HESPERIA and BARSTOW, Calif. — Brandon Chace has a love for semi-trucks and is the “world’s biggest trucking fan,” according to his dad, Patrick.
Six years ago, Brandon stopped for the first time at a Pilot Flying J travel center while on a trip with his family. He was so excited to see all of the trucks and especially to meet the drivers. Brandon and his dad have since made frequent visits, becoming friends with the store managers and getting autographs from the many drivers stopping in.
“Brandon and I have been walking around the travel center together for years getting autographs and speaking with the drivers,” said Mark, general manager for the Pilot Travel Center in Hesperia.
Patrick reached out to Pilot Flying J to share that for Brandon’s upcoming 24th birthday, he passed up the chance to go to Disneyland so that he could visit our travel center to watch the trucks and talk with professional drivers.
The Pilot Flying J team was thrilled to have the opportunity to throw Brandon a birthday party complete with balloons, cake and Pilot Flying J swag. Of course, a birthday wouldn’t be complete without a surprise.
Pilot Flying J tanker drivers surprised Brandon with a ride-along in one of the tanker trucks. “Brandon was really excited to be riding in the tanker. He was also eager to get back to the drivers at the Travel Center to talk and get more autographs,” said Bobby, one of the tanker drivers.
Mark drove Brandon around the travel center in a golf cart to receive autographs and take a tour of the whole site.
His enthusiasm was so contagious that other guests joined in celebrating Brandon.
“Loud truck horns could be heard all over as Brandon waved and encouraged drivers to honk,” said Don, another one of the tanker drivers who helped celebrate Brandon’s birthday.
Brandon said it “was the best day of his life,” and it was obvious the guests and team members that joined in the celebration would agree that it was an incredible and unforgettable day.
“I want to thank Mark, Bobby and the Pilot Flying J team for making Brandon’s dreams come true,” said Brandon’s dad.
Brandon is a great reminder that professional drivers should be celebrated not only during Driver Appreciation Month but every day.
Pilot Flying J officials said they were happy to celebrate Brandon’s birthday at its store in Barstow. “They say don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. Brandon definitely smelled the roses that day and they smelled like diesel,” Don said.
Mark looks forward to throwing Brandon a birthday party next year. He summed up the day describing that “the smile on Brandon’s face was priceless. It’s the little things in life that are most important.”