Award-Winning Truck Writer Patricia Smith Dies

December 12, 2013

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe

Trucking journalist/communications specialist Patricia McCullough Smith, who served the trucking industry for nearly three decades, passed away Dec. 10 at the McMinnville, Ore., home she shared with her husband Doug.

Most of her career was with Heavy Duty Trucking magazine, which she joined in 1985. As senior editor, her assignments included writing the HDT Hotline newsletter and business features, website news, and covering regulatory issues, the aftermarket and truck dealers.

Highly respected for her reporting accuracy and depth, and for her journalistic integrity, Smith earned numerous awards. She shared in a dozen Jesse H. Neals — regarded as the Pulitzers of business publishing — as well as several American Society of Business Publication Editors and Maggie awards. Her winners included stories on bad drivers, emissions regulations and drug testing. She also shared in a Grand Neal for a report on hours of service. 

In 1998 she researched and wrote four of the 10 chapters of HDT’s highly acclaimed special issue 100 Years of Trucking. She retired three years later.

In the late 1970s, Smith was Volvo communications director for Freightliner/Volvo in Portland, Ore. When Volvo White Truck Corp. was formed in 1981 she moved to their Greensboro, N.C., headquarters to be public relations manager and serve on the executive management team. In 1984 she became a partner in the late Jack Thiessen’s PR Counselors company. Newport Communications Group (HDT’s then-parent company) hired both partners the following year.

Born in Murtaugh, Idaho, in 1947, Smith held a BA in communications, and did continuing education at Wake Forest University. She earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in Twin Falls, Idaho. Donations of books in her memory to school reading programs or libraries are suggested.


  1. 1. Stephen Petit [ December 13, 2013 @ 12:03PM ]

    I read Pat Smith faithfully when I first started reporting on the trucking business in the early 1990s. Her Hotline stories were some of the best examples of business writing I saw, and her knowledge of the industry seemed so incredibly thorough and impressive. I figured she must know *everybody.* So sorry to see that she has passed.


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.


ELDs and Telematics

sponsored by
sponsor logo

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All