ATA Down to 33 Finalists for America's Road Team

By Eric Braun, Senior Writer, USRW

The American Trucking Association (ATA) has narrowed it down to 33 Professional Drivers as finalists in the selection process to become Captains on the 2017-2018 America's Road team. These drivers have a combined 77.6 million safe-driving miles.

ATA President Chris Spears stated that, “These professional drivers were chosen as finalists for America’s Road Team because they are proven industry ambassadors with long safety records and professionalism that projects a positive image of our industry’s 3.5 million truck drivers."  Spears added, “America’s Road Team will continue to serve as a voice for the trucking industry and build on its 30-year legacy of educating the public on highway safety and the trucking industry’s important role in our economy. We are honored to have these finalists participate in this prestigious selection process, and I look forward to meeting them in January.”

America's Road Team is a group of Professional Drivers with superior safety records that was created in 1986 and is sponsored by Volvo Trucks.

One of Volvo's goals is to improve the reputation and change the stereotype that still exists in the industry. "America’s Road Team’s grassroots efforts are closely aligned with our mission at Volvo Trucks,” said Göran Nyberg, president of America Volvo Trucks North.  “From conversations with a Captain, a member of the media or a public official can walk away with an entirely different perspective of our industry. Those types of impressions are invaluable and help change the national conversation about trucking.” 

The competition is tough, as the 33 professional truck drivers now move on to the final round of the selection process being held January 8-12 in Arlington, Va. A panel of industry officials and trucking news media will judge the contestants on their knowledge of the trucking industry, dedication to safety, ability to communicate the industry’s messages and overall safe driving record. The finalists, with a combined total of 77.6 million safe-driving miles and 893 years as professional truck drivers, are highway safety experts eager to share their message with the motoring public.

The finalists include:

·       Steve Brand, FedEx Freight, Union, Ohio

·       Jon Brockway, Walmart Transportation, Westbrook, Maine

·       Brad Coffey, TCW, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

·       Bobby Covert, UPS Freight, Lexington, Kentucky

·       Scott Davis, ABF Freight, Kearney, Missouri

·       Duane Donner, Walmart Transportation, Litchfield Park, Arizona

·       Donald Forrest, FedEx Freight, Winter Haven, Florida

·       John Gaddy, Carbon Express, Asbury, New Jersey

·       W. Scott Harrison, K-Limited Carriers, Cincinnati, Ohio

·       Rhonda Hartman, Old Dominion Freight Line, Des Moines, Iowa

·       Gary Helms, Covenant Transport, Cleveland, Tennessee

·       Duane “Rusty” Holmes, UPS Freight, Odenville, Alabama

·       Bill Krouse, YRC Freight, Shakopee, Minnesota

·       David Livingston, TCW, Springfield, Georgia

·       Charles Lobsiger, Walmart Transportation, Alachua, Florida

·       Ronnie Luckadoo, UPS Freight, Forest City, North Carolina

·       Thomas McIntosh, YRC Freight, Aurora, Colorado

·       Tim Melody, ABF Freight, Payette, Idaho

·       James Moore, Saia LTL Freight, Magnolia, Texas

·       Chris Outen, FedEx Freight, Vancouver, Washington

·       Charlton Paul Jr., UPS Freight, Chester, New York

·       Jeff Payne, Reddaway, Cedar City, Utah

·       James Quarles, Walmart Transportation, Laurens, South Carolina

·       Larry Rhein, FedEx Freight, Harrison, Arkansas

·       Stephen Richardson, Big G Express, Decatur, Alabama

·       Michael Sheeds, Werner Enterprises, Bandera, Texas

·       Steven Smalley, ABF Freight, Mesa, Arizona

·       Gary Smith, Garner Trucking, Gomer, Ohio

·       James Starr, Groendyke Transport, Wichita, Kansas

·       Chris Sutton, UPS Freight, Erie, Pennsylvania

·       Barney “Earl” Taylor, Penske Logistics, Orlando, Florida

·       Tim Taylor, FedEx Freight, Valdosta, Georgia

·       Jimmie Wisley, YRC Freight, Wichita, Kansas

"Being named a finalist for America’s Road Team is a major achievement for professional truck drivers, and ATA congratulates each of them for this accomplishment,” said ATA COO and Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna. “On this list you’ll find drivers with millions of safe-driving miles, state truck driving championship winners, community leaders and role models in their companies.”

To be nominated to serve as an America’s Road Team Captain, professional truck drivers must be employed or leased to an ATA member company. Each nominee should have an excellent safety record, and should demonstrate an ability to communicate his or her commitment to safety and passion for the industry. Nominees should also portray a positive image of the professional truck driver in all that they do.

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