Texarkana Driver Wins First Prize at Arkansas Trucking Championship

Photo: Robin Sams shown receiving trophy from Sarah Sheets with the Arkansas Trucking Association.
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Robin Sams, a professional truck driver for FedEx Freight, was named Grand Champion runner up and won 1st place in the 3-axle division at the 50th anniversary Arkansas Truck Driving Championship competition held July 14–15 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Ark. The event is hosted by the Arkansas Trucking Association (ATA).

Sams was among 165 drivers to compete in three categories of competition: pre-trip inspection, written examination and driving skills.

“Truck drivers are knowledgeable of industry regulations and are experts on what it takes to move Arkansas’ freight safely. This competition is our opportunity to recognize and celebrate that knowledge and expertise,” said Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “The Arkansas Trucking Championship has existed in some form for 50 years because professional drivers have been dedicated to keeping our highways safe and have been willing to put those safety skills to the test.” This year’s anniversary event attracted over 800 contestants, judges, friends, family, colleagues and spectators.

Sams has been with FedEx Freight for 30 years and has served the industry for 35 years. His career includes 2.6 million safe driving miles and 25 years of no accidents. He resides in Texarkana, Ark. with his wife Bonnie.

This is Sams’ third time to claim the 3-Axle first place trophy at the Arkansas Truck Driving Championship. He has competed in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015, and in 2011, he received the highest score on the pre-trip inspection, placed first in the 3-axle class and won the grand champion title. Just last year, Sams ranked third in his class at the National Truck Driving Championships.

“For 50 years, this competition has challenged truck drivers to take pride in their dedication to safety,” said David O’Neal, ATA’s director of safety services. “This year’s competition was incredibly challenging, but the drivers were up to the task. The winners should be proud of their display of professionalism and skill.”

Sams will be one of nine truck drivers representing Arkansas at the National Truck Driving Championships. The national competition showcases the safest and most professional truck drivers who work every day on our nation’s highways. Sams and the rest of the Arkansas team will travel to Orlando, Fla. to compete for the national grand champion title August 8-12.

“The national championships are the ‘Super Bowl of Safety’ for our industry, and I can’t wait to see how Team Arkansas performs at the highest level of competition,” O’Neal said.

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