Alabama Trucker Magazine, 2nd Quarter 2023

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ATA Driver of the Year: Emanuel Windham

Blair Logistics owner-operator Emanuel Windham has defied the odds and risen to greatness in trucking, thanks to the unwavering love and support of his mother, Shirley, his family and coworkers, and from his own determination to be the best he can be.

Honored for Safety

Alabama Trucking's Safety & Maintenance Management Council recently celebrated safety and professionalism in the trucking industry at its annual Fleet Safety Awards Banquet. Dozens of exceptional individuals and trucking operations were recognized for their commitment to driver well-being and industry best practices. The event serves as a valuable platform for promoting safety and inspiring excellence in the trucking community.

84th Annual Convention Coverage

The 84th Alabama Trucking Convention was another resounding success, uniting industry professionals for three days of growth and fellowship. Informative sessions covered critical topics like workforce development and industry performance, while networking events fostered camaraderie. The event raised a record-breaking $508,000, reflecting the community's commitment to advancing Alabama's vibrant trucking industry.

A LABAMA T RUCKER • 2 ND Q UARTER 2023 1 I NSIDE T HIS I SSUE D EPARTMENTS Opening Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 SMMC Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Trucking News Roundup 26 Buyers’ Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 ATA Events and New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
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Upgrading Alabama’s Trucking Workforce

Skills-based workforce training is more important than ever in Alabama. Jefferson State Community College and other community colleges have been longtime advocates of workforce training through our Center for Workforce Education, with more than 30 fast-track programs that lead to in-demand careers.

Recently, Jefferson State created a CDL program and a Heavy Equipment Operator program at the Chilton-Clanton Campus. The CDL program was celebrated by the Clanton community and industry partners at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 3/4-mile training track in September 2022. The first class of students completed the CDL program just a few weeks later in November 2022.

When my institution’s leaders met with the business community, we heard repeatedly, “Please start a CDL program.” And, as Jefferson State President Keith Brown recently said, “There was a gap in training in this part of the state, and we’re excited to be able to fill that role.”

Since its inception, thousands of people have expressed interest in our CDL program, demonstrating the need for CDL training in Alabama. Partnerships have been vital to the program’s success. Among other supporters, the Appalachian Regional Commission supplied a grant to cover scholarships for the first four classes, and Wood Fruitticher donated a trailer and hosted students at its Birmingham facility to learn more about potential careers.

“Jefferson State’s CDL and heavy equipment operator graduates are ready for employment, and they are immediately getting job offers,” said Jefferson State Director of Workforce Education Leah Bigbee. “With the high demand for these positions, we see our graduates start new careers with great companies almost every day.”

We are a proud partner with the Alabama Trucking Association and continue to work on efforts across our region to bring awareness to the trucking industry being a viable and worthy career for young adults across the state, realizing that one in 13 jobs in Alabama is in the trucking industry. As a training coordinator at Jefferson State, my mission is to serve our community and our business and industry partners, matching our talented and skilled students with our company partners after successfully going through our CDL training.

The Center for Workforce Education at Jefferson State Community College delivers fasttrack skills training designed to quickly train individuals for immediate employment. Our full portfolio of non-credit training covers healthcare, IT, manufacturing, craft training, and business sectors and is ever-evolving to accommodate the needs of employers in the state of Alabama. Our programs often only require a high school diploma, or a GED and a government-issued ID. The Center for Workforce Education also offers a CDL Corporate Simulator Training program. Learn more at

We encourage you to “find your place” at Jefferson State and contact our office to make an appointment with a Career Coach to learn more: (205) 856-7710 or

If you’re looking for training opportunities elsewhere in Alabama, check out Alabama Trucking’s skills training website at There, you’ll find a wealth of resources to help you or someone you know start their journey to becoming a commercial driver or master new skills as a diesel technician.

Exciting opportunities await in Alabama’s growing trucking industry, and I am proud to be a part of that journey.

Opening Remarks
‘When (our leaders) met with the business community, we heard repeatedly, “Please start a CDL program.”’

The Giving Kind

Alabama Driver of the Year Emanuel Windham has given all he has to a long, successful career in trucking – and we’re all better for it.


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In life and business, your reputation is sometimes all you have to give. A good reputation can take you above the competition or a bad one can bury all aspirations, destroying even the best of intentions and well-laid plans.

But in a world where success stories are often tied to privileged upbringings or fortunate circumstances, Emanuel Windham, owner-operator of Blair Logistics based in Birmingham, Ala. has dedicated his adult life to cultivating a remarkable reputation as a man, son, father, brother, employee, coworker, and friend.

For more than three decades, he has selflessly given his time and resources to making the lives of those close to him better, rising to greatness through his unyielding commitment to excellence as a professional driver and small business owner.

He hasn’t done it alone. He was propelled by the unwavering love and support of his mother, Shirley Lucas and invaluable mentoring from some of the region’s most successful truckers and industry experts.

Windham, 53, has earned the admiration of the state’s trucking community and the Alabama Trucking Association’s top award for a commercial driver.

Last spring, ATA’s Safety and Maintenance Management Council (SMMC) tapped him as its Driver of the Year, as part of the Association’s annual safety awards program that honors the efforts of its members, including fleet and safety managers, service technicians, and shop managers. Southland Transportation Group sponsored the Driver of the Year award.

For Alabama’s trucking community, the SMMC is the heartbeat of the Alabama Trucking Association, and its awards program is a valuable tool for promoting safety and best practices within the industry.

“Recognizing outstanding drivers and companies encourages others to strive for the same level of excellence,” said ATA Vice President of Safety and Compliance Tim Frazier. “These awards are an opportunity for the trucking industry to come together, share best practices, and celebrate the best of the best that our industry has to offer. This helps to ensure that drivers and companies are operating safely and efficiently, which has a greater effect on the industry as a whole regarding professionalism and public relations.”

All applicants are judged on the previous year’s data by an independent panel, composed of officers from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit.

With 32 years of experience and over 3 million safe driving miles under his belt, Windham boasts an impeccable safety record. Never having been involved in any accidents or received motor vehicle or CSA violations, he is a proud member of Blair’s safety council and has been awarded multiple safe driving accolades, including the million-mile club award. Windham’s management team at Blair commends his professionalism, safety consciousness, hard work, and unwavering positivity, describing him as the quintessential professional in the trucking industry.

In addition to his career achievements, Windham is actively involved in his local community and church, Church of the Firstborn.

He resides in Anniston, Ala, with his wife Octavier, and their adult sons, Quavasiya McKenzie, 22, and JaMarcio McKenzie, 21.

Given his impressive safety record, dedication to his work, and community involvement, ATA officials say his time as ATA’s top driver was inevitable.

Growing Up Fast

When Emanuel was about a year old, his 17-year-old father Emanuel Jones, Jr. was killed in an accidental shooting. His mother Shirley was only 14 years old when she had Emanuel, and the death of his father exacerbated the already difficult situation she was in. She says she leaned on her faith and a need to honor Emanuel’s father by raising their son to be respectful, work hard, and seek ways to help others.

A few years later, Shirley remarried an Army man and moved the family to El Paso, Tex. for a while, but eventually divorced and moved back to Alabama. By this time, she had more children, and Emanuel grew up fast to be a father figure for his younger siblings.

“That’s how he is, always looking for ways to be helpful,” Shirley says. “Back then, it wasn’t as accepted for someone so young to be a parent. It was looked down upon. I had to learn a lot about being a

With 32 years of experience and over 3 million safe driving miles under his belt, Emanuel Windham is a safety influencer at Blair, spearheading the fleet's driver safety council.

parent. In a way, Emauel and I grew up together.”

