Alabama Trucker, 1st Quarter 2021

Page 1








Trucking’s Data Miners

Is it pronounced data or data? Who knows, but what is known is that for 20 years, the trucking industry’s non-profit research organization, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), has carefully pored over data with careful analysis to solve some the industry’s most complex problems.

Published quarterly by the Alabama Trucking Assn., P.O. Box 242337, Montgomery, AL 36124-2337. or call 334-834-3983 EDITOR Ford Boswell CREATIVE DIRECTOR Cindy Segrest


Teacher by Trade, Trucker by Choice


The American Trucking Associations’ new chair Sherri Garner Brumbaugh reflects on 30 years in the trucking industry, and her ongoing quest for knowledge to move it forward.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alan Alexander, Samantha Brown, Tim Frazier, Tom McLeod ADVERTISING Ford Boswell


Recruiting the Next Generation of Truckers


Alabama Trucking leaders recently entered a strategic partnership with Markstein, a creative communications agency based in Birmingham that specializes in workforce development, to launch a public relations and advertising campaign aimed at increasing the number of people interested in pursuing a career as a com-

DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP & EVENTS Brandie Norcross DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION Cindy York SENIOR ADVISOR Ford Boswell ATA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Steve Aronhalt, Dennis Bailey, Nic Balanis, Brian Barze, Chris Bisanz, Joe Black, Gary Bond, Lacy Brakefield, Leigh Ward Breal, Greg Brown, Will Bruser, Craig Burgess, Dan Carmichael, Fenn Church, J.J. Clemmons, Kimble Coaker, Mark Coffman, John Collier, Driscoll Colquett, Brent Cook, Chris Cooper, Bo Cross, Jerry Davis, Amy DeFee, Joe Donald, Edmund Doss, Mack Dove, Wesley Dunn, Steve Dupuis, Jack Fricks, Beau Holmes, Jim Jenkins, Steve Johnson, Bryan Kilpatrick, Terry Kilpatrick, Mark Knotts, Jerry Kocan, Ben Leach, Alphonso Lewis, Andrew Linn, Drew Linn, Hunter Lyons, Jeff McGrady, Barry McGriff, Tom McLeod, Buck Moore, E.H. Moore, Jr., Tommy Neely, Butch Owens, David Padgett, Clay Palm, Kelly Robinson, Kevin Savoy, Bill Scruggs, Ronnie Stephenson, Steve Stinson, Paul Storey, Harold Sumerford, Jr., Gene Sweeney, Gaines Thomas, Bill Ward, Bo Watkins, Wayne Watkins, Taylor White, Keith Wise, Daniel Wright.


mercial truck driver or diesel technician.



Opening Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Safety Insights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 SMMC Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Trucking News Roundup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Buyers’ Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 ATA Events and New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Advertising rates are available upon request.

An Affiliate of the American Trucking Associations


334-834-3983 • 1

Opening Remarks

One Year Later: Truckers continue to deliver

I Tom McLeod Chairman of the Board Alabama Trucking Association McLeod Software Corp.

‘The trucking industry will continue to be there for Americans like we always have.’


t’s difficult to believe that it has been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit America, closing businesses, stalling commerce and keeping people home. For frontline workers, like truck drivers, the pandemic has only intensified their work, and one year may seem like two. Truck drivers are in harm’s way every day in the middle of a devastating viral disease. Despite the dangers, the trucking industry remains resilient during this pandemic at every stage. During the early weeks of the outbreak, America’s 3.6 million truck drivers ensured stores were stocked, hospitals were supplied, and first responders were equipped. While some Americans have taken steps to show their appreciation for truck drivers, most do not realize how essential the industry is to their daily lives until a crisis hits. The trucking industry is the backbone of America – keeping our lives, businesses and economy moving forward every day by safely delivering everything we rely on. From the delivery of today’s most critical supplies, such as the coronavirus vaccine, to the delivery of daily essential goods, including the food on your table, clothes on your back and fuel in your car, all of these items were brought to our communities by a truck. As a matter of fact, nearly every good that is consumed in the U.S. was put on a truck at some point. The critical link between a stocked grocery store or pharmacy, and a consumer, is an American truck driver. From every product to every place, trucking delivers to every corner of America. In fact, 80 percent of American communities rely solely on trucking for their deliveries. And now, with online shopping more prevalent than ever as consumers limit their trips to the store, more Americans are relying on deliveries made directly to their doorstep. From every place to every sector, trucking is vital to the U.S. and global supply chain serving as the last mile of deliveries from every industry: retail, agriculture, manufacturing and healthcare. Trucking is the prime mover of our nation’s freight. In 2019 alone, the trucking industry hauled over 72 percent of all freight, which equates to over 11.8 billion tons. At a time, when jobs have been diminished, the trucking industry also contributes greatly to the American workforce and economy, creating millions of jobs and career opportunities in communities small and large. In Alabama, trucking provides 109,980 jobs. Today, the trucking industry is supported by nearly 8 million professionals nationwide, including drivers, technicians, vendors and partners. Overall, the industry contributes over $791 billion in revenue to our nation’s economy each year. Meanwhile, Alabama trucking businesses contribute $629 million in taxes to state coffers. As we enter year two of the pandemic, truck drivers will continue to load up and transport the Covid-19 vaccines, PPE, and hand sanitizer to America’s stores along with consumers’ favorite items such as smartphones, puzzles, personal grooming products, beverages and snacks, to their homes. It’s times like these, I feel especially proud to be a part of the trucking industry and working alongside America’s professional truck drivers, our country’s unsung heroes. One year ago, at the start of the pandemic in the U.S., trucking never stopped. With continual new factors emerging, such as new virus variants and the many vaccine distribution challenges, times will remain uncertain. But one thing’s for certain: The trucking industry will continue to be there for Americans like we always have. Be sure to thank a trucker today.


Trucking’s Data Miners: Shaping industry policy

Illustration by Joey Seales



with independent research and analysis For two decades, the American Transportation Research Institute has performed significant research and data analysis that has served as a jumping-off point for some of trucking’s most critical policy initiatives.

politan planning organizations. For its efforts, ATRI has received top research awards from ITS America, the Trucking Industry Defense Association, the University of Minnesota, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers. For the trucking industry, however, ATRI serves as a powerful ally for shaping and improving the lives of the millions of Americans who earn a living in transportation and logistics.

By Ford Boswell


For Rebecca Brewster, President and Chief Operating Officer for the American In 1954, the American Trucking AssociaTransportation Research Institute, the antions Foundation was founded with support swers to the trucking industry’s most pressfrom trucking industry suppliers seeking susing issues are always in the data. For whattainable industry promotional image camever problems she and the organization she paigns. Over time, as the Foundation engaged leads are trying to solve their in research to provide the data and motto is to never look further statistics to populate the industry’s than what the data tells you. More message of essentiality, its focus often than not, that’s your best shifted more to research and analystart to finding a solution. sis thereafter. The group quickly This year, the American Transcreated a vast portfolio of governportation Research Institute (ATRI) ment contract research on a variety marks its twentieth year providing of trucking industry topics available research and data analysis that seeks to all industry stakeholders. to improve the industry’s safety and The Foundation grew and evenproductivity, whether it is identifytually created a network of regional ing driver behaviors that lead to fu- Rebecca Brewster offices staffed to provide research ture crashes, or how changes to hours-of-sersupport to the state trucking associations vice rules impact driver safety and productivi(STAs), which used its assets and campaigns ty, or a better understanding of how impactto lobby local and state agencies and policyful congestion on our nation’s highways is to makers. the country’s economic well-being. In the late 1990s, following the appointATRI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research ment of former Roadway Corp. CEO Mike organization headquartered in Arlington, Va., Wickham as Chairman of the Foundation, a with offices in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Sacragroup of industry shareholders and thought mento and New York. Its mission is to conleaders convened to crystallize the Foundaduct transportation research with an emphasis tion’s mission. That focus group posed the on the trucking industry’s essential role as a question, “If there was no ATA Foundation, key part of a safe, efficient and viable transand we were tasked with creating one, what portation system. Focus areas include congeswould it look like?” Group members met regtion and mobility; economic analysis; safety ularly for nearly two years to plot a new path, and security; technology and operations; enviand the result was a reorganization of the ronment; (transportation) infrastructure; and ATA Foundation into ATRI in 2001 — this more recently, tort reform. time as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization The institute’s extensive experience covers (before that, the Foundation had been a a broad range of commercial vehicle opera501(c)(6). tions, including leadership and/or participaAccording to Brewster, the distinction tion in numerous national freight analyses, better reflected the group’s mission of edutechnology research initiatives and field opcation and research rather than lobbying erational tests. It presently manages the and industry promotion. She explains that U.S. DOT’s Freight Mobility program and the change also created distance and indehas provided freight mobility and performpendence from the American Trucking Asance measures technical assistance to 31 sociations, which she believes adds more state DOTs and 11 of the 15 largest metrocredibility to ATRI’s research. A LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021

Meanwhile, shortly after the reorganization in 2001, Brewster was tapped to lead the group after more than a decade of rising through the ranks successfully managing key projects and initiatives. Today, ATRI is a standalone organization with bylaws and a Board of Directors comprised of industry CEOs and other stakeholders. The research it undertakes on behalf of the trucking industry is identified as a priority by the Research Advisory Committee (RAC), which is composed of representatives from motor carriers, industry suppliers, driver groups, law enforcement, government and academia who value the importance of sound science to bring forth positive and substantive change and growth to a complex industry. The RAC is charged with annually developing the trucking industry’s top research priorities.

