This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Image Matters

Gary Salisbury believes trucking execs can do more to help themselves and their image

By J.K. Jones Contributing Writer

Maybe it takes an Arkansas country

boy to truly appreciate the importance of image. Especially one who’s worked his way up from the truck cab to the boardroom and to prominent leadership roles in industry associations—from blue collar work shirts to button-down Oxfords and silk ties. Appropriately, in his last official

address as chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) at its recent meeting in Orlando, Fikes Truck Line President and CEO Gary Salisbury combined some down-home storytellin’ with a very pointed message to fel- low trucking executives: Fix trucking’s image. Recalling his year as chairman,

Salisbury stepped away from the lectern, moved out from behind the teleprompt- ers and stepped to center stage. “I was standing there with a far-

away look in my eyes—kind of like now. You have all these plans,” he said, refer- ring to his first appearance as chairman last year in San Diego. “In this industry, as owners of truck lines, executives of truck lines, drivers of trucks, you soon realize to be successful you’ve got to be patient. My whole thought in this image process is that public image drives pub- lic policy. So if we want to get a favor- able ruling on legislative or regulatory issues, it’s obvious our image needs to be improved—drastically.” He pointed to TCA’s Wreaths

Across America, Weight Loss Showdown and Highway Angel programs as effec- tive tools in the image campaign—but took convention attendees to task for

ARKANSAS TRUCKING REPORT | Issue 2 2012 Salisbury

not doing more. Recent TCA Highway Angels of

the Year Sean Hubbard and Marcus Beam remain unknown names to most, Salisbury pointed out, even at the con- vention of the sponsoring association— yet “their faces need to be on every TV screen and newspaper in the country. “But how do we do that as an

industry?” Salisbury asked. “It’s very difficult, when most of the time our own industry doesn’t recognize them, other than for maybe a day or two.” And that is a shame, he explained,

because Hubbard and Beam have inspi- rational stories to tell—they’re just the kind of truckers the public needs to know about. The kind of trucker that attracted a young Salisbury to the busi- ness.

“I was born a trucker,” he said.

“Well, actually I was born a farmer who wanted to be a trucker. I was a square- headed country boy that didn’t know anything but ‘get it done.’” Salisbury credited his “old-school”

 21

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56