127: A Word With The Arkansas Trucking Association

During this week’s episode of the Oakley Podcast, in honor of truck driver appreciation week, host Jeremy Kellett is joined by Shannon Newton to see what Arkansas does for truck drivers and how truck drivers carry this country.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Oakley Update: website remodel, automatic transmission (3:16)
  • Getting to know Shannon (5:25)
  • Truck driver appreciation week (11:13)
  • New legislation to help truck drivers (19:26)
  • Thanking our truck drivers (30:31)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.


Shannon Newton  0:13  

We have approximately 37,000 truck drivers in the state of Arkansas. But we have equal, if not more of those that pass through here every single day. And so I view my job not only to serve the truck drivers who call Arkansas home but those who choose to do business in and through the state of Arkansas. And so I hope that you will find that the roads here are safe and efficient and that the industry supports you that people here welcome you. We appreciate the fire out of what you do all day every day.

Jeremy Kellett  0:40  

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family.

Hi, this is Jeremy Kellett, Director of Recruiting here at Oakley Trucking and I’m your host for this podcast. This is the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. This is episode 127. So on today’s podcast I’m talking with the president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, with Shannon Newton and we’re going to talk about the big thing this week thinking truck drivers because after all, this is truck driver appreciation week. And we’re also going to talk about other things too but the main purpose of this episode is to see what Arkansas does for truck drivers and how truck drivers carry this country you know and appreciate them and thank them so got a lot of things that we’re going to cover besides so stay with me on that. But first let’s do Oakley update sponsored by Arrow Truck Sales.

Let’s listen to one of Oakleys owner operator experience with Arrow Truck Sales.

Unknown Speaker  1:57  

I called Kenworth offer for 40 called Peterbilt. Call Freightliner. None of them wanted to work with me. So Jeremy Kellett got me and got me over to Trey. Trey visor, me and him had a conversation. He’d sent me to Keith Wilson and never looked back from that point. I was upside down 29,000 and change. They paid off all but $5,000 of my loans on a blown truck. That right there said a lot to me. You know there you were willing to step outside of their comfort zone to get my deal done. I’ve never felt like a customer. Yeah, it was more like a family feeling. He took care of every aspect of the deal. He was completely transparent. There was no hidden, no hidden nothing.

Jeremy Kellett  3:06  

So if you’re in the market for a used truck, you owe it to yourself to call Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales in Springfield, Missouri. Tell him you heard it on the Oakley podcast.

So quick update I got this week. Two things. One is our website has been redone. So we got a new bruceoakley.com website. Check it out. The guys and I T department been working hard on it. Justin Oakley has been working hard on it, participate in a bunch of stuff. So it looks really good. Really good. So I recommend everybody go to bruceoakley.com Make sure everything you got you know that you need is there. And if you got any suggestions, we always take constructive criticism around here. Not saying we do much with it. But when we do take it. So check out the website.

The other thing we’ve had happen with guys, especially towards our owner-operators, and recruits coming in buying trucks. So if you’re trading trucks, you’re buying a truck you’re coming to work at Oakley, pay attention to the automatic transmission. A lot of these trucks now become automatics. And I know that’s what they’re working towards. But in a few cases, we’ve had some guys show up with an automatic transmission and not be able to put PTO on it. So we got to know that it’s PTO compatible, which almost all of the Automatics are, there’s just a few that are not but sometimes you got to have you know, truck has to be programmed to know that there’s a PTO going on it. Sometimes you’re gonna switch gotta be putting in these things that we’re learning right now. But just keep in mind, you know, goes don’t just show up with your new truck asset questions. Recruiters are supposed to be asking that question too, but where it’s really coming into play is the truck trait. We got guys trade trucks and find out that they need something and it takes a little bit of time and a little more money to get it done. So sure and let us know about that if you tried chokes on the automatic transmission.

Okay, let’s get started with this episode talking to Shannon Newton. Shannon, how’re you doing today?