Policy Via Research Due to its leadership structure, ATRI is blessed with a variety of opinions and perspectives coming from all facets of the industry — and even a few from regulatory agencies and government officials. “When we have a RAC meeting, it’s fascinating to hear the differing opinions and feedback of all the various (committee) members,” Brewster says. “If the goal of the RAC is to figure out what the industry’s most pressing research needs are, having differing backgrounds and feedback are what make our process so credible.” According to Shawn Brown, Vice President of Safety for Cargo Transporters, Inc., a truckload and dry van carrier based in Claremont, NC, and the current RAC Chairman, the RAC is where the rubber meets the road for developing transportation policy specific to trucking. “We’re the group that evaluates all the suggested research topics and narrows them down to five or six ideas that the ATRI staff will set forth a full research report. I have been involved with the Institute for several years and am continually impressed by the diversity represented in our meetings and the subsequent outcomes.” As Chairman, Brown works closely with ATRI staff to give input on meeting logistics, serve as the facilitator of the RAC, and present research recommendations to the board of directors for final approval. “But make no mistake, the duties that I have (as Chairman) in no way compare to those of Rebecca and her talented staff,” he says. “They do the lion’s 5

share of the work to plan, organize and see forth a successful meeting. More importantly, they carry out all the actual research.” One of the more recent research studies that Brewster is most proud of is the analysis on the impact of nuclear verdicts on the trucking industry. “In recent years, we learned from the industry that these verdicts have harmed so many organizations, but no one had done a deep dive into the issue to determine what were the causes and what sort of factors led to these jury decisions,” she says. Large legal verdicts have been a part of the legal landscape of the trucking industry for years, but the costs associated with them have increased dramatically over the last decade. Oftentimes, single verdicts can rise to more than $10 million for serious crashes involving injury and death. This led the RAC to rank the “Impact of Large Verdicts on the Trucking Industry” among its top research priorities, citing statistics that showed that several motor carriers had been forced to close due to rising insurance premiums — a result of nuclear verdicts. The RAC then prioritized research with several main objectives, including 1) Determine how large verdicts impact the industry; 2) analyze crash factors on the size of respective verdicts; 3) survey industry stakeholders and subject matter experts on relevant courtroom tactics; and 4) identify strategies utilized in other industries to protect firms against inordinately large verdicts to apply them to trucking operations. As a representative from a larger carrier, Brown believes ATRI’s best attributes are its ability to remain neutral and present only the facts of a given study. It’s then up to policymakers and stakeholders to put ATRI’s findings to work. “There is no bias for or against any one stakeholder,” he says. “Fleet owners and man-

ATRI Supporters A&M Transport Ability Tri-Modal Transportation Services Alabama Trucking Assn. ArcBest Corporation Arizona Trucking Assn. Arkansas Trucking Assn. Best Way Express Bob Costello Boyle Transportation Bulldog Hiway Express C.H. Robinson Worldwide Carbon Express Cargo Transporters Central Oregon Truck Company Chris Spear Colorado Motor Carriers Assn. Combined Transport CRINC CRST


How You Can Support ATRI Want to get more involved with ATRI? There are many ways you can be part of this vital industry organization: Participate in ATRI’s research: When ATRI puts out a call for carrier data or asks for responses to an industry survey, take the time to participate. More is always better when it comes to research and we encourage you to join the growing number of motor carriers, professional drivers, and industry suppliers who all regularly take part in ATRI’s studies. Contribute to ATRI: Join your peers in the industry with a charitable contribution to support ATRI’s research. Giving is easy and can be done online at Suggest a research topic: ATRI is always looking for new research ideas for the RAC to evaluate. Join the RAC: Want to be involved in setting the trucking industry’s research agenda? Send us an email letting us know you want to be considered for a nomination to serve on the RAC. Spread the news: When ATRI releases research results, please Tweet, Facebook and otherwise share the findings with your colleagues and peer network so that everyone benefits from our work on behalf of the trucking industry.

ager can use the data presented and formulate business strategies; whether it be using bottleneck data and changing the day and time a truck goes through a certain area for efficiency, or develop plans in risk management to protect company assets, etc. “For me, the most interesting ATRI research is the “Annual Top Industry Issues” report,” Brown says. “As a fleet professional, I see these issues firsthand in my company to some extent, and I am fascinated to see how these same issues affect other carriers regardless of size.

Cummins Inc. Dan Van Alstine Dave Huneryager David and Betsy Manning Doug Voss FedEx Florida Trucking Assn. Garner Transportation Group Georgia Motor Trucking Assn. GetGo Transportation Company LLC Grand Island Express Great West Casualty Company Hoekstra Transportation, LLC Idaho Trucking Assn. Illinois Trucking Assn. Indiana Motor Truck Assn. Iowa Motor Truck Assn. J&M Tank Lines, Inc. James Burg Trucking Company JC Express Corp. John Flanagan Kansas Motor Carriers Assn. Kenan Advantage Group

Kentucky Trucking Assn. K-Limited Carrier, Ltd. Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance LLC LTL Service, Inc Maine Motor Transport Assn. Marcello & Kivisto, LLC Maryland Motor Truck Assn. Maverick Transportation MCM CPA & Advisors Michael Ahart Mike Tunnell Miller Trucking, Ltd. Minnesota Trucking Assn. Mississippi Trucking Assn. Missouri Trucking Assn. Motor Transport Assn. of Connecticut National Tank Truck Carriers Nevada Trucking Assn. New Hampshire Motor Truck Assn. New Mexico Trucking Assn. North Carolina Trucking Assn. Foundation North Dakota Motor Carriers Assn.

“Occasionally, there will be an issue that gets ranked higher or lower than I ranked it, and that is intriguing to me. We don’t always have to fall in line and agree with the results of the survey as it affects our companies, but it is a great gauge of the national pulse.”

Funding & Support ATRI depends on the financial support of industry stakeholders to advance its research agenda. Charitable contributions allow ATRI to continue to produce critical research studies on topics as varied as truck parking, hoursof-service, driver training, congestion mitigation and autonomous trucks. “No matter how large or small your company is I am confident there is no one on your staff who is doing the detailed analyses that ATRI provides,” Brown says. “This type of research is such a specialized and detailed project a single company can’t do something like it. That is why we in the transportation industry benefit so much from giving input on surveys, participating in research projects, and donating financially to ATRI as well. Brown says that even if you don’t contribute funds, you can still support ATRI by participating in its data collection activities. “More is always better when it comes to research information,” he says. “I encourage everyone in the industry to join a growing number of motor carriers, professional drivers and industry suppliers who regularly take part in ATRI’s studies.” ATRI makes all of its research available free of charge. For more information, please visit

Ohio Trucking Assn. Oklahoma Trucking Assn. Old Dominion Freight Line Oregon Trucking Assn. Ozark Motor Lines Panhandle Express Pennsylvania Motor Truck Assn. Pitt Ohio PrePass Safety Alliance Prime, Inc. Rebecca Brewster Rhode Island Trucking Assn. Roberts Perryman, PC Ruan Schneider Shannon Newton Sheila Foertsch Shorty and Ro Whittington South Carolina Trucking Assn. Specialized Carriers & Rigging Assn. TAEC Region II TCW, Inc. Tennessee Trucking Assn.

