O’Neal of O & S Transportation elected TCA chairman

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Jim O’Neal, president of Springfield, Mo.-based O & S Transportation, recently was elected as 2007-2008 chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association. The swearing-in ceremony took place March 11 at the association’s annual meeting, held March 11-14 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Founded in 1981 as a transportation broker, O & S became employee-owned almost 20 years later in 2000 and operates today as a full service carrier. O & S offers dry and refrigerated truckload service, brokerage as well as logistics assistance. The company fleet serves the contiguous 48 states and Canada with about 375 tractors, 385 dry vans and 370 refrigerated trailers.

O’Neal says his company has grown over the last 26 years by first establishing an independent contractor fleet and then developing a company-owned fleet. In 2003, O & S entered the refrigerated market and acquired two smaller carriers. Stever Trucking (the “S” in O & S) merged back with O & S in 2004 and became the core of the O & S Refrigerated Division.

As chairman, O’Neal’s single driving passion is to promote the safe operations of the companies and improve the image of the trucking industry through the elimination of “at fault” bodily injury accidents. To accomplish this, O’Neal says that the industry must put safety at the top of its mission statement.

“It is up to our industry to take back highway safety and driver wellness from the so-called safety advocates,” O’Neal says. “These are our issues. There is nothing more important in our businesses than operating a safe fleet, and there is nothing more important than telling the public we are serious about getting it done.”

The following individuals also were elected and will serve with O’Neal until the next annual convention:

  • Officer At Large: Tom Kretsinger Jr., American Central Transport Inc.
  • Officer At Large: Robert Low, Prime Inc.
  • Officer At Large: Gary Salisbury, Fikes Truck Line Inc.
  • Officer At Large: Bob Baylor, Baylor Trucking Inc.
  • Association Vice President to ATA: Clifton Parker, G & P Trucking Inc.
  • Secretary: John Kaburick, Earl L. Henderson Trucking Co.
  • Treasurer: Christopher Kozak, Willis Shaw Express
  • Second Vice Chairman: Kevin Burch, Jet Express Inc.
  • First Vice Chairman: Ray Haight, MacKinnon Transport Inc.
  • Immediate Past Chairman: Barry Pottle, Pottle’s Transportation