Shannon Newton  5:09  

I’m doing well. Thanks for having me, Jeremy.

Jeremy Kellett  5:10  

I appreciate you coming on over here. I know, I actually went back and looked at episode 66 was when he was here before. And it was really good. So we don’t have to cover everything then. Because I was kind of making sure we didn’t cover the same thing twice. But, you know, you’re president of Arkansas Trucking Association. That is huge. And you’ve been that for? How many years?

Shannon Newton  5:32  


Jeremy Kellett  5:33  

Eight years. I’m gonna guess right? Thought so and you’ve been in it…

Shannon Newton  5:37  

I’ve been at the association 19 years not doing yours. This is your laugh. It pretty much is it is really all of my adult all of my real career has been in the trucking industry since I graduated college. I’ve been employed in the trucking industry.

Jeremy Kellett  5:50  

That is great. And, you know, the Arkansas Trucking Association is something that I think a lot of people take for granted and don’t realize what all you guys do to help the truckers in this world, especially in the state of Arkansas. But there’s a lot that y’all do to make this make this world go round.

Shannon Newton  6:09  

Well, sure. It’s an honor to represent the trucking industry in Arkansas because of the presence and the carriers that are here and the role that trucking plays in the economy in Arkansas. You know, perhaps if I was the leader of the trucking industry in some other state with not as many notable carriers and not the presence of the trucking industry, then it maybe wouldn’t be as cool and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But it certainly is a prestigious industry here in Arkansas. We like to say if there was a Mount Rushmore of industries in Arkansas, trucking would be on it. We employ one in 10, our Kansans we try to play in the political space regulatory space to make sure that everyone here understands the role that the trucking industry plays, and particularly the truck drivers.

Jeremy Kellett  6:54  

Yeah, and that’s not easy to do. I mean, in your position, I’m sure what I mean, you know, just to give the listeners an idea of what some of your day-to-day responsibilities that Shannon Newton does.

Shannon Newton  7:07  

Yeah, so it’s all over the map. And that’s probably one of my favorite things about my job is that no two days are the same. So it’d be talking about promoting the trucking industry lifts. So big tent, the Trucking Association exists to promote, protect and serve the trucking industry. So promoting, it takes on a lot of different forms, you see, you know, our association branded and print publications doing advertising. And again, it goes back to trying to shape the way that people view the trucking industry, I want them to think of the trucking industry, the way that impacts their life, the way that it delivers a package to their doorstep, the way that we you know, make life simpler, for everyday our Kansans, not necessarily about the truck that’s in front of them, while they’re driving to work, or the truck that you know, is behind them as they’re trying to get to school or button back. I want them to think of it as the way that it shapes their life and the role that the trucking industry plays in making their life simpler men, so we do a lot to help people understand or to try to shape the way that they think about it. And in promoting it, protecting it’s where it gets really interesting. Because not necessarily, you know, we like to say that we’re a firewall between bad ideas and bad policy, because you could describe a set of facts in which it would sound really good for there to be no trucks on the road between 7 am and 9 am. Like, that sounds really good. If you’re a suburban mom trying to get kids school and you think, Cathy’s, he will just get out of the way for these couple hours. But then they don’t understand what that means, you know, there’s not going to be guests at the gas station when you leave, and there’s not gonna be milk at the school and we kind of have to play out those implications of what might seem like a good idea at the time, but helping them understand the implications to the industry. And so that comes in all different shapes and fashions and every day is different. You know, we’ve had one just this morning in trying to deal with a trial attorney. And you know, there’s a set of facts in which this case sounds really bad. However, you know, from our industry perspective, there’s just not a circumstance in which we’re wanting to align and be on their team and so yeah, all sorts of fun stuff.