Texas Motor Transportation Assn. Toledo Trucking Assn. Tommy Hodges Total Transportation of Mississippi LLC TransSafe Consulting Trimac Transportation Trucking Associaiton of New York UPS USA Truck Usher Transport Verifleet, LLC Vermont Truck and Bus Assn. Vertical Alliance Group Wallace Transport, Inc. Washington Trucking Assn.s Werner Enterprises Western TAEC Wisconsin Motor Carriers Assn. Wyoming Trucking Assn. Yellow Young's Commercial Transfer


Teacher by Trade, Trucker by Heritage

American Trucking Associations’ new Chairman Sherri Garner Brumbaugh reflects on 30 years in the trucking industry, and her quest for knowledge to move it forward. By Samantha Brown Sherri Garner Brumbaugh delivers her acceptance speech following her election to the National ATA Chairman of the Board.


ehind every successful businesswoman is a healthy thirst for knowledge. “My quip is I am a teacher by trade and a trucker by heritage,” jokes Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, who grew up in the industry and joined the family business, Garner Transportation Group, after first studying education and teaching band for grades 5 through 12. Last year marked her 30th year with the Findlay, Ohio-based company, for which she has served as president since 2008 — a bittersweet promotion following the passing of her father, but one that helped keep a Garner in Garner Transportation Group. The company’s history tells a familiar industry narrative. Vern and Jean Garner, Brumbaugh’s parents, founded the company. “It’s the ‘American Story,’” says Garner Brumbaugh. “It was a man [with] a dream and one truck.” Sixty years, 80 trucks and 145 employees later, Brumbaugh says they’re “growing strong.” Throughout her career, Brumbaugh says Indiana customers drew her fleet to the Crossroads. “My trucks spend quite a bit of time in and out and through Indiana,” she explains, “so I wanted to support the state and get involved in advocacy to support the trucking initiative in Indiana.” Garner Brumbaugh is a proponent for industry associations, having served on several boards as well as volunteering for American Trucking Associations (ATA), so the choice was easy to join the Indiana Motor Truck Association — A LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021

she’s been a member for about 10 years. Recently, Garner Brumbaugh was named chair of the Board of ATA, making her the second woman ever to hold the position. “It is a male-dominated industry, but I’ve always felt that I have something to contribute,” she says. “Being part of the business for so many years — leading, owning

and being the president of a trucking company — I think I can bring experience to the table and so I do, and I’m not afraid to speak up. You’ve got [to be able] to speak up, and so I do. That probably lends itself most days.” One of the areas Garner Brumbaugh focuses on the most is advocacy. She has rallied

The Brumbaugh Family, from left, Zac, Jerry, Sherri, Jean Garner, and Ben Brumbaugh 9

Standing Tall for Trucking: Garner Brumbaugh and the team at Garner Trucking, Inc.

support for legislation, like the DRIVE-Safe Act, which proposes lowering the age limit for commercial drivers to 18-20 in a highly trained and controlled environment. In addition to creating potential solutions for the nationwide driver shortage, Garner Brumbaugh said younger drivers could add new energy and replace the aging workforce in the industry. Garner Brumbaugh has also joined the fight against human trafficking, one of the world’s darkest and most profitable crimes. “I’m proud of my association with Truckers Against Trafficking and the training that I’ve done, not only in my organization but encouraging my peers to do it in their organizations. It’s been very impactful for my drivers,” she says. TAT is a 501(c)(3) organization that trains truck drivers to recognize and report instances of human trafficking. With all these accomplishments, Garner Brumbaugh still continues to be an educator. She is an adjunct faculty member with the University of Findlay College of Business, where she teaches supply chain quality management. 10

And she continues to learn from others. Garner Brumbaugh looks to her peers and helps motivate the future leaders of the industry, challenging them to step out of the day-to-day operations, get involved and give

Life-long volunteer: Despite her professional obligations, Garner Brumbaugh remains focused on what’s most important: family and friends.

back — not only to the community, but to colleagues and friends. “Whether it’s labor or regulatory, technology, EPA, whatever it is that you’re responsible for — you know it, and you need to advocate for it,” she explains. “You can’t know everything there is to know about this industry — it’s so much, it’s ever-changing, so I rely on my peers to help me understand and navigate things … I would encourage my peers and [those] younger to share.” A teacher doesn’t have to be in a classroom to educate, and Garner Brumbaugh holds some of the core principles of her early professional life, namely support, community involvement and collaboration, and she values the time and knowledge shared between her and her colleagues in Indiana, Ohio and beyond. “What I appreciate about all those peers … are all the things they bring to the table because individually you can’t get anything done, but collectively you can get a lot done,” she says. This article previously appeared in Crossroads Quarterly, volume 3 issue 1, and is reprinted with permission. A LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021

Sherri Garner Brumbaugh Fast Facts Hometown: Findlay, Ohio

Indiana Motor Truck Association – Board member

Education: B.A., music education, The Ohio State University; M.A., education, Bowling Green State University

Ohio Trucking Association –Board member

Position: President, CEO and owner of Garner Trucking Group Family: Husband, Jerry Brumbaugh, and three sons Favorite books read recently: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t by James C. Collins

Truckload Carriers Association – Board member, Highway Committee, Best Fleets to Drive For recipient (4 years) University of Findlay – Trustee; Advancement Committee co-chair; College of Business Advisory Board chair; adjunct professor, College of Business Humane Society Foundation – Board member

Favorite hobbies: Trap shooting, yard work/gardening, physical fitness

Boy Scouts of America: Black Swamp Area – Council Board immediate past president

Eager to Help Sherri Garner Brumbaugh is active in the trucking industry, remains active in education and volunteers in her community. Below are some of the associations and organizations she has been a part of and recognitions she has received throughout her career.

American Heart Association – Volunteer

American Trucking Associations – Current chair; Board/ Executive Committee member


Wreaths Across America – Seven-year participant Truckers Against Trafficking – Sponsor Women in Trucking – Outstanding Place to Work for Women; Most Influential Woman in Trucking finalist


Ramping Up for Recruiting the future of Alabama’s trucking workforce

By Alan Alexander Alabama’s trucking industry has weathered its fair share of challenges, many of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet truckers continue to show their resiliency in keeping our trucks moving and our economy running. Throughout its 80-year history, the Alabama Trucking Association has been there to help its members better navigate challenges - from helping pass legislation that keeps our industry ahead of the curve and providing services that ensure operations run safely and more efficiently to promoting a high level of professionalism within the many communities the trucking industry serves. One of the greatest challenges for many of our members, especially over the past few years, has been recruiting and retaining qualified truck driver candidates into over-the-road and long-haul routes. According to the American Transportation Research Institute’s 2020 Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry report, a shortage of drivers ranked as the top national concern in the industry for the fourth consecutive year. On top of this, Alabama is also facing an acute shortage of qualified diesel technicians to maintain vehicles and equipment. “Everyone in trucking knows of the challenges in our workforce,” says ATA President and CEO Mark Coslon, “but the Alabama Truck12

ing Association is not just going to talk about the challenge. We are going to relentlessly pursue solutions on behalf of our members. Whatever it takes, however long it takes.” There are several different factors that attribute to the driver shortage facing the trucking industry, and like any multi-faceted problem, the solution requires a multi-faceted approach. To meet this challenge, a strategic partnership has been formed through the ATA Foundation with Markstein, a creative communications agency based in Birmingham that specializes in workforce development, to launch a public relations and advertising campaign aimed at increasing the number of people interested in pursuing a career as a commercial truck driver or diesel technician. “As we began digging into this project, it became clear we would need a partner to help us keep a long-term strategic focus,” Colson says. “The talented team at Markstein has a proven track record, and in a short period of time, we have made tremendous progress.” The first stages of the partnership began last November. Markstein took a research-first approach gathering data to create a foundational view of the current workforce and educational landscape within Alabama’s commercial trucking industry. The firm also conducted one-on-one interviews to uncover internal perceptions about the industry and analyzed preliminary audience segments to better A LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021

the Long Haul: understand the demographic makeup of these audiences across the state. Using this information, Markstein developed target audience personas for the truck driver and diesel technician positions and assigned motivators that influence these audiences’ decisions to pursue a commercial trucking career. The goal of the campaign is ultimately focused on funneling more applicants into the state’s 15 CDL and nine diesel technology community college training programs so that our industry is receiving highly-trained drivers and diesel technicians. But to accomplish this, it is imperative to first address the external perceptions about the industry – especially the truck driver and diesel technician fields – and boost awareness about the great benefits and job potential of beginning a career in commercial trucking. Taking the results from the research, Markstein will develop and launch the campaign, which will include a mix of advertising, public relations and community engagement outreach strategies that are designed to resonate with each target persona and equip educators in the community with the resources necessary to spark career interest at a pivotal age. The campaign will be rolled out in phases, starting at a small scale within a few areas of the state as a pilot phase before ramping and expanding across Alabama. These workforce development campaigns are a long haul, and the results of the work will not fully manifest until a few years after the campaign has begun. That’s why it is increasingly imperative to begin these efforts now. Colson believes the trucking industry’s most important resource is a skilled workforce. “It’s the foundation for the future,” he says. “No one is coming to fix this problem for us. It’s our responsibility as industry leaders to stay committed to this cause and never give up. I’m proud of our ATA Foundation and ATA Board of Directors for meeting this challenge head-on.” By dispelling misconceptions about the industry and building career interest in both young people and those who are either unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic, we can begin building a pipeline of talent that will increase the field of quality candidates for all our members.

