Home Authors Posts by Sam Pierce

Sam Pierce

Sam Pierce has been a journalist for more than a decade and has written for several publications including The Trucker, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Living Our Faith magazine. He enjoys spending time with his family including his two daughters. They like to watch movies, read books and build LEGO sets.
Sign for Association of Christian Truckers

‘Home on the road’: Association of Christian Truckers offers services, free parking to drivers

BROWNSTOWN, Ill. — According to Mark Hewett, you can’t be a man’s counselor until you become his friend. That is the main goal for the Association of Christian Truckers, a group in which Hewett serves as a minister. The nonprofit organization was formed in 1976 to serve as a ministry to truck drivers. “Throughout the years things have changed a little bit, but our ministry mostly consists of drivers coming off the freeway for free laundry, free parking, free snacks or coffee,” Hewett said. “Whatever we can do to help the drivers. We don’t push the Bible on them.” Hewett, who...
waitress honored for saving trucker's life

‘She saved my life’: Tennessee waitress wakes truck driver in burning truck

LEBANON, Tenn. — A series of coincidences led to a miraculous save for Phyllis Banfield, a waitress at Uncle Pete’s Travel Center on Sparta Pike in Lebanon, Tennessee. One April morning this year, Banfield left her house earlier than usual for her shift at Uncle Pete’s and parked in a spot that wasn’t her usual spot. If she had parked where she normally did, she said, she might not have seen the fire across the road. “I wouldn’t have seen all those people. I might have seen the fire, but I don’t know what I would have done,” she said. “I...
Kathy Wolter

After their kids left home, Kathy Wolter and her husband Jeff hit the road...

Making the change from being a full-time mom and dealing with an empty nest is never easy. Luckily for Kathy Wolter and her husband, Jeff, the two have found a shared passion to pursue. “Our adventure of raising kids was over. They left us with an empty nest, and it made us realize that an opportunity and a desire arose for a new adventure,” said Kathy, adding that the couple has now been in the trucking industry more than 10 years. “We both realized, we had a desire for something else — something more exciting,” she continued. “We just started thinking,...
NCI driver and president

Carrier Profile: Those who deliver — National Carriers Inc.

Jim Franck fell into trucking mostly by accident. Originally, he planned to go to law school, but there was an abundance of attorneys at the time, so Franck decided to take a year off and work for a driver training school. After working there, he decided to stay in the business, and he said it has been a pretty good decision so far. His professional trucking career began in 1980 and he’s been in a management role of a trucking operation for 40 years except for a short period when he ran his own business. Franck has been the president at...
Alltown Fresh Exterior

Alltown Fresh offers healthy on-the-go food options for drivers in Massachusetts, Connecticut

Waltham, Mass. — For truck driver who are constantly on the road, a sedentary lifestyle is part of the job. In addition, finding healthy food options is not always a possibility. Alltown Fresh, a convenience store and fueling station with locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut, is hoping to change that for commercial drivers and commuters alike. “We are really setting the frontier for what convenience can be, where wellness and nourishment is not separated,” said Ryan Riggs, senior vice president of retail operations for Alltown Fresh. “I am confident by talking to drivers, we are able to see how our...
Al Aukema proposed to Amanda Valleroy

Couple shares story of finding love for each other and truck driving

SPARTA, Ill. — When Amanda Valleroy, of Sparta, Illinois, was enrolled at the 160 Driving Academy in Belleville, Illinois, one of her driving instructors was Matt Craft. While she was attending the school, she discovered Craft was also a minister who pastors the Nashville First Assembly of God church in Nashville, Illinois. “I went there a couple of times, but I didn’t regularly attend,” Valleroy said, adding that her fiancé later attended the same driving school. “Now, Matt is going to be the minster that is going to marry us. It is an interesting twist for sure.” Valleroy and her fiancé,...
truck driving on highway with sunset in background

Here to help: Nonprofit provides assistance for drivers impacted by illness, injury