Jeremy Kellett  9:10  

Well, I know trying to try to make the public aware of what truck that’s a great way to put it you know, and so that the guy in the truck in front of you behind you, I mean, realize what they’re doing out there and how professional they are. Absolutely you know, the majority of them all the time but yeah, that I can only imagine trying to advertise that good part about it and everybody wants to focus on the negative right but I want you to get rid of the call me if you’ve been hit by a truck driver, billboards commercials, let’s scratch this, let’s get something in legislation to get rid of that somehow.

Shannon Newton  9:50  

I’m for that.

Jeremy Kellett  9:53  

Well, you know, not to get on that much. But is there anything going on with nuclear verdicts thinks that you’re having a fight or anything like that?

Shannon Newton  10:03  

So definitely the impact of nuclear verdicts on the trucking industry as a whole is an issue that we’re trying to tackle from a lot of different angles. Part of it does go back to the perception of the everyday Arkansan because jury pools are made up of everyday our Kansans. And so if we can more positively impact the way that they view the trucking industry, if we can humanize it by showing the faces of truck drivers, the faces of people who work in the industry, and make it more personal to them, which we do have that benefit in Arkansas, we go back to how big the industry here’s most people in Arkansas know someone that works in the trucking industry, which does allow us to help, you know, we start from a more positive position and a lot of other places in the country.

Jeremy Kellett  10:45  

That’s why you reconcile Trucking Association president because that’s, that’s exactly right. Change the way people perceive truck drivers, you know, and that’s a major task in itself because truck drivers and trucking companies have typically got a bad rap, you know, a bad image for years and years and years, for whatever reason, you know, and it just takes little by little bit to change that.

Shannon Newton  11:13  

Every industry has bad apples, you know, side, a particular teacher or a particular doctor update, you’re a lawyer. You know, everybody, every industry has those incidences which shape people’s opinion. And, you know, we’re tasked with creating more positive experiences to change that.

Jeremy Kellett  11:31  

Yeah. Because there’s a lot more positive than there is negative.

Shannon Newton  11:34  

Absolutely, that’s for sure. And truck driver appreciation week is actually part of that. That is the best opportunity that we have to tell the story of the truck drivers in Arkansas, people are listening, people are paying attention, we get to actually use their face their story. And, you know, personify the trucking industry.

Jeremy Kellett  11:55  

I was looking back trying to research when the truck driver appreciation week started. I don’t know if you recall.

Shannon Newton  12:02  

I didn’t look it up before I came.

Jeremy Kellett  12:04  

But well, it was back in 1998.

Shannon Newton  12:07  

I was gonna say we’ve been doing it ever since I’ve been at the association. So I’m confident it was more than 19 years ago.

Jeremy Kellett  12:12  

It was 1998 that it started and it was a little controversial there who started so two different names that took credit for starting it, but didn’t matter to me. I mean, I was great. Glad it started in has gotten as big as it is. Because you know, Oakley trucking has man, we’ve been doing something for a truck driver appreciation week for a long time. Whether it’s, and we tried to change it up, you know, whether it’s giving them gifts. You know, last year, we sent out 800 cups, no big Arctic cups, you know, to every one of them and thanking them and having that on the cup. You know, we’ve sent out shirts and jackets and all kinds of stuff.

Shannon Newton  12:55  

And it’s not like you don’t appreciate them every day. But having the opportunity to call attention to it. You know, I kind of use the analogy of like Mother’s Day, you know, it’s not that we don’t appreciate mother’s every other day of the year, but there’s still a Mother’s Day in which we call attention to that appreciation, we do something extra special. And that applies in this case to where you’re talking about truck drivers, you know, those of us who are working in the industry or are aware of you know, all of the effort that goes into being a truck driver, we kind of inherently appreciate it more than the average person. But having a truck driver appreciation week allows us the opportunity to do something extra to go above and beyond and also to tell everyone else about it, so that they can join and appreciating our truck drivers with us.

Jeremy Kellett  13:38  

What’s some of the stuff that’s going on in Arkansas?

