Ken Carman started driving for ATS Inc. in March of 2017 and has been truck driving since his teen years when his grandfather taught him how to drive a big rig. “My grandfather used to take me to work with him when I went to stay with him in the summer time. He drove a truck cross country pulling a reefer unit. He was a driver his whole life. Drove till he was 75,” Carman said.
Carman said he’s done other jobs over the years but he’s always come back to trucking. “I love the freedom of being out there in the world and seeing the country side,” Carman said.
Carman is a Christian man and a family man. He was a father of five, but he tragically lost a daughter in 2012. He explained that it was during this heartbreak and his communion with God that he felt God was calling him to sing gospel music.
He was semi-retired with a large carrier when he was asked by the southern gospel group, “The Riders,” of Lumberton, Mississippi to go on tour with them. Carman said the experience held many blessings in his life, including meeting his wife, Stephaney.
Regina Duran has been our bookkeeper at American Transport Services Inc. since 2014. She handles the company money and accounts and helps the Cichirillos stay ahead of the game in business financial matters.
“I’ve always had a really good working relationship with Steve. I’ve been knowing [the Cichirillos] practically all of my life. They’re like family to me,” she said.
Regina has been married for 14 years to her husband Shaun and they have two children, daughter Shelby who will be 10 in August and son Brady who is 3. In her free time you can find Regina at the soccer field with Shelby who is on a select soccer team.
Becky Mahaffey has been an integral part of the company's growth over the last 2 years. She was ATS Inc.’s first office personnel to be brought on board in 2015. “I keep track of 16 drivers making sure they all stay in compliance with the current DOT regulations,” she explained. “I invoice our loads for payment. I take care of the quarterly International Fuel Tax Agreement reports, I manage driver and equipment updates, as well as compile payroll settlements for our drivers, so our bookkeeper can run weekly payroll.”
“My dad and mom are my sources to the trucking industry. My dad, Harry Slade, has been a truck driver for 50 years and my mom worked for brokerage companies,” Becky said.
Becky is married to Don Mahaffey. They live in Richland and together they have five daughters (2 that are graduating this May) and five grandchildren.
Colin "Big John" Sheppard
Doug has been associated with American Transport Services Inc. in Florence since 2007, before the company had its own operating authority and was still an agent for other carriers. His record is impeccable, but following the rules of the road isn’t what he loves about being a truck driver. Doug loves the feeling of freedom that hitting the road every day brings, whether it’s for work or fun.
“I’ve got a love for the job. I love providing a valuable service, and I love being on the road,” he said. “Even on my off time I’m hitting the road, doing something fun, and out here you get paid for running the roads. My uncle was an owner operator and that’s how I got interested in the business. As I continued on in high school I realized that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
Doug is married to his wife Karla and when he's not out on the road he enjoys going to rock concert, drag races or riding motorcycles with Karla.
Randy Allen has been driving trucks for 36 years and states it was his fascination with equipment and 18 wheelers that really got him into driving for a living.
Randy has been married for 31 year to his wife Karen and they have two children and 2 grandchildren. On his off time, Randy enjoys hunting, fishing, riding 4 wheelers, going to the races and mud riding. When asked what he likes the most about his job Randy states just being on the road and the scenery he gets to see each day.
Big John started driving trucks at 18 after working for a company in their terminal as a fork lift operator. He has a lot of family in the trucking industry, including a grandfather, an uncle and a cousin, so it makes sense that he graduated into making local hauls for his company and really got a taste for what trucking life would be like.
“Besides the freedom of the road, the money is good – until something breaks,” Big John said. “Then, it can really be painful to your bottom line. My best advice to any trucker is to learn how to fix your own equipment. Parts are expensive and labor more so. He said the money in trucking is good, but his advice for new truck drivers – "learn how to do some mechanic work".
Big John and wife Ruthie stay busy at home raising 4 kids They live in Florence. Family time is very important to him, he said.