Target Audiences, Desired Action

Alan Alexander is an account manager with Markstien. He may be reached at ATA senior advisor Ford Boswell contributed to this report. A LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021



It’s time for a fresh approach to industry recruitment Tim Frazier Vice President of Safety & Compliance

‘Trucking offers all sorts of great jobs that can lead to a long successful career...’



ith all the recent emphasis on recruiting more workers for great-paying trucking jobs, I thought it would be a good idea to rehash ideas on how we can do a better job of attracting younger folks to the industry. The truth is trucking is a pretty hard sell to a younger generation. Trucking offers all sorts of great jobs that can lead to a long successful career in an essential industry that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So, with that in mind, below are a few ideas to consider. First, younger drivers want more time at home to spend time with family and friends. Carriers must continually review their operation to see what adjustments can be made to accommodate those desires. The ones that move toward more regional type freight and relay and dedicated runs can most often get drivers home more often — and, in some cases, multiple times a week. Next, the old-school way of trucking with its bad communication, lack of personal touch, and low pay is dated. Fleets that have consistently increased pay, are more creative with communication (Consider how social media has changed how you communicate with your employees), and treat drivers like professionals have a much better angle with younger drivers – and the more senior ones, too. One of the more recent successful trends I have noticed for carriers wanting to bring in younger drivers is a mentoring program. What these companies are doing is hiring CDL school graduates and placing them with senior drivers for an extensive training period. This allows a younger driver to gain road time under the guidance and watchful eye of an experienced driver. Companies adapting to this type of operation and conducting it professionally are gaining quality, professional drivers who are most likely to stay with the profession for a long time. Companies can also try mentoring programs for careers on the operations side of the business, such as logistics, dispatch or safety. And with recent changes for CDL age limits, there’s now even more opportunity to reach the next generation of trucking employees. Not everyone can or wants to go to a traditional two- or four-year college. High school graduates who choose not to attend college can go immediately into the trucking industry workforce. These people will be looking for employers that have above-average starting pay and care for meeting personal needs. Trucking offers a wealth of opportunities for young people ready to go to work. But our industry must change its tactics to bring these new drivers, services techs, and fleet managers into the fold. Here at Alabama Trucking, we’re ready to be a part of that solution. Stay tuned, good things are coming our way.


MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NEWS National ATA cancels National TDC, Alabama plans to roll with its own

For the second summer in a row, the National Truck Driving Championships & National Step Van Driving Championships are being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to the industry, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear listed a multitude of reasons that led the federation to forgo the event. “After discussing major challenges such as travel bans, equipment donations, CDC restrictions, the ability for state trucking associations to host events prior to August, as well as the building capacity in Minneapolis, the decision has been made to cancel the events,” he said. This year’s competition had been scheduled for Aug. 11-14 in Minneapolis. The annual NTDC is the culmination of a spring and summer’s worth of local, state and regional truck driving championships held across the country. The national competition gives drivers the opportunity to put their skills on display and compete alongside top colleagues. “As I have said many times, NTDC is the event I most look forward to every year,” Spear said. “Know that we do not take this decision lightly. The Super Bowl of Safety had not been canceled since World War II until last year, which is a testament to just how unprecedented this present challenge is.” Last April, ATA officials canceled the planned 2020 event in Indianapolis as the pandemic took hold in the United States. “Our industry’s creed and the very spirit of these competitions is ‘safety first,’ and this outcome reflects that. This decision is made out of an abundance of caution on behalf of the professional drivers, companies and family members who organize, host, and cheer on competitors,” Spear said. “We believe this decision is necessary to maintain the integrity and atmosphere of a ‘national championship’ style event.” Spear also praised the industry’s ongoing efforts to battle the pandemic, including assisting with the nationwide vaccine rollout. “As we continue to battle, protecting the health, safety and wellA LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021

being of our workforce remains most important to us,” Spear said. “We congratulate all drivers who have driven accident-free over the past year and the scores who have accumulated millions of accident-free miles. Thank you for every mile you run and every delivery you make. You make your families, our industry and country proud. You all are heroes.” Spear also looks forward to resuming the event next year. “Continue to stay safe, and thank you for all you do. We certainly look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis, IN in 2022,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bama plans to “roll” with its TDC Alabama Trucking Association leaders announced in March that they plan to roll on with the Alabama Truck Driving Championships on May 28 at the Pelham Civic Center near Birmingham, Ala. “Our event is held outdoors on the grounds of the Pelham Civic Center, and that facility lends itself very well to social distancing and CDC recommendations for virus protection,” said ATA Vice President of Compliance and Safety Tim Frazier. “Therefore, we absolutely believe we can safely go forward with our competition to celebrate Alabama’s truck drivers.” Sponsorship and registration materials will be mailed by mid-tolate March, but according to Frazier, strong ATA member participation will be key to going forward. “This is one of our favorite annual events around here, and we don’t want to cancel it two years in a row,” he said. “But we will need as many member companies as possible to enter drivers. We will also need help with securing equipment for the event. We will be asking members for help to produce the kind of event that our drivers deserve.” If you can donate equipment, please contact Tim Frazier at


Standards (ETS) on COVID-19—to create a future ETS this year. Employers should review company policies to ensure compliance with the OSHA guidance.

News OSHA announces revised COVID guidance for employers The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released revised guidance recommending all employers in non-healthcare-related industries implement a COVID-19 prevention program in the workplace. Key components of the OSHA prevention program include recommendations that employers: conduct a hazard assessment; identify and implement measures that limit the spread of COVID-19; adopt measures that workers who are infected or potentially infected are separated and sent home and implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise COVID-19 concerns. While the revised guidance is not legally binding, OSHA may use the guidance—along with current state Emergency Temporary


Federal agencies release federal mask mandate for transportation workers In January, the Center for Disease Control and Transportation Security Administration finalized a federal mask-wearing mandate for transportation. The CDC’s directive mostly applies to public transportation, such as busses, railroads, and transit services. According to the directive, “solo” truck drivers are exempt from the mandate while operating a CMV, however, there is a lack of clarity regarding the applicability to team-driving operations. The American Trucking Associations has requested clarification on this matter. TSA issued a corresponding Security Directive that instructs transportation hub owneroperators to abide by the CDC’s mask directive. Update on hair drug testing In March, the American Trucking Associations provided public comment to the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Drug Testing Advisory Board

(DTAB) on the Department’s recent proposal to incorporate hair testing into the Federal Workforce Drug Testing Program. During the public comment, ATA highlighted the serious implementation and safety concerns with the proposal, particularly the requirement that positive hair test results are confirmed with positive urine or oral fluid tests. Due to significant delays and concerns with HHS’s proposal, ATA is currently pursuing a legislative fix that would provide DOT the necessary authority to adopt hair testing as an alternative testing method independently of the HHS.

ATA and Road Safe America send letter to DOT on speed limiters ATA and Road Safe America sent a joint letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg affirming support for an updated speed limiter policy. Consistent with the policy the Safety Policy Committee adopted at MCE 2019, the letter reiterates the industry’s concerns with the Department’s 2016 proposed rule and announces ATA’s support for the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act. ATA anticipates a more aggressive regulatory posture from the Biden AdministraContinued on page 20


amendment focused on receiving comments for how roads and traffic devices will support AVs. Comments now due May 14. Both notices are important to the future of AVs in the trucking industry.

News tion. Our partnership with Road Safe America President and Co-Founder Steve Owings provides a strong platform to advocate for our position, improve highway safety and operational efficiency, and thwart foolhardy proposals pushed by anti-truck groups.

USDOT extends comment periods for automated vehicles notices Two notices were issued in the Federal Register related to automated vehicles (AVs) for extending the comment due dates – NHTSA’s Framework for Automated Driving System Safety and FHWA’s revised Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for AVs. NHTSA’s Framework is an ANPRM focused on receiving comments for how the Agency should regulate AVs. Comments now due April 1. FHWA’s Manual is a notice of proposed


State tech school adds simulators to train future drivers Trenholm State Community College is now training CDL students with a new simulation tool to make them better drivers before they even hit the road. Students in Trenholm’s Truck Driving Program can now practice on two new truck driving simulators called the 550Truckplus, which give real-life scenarios. Each simulator is equipped with a 55-in. display panel, providing a 225-degree view. Drivers experience a seamless virtual driving environment, complete with CDL scenarios curriculum, including multiple malfunction capabilities, selectable drivable vehicles, and placeable objects. Students learn skills through various virtual exercises, including traffic and parking obstacles and different weather conditions. They also learn to adjust mirrors and shifting principles of manual and automatic motors while improving safety and driving habits. Trenholm officials say the virtual simu-

lators will give students a real-world experience that replicates hands-on scenarios allowing them to correct errors before getting behind the wheel.

