In the more than five years since trucking industry image group Trucking Moves America Forward launched, the goal has been to tell the story of trucking and truck drivers. Over the next five years, the group hopes to do more of the same.
Now mostly known simply as TMAF, the group is continuing to launch initiatives to promote the industry in a positive light to the general public and tell trucking’s story. Elisabeth Barna, executive vice president of industry affairs for ATA, said at the Great American Trucking Show last week the group has used social media and billboards as major tools to accomplish its goals through the first five years.
Kevin Burch, co-chair of TMAF and president of Jet Express, added that trailer wraps the group is selling to fleets have also made a big difference in getting TMAF’s message out to the general public. He said 240 of the wraps have been sold so far with each trailer being seen by an average of 16 million people as they move goods across the country.
The group is also launching new wraps that feature the group’s mascot, Safety Sammy, with an Uncle Sam theme. The wraps can be customized for a fleet to feature a logo and the fleet name.
“When you think about one trailer has over 16 million impressions, we have sold 240 now,” Burch said. “My goal is to have 1,000 trailers out there that are decaled explaining what we do, whether it’s medical goods or groceries or whatever it might be, and then advertise your company because you’re proud to be moving America’s goods.”
Burch added that the group is also proud of its mascot, Safety Sammy, and how it has been able to reach children and teach them the value of trucking at a young age. The mascot has been updated since it was first introduced two years ago
“We learned that we wanted to be more personable with Safety Sammy, so now version two has arms to meet and greet kids and shake hands,” Burch added. “We’ve also got some new headlights and taillights.”
Over the next five years, Barna said TMAF expects the perception of the industry to continue to improve. She said polling has indicated that when people know somebody in trucking, they have a better perception of the industry.
“We want to get on the bigger stage, too,” Barna added. “We want to be on more national news stories that are not negative about an accident, but about how vital we are and how professional the driver is. People don’t know that a driver has to get a medical card, that we do random drug and alcohol testing. Everything you have to do with ongoing safety.”