ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Trucking Associations named 20 professional truck drivers, including Gary Helms of Cleveland, Tennessee, to the 2017-2018 America's Road Team, an elite group of professionals who serve as trucking industry ambassadors.
"There are 3.5 million safe, professional truck drivers on our nation's roads and every single one of them has a valuable story to tell. ATA is proud to select these respected drivers as the newest America's Road Team Captains and we are thankful that they will continue to tell their important stories throughout the country," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "Their companies, friends and families should all be incredibly proud of these drivers for dedicating themselves to spreading a positive message about trucking."
America's Road Team was established in 1986 as an outreach initiative designed to introduce the motoring public, lawmakers and the media to the trucking industry. Since its inception, America's Road Team has impressed upon millions of drivers the trucking industry's safety record, essentiality, and professionalism.
"Tennessee is proud to have Gary Helms representing our state and the trucking industry through his selection to America's Road Team," said Tennessee Trucking Association President and CEO Dave Huneryager. "We are grateful for his dedication to safety and professionalism each and every day and we are excited to see him recognized with this great honor."
In Tennessee, the trucking industry provides 1 out of every 13 jobs and transports 83 percent of the state's manufactured tonnage. Additionally, 90.5 percent of Tennessee's communities rely exclusively on trucks to deliver their goods.
"For many drivers, being named to America's Road Team is the pinnacle of their careers," said ATA COO and Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna. "By compiling millions of accident-free miles, serving hundreds of hours in their communities and articulating the passion they have for their careers as truck drivers, these new Captains are excellent examples of the professionalism that's become a hallmark of our industry."
For the next two years, the newly chosen America's Road Team Captains will tour North America in ATA's Interstate One Image Truck, an American flag emblazoned Volvo VNL 780 with a state-of-the-art truck driving simulator. The Captains, who will remain full-time truck drivers with their various ATA member companies, will speak candidly about the life of an American truck driver, the important role trucking plays in the delivery of critical goods and the safety-first mentality held by all professional truck drivers.
"Volvo Trucks is honored to sponsor the America's Road Team program and take part in this week's selection of the 2017-2018 Captains," said Volvo Trucks North America President Göran Nyberg. "America's Road Team is one of the most visible groups of professional truck drivers in the country, and we believe their hard work and dedication pays dividends for our industry. We congratulate the new class of America's Road Team Captains and wish them the best of luck as they carry out their mission over the next two years."
The final round of the selection process for America's Road Team was held January 8-10 in Arlington, Va. A panel of industry officials and trucking news media judged the finalists on their knowledge of the trucking industry, dedication to safety, ability to communicate the industry's messages and overall safe driving record.
After receiving their signature navy blue America's Road Team blazers, the 2017-2018 Captains immediately began their work in improving public perception of the trucking industry. Trucking industry professionals can support America's Road Team's mission by following the team's two-year journey on Facebook and Twitter and interacting with the Captains at major industry events, conferences and community visits.
The 2017-2018 America's Road Team Captains are:
Steve Brand, FedEx Freight
Jon Brockway, Walmart Transportation LLC
John Gaddy, Carbon Express, Inc.
W. Scott Harrison, K Limited Carrier Ltd
Rhonda Hartman, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
Gary Helms, Covenant Transport, Inc.
Bill Krouse, YRC Freight
David Livingston, TCW, Inc.
Charles Lobsiger, Walmart Transportation LLC
Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Inc.
James Moore, Saia LTL Freight
Chris Outen, FedEx Freight
Charlton Paul Jr., UPS Freight
Jeffrey Payne, Reddaway, Inc.
Stephen Richardson, Big G Express, Inc.
Michael Sheeds, Werner Enterprises
Steven Smalley, ABF Freight System, Inc.
Gary Smith, Garner Trucking, Inc.
Earl Taylor, Penske Logistics
Tim Taylor, FedEx Freight
The America's Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks, is a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway.www.americasroadteam.com.
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward.
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SOURCE American Trucking Associations