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what needed to be done. It don’t make any difference if you are washing one, greasing one, or driving one . . . if it needed to be done,” he trails off. “I would never ask anybody to do any- thing that I wouldn’t do.” “I only have the last two years


because I can’t,” he says. Declining health has kept him


from driving the trucks or pitching in to fix them over the past few years, but his friends, family and coworkers whom he calls friends and family have learned from the example Wayne has been set- ting the past 40 years: they just do what needs to be done. Vickie, of course, is a veteran of the


philosophy, working alongside Wayne for over three decades. But lately help has come from family and long-time employees. Neil Corder, the operations man-


ager, has been working for Wayne for 23 years, Kent Eddy in human resources was also overseeing safety for the last 5 years, until Joey Berkemeyer, Vicki’s


IT DON’T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IF YOU ARE


WASHING ONE, GREASING ONE, OR DRIVING ONE… IF IT NEEDED TO BE DONE. I WOULD NEVER ASK


ANYBODY TO DO ANYTHING THAT I WOULDN’T DO. –WAYNE SMITH, PRESIDENT OF WAYNE SMITH TRUCKING


husband, came on board to take over safety last year. “I’ve got some really good people…


starting right here,” Wayne says nod- ding toward Vicki, “and Neil, Ken, Joey. All I’ve got to do is just think it, and it will be done.” And it’s true. If you attended the


2016 Arkansas Trucking Association’s Business Conference in May, you may have run into Wayne. “Joey pushed me around the ATA


meeting in a wheelchair. He’s the one who suggested that. And if we go to Albuquerque next, he said we are going


to take a wheel chair.” Wayne’s actual family can be found


in the office as well. On the day of our visit, we met his daughter Tonya Simer, working in billing. She’s been with the company for 22 years, and the apples’ apples don’t fall far from the tree either. Three of Wayne’s five grandchildren have dabbled in the trucking business already. Tonya’s daughter Lauren, a sopho-


more at Arkansas Tech, is spending her summer helping out. Derek, his only grandson, who attends the University





ARKANSAS TRUCKING REPORT | Issue 3 2016


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