It’s time for the industry to put up or shut up, Salisbury tells TCA

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. –  The trucking industry must work to drastically improve its image if it expects to deal with a more favorable legislative environment,  Gary Salisbury, chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) told delegates attending the association’s 74th annual convention this morning.

“We must start becoming the industry and the association of ‘yes’,” said the colorful Salisbury, who is also president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line.

“We have to be proactive, whether it’s EOBRS or hours of work legislation,” he added, suggesting if the industry doesn’t like a particular legislative change it must be proactive in suggesting alternatives.

Being an industry or association that takes a negative position on issues is not an effective approach, he said, and questioned why an industry that can be so innovative when dealing with shipment-related challenges  seems to “go stupid” when faced with issues in its own backyard.

“It’s time for this industry to put up or shut up.  Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work,” Salisbury encouraged the packed hall of motor carrier executives.

One area that requires immediate attention is TCA’s image campaign, which has so far raised only $80,000 towards its goal of $250,000.

Salisbury, who began his career as an owner/operator, and in the 30 years since then has worked in almost every aspect of the industry, including sales, dispatch, and management, encouraged fleet owners to get a first-hand look at how policies and regulations being implemented are affecting drivers. Get your CDL and go on the road yourself or ride along with your drivers, he urged.

“Understand your drivers. These are the guys who are making your living…You have people implementing rules who know absolutely nothing about trucking,” he said.

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