Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Eighty-five Candles

SHANNON NEWTON ATA PRESIDENTShannon Newton
President, ATA

I wish I could put 85 candles on a cake and pass out slices frosted with chocolate and sprinkles to all of you because this is a big deal. As we prepare to celebrate the trucking association’s milestone anniversary, I can’t help but reflect on how amazing it is that our organization has been around for eight and a half decades.

Every day, we read about another industry on the verge of extinction. Progress comes along and renders someone’s job or even an entire industry obsolete. It makes the world better, safer, faster, more inclusive, but at the cost of careers, people who built their livelihood and identity around operating switchboards, mining coal, building shopping malls, delivering milk to neighborhood porches or renting out the latest blockbuster movies.

Over the past eighty-five years, trucking has undergone its fair share of change. The kind of changes that disrupt the way things were always done—the national highway system, deregulation; routing pickups, logging hours and billing customers by computer rather than by paper; machinery that promises to be cleaner and safer than the previous models but costs twice as much. These changes can undo one man’s business and make the career of his competition.

The disruptions of the past can’t even compare to the ones to come in the next 10–20 years, but I still believe we’ll be here. We won’t go the way of milkmen or VHS. We’ll have a bigger cake with even more candles, telling even more stories, because we adapt. Because our organization navigates challenges and pursues what is good for the whole. We get out ahead of technology and make progress work in your favor. We anticipate the ways customers’ expectations are changing, the way machines and the environment are shaping how we operate. The vision and purpose that unite us will continue to do so in the years ahead.

In this issue, we celebrate recent accomplishments (improving the IRP process, reforming tort law for a better business environment, recruiting a new generation of drivers and technicians to the field, embracing technology), but we also reflect on where we have already been in our cover story, “85 Years and Counting,” by curating the oral histories of people who have trucking in their blood.

Though the association has been and continues to be the collective voice of many different kinds of companies with varied priorities from communities around the state, I’m overtaken with sonder, the acute awareness that each of your epic stories that make up the history of Arkansas trucking is vivid and complex with protagonists, villains, allies, complications, cliffhangers, thrilling beginnings and both victorious and tragic endings.

ATA represents all of you—an impossible task that we strive toward every day. All of your stories are embedded in our history, and we will carry them into our future.

 

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
You are here: Home Article Archive Up Front- Eighty-five Candles