FORT SMITH, Ark., May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ABF® driver Ralph Garcia of Rio Rancho, N.M., has been named a Champion of Change as part of President Obama's Winning the Future initiative. Nominated by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Garcia was one of 20 transportation professionals invited to the White House on May 16. Garcia will appear on the White House website in a video recorded during his visit.
"It was an honor to be invited to the White House to promote something I believe in so strongly—the importance of the trucking industry," said Garcia. "There is no better way to earn a living than behind the wheel as a professional driver. In my 30 years as a driver, I've seen so much of this great country that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to experience."
Garcia has driven professionally for 32 years, the past 19 with ABF. His distinguished record includes placing 14 times in the New Mexico driving championships, including 12 first place finishes, participation in the National Truck Driving Championships, numerous safety awards and membership as a captain in the elite America's Road Team. Administered by the ATA, America's Road Team is a national public outreach program led by a small group of million-mile professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway.
Garcia encouraged government advocacy of professional driving as a viable career choice, particularly for military veterans. "Companies like mine are always looking for safe, conscientious and responsible drivers, and those qualities are found in spades in our armed forces. Making it easier for our fighting men and women to transition into jobs in trucking would be a win-win for everyone involved." Citing proposed changes to federal hours-of-service regulations, Garcia said regulators should be aware of the potential impact on drivers. "As a professional driver, I want to be safe on our roads and my more than three million accident-free miles can back that up. The rules we have now work, and changing something that's working just doesn't make sense and will hurt drivers like me."
More information about the Champions of Change initiative is online at www.whitehouse.gov/champions.
Established in 1923, ABF is best-in-class for safety, security, technology and freight-handling. InformationWeek, CIO, InfoWorld, and BtoB magazines have cited ABF's strategic use of information technology as exemplary. ABF is the only six-time winner of the American Trucking Associations President's Trophy for Safety, the only five-time winner of the Excellence in Security Award, and the only four-time winner of the Excellence in Claims/Loss Prevention Award. ABF also is the only carrier to earn both the Excellence in Claims/Loss Prevention Award and the Excellence in Security Award in the same year, which ABF has accomplished twice.
ABF provides guaranteed service for expedited or time-definite shipments via its TimeKeeper® service. Regional shipping is handled via the carrier's RPM® Network, providing next-day and second-day shipping. The ABF system stretches throughout North America, with local service centers serving all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Guam and Puerto Rico. Globally, the carrier serves 250 ports in more than 130 countries.
ABF is the largest subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corporation (Nasdaq: ABFS).
Contact: Mr. Russ Aikman, director of marketing & public relations
Telephone: (479) 785-8913
SOURCE ABF Freight System, Inc.