Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Household Names

ShannonNewtonShannon Newton
President, ATA

Over my 20-year career, I’ve had the honor of meeting dozens of industry titans: J.B. Hunt, Sheridan Garrison, Dan England, Jerry Moyes, Robert Low and other recognizable figures. But some of the most rewarding and impactful conversations I’ve had were with less recognizable individuals: Gary Mars, Loren Hatfield, Danny Fuller, Dave Hall, Jessie King and more.

Who are they? You’ve likely seen them within the pages of this magazine. The work they do impacts communities across our state, but they aren’t household names. If the Arkansas Trucking Association is the voice of the Arkansas trucking industry, these individuals, Arkansas Road Team Captains, are the trucking industry.

In 2015, we launched the Arkansas Road Team to deliver the Share the Road program to schools, festivals and civic groups throughout the Natural State. Each captain is a current professional truck driver, nominated by their employer. The nominees undergo a rigorous interview and are asked to deliver a presentation to a panel of experts about their personal passion and commitment to safety over the road.

As a result of this process, we recently selected eight new Captains. These drivers will join the 12 others and use their firsthand experiences, to promote safe driving practices and heighten awareness about our industry. We recently invited all 20 of Arkansas Road Team Captains to our office for a two-day training workshop. Each Captain showed up with a willingness to learn, to get uncomfortable, to hone their presentation skills and tighten their talking points, all so that they will be better equipped to share their knowledge and experiences with audiences of every age, size and situation.

As I sat in the back of the room waiting to address them before their training, I listened as they introduced themselves to their peers. Some boasted of millions of safe-driving miles. Others’ voices cracked as they spoke to the group for the first time. Four drivers had just returned from representing Team Arkansas at the National Truck Driving Championship. Several mentioned their roles as company-appointed driver trainers and peer coaches. Each has an endearing and impressive story to tell.

From our youngest Captain with only two years of driving under his belt to our most senior drivers with 30-plus years behind the wheel, they each spoke passionately about what our industry has done for them – the places they had gone, the lifestyles afforded to them – as well as how they want to ensure the safety of every motorist on the road.

These Captains, who already forego time at home with their families to deliver our freight, willingly volunteered to spend hours at crowded festivals or talking to disinterested tweens in some of our state’s most rural schools because, as one Captain said, if they can get through to one person, to save one life, then it’s all worth it. I am so proud to send these ambassadors to every corner of the state. They embody everything that is good, professional, and safe about our industry. Their faces, their names, their stories, their value should be known.

If you are interested in hosting the Arkansas Road Team in you community, visit for more information

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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