Shannon Newton  13:41  

So our annual event, we actually do a big cookout for truck drivers in Arkansas, and it’s not limited to, you know, our membership or anything specific to the Trucking Association. We’ll be set up at the TA Petro in North Little Rock handing out free lunches and other assorted goodie bags from 10 to two on Thursday of truck driver appreciation week. And that allows us to you know, we don’t get the opportunity to engage face to face with the truck drivers a lot. We have various events in which we see a limited number of them or we see the ones that their companies, you know, select and present to us. But at the truck driver appreciation event, you know we are meeting them where they are they are at work, they are fueling, they are showering, you gotta go, you gotta go. They are pulling off and picking up a lunch and maybe letting their dog out and getting to interact with them kind of in their territory where they’re most comfortable is always a rewarding experience.

Jeremy Kellett  14:42  

So a lot of people volunteer to come out there.

Shannon Newton  14:44  

Absolutely. We have food that’s donated. So we have hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, you know, all the fixings and chips and desserts.

Jeremy Kellett  14:52  

I went out there one years ago and y’all had a concert.

Shannon Newton  14:56  

Yeah. We’ve had music, we’ve had DJs we’ve had free haircuts So we’ve had all sorts of various things I will say last year, during kind of the recovery, if you will, of COVID-19. We did three different events, which was particularly challenging. But we also had to have them all pre-bagged, and it was quite the undertaking last year. So we’re very much grateful for the opportunity to kind of go back to normal to what we used to do. Having just one event that making that one event, bigger and better than trying to do a roadshow.

Jeremy Kellett  15:30  

Well, and that’s what we think about here and what we can do for truck driver appreciation week. It just, it’s hard to cover everybody you want to forest as a company, you want to take care of your own, and it’s in, you know, we’ve had cookouts we’ve cooked here on the yard every day, you had dispatch out there cooking. And you know, it’s just hard to hit everybody, you know, because they’re out working, they’re traveling the country, which is you know, what’s got to be done. And so we’ve always struggled with trying to figure out a way to cover all many truck drivers as we can, but because it goes just beyond the ones that we specifically work at Oakley, mainly because we have to thank all them. And that’s good. You got it narrowed down to Thursday. So are you gonna be out there?

Shannon Newton  16:15  

I will be. I’ll be out there Thursday around lunch.

Jeremy Kellett  16:18  

Serving them up.

Shannon Newton  16:19  

Yeah, I have actually noticed this morning, I have some relatively important corporate business-ish meetings on that same day. So I may not look like I should be at the truck stop. But I do plan to go out there for a little bit. Well, good, Hey, get out but like a sore thumb but it’ll be okay. We’ll roll with it.

Jeremy Kellett  16:37  

That’ll be all right. That happens. It’s no big deal. You know, talking about truck driver appreciation week and, and what all truck drivers do. And I really liked the part that, you know, your advertising efforts to make truck drivers seem normal, lock our neighbors because they are our neighbors. And I think that’s a great way to get the public to know more about it. But, you know, thinking truck drivers that everybody should do it somehow, you know, I feel like sometimes it’s limited to trucking companies. And ATA, we’re thanking truck drivers. But is there any efforts? Have you heard of any people other than associated with trucking that thank truck drivers like part of the public that we’re trying to educate?

Shannon Newton  17:25  

Well, I will say along those lines, our association actually has a billboard campaign statewide, the entire month of September, informing the public that it is truck driver appreciation week, while simultaneously recognizing you know, all of the truck drivers who might see it that are crossing through the state during the month of September, let’s think we have four or five billboards up on the interstate. And so that’s part of the education campaign is trying to get everyone else to know, I know, we and you and everyone else utilizes their social media efforts to educate everyday people who are you know, within your circle of influence about what’s going on? I have heard of a few shippers doing some events, but again, that’s kind of tangent to the industry. I’m not aware of any just general, you know, Chamber of Commerce league or some sort of, you know, little league recognition.

