Arkansas Trucking Association

Arkansas Trucking Association announces technician scholarship recipient

The Arkansas Trucking Association is pleased to announce the 2020 recipient of the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund. Hugh “Mac” McConnell IV, a recent graduate of Central Arkansas Christian School will receive $7,500 to pursue training for a career in medium/heavy duty truck technology.

“Truck drivers and diesel technicians are essential to the Arkansas economy and way of life. The success of our industry and state depends on a professional, smart, capable, problem-solving workforce,” says Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “We congratulate this year’s scholarship recipient and join in his excitement about the future of technology, trucking and keeping the equipment safe on the roads we all share.”

Mac McConnell is the son of Hugh and Erin McConnell of North Little Rock.  While at Central Arkansas Christian High School, he has served as a project manager for various missions programs. He was involved in archery, trapshooting team, football as well as service projects with the City of North Little Rock and Recycle Bikes. McConnell grew up working in his family’s trucking company, McConnell & Son, Inc. This fall, he plans to attend Arkansas State University at Beebe.

“This year’s applicants were outstanding. We had students from across the state with excellent credentials,” says Kenneth Calhoun, founding member of the scholarship committee. “Ultimately the committee had to take on the challenging task of making a selection. Mac rose to the top, and when the process was complete, the choice was clear. We are excited at the prospect of having this fine young man join our industry. It will be exciting to see his contributions to the field.”

The Arkansas Trucking Association’s Maintenance & Technology Council established the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund to celebrate Carl Tapp, the council’s first chairman, and his career-long commitment to nurturing new talent in the industry. The Fund is intended to enable and encourage growth in the state’s diesel technician workforce and to help assure that the safest, most knowledgeable and skilled technicians are working on the trucks and trailers on our nation’s roads. Candidates were evaluated based upon their interest and performance in STEM courses, teacher and mentor recommendations and personal interviews with the scholarship committee of industry experts.

This scholarship has been made possible by the vision and investment in the future of trucking in Arkansas by the following companies and individuals: ArcBest Companies, Bruce Purkey, DAVCO Technology, Doggett Freightliner of Arkansas, Kenneth Calhoun, Maverick Transportation, McKee Foods Transportation, Pressure Systems International, Summit Truck Group, TechForce Foundation, The Tapp Family, Truck Centers of Arkansas, Truck-Lite Co., and Walt Luethy.  Contact Sarah Sheets ( for more information about the Scholarship Fund.

Higher speed limits coming to Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Transportation is raising the speed limit on highways and interstates. State highway limits will be raised five miles per hour. Interstates inside the city will be 65 MPH and outside, 75 MPH.

Opponents of the increase cited safety concerns, and the Highway Commission has committed to monitor the safety of the motoring public as the speed limits go up.

Read more: Higher speed limits coming to Arkansas

ATRI invites carriers to participate in operational costs research

The American Transportation Research Institute has issued a call for motor carriers to participate in ATRI’s annual update to its Operational Costs of Trucking report.

Now in its 12th year, ATRI’s annual Operational Costs of Trucking collects cost information derived directly from trucking fleets and owner-operators, and is among the most requested ATRI research studies. ATRI’s annual analysis is used as a key benchmarking tool by motor carriers of all sizes. Public sector agencies also utilize ATRI’s real-world data analysis to make better-informed transportation planning and infrastructure investment decisions.

Read more: ATRI invites carriers to participate in operational costs research

Cancelled technician competition, TMC meeting goes virtual and a brand new appreciation event

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and financial crisis, American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council announced the cancellation of its 2020 national technician championships, SuperTech and FutureTech, which were scheduled to be held this fall.

The annual competitions for trailer and truck technicians as well as technician students are normally held in conjunction with TMC’s fall meeting. The meeting for shop supervisors, maintenance executives, and engineering professionals will now be completely virtual this year on the originally scheduled dates, Sept. 14-17.

Read more: Cancelled technician competition, TMC meeting goes virtual and a brand new appreciation event

Huckabee Sanders launched 30-day nonprofit for Arkansas businesses

On May 18, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her husband, Bryan Sanders, launched a month-long nonprofit program to help struggling state businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Arkansas 30 Day Fund was started to provide forgivable loans for Arkansas-based small businesses so they can meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees, and save jobs without a lot of red tape, while waiting on federal and state funding.

