USA Truck Inc.

USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren is a dry van truckload carrier that moves general commodities via its General Freight and Dedicated Freight services. It transports goods throughout the U.S. and into Canada and Mexico.

The company began as an arm of Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith, which in 1983 formed a a small, non-union truckload carrier named Crawford Produce Inc. in the wake of trucking deregulation. In 1986, an Arkansas Best senior vice president, Robert Powell, incorporated the company under the name USA Truck.

In 1989, Powell led a group of six investors purchased USA from Arkansas Best for $2.4 million in cash plus assumption of more than $25 million in debt. By 1992, USA Truck completed its initial public offering. The company now trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol USAK.

By 1997, the company opened its new corporate office and ran 1,000 tractors. In 2000, its base revenue reached $200 million. Four years later, the company would have double the tractors and $300 million in base revenue.

Today, the company is led by CEO Clifton Beckham, who took over in August 2007 and started a turnaround that increased earnings from $140,000 that year to a profit of $3.14 million in 2008. But like other Arkansas trucking firms, it has since been challenged by the Great Recession.

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