I’ve tried doing a couple other things in my life and if I’m going to be tied to something that takes me away from home, it better be something I like to do. And, the truth is, trucking isn’t just a job to me. It’s a lifestyle that I enjoy and it provides for my family. Everyone is tied to something and I really enjoy the work of trucking"
Amanda Fortner has been driving trucks for 12 years and says what really got her into driving trucks besides her father being a driver is the traveling. "I wanted to travel the United States and knew that truck driving would give me that opportunity."
Amanda has been married for 2 years to her husband Anson and they have 5 children. Anson is also an owner/operator with ATS Inc. In Amanda's spare time she loves to spend time with her kids, dogs and riding her horses.
The main thing Amanda enjoys about her job is getting to see new places though she hasn't really gotten to enjoy it she loves where the job takes her.
Huey Patton is our newest driver to the team though he's been driving for 25 years. He explains that the reason he started driving trucks was because his whole family drives.. and Mr. Huey has a huge family.
Huey has been married to his wife Debra for 7 years. In his spare time he enjoys hunting and fishing but says he loves spending time with those grandbabies the most! He has 27 grandkids total.
When asked what he loves most about his job he states its the people he works for. "Everybody is so nice there and that makes a huge difference to me at a job! They really care about you here"
Michael Kuriger is our longest employed company driver. Michael has been driving trucks for 4 years now and says its the money and opportunity to see the world that opened his eyes to the world of truck driving.
Michael has been married to his wife Holly for 24 years. Michael and Holly have three children and two grandchildren. When Michael is not hauling loads he enjoys spending time with his family and grandbabies.
Meet the ATS Inc. crew...
Shane is our operations manager and has been working with us for 2 years now. Shane is a huge part of American Transport and he keeps our drivers on the road. “I drove trucks early on for a while, but dispatch and operations is what I’ve mostly done over the years,” Shane said. He keeps a sharp eye on the ever shifting demands of ATS Inc. customers and their transport needs as well as our drivers.
Shane has been married to his wife Jan for 40 years and they have one daughter, Samantha "Sam" and their two fur babies: Percy and Shadow. “Jan has been fighting cancer for a year. I am very proud of the way she has handled it. She has kept a great attitude the whole time,” he said. Her faith in the Lord is very strong and that's what gets her through the hard times."
In his free time, he likes to go boating and fishing with Jan. They are also active members of Fondren Church in Jackson.
Bobby Seals followed in his father's foot steps when he started driving trucks at 18 years old. Bobby is one of our owner/operators here at American Transport Services and when asked what he likes the most about his job he stated it was the scenery and the fact that he is never in the same place.
Bobby has been married for 14 years to his wife Monica and together they have 6 children. In his spare time, Seals enjoys being outdoors whether it's riding 4 wheelers, mud riding, fishing or in the saddle riding his horses.
ATS Inc. has top logistics and trucking professionals who know the industry inside and out.
H.D. Hood Jr. started driving trucks in September of 1989 and it has been his way of life for the last 29 years. Hood states it was the influence of his dad that made him want to drive trucks for a living. His father had a trucking career and drove a truck for 40 years until Consolidated Freight Ways closed down.
Hood states the thing he loves the most about his job is the fact that he gets to do what 98% of what other people can't. He is an owner/operator and loves the fact that he is his own boss. In his spare time, Hood states he likes to "tinker". He enjoys reloading ammo, riding four wheelers, camping, and working on his dodge when he's not on the road.
H.D. got married right out of high school in 1986 to his wife Charlotte. They have 2 daughters and 6 grandsons (3 from each of his daughters) and 1 fur baby he refers to as "my Matilda".
John Melton became an owner operator in 2009, soon after his retirement with a major national carrier. He started working with American Transport Services Inc. in July of 2012. John said that spending most of his career as a company driver gave him the advantage of experience.
“This life has been good to me. I love meeting people and talking to people. I love seeing places I’ve never seen before – I’m a paid tourist! Plus, I’m always doing my own thing. There’s freedom in driving a truck, whether you’re an owner operator or company man,” John explains. “There’s no boss looking over your shoulder or telling you what to do, and you’re not tied to a desk.”
John spends his down time at home in Braxton, Mississippi with his companion Eva Mae White. They enjoy raising chickens and miniature goats. They also enjoy sharing the eggs from their chicken coop with those in need in their community and with friends who love fresh eggs.
