American Truck Historical Society members and guests gathered for the official opening and induction ceremony of the American Trucking and Industry Hall of Fame and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of American Truck Historical Society at its home office in Kansas City, Missouri. 

“The official ribbon-cutting of the American Trucking and Industry Leaders Hall of Fame and honoring the contributions of the inductees was indeed a great day for all aspects of the trucking industry. The ATIL Hall of Fame and ATHS Visitor Center celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of the professional truck driver and industry leaders. The American trucking industry provides for the needs of our great nation and is deserving of this recognition,” said Tom Mullen, ATIL Hall of Fame Chair. 

2021 Trucker Hall of Fame inductees
2021 ATIL Hall of Fame inductees inaugural class (l to r): Dave Nemo, Mack Trucks founders John “Jack” and Augustus “Gus” Mack (accepting is Jeff Oldham, vice president for Mack Trucks’ central region), Clessie Lyle Cummins (accepting is Amy Boerger, vice president of the Cummins North American Business) and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (accepting is Todd Spencer, OOIDA president).

Meet the inaugural inductees:

Clessie Lyle Cummins (1888-1968), founder of the Cummins Engine Co., in 1919. Upon acceptance, Vice President of the Cummins North American Business Amy Boerger said, “Clessie was an inventor, entrepreneur, and salesman who pioneered and designed diesel engines. He was awarded 33+ U.S. patents for his inventions and had numerous world records for his endurance and speed for trucks, buses, and race cars. We are now a global power provider because of the vision of one pioneer 102 years ago, Clessie Cummins. His legacy continues to live on in the name of our company. The pioneers of this industry have made it what it is today, one of the most critical industries in the U.S. Nearly 8 million people are employed in trucking-related careers. There are nearly 3.6 million drivers. Most goods consumed in the U.S. are put on a truck at some point. In fact, trucking hauled 70% of the freight transported in the U.S., and the trucking industry was nearly an $800 billion industry in 2019. It’s important to recognize the important role trucking plays in our lives and in the lives of all Americans and making sure we preserve the history of trucking and its important role.”

Jack (1864-1924) and Gus (1873-1940) Mack, founders of Mack Trucks, Inc. started their company, the Mack Brothers Company, in 1900. The Mack brothers actually entered the vehicle manufacturing business seven years earlier, when they purchased the Fallesen & Berry carriage company, which included some experimentation with electric vehicles in the 1890s. The company produced its first successful motorized vehicle in 1900. The company adopted its present name, Mack Trucks, Inc., in 1922. The company's trademark is the Bulldog. Mack trucks earned this nickname in 1917, during World War I, when British soldiers dubbed the Mack AC model the Bulldog Mack. Its pugnacious, blunt-nosed hood, coupled with its incredible durability, reminded the soldiers of the tenacious qualities of their country's mascot. “When Jack and Gus Mack, founders of Mack Trucks, Inc., started the company in 1900, it’s unlikely they could have predicted the profound, lasting impact that their legacy and Mack Trucks represent today as the most well-known truck brand in the industry,” said Martin Weissburg, president of Mack Trucks. “All of us at Mack Trucks are incredibly proud of what Mack stands for – strength, durability, reliability – and for Jack and Gus Mack to be among the first inductees into the American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame.”

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer said, “To really appreciate truckers and the role that trucking plays in all of our lives no matter what we do, it’s important to add some perspective on how things evolved through the years, the sacrifices made, and how things worked to keep our store shelves stocked. We can do it better if we understand where we came from. This (ATIL Hall of Fame ceremony) is a celebration of people working together to overcome all kinds of odds to make our country what it is today. This celebration of trucking honors our organization along with others who are very deserving.”

Dave Nemo, trucking radio icon, honored for being the friendly voice on trucking radio providing entertainment and news for truck drivers, comments, “Our (trucking radio) job was to keep truckers awake, alert, and alive. Our mandate is different now to bring as much viable and important information to drivers on the road to provide clarity in this sea of information.” On preserving trucking history, he shares, “You don’t know where you are going unless you know where you’ve been. History can be lost, and that is why the ATHS is so important. They are determined to keep that history alive. The ATIL Hall of Fame is as much about going into the future as it is looking at the past. It’s about the equipment, the trucks, it’s about the history, the iron – but it really boils down to the people. The people who make them. The people who drive them. The people who sell them. The people who service them. ATIL Hall of Fame is going to be all-inclusive of the trucking industry.” 

The American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame announced its first participating partner that will have a display. Congratulations to Walmart Transportation. Regional Transportation Manager Nate Lewis and Regional General Manager Mike Del Rosario attended and gave remarks during the ceremony. “It is a good fit for us, 50 years for ATHS and 50 years for Walmart. We are built on the success of our transportation associates and drivers. We support our drivers. Many of our drivers have exceptional accomplishments in the trucking industry. A lot of our drivers are members of ATHS. We want to support our drivers and the industry as a whole,” said Lewis.