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Executive Team — At Fikes Truck Line, we don’t just
deliver goods, we connect people with purpose.

Executive Team

The Team Behind the Fikes Family


Gary Salisbury PhotoGary Salisbury, Chairman/CEO

Gary Salisbury is among the select group of trucking executives who can claim to know the industry from behind the wheel and behind the desk. He began his multi-faceted career as an owner-operator operating under his own authority prior to leasing to Fikes, and in the 30 years since then, has worked in almost every aspect of the industry including sales, dispatch, and management.

In 1995, Gary accepted a position on Fikes' executive team where his leadership skills have been instrumental in growing the business from an 11-truck company operating in Arkansas to a $70+ million transportation firm servicing well-known manufacturers across the United States. Today, Gary is President and CEO of one of the nation's premier flatbed specialists, contracting with a sizable fleet of Owner Operators and utilizing terminals in Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, and Texas.

His first-hand experience with the driver-side of the transportation equation makes Gary a sought after expert on recruitment and retention issues. At Fikes, he has instituted cutting-edge programs to attract and retain owner-operators, and the company has enjoyed a retention rate significantly higher than industry averages. He is also a leading proponent of shipper relations and serves on the Carrier-Shipper Committee for the Truckload Carriers Association where he advocates open dialogue and long-term partnerships.

Gary is a member of the American Trucking Associations, the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Texas Motor Transport Association. In 2011 he served as the Chairman of the Board for the  Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) where he continues to serve on the Board. In 2012, he accepted the Chaimanship for the Arkansas Trucking Association.



 


Jim Smith, Chairman Emeritus

Jim Smith purchased Fikes Truck Line in 1981, understanding that the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 would create ample opportunity for a company that was poised for expansion. In less than 30 years, he grew the small intrastate carrier into one of the nation's most-respected flat-bed specialists with 48-state operating and brokering authority; an accomplishment achieved through vision, tenacity, and a talent for inspiring others.

Born in Arkansas and raised in Kansas City when jazz was king, Jim studied guitar at the Kansas City Conservatory before entering the Navy. Trained as a meteorologist, he met his wife Hannah while on duty in London. In 1963, he embarked on a career in trucking, where a mentor at Gordon's Transport taught him to solicit freight. He became the Director of Sales for ABF Freight Systems in 1979, hiring and training a highly successful team.

By the time Jim purchased Fikes, he was adept at finding business and fostering people's abilities. ""Not giving up and learning from our mistakes, that was the hard part,"" says Jim who was a novice in the flat bed business, operations, regulations and compliance.

It was Jim's goal to expand Fikes from the start. He began by gaining operating authority in the states adjacent to Arkansas and by the Spring of 1982, Fikes was running in 48-states. He was able to take several existing customers national, while forging new relationships with shippers in the right areas. Company lore from the early days has Jim driving through the towns of Arkansas and introducing himself to potential owner operators. When his contractors wanted to come in off the road, he encouraged them, eventually cultivating his own management team.

Jim is well-known in the trucking industry and has served on numerous Boards and Committees for the Arkansas Trucking Associations and the American Trucking Associations.