Arkansas Trucking Association

Two Arkansas Drivers in Top 3 at National Safety Competition

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Dave Hall and Loren Hatfield, both of ABF Freight, each placed second in their respective divisions at the 2015 National Truck Driving Championships. Hall and Hatfield joined 429 other professional truck drivers in St. Louis, Mo., August 11–14 to compete in the annual “Super Bowl of Safety” sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.

The 431 contestants represented all 50 states and 85 different companies.Arkansas sent 9 competitors, each representing an Arkansas Trucking Championship winner from 7 different companies. The event spanned four days with contestants tested on their knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. The championship includes an obstacle course testing competitors’ skill of real life driving situations.

According to David O’ Neal, director of safety services at the Arkansas Trucking Association, "Arkansas should be very proud of Dave and Loren. They represented their company, state and industry professionally and positively all week. They both worked really hard for this accomplishment and are deserving of this national honor."

Hall won the grand champion title at the 2015 Arkansas Trucking Championship in June, finishing with the highest score in the 4-Axle class. He has worked in the industry for 28 years with over 2 million lifetime safe driving miles. He resides in Austin, Ark. with his wife Eileen and children David (17), Zachary (16) and Madison (13). A two- time winner, Hall also placed 6th at the national championships in 2008.

Hatfield has worked for ABF Freight for 16 years and holds a no-accident record over the course of 21 years in the industry. He has received a 10 year safety award and numerous other safety and performance awards from his employer. Hatfield volunteers for the Jr. League of Little Rock and currently serves as a Captain on the America’s Road Team as well as on the ABF Road Team. He and his wife Tammy live in Maumelle, Ark. They have two children: Jeff (25) and Skylar (20). Hatfield has competed in the state-level truck driving event since 2004, finishing 1st in the Flatbed division in both 2013 and 2014. Over his years of competition he has also placed in Twins and Tank divisions, earning the state grand champion title in 2009 and 2013.

"The industry is safer than it has ever been because of the professional drivers who commit to safety and take such pride in their jobs. All the competitors who took part in the National Truck Driving Championships are the best of what truck driving has to offer," Arkansas Trucking Association President Shannon Newton said. "And it is an honor to have so much Arkansas talent, skill and professionalism representing the industry.

 

Fifteen ATA Members Make Top 100

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Little Rock, AR – Fifteen Arkansas Trucking Association member companies, including five companies headquartered in Arkansas, are among the Top 100 freight carriers in North America according to the annual ranking compiled by Transport Topics, an industry trade newspaper. The list ranks companies by their 2014 gross revenue. Companies on the 2014 list represent a combined revenue of $209.5 billion in 2014, an increase of 7.4% from $195.1 billion in 2013.

 

Read more: Fifteen ATA Members Make Top 100

First U.S. License for Autonomous-Driving Truck

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Freightliner Trucks received the first license in the United States for an autonomous-driving truck to operate on public highways from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The Freightliner Inspiration was previewed for the media at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on May 5, “a historic day in the areas of transportation and innovation” and a “monumental day for the human race,” Sandoval said.

Trucking industry analysts and media got a chance to ride in the Inspiration Truck nearby while the vehicle operated in autonomy on May 6.

Read more: First U.S. License for Autonomous-Driving Truck

Dean Newell Named TCA's Safety Professional of the Year

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The Truckload Carriers Association presented the 2015 Clare C. Casey Award to Dean Newell, vice president of safety and training for Maverick Transportation, LLC, of North Little Rock, Ark. Presented at the Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting in Charlotte, N.C, the award is given to a safety professional whose actions and achievements have had a profound and positive benefit or contribution to better safety on our highways.  

Newell has been employed by Maverick Transportation for more than 30 years.  

Read more: Dean Newell Named TCA's Safety Professional of the Year

U.S. Trucking Companies Report Record Revenue for 2014

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The trucking industry reported a record $700.4 billion in revenue in 2014.

Trucking revenue rose 2.6 percent last year. The record $700.4 billion accounted for 80.3 percent of all freight transportation spending, according to the American Trucking Associations’ “American Trucking Trends” report.

The growth was slower than that of 2013, when trucking revenue expanded 6.2 percent, but it marked the first time industry-wide revenue has ever exceeded $700 billion.

Read more: U.S. Trucking Companies Report Record Revenue for 2014

Blair Logistics Acquires Fikes Truck Line

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Fikes Truck Line will be closing its doors, but Blair Logistics out of Birmingham, Ala. has joined former Fikes President and CEO, Gary Salisbury, as a strategic partner and will operate the business that formerly ran as Fikes Truck Line.

Blair will operate out of the same terminal in Hope, Ark.,as Fikes did. Some employees and owner-operators will continue their work under Blair. “I felt it was very important to talk to the same people, same dispatcher, same safety people they have been talking to for the past 30 years,” Salisbury said.

 

Read more: Blair Logistics Acquires Fikes Truck Line

Rhode Island faces criticism for truck toll scheme

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Rhode Island lawmakers have proposed a ten-year plan to fund the state’s deteriorating infrastructure repair by adding a truck-only “user fee” on several state bridges.

Electronic tolling would be implemented for trucks with three axles or more on several bridges. This new fee would be used to pay off a $700 million proposed revenue bond that would be obtained to reconstruct bridges and prevent additional bridges from further deterioration.

