NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Whether you’re a truckload carrier executive, driver, dispatcher, fleet manager, whatever the title might be, better get used to hearing about and believing in “the stool” if you’re a member of the Truckload Carriers Association.
“The stool” is literally the strategic foundation TCA has developed since John Lyboldt became president in late 2015 and it was “the stool” around which Lyboldt built his president’s message he delivered Tuesday morning at the second general session of the 79th Annual Truckload Carriers Association Convention under way here.
It is the new mantra of the association that represents the interests of truckload carriers, which comprise the largest segment of the trucking industry, Lyboldt told delegates.
The four-legged stool centers on TCA members and the organization’s ability to deliver value to those members, increase their profitability, help them speak as the voice of truckload, and help them retain a skilled workforce.
“This premise was not done with a prestigious strategic planning committee or a consultation with other industry executives; this topic was derived as not just as a possibility but rather a tactical approach based on many conversations occurring over many months with many of you in this room,” Lyboldt said. “The needs of the membership are always No. 1 and with that need came our four legs which will support our members in the bright future that is TCA. Building your company value, improving your company’s profitability, retaining your skilled workforce and finally, being the voice of truckload, are goals which this association will deliver to you, our members. A promise in which I, as your president, will guarantee.”
Lyboldt turned to the heritage of the association.
“It is important to note how we got to where we are today, built on the foundation provided by members of yesterday,” he said. “We cannot possibly forget what brought us here and the efforts that it took to get us to where we are now. TCA, in its infancy, was born out of like-minded carriers who gathered to share business principles in an effort to make our industry stronger. We must recognize this in a timely manner so that we will never forget where we have been, but also help to tell us where we are going. We, as a group, must respect the past, embrace the current and shape the future. The future is what places you before me today.”
While he could brag about the accomplishments of the past year, members deserve more than success stories, he said.
“TCA members deserve more than just reliving success stories. TCA members must expect and demand what’s next. We must create an environment in which we have not only told our story, but also dictate the ending. What I am talking about is achieving expectations, setting the bar high enough so that we know what working hard to get there means.”
Truckload isn’t easy, it’s hard work, and it’s a job that leaves nothing on the table, Lyboldt said, and the story of that hard work has to be told.
“We must tell our story in front of legislators and regulators, tell it to our friends and neighbors and shout it from the rooftops if we must. When we tell the truckload story, it needs to be done in such a way that epitomizes hard work, emphasizes dedication and defines family. We must do so with such spirit and vigor that those who listen will no longer question our dedication but discover our love of this industry in such way that they won’t just support it, but rather they will want to belong to it.”
In moving toward the goals of its stool, the association will go as fast as it can and as slow as it needs to, Lyboldt said, but at whatever speed, it must move forward.
“History has shown us that if we sit back and do nothing, poor past performance is bound to repeat itself,” he said. “We must not just do things differently, but change the course of history in an effort to make our existence stronger, to do it passionately and be the voice of truckload.”