Just before he handed over the wheel to new Truckload Carriers Association Chairman, Robert Low, president of Prime Inc., incumbent chairman, Gary Salisbury, president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line in Hope, Arkansas, told delegates, “We must start becoming an industry of yes. We can’t say no, that’s not going to work.”
Salisbury recounted last year’s theme, saying, “Public perception drives public policy. If we want to create a positive public image, the industry has to be proactive, whether it’s in the Hours of Service or Electric Onboard Recorders (EOBR’s), or independent contractor issues,” Salisbury went on to say.
Salisbury challenged CEO’s, presidents and management of carriers, “If you want to understand how that driver works that EOBR or how much he or she sits in traffic, if you don’t have a CDL, get one and if not, ride along and see what happens. Salisbury explained the experience would help executives have a better understanding of the trucking industry and noted that many delegates, implementing new policies “know absolutely nothing” about trucking.
Before he went into management in the 1990’s, Salisbury was an owner-operator.
“If we don’t get started, we won’t change minds,” Salisbury said. “We need to take hold of the steering wheel instead of letting outside forces take hold of it.”