Read more: Rhode Island faces criticism for truck toll scheme

ATA Board of Directors elects new members

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The Arkansas Trucking Association held election for three new members and new chairman for the Board of the Directors at its annual conference in Hot Springs, Ark. April 29 – May 1.

Outgoing Board Chairman Craig Harper, COO of J.B. Hunt Transport, named Butch Rice, president and CEO of Stallion Transportation Group, the new chairman to an audience of ATA members, including Rice’s whole family in attendance. As chairman, Rice will serve a one-year, renewable term.

Read more: ATA Board of Directors elects new members

ATRI releases results on truck platooning study

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In its first phase of research on the feasibility of truck platooning, the American Transportation Research Institute concluded that driver-assisted platooning can save fuel and increase efficiency for carriers that average load trips of 500 miles or more.

Researchers concluded in the study, funded by a grant from the U.S. DOT, that trailing trucks in a platoon can see as much as a 10 percent fuel economy increase, and lead trucks can increase fuel economy by as much as 5 percent.

ATRI’s, a research arm of the American Trucking Associations, researchers from Auburn University conducted a case study using actual truck movement data from ATRI’s truck GPS database.

Small fleets and owner-operators could see a return on investment in only 10 months of investing in platooning technology. The research also indicated an ROI in 18 months for larger fleets.

Truckload and line-haul LTL operations would likely be the greatest beneficiaries of a platooning system, particularly among larger fleets.Platooning also would not negatively impact traffic flow and could in fact improve traffic flow if market penetration reaches 60 percent, ATRI’s study concludes.

In the next phase of ATRI’s research, the Auburn researchers will conduct test track and on-road testing pilots of platooning systems. Researchers will monitor and assess a variety of human factor considerations, including driver satisfaction, driver training requirements and driver operational experiences, ATRI says.

Former Arkansas Governor enters 2016 Presidential Race

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Mike Huckabee announced his second presidential bid from his hometown of Hope, Ark.

As of May 29, Huckabee is the one of 16 declared Republicans and 8 declared Democrats to announce a presidential run for 2016.

"It is a long way from a little brick red house on 2nd Street in Hope, Ark. to the White House," Huckabee said during his announcement speech to an energetic crowd. "I always believed that a kid could go from Hope to a higher ground,” the presidential hopeful’s campaign motto.

Read more: Former Arkansas Governor enters 2016 Presidential Race

Oregon to Test Replacement for Gas Tax

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Oregon is ready to test the first U.S. revenue program that will charge car owners for miles driven rather than a fuel tax.

The program is meant to help the state fund road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gas taxes are declining across the country because of greater fuel efficiency and increasing popularity of fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars.

Read more: Oregon to Test Replacement for Gas Tax

Hotfoot Gets Ruling to Help Arkansas Trucking Companies

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Arkansas trucking company, Hotfoot Logistics has collected from an out of state delinquent account after seven long years of litigation.

David Lasater, the CEO of Hotfoot Logistics in Little Rock, Ark., has perhaps made it easier for Arkansas trucking companies to collect from out-of-state creditors. All because of an unpaid $5,700 trucking bill.

The bill was “the perfect amount of money. It’s enough that it hurts, but not enough we can afford to send lawyers after it for years,” Lasater said.

In Nov. 2008, Hotfoot agreed to a contract with Shipping Points Marketing and its broker Western Brokerage of Phoenix to transport produce from Arizona to Albany, NY, and Scranton, Pa.

Laseter assigned the job to Justin Pierce, a driver with Freight Ambulance of Cabot, Ark. Pierce delivered the goods and returned the bill of lading to Lasater, who then sent the invoice to Phoenix.

When the broker disbanded, Shipping Points said it wasn’t responsible for the balance. However, Shipping Points and Western Brokerage had the same billing address, and David Fishgold ran Shipping Points and Louis Fishgold ran Western.

Lasater sued both companies and the Fishgolds in Arkansas. The case was dismissed originally because of jurisdiction issues, but Lasater doubled down and kept appealing.

Small Arkansas trucking companies are familiar with this issue. Turning down business isn’t an option, but if the company that refuses to pay is in another state, how much money will it take to go to that state and try to get it through the court system?

For Hotfoot, the transaction took place in Little Rock. Driver Pierce had started his trip from Cabot, and the bill was sent to and from Little Rock.

“It might cost $10,000 to get the $1,000, and they were using that to say they can’t afford to come after us,” Lasater said. “We decided we had to fight that out. If it was $100,000, everybody knows you have to go after it. This is death by a thousand cuts.”

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that Hotfoot did have the ability to sue an Arizona-based entity in Arkansas because much of the business was transacted in Arkansas through faxes. After the Supreme Court issued its ruling in November, Shipping Points settled with Lasater rather than continue the court battle.

The Supreme Court also issued a ruling that could have a huge effect on his fellow Arkansas trucking brokers and carriers conducting business with parties outside of Arkansas.

“They carried all the water for the entire industry,” said Shannon Newton, the president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “This was a really big problem. This is especially important for small carriers that don’t have the resources to chase down creditors across the country.”

“It would have been a serious financial hit,” Lasater said. “We would have gotten stuck for six years of lawyer fees. The most important thing is the ruling. We’re not a big carrier that can throw five law firms at someone and scare them.

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.
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