FMCSA enhances the Clearinghouse website for better usability Based on feedback received from drivers, employers and service agents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues to improve its registration process. Enhancements include a redesigned home page that highlights the “Register” and “Log In” buttons, and offers an updated “Learn More” section with some quick links to find helpful information. There’s also a new page called “Before You Register” that lists the information users will need to provide during registration for each user role. This page also includes instructional job aids for each user role, and information on creating a account. Also, added is a revised “Select Your Role” page that describes each Clearinghouse user role and the actions users with that role can take in the system. Meanwhile, registration pages have been Continued on page 22


News redesigned to improve use on mobile devices. This system update also includes improvements to CDL verification. These enhancements will help with registration, conducting queries, and reporting violations. Visit the Clearinghouse at

FMCSA proposes pilot program for more driver flexibility with hours of service The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator (FMCSA) has announced a new proposed pilot program for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to evaluate two additional options for splitting sleeper berth periods – a 6/4 split and a 5/5 split. “FMCSA continues to explore ways to provide flexibility for drivers while


maintaining safety on our roadways. This proposed pilot program will provide needed data and feedback for the Agency to use now and in the future. Gathering more data on split-sleeper flexibility will benefit all CMV stakeholders. We encourage everyone to review this proposal and provide their public comments,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck. During the proposed pilot program, participating drivers would have the option to split their 10 hours of sleeper berth time into two periods, provided that the two periods provide a combined rest amount of at least 10 hours in length. When operating under the pilot program exemption, drivers would be expected to split their sleeper berth time into two periods such that neither period is less than four hours in length; however, drivers would be free to choose whether or not to operate under the exemption based on their schedule. Carriers and drivers desiring to participate would apply to FMCSA for acceptance in the proposed pilot program. As part of its rulemaking process on Hours of Service reform, FMCSA asked for public input for additional data regarding potential split periods of 6/4 or 5/5. During the comment period, the Agency did not receive

any additional data or studies regarding these options, so this new pilot program will work to gather this additional data. As the lead federal agency responsible for America’s CMV safety and operations, FMCSA is the entity best positioned to collect empirical data on potential split sleeper periods. FMCSA has worked closely with motor carrier stakeholders on the issue of sleeper berth periods. Both motor carriers and organized labor have supported efforts to explore additional options, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who stated that “the majority of Teamster team drivers…indicated they preferred having more flexibility in the time that they can obtain restorative rest periods.” During the Trump Administration, FMCSA focused on providing additional flexibility for commercial drivers, while maintaining the highest level of safety. In May 2020, FMCSA published updates to the hours-of-service rules that were based directly on the feedback the Agency heard from commercial drivers regarding the need for increased flexibility and improved safety. The Federal Register notice will have a 60day comment period. To read the Agency’s notice of the proposed pilot program, visit



ATA moves dates for its two largest events ATA 2021 Convention Chairman Will Bruser announced recently that the Association has decided to switch the dates of the 2021 Annual Convention in Destin, Fla. to September 23-26 and the 2021 Golf Classic in Prattville, Ala. to April 20. “As the leading advocate for Alabama’s trucking industry, our top priority is safety,” he said. “We invest countless resources to create a better and safer industry from top to bottom. Likewise, the personal safety of our members and staff is also of the utmost importance to us.” Bruser said that switching these events allows members, staff and guests to safely gather outdoors in the spring for the Classic, and pushing back the Convention to the fall allows vaccine supplies and distribution to catch up with demand, affording a better opportunity to safely hold the 2021 Convention in September. He also noted that Alabama and Auburn football teams play home, non-conference games on September 25 (Alabama vs Southern Miss and Auburn vs Georgia St.), so the event will not conflict with major matchups. ATA President Mark Colson said the decision comes after broad input from ATA’s diverse membership. “We know this decision could inconvenience some, but we believe it is the best path forward to keep ATA’s two most important annual events on track while providing our members the opportunity to gather safely in a way that truly celebrates trucking and advances our mission,” he said. Additional details on both events are forthcoming, and in the coming days and very soon you can visit to make a sponsorship commitment for these events. If you want immediate information about sponsoring either of these events, please contact Brandie Norcross at

ATRI releases its annual list of ‘Top Truck Bottlenecks’ The American Transportation Research Institute has released its annual list high24

lighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America. “While everyone else sheltered in place in 2020, trucks kept rolling, delivering essential goods to communities large and small,”

said CRST International President and CEO Hugh Ekberg. “Unfortunately, congestion continues to impact our operations and affect our drivers’ ability to deliver for America.” The 2021 Top Truck Bottleneck List measures the level of truck-involved congestion at over 300 locations on the national highway system. The analysis, based on truck GPS data from more than 1 million freight trucks uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location. ATRI’s truck GPS data is also used to support the U.S. DOT’s Freight Mobility Initiative. The bottleneck locations detailed in this latest ATRI list represent the top 100 congested locations, although ATRI continuously monitors more than 300 freight-critical locations. For the third year in a row, the intersection of I-95 and SR 4 in Fort Lee, N.J. is once again the Number One freight bottleneck in the country. The rest of the Top 10 includes No 2. Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75; 3. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North); 4. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West); 5. Houston: I-45 at I69/US 59; 6. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94: 7. Chattanooga, Tenn.: I-75 at I-24: 8. St. Louis: I-64/I-55 at I-44: 9. Rye, NY: I-95 at I-287; and 10. San Bernardino, Calif.: I10 at I-15 ATRI’s analysis, which utilized data from 2020, found that while there were COVIDrelated impacts on traffic across the country as car drivers stayed at home, the year was not without severe congestion. Average truck speeds at a fourth of the bottlenecks on ATRI’s list were 45 MPH or less, reflecting both a return to pre-pandemic freight demand throughout the year and the impact of numerous roadway construction projects in 2020. “For decades, ATA has been sounding the alarm about how the condition of our highways is contributing to congestion – which slows down commerce, contributes to pollution and reduces safety. ATRI’s bottleneck report highlights where our most critical issues are and should be a guide for policymakers at the state and federal level,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “The cost of doing nothing is always higher than the cost of A LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021

fixing these problems, and we cannot wait any longer to address this mounting crisis.” For access to the full report, including detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations, please visit ATRI’s website at

ServisFirst Bank promotions Nic Balanis ServisFirst Bank, a subsidiary of ServisFirst Bancshares recently promoted Nic Balanis to Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking. “We are proud to announce well-earned Nic Balanis Executive Vice President promotion for Nic,” said Tom Broughton, ServisFirst Bank Chairman, President and CEO. “Nic (has) distinguished (himself ) in the industry and (among) ServisFirst Bank’s top bankers. ServisFirst Bank customers will continue to benefit from (his) experience, leadership and commitment to service.” Balanis has spent 14 of his 18-year banking career at ServisFirst Bank. Balanis will continue to manage and lead a commercial lending team and the Cash Management Sales Team for the Birmingham Commercial Banking Group. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from The University of Alabama. He also earned his Certified Public Accountant designation. He currently serves on the Alabama Trucking Association Board and as Treasurer for the Creative Montessori School. He was named to Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 list in 2018.

Velocity Truck Centers acquires Neely Coble Co. Velocity Truck Centers (VTC), a leading group of commercial vehicle dealerships in the Southwest, is pleased to announce that the company has expanded into the Southeast with the acquisition of Neely Coble Co., Inc. This acquisition extends VTC’s reach from California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada into central Tennessee, northern Alabama and southern Kentucky. Neely Coble’s primary locations sell and service the Freightliner, Western Star and Isuzu brands from locations in the Nashville, TN, Huntsville/Decatur AL, and Bowling Green KY metropolitan areas. With the addition of these locations, VTC A LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021

continues as one of the largest Freightliner and Western Star dealership groups in the country with more than 30 locations and over 1,800 employees. Existing operations and announced acquisitions generate in excess of $2 billion in worldwide annual revenue from commercial vehicle sales, service, parts, collision and fabrication centers, and equipment financing. VTC will bring its unparalleled customer focus, including twohour Express Assessment, Elite Support Certification and equipment financing through its Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance division, to markets in the Southeast. Brad Fauvre, Co-President of VTC, said “We are very excited to extend Velocity Truck Center’s reach to the rapidly growing markets in the Southeast. We will now be able to take care of our customers operating in a broad area of the US from East to West. VTC is committed to providing exceptional support for our customers and a great place to work, and we know that the Neely Coble Company employees will help us to accomplish these goals.” Conan Barker, Co-President of VTC, added “We want to thank Neely Coble III for working with us to complete this transaction, and we enthusiastically welcome Neely Coble IV and Edward Coble who will join our management team and ensure continuity of customer service as we navigate the transition. We could not be more pleased to have both as our partners going forward. In addition, our whole management team looks forward to growing together with our new team members and Southeastern customers in the coming years.” Neely Coble III said he feels fortunate to join Velocity Truck Centers. His company was founded in 1951 by his grandfather and father and it is now in the fourth generation of Cobles. “Personally, I could not be happier that my two sons, Neely and Edward, are continuing their careers with VTC and we welcome them to Nashville and the Southeast,” he said. VTC provides new and used commercial vehicle sales, including the full spectrum from pickup trucks to delivery vans to 18wheelers and school busses, as well as aftermarket parts and service support, along with a multitude of other vehicle-related services. VTC is an authorized dealer for the Freightliner, Western Star, Autocar, Ford, Fuso, Thomas Built Buses, Sprinter, Isuzu, Hino Trucks, SportTruck, Renegade RV, Rosenbauer fire, Crane Carrier and Freightliner Custom Chassis vehicle brands. VVG also offers equipment financing

through its Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance subsidiary, as well as small business and SBA loans through Velocity SBA and truck rental and leasing through Velocity Truck Rental and Leasing.

