In Memory of J. B. Hunt Sr.
the trucker who founded a trucking dynasty
J. B. Hunt Sr., 79, passed away December 7, 2006 after head injuries received from a fall on ice.
December 2006 | TheDogPress.com
He was a former truck driver who founded one of the nation’s largest trucking companies. An Arkansas sharecropper's son born in 1927, he began J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. in 1969 with five tractors and seven trailers. Throughout his life, he was involved in numerous business ventures but there has so far been no mention of his connection with the puppy mill magnate.
Arkansas based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. eventually became Hunt's largest customer. All of Hunt's workers were non-union and still are. It is said he saved on fuel costs by giving bonuses to drivers who drove 55 mph. He is credited with being the first to install computers in the big rigs, thus saving time and money on long distance payphone calls between truckers and dispatch.
The trucker commentary is respectful but not affectionate and seems centered on company policy which changed after Hunt stepped down as the company's senior chairman in 2004. Many truckers allege that he had long before lost control of the board.
He is said to have been a generous man who carried $100 bills to give to anyone he perceived to be in genuine need. The company is a billion-dollar business with over 16,000 employees and a fleet of 11,000 trucks.
Johnnie Bryan Hunt was married for 54 years to his wife, Johnelle, who, along with their son, Bryan, remains on the J.B. Hunt board.