UT Chattanooga, ’75
Max Fuller might just have diesel in his blood. His father sold used cars in the 1950s and traded two Volkswagen Beetles for a tractor and trailer. He couldn’t sell them, so he put them to work. One truck grew to a fleet, and Fuller found himself learning the trucking industry from the ground up.
Fuller took that experience and, in 1986, co-founded US Xpress. Since then, US Xpress Enterprises has become one of the largest truckload carriers with affiliates covering North America.
US Xpress distinguished itself as a leader in technology and innovation, becoming early adopters of such industry-revolutionizing technologies as in-truck satellite communications, auto-shift transmissions and right-side blind spot cameras. In recognition of its commitment to innovation, US Xpress received the 2000 Smithsonian Award from Computer World Magazine.
“We believe conservation is good business,” Fuller says. “Any time there are new technologies that we think will be game changers, we try to participate with those manufacturers and come into the market with them.”
Fuller’s spirit of innovation led to a research partnership with the UTC SimCenter. There, researchers developed prototypes to reduce wind resistance and increase fuel efficiency on trucks. By closing the gap between truck cabs and trailers, fuel efficiency was improved by 9 percent. US Xpress estimated a first-year savings of more than 63 million gallons of fuel as well as preventing 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
In December 2016, US Express announced plans to become the first major carrier to employ the Nikola One hydrogen fuel cell electric truck.
Part of the Tennessee Alumnus‘ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.