Arkansas Trucking Association

Arkansas Trucking Association Selects Road Team

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The Arkansas Trucking Association is pleased to announce the formation of the Arkansas Road Team, a select group of professional drivers chosen for their commitment to highway safety, communication ability and interest in improving the image of the trucking industry. This complimentary outreach program of the ATA will serve as a public education service to address highway safety and to educate the motoring public on safe driving, especially near large commercial vehicles.

The Arkansas Road Team represents a diverse cross-section of drivers, in terms of background, experience, culture, and geography. Made up of 12 drivers from six different trucking companies, these industry professionals will be available to conduct Share the Road demonstrations, safety best practices and other educational events and promotions.

“The selection panel spent a full day reviewing nominations and interviewing a number of great candidates,” according to David O’Neal, director of safety services for the ATA.  “They had a tough job narrowing it down to the best of the best.” 

The following exceptional professional drivers were selected to the 2015–2016 Team:

April Coolidge – USA Truck, Van Buren
Danny Fuller – Con-way Freight, Jonesboro
Loren Hatfield – ABF Freight, North Little Rock
Gary Jaworski – Walmart Transportation, Clarksville
Robert Kelley – Walmart Transportation, Searcy
Gary Mars – Walmart Transportation, Bentonville

Tom Miller – USA Truck, Van Buren
Larry Rhein – FedEx Freight, Harrison
Mark Rook – FedEx Freight, Little Rock
Arthur “Otto” Schmeckenbecher – ABF Freight, North Little Rock
Walter J. Stanley – ABF Freight, North Little Rock
Jerry Whittenburg – Stallion Transportation Group, Beebe


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Photo: Loren Hatfield (ABF Freight) shown presenting for the selection panel during the Arkansas Road Team interviews

The Road Team was made possible after the Arkansas Highway Commission awarded the association with funds from the Arkansas Commercial Truck Safety and Education Program (ACTSEP) to promote safety on Arkansas roadways.  “I’m excited to have such an outstanding group of professional drivers representing our state and industry,” said Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “They will be great ambassadors for the men and women who move Arkansas and America forward every day.”

The Arkansas Trucking Association would like to thank the selection panel, who interviewed and judged each candidate’s prepared presentation:  Steve Fields, YRC Freight (America’s Road Team Captain); Subrina Ghorashi, American Trucking Associations; Tom Ricciardone, Thinc Marketing Group; Butch Rice, Stallion Transportation Group; Scott Stewart, Distribution Solutions, Inc.; Major Jay Thompson, Arkansas Highway Police; and Shannon Newton, Arkansas Trucking Association

Congress Passes 3-Month Highway Fix

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President Obama signed a three-month bill into law that extends program authority through October 29 and will keep the highway fund solvent until mid-December. Congress passed the bill one day before the deadline for a cutoff of funds.

The Senate approved the short-term bill by vote of 91 to 4. The House passed the same bill a day earlier, and then left for its August recess.

Lawmakers said they hope the 3-month patch — the 34th short-term transportation extension since 2009 — will be Congress' last.

The bill also provides $8 billion to shore up the federal Highway Trust Fund through mid-December. The fund's balance was forecast to drop below a $4 billion cushion necessary to prevent disruptions in payments to states in early August.

"We had to give some ground, but we found common ground," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. said. "And we all believe this bill is so important for our nation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. had tried to persuade the House to delay its recess in order to take up the Senate's long-term bill, but GOP leaders there opted for the short-term patch in order to give themselves time to craft a long-term bill that reflects their priorities.

New Leadership at USA Truck

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Thomas Glaser was named new chief executive officer and president of USA Truck by the board of directors. Former CEO and director John M. Simone resigned on July 9 to focus on his health after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Glaser, a USA Truck director, served as interim chief operating officer since April, when Simone took a medical leave.

Chairman of the Board Robert A. Peiser said, “We are pleased that Tom Glaser is stepping in to accelerate the company’s operational and financial progress. Among Tom’s many attributes, he brings to his new role an extensive knowledge of the industry and USA Truck’s operations, as well as a proven ability to lead.”

After the appointment was announced, Glaser told Arkansas Business, “Stepping back in, I wasn’t hesitating at all. I had retired. John’s health — it’s a serious condition he has — and really the opportunity to help, I was more than happy to do that. The company is important to the community, it’s important to the people, and it’s important to continue what John started.”

Glaser previously served as USA Truck’s interim chief operating officer from January 2013 to June 2013. He has more than 30 years of management experience in the trucking industry, including serving as president of two truckload carriers.

Senate Bill Would Allow Interstate Driving by 18-21 CDL Holders


While the House and Senate agreed on a three-month bill with one day to spare, the Senate passed a longer term bill that will fund the highway fund for three-years and make changes to highway, transit, railroad and auto safety programs. Among the changes in the legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Deb Fisher (R-Neb.) is a pilot program for CDL holders younger than 21 to do interstate hauling and delivery.

Fisher’s Commercial Driver Act would let states test the feasibility of expanding Class A CDLs for those not yet 21 beyond intrastate driving.

Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, supports the act, “It is illogical that a 20-year-old can drive the 500 miles from San Francisco to San Diego, but not the 8 miles from Memphis, Tennessee to West Memphis, Arkansas – or simply cross the street in Texarkana,” Graves said. “Even more illogical is that a 20-year-old may not drive a truck in any state if the cargo in it originated outside the state or will eventually leave the state by some other means.”

I-55 Bridge to Remain Open for Now

After protests from Arkansas commuters and elected officials, Tennessee Dept. of Transportation cancelled plans for a project on an Interstate 55 interchange in Memphis that would have closed the I-55 Mississippi River bridge for months.

Instead, they will conduct more-detailed assessments of the economic and community effects of doing the project at the I-55/E.H. Crump Boulevard interchange with a bridge closure or rebuilding the interchange with partial lane closures. The studies could take as long as a year to complete.

The decision to delay the project and perform the more-detailed studies is based on public comment from meetings held earlier this year.

"Over the past several weeks, we have heard from residents, business owners, elected officials and other stakeholders in Memphis and in Arkansas, and we understand there is a significant level of concern over a full closure of the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge," the head of the Tennessee agency, John Schroer, said in the statement. "We want to take the opportunity to address those concerns before moving forward with construction."

The announcement to close the bridge prompted loud protests from the Arkansas side of the bridge, led by state Sen. Keith Ingram, D-West Memphis, whose hometown of more than 25,000 people is on the bridge's west side. Ingram began an online petition, "Keep the Old Bridge Open," that gathered close to 2,800 signatures.

The bridge carries about the same amount of traffic, 45,000 vehicles daily, as the other crossing between Memphis and West Memphis, the Interstate 40, or Hernando de Soto, Bridge. Closing one bridge would force extra traffic onto the I-40 six-lane bridge, which is still undergoing seismic retrofitting work.

J.B. Hunt Releases White Paper on Driver Efficiency Barriers


J.B. Hunt released a white paper directed at shippers and receivers on the full extent of the wasted time drivers spend as a result of inefficient shipping and receiving practices. 

The paper cites a BB&T study that says out of the 11 daily driving hours, or 660 minutes, allowed by the FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations, only an average of 390 minutes are spent behind the wheel. Other time-consuming activities include empty driving time, time waiting on inflexible appointments and time spent at the shipper or receiver location for load and unload

The paper prompts shippers and receivers to “Think of a driver’s time as that of an hourglass, a perishable commodity which is continually diminishing. Whereas in the past a driver could, much like a stopwatch, start or stop his or her clock depending on the activity, a driver today cannot log time waiting at a shipper location or making a delivery as “off duty.” Once a driver begins his or her safety check at the start of the workday, the clock is running down without pause.”

To increase efficiency, the paper suggests eliminating 60 minutes per day from loading and unloading times. The study by BB&T found that drivers spent an average of 108 minutes at the shipper and receiver, not counting appointment time.

By eliminating just 30 minutes at the shipper and 30 minutes at the receiver, a single driver could remain on the road for an extra hour each day, equivalent to 50 miles per day, or 12,500 miles per year.

ATA Names New Director of Safety Services and Executive Assistant

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David O’Neal has been named the director of safety services of the Arkansas Trucking Association after the

Arkansas Highway Commission awarded the association with funds from the Arkansas Commerical Truck Safety and Education Program (ACTSEP) to promote safety on Arkansas roadways.

O'Neal will serve as a liaison with the FMCSA, Arkansas Highway Police, OSHA and other regulatory bodies.

He will also provide safety and regulatory expertise for ATA members and to all carriers operating in Arkansas. He will oversee industry training and spearhead the 'Share the Road' and 'Arkansas Road Team' programs.

A native Arkansan, O'Neal joins ATA after a 19 year career at FedEx, serving most recently as the Managing Director of Safety at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, Pa.  In this role, David established the strategic direction for the company's safety initiatives and led a 120-person department.  During his tenure, FedEx Ground was awarded the American Trucking Associations' President's Safety Trophy in recognition of the company's superior safety programs and commitment to industry-wide promotion of highway safety.


O'Neal has also held leadership roles in FedEx's truck driving championship program, as well as the creation of education platforms for the growth and development of employees. O'Neal's multiple industry associations include the Safety Management Council of the American Trucking Associations and inaugural membership on the Arkansas Trucking Association's 40 Under 40 Council.    


