Prime Inc's Robert Low Named TCA Chairman

Prime Inc's Robert Low Named TCA Chairman

Springfield, Missouri –The Truckload Carriers Association has appointed Robert Low, president and founder of Prime Inc. of Springfield, Missouri, as its new chairman. Low, who will serve for the 2012-2013 term, was sworn in Wednesday, March 7, during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida.

Low established Prime Inc. in Urbana, Missouri, in 1970. A decade later, he moved the corporate headquarters to Springfield. What began as a one-truck operation has evolved into a leader in logistics and international refrigerated, tanker, flatbed, floral and intermodal transportation, with a fleet size of 5,700 driving associates, 4,000-plus trucks and more than 7,300 trailers.

During his tenure with TCA, Low has served as Refrigerated Division chairman, at-large officer, secretary, second vice chair and first vice chair. He has participated in numerous committees and management panels, including the Carrier/Shipper Relations Committee, the Driver Recruitment and Retention Panel, and the Financial Oversight and Long-Range Planning Committee, among others.

For the American Trucking Associations, Low serves as a vice president at-large and a board and executive committee member. In 2000, he received the prestigious “Missourian” award, an honor given to Missouri citizens who have made outstanding achievements in the fields of business, government, or the arts. He also sits on the board of directors of Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee.

Low ensures that Prime Inc. is heavily involved with trucking industry projects and activities. For example, the company is participating in TCA's Trucking Weight Loss Showdown, a battle to see which TCA-member team can lose the greatest percentage of weight (both individually and collectively) in a 10-week period. Prime also was involved with Wreaths Across America, an organization that coordinates veteran services and recognition through a variety of programs and educational initiatives.

A long-time member of the Missouri Trucking Association, Prime Inc. is an active participant in MTA’s Truck Driving Championships  and other activities. Internally, the company operates a successful charitable giving program that promotes education, health and human services, environmental and relief/development efforts and the arts, mostly for organizations located in the communities where Prime employees live and work.

Low says that he plans to focus on the health and wellness of professional truck drivers during his year at the helm of TCA. “Statistics show that our drivers die way too young,” he said. “Smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, sleep apnea … these are severe issues that can – and should – be addressed. We want to attract the best drivers, retain them and then take care of them once they’re a part of the trucking family. TCA can provide the necessary education, resources and programs to help our members help their people.”

The theme of improving driver health is a natural extension of the positive trucking image initiatives championed by Gary Salisbury, TCA’s immediate past chairman, and many of the chairmen before him. These efforts have included producing and airing a patriotic television commercial viewed by an estimated 2 million-plus households; promoting a rising country singer who sings several positive trucking songs; ramping up the Highway Angel program; and producing an informative biweekly segment on a national radio program.

“I’ve been a proud participant in TCA’s many efforts to enhance the public’s image of trucking, and now I’m hoping we can reach out to drivers and potential drivers to build up their perceptions about a career in the industry,” said Low. “The mortality age of an over-the-road driver should not be less than non-drivers … it just isn’t right, and it doesn’t have to be that way. We can help drivers make better choices, exercise more, eat better and take care of themselves despite the nature of their jobs. We can make a difference for our drivers – we can help save the lifeblood of our industry.”

The following individuals were elected to assist Low and will serve as officers until the next Annual Convention, scheduled for March 3-6, 2013, at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev.:

  • First Vice Chair: Tom B. Kretsinger Jr., president and chief operating officer, American Central Transport Inc., Liberty, Missouri;
  • Second Vice Chair: Shepard Dunn, president and chief executive officer, Bestway Express Inc.,Vincennes, Indiana;
  • Treasurer: Keith Tuttle, president, Motor Carrier Service Inc., Northwood, Ohio;
  • Secretary: Russell Stubbs, president, FFE Transportation Services Inc., Dallas;
  • Assn. Vice President to ATA: Barry E. Pottle, president and CEO, Pottle’s Transportation Inc., Bangor, Maine;
  • Immediate Past Chair: Gary Salisbury, president and CEO, Fikes Truck Line Inc., Hope, Arkansas;
  • At-Large Officer: Daniel I. Doran, president, Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging, Cincinnati;
  • At-Large Officer: Daniel L. Oren, vice president, Dart Transit Co., Eagan, Minnesota;
  • At-Large Officer: Rob Penner, vice president, Bison Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and
  • At-Large Officer: Thomas Witt, president, Roehl Flatbed & Specialized, Roehl Transport, Marshfield, Wisconsin

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