CalArk would like to congratulate Robert Hayes on his recent 20 Years of Service Award. Robert is from Centralia, Illinois, where he lives with his wife Ann of 25 years. When Robert isn’t driving, he likes to ride his Yamaha V-Star 1300 or watch Elvis and John Wayne movies. He is also a fan of the show Sons of Anarchy and is looking forward to the spinoff Mayans coming to FX next month. He likes to listen to music and his favorite genres are country and oldies.
Prior to CalArk, Robert spent 10 years bouncing around with other trucking companies looking for a home. He credits his baby brother for getting him into the trucking industry, and his wife for his choice to stick it out with CalArk, where he also likes the great equipment and people like his driver manager, Donna Thompson. Robert says it is important to have a driver manager who understands him and knows and respects how he runs.
Before trucking, Robert was in the army from 1972-1978 where he did a "little bit of everything." Robert missed Vietnam by just three months. He was stationed in Germany for 2 years before he returned to the States and was stationed in Chicago. During his tenure in the army, he worked as a typist, in a warehouse, and in a medical unit as a clerk. In addition to his army and trucking experience, Robert also worked in gas stations, in warehouses, and was once a meat cutter.
Robert loves that trucking has allowed him to see all 48 states and plans on driving a truck as long as his health allows. Robert encourages new drivers to always "be calm, don’t get excited, and just do your job."
We thank you, Robert, for your service to our country and for your service to CalArk. It is committed and dedicated drivers like you who keep the wheels of American Business rolling.
A driver since 1984, Gary Cooper has been with CalArk since 2003. He attributes his success and longevity with one company to his "think with a career attitude" philosophy. He is on Michelle Finn's board but says he has always been taken care of while at CalArk, no matter who his driver manager is.
He's lived his entire life and raised his four kids and soon-to-be-nine grandkids in Waco, Texas. When Gary is not driving, he likes to eat at Golden Corral, relax, and read. Leslie Stout, Director of Safety, says Gary reads so much he can tell you interesting information about any topic you choose. Some of his favorite stories to tell include the time he saw John F. Kennedy in person in 1960 or when he got to see Mickey Mantle play baseball with the Yankees.
Gary also enjoys following his favorite teams: the Houston Astros, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Dallas Mavericks. Gary is proud to have served in the Marine Corp Reserves for 14 years and was promoted to Staff Sergeant in 1988. He says he would go back to the Marines if they called because he would do anything to help his country.
In addition to celebrating 1.75 Million Miles with CalArk, he has received many other awards over the years, including 100-900 thousand mile awards, a 1 Million Mile Award, 100% On Time Delivery, a 5 Year Service Award, a 10 Year Service Award, a 1.25 Million Mile Award, and a 1.5 Million Mile Award.
When asked what he would say to drivers entering the industry, Gary replied, "It's best to stay with one company. Play the long game." We are certainly glad Gary chose to stay with CalArk, where we are proud of his service to our country and of his 1.75 million miles. Congratulations and job well done, Gary. Here's to many more!
Tammy Williams started with Central Hauling in 2009 and switched to CalArk in 2015, working on Michelle Finn's board. Prior to becoming a professional driver fifteen years ago, she went to school to become a paralegal but soon decided she could make more money driving. We at CalArk are glad she made the switch!
Safety Director Leslie Stout says, "Tammy is very smart and has a good knowledge of the industry and what it takes to be successful, in addition to her great driving skills." Rebecca Melton, Operations, echoes this sentiment. "Tammy is truly a professional driver and a pleasure to work with."
From Pocahontas, Arkansas, she has four children, three grandchildren, and one grandchild on the way. She says her favorite thing about driving is getting to see the country.
Tammy's awards while working for us include Driver of the Year for Central Hauling in 2011, when she became the first and (so far) only woman to do so. Since being with CalArk, she has received 750,000 safe miles, 100% On Time Delivery each year, 800,000 and 900,000 mile awards, and now her 1 Million Mile Safe Driving Award.
When asked what she would say to her fellow drivers in the industry she says, "Put your phones down, pay attention, and remember it is crucial now more than ever to be the defensive driver." We thank you, Tammy, for being the safe and professional driver you are and for keeping the wheels of American business turning.
Christo Salinas, from Penitas, Texas, began driving for CalArk 18 years ago. Former Vice President of Safety Dennis Hilton recruited him after seeing his potential to be a great driver, and Christo was excited to leave a job making minimum wage loading trailers in the heat.
He has been with his wife, Marissa, for 23 years, and they have been married for 4. Rebecca Melton in Operations says, "both Christo and his wife are a joy to work with, and they are always professional and upbeat. I all feel like Marissa is just as much a part of CalArk as Christo!"
In addition to his latest achievement of 2 million safe miles with us, Christo has also achieved awards for 100% on-time delivery each year, 5 and 10 years of service, and 1, 1.25, 1.5, and 1.75 Million Miles driven.
When asked about all of the regulatory and technology changes he has seen over the years, Christo says, "It is what it is. Old habits are hard to break, but it's a learning experience. We will be better in the long run." When asked what he would tell new drivers about succeeding in trucking, he says, "Patience, patience, patience, and don't get in a hurry."
Here's to many more years and many more miles, Christo! Thank you for keeping the wheels of American business rolling safety and efficiently.
David Meyer has spent the last 9 of his 15 years as a driver with CalArk. He lives in Mabelvale, Arkansas, but is originally from California.
Ronnie Moore, David's dispatcher, says he's "a very reliable and nice guy to work with." Leslie Stout, Safety Director, echoes this sentiment and adds that David is always interested in staying abreast of industry and company changes to help us all stay compliant with regulations.
