LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Samuel Louis Brooks, a professional driver for J.B. Hunt Transport, won 1st place in the step van 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).

Brooks 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.

Brooks has been with J.B. Hunt Transport for 3 years and has served the industry for 11 years. He was named a million mile driver last year for one million safe driving miles. He resides in Meeker, Okla. with his wife Jennifer Nall and four children Halie, Baylee, Joshua and Autumn.

This was Brooks’s first time to compete in the Arkansas Truck Driving Championship. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling with his family and going to sporting events with his kids.

“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.”

Brooks will be one of nine truck drivers representing Arkansas at the National Truck Driving Championships. The national competition showcases the safest and most professional drivers who work every day on ournation’s highways. Brooks 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.