In high school, Emanuel was a decent student. He played football and worked odd jobs for spending cash. He says he had a happy childhood with plenty of friends and family members to look up to. He never felt like he missed out on anything. After graduating high school, he enrolled in a truck driving school and landed a job within a few days of graduation.

Around this time, Shirley was going through her divorce and was working out the financial fallout of that process with her exhusband. “Emanuel knew I was struggling with raising his brother and sisters and came to me and said, ‘Momma, I don’t want you taking any more of that man’s money,” she says. “I’m going to give you my check each week.’ All he asked in return was that I make sure there were plenty of cornbread and butterbeans ready when he got home from the road.”

ATA Driver of the Year Meets with Gov. Ivey

In June, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey invited Alabama Driver of the Year Emanuel Windham to join her and her staff at the Capitol for a proclamation signing ceremony to honor his career and achievements in trucking. He was joined by his mother, Shirley, and his wife Octavier, and members of the Alabama Trucking Association and Blair Logistics staff. Gov. Ivey congratulated Emanuel for the many years of hard work he’s invested in becoming one of the nation’s best professional drivers.

Life-long Learner

Windham’s introduction to trucking came from his Uncle Jimmy who drove trucks on and off for most of his adult life. Emanuel occasionally rode along on day trips in the summers, taking in the sights and sounds of the road. It was all so alluring.

When he turned 21, he enrolled in a professional driving school, earned his CDL, and landed his first driving job with J.B. Hunt. He would later work for the former Deaton Inc. of Birmingham, ABC Transportation in Eufaula, and Buddy Moore Trucking in Birmingham, where he learned from the industry’s greats like the late Buddy Moore.

“On one of those rides with Uncle Jimmy said something that I have never forgotten,” Windham explains. “He told me that ‘the day

From left to right are Savannah Windham, Tim Frazier, Shirley Lucas, Gov. Ivey (seated), Octavier Windham, Emanuel Windham, Jeff Loggins, and Nick Allen.

I believe I’ve learned everything I need to know, is the day I need to park the truck because I am about to hurt myself or someone else.’ I’ve built my career in trucking by those words. For me, it’s really about avoiding arrogance. It was Uncle Jimmy’s warning for me to stay open to learning and growing. I now realize truck safety is about becoming a creature of habit. Training and retraining good habits are key to avoiding costly accidents and injuries.”

About a year and a half into his career, he was driving in the mountains of Northern California and lost his brakes on a steep mountain road. “Back then I thought I knew it all, but that incident changed my respect for the vehicle and the ever-present dangers that truck drivers face.”

He says he took a shortcut over a mountain road that he probably should not have been on, and halfway down the backside, the brakes failed. “All I could do was keep the truck rolling in the middle of the road and blast my horn to alert everyone to clear out of the way,” he recalls. “By the grace of God, I stayed calm and never lost control. I just let the truck slow itself as I reached the bottom of the hill.”

The experience shook him. He sat in the truck at the bottom of the hill for about an hour thinking about what could have happened. “It totally changed the way I do my job,” he says. “Even today, it’s a reminder of how much is at stake every time I climb into the cab to drive.”

As he progressed through his career, he stayed curious about the work, always observing and asking questions. “You know, some drivers don’t like to hear this, but if you don’t know something, and your ignorance causes an accident, it’s your own fault,” he says. “I have been blessed to work for some really good companies. At each job, I have learned something I didn’t know before. That goes back to what my uncle taught me.”

Consistent training is also key, he explains. “Working with safety guys like Jeff Loggins (at Blair) and Johnathan Marshall (at PS Logistics), I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business. Those guys make sure you do your job the way it’s supposed to be done to avoid accidents and downtime. The training programs there are so helpful. I have learned so much working with them.”

Building the Business

A few years ago Windham took a leap of faith and started his own trucking business as an owner-operator. He credits the valuable lessons from his former boss, Scott Smith, CEO of PS Logistics. Smith’s teachings on punctuality, efficiency, and exceptional customer service became Emanuel’s guiding principles. “One of the most valuable things I learned from Scott was operating on averages,” he says. “What I mean by that is I used to not want to take a load unless it paid a certain amount, even on backhauls. Scott showed me that some money is better than no money. Not every load is going to pay. It’s about playing the long game.”

Armed with this knowledge, Windham eventually purchased his own truck and prioritized building strong relationships with clients, ensuring open communication, and promptly addressing any concerns. His commitment to customer satisfaction quickly earned him a reputation for reliability.

Today, Emanuel’s trucking business thrives, thanks to the lessons he learned from Scott Smith and so many others he has worked with over the years. His strong work ethic, attention to detail, and customer-centric approach continue to propel his success in the ever-evolving world of trucking.

He says he has dreams of making the business a family affair one day. “Octavier has said many times that she wants to drive, and I really want to bring my sons into this when they’re ready. I would love to build the business to a point where we can all contribute to the long-term growth of a family business.”

Emanuel and Octavier Windham



The esteemed event acknowledged the tireless efforts of ATA members, including fleet and safety managers, service technicians, and shop managers, in ensuring the safety and well-being of their drivers and other key personnel in the industry.

For Alabama’s trucking community, the SMMC is the heartbeat of the Alabama Trucking Association, and this awards program is a valuable tool for promoting safety and best practices within the industry.

In March, the Alabama Trucking Association’s Safety & Maintenance Management Council (SMMC) hosted its annual Fleet Safety Awards Banquet in Pelham, Ala, honoring the most exceptional individuals and trucking operations that prioritize safety.

“Recognizing outstanding drivers and companies encourages others to strive for the same level of excellence,” said ATA Vice President of Safety and Compliance Tim Frazier. “These awards are a valuable opportunity for the trucking industry to come together, share best practices, and celebrate the best of the best our industry has to offer. This helps to ensure that drivers and companies are operating safely and efficiently, which has a greater effect on the industry as a whole in terms of industry professionalism and public relations.”

ATA’s Fleet Safety Awards are judged on the previous year’s safety

ATA’s Safety & Maintenance Management Council recognizes outstanding individuals and trucking operations for their unwavering commitment to safety and industry professionalism.

data and referred to as the previous year’s awards. All applicants are judged by an independent panel, composed of officers from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit.

The event featured several categories of awards, each recognizing the achievements of different trucking companies. The winners of each category were announced, and they received plaques and certificates of recognition for their efforts in ensuring the safety of their fleets.

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of several top fleet managers and workers for ATA members. The big prize went to Emanuel Windham, a contract operator for Birminghambased Blair Logistics, LLC, as the Alabama Truck Driver of the Year. The award is sponsored by Southland Transportation Group

With 32 years of experience and over 3 million safe driving miles under his belt, 53-year-old Windham boasts an impeccable safety record. Never having been involved in any accidents or received motor vehicle or CSA violations, he is a proud member of Blair’s safety council and has been awarded multiple safe driving accolades, including the million-mile club award. Windham’s management team at Blair commends his professionalism, safety consciousness, hard work, and unwavering positivity, describing him as the quintessential professional in the trucking industry.

In addition to his career achievements, Windham is actively involved in his local community and church, New Life Interfaith Ministries. He resides in Anniston, Ala, with his wife Octavier. Given his impressive safety record, dedication to his work, and community involvement, ATA officials consider Windham a well deserving recipient of the prestigious Driver of the Year award.

Henry Cobb, Driver of the Year Runner Up Jeff Hopkins, Safety Manager Winner Heather Darnell, Safety Manager Runner Up Quince Bell, Fleet Manager Winner Family Celebration: Emanuel with his family during the SMMC Awards banquet. From left are Justin Green (nephew), Alicia Cockrell (sister), Shirley Lucus (mother), and Earnestine Lucas (sister). Emanuel Windham, Driver of the Year Winner

Henry Cobb, who works for Boyd Bros. Transportation, Inc., was tapped as Professional Driver of the Year Runner-Up, also sponsored by Southland Transportation Group

Another notable award winner was Quince Bell, who received the Fleet Manager of the Year award, sponsored by McGriff Tire Co. Bell, works for MT Select, LLC, where his supervisors there point to his leadership and management skills that have helped the company improve its safety record and increase efficiency.

Pat Driver, who works for Perdido Trucking Service, LLC, was tapped the Maintenance Professional of the Year, sponsored by Vertical Alliance Group, provider of Infinity Training

Jeffrey Hopkins, who works for Boyd Bros Transportation, Inc., received the Safety Professional of the Year Award, sponsored by


ATA Comp Fund, an exclusive partner of the Alabama Trucking Association for 30 years, offering comprehensive industry workers’ comp insurance, presented awards for its outstanding clients. The Fund showcased top performers during its 2022 Fall Safety Blitz, which reached thousands of executives, safety, and driver personnel, and gave out cash prizes to drivers and front-line employees who embraced the safety blitz.

The Fund also presented the Risk Management Safety Awards to the recipients with the most effective safety programs. The win ners by category were:

l Smith-Davis Motors (Small Fleet)

l Pitts & Sons (Medium Fleet)

l Buddy Moore Trucking (Large Fleet)

l Max Coating (Allied)

Cummins Sales and Service. Hopkins has over 20 years of experience in the trucking industry and has been with Boyd Bros. Transportation for the past 5 years. He has implemented several safety initiatives that have helped the company improve its safety record.

Heather Darnell, who works for Watkins Trucking Co., Inc., was the Safety Professional of the Year Runner-Up. Darnell’s dedication to safety and her proactive approach to identifying potential hazards have helped Watkins Trucking maintain its excellent safety record.

In addition to these outstanding individuals, Watkins Trucking Co., Inc. received the President’s Award, sponsored by Nextran Truck Centers, Inc., which is the Association’s top honor for the fleet with the lowest accident frequency rate based on miles operated within Alabama.

l Tanory Moving Systems (Moving and Storage).

The Fund’s top honor, its Safety Excellence Award, went to Haynes Farm, Inc., a family-owned and operated trucking company located in Blountsville, Ala. Founded in 1984, the company specializes in the transportation and logistics of refrigerated products with a dedication to superior service, working hard to create a successful small business that can provide opportunities for employment for its community. According to Fund administrators, Haynes earned the award for its value to its local community and for implementing safety practices that put workplace safety first, and its team’s goal of excellence at all levels.

The ATA SMMC also recognized dozens of its member fleets that have displayed earned safety records or improved safety metrics for the previous calendar year. Visit to see a full list of winners.




President and CEO Mark Colson opens up the first business session.

The 84th Annual Alabama Trucking Association’s Annual Convention took place on April 13-15 at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort in Destin, Fla., bringing together members of the Alabama Trucking family and friends for three days of growth, fellowship, and progress.

This year’s convention proved to be yet another remarkable gathering, showcasing the dedication and commitment of our community toward improving Alabama’s trucking industry.

The convention’s success was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors, with special recognition given to Presidential Sponsor Cummins Sales & Service and Elite Sponsors ATA Comp Fund, Love’s Travel Stops, MHC Carrier Transicold, and McLeod Software. Their contributions allowed us to create an unforgettable event, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to each of them.

With a total of 569 attendees, this year’s convention brought together industry professionals and experts from various backgrounds. The talented pool of guest presenters shared invaluable expertise, making the business sessions a hub of learning and discussion. Topics such as workforce development and professional growth took center stage, with the team from creative marketing firm Markstein; industry educator Alex Blevins from Jefferson State Community College; business communication coach Deborah Boswell; and legal expert Doug Marcello delivering insightful presentations on critical subjects that matter most to trucking executives.

In addition to the informative sessions, this year’s meeting provided ample opportunity for connection, celebration and progress. The Alabama Trucking Association and its sister organization ATA Workers’ Comp Fund conducted business meetings, allowing both organizations to share recent accomplishments and challenges. Notably, we heard from Col. Jon Archer and Capt. Tim Pullin of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and Clinton Seymour, Alabama Division Administrator for the Federal

By J.J.
American Trucking Chair and Ruan of COO Dan Van Alstine cover a national trucking perspective. Deborah Boswell emphasizes the importance of telling your story well through spoken word. Alabama Trucking President and CEO Mark Colson covers state based trucking issues. Alex Blevins covers the state of trucking education in Alabama’s Community College System. ATA Comp Fund conducts humor filled board meeting.

Motor Carrier Safety Administration, who discussed significant changes and challenges for fleet safety management, safety, and professionalism while emphasizing the importance of ongoing collaboration with the industry for advancement and improvement.

Among the highlights, was a presentation from American Trucking Associations’ Chairman Dan Van Alstine, COO of Ruan Transportation, a privately held transportation company providing dedicated fleet management, logistics management and warehousing from Des Moines, Iowa. Van Alstine shared valuable insights into the trucking industry’s issues and the strategies being employed to address them at the national level.

Outside the business sessions, the convention fostered a spirit of camaraderie and fellowship. Receptions held on Thursday and Friday provided a semi-formal setting for networking, while the beach, poolside, and golf course offered more relaxed environments for connecting with peers. Friday evening’s social event featured a performance by ATA Board Member Ben Leach’s band, the Kensingtons, adding a delightful touch to the festivities.

The weekend reached its pinnacle with the Chairman’s Dinner, honoring Chris Cooper, CEO of Boyd Bros. Transportation. During this special occasion, we proudly announced Terry Kilpatrick as this year’s recipient of the H. Chester Webb Award and recognized Emanuel Windham as the Alabama Driver of the Year. We extended our gratitude to Cummins, the Convention Presidential Sponsor, and Vertical Alliance Group, the Golf Classic Presidential Sponsor, for their invaluable support.

To conclude the weekend on a high note, convention-goers were treated to an energetic performance by Mustache the Band, who entertained the crowd with the biggest hits of 90s Country music.

The exceptional success of the 84th Alabama Trucking Convention was made possible by the unwavering commitment of our community. We extend our deepest gratitude to all the attendees, presenters, and sponsors for their invaluable contributions. The convention raised an impressive record-breaking amount of $508,000, reflecting the generosity and dedication of our community. Thank you all for your support and participation in making this year’s event a truly memorable occasion.

Next year’s convention takes place at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala., on May 2-5, 2024. We eagerly anticipate another outstanding event and the opportunity to gather once again to advance and celebrate the trucking industry in Alabama.

Chris Cooper, Chairman of the Alabama Trucking Board and CEO of Boyd Companies. AL DOY Emanuel Windham and his wife Octavier. Kevin Savoy presents Terry Kilpatrick with the H. Chester Webb Award. Mustache the Band taking us back with their renditions of 90s Country hits. Shirley Lucas, the proud Mother of Alabama’s Driver of the Year (DOY) Emanuel Windham, and her son. Kilpatrick family helping honor Terry for receiving the H. Chester Webb Award. The Cooper Family celebrates Chris Cooper post the Chairmans’s Dinner in his honor. The roar of the crowd singing along to the music of Mustache the Band. The Kensingtons rocking our Friday Night entertainment. Chairman’s Dinner in progress.


FedEx Freight’s Charlie Salter Repeats as Alabama TDC Champ

state TDC competition for Salter and the team from FedEx Freight, but there were also a few surprises in the mix.

PELHAM, Ala. – Veteran FedEx Freight driver Charlie Salter of Prattville, Ala. took the Overall Champion’s Award presented by Truckworx at the 2023 Alabama Truck Driving Championships held here on June 9th at the Pelham Civic Complex.