Jeremy Kellett  18:17  

You know, that is that would be the thing is getting shippers and receivers to acknowledge and I’m sure some of them are gonna say some of the larger ones do but that would be a great way to, to get it out there too.

Shannon Newton  18:32  

Yeah, think about using that in your internal communication that I we usually put like a banner in our email, you know, like, we’ll put something in our email signature to communicate, you know, just again, you know, increasing awareness. That’s an opportunity for you to, you know, educate or inform all those that are in your.

Jeremy Kellett  18:48  

Yeah, truck driver appreciation week. Good stuff. You know, I just hit me while ago that, you know, you’re talking about Mother’s Day, one day, but truck driver appreciation week all week, you know, made me realize that may be where my wife has come up with because anymore it’s not her birthday, it’s her birthday week. I’m like, how did we go from a birthday to a birthday week?

Shannon Newton  19:11  

Yeah, I could probably get like the weekend. You get a birthday weekend. But that’s probably my grace is about there.

Jeremy Kellett  19:20  

What about new legislation? Anything positive to help truck drivers coming down the road?

Shannon Newton  19:26  

Yeah. So Arkansas, our legislative session, we have the opportunity to pass legislation every other year so that the next legislative session here in Arkansas begins in January, and that’ll be after the elections in November. So we’ll have an entirely new administration, really a new house and senate as well, due to redistricting all 135 seats are up for election in November. So that’s a little bit interesting. I actually haven’t been in this role since that has happened before. So that’s been an interesting process to watch. You know, having all every legislator on the ballot at the same time, it’s very expensive, but also been kind of curious to watch. From a legislative perspective and kind of our priorities going into that. Certainly, from a workforce standpoint, that’s probably the number one priority, just ensuring that we’re doing everything that we can to make sure that the policies that are funding workforce are incentivizing, you know, to and for your schools, that they’re equipping people and also equally informing them about the opportunities that exist in the transportation industry. You know, we were spending as a state a lot of money in the workforce arena. And we continue to have shortages in the trade professions that are, you know, employ so many arcades, and so we just want to make sure that the money is supporting individuals getting the education that they need in order to become employed in the industries that are successful here in Arkansas. So that’s a big brush on workforce. Some of the more interesting, you know, regulatory or policy things that have happened that weren’t necessarily driven by legislation, that I think would be of interest to your listeners is around truck parking. And so that’s been a big priority for the association, all of 2020 to raising awareness, we would be surprised at how many people that work in the Department of Transportation didn’t really understand the significance of that issue and or how it plays out in our industry, when you start talking about drivers, you know, believing hours on the board, you know, pulling off the road when they don’t have to, in order to find that safe parking spot, you know, losing those hours of efficiency, you talked about all you know, all of the supply chain headlines that have been even talked about shortage of workforce and, you know, demands on the transportation industry. And then we say, well, you know, drivers are actually pulling off early to find a truck, a truck parking spot, because they don’t feel competent, they’ll be able to find one further down the road. And that was a foreign concept to them that they were they couldn’t, they didn’t realize I didn’t understand that. And so we went back. And, you know, no, I like to think of this was a really good lesson that was learned and everyone was very keenly aware of what happened when the 30 Bridge was shut down in Memphis. That’s been a year and a half ago now, I think. And but from that came some really good lessons. Because when that happened, all of the truck parking that was in that very close vicinity to where the bridge, you know, the bridge actually being closed, nobody wanted to park you know, in West Memphis. And so you saw it backfill all of those trucks, filling up every rest area and ramp, you know, all third all down out. 30 all the way back to liberal. Yeah. And so during that process, we went to the to our DOT, and said, Hey, can we like, get everything, everything that where a truck could park? Could that be open? Because it was actually a rest area there at the White River. It was under construction. And it was under construction, because the restrooms were inoperable. But because of that they had the entire, you know, rest area blocked off. I was like the this would be much more safe to allow the trucks to get off the road, even if there are no facilities there. And so they took the position. Yeah, you’re right, it would be better for them to get off the road, even if they don’t have access to facilities. And so they allowed us to utilize every safe parking spot that they could find along authority during that tragedy. Now roll that forward to just really I think it was the summer they had closed a rest area down in Texarkana for a similar issue. Garden it was that restaurant was going undergoing maintenance in the facilities and I had gotten word actually from a member of ours who’s based in Texarkana said, hey, you know, we got this issue, our drivers were depending upon that particular spot, and it’s not available, you know, what’s going on, you know, it’s going to be open again. And so I just, you know, reached out to our DOT and I was like, Hey, what’s going on here? What is the situation which is causing this restaurant to be closed? Its facilities issued at a dam I said, Well, can we do what we did before where we just told them that they weren’t facilities and go ahead and park there? Because they don’t they need the parking like eliminating parking spots from the system is not a viable option? Like is there anything that we can do besides that, and so we actually got are about to change their, like their internal policy now is to post no facilities available and keep the rest areas accessible to commercial trucks, which seems silly to us but that’s a material change that should impact you know, the availability of rest areas for commercial truck parking, you know, to eliminate spots from the system to avoid that at all costs is what we ask.