Qualifying businesses are owned and operated by an Arkansas resident, based in the state and have been operating at lease one year, and employ three to 30 people.

Read more: Huckabee Sanders launched 30-day nonprofit for Arkansas businesses

Driver shortage on pause

A dearth of professional truck drivers to haul America’s freight has been a perennial concern for over a decade. However, the coronavirus has reduced demand for drivers so much that the driver shortage is no longer the top concern right now.

National industry publication Transport Topics, recently reported, “The often discussed driver shortage is over — at least for the time being — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deepening U.S. recession and a falloff in the amount of freight being hauled by many sectors of trucking.”

Read more: Driver shortage on pause

A dream, a crime, a punishment, a reward

In early May, Utah police reported pulling over a five-year-old boy who was driving his family’s car to California to buy a Lamborghini. A few days later, he was offered a ride in a real Lamborghini and was grounded.

Adrian Zamarripa made headlines after he had an argument with his mom when she told him that she wouldn't buy him a Lamborghini. Not willing to take no for an answer, he decided to go buy the car himself with $3 in his pocket and feet that barely reached the pedals.

Read more: A dream, a crime, a punishment, a reward

ATA applauds Governor's executive orders to protect businesses, health care workers and employees

The Arkansas Trucking Association today commended Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson for three Executive Orders that will provide business liability protection for Arkansas employers, medical immunity for health care workers, and workers’ compensation coverage for employees during the COVID-19 emergency.

The business liability executive order will allow businesses and their employees to be immune from civil lawsuits as a result of exposure to COVID-19. Immunity does not apply to willful, reckless or intentional, which means business owners will need to substantially comply with public health directives in order to be eligible for the liability protection.

Read more: ATA applauds Governor's executive orders to protect businesses, health care workers and employees

Arkansas Trucking Legend Pass Away

Guy Campbell, of Arkansas Trailer Manufacturing Co. in Little Rock, Ark. passed away on Thursday, June 4. Campbell played an active role in Arkansas Trucking Association's history of advocating for trucking. In 1968, he was elected as the youngest chairman of the Board of Directors of Arkansas Motor Carriers Association (later named Arkansas Trucking Association).  

Campbell was a passionate champion of the industry in the political sphere for decades, educating policy makers on behalf of trucking.

Read more: Arkansas Trucking Legend Pass Away

New Research Reveals Impact of Nuclear Verdicts in Trucking Industry

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released comprehensive research that confirms that large verdicts against trucking fleets are increasing dramatically, both in number and in size of awards. ATRI’s research is partially based on a newly created trucking litigation database that provides detailed information on 600 cases between 2006 and 2019. In the first five years of the data, there were 26 cases over $1 million, and in the last five years of the data, there were nearly 300 cases. 

In response to arguments that nuclear verdicts reflect real-world cost increases, the research documents that from 2010 to 2018, the size of verdict awards grew 51.7% annually at the same time that standard inflation grew 1.7% and healthcare costs grew 2.9%.

Read more: New Research Reveals Impact of Nuclear Verdicts in Trucking Industry

Keeping drivers safe on the road amidst protests across the nation

Safety is always the top priority at the ATA. The ongoing protests across our nation have unfortunately led to violence and looting in some areas raising concern for the safety of professional drivers. As these events continue to transpire, it is important for drivers to heighten their situational awareness as they travel. Some suggestions for our industry to maintain safe and secure operations include the following:

Read more: Keeping drivers safe on the road amidst protests across the nation

COVID-19 testing approved for commercial truck drivers in Arkansas

clinic map

As commercial truck drivers have continued to deliver hope and essential services, it is important they have confidence in their health while they pick up and deliver loads across the country and return to their homes and communities. Arkansas Trucking Association has worked with the Department of Health to identify 30 community health clinics in the state where professional truck drivers can receive a COVID-19 test.

Read more: COVID-19 testing approved for commercial truck drivers in Arkansas

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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