TCA Creates New “Open Deck” Division


Alexandria, Virginia:

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) will soon launch an “Open Deck” Division, a special TCA subgroup that will allow member carriers who operate open haul equipment to meet with their peers to discuss problems, share ideas and seek solutions unique to their specialized area of operations.

TCA’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to establish the Open Deck Division at its meeting on October 4, 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The approval follows the recommendation of a task force that was established by TCA Chairman Kevin Burch to examine the feasibility of establishing such a group.

The task force, led by Gary Salisbury, president of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., in Hope, Arkansas, is now working with TCA staff to develop the division’s bylaws and set its official launch date.

“We’ll make it official at TCA’s next annual convention scheduled for February 28-March 3, 2010, in Las Vegas,” said Salisbury. “The division will host a reception to introduce ourselves to other carriers, and we’ll also hold a working session to begin planning for our first annual meeting, which will take place in October or November of 2010.”

When trying to decide what to call the new division, several names were considered, including “Flatbed Division,” “Flat Trailer Division,” and “Specialized Flatbed Division,” among others. However, the task force selected “Open Deck” because the word “Flatbed” is not representative of the carriers who operate other types of open haul equipment, such as step decks, removable goose necks, or wind energy trailers.

“The carriers participating in this division will operate many types of equipment in addition to flatbeds,” said Aaron Tennant, vice president of sales for Tennant Truck Lines, Inc., in Orion, Illinois, and a member of the task force. “But we all face similar challenges, such as load securement issues and worker’s comp as it relates to pulling specialized cargo.”

The Open Deck Division will maintain the same dues structure as TCA’s Refrigerated Division, which is based on a carrier’s truckload revenue. It will be TCA’s fourth division, joining the Refrigerated, Independent Contractor, and Safety & Security.