Jeremy Kellett  24:30  

That’s just another example of educating people that are not in the trucking world that don’t understand you know, hours of service which don’t, you know, will expect people to understand the hours of service but just know that it’s limited amount of time they got to stay in that truck live in that truck. We need a place to park.

Shannon Newton  24:49  

Right, and if you’ve never been out here you don’t think about that because if you are out we’re driving to anywhere vacation, and we thought we needed to park well we would easily be able to find somewhere else to park No, and that’s not the case for, you know, a 53-foot trailer and then 18 Wheeler and so we just have to kind of reshape.

Jeremy Kellett  25:07  

It’s a critical part of planning their day. Absolutely. We talked about that with dispatch, I talked about that, you know, trying to pre-plan the guy, where you’re gonna be tomorrow, or, you know, so you can plan because they almost have to plan where they can spend the night for that place has facilities, if not, well, what are they going do?

Shannon Newton  25:25  

If you pull up onto the rest area that you’re used to being there. And it’s closed for, you know, maintenance to the restroom. That’s, that’s a pretty big, you know, buckle to your, to your plan. And so, we thought that was a, I don’t want to say it’s a big win. But it’s a good example of the types of things that the association exists to do.

Jeremy Kellett  25:46  

Yeah, that’s a good example of doing that. Just more education, you know, doing it. So truck parking, that’s something that is there any I don’t use there are any private parties opening up truck parking lots or anything like that?

Shannon Newton  26:04  

I have had a couple of conversations with investors looking at bringing in just a private truck parking facility somewhere between Little Rock and Memphis. You know, I have shied away from getting involved in it for really weighing into that because I feel like paying for truck parking is such a touchy issue. I feel like we’ve been advocating that truck parking is part of critical infrastructure and the funds that we the taxes that we pay to fund roads ought to be used to provide safe truck parking. And so confusing that argument by aiding and abetting other people who are you know, talking for park for profit? Good luck.

Jeremy Kellett  26:47  

Yeah. Just it would be nice, though, to be, you know, somebody common sense. Take over that, hey, we’ll get some extra land here. You guys park out there, you know, but that’s just not gonna happen. Everybody wants to make $1. Right? Yes. Well, good stuff. Anytime I know. Before we came up here, we talked briefly about AV5. If you would just touch on that to close it out.