Cara headshot webATA President Shannon Newton said, "We are grateful to gain a resource like David and to find shared goals and cooperation with the Highway Commission to promote safety for all those operating on Arkansas highways."  

ATA also hired Cara Speegle as the new executive assistant in July. Speegle is a recent graduate of Harding University with a BA in English.

ATA Names VP Supply Chain Security & Operations


American Trucking Associations announced the promotion of Boyd Stephenson to the position of vice president of supply chain security and operations.

 “Boyd has demonstrated tremendous knowledge about important security and related issues involving the trucking industry, so I’m pleased to be able to announce his promotion to this expanded role,” said ATA Executive Vice President Dave Osiecki. “Cross-border issues, security and hazardous materials transportation are all critical subjects for our members, and I have confidence that Boyd will continue to be a valuable resource for them as our industry addresses them.”

 As vice president of international supply chain security and operations, Stephenson will be ATA’s primary subject expert on security, cross-border affairs and hazardous materials safety, and will be the staff liaison to the association’s policy committees dealing with these issues.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time at ATA and helping to move this tremendous industry forward,” Stephenson said, “and I look forward to continuing to do that in this new capacity.”

 Stephenson has been with the association for eight years, holding a variety of positions within ATA’s policy department, with a policy focus on licensing issues and hazardous materials safety and security.

ATRI Asks Industry to Rank Top Concerns


The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry's not-for-profit research organization, has launched the 2015 Top Industry Issues Survey. The annual survey, commissioned by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), asks trucking industry stakeholders to rank the top issues of concern for the industry along with appropriate strategies for addressing each issue.

"In complex times like this it is critical that we do our part to help ensure a thriving future for the trucking industry," said ATA Chairman Duane Long, Chairman of Longistics. "With your participation, we can speak with a collective industry voice on the issues most important to us."

The results of the 2015 survey will be released at the ATA Annual Management Conference and Exhibition, to be held October 17-20, 2015 in Philadelphia.

The survey is in its 11th year and participation by trucking stakeholders has grown each year. Industry stakeholders are encouraged to complete the survey from the website:

Maverick USA Acquires Flanary and Sons Trucking, Inc.


Maverick USA, Inc. announced the acquisition of Flanary and Sons Trucking, Inc. (FAST), based in Church Hill, Tenn. Through the purchase, Maverick acquired substantially all of the assets of FAST, including approximately 75 tractors and 175 trailers.

FAST, founded in 1984 by Curtis Flanary, is privately held and family owned. The company services the architectural flat glass market in both the United States and Canada.

While founder Curtis Flanary will be retiring, Shon Flanary, the company’s President, and his brothers, Aaron and Andre Flanary, will join Maverick with the acquisition and continue to work out of the office located in Church Hill, Tenn.

"With increasing regulatory and industry challenges, we felt joining a larger company with greater resources provided the best long term growth opportunity for FAST,” said Shon Flanary. “We are confident this acquisition will allow our employees to grow and the company to better serve the glass industry.” 

Stephen Selig, President and COO of Maverick said, "FAST is an outstanding glass carrier that shares the same core values and desire for excellence that Maverick does.  We are very excited to combine our expertise and resources with that of FAST to offer our customers premier specialized glass freight services throughout North America."

Samsung Shows the Road Ahead

Samsung released a video showcasing its new “Safety Truck” technology, which links various onboard vehicle cameras and turns the back of a semi-trailer into a large, heads-up display screen.

The Safety Truck has a wireless camera attached to the front, connected to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back of the truck.

The truck will run pilot tests in Argentina, a country of mostly two-lane roads and one of the highest rates of auto accidents in the world.

The camera systems allow a driver struck behind a big rig to access the same view the truck driver has. The concept allows following drivers visual information about the road ahead – specifically road hazards, accidents or unsafe drivers. Drivers can better anticipate problems and changing conditions instead of merely reacting to brake lights in front of their vehicle.

The next step according to Samsung’s company blog is to perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals. For this, Samsung is working together with safe driving NGOs and the government.

Facebook previews drones that bring Internet to the world

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Facebook posted a first look at the solar-powered drone, called Aquila, which was built to deliver Internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.

The aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 737 and a battery life of three months. It will use lasers to transmit data to the ground faster and with more precision than any previous technologies.


The project is part of Facebook’s, which aims to bring Internet access to the places people have little or none. Facebook has been working with mobile operators to provide free access to parts of the Web on low-end phones. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote that the drone technology is necessary for the most remote locations.


"This effort is important because 10 percent of the world’s population lives in areas without existing Internet infrastructure. To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies," he wrote. Facebook plans to test the systems "in the real world" over the coming months.

Contact Us

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
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