Employee Spotlight: Rick Arnold
Driver Development and Safety for Skyline
We would like to introduce you to Rick Arnold, Driver Development and Safety for Skyline. Rick rejoined Skyline in January, but this isn’t actually his first time working here. It’s not even his second.
“Third time’s a charm,” says Rick. “I guess I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”
Rick drove over the road for Skyline on two separate occasions, leaving both times for recruiting and management opportunities. He has returned to Skyline, this time in a training capacity. “I train new drivers, coach drivers on SmartDrive technology and assist in other safety-related functions.”
Born and raised in Church Hill, TN, Rick joined the Army after high school. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and political science from East Tennessee State University. While enrolled in school, he remained in the Army Reserve and was deployed to Desert Storm.
After that, Rick spent about 20 years in law enforcement. He worked for several agencies during his career: Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department, the Alcoa Police Department, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, and the Town of Hilton Head Island. During this tenure, he served as a patrolman, accident reconstructionist, field training officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, detective and code enforcement officer.
After two decades in law enforcement, Rick felt it was time for something different. Following a lot of research and advice from friends in the transportation industry, he attended the Tennessee Truck Driving School and then drove over the road for Skyline. He then accepted a position back at the Tennessee Truck Driving School as a recruiter. He returned to Skyline after several months of recruiting and became an OTR trainer before being assigned to Eastman Chemical in Kingsport as the “local driver.” Another opportunity arose and Rick left Skyline to become a terminal manager for a school bus contractor in Knox County.
“I managed 70 different contractors running 350 buses. I was constantly scrambling to cover routes and hire CDL holders. It was very stressful. That’s when I ran into Bonnie and Michael Garrabrant. Now I’m back at Skyline for a third time and I hope for a long career.”
As driver development and safety, Rick works with Michael Garrabrant, Skyline’s director of training, to prepare new drivers for OTR training and to refresh skills for returning drivers. He approaches this position stressing good communication, accountability and humility.
“You have to maintain a positive outlook. Certainly, everyone has bad days, but it can always be worse. I try to have a good attitude, learn from my mistakes and be humble. There are so many people that have it worse than I do, and it’s important to remember that. I’m blessed to be where I am, but have to work at life each day.”
Thank you, Rick, for all you do for our drivers. We’re glad to have you on the team.