Press Release

ATA Names 36 Professional Drivers as Finalists for 2024-2025 America’s Road Team

Oct 27, 2023

Washington – Today, American Trucking Associations released the list of 36 professional truck drivers named as finalists for the 2024-2025 America’s Road Team.

“These men and women were selected as finalists for America’s Road Team because they have outstanding safe driving records, share a passion for the trucking industry and are role models among their peers,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We owe these professional drivers our gratitude, without them the American economy would come to a halt.”

America’s Road Team, a group of professional truck drivers with superior safety records, was created in 1986 to represent the trucking industry and is sponsored by Volvo Trucks. Captains, with support from their companies, dedicate a few days each month to attending industry events, speaking at schools, or meeting policymakers on behalf of the trucking industry.

The 36 finalists advance to the final round of the selection process, which will be held this January in Washington. A panel of evaluators, including industry officials and trucking news media representatives, will judge the contenders on their knowledge of the trucking industry, dedication to safety, ability to communicate the industry’s messages and overall safe driving record. The finalists – with a combined total of 81 million safe-driving miles and 1,035 years as professional truck drivers – are highway safety experts eager to share their experiences with the motoring public.

The newly chosen 2024-2025 America’s Road Team will be announced on January 16, following a ceremony at ATA’s Headquarters in Washington. New Captains, after receiving their signature navy blue America’s Road Team blazer, will begin working to share the industry’s message of safety, essentiality and sustainability with the motoring public, media, business and community groups, public officials and their fellow truck drivers around the country.

Captains from previous teams continue to serve as ambassadors to the industry and are called upon frequently to participate in safety events, speaking appearances and industry conferences.

“Being named a finalist for America’s Road Team is a major achievement for professional truck drivers, and ATA congratulates each of them for this accomplishment," said ATA Chief Operating Officer Sarah Rajtik. “America’s Road Team will continue to serve as a voice for the industry, which benefits from their professionalism, dedication and safety as they educate the public on highway safety, the positive impact the trucking industry plays in our economy and why a career in professional truck driving is great.”

This year’s finalists hail from 20 different states, haul a diverse assortment of products and materials and range from short haul drivers to over-the-road drivers operating in all the lower 48 states. The finalists represent a cross-section of the industry with experience ranging from six to 46 years as professional truck drivers with anywhere from 350,000 to 4 million safe driving miles.

The finalists are: 

  • Mike Alpine, ABF Freight System Inc., Arizona
  • Ben Atkinson, ABF Freight System, Inc., Florida
  • Willie Baylor, FedEx Freight, Indiana
  • Terry Bennett, ABF Freight System Inc., Florida
  • Joe Busch, ABF Freight System Inc., Iowa
  • Perry Carter, Cargo Transporters Inc., North Carolina
  • Joseph Collins, FedEx Ground – Spartan Logistics, Minnesota
  • Robbie Cottrell, XPO, Virginia
  • Howard Crawford, United Parcel Service, North Carolina
  • Damon Evans, United Parcel Service, California
  • Orlando Fraley, FedEx Freight, Georgia
  • Dennis Hall, Tyson Foods Inc., Texas
  • Robert Hare, FedEx Freight, Virginia
  • Dave Hedicker, ABF Freight System Inc., Ohio
  • Lloyd Howell, TCW, Alabama
  • John Lemmons, United Parcel Service, Tennessee
  • Ronnie Mahan, FedEx Freight, Arkansas
  • Sean McClure, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., Utah
  • Rodney McNew, Groendyke Transport Inc., Texas
  • Mike Middleton, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., Tennessee
  • Pete Palczynski, Walmart Transportation, Illinois
  • Emily Plummer, Prime Inc., Missouri
  • Wayne Ponschke, United Parcel Service, California
  • Scott Post, FedEx Ground – Spartan Logistics, Minnesota
  • John Antoine Sadler, Walmart Transportation, North Carolina
  • Gary Schmidt, Jacobson Transport & Cliff Viessman Inc., Minnesota
  • Brian Sheehan, CRST The Transportation Solution Inc., Indiana
  • Molly Shultz, TransLand, Missouri
  • Anthony Tirone, Walmart Transportation, Florida
  • Chevelle Walker, Werner Enterprises, Florida
  • Bernard Wanyo, United Parcel Service, Pennsylvania
  • Thomas Warters, Penske Logistics, Florida
  • Mike Whitehead, FedEx Freight, South Dakota
  • James "Gragg" Wilson, United Parcel Service, Nevada
  • Ryan Ybarra, United Parcel Service, California
  • David Young, FedEx Freight, North Carolina

# # # 
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. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  
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 Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward.