Arkansas Trucking Association

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The Last Word

The Power of Association

By Butch Rice

Twelve years ago, I received a call asking me to be on the Arkansas Trucking Association’s board of directors. It was one of the proudest moments of my career. I didn’t think anything could top that honor until two years ago when I accepted the baton passed from Craig Harper, COO of J.B. Hunt, as the chairman of the board.

During my time as chairman, I have tried to model the ATA’s mission statement: protect the collective interests of the industry, promote how essential trucks are to every community, and serve the members of the association so we are all better and more profitable than we were the year before.

Seeing the work that goes into that mission has been a humbling and gratifying experience. Just a few weeks ago, I was present when Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a law that will improve the IRP process for every company registering trucks in the state. It was a law two years in the making. It won’t pave every highway or solve the looming problem of the driver shortage, but it will make life a little easier for companies who won’t have to make a trip to Little Rock every time they buy a new truck. It will make Arkansas more attractive to businesses with a choice of where to register and keep that revenue in the state.

It’s a small victory when I think about the other challenges we have ahead of us, like technology that changes faster than we can prepare and adapt, infrastructure that crumbles beneath our wheels and evolving perspectives toward trade, manufacturing and ecommerce that are changing our businesses and our customers’ expectations.

But I’ve seen what this association can do. I’ve seen what we can do when we move together, when you bring issues to the board of directors, when you write your legislators, when you show up to celebrate our common values of safety, efficiency and progress.

When I attended the Arkansas Truck Driving Championship for the first time in 2015 and experienced the deafening applause and industry pride sweep through the crowd, I heard the power of association.

When I served hot dogs and hamburgers to drivers at the TA Petro on I- 40 during National Truck Driver Appreciation Day alongside my colleagues from across the industry, I saw the power of association. And when we gather over 300 fellow ATA members at the annual business conference in Rogers on May 3, I expect to feel the power of association.

One of the most satisfying moments as chairman was helping with the Special Olympics of Arkansas during the Truck Convoy. This event hosted only 24 participating trucks when I took office and we as a whole were able to reach 110 trucks participating in this convoy. This event serves one of the greatest causes in the state and being able to raise over $60,000.00 during this event for the Special Olympics Athletes of Arkansas was a great attribute and has made this charity one that I hold close to my heart.

It has been a tremendous honor to serve as your chair and to play a part in this great association’s long history. It is my hope that my passion for this industry is contagious, and every carrier—big and small—catches some of the same fervor as we tackle the problems of the future together.

Butch Rice is president and CEO of Stallion Transportation Group and outgoing chairman of the board for the Arkansas Trucking Association.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
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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