The 51-year-old professional driver bested more than 88 others who competed in the one-day competition, which showcases professional truck drivers’ skills and commitment to workplace and highway safety but also serves as a qualifier for the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships later this summer in Columbus, Ohio.

exam covering driver safety and industry best practices; a pre-trip vehicle defect inspection; and a vehicle obstacle course, where contestants navigate a truck and trailer through a series of obstacles. At the end of the competition, contestants’ cumulative scores are ranked, and winners from eight categories are announced at an awards dinner that evening. The three highest scorers from each class receive trophies and prizes, and special awards are

highest score for the vehicle defects inspection.


Salter’s exceptional achievement not only exemplifies his experience and talent behind the wheel but also serves as a testament to the unwavering commitment of truck drivers to prioritize workplace and highway safety. As the industry eagerly awaits the showdown in Columbus, Salter’s remarkable victory amplifies the profound dedication and heroism exhibited by these unsung heroes of the road.

Salter took the top spot in the 5-axle Class with a combined score of 387.5. It is his second time winning the Alabama TDC’s top spot, having also done so in 2017.

During his 32 years on the road, he’s maintained more than 2.7 million safe miles, earned dozens of company and industry awards, and is a member of the Alabama Trucking Association’s Road Team, a public service program that sends professional commercial drivers into high school driver’s education classes to teach kids about safe driving

Alabama TDC Overall Champion Charlie Salter of FedEx Freight (left) stands with TDC Chairman Jeff Melville of Publix.


tactics and also promotes the industry as a career choice.

According to ATA Vice President of Safety & Compliance Tim Frazier, Salter is among Alabama Trucking’s most consistently successful TDC competitors, routinely placing among the top three of his class every year. He’s also competed at the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championship several times in the last 20 years.

“Charlie is a super performer for FedEx,” Frazier says, “He’s gone to Nationals to represent Alabama Trucking several times and even won the Overall Champion award for this event a few years back. He’s one of the most professional truck drivers I have ever had the pleasure of working with, always well-prepared, knowledgeable and experienced. He is an industry leader, serving for the last few years on our Road Team. He’s just a great person and credit to Alabama Trucking.”

Salter was visibly moved when he walked to the lectern during the awards dinner,

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telling the more than 230 contestants and guests in attendance that his professional calendar revolves around the TDC.

“This event makes us all better at our jobs,” he said choking back tears. “But the most special thing about this event for me is the camaraderie that we share as drivers. This room is full of the best drivers in the country. It’s so hard to win this contest because of the stiff competition. There are so many great drivers here. I share this award with all of you, because, to be honest, there are some really special people here, and I truly appreciate your friendship and all you do for the industry.”


Perusing the official score sheets, many familiar names appeared at the top spots. The FedEx Freight team nearly owned the leaderboard, winning four of the eight classes and placing a dozen drivers in the top three of each category.

Others joining Salter as individual class


winners were David Hawk, FedEx (Straight); Jean Laplante, FedEx Freight (3-axle); William Brandon, FedEx Freight (4-axle); Craig Edmonds, Walmart Transportation (Tank Truck); Michael McQueary, Publix Super Markey (Flatbed); Eric Firestone, Church Transportation (Sleeper Berth); and Luis Bazan, XPO Logistics (Twins).

The Alabama Truck Driving Championships is a celebration of America’s 3.5 million commercial truck drivers. According to ATA Chairman of the Board Chris Cooper of Boyd Bros. Transportation, the Alabama TDC highlights the professionalism, talent, and skill of commercial drivers.

“Showcasing Alabama’s most professional drivers is so important,” Cooper says. “We want to show our deepest appreciation for the work they do day after day to keep the economy going strong.”

In his address during the banquet, ATA President and CEO Mark Colson made it clear to the group that the Alabama Truck Driving Championships is a celebration of a demanding job that sometimes is taken for granted by the public and, at times, the industry itself.

“When I took the job as CEO, this was the first event I attended,” Colson said. “It’s very special to me because it represents who we are as an industry. We are here to highlight the professionalism and talent of Alabama’s trucking industry, but especially the 3.5 million men and women in this country who earn a living as truck drivers. You are the real heroes of Alabama Trucking.”

Alabama Trucking, SMMC hold roadside inspections event near Tuscaloosa

In April, Alabama Trucking Association leaders and members had the opportunity to partner with ALEA’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials to observe and participate in active roadside inspections. The exercise allowed troopers to educate more than 100 participants about the inspection process and how it relates to their own operations with regard to vehicle maintenance, driver training and highway safety.

The idea is that participating in live inspections allows for a better understanding of regulations and builds on the strong safety culture that we have here in Alabama. The group was also joined by a CDL class with Jefferson State Community College. The students were able to gain a real-world perspective on the pre-trip process.

According to ATA Vice President of Safety and Compliance, ATA is proud to work alongside ALEA and the Alabama Community College System to make the future workforce of trucking in Alabama the best it can be! “With operations like this, the future of the trucking industry in Alabama is bright,” he said.

ATA officials expressed their appreciation to all those who came out and participated, especially the team from J & M Tank Lines which provided lunch and snacks.

ATRI releases research on impacts of marijuana legalization on the industry and workforce

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released a new report that assesses the impacts of marijuana legalization on the trucking industry. The analysis, which was a 2022 top priority of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC), covers several critical topics related to state-level marijuana legalization, including 1) a review of the latest demographic trends in

Hawk Laplante Brandon Edmonds McQueary Firestone Bazan
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marijuana legalization; 2) an overview of research and data related to highway safety and marijuana use; 3) a summary of the workforce and hiring implications for the trucking industry; and 4) an analysis of publicly available CDL driver drug test data.

Additionally, the report includes industry surveys that provide insight into the motor carrier and truck driver perspectives on the consequences of marijuana legalization and current drug screening regulations. The data collected show that drivers and carriers are equally frustrated with current drug testing limitations, in particular the lack of a test for marijuana impairment.

“Minnesota recently joined the growing list of states legalizing recreational marijuana. This action underscores the critical need for tools to effectively determine marijuana impairment by current and prospective employees. As an industry committed to workplace and roadway safety, we owe it to ourselves and our families to make sure we can screen to maintain a clean and sober workforce,” said Minnesota Trucking Association President John Hausladen.

The ATRI study documents the strategies and implications of the two pathways the federal government can take in response to advancing legalization efforts.

The first pathway, maintaining the cur-

rent prohibition policy where marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, would continue the trend of removing thousands of drivers annually from the industry through positive tests for past marijuana use.

The second pathway, a scenario where the federal government eases restrictions and possibly removes marijuana from the Schedule I designation, has significant challenges as well. Prior to any federal legalization action, the report identifies several protections that must be in place for employers in safety-sensitive industries. These include the development of a nationally recognized marijuana impairment test and impairment standards, as well as provisions that protect a carrier’s ability to screen employees for drug use.

A copy of the full report is available at ATRI’s website

FMCSA launches human trafficking prevention awareness campaign

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently launched its Your Roads, Their Freedom human trafficking prevention campaign. FMCSA takes its role as the leader in educating the public and the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry

about road safety very seriously. Human trafficking is a horrible crime that occurs in every state and uses our transportation system to recruit and move victims. But America’s 8.7-million-strong CMV workforce is uniquely positioned to make a difference. That is why the “Your Roads, Their Freedom” campaign seeks to empower the CMV industry with the information it needs to identify and report the crime.

On behalf of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, FMCSA invites you to build on the important work that is already being done in this space by amplifying the following message: By working together, we can make our roadways safer, save lives, and combat the scourge of human trafficking.

A variety of campaign materials are available to help spread awareness including human trafficking indicator cards for frontline CMV workforce; awareness posters to be displayed in rest areas, travel centers, bus stations, and other places where human trafficking may occur; and social media content and a newsletter blurb that your organization can include in your internal and/or external communications.

You can download materials to share with your employees and network at cking.




ATA elects Tommy Neely as new Chairman, installs officers, adds nine to the board

The Alabama Trucking Association (ATA) has elected its officers and nine individuals to serve on its Board of Directors. These additions bring the number of board members to 72.

ATA’s executive board comprises industry leaders from various companies around Alabama. The group oversees and guides the activities and operations of the Association. Its primary role is to provide strategic direction, make key decisions, and ensure that the organization is effectively serving the interests of its members and the trucking industry in Alabama.

“For the last seven-plus decades, the strength and resiliency of our board leadership have been the driving force behind the success of Alabama’s trucking industry,” said President and CEO Mark Colson. “These men and women give of their time, energy, and resources to make the trucking industry better and safer for all. They are truly the backbone of our Association.”

The new officers are Chairman Tommy Neely, Ross Neely Systems, Birmingham and Vice Chairman Joe Black, McGriff Tire Co., Cullman. New board members are Brent Bruser, Vice President of Sales for Truckworx, Birmingham, Ala.; Claiborne Crommelin, Vice President of Safety, Baggett Transportation Co., Birmingham, Ala.; Allen Dye, Vice President, ServisFirst Bank, Birmingham, Ala.; Jeff Ellsworth, Director, Evergreen Transport, Mobile, Ala.; John Ethridge, Regional Sales Manager, Buddy Moore Trucking, Birmingham, Ala.; Greg Evans, Vice President, M&T Equipment Finance Corp., a subsidiary of M&T Bank, Helena, Ala.; Valerie Lindley, LB3, Wedowee, Ala.; Bruce McLeod, McLeod Software, Manager, Sales Contract Operations, Birmingham, Ala.; Travis Williams, Director of Operations, Greenbush Logistics Inc. Abbeville, Ala.

Chairman Neely will serve as the main

decision maker for the membership as a whole and the face and voice of the Alabama Trucking Association for the year-long term. Neely will serve on the Policy and Finance Committee, the TRUK PAC Board, and the Alabama Trucking Foundation Board and will lead and preside over all Board of Director meetings. The chairman also will be heavily involved in all major events that Alabama Trucking hosts every year.

Joe Black’s role as Vice Chairman will consist of him serving as chairman of the Alabama Trucking Convention planning committee. Vice Chairman Black will serve on the Policy and Finance Committee, the TRUK PAC Board, and the Alabama Trucking Foundation Board. Alongside the chairman, the vice chairman will also be heavily involved with all the major events that Alabama Trucking hosts every year.

Chris Cooper, CEO of the Boyd Companies and Immediate Past Chairman of the Alabama Trucking Association said, “I am looking forward to seeing the ways Tommy (Neely) and Joe (Black) move the association forward. There are a lot of challenges that the industry is facing and it’s our job as industry and association leaders to take on those issues. Tommy and Joe both bring different perspectives that allow us to cover our bases. Both are great members and leaders within the association. The association is pushing our industry forward in many different areas like workforce development, events, member engagement and political advocacy. I have been proud of my time as chairman, but I am truly excited to see what the future holds for Alabama Trucking.”

Chairman Cooper continued regarding the addition of the new board members, “It is awesome to see so many great perspectives that we have on the Board of Directors. That is especially seen in the newest group of board members. Having a great mix of allied and motor carrier members from all around the state is always a fantastic addition to our board. We’ve had the opportunity to make huge strides in several different areas over the past few years. I think the staff and board are up to the task of keeping that momentum moving forward. These new members will be amazing additions to the board. The ability for more association members to step forward as in-

dustry leaders is always a positive thing.”

Officers and new board members were officially sworn in during the Alabama Trucking board meeting on June 20 and were introduced to the duties and roles of a board member via a new board member orientation presented by the ATA staff to help new members and new and current board members learn or refresh what the Association does for the industry.

Alabama Trucking expresses strong opposition to Secretary of Labor nominee

In May, the Alabama Trucking Association leaders expressed concerns and took decisive action in letters to Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Sen. Katie Britt, requesting their opposition to the nomination of Julie Su as Secretary of Labor.

Alabama Trucking officials believe that Su’s track record poses a threat to the industry, small businesses, and the state’s workforce. The letter outlined specific instances where her past decisions have negatively impacted independent entrepreneurs, franchisees, and small businesses.

ATA CEO Mark Colson highlighted Su’s role as Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, during which she supported a controversial law known as AB5. Colson expressed concern over the legislation, which poses a threat to the livelihoods of independent entrepreneurs and franchisees. AB5, which has since been partially overturned by California voters, carries implications that business leaders believe could be nationalized if Ms. Su were to assume the position of Secretary of Labor. Such policies, if implemented on a national scale, could harm independent workers who are vital to Alabama’s workforce.

Additionally, the ATA draws attention to Ms. Su’s support for state legislation (AB 257) that sought to grant an unelected board of government appointees the power to dictate wages and working conditions for independently owned restaurants in California. This endorsement, according to the ATA, further indicates a pattern of antismall business sentiment. The association argues that Ms. Su’s potential continuation

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Legislative Session Recap: Significant Wins for Trucking

The 2023 State

Legislative Session brought landmark legislation to improve fleet safety regulation and relief for the ongoing truck parking crisis.

During the recently concluded Alabama Legislative Session, the state’s trucking industry achieved remarkable milestones for fleet safety and truck parking. Thanks to the successful partnership between the Alabama Trucking Association and lawmakers, pivotal bills were enacted to tackle pressing safety concerns and address the critical issue of truck parking availability. These groundbreaking legislative measures aim to elevate safety standards, drive operational efficiency, and work to prioritize the welfare of truck drivers and the public alike.

Independent Contractors Safety

One of the notable accomplishments of the legislative session was the passage of House Bill 256, sponsored by Rep. Rhett Marques, and Senate Bill 183, sponsored by Sen. Garlan Gudger. These bills, championed by Alabama Trucking, introduced a safe harbor provision for motor carriers that employ independent contractors (ICs). The new law eliminates the consideration of a motor carrier’s use of safety improvements in determining a driver’s classification as an IC or an employee under state law.

Previously, motor carriers employing ICs faced a challenging dilemma. While they aimed to enhance safety by deploying technologies and implementing safety measures, these actions could be misconstrued as exerting employer-like control over ICs. This classification ambiguity exposed carriers to worker misclassification risks. The law now allows motor carriers to implement safety improvements across their operations, regardless of the classification of their drivers. Removing this obstacle promotes the adoption of safety technologies and practices, benefiting drivers and the public.

Truck Parking Resolution

With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, significant resources have become available to address the nationwide truck parking shortage. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation estimates that 98 percent of truck drivers face challenges finding safe parking. This shortage poses a growing concern as freight volume is expected to increase by 21% in the next decade.

To tackle this issue, Alabama Trucking leaders, alongside the American Trucking Associations, worked closely with the Ivey Administration and ALDOT to secure funding for expanding truck parking in Alabama.

ATA also collaborated with Sen. Gerald Allen and Rep. Randall Shedd, urging the state and ALDOT to address the truck parking shortage. Ongoing efforts in Congress aim to allocate additional funding for this issue.

Streamlining CDL HAZMAT Regs

Efforts to streamline the process for commercial drivers applying for or renewing their hazardous materials endorsement (HME) gained substantial support during the legislative session. House Bill 404 aimed to eliminate duplicative background checks by allowing individuals with a valid Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) to apply that background check toward obtaining a HAZMAT endorsement without undergoing the entire process again or paying additional fees.

Commercial drivers currently seeking HMEs and TWICs must undergo redundant background checks and pay duplicative fees, causing financial burdens and delays. By recognizing a valid TWIC as meeting the TSA security risk clearance requirements for HMEs, the proposed legislation sought to streamline the process and reduce unnecessary administrative hurdles. Although the bill did not pass, its broad bipartisan support indicates the importance of addressing these regulatory inefficiencies. ATA leaders will continue to push this issue forward.