David calls CalArk his home, and takes pride in encouraging other drivers in the industry to make the move to our company. He says CalArk has been fair to him, and he doesn’t feel like a "number." He likes the lanes and says it feels like family here. On his time off, David likes to go bowling, listen to 60's and 70's music, go to the theater, and dine out.
Before becoming a professional truck driver, David spent 23 years serving our country in the Air Force, including as a mailman during Desert Storm, and retired one month before 9/11 occurred. Since most of his service was before computers and smart phones, he was a favorite among the other soldiers.
We would like to thank David for his service to both our country and to CalArk. We look forward to celebrating many more safe miles with him!
We are pleased to present Dwight Walker with his 2 Million Miles Milestone Award. Dwight has driven professionally for 16 years, 14 of them with CalArk. He is from Pine Bluff, AR and is on Michelle Finn’s board. Deronda Wofford, VP of Operations, says Dwight will do anything you ask him to do. Leslie Stout, Director of Safety, adds that
Dwight does his best and works hard to be compliant and to do the right thing. Over the years, Dwight has received several Safety Awards, 100% On Time Delivery Awards, his 5 Year Service Award, and a 10 Year Service Award.
When Dwight is not driving, he is home doing yard work, watching the Dallas Cowboys, or catching a Garden State Warrior game. Dwight is just as happy to be a part of the CalArk family as we are to have him. He says CalArk is a good place to work, and a great place to build a future.
Congratulations on your milestone, Dwight, and here’s to many more!
Congratulations to David Miller for reaching 1.5 million miles with CalArk! He has been with us for 14 of his 27 years in the Transportation Industry. David is on Karen Dennis's board and lives in Satsuma, Florida. When David is not driving he likes to hunt, fish, and ride his motorcycle.
Other awards David has received during his tenure with CalArk include 100,000 through 900,000 safe driving miles, several 100% On Time Delivery Awards, a 5 Year Service Plaque, 1 Million Miles of Safe Driving, a 10 Year Service Award, 1.25 Million Mile Safe Driving Award, and Company Best Fuel Mileage in 2016.
David serves as a trainer for new drivers entering CalArk's fleet, and this year he will represent our company at the Arkansas Trucking Association's Truck Driving Championship in Rogers, Arkansas.
David likes to help his fellow drivers over the road whenever possible, and said if he has one piece of advice to share it would be to always "watch your mirrors" so you can anticipate what other drivers will do and you will have time to react. Given David's great safety performance, it appears always watching his mirrors works!
When Curtiss Cline started driving for CalArk, George Strait had just started crooning about Ocean Front Property, and Reagan was halfway through his second term as president. Curtiss had already been driving a truck for 27 years on May 5th, 1987 when he began working with us. Because his dad owned a trucking business, he says he was born into it.
He's driven trucks that had enough trouble pulling 5500 pounds of styrofoam trays uphill that he laughs about the time he was passed by an older woman on a bicycle. He still thinks fondly of his special favorite, an orange and yellow 1996 T600. His knowledge of engines has often allowed him to get maximum performance from the trucks he's driven. He talks about the tricks of his trade with the easy knowledge and complex vocabulary of an artist.
Last year Curtiss brought his wife Debbie to a CalArk dinner celebrating 30 years of working for CalArk and an astonishing four million safe miles, the only one of our drivers to have achieved that milestone so far. Asked what's kept him loyal to CalArk for over three decades when turnover in our industry is so common, he said drivers have changed a lot over the years and that a strong camaradarie and work ethic kept his generation's road warriors working together.
Through his decades with CalArk, he estimates he's had fewer than ten dispatchers. He currently works with Michelle Finn but has a lot of fond memories of the twenty-two years he spent working with no-nonsense Ann, calling for check-ins via payphones instead of keeping updated with on-board computers.
At CalArk we feel honored that Curtiss continues to share his skills, experience, and incredible work ethic with us, even after hitting his 31-year anniversary last Saturday. Thanks for keeping the wheels of American business turning, Curtiss!
Gabriel Deng has spent seven of his ten years driving with CalArk. A resident of Chelsea, Massachusetts, he's originally from South Sudan and what his manager, Michelle Finn, calls a "GO Getter." She says he's "probably one of the hardest runners I’ve ever worked with. He is the man to call when you need the impossible to happen."
Even though he runs hard, Gabriel makes time for exercising. When he stops for the day, he makes sure he gets some physical activity in before settling down for a break. He also stays fit by eating healthy and making a weekly Wal-Mart run to stock up on fruits and vegetables. Asked what advice he has for his fellow drivers on staying fit, he says to make healthier choices with food and find a way to exercise, even if it means just running around a parking lot.
CalArk values drivers like Gabriel who work hard to make their miles and keep the wheels of American business turning. Thanks for making our business work!
Irish Fuggins, of Shreveport, Louisiana, has been with CalArk for 20 years this June. Michelle Finn jokes she and Irish have a love/hate relationship because he has been here for so many years, but she adds that she would not trade him for the world. She can always depend on him when it comes to making on-time pickups and deliveries, and he can be a great team player.
Irish enjoys relaxing with his wife Vickey of 7 years when he is not working. He likes to fish and hunt, too, but says he'll stay too busy running those safe driving miles to have time for much fishing and hunting until he retires.
Among other awards Irish has received are several years of 100% On-Time Delivery awards, 100,000-mile to 900,000-mile safe driving pins, a 5-Year Service Award, 10-Year Service Award, 1 Million Mile Award, 1.25 Million Mile Award, 1.5 Million Mile Award, 1.75 Million Mile Award, and 2 Million Mile Award.
Only a few special people stay loyal to one company long enough or put in enough miles to slowly, surely work their way up to 2.5 million. We're honored that Irish has chosen to share decades of his life, thousands of trips, and millions of miles with CalArk. Thank you for keeping the wheels of American business turning.