Monday, American Trucking Associations presented the Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards to one motor carrier, one state trucking association, one fleet executive, and one professional truck driver. The awards honour trucking’s champions of image, professionalism and safety, and recognize individuals and groups that use innovative approaches to improve the image of the trucking industry.
“Over my past year as chairman of ATA, I’ve seen from coast to coast the types of positive impacts we’re having on improving the image of trucking,” said ATA Chairman Barry Pottle, president of Pottle’s Transportation LLC. “Whether we’re introducing local lawmakers to some of Maine’s professional truck drivers or hosting high school students at MCE here in San Diego, our industry does a lot of great work to showcase who we are and how important we are to the general public.”
This year’s winners of the Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards are:
• Covenant Transport for developing the Tomorrow’s Truckers program and providing the tools to ATA to offer the program industry-wide. Covenant also supports ATA’s image programs including the newly-launched Workforce Heroes program and many of the industry’s disaster relief efforts.
• Minnesota Trucking Association for being one of the leading trucking image supporters at the state level, specifically by creating a three-pronged public relations campaign focusing on the need to develop reliable information, provide access to subject matter experts, and engage in working sessions with safety partners. Through this campaign, the Minnesota Trucking Association developed a close relationship with the state DOT and the Governor’s office to pass major highway safety legislation, including the Hands-Free Cell Phone Law and the Truck Platooning Law.
• Fleet executive Kevin Burch of Jet Express Inc. for developing some of the industry’s high-profile image efforts, including Trucking Moves America Forward trailer wraps and Safety Sammy, as well as “pinning” President Donald Trump, Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, countless public officials and members of the public with I Love Trucks pins. Burch makes the trucking image a part of his everyday life.
• America’s Road Team Captain and YRC Freight professional truck driver Steve Fields for being the epitome of an American truck driver in his actions, professionalism and words. Fields is a mentor to many drivers in the trucking industry and serve as an ambassador to the motoring public. He is passionate about his career in trucking, so passionate that he famously “pinned” a hesitant Brad Paisley at the 2017 MCE in Orlando.
The Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards are named in honour of the late Mike Russell, a trucking industry supporter and former ATA vice president of public affairs. The awards are sponsored by HireRight.
“HireRight is appreciative of each of these award winners for what they do to champion our industry and we are proud to honour them with the Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards,” said Dr. Todd Simo, HireRight chief medical officer and managing director of transportation. “These awards are aligned with HireRight’s mission to recruit hardworking professionals into the trucking industry and empower them to succeed.”
“The image of trucking improves each year due to the efforts of these champions,” said ATA Executive Vice President, Industry Affairs and Senior Adviser Elisabeth Barna. “Today’s honorees have made a substantial impact on our industry’s public perception through their words and deeds. As an industry, we appreciate their efforts and encourage others to use their work as a model for improving our industry’s image going forward.”
A full list of previous Mike Russell Trucking Image Award winners can be viewed on the official ATA Image and Outreach webpage.