julie mills june mom

Julie Mills achieves success with safety and education skills

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If life had turned out differently, Julie Mills might be happily teaching third graders in Cumberland County, New Jersey. As many truck drivers can attest, however, our lives don’t always follow the path we plan. Mills is still using the knowledge and skills she acquired while studying for a teaching career, but instead of teaching school, she’s using those skills to keep drivers safe. Mills serves as the director of safety at Camden, New Jersey-based NFI Transportation. She’s also Women in Trucking’s June Member of the Month. Mills came to trucking like many others do. She graduated with a Master of...
David McKinney's truck, Part Time

At the Truck Stop: Quality, integrity are bywords of McKinney family’s 14-truck business

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LEXINGTON, Ala. — David McKinney’s 2016 Peterbilt Pride and Class 389, affectionately named “Part Time,” was a white Fitzgerald Glider kit when purchased. “It looked like a company truck,” McKinney said, “but we’ve completely redone it. He added accent stripes and accents inside and out and teamed the tractor with a Reitnouer “Big Bubba” aluminum trailer with matching accents. Choosing Peterbilt was easy for McKinney. “I have driven Peterbilts since I was 21,” he said, “but this was my first brand-new truck.” Getting into trucking was an easy choice, too. “In the area where I live, if you didn’t know somebody,...
Robert Morris and his autism truck, Fiona

One puzzle piece at a time: Robert Morris and ‘Fiona’ increase autism awareness with...

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VILLA RICA, Ga. — Robert Morris has a lot of women in his life. “I live with seven females,” he said. “There’s my wife, twin daughters Amber and Summer (19), and three other daughters, Hayley (15), Emily (13), Caydence (7) — plus the dog.” Then there’s “Fiona,” the 2018 Peterbilt Morris drives for CDJ Bulk Express, based in West Columbia, South Carolina. As for Morris, a lot of years passed between the first time he took the wheel of a tractor-trailer and Fiona’s arrival. Growing up below the wheel “I’m a 16-year driver with 38 years of experience,” Morris said with a laugh. Like several...

Pilot Flying J’s annual Road Warrior contest for professional drivers returns with weekly sweepstakes...

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Flying J has announced the kickoff of its seventh annual Road Warrior contest to recognize professional truck drivers for their dedication to keeping our country going. From June 22 through July 20, 2020, anyone can nominate a professional driver into the Road Warrior contest for the chance to be named the 2020 Road Warrior and receive the grand prize of $10,000. New this year, Pilot Flying J is also introducing a weekly sweepstakes to the program and will randomly select 100 professional driver entries each week during the nomination period — a total of 400 winners throughout the contest — to win 5,000 myRewards loyalty points, a $50 in-store value. “Professional drivers brave the roads each and every day...
Al Aukema proposed to Amanda Valleroy

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

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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,...
Ed and Tracy Zimmerman

‘An amazing moment in time’: Team drivers rescue motorist from burning car in 36...

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Most truck drivers spend the better part of the year over the road. In the overall calculations of the total minutes on the road, 36 minutes doesn’t seem very significant. For Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc., drivers Ed and Tracy Zimmerman — and one very lucky motorist — on a late spring morning along a West Virginia interstate, it only took 36 minutes for several lives to be changed and one to be saved. The Zimmermans, a driver team and married couple from Kenesaw, Nebraska, wouldn’t normally have been in West Virginia that day in May 2019, the couple said, noting that...
Don Lewis

Career for a lifetime: Veteran driver Don Lewis discovered love of trucking at early...

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As a boy growing up on a small family farm outside Neosho, Missouri, in the 1960s, Don Lewis was no stranger to trucks and heavy machinery; hauling hay was all in a day’s work, and driving a truck was not considered an “adventure.” That all changed when, as a teenager, Lewis struck up a friendship with a neighbor — who just happened to be a truck driver. “He had a Peterbilt, and it was big and shiny red,” remembers Lewis, now 70. “If he was home on the weekends, after I finished my chores, I’d go down there and help him...
May OO

‘The truck comes first’: Kevin Kocmich finds success through tedious planning

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Kevin Kocmich and his wife, Joy, might take a vacation. With a $25,000 check in his pocket, the two could afford a little time off. But like many other self-employment opportunities, working as an owner-operator means running a small business — and the business’s finances and stability come first. “We want to make a trip to Alaska,” said Kevin, noting that he and his wife have driven there in the truck for work. “Joy wants to make a trip up there for a vacation. That might be in the plan for next year. It won’t be this year, but I...
John and Rick Tetrault

Father knows best: Son follows dad’s footsteps right into the driver’s seat

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Back in the 1940s and 1950s there was a radio and television sitcom called “Father Knows Best.” On the show, the father, Jim Anderson (played by Robert Young), dispensed fatherly advice to his three children. As sitcom scripts usually go, the advice was well heeded, and everything was always well with the family by the end of episode. Fast-forward to 2015. It was a father’s advice to his son that landed the latter a job with Averitt Express where, within a short, time the son became a trainer, a mentor, a member of the Driver Advisory Council and a Tennessee Road...
Driver William Snead is honored with a driver of the year plaque

At The Truck Stop: C.R. England driver racks up 3 million safe miles, serves...