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, one nonprofit is trying to be proactive in its efforts to support truckers nationwide. “We are starting to see applications specifically related to COVID,” said Shannon Currier, director of philanthropy and development for St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF). “It is starting to hit the industry a little bit at a time,” she continued. “We are seeing those applications come in, and we are trying to be proactive and meet the needs of drivers.” According SCF’s website, truckersfund.org, the nonprofit assists over-the-road and regional semi-truck drivers and their families when an illness or injury,...
Person packing boxes of donations in front of a convoy of hope trailer

A belief in the mission: Faith-based group provides relief in times of crisis

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In recent months, truck drivers have once again earned the title of “knights of the highway,” ensuring that supplies reach their intended destination in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic. For one Missouri-based nonprofit, that goal of helping others in times of crisis has never wavered. A faith-based organization that distributes food and relief supplies, Convoy of Hope has partnerships with large food corporations, allowing the group to provide aid through several different programs. While the convoy has offered much-needed assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, members of the group usually help with disaster relief to communities that have...
graduation cap positioned on top of books

TCA now accepting college scholarship applications for funds provided by the trucking community

The Truckload Carriers Association awards about 50 scholarships to students each year to students who have a family connection to TCA. One past recipient of one of the top scholarships is Blake Quinn of Springfield Missouri, who is a student at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. His dad works for Prime Inc., and Quinn is studying supply management. “As I progress through my college career, I am made increasingly more aware of the impact the trucking industry has had (and continues to have) on my family life,” Quinn said in a press release from TCA. “As a supply-chain major, I...
Tony Justice posed with guitar and truck

Howes Hall of Fame announces Tony Justice as second inductee for inaugural class of...

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Independent musician and truck driver Tony Justice has been selected as the second person to be inducted into the inaugural class of the Howes Hall of Fame for 2020. “It is just a huge honor,” Justice said. “Something I never would have dreamed about or thought about. It brings a positive light on the industry that we have gathered that much support. It is a really big honor.” According to a press release from Howes, Justice has sold more than 100,000 albums in the past nine years — in addition to averaging more than 2,500 miles per...
Bobs Parking 1

Trucker’s son felt ‘called’ to offer free truck parking at his lot on I-44...

STRAFFORD, Mo. – In an effort to support truck drivers and give them a safe place to park overnight, Bob Mericle is offering free parking at his lot in Strafford, Missouri. “There is no charge whatsoever,” he said. “I just wanted a spot for drivers to come in and get some rest. I wanted to find a way to help drivers.” Mericle opened Bob’s Parking, which sits on a 15 acre lot, on Interstate 44 about three months ago. He said he had some extra spaces, so he decided to help and it has really blown up across social media. “We appreciate...
trucker supply drive

Idaho community steps up to provide food, essentials for truck drivers

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — The generosity of the community has been overwhelming for one trucking company in Idaho. “It took us by surprise,” said Whitney Polson, human-resource director for Super T Transport. “To see the outpouring of love and support for the drivers, and the outpouring from communities across the country, it has been a moving experience. This is hard for them too, and you don’t know until you are in the driver’s seat.” Recently Super T Transport held a canned-food donation drive. While Polson said she couldn’t say exactly how much was donated, she said they received enough food to...
sample letter to truckers

Mississippi students say ‘thank you’ to truckers with hand-written messages

RICHLAND, Miss. — When Linda Waterloo accepted a temporary position with Hartfield Academy in Flowood, Mississippi, she never expected to have one of the craziest semesters of her life. Having already been a teacher for what she described as “an eternity,” she said having to move to teaching entirely online due to the current pandemic, has been quite the experience. “I have really loved it,” she said. Waterloo teaches seventh-grade English at Hartfield Academy. Recently, she and her class sent more than 60 letters to truck drivers in the area. “My son, Trey, is the CEO of Capital City Trucking, and he told...
Harolds BBQ

Small-town restaurant provides free meals for passing truck drivers

CORNING, Ark. — When Linden Massey (aka “The Crazy Pitmaster”), owner of Harold’s Bar-B-Que, put out a request on Facebook on March 25, asking the community to supply a few hamburger buns to help keep his business afloat during the COVID-19 crisis, he never expected the response he received. “I received a mountain of hamburger buns,” Massey said. He said once he received the buns, he decided to return the favor by giving out sandwiches to passing truck drivers. On the first day, he and his staff started by making 10 sandwiches at a time to give away. As news spread...