All considered, ATA leaders are pleased with the outcomes of the 2023 Legislative Session. The passage of the safety improvement law, the resolution to tackle the truck parking shortage, and the efforts to streamline CDL HAZMAT requirements demonstrate the Alabama Trucking Association’s commitment to promoting safety and its resolve to improve conditions for professional drivers.



of such policies as Labor Secretary would harm small businesses and consumers, particularly at a time when the economy is grappling with challenges.

The ATA’s letter emphasizes the crucial role of small businesses, particularly in the trucking industry, which comprises nearly 32,000 trucking companies in Alabama alone. These businesses form the backbone of the state’s economy and are responsible for employing 125,110 Alabamians. The ATA commends Senator Tuberville for his consistent support of small employers, recognizing the significant contribution they make to the state’s economic growth.

By voicing their concerns over Julie Su’s nomination, the ATA showcases its dedication to protecting the interests of Alabama’s trucking industry and the broader workforce. The association seeks to ensure that the Secretary of Labor is someone who will foster an environment conducive to the success of small businesses, rather than implementing policies that burden them with increased costs and potential harm.

AAA Cooper named among America’s best midsize employers by Forbes

titude for the company’s seventh consecutive recognition as one of America’s Best Midsize Employers by Forbes. He said, “Being recognized for a seventh consecutive year reflects a commitment to creating strong relationships based on respect, trust, and decency. I am grateful to all our team members that exhibit these values making this recognition possible.”

In addition to this award, AAA Cooper Transportation was also named one of 2022’s Best Employers for Veterans by Forbes, recognizing the company’s dedication to supporting and hiring veterans in the workforce.

AAA Cooper Transportation has provided transportation solutions since 1955 and has grown into one of the leading LTL carriers in the United States. With over 5,000 employees and a fleet of over 3,000 tractors and 7,000 trailers, the company provides shipping services throughout North America.

The recognition of AAA Cooper Transportation as one of America’s Best Midsize Employers for 2023 by Forbes reaffirms the company’s commitment to providing a safe and positive work environment for its employees.

“Notably, the Golden Flake brand remains an important part of Utz’s portfolio, and our product offerings and partnerships under this banner are not changing,” Brick said.

“We will continue to have a presence in Birmingham and will stay an active part of the community.”

Utz Quality Foods, based in Hanover, Penn., purchased Golden Enterprises, Golden Flake’s parent company, in 2016 for $141 million.

Golden Flake was founded in 1923 in the basement of a Hill’s Grocery store in north Birmingham.

ATRI releases new research priorities for 2023

At a recent mid-year meeting in Florida, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) Board of Directors approved the 2023 Top Research Priorities, as identified by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC). ATRI’s RAC identified and prioritized the list of recommended research topics at its annual RAC meeting held in Atlanta on March 14-15. The ATRI Board, led by ATRI Chair Derek Leathers of Werner Enterprises, reviewed and approved the research topics on May 5.

ATRI’s RAC selected a diverse set of research priorities designed to address some of the industry’s most critical issues.

AAA Cooper Transportation, an LTL (less-than-truckload) company based in Dothan, Ala., has again been named one of America’s Best Midsize Employers by Forbes. The company, an independent subsidiary of Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, has been recognized with this honor for seven consecutive years.

This award is presented annually by Forbes to companies with 1,000 to 5,000 employees, based on employee feedback and an analysis of each company’s corporate culture, working conditions, diversity and inclusion, and other factors. AAA Cooper Transportation is among 500 other companies to make the 2023 list, and it has been recognized for its commitment to creating a strong work environment that fosters respect, trust, and decency.

Scott Bowers, AAA Cooper Transportation’s Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management, expressed his gra-

According to reports, Utz Brands has announced it is closing the company’s Golden Flake Birmingham manufacturing facility in July. The decision means about 175 employees will be laid off from the 275-member workforce. About 100 will remain in distribution operations.

The company disclosed an SEC filing on April 24. Pre-tax cash charges of approximately $3 million to $5 million are expected to be incurred because of the closure.

In a statement, Utz Foods Vice President Kevin Brick said Utz “made the difficult decision to permanently close our manufacturing operations” in Birmingham.

ATRI’s 2023 top research priorities are 1) Expanding Truck Parking at Public Rest Areas. The lack of available truck parking is perennially ranked by drivers as their top concern. This research will identify and map truck driver needs to rest stop attributes, develop best practice case studies and utilize truck driver data to identify strategies for expanding truck parking capacity available at public rest areas.

2) Identifying Barriers to Entry for Female Truck Drivers. Female truck drivers represent less than 10 percent of the truck driver workforce, yet ATRI research documents that female drivers are safer than their male counterparts. This research will identify gender issues and proactive steps that the industry can take to make truck driving careers more appealing to women.

3) Complete Streets Impact on Freight Mobility. Complete Streets is a U.S. DOT program designed to make transportation accessible for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders. However, planning decisions to deploy complete streets often negatively impact freight transportation and those who rely on truck-

Utz closing Birmingham Golden Flake factory, distribution will remain open

delivered goods. This study will quantify these impacts and recommend approaches for transportation planners to better facilitate freight movement.

4) Examining the Diesel Technician Shortage. The industry’s challenges in recruiting and retaining technicians are often cited as being as critical as the driver shortage. This research will work with government and industry to identify the factors underlying the shortage, including mapping career attributes to workforce needs, and assessing high school-level vocational training availability, industry recruitment practices and competing career opportunities.

5) The Cost of Driver Detention. Truck drivers and motor carriers consistently rank driver detention at customer facilities as a top industry concern. This research, supported by shipper groups, will include quantitative data collection to identify detention impacts, costs, and strategies for minimizing detention.

Lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to strengthen driver apprenticeship program

The American Trucking Associations and the International Foodservice Distributors

Association are praising the recent introduction of the DRIVE Safe Integrity Act, spearheaded by Representatives Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas) and Henry Cuellar (DTexas), to help alleviate the truck driver workforce shortage. The bill builds upon strong, bipartisan support for the DRIVE Safe Act over the last few Congresses and the inclusion of the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program in the bipartisan infrastructure law.

“Building a 21st-century supply chain requires a strong, vibrant and growing trucking workforce,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The DRIVE Safe Integrity Act will bolster new career pathways into interstate trucking while promoting safety and training standards that far exceed the bar set by states today. This legislation offers a timely and essential trucking workforce and supply chain solution, built off years of broad bipartisan Congressional support.”

“The last three years have proven just how important truck drivers are to the American economy and way of life, and how urgently we need to develop a pipeline of qualified, well-trained professional drivers to meet our nation’s growing freight needs,” said Mark S. Allen, President and CEO of IFDA. “Strengthening the ability

of younger drivers to receive rigorous training and safely enter the trucking workforce will help fill this pipeline, and we thank Representatives Crawford and Cuellar for their bipartisan leadership in addressing this issue.”

The trucking industry faces a shortage of more than 78,000 truck drivers coupled with a need to hire 1.2 million new drivers over the next decade to meet increasing freight demands. However, current U.S. Department of Transportation regulations bar a vital population of job seekers from interstate trucking, exacerbating the driver shortage as qualified candidates are lost to other industries. In 49 states plus the District of Columbia, 18-, 19- and 20-yearolds are permitted to obtain a CDL and drive heavy-duty commercial vehicles in intrastate commerce, but federal rules have long prohibited those same drivers from driving in interstate commerce.

To address this issue, the bipartisan infrastructure law enacted in 2021 included a nationwide pilot program modeled after the DRIVE Safe Act to create a pathway for young drivers to operate interstate with rigorous safety and training guardrails in place. The Save Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program was capped at 3,000 participating

Continued on page 30



drivers at any one time; however, fewer than a dozen driver participants have enrolled.

