We’ve all seen the times an enterprise carrier does its “giving back campaign.” It’s usually just a “Drivers Appreciation Day” or a cook-out just because they can.
But Tim Guin, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of USA Truck Inc. (USAT), has bigger ideas. He’s developing an entire brand around giving back and helping truckers and other deserving individuals. “America’s Trucker” is the name you should be watching for when it comes to charitable events for the trucking community.
I had the opportunity to interview Tim this morning and ask him about the charity, the events that are lined up, and the history of the logo of USAT – the star and bar emblem synonymous with the U.S. Air Force. Well, it seems the USAF did not have someone working in the trademark office. So, Robert (Bob) Powell, one of the founders of USA Truck, had the logo trademarked. USAT not only protected that icon, it gave the military usage of the logo. How often do we see emblems and logos used disrespectfully by those who have no care for the ones that display it proudly?
“What is this brand, this Star and Bar? It’s “All American”, so it should be something American. So we came up with the tagline “America’s Trucker” to put under all of our brands. Then we thought, “What else can we do with this brand?”Tim Guin, Vice President of USA Trucks Capacity Solutions
America’s Trucker, the brand built by Tim Guin, is dedicated to the hard working, proud of their job truckers keeping the country and world moving. The organization was built as a charity for truckers and others who support them. They are hosting an inaugural charity golf tournament on June 1-2 at the Ballyhack Golf Club in Roanoke, Virginia. The event will be supporting Folds of Honor, a charity that helps the families of wounded and fallen soldiers. Speakers from Folds of Honor will be awarding a 4-year scholarship to a deserving student. Tim announced that the event is sold out for this year, and plans for another tournament next year are already in the works.
BackTheTruckUp.com’s own Dooner and the Dude, hosts of “WHAT THE TRUCK?!?” on FreightWaves TV, will be in attendance. They spoke to Tim on May 13 about the upcoming event. One can only wonder what shenanigans and cowbell playing will happen with those two. We will have cameras on scene to cover the event.
I also asked Tim about USAT’s plans in the alternative energy scene. Back in January, USAT and Nikola partnered with a Letter of Intent for 10 of Nikola’s electric trucks, with an option for more at a later date. Those trucks are to be delivered in the first half of this year, according to a Nikola press release.
USAT is also examining the autonomous driving space. While no partnerships have been established yet, the company is monitoring the development of systems.
Finding the balance between what to automate and where you need real drivers is a hard choice for carriers. Plus the negativity around replacing drivers and eliminating those jobs is another choice that companies must decide. Companies won’t be able to get away with saying they are driver-focused and supportive, yet purge them once automation can handle the job.
I can’t wait to see what Tim and the team at USAT have in store for us in the future. Hopefully they will have a presence at F3, the Future of Freight Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee, this November. I would love to see them in action with both the USAT and America’s Trucker brands.