'Tis the season to be merry and grateful

Jim Ward Headshot
Updated Dec 14, 2021

‘Tis the season for gathering with family and friends. This holiday season has approached us quickly but I’m very grateful, and looking forward to, spending time with my loved ones.

This year, I’m also grateful for a new role that I’ll been stepping into in March 2022. As many of you may have heard, I have been selected as the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) new president, and I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity.

The association is entering 2022 in its strongest position in many years. Our membership is at an all-time high, our advocacy efforts are producing results and we are poised to strengthen current programs while we actively seek to provide our members with new services and opportunities. What a great time to be an active and engaged TCA member!

Earlier this month, TCA helped wrap up a very special project in which trucking is an integral part — the 2021 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program. As I shared in my November column, my company, D.M. Bowman, was elated to host this piece of history – an 84-foot tall White Fir, which made is way by truck from Northern California to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. If you’re not involved with this program, I highly recommend you consider.

Moving ahead to another initiative with strong industry ties to TCA and the trucking industry is Wreaths Across America (WAA). This year’s National Wreath Laying Day is this Saturday (Dec. 18). View participating cemeteries to learn where you can lay wreaths in your community.

Since 2008, TCA has helped secure and encourage professional truck drivers and motor carriers to haul remembrance wreaths each December on behalf of WAA. Those who transport the wreaths donate their fuel, equipment and the driver’s time to further WAA’s mission of helping communities “Remember, Honor and Teach” about the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans.

Each year, TCA and its sponsor, Pilot Flying J, proudly support WAA’s Arlington Wreaths Rally. The event is typically held the Friday night prior to National Wreath Laying Day at Arlington National Cemetery. This year’s event will be held this Friday (Dec. 17).

Thanks to Pilot Flying J, more than 75 professional truck drivers and their guests will receive a meal and a driver appreciation gift during the event. I’m eager to share the stage with Wendy Hamilton to address and personally thank the drivers, many of which have served our country, but all of which have done the essential work of keeping the country moving throughout the last year and a half.

Just last week, Terrence "Terry" Carkeek, a professional truck driver with D.M. Bowman, joined TCA’s monthly Dave Nemo Show segment “Load ‘em Up, Move ‘em Out” where he shared how he first got involved with WAA and what this special load to Arlington National Cemetery means to him. He was joined by WAA’s Director of Transportation Don Queeney. Listen to the clip via TCA’s SoundCloud page.

Be sure to keep up with Terry’s journey via TCA’s social media accounts as he’s set to share photos and videos of his trek up and down the East Coast, documenting his journey to Arlington National Cemetery.

Wishing you all a happy and safe holiday season!

Jim Ward is president of D.M. Bowman, a 382-truck fleet based in Williamsport, Maryland. Under his direction, the company has transitioned from truckload carrier to a full-service transportation company, offering its customers dedicated fleet services, short haul, linehaul, brokerage, logistics and warehousing for dry van, flatbed, bulk and specialty services. Ward is the 2021-2022 chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association and TCA's incoming president.