LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Mark Akin, a professional truck driver for Walmart Transportation, won first place in the tank division at the 2019 Arkansas Truck Driving Championship competition held July 12–13 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Ark. The event is hosted by the Arkansas Trucking Association (ATA).

Akin was among 163 drivers to compete in three categories of competition: pre-trip inspection, written examination and driving skills.

“This competition is a glimpse inside the cabs of truck drivers, who know more, see more and do far more for our communities than most of us realize. It’s a chance to see up-close how much skill, knowledge, focus and precision they bring to their daily jobs in order to deliver our freight safely,” said Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “All the competitors represented their companies and our industry well as they shared their talent and skill with us last week.” This year’s event attracted almost 1000 individuals including contestants, judges, friends, family, colleagues and spectators.

Akin has driven for Walmart Transportation for 28 years and has served the industry for 41 years. He resides in Neosho, Mo. with his wife Candy.

Akin has been a consistent competitor in the statewide championship, winning first place in the tank division in 2011 and placing second in 2017 and 2018.

“Arkansas has some of the best professionals in this industry, and this year’s championship is evidence of that,” said Newton. “I am excited to cheer on Mark and the other champions who will go on to compete for the national title next month, but I’m so proud of every competitor who is returning to their route because I know they are keeping our highways safer through their dedication and professionalism.”

Akin 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. Akin and the rest of the Arkansas team will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. to compete for the national grand champion title August 14–17. The event is hosted by the American Trucking Associations.