This failure is partly due to extraneous USDOT requirements for program participation that were not included in the bipartisan infrastructure law. The DRIVE Safe Integrity Act would help get the pilot program back on track by urging DOT to take corrective actions that would improve participation in the SDAP and requiring DOT to provide Congress with detailed reports on SDAP’s status and corrective actions taken to improve participation.

“By directing DOT to steer the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program back to the course Congress originally intended and providing a path forward for participants to safely enter the workforce, this bill will ensure our industry has the talent it needs to meet the economy’s freight demands in the years to come,” Spear said. “We thank Representatives Crawford and Cuellar for their outstanding leadership.”

Upon the sunset of the pilot program, the bill would direct DOT to review the safety

data and issue regulations for a permanent apprenticeship program for commercial drivers between the ages of 18-20.

ATRI IDs Top 100 Bottlenecks of 2023, Alabama’s usual suspects are represented

In February, the American Transportation Research Institute released a list of the top 100 truck bottlenecks based on an analysis utilizing its extensive truck GPS dataset. While ATRI published the top 100 locations, the organization monitors congestion at over 300 locations in the contiguous 48 states.

Those 300+ locations were first identified as freight-significant by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, state DOTs, and trucking industry stakeholders including motor carriers, commercial drivers, and with carrier and other stakeholder input.

ATRI leaders said they are in the process of reviewing its current list of locations to identify any additional freight-significant highways to include in our annual bottleneck analysis. Given the growth in ecommerce and expansion of warehouse and distribution facilities, it’s likely that there are additional locations that have the potential to experience congestion. ATRi’s

analysis uses 55 MPH to indicate free-flow speed, so they do not include local roads and arterials where the posted speed limit is less than 55 MPH.

Here in Alabama, the usual suspects were represented on the Top 300 List. They are at 132 - Birmingham, AL: I-65 at I-20; 200 - Mobile, AL: I-10 (near George Wallace Tunnel); 201 - Birmingham, AL: I-65 at SR 149; 217 - Birmingham, AL: I-59 at I-459; 219 - Montgomery, AL: I-85 at I-65; and 230 - Birmingham, AL: I-459 at I-59/I-20

To see the full list visit

ATA now accepting nominations for Mike Russell Trucking Industry Image Award

The American Trucking Associations announced it is now accepting nominations to recognize the most passionate representatives of the trucking industry’s image with the 2023 Mike Russell Trucking Industry Image Award.

“By sharing our story, the winners and nominees of the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award do a great service for our industry,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This award is to honor in-


dividuals and organizations that consistently go above and beyond to broaden and strengthen the awareness of the industry to policymakers, the media, and the public.”

The Mike Russell Trucking Industry Image Award, sponsored by Great West Casualty Company, celebrates companies, organizations, and individuals who creatively generate awareness of the trucking industry. This award is presented to an individual, motor carrier, trucking organization, and industry supplier who demonstrate excellence in creating a positive image for the trucking industry. This is illustrated by a safety-first approach to conducting business and professionalism.

Last year, ATA recognized TrueNorth Companies, Northern Industrial Training, Ken Calhoun with Altec Industries and the Alabama Trucking Association.

ATA is proud to announce Great West Casualty Co. is continuing its sponsorship of the 2023 Mike Russell Trucking Image Award.

“Great West Casualty Company is honored to support an award with the significance of the Mike Russell Trucking Industry Image Award,” said Great West Casualty Company Senior Vice President Steve Ponder. “The image of trucking has grown more positive each year due to the

impact of past and future award winners.”

The Mike Russell Trucking Image Award is named in Honor of Mike Russell, a trucking industry supporter and former ATA Vice President of Public Affairs. Submissions are evaluated by an expert, impartial panel of judges based on creativity, frequency, reach, impact and execution.

Visit the official nomination page to learn more about the award and how to submit a nomination at

Completed nominations must be submitted to the ATA Industry Affairs Department no later than August 15. Winners will be announced on October 14-17, during the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition in Austin, Tex.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.7% in April Index 3.4% below April 2022

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 1.7% in April after decreasing 2.8% in March. In April, the index equaled 112.7 (2015=100) compared with 114.7 in March.

“While the broader economy continues to

surprise and thus far stave off an expected recession, the freight economy is starkly different,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The goods portion of the economy is soft and as a result, even contract truck freight is now falling, albeit not nearly as much as the spot market. The tonnage index hit the lowest level since September 2021 in April and has now fallen on a year-over-year basis for two straight months.”

Compared with April 2022, the SA index decreased 3.4%, which was the largest yearover-year decrease since February 2021. In March, the index was down 2.4% from a year earlier.

The not-seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 109 in April, 9.5% below the March level (120.4). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.93 billion tons of freight in 2021. Motor carriers collected $875.5 billion, or 80.8% of the total revenue earned by all transport modes.


Application For Membership

Motor Carrier: ___ Private: ___ Household Goods: ___ Allied Industry: ___

Your Dues Amount: $ __________________ (please fill in by using dues chart)

Firm Name:



CODE # _________________


A LABAMA T RUCKER • 2 ND Q UARTER 2023 35 MAG ______ MC ______ GC ______ YR ______ LTR/PLQ ______ RSL ______ BC ______
(Street) City, State & Zip: DOT Number: ______________________________________ Number of Trucks: __________________ Telephone: (______) ____________________ Fax (______) ____________________ 800/ ______________________
Title: Email
Alternate Representative: Title: Email address: Signed: Date: Referred by: PO Box 242337 • Montgomery, AL 36124 • Phone: (334) 834-3983 • Fax: (334) 262-6504 Date Check # Dues Amt Mbr Class Mbr Type Dues Cat Freq Exp Date Nxt Bill Date AL Sen AL Hse CG Dist
Website Address: Type of Business:
Representative :

Schedule of Membership Dues

(Effective July 1, 2017)

$500 plus $20 per truck

$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

$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

$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.

A. For-Hire Motor Carriers (Membership dues are based on truck count; maximum of $4,000) B. Private Carriers (Schedule based on miles traveled in Alabama) C. Household Goods Carriers (Schedule based on intrastate revenue only) D. Allied Industry (Those who service and equip the trucking industry)

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.


Pitts Media

(205) 792-1280


Faucett Motors of Boaz, Inc.

(256) 593-7162


Southland Transportation Group

(205) 942-6226

Transportation South, Inc.

(205) 663-2287

Ward International Trucks, LLC

(251) 433-5616


Rushing Enterprises, Inc.

(334) 693-3318


ISAAC Instruments LLC

(888) 658-7520

J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

(920) 722-2848

Omnitracs, LLC

(615) 594-7565


(504) 494-0438

PrePass Safety Alliance (602) 601-4779


(918) 361-8647

Trimble Transportation (407) 347-5121


Transportation Support, Inc.

(205) 833-6336


Central Alabama Community College (256) 215-4301

Coastal Truck Driving School (504) 486-3639

J. Guthrie Consultants L.L.C. (205) 544-9124

J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

(920) 722-2848

JP Transportation Safety Consulting, LLC

(205) 329-8182

(205) 945-8550

Roadmaster Driver School (800) 831-1300

Transafe, LLC

(601) 425-2703

Transportation Compliance Services, USA

(877) 268-7347

TRW Solutions, LLC

(251) 362-2275

Vertical Alliance Group, Inc.

(205) 585-3895


Cummins Sales & Service (901) 490-5232


CB Equipment, Inc. (205) 338-0943

KLLM/Equipment Solutions LLC

(205) 515-1478

Metro Trailer Rental

(205) 985-8701

Reliable Trailer Sales, Inc. (423)-799-3640

REPOWR (205) 908-0540

Southern Truck & Equipment, Inc. (251) 653-4716

Southland Transportation Group (205) 942-6226

Star Leasing Co. (205) 763-1280

Trailer Sales of Tennessee A Fleet Equipment Co.

(615) 259-3301

Transport Enterprise Leasing, LLC

(423) 214-4027

Vacuum Truck Rentals, LLC

(205) 277-6190


Allison Transmission, Inc.

(678) 367-7011

Eaton Corp./Roadranger Field Marketing

(334) 398-1410


Ancra Cargo

(859) 446-3804

Dothan Tarpaulin Products, Inc.

(800) 844-8277

Imperial Supplies, LLC

(920) 496-4337

Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems

(334) 798-0080

Paccar Parts/Kenworth

(206) 898-5541

Rockland Flooring

(865) 982-8377

Southern Truck & Equipment, Inc. (251) 653-4716

Star Truck Parts (205) 324-4681

Thermo King of B’ham-Dothan-MobileMontgomery-Chattanooga (334) 263-5782

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

Werts Welding & Tank Service, Inc. (205) 238-9277


Alabama Farm Credit (256) 737-7128

Arvest Equipment Finance (501) 400-5448

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (205) 298-7467

BMO Transportation Finance (770) 960-6307

Colony Bank (205) 603-2998

Comdata (615) 376-6917

Commercial Credit Group, Inc. (704) 731-0031

CorpFinancial, LLC (334) 215-4499

Daimler Truck Financial Services USA LLC

(770) 417-6957

Electronic Funds Source, LLC (615) 777-4619

Fifth Third Bank (770) 510-8123


(256) 970-1618

First Horizon Bank (615) 734-6046

Hancock Whitney Bank (251) 665-1667

IBERIABANK (251) 345-9676

M&T Capital and Leasing Corporation (205) 856-9354

M&T Equipment Finance Corporation (205) 664-9374

Pathward, National Association (615) 620-3530

Pinnacle Financial Partners (205) 527-5692

PNC Bank N.A. (205) 421-2764

ProBilling and Funding Service (256) 736-4349

Renasant Bank (334) 301-5955

River Bank & Trust (205) 580-4290

ServisFirst Bank (205) 949-3433

Signature Financial (615) 982-4375

South State Bank (205) 422-7111

Trustmark Bank (205) 995-4615

United Community Bank (205) 527-5692

Wells Fargo Equipment Finance (314) 374-2165

INSURANCE Aon Risk Services (865) 722-1209

Cadence Insurance, Inc. (334) 386-3317

Cobbs Allen (205) 414-8100

Cottingham and Butler (563) 587-5521

DMC Insurance, Inc. (317) 436-4909

Farris Evans Insurance Agency, Inc. (901) 274-5424

Great West Casualty Co. (865) 392-3752

Hudson Insurance Group (317) 810-0056

Lyon Fry Cadden Insurance (251) 473-4600

McGriff Insurance Services (334) 674-9810 (205) 583-9641

Joe Morten & Sons, Inc. (865) 392-3844

MTG Insurance – Morgan Trevathan & Gunn (800) 489-4684

Palomar Insurance Corp. (334) 270-0105

PointeNorth Insurance Group, LLC (770) 858-7540

PR Companies (334) 836-1377

Reliance Group, LLC (205) 504-4841

Reliance Partners, LLC (877) 668-1704

Starr Insurance Group, LLC (334) 401-0218

The Baxter Agency (334) 678-6800

TransRisk, LLC (334) 403-4114

TrueNorth Companies (616) 690-5856

Turner & Hamrick L.L.C. (334) 566-7665

Turner Insurance & Bonding Co. (205) 913-8256


Alabama Specialty Clinic (256) 736-1460

Carlisle Medical, Inc. (251) 344-7988

ErgoScience, Inc. (205) 879-6447

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

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


Davison Fuels & Oil (251) 544-4511

Jack Green Oil Co., Inc. (256) 831-1038

Myers Oil Company, Inc. (954) 938-7211

RelaDyne (205) 384-3422

W.H. Thomas Oil Co., Inc. (205) 755-2610


Accounting Firms: Aldridge, Borden & Co. (334) 834-6640

Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP (317) 580-2193

Warren Averett (256) 739-0312

Attorneys: Adams and Reese LLP (251) 650-0861

Ball, Ball, Matthews & Novak, P.A. 334-387-7680

Bradley Arant (205) 521-8837

Carr, Allison, P.C. (251) 626-9340

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophette, LLP (205) 252-9321

DeLashmet & Marchand, P.C. (251) 433-1577

Drivers Legal Plan (405) 948-6576

2023 ATA Buyer’s Guide
We make every effort to ensure this list is correct. For changes or corrections to your company’s listing, contact


New Members 3-9-23 through 6-15-23

Allbright Farms LLC

Holly Pond, AL

Chad Allbright (256) 796-1394


Anniston, AL

Matt Roland (704) 607-6294

Coastal Truck Driving School

New Orleans, LA

Jules Morales (504) 486-3639

Digital Management Team, Inc.

Northport, AL

Austin Haskew (205) 722-9138

J. & I. Miller Inc.

Montgomery, AL

Jamarious Miller (334) 207-9482



Pinnacle Financial Partners

Birmingham, AL

Ben Leach (205) 527-5692

Quality Carriers, Inc.

Tampa, FL

Melissa Tracy (813) 569-7248

River Bank & Trust Vestavia, AL

Brian Ethridge (205) 580-4290

Roll Tide Distribution, LLC Bessemer, AL

Nicholas Massino (708) 426-9150

SUIT LLC Attalla, AL

Jordan Frachiseur (256) 305-5421

TD Wash

Tuscumbia, AL

Dennie Robinson (256) 978-5460

Tenstreet Tulsa, OK

Marilyn Surber (918) 361-8647

Turner Insurance & Bonding Co. Montgomery, AL

Chase Traffica (205) 913-8256

ZF Group

Auburn Hills, MI

Derrek Warden (303) 870-6073

ATA event locations, dates and times are subject to change. Please contact Brandie Norcross at or visit for the latest updates and changes.

Truckers for Congressman Carl

August 17, 2023

Mobile, AL

SMMC Mock Trial

August 24, 2023

Montgomery, AL

SMMC Combined Seminar (All Chapters)

September 21, 2023

Montgomery, AL

Golf Classic Evening Reception

September 25, 2023

Prattville, AL

Alabama Trucking Golf Classic

September 26, 2023

Prattville, AL

SMMC Fall Courtesy Roadside Inspection (Southern District)

October 12, 2023


SMMC Regional Meeting- Birmingham

November 6, 2023


SMMC Regional Meeting- Wiregrass

November 9, 2023 Montgomery, AL

SMMC Regional Meeting- Gulf Coast

November 16, 2023


SMMC Christmas Celebration (Topgolf)

December 14, 2023

Birmingham, AL

A DVERTISING I NDEX ADVERTISER PG. NO. PH. NO. WEB ADDRESS Assured Partners 30 (888) 385-0186 ATA Comp Fund BC (334) 834-7911 Birmingham Freightliner IBC (205) 322-6695 The Campbell Group 31 (334) 678-5904 Cummins Inc. 23 International Trucks IFC (800) 844-4102 McGriff Insurance 29 (334) 674-9803 McGriff Tire 3 (334) 674-9803 Nextran Truck Center 11 (800) 292-8685 Palomar Insurance 23 (800) 489-0105 R.E. Garrison 25 (800) 643-3472 Southern Tire Mart 32 (877) STM-TIRE Southland Transportation Group 10 (205) 254-1821 Trimble 16 (954) 913-4861
Kenworth 17 (800) 444-6170 WH Thomas Oil Co. 20-21 (205) 755-2610

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