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In the 21st century, the term “influencer” can have a variety of meanings. An influencer could be a lifestyle blogger, a do-it-yourself contractor, a celebrity touting a specific brand or product—the list goes on. Though the typical social media influencer has built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic, they also are paid to encourage their followers to buy the products they promote.
But in commercial trucking, “influencer” has an entirely different meaning. And the people and organizations highlighted here are not your typical social media influencers.
It takes a certain type of person to push forward change and earn the title of influencer in trucking. According to Michael Roeth, one of this year’s FleetOwner top industry influencers, any person in a basement can be called an expert, but influencers have to take action. They must be out there, influencing the change they want to make.
FleetOwner editors chose Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), as an industry influencer because of his continuous efforts to promote fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability in the commercial vehicle space. Not only do Roeth and NACFE talk the talk during various industry sessions and events, the team walks the walk in the real world through its Run on Less initiatives.
In addition to Roeth, we are highlighting Clark Reed, a driver and trainer for Nussbaum Transportation, who educates thousands of followers on fuel economy through LinkedIn. By sharing the ups and downs of his mpg journey on the road, Reed inspires conversations with his peers and encourages honest feedback about life as a professional truck driver.
Using his voice to reach the masses in the commercial vehicle maintenance world, Homer Hogg, VP of truck service at TravelCenters of America, joins Dave Nemo, another one of this year’s top industry influencers, on Nemo’s Sirius XM radio station to host “Maintenance Matters” every Thursday morning. And for the past 50 years, legendary trucking radio host Nemo has dedicated his career to serving professional truck drivers and acting as their in-cab companions on the road.
And then there’s Nikki Weaver, professional driver for FedEx, who made headlines this year when she became the Women in Trucking Association’s 2021 Driver of the Year. As an advocate of driver safety, Weaver speaks to college students, CDL graduates, and new police cadets, enforcing the importance of safe driving behaviors on our nation’s roadways.
Roeth, Reed, Hogg, Nemo, and Weaver are just a sampling of people doing influential and inspiring work throughout the industry. FleetOwner also is highlighting Jetco Delivery, a fleet on the top 20 CarriersEdge and Truckload Carriers Association 2021 Best Fleets to Drive For list, for its efforts shedding light on the industry over the course of the pandemic and for helping the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention draft a hygiene guide for commercial truck drivers. TCA and the American Transportation Research Institute also made the list for their advocacy, education, and research efforts.
There are so many others out there who are telling the industry’s story and influencing how it will move forward, and we wish that we could include everyone. FleetOwner’s inaugural list delivers just a small sampling of how various associations, fleets, and people effectively influence the world of trucking every day.