organization announced a formal partnership with the National Association of Independent Truckers, effective immediately.

TCA also recognized 19 of its members as part of an Ambassador Club ceremony honoring the longevity of the companies with the organization.

The new affinity program with NAIT – the first such program TCA has embraced in several years – is part of TCA’s ongoing effort to help its members attract and retain professional drivers.

Beginning with its annual convention, TCA now will promote NAIT membership to its member independent contractors and companies who utilize owner-operators. It also will encourage participation in NAIT’s programs, which include affordable driver insurance, health and wellness programs, business tools and entertainment.

The new partnership will be particularly beneficial to TCA members because of the excellent driver insurance solutions offered by NAIT through its insurance provider, Transguard. Currently, TCA does not offer occupational accident, contract liability, nontrucking liability, physical damage or workers’ compensation coverage to its members or their independent contractors.

“Our mission at TCA is to create success for the truckload industry and the communities it serves,” said Chris Burruss, TCA president. “Independent contractors play a big part in that success, so helping these entrepreneurs secure quality, affordable insurance is not just the right thing to do, it is an opportunity we simply could not pass up.”

John Kaburick, incoming TCA chairman and president of Salem, Ill.-based Earl L. Henderson Trucking Co., agreed. “The margins are tight in our industry, and success is often measured in pennies,” Kaburick said. “Those carriers that make it have a firm understanding of their costs, and are always on the lookout for ways to cut them. They want innovative, competitive options, which is what this partnership with NAIT is designed to provide.”

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As part of the agreement, TCA will make its name and logo available to NAIT and will help to develop informational materials for promotion of the joint venture. “The NAIT and TCA partnership will be beneficial to all parties involved,” said David King, NAIT vice president of association programs. “NAIT is where independent trucking entrepreneurs turn for answers.”

Five of the Ambassador Club companies were inductees, while the other 14 were recognized for reaching milestones in their membership tenures. There are now a total of 73 companies in TCA’s Ambassador Club.

Three companies reached the 50-year mark: Schilli Transportation Services of Remington, Ind.; Apgar Bros. Inc. of Bound Brook, N.J.; and Online Transport Inc. of Greenfield, Ind. These members received a crystal globe recognizing their longtime commitment to TCA.

New inductees and companies that moved up to the next level within the Ambassador Club received handsome plaques. RJW Inc./Bestway Systems Inc. of Independence, Ohio, was the senior member of this group, moving up to the category of 60 years of TCA membership.

“Our 2010 honorees have traveled a long road with TCA,” said Kevin Burch, TCA’s chairman and president of Jet Express Inc. of Dayton, Ohio. “Over the years, the knowledge and experience they have shared has been of great benefit to the industry and helped to define our organization. Their loyalty and commitment is very rare and should be applauded.”

TCA established its Ambassador Club in 1996 as a way to honor companies that maintain memberships with the organization for 25 years or longer. After their induction, companies are honored every five years for their ongoing commitment to TCA and their industry. Special recognition is bestowed when a company reaches the 50- or 75-year mark.