Palomar announces Reese Smith new transportation account executive Palomar Insurance is pleased to announce the addition of Reese Smith to its expanding sales team, specializing in the transportation industry. His in-depth knowledge of truck- Reese Smith ing insurance and personalized service will help clients understand their company’s risks and help shape insurance products to meet their needs. The Fayetteville, Ga.-native attended Georgia Southwestern State University where he earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. He will service accounts in Georgia and Alabama. “We’re pleased to welcome Reese to the team in our Kennesaw office,” said Pat Hart, President of the Palomar Hart Group, a division of Palomar Insurance. “Reese adds tremendous value to our company and the transportation insurance group.” Palomar Insurance delivers effective, tailored insurance programs to U.S. and international companies. Headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., Palomar has offices in Georgia and Tennessee.

Alabama Trucking and others push for truckers to get the vaccine ASAP The Alabama Trucking Association recently added its name to a letter from the American Trucking Associations to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that requests the committee consider reclassifying truck drivers into Phase 1b of its COVID-19 ACIP Vaccine Recommendations. To the dismay of trucking leaders, the Committee failed to include truckers in its frontline essential worker distinction — a decision inconsistent with the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Continued on page 26 25


In March of 2020, CISA classified truck drivers as essential to the continued viability of our nation’s infrastructure for the duration of the pandemic. “The health of our nation’s truck drivers is critical to ensuring the safe and timely delivery of medicine, food, water, fuel and other basic necessities throughout the duration of this pandemic, and as truckers are now called upon to deliver vaccines across the country, it is imperative that drivers have prioritized access in order to minimize the potential for further supply chain delays and disruptions,” ATA’s letter states. The industry’s argument is that trucking is the backbone of the domestic supply chain, and with more than 80 percent of U.S. communities relying exclusively on trucks for freight transportation needs, ensuring the health of truckers and supply chain workers is crucial to the delivery needs of the country.

Birmingham Freightliner acquires Western Star franchise

Peach State Truck Centers owner of Birmingham Freightliner has acquired the Western Star franchise from Long-Lewis in Birmingham, enabling its Birmingham location to sell and provide aftermarket support for the Western Star brand throughout central Alabama. The Western Star franchise adds the vocational brand to the existing Birmingham Freightliner location and brings the two 26

popular brands under one roof, which also offers products from the rest of Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) family of brands. The acquisition extends Peach State’s product breadth and solidifies its commitment to the central Alabama region as they continue to build a customer-driven, technology-focused and generationally sustainable organization. “We are excited to sell and support the Western Star line of products throughout central Alabama. The introduction of the new 49X comes at a perfect time as Alabama invests in more infrastructure projects, creating significant demand for quality vocational work trucks,” explained Rick Reynolds, president and dealer principal of Peach State Truck Centers. “As we continue to strive to be the dealer and employer of choice, this move ensures further alignment with Daimler Trucks North America and enhances our ability to offer the leading vocational truck brand with world-class parts, service and support for our customers in central Alabama.” “This move will provide for a better and stronger support system to vocational truck owners operating in the central Alabama area, including our state-of-the-art collision center capabilities,” said Christopher Bisanz, general manager of the Birmingham Freightliner dealership location. “I’m looking forward to adding both an expanded product line and some very talented individuals to our already experienced team.” “Alabama is a very important market for Western Star, and we are proud to be represented in Birmingham by an outstanding dealership like the Peach State group,” said Peter Arrigoni, vice president of vocational sales, DTNA. “Peach State has a history of industry-leading performance and success with the Western Star brand. We could not be more pleased with their decision to open a Western Star franchise at their Birmingham location.” Birmingham Freightliner and Western Star will offer all makes and models of Western Star products, including its newest model, the 49X, a next-generation vocational truck built to meet the need of the most demanding applications. Underpinned by a stronger, lighter chassis and equipped with an all-new-X series cab, the 49X delivers versatility in a purpose-built package. The allnew Detroit DT 12 Vocational series of transmissions and industry-leading Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems offer proven innovation for best-in-class safety, improved productivity and maximum uptime.

Four factors affecting driver pay in 2021 Vesna Brajkovic writes in Heavy Duty Trucking that the National Transportation Institute has found that four factors are interacting to cause the pay for commercial truck drivers to move up and down. As of February 2021, high driver turnover topped the list causing pay to raise. According to her piece, the industry will see a continued acceleration of professional driver wages of up to 5 percent through 2022, but some markets could increase on an individual basis up to 20 percent, Shaver said. Over 26 years, NTI has found that freight rates, capacity demand, driver supply and driver turnover were all “prime movers” affecting driver pay. This year, those factors are in the following positions: 1. Driver Turnover Driver turnover at the for-hire and private fleets that the NTI collects data from has exceeded normal levels in the first quarter, and there are no signs of it slowing down. NTI forecasts that driver turnover will continue to rise throughout the year as driver wages continue to be inconsistent, and fleets continue to offer attractive signon bonuses and other recruitment incentives, which are luring drivers away to the next best thing. While for-hire driver pay has increased by over 35 percent since 2010, wages have been relatively stagnant for professional drivers since 2018, Shaver notes. 2. Driver Supply The pool of qualified drivers is shrinking, and the average age of for-hire drivers is growing while retirements are increasing, NTI officials said. The driver supply will continue to deteriorate due to driver training school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which has disqualified over 50,000 drivers; and the overall risk of the job. In s survey NTI conducted last year, 71 percent of fleets indicated that they had completed halted their training programs for much of 2020. “Private and public [driver] schools both estimate, (with combined numbers), that they were down more than 45 percent, for the typical numbers of new drivers in 2020,” Shaver said. And while many fleets stalled driver recruiting efforts in the third quarter of 200, A LABAMA T RUCKER • 1 ST Q UARTER 2021

demand surged.

Forbes names AAA Cooper among the U.S.’s best midsize employers

3. Capacity Demand As the U.S. economy gains momentum, consumer demand is expected to improve. NTI forecasts that that demand will outstrip available capacity due to a shortage of qualified drivers. 4. Freight Rates Both contract and spot market rates are moving up, and shippers are working to lock down rates and capacity with carriers. Throughout the year, freight rates will sharply increase, NTI suspects. The reduced driver supply and increasing demand will continue to drive rates up. Trucking industry leaders are not giving up their fight to have America’s 3.6 million professional truck drivers reclassified as essential workers and thus eligible for the first phase of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid-19 vaccine.

GOT NEWS? Send to Ford Boswell at



AAA Cooper Transportation has been recognized as a Forbes 2021 Best Midsize Employer. For five consecutive years, ACT has been on Forbes Best Midsize Employers’ list. Forbes partnered with Statista to compile this list of America’s Best Midsize Employers. Statista anonymously surveyed over 50,000 U.S. employees working for companies employing at least 1,000. Many industries surveyed compile the list of companies working

hard to attract and retain top talent. Scott Bowers, ACT Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management, said, “AAA Cooper Transportation is thrilled to be on the 2021 Forbes Best Midsize Employers list. Being recognized for a 5th consecutive year reflects a commitment to creating strong relationships based on respect, trust, and decency. I am grateful to all of our team members who exhibit these values making this recognition possible.” AAA Cooper Transportation is among the top 50 largest ground transportation companies in the U.S., with 5,000 employees bringing innovative transportation solutions to customers in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest Regions.


PO Box 242337 • Montgomery, AL 36124 • Phone: (334) 834-3983 • Fax: (334) 262-6504

Application For Membership Motor Carrier: ___

Private: ___

Household Goods: ___

Allied Industry: ___

Your Dues Amount: $ __________________ (please fill in by using dues chart) Firm Name: ______________________________________________________________________________________ Address: (Box)________________________________(Street) ____________________________________________ City, State & Zip: ________________________________________________________________________________ DOT Number: ______________________________________ Number of Trucks: __________________ __________ Telephone: (______) ____________________ Fax (______) ____________________ 800/ ______________________ Website Address:


Type of Business: ________________________________________________________________________________ Official Representative : ________________________________Title: ______________________________________ Email address:


Alternate Representative: ________________________________Title: ______________________________________ Email address:



FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY CODE # _________________ Date _________________________

Mbr Type ____________________

Nxt Bill Date __________________

Check # ______________________

Dues Cat _____________________

AL Sen ______________________

Dues Amt ____________________

Freq _________________________

AL Hse ______________________

Mbr Class ____________________

Exp Date _____________________

CG Dist ______________________

MAG ______ MC ______ GC ______ YR ______ LTR/PLQ ______ RSL ______ BC ______



Schedule of Membership Dues (Effective July 1, 2017)

A. For-Hire Motor Carriers (Membership dues are based on truck count; maximum of $4,000) $500 plus $20 per truck

B. Private Carriers (Schedule based on miles traveled in Alabama) $300 ..............................for up to 1 million miles $600 ..............................for 1,000,000 up to 4 million miles $900 ..............................for 4,000,001 up to 7 million miles $1,200 ...........................for 7,000,001 up to 10 million miles $1,500 ...........................for 10,000,001 up to 13 million miles $1,800 ...........................for 13,000,001 miles up to 16 million miles $2,100 ...........................for 16,000,001 up to 19 million miles $2,400 ...........................for 19,000,000 up to 21 million miles $2,800 ...........................for 21,000,000 up to 24 million miles $3,100 ...........................for over 24 million miles

C. Household Goods Carriers (Schedule based on intrastate revenue only) $420 ..............................for under $100,000 $480 ..............................for $100,001 up to $150,000 $540 ..............................for $150,000 up to $200,000 $660 ..............................for $201,001 up to $250,000 $780 ..............................for $250,001 up to $300,000 $900 ..............................for $300,001 up to $400,000 $1,200 ...........................for $400,001 and over

D. Allied Industry (Those who service and equip the trucking industry) $600 annually

CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT – The amount of dues paid by individual members of the Alabama Trucking Association is confidential information and is not subject to publication. Dues information can only be released by ATA to the principal representative of the member in question, and requests by other persons or parties will not be honored. Members are strongly urged to honor this privacy statement and to not share their confidential dues information with other ATA members or the general public.