Shannon Newton  27:13  

Absolutely. I know, there’s been a lot of the industry press has covered that significantly, and it is has been covered in a doomsday-esque light. And I just want to kind of, I guess, clarify based on our conversation. You know, the big headline splash 30 days ago, was really, the headline was that the US Supreme Court declined to hear whether or not the injunction should stay. And when they made that, you know, they declined to hear that case. I think there’s some confusion about how that plays out. And to be honest, even knowing how it plays out, there’s still some confusion. But just to clarify, you know, what that actually means is you just goes back to court in California. So when AB5, which is a piece of legislation that passed the California legislature in it, when it would have gone into effect, the California Trucking Association, took legal action. And as part of that legal action, they got an injunction which prohibited it from being enforced. And we’ve been operating under that injunction without it being enforced. And now, they’re just going to go back to court, they’re going to continue their lawsuit in appealing for it to be overturned. But they’re going to have to do that without the injunction in place. So AB five will be the law of the land, while the California Trucking Association challenges it, to see if they can overturn it within the court system in California.

Jeremy Kellett  28:36  

Okay, that makes a little more sense. But I believe you simplified that for a lot of people out there.

Shannon Newton  28:42  

I tried. There’s still some uncertainty, you know, I don’t know what the outcome of that legislature or that lawsuit will be in the state of California. I don’t know what implications it has for carriers who are not based in California, who may go into California, and then turn around and come out. And frankly, and unfortunately, case law is really what will ultimately determine what you can and can’t do. And so somebody’s gonna have to do it wrong, and then be told they’re doing it wrong in order for the rest of us to know what the rules are.

Jeremy Kellett  29:10  

But not always. Everybody says, Well, it starts out there in California, and then it starts drifting in other states. That may be but not necessarily.

Shannon Newton  29:19  

Yeah, I was just like, we actually have some pretty strong legislation here in Arkansas, protecting the owner-operator, business model, and even allowing for, you know, certain accommodations to be made to owner-operators without jeopardizing their independent status. But that’s only good as the borders of the state of Arkansas. And I think that’s part of the challenge. And maybe the frustration of our industry is very, I mean, by nature, it’s interstate commerce. And so, you know, regionalizing those types of laws is, while it’s good for us, it’s, you know, one green state on the board. It’s not necessarily the solution unless you can put together a big patchwork of states like that.

Jeremy Kellett  29:58  

Well, they’ve been talking about it for years. Hopefully they’ll be talking about it for a while, a lot more years. And it’s been a while I won’t do anything about it.

Shannon Newton  30:05  

If the industry, from an association standpoint, all of the organizations that I’m aware of are all unified in protecting the owner-operator business model, but it is a part of the way that the industry thrives and survives, as we know it today. And so, I think you’ll continue to see, you know, advocate advocation for protection of that business model.

Jeremy Kellett  30:29  

Okay. Close this thing out. Shannon, you’re President at the Arkansas Trucking Association. You want to thank some truck drivers?

Shannon Newton  30:36  

Absolutely. We have approximately 37,000 truck drivers in the state of Arkansas. But we have equal, if not more of those that pass through here every single day. And so I view my job not only to serve the truck drivers who call Arkansas home but those who choose to do business in and through the state of Arkansas. And so I hope that you will find that the roads here are safe and efficient and that the industry supports you that people here welcome you. We appreciate the fire out of what you do all day, every day. And if there’s anything else that we can do to help you, don’t hesitate to ask.

Jeremy Kellett  31:08  

Amen. Very good. Yes, I think the same thing I think all our truck drivers play car Oakley owner-operators appreciate you and your family and what you do for this company and you make this company what it is today. And now you truck drivers out there that listen to the Oakley podcast. Of course we appreciate you and, and all that you do, be sure to like, subscribe, comment on our videos. Let us know what you’re thinking anything else he wants to see and sure to appreciate. Shannon Newton visited with us on the Oakley podcast. So come back again. Thanks for having me. Back again. All right. Thank you guys for watching. We’ll talk to you next week.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show on the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or just want to say hello, head over to our website, theoakleypodcast.com, and click the “leave a comment” button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.