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COVID-19 aside, professional truck-driver turnover and the professional truck-driver shortage are common topics when motor-carrier executives gather in person — or on Zoom, in accordance with today’s social-distancing guidelines. If there were more Will Sneads sitting behind the wheel of a big rig and driving the nation’s highways, those executives would need to find something else to occupy their meeting time. Snead, you see, has been a professional truck driver for 25 years — 23 of those with the same company, namely C.R. England in Salt Lake City. This quarter-of-a-century tenure has allowed Snead, age 48, to rack up 3 million safe...
Wes and Cindy pose with their truck

Teaming up: Wes and Cindy Ward appreciate trucking fellowship

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When the word “team” is used in trucking, it usually denotes two drivers taking turns at the wheel of one truck. In the case of Wes and Cindy Ward, it means traveling and serving together. “I do the driving,” Wes told The Trucker. “Cindy keeps me fed and taken care of. Whether it’s cooking, trip planning or preparing for the next truck show, Cindy stays busy.” The Maynardville, Tennessee-based couple owns a 2004 Peterbilt 379, christened “Prayerbilt,” that has an extended hood. “We named it ‘Prayerbilt’ because, really, everyone’s life is built on prayer,” Wes explained. The truck, equipped with a 1999 Caterpillar...
Motorcycle riders pray before leaving

Big G Express more than doubles fundraising goal with motorcycle ride benefiting St. Jude’s

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SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. — The fifth annual Big G Motorcycle Ride benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was a roaring success with the carrier’s riders and supporters raising $25,000, $15,000 above this year’s goal. Starting in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, kickstands went up at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 30, sending the 148 registered motorcycle riders approximately 75 miles to Monteagle, Tennessee, where the fundraiser auction was held at Jim Oliver’s Smokehouse Restaurant. The weather and atmosphere were ideal for the event, according to Karla Butler, manager of driver recruiting and driver services for Big G. “Everyone should do this. Put it on your bucket...
Kevin and Candice Rawls stand in front of their truck

At the Truck Stop: Kevin and Candice Rawls work as a team partnership in...

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PARAGOULD, Ark. — How do an assistant instructor at a regional college and a phlebotomist at a local medical center spend their lives once the kids are grown? If they’re Kevin and Candice Rawls of Paragould, Arkansas, they go to school together to get their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs); then hit the road as team truck drivers. “Once the kids were grown, we thought trucking would give us a way to travel together and put away some money,” Candice said. “Back home, she always drove small cars,” Kevin said. “But since she started driving a big truck, we had to buy a...
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#TruckerHatTip – PACCAR tips their hats to truckers

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Join the PACCAR team as they tip their hats to America's truck drivers! PACCAR Parts, in conjunction with TRP, PacLease, Kenworth and Peterbilt Trucks has developed a Trucker Hat Tip video to thank truckers for their hard work and keeping the industry moving.
NN Joe portrait

The Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall: Following his parents’ road map to success

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“One thing about truck drivers is that they never change.” Those are the words of Joe Bonsall, one of four members of The Oak Ridge Boys (ORB), a quartet approaching a half-century atop the country music world. Over the decades as they’ve toured America, the ORB have shared untold highway miles with professional truck drivers. “Truckers are the same people they’ve always been. They have the same values. And every one you run into is solid red, white, and blue.” Bonsall’s description of truck drivers could just as easily apply to his own life. The ORB are perhaps best known for their...
Bud Hunter with Charlie Daniels

Driving for the stars: Bud Hunter tells of 30 years hauling for entertainers

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Bud Hunter can’t remember a time when trucking wasn’t part of his life. “Ever since I was born, I was always around trucks,” the Joplin, Missouri-based driver said. Hunter grew up around trucks for good reason: The occupation runs in the family. “My dad was a truck driver. I went with my dad every chance I got,” he said, adding that he wasn’t simply tagging along for the ride. “Little did I know, the whole time I rode, he was teaching me the business,” Hunter said. “He’d always tell me to pull out the road map and tell him how far it was...
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The Trucker News Channel – Trucker gun battle

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In this edition we cover... - Trucker shoots it out with cops - Bees close down truck stop in Nevada - Customs broker scam Hi, I'm David Compton. A trucker dies in a shootout with police, a customs broker's scam goes up in smoke, and something's buzzing at a rest stop in Nevada. These are just some of the stories we're going to cover on this edition of the trucker news channel. A suspect has been identified as Joshua Blessed, a 58-year-old truck driver from Yurman Express, as he led New York law enforcement officials on a chase that spanned three counties and lasted...
Harold Hyde getting into his truck

Old Dominion driver recognized with distinguished service award for selflessness, dedication to others

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. has recognized Harold Hyde, a Nashville, Tennessee, pickup and delivery driver, with the esteemed 2020 John Yowell OD Family Spirit Award. Hyde received the annual service recognition for his remarkable courage, heroism and selfless dedication to others. In August 2019, Hyde was driving on McCrory Lane in Davidson County (Tennessee) while en route to a customer delivery when he noticed cars swerving to miss an object in the road. As he approached, he realized the object in the road was a 4-year-old boy. Without hesitation, Hyde immediately pulled his Old Dominion tractor-trailer across...
Sharae Moore sitting in her newly purchased bright blue truck

S.H.E. Trucking founder discovers common bond with her father as she pursues a career...

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — “I can’t change my past, so I decided to change my future.” This statement by Sharae Moore, founder of S.H.E. Trucking, touches a resonant chord with many people, and it reflects her outlook on her career as well as her friendships and family relationships. Moore and her father, Carlos Crutcher share a unique father-daughter bond: Both are experienced over-the-road truck drivers. Moore is an owner-operator and drives for Riverside Transport Inc., while Crutcher is a company driver for Tranco Logistics. The two achieved their career goals through very different paths. After working as a certified nurse assistant for...