2021 ATA Buyer’s Guide

We make every effort to ensure this list is correct. For changes or corrections to your company’s listing, contact

Alabama Trucking Assn.’s Buyer’s Guide lists those companies that have taken an active role in supporting Alabama’s trucking industry by becoming members of the Association. We ask that each time you plan a purchase that you consult this guide and give ATA members the opportunity to gain your business. These companies proudly support your association and deserve your support, as well. ADVERTISING/PUBLISHING Pitts Media (205) 792-1280 AUTO DEALER (SERVICE OR REPAIR) Faucett Motors of Boaz, Inc. (256) 593-7162

KLLM/Equipment Solutions LLC (205) 515-1478

BMO Transportation Finance (770) 960-6307

Metro Trailer Rental (205) 985-8701

CenterState Bank (205) 422-7111

Premier Trailer Leasing (205) 680-3184

BUS SALES & SERVICE Southland Transportation Group Reliable Trailer Sales, Inc. (205) 942-6226 DBA Storage Trailers of Alabama (205) 808-0042 Transportation South, Inc. (205) 663-2287 Southern Truck & Equipment, Inc. (251) 653-4716 Ward International Trucks, LLC (251) 433-5616 Southland Transportation Group (205) 942-6226 CHEMICAL PRODUCTS Rushing Enterprises, Inc. Star Leasing Co. (334) 693-3318 (205) 763-1280 COMMUNICATIONS/ELECTRONICS J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. (920) 722-2848

Trailer Sales of Tennessee A Fleet Equipment Co. (615) 259-3301

Netradyne (833) 476-9663

Vacuum Truck Rentals, LLC (205) 277-6190

Omnitracs, LLC (615) 594-7565

EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING Allison Transmission, Inc. (678) 367-7011

Orbcomm, Inc. (703) 433-7763

Daehan Solution Alabama, LLC (334) 301-3498

SmartDrive Systems (858) 225-5551 Trimble Transportation (407) 347-5121

DRIVER STAFFING` Transportation Support, Inc. (205) 833-6336 EDUCATION & TRAINING Central Alabama Community College (256) 215-4301 J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. (920) 722-2848 JP Transportation Safety Consulting, LLC (205) 329-8182 (205) 945-8550 TRW Solutions, LLC (251) 362-2275 Vertical Alliance Group, Inc. (205) 585-3895

ENGINE MANUFACTURERS Cummins Sales & Service (901) 488-8033 EQUIPMENT LEASING CB Repair & Trailer Maintenance, Inc. (205) 338-0943

Comdata (615) 376-6917 Commercial Credit Group, Inc. (704) 731-0031 Corcentric (856) 406-3745 CorpFinancial, LLC (334) 215-4499 Crestmark Bank 615-620-3509 Electronic Funds Source, LLC (615) 777-4619 FirstBank (256) 970-1618 First Horizon Bank (615) 734-6046 Hancock Whitney Bank (251) 665-1667

IBERIABANK (251) 345-9676 Eaton Corp./Roadranger Field Marketing (334) 398-1410 People’s Capital & Leasing Corp. (205) 856-9354 EQUIPMENT PARTS/ACCESSORIES Dothan Tarpaulin Products, Inc. People’s United Equipment Finance (800) 844-8277 Corp. (205) 664-9374 Imperial Supplies LLC (920) 490-6707 PNC Bank N.A. (205) 421-2764 Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems 334/798-0080 ProBilling and Funding Service (256) 736-4349 Paccar Parts/Kenworth (206) 898-5541 Progress Bank (205) 527-5692 Southern Truck & Equipment, Inc. Renasant Bank (251) 653-4716 (334) 301-5955 Star Truck Parts ServisFirst Bank (205) 324-4681 (205) 949-3433 Thermo King of B’ham-Dothan-Mobile- Montgomery-Chattanooga Trustmark Bank (334) 263-5782 (205) 995-4615 W.W. Williams Wells Fargo Equipment Finance (205) 252-9025 (314) 374-2165 (334) 279-6083

FINANCIAL SERVICES Bank of America Merrill Lynch (205) 298-7467

INSURANCE Aon Risk Solutions (501) 374-9300 Aronov Insurance, Inc. (334) 277-1000

BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc. (334) 386-3317

J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. (920) 722-2848

The Baxter Agency (334) 678-6800

Safety First-Div. of Behavioral Health Systems (205) 443-5433

Benton & Parker Insurance Services (770) 536-8340 Byars|Wright Insurance (205) 221-3621 Caribou Insurance Agency, Inc. (205) 822-7577 Cottingham and Butler (563) 587-5521 Farris Evans Insurance Agency, Inc. (901) 274-5424 Great West Casualty Co. (865) 392-3752 Lyon Fry Cadden Insurance (251) 473-4600 McGriff Insurance Services (334) 674-9810 McGriff, Siebels & Williams, Inc. (205) 583-9641 Joe Morten & Sons, Inc. (865) 392-3844 Palomar Insurance Corp. (334) 270-0105 PR Companies (334) 836-1377 Reliance Group, LLC (205) 504-4841 Reliance Partners, LLC (877) 668-1704 Steinhilber & Strawbridge (334) 401-0218 TransRisk, LLC (334) 403-4114 TrueNorth Companies (616) 690-5856 Turner & Hamrick L.L.C. (334) 566-7665 York Risk Services Group (205) 581-9488

MEDICAL/DRUG & ALCOHOL SERVICES Alabama Specialty Clinic (256) 736-1460

NON-PETROLEUM FUEL PRODUCTS Pivotal LNG (404) 783-3550 PETROLEUM PRODUCTS Citgo Petroleum Corporation (941) 981-2588 Davison Fuels & Oil (251) 544-4511 Jack Green Oil Co., Inc. (256) 831-1038 Major Oil Company, Inc. (334) 263-9070 Myers Oil Company, Inc. (954) 938-7211 RelaDyne (205) 384-3422 Shell Oil Products US (601) 529-7244 W.H. Thomas Oil Co., Inc. (205) 755-2610

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Accounting Firms: Aldridge, Borden & Co. (334) 834-6640 Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP (317) 580-2068 Warren Averett (256) 739-0312

Attorneys: Adams and Reese LLP (251) 650-0861 Ball, Ball, Matthews & Novak, P.A. 334-387-7680 Carr, Allison, Pugh, Howard, Oliver & Sisson, P.C. (251) 626-9340 Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophette, LLP (205) 252-9321 DeLashmet & Marchand, P.C. (251) 433-1577 Ferguson, Frost, Moore & Young LLP (205) 879-8722

Carlisle Medical, Inc. (251) 344-7988

Friedman, Dazzio, Zulanas & Bowling, P.C. (205) 278-7000

ErgoScience, Inc. (205) 879-6447

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC (251) 432-5511

(Current as of 3-4-21)

Brandie Norcross at Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, P.C. (334) 834-7600 Porterfield, Harper, Mills, Motlow, Ireland PA (205) 980-5000 Speegle, Hoffman, Holman & Holifield, LLC (251) 694-1700 Starnes Davis Florie LLP (205) 868-6000

Other Services: Allstate Beverage (251) 476-9600 Ext. 1231 AMG Driver Recruitment (256) 683-4499 AngelTrax (334) 692-4600 C Cross Logistics, LLC (205) 759-1818 Corporate Billing, LLC (256) 584-3600 Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (205) 823-4599 Drivewyze (780) 461-3355 J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. (920) 722-2848 JP Transportation Safety Consulting, LLC (205) 329-8182 (205) 329-8183 Lytx DriveCam, Inc. (858) 430-4000 M & N Transport, Inc. (256) 657-5161 Max Coating, Inc. (205) 849-2737 MCG Workforce (251) 652-5244 McLeod Software (205) 823-5100 Motor Carrier Safety Consulting (205) 871-4455 Pitts Media (205) 792-1280 PM Environmental, Inc. (205) 986-0270 Porter Billing Services LLC (205) 397-4079 Power South Energy Cooperative (334) 427-3207 PR Companies (334) 836-1377