Tim Yates has been driving trucks for 26 years. He remembers when he was younger he always had a fascination with the road and said it hypnotized him. Tim explains "Its actually a funny story about how I got into trucking. When I was younger, I always told my dad I was gonna be a truck driver to which he would say I couldn't do it. Well I've always been the type to where if someone says I can't.. I'm gonna show them that I can! So it's funny now when my dad calls me he always ask where I'm at or where I'm headed"
Tim has been married to his wife Renee for going on 7 years and between them they have four children. Tim and Renee also have fur babies being two dogs and 5 rabbits.
When asked what he likes most about his job Tim explains "This job is different from any other job I've had. Here at ATS Inc. it's more of a family feel. They care about you and your safety above all else and not just the loads we're transporting."
Richard Collins has been with ATS Inc. a little under a year , but has been driving trucks for 39 years. Collins drives a company truck for "Big John" Sheppard.
Collins said in the late 1970’s he was working for John Deere assembling tractors when he got his first taste for what it’d be like on the road. “A very good friend of mine took me on a ride, and well, I was hooked,” Collins said. It was 1979, he explained. “I gotta be truthful, what I really liked was seeing the country at someone else’s expense,” he said.
Richard and his wife Juanita have 4 children, 7 grandchildren and a great-grandchild, too. They like spending their time with their growing family and are known for their love of dogs – they raise and breed Yorkies.
Richard also has a special riding partner – his schnauzer named “Pot-Pot.”
Anson Fortner has been driving trucks for 18 years and explains besides it being a family tradition it was always a dream of his to drive trucks. Anson explains that a lot of his best memories were out on the road and he finds a lot of joy in truck driving.
Anson has been married to his wife Amanda "Mandy" for 2 years and combined they have 5 kids. In his spare time he enjoys doing whatever the kids have going on and spending time with his family.
He states what he likes most about his job he explains "Sometimes its just the ride.. its peaceful. I can listen to my old country music and ride around and make money in the process".
Travis Highbaugh has been driving trucks for 43 years since he was 18 years old. Travis states the drive behind him wanting to make a career out of driving trucks is a family tradition for him.
Travis has been married to his wife for 6 years and in his spare time he enjoys fishing, hunting, and spending his time with her.
What he loves most about his job is being in new places.
Billy Williams has been driving trucks for 43 years and states what drove him to driving a truck was the fact that he didn't want to work for anybody. Billy being an owner/operator says he liked the freedom of not having anyone look over his shoulder.
Billy has 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. In his off time he enjoys looking at old cars and spending time with his family.
Dwayne Johnson has been driving trucks for 23 years for a career but states he has actually been driving since his feet could hit the petals. Dwayne grew up around trucking and states that's what he knows other than logging but that its not for everybody.
Dwayne has been married to his wife Debbie for 14 years and they have 5 kids and 17 grandchildren. When he's not on the road he enjoys riding his motorcycle and fishing.
When asked what he enjoys the most about his job, he explains it's the people he works for.
Michael Willis has been driving trucks for 21 years. He explains the drive to be a truck driver came from his father being a driver and that was all he ever wanted to do.
Michael has 2 children, a daughter and son. In his spare time when he's not on the road he enjoys spending time with his kids and mother.. and resting!
When asked what Michael likes the most about his job he says its the freedom of the open road and working for this company.
Jason Grimes has been driving trucks for 24 years and explains that it was the fascination of driving trucks that gave him the push to want to make it a career. Growing up his father drove trucks, so trucking was something that was a part of his life from an early age.
Grimes explains that in his spare time when he's not on the road he enjoys anything that has to do with family. Jason and his wife Ruby have been married for 6 years. Jason and Ruby have 6 children, 2 grandchildren and a granddaughter on the way. In addition to his children and grandchildren, Jason has 3 fur babies: Stella (his English bulldog), Turbo, and Bella (his 2 Chiuauas).
When asked what his family and friends would say about him Jason explains that he would like to think that he would be thought of as a good husband and father as well as grandfather. Jason is someone with a huge heart and would help anyone in any way he could and his personality is one of a kind.