TCA’s Burruss says industry unity is critical; award winners announced

In the current regulatory, legislative and economic climate, the trucking industry must work hard as these issues threaten to derail recovery and weaken productivity, said Chris Burruss, president of the Truckload Carriers Association at the 75th TCA annual conference in Las Vegas.

“At times it becomes maddening when I think about the mess that is our nation’s Capitol,” said Burruss. “However I can’t remember a time when the industry has been as aligned as we are now, and that is comforting.  Common purpose and agreement in matters of policy put us in a strong position to influence the coming years. There will not be universal agreement on every issue but we must continue to build as much consensus as we can. We must also work to bring volume to the voice we already have.”

With 81 new members added in 2012, TCA membership has swelled to 664 member companies.

Past Chairman’s Award, Best Fleet winners announced

Immediate past TCA chairman Gary Salisbury presented Don Freymiller of Freymiller Trucking, Oklahoma City, Okla., with the TCA Past Chairman’s Award, given to an individual that make significant contributions to the business community, the trucking industry and the TCA.

“This industry and its people are some of the best,” said Freymiller. “My involvement over the years with TCA has given me the opportunity to do some of the greatest things in my life.”

The Best Fleets to Drive For awards are presented to companies that represent the best employers in the industry. Nominations are submitted by a fleet’s company drivers and owner-operators.

The Best Overall Fleet for Company Drivers award went to Grand Island Express, Grand Island, Neb., while the Best Overall Fleet for Owner-Operators was awarded to Landstar System, Jacksonville, Fla.

“We’ve been on a several-year journey of aggressive continuous improvement in our company,” said Tom Pirnie, president of Grand Island Express. “I believe this program is improving our drivers’ lives and the industry as a whole.”

The 20 Best Fleets to Drive For were announced in February and include Brian Kurtz Trucking, Erb Group of Companies, Fremont Contract Carriers, FTC Transportation, Gordon Trucking, Halvor Lines, Load One, Motor Carrier Service, Paramount Freight Systems, Sammons Trucking, Spirit Truck Lines, Steed Standard Transport, Steelman Transportation, Tennant Truck Lines, TimeLine Logistic International, Trimac Transportation, WTI Transport and Yanke Group of Companies

“Recognition as a Best Fleet to Drive For has clearly become highly coveted and we have found it is motivating companies to constantly raise the bar in the offerings they provide their drivers, making this year’s field the most competitive one we have seen,” said CarriersEdge president Mark Murrell. The program had a 50 percent increase in nominations and participation.