PrePass (931) 520-7170

Southern Truck Center, Inc. (205) 226-0880

Gulf City Body & Trailer Works, Inc. (251) 438-5521

Nextran Truck Centers (205) 841-4450

QuikQ LLC (678) 591-4675

Star Leasing Co. (205) 763-1280

Gulf Coast Truck & Equipment Co. (251) 476-2744

Rush Truck Center-Mobile (251) 459-7300

SET Logistics, Inc. (205) 849-6309

Thompson Tractor Company (205) 244-7812

R C Trailer Sales & Service Co., Inc. (205) 680-0924

Ryder Vehicle Sales LLC (205) 492-2428

Soar Payments LLC (888) 225-9405

W.W. Williams (205) 252-9025 (334) 279-6083

Reliable Trailer Sales, Inc. DBA Storage Trailers of Alabama (205) 808-0042

SelecTrucks of Alabama (205) 322-6695

Southern Mississippi Trading LLC (601) 671-3211

TIRE DEALERS & MANUFACTURERS Best One Tire & Service (615) 244-9611

Southeast Trailer Mart, Inc. (404) 361-6411

Spectrum Environmental Services, Inc. (205) 664-2000 Stamps Transport, LLC (205) 233-5326 Swift Supply, Inc. (251) 929-9399

Bridgestone Commercial Solutions (205) 514-8341 Butler Industrial Tire Center, Inc. (334) 376-0178

Southland Transportation Group (205) 942-6226

Taylor & Martin, Inc. Southland Transportation Group (662) 262-4613 (205) 942-6226 Trojan Industries, Inc. Star Leasing Co. dba Lyncoach Truck Bodies (205) 763-1280 (334) 566-4330 Transport Trailer Center (334) 299-3573

Truckworx Kenworth - Birmingham (205) 326-6170

Utility Trailer Sales of Alabama LLC (334) 794-7345

Truckworx Kenworth – Dothan (334) 712-4900

Love’s Truck Tire Care and Speedco (800) OK-LOVES

TRUCK DEALERS, MANUFACTURERS Action Truck Center (334) 794-8505

Truckworx Kenworth – Montgomery (334) 263-3101

McGriff Tire Co. (256) 739-0710

Alabama Freightliner (205) 322-6695

McGriff Treading Co., Inc. (256) 734-4298

Birmingham Freightliner (205) 322-6695

Michelin North America (859) 661-0855

Capital Volvo Truck & Trailer (334) 262-8856

Wilks Tire & Battery Service, Inc. (256) 878-0211

Coffman International Trucks (334) 794-4111

Snider Fleet Solutions (336) 691-5499

Daimler Trucks NA LLC (803) 554-4831

Southern Tire Mart (251) 457-9915

Empire Truck Sales, LLC (601) 939-1000

Yokohama Tire Corp. (317) 385-2611

Fitzgerald Peterbilt (205) 379-8300

Childersburg Truck Service, Inc. (256) 378-3101

TRAILER DEALERS/ MANUFACTURERS C & C Trailers, Inc. (334) 897-2202

Four Star Freightliner (Dothan) (334) 793-4455

Coffman International Trucks (334) 794-4111

Dorsey Trailer, LLC (334) 897-2525

Eufaula Trucking Co., Inc. (334) 689-8586

Empire Truck Sales, LLC (601) 933-5190 Inc. (866) 245-3918 TeamOne Logistics (770) 232-9902 TMW Systems, Inc. (440) 721-2260 Transportation and Logistical Services, Inc (205) 226-5500 Transportation Billing Solutions, LLC (205) 788-4000 Transportation Compliance Services, USA (228) 872-7160 Vomela Specialty Company (205) 310-2151

Repairs: Big Moe Spring & Alignment of B’ham, Inc. (205) 780-0290 Birmingham Frame & Alignment, LLC (205) 322-4844

Lazzari Truck Repair, Inc. (251) 626-5121 Mann Automotive Diesel, Inc. (334) 792-0456 MHC Carrier Transicold (404) 968-3130 Rowe Management Corp. (205) 486-9235

Columbus Tire Company dba Complete Tire and Service (706) 321-8133 Continental Tire North America (662) 549-7570

Fleetco, Inc. (615) 256-0600 Fontaine Fifth Wheel NA (205) 421-4300 Great Dane (205) 324-3491

Four Star Freightliner (334) 263-1085 (Montgomery) Long Lewis Western Star (205) 428-0161 Mack Trucks, Inc. (678) 201-4770 Navistar (813) 382-3113 Neely Coble Co. (256) 350-1630

Truckworx Kenworth – Mobile (251) 957-4000 Truckworx Kenworth – Huntsville (256) 308-0162 Truckworx Kenworth – Thomasville (334) 636-4380 Volvo Trucks North America (336) 508-4950 Ward International Trucks, LLC (251) 433-5616

TRUCK & EQUIPMENT AUCTIONEERS Taylor & Martin, Inc. (662) 262-4613 TRUCKSTOPS Love’s Travel Stops, Inc. (904) 738-4019 Pilot Flying J Centers (865) 207-3874 TravelCenters of America/ Petro Shopping Centers (678) 591-4675

VEHICLE LEASING Penske Truck Leasing (757) 603-2853 Southland Transportation Group (205) 942-6226 Ward International Trucks, LLC (251) 433-5616



New Members (January 1 - March 10, 2021) 3M Logistics, LLC Mr. Daryl Powell Grove Hill, Ala. 251-320-3200 Anchor Leg Solutions, LLC Mr. William Perry Birmingham, Ala. 334-799-8503

Dunn Construction Co., Inc. Mr. Robert Powell Birmingham, Ala. 205-531-1216

Front Runner Logistics, LLC Ms. Charlotte Jennings Birmingham, Ala. 205-706-3276

Packmasters Moving and Storage, LLC Mr. Earnest Vinson Moulton, Ala. 256-850-7465

Waddle Trucking of Mississippi, Inc. Mr. Craig Waddle Belden, Miss. 662-680-9657

Ecosouth Services of Mobile, LLC Ms. Amy DeGruy Axis, Ala. 251-675-9800

Greer Enterprises, LLC Mr. Nick Baker Mobile, Ala. 251-679-1967

SLD Transport, Inc. Mr. Blake Hoffman Holly Springs, Ga. 770-704-5152

White Oak Logistics, Inc. Ms. Chandra Johnson Decatur, Ala. 256-260-1303

MoTown Speed Mr. Joey Harper Montevallo, Ala. 205-337-0221

Steinhilber & Strawbridge Ms. Christian Beadles Montgomery, Ala. 334-401-0218

Wise Logistics Mr. Joey Halyard Riverside, Ala. 205-668-2200

Big Balls Trucking LLC Mr. Dwain Davis Andalusia, Ala. 334-222-1990

Events Please note: Due to restrictions on large gatherings caused by the coronavirus pandemic, event locations and dates are subject to change. Please contact Brandie Norcross at bnorcross@alabama or visit for updates and changes.

SMMC Fleet Safety Awards Banquet March 22, 2021 Pelham, Ala.

ATA Officer Installation June 22, 2021 Montgomery, Ala.

ATA Golf Classic April 20, 2021 Prattville, Ala.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week September 12-18, 2021 Nationwide

Alabama Truck Driving Championships May 28, 2021 Pelham, Ala.

82nd ATA Annual Convention September 23-26, 2021 Destin, Fla.


Contact Ford Boswell at or 877-277-TRUK (8785) For More Information


ATA SMMC Holiday Celebration December 13, 2021 Pelham, Ala.


ADVERTISER Alabama Trucker (AT), the official publication of the Alabama Trucking Association (ATA), is an award-winning trade publication highlighting the Association's activities while documenting the business environment of the day. AT is published quarterly and distributed to more than 2,500 trucking executives, regulatory officials, and political figures. Want to reach decision makers at more than 1,500 Alabama-based trucking firms? Consider this: Advertising in AT reaches the most concentrated readership of trucking professionals in the state. Our rates are affordable, but on top of that, your helping ATA send positive messages about one of the state's largest employers.

American Trucking Associations MC&E October 23-27, 2021 Nashville, Tenn.





ATA Comp Fund


(334) 834-7911

The Baxter Agency


(800) 873-8494


(205) 322-6695

Great West Casualty


(800) 228-8053

International Trucks


(800) 844-4102

McGriff Insurance


(334) 674-9803

Nextran Truck Center


(800) 292-8685

Palomar Insurance


(800) 489-0105

R.E. Garrison


(800) 643-3472

Southern Tire Mart


(877) STM-TIRE

Southland Transportation Group


(205) 254-1821

Truckworx Kenworth


(800) 444-6170

Turner & Hamrick


(888) 385-0186


(205) 755-2610

Birmingham Freightliner

WH Thomas Oil Co.



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.