The Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA) has selected 11 companies to participate in its Trucking’s Weight Loss Showdown. The contest includes prize incentives for the fleet and individual who achieve the greatest percentages of weight loss.

The participating companies are: Bestway Express, Inc., Vincennes, IN; Bison Transport Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Brian Kurtz Trucking Ltd., Breslau, Ontario, Excargo Services, Houston, TX, Hirschbach Transportation Services, Inc., East Dubuque, IL, Paramount Freight Systems, Fort Myers, FL, Prime Inc., Springfield, MO, System Transport, Inc., Spokane, WA, Tennant Truck Lines, Orion, IL, U.S. Xpress, Inc., Chattanooga, TN, and Weinrich Truck Line, Inc., Hinton, IA.

In order to be considered for the showdown, interested companies completed an application that included a short statement of intent. Eleven of the statements were so compelling that TCA decided to increase the number of participating companies from 10 to 11. One company wrote: “Forty years old is the average age of our team. These folks are beginning to experience the devastating impact of obesity. This showdown will give them a chance to literally save their lives.”

Another trucking company wrote: “There is a huge need for programs like this one, and it has been widely received by our staff and drivers with open arms. Not one of our team members has asked what the reward is because they truly need the help and guidance. They understand that having support to try and get on this path to health is the reward.”

“When we read statements like these, we realized that these 11 carriers are truly passionate about their drivers’ and employees’ health, so we felt compelled to increase the number of spots to let them all into the challenge,” Chris Burruss, TCA president, said. “They seriously want to educate and motivate their people to get fit, and this contest is a great way to do that.”

The showdown is scheduled to last 10 weeks, beginning Jan. 24, 2012, and will be managed for TCA by Lindora Clinic, a personalized weight management company. It will stress a low-carbohydrate, low-fat, moderate protein menu plan coupled with exercise, nutrition education, and lifestyle changes. Participants will receive weekly phone calls from Lindora nurses, who will instruct them on nutrition education, help boost their morale, discuss their obstacles, and record their weight loss.

Part way through the showdown, each team’s profile and progress will be shared with attendees of TCA’s Annual Convention, to be held March 4-7, 2012, at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Fla. The winners – both fleet and individual – will be announced in May at TCA’s Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting.