NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Howes Hall of Fame has named its newest inductee: Eric Harley, a long-time broadcaster and co-host of Red Eye Radio.
“With a name you may recognize and a face you may not, one thing Eric has always been known for is his voice,” a Howes news release stated. “He is currently the immensely popular co-host of Red Eye Radio Network, an overnight trucking radio show, which can be heard every morning between 1-6 a.m. Eastern on over 240 radio stations. A beacon in the night for millions of drivers, Eric’s top priority lies in keeping truckers awake and alert over the long stretches of dark, lonely highways.”
Beginning his career in radio right out of high school more than 35 years ago, Harley began his venture into trucking radio in 1996 when he joined Bill Mack, known as The Midnight Cowboy, on The Midnight Cowboy Radio Network.
This was no accident.
Harley has a prominent family history in the trucking industry. Both of his grandfathers were truckers — one who started before the Great Depression and the other who drove before, during and after World War II.
His father was also a truck driver, delivering crucial pharmaceuticals after his military career. Today, his brother in-law runs his own business driving a truck out of Oklahoma.
“Given his family history in trucking, throughout his career, Eric has always understood that the audience he plays to relies on him deeply,” according to the news release.
“Not just an entertainer, Eric delivers vital news on changing equipment and regulations, giving truck drivers the information they need to stay up-to-date and make important decisions about their livelihood,” the news release continued. “He is also mindful to not simply talk at drivers, but to include them in conversation as these processes unfold. Listening to and engaging with truck drivers allows him to put his finger on the pulse of the people who make up the industry; what Eric calls an “interesting and continuous learning experience.”
While Harley has spent plenty of time rubbing shoulders with famous personalities, such as Willie Nelson and Lee Greenwood, it is the opportunity to speak with drivers that he said he appreciates the most.
“I’ve had a lot of fun hanging out with celebrities, but wow, I really cherish the time, the moments, that I can share with the drivers and the information that they share with me,” Harley said. “The ones I’m most proud to meet are the truck drivers because I learn so much every time I have a conversation with them.”
Harley credits his family ties to the trucking industry for helping him forge the many relationships he has had with truckers over the years — relationships that he says have helped him learn all about the job and what it takes to do it.
“My brother Rob and I have had the opportunity to be interviewed by Eric on a number of occasions and we always come away feeling like we just had a conversation with a friend or co-worker,” Erika Howes, vice president of business development, said. “His pointed questions, great listening skills and thoughtful responses make his interviews feel casual and relaxed but always professional. Eric has a knack not just for understanding people, but for finding a way to connect with them.”
Harley labels himself as an advocate for the trucking industry; specifically, for the truckers themselves.
“He knows first-hand the importance of truckers and works tirelessly to help remind others,” the news release stated. “He has met and spoken with countless drivers, all of whom he sees as an extended part of his family and is ever mindful that without them the economy stops. He knows what it takes to move America’s freight and that it would be a tremendous hardship on our way of life if these drivers were to stop rolling.”
Back in 2020, Howes Products launched the Howes Hall of Fame, a digital platform designed to honor outstanding people, places and things in the trucking and farming industries.
Since its inception, the hall has been populated with inductees across a spectrum of categories.
Harley will join an impressive list of prior inductees including:
- Ellen Voie – Founder and President of Women in Trucking
- The Iowa 80 Truckstop – the world’s largest truck stop
- Tony Justice – truck driver and country music star
- Truckers Against Trafficking – training truckers to spot illegal human trafficking
- Peterson Farm Brothers – a family depicting the challenges of modern-day farming
- Billy Stone – an all-American driver representing the heart of the trucking industry
For more information and to learn more about the Howes Hall of Fame, visit howesproducts.com/hof
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.