WIT member Tiffany Hanna named winner of truck giveaway

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Left to right are Jim Stevenson, Arrow director of national accounts; Ellen Voie, WIT president and CEO; truck winner Tiffany Hanna and Arrow’s Jim Taber. (Photo courtesy: ARROW TRUCK SALES) LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Prime, Inc. driver Tiffany Hanna has been named winner of Women In Trucking’s 2018 Truck Giveaway, sponsored by Arrow Truck Sales. Hanna was announced as the winner at the “Salute to Women Behind the Wheel” event at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky March 24. WIT member Hannais now the owner of a 2014 Volvo VNL670 truck, donated by Arrow. She was selected from applicants who submitted an essay...

Texas driver Mike Sheeds grand prize winner of 4th annual Road Warrior contest

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A professional driver of more than 27 years, Mike Sheeds has over 3.5 million safe driving miles under his belt. Sheeds has trained more than 300 students throughout his career. (Courtesy: PILOT FLYING J) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Flying J has announced the winners of its fourth annual Road Warrior program, recognizing the "heroes on the road" with cash prizes. Mike Sheeds of Bandera, Texas, Terry Lee of Robert, Louisiana, and Desiree Ridley of Davenport, Florida, have been named the grand, second and third place Road Warrior winners respectively. Pilot Flying J hosts the annual online contest to show appreciation for professional...

41 women with 600 years driving experience attend Toronto ‘Salute’

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  MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Canada's third Salute to Women Behind the Wheel took place at Truck World on April 21, bringing together 41 female commercial drivers for the celebration. The group included women of all ages, with years of experience ranging from less than one year to more than 40 years. Their combined experience totaled 600 years, proving that while women drivers may be few in number they are not new to trucking. The Salute is an initiative of Women In Trucking (WIT) to honor female drivers and recognize them for their service. WIT has hosted a Salute at the Mid-America...

Baggett Transportation is family company; comprises people who ‘get along together’

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — When Joe Donald graduated college in 1984, he thought he might be able to spend some time over the next few weeks on the beach and then the ski slopes. But his grandfather, William Sellers, who owned Baggett Transportation, had other ideas for the young graduate. “My grandfather gave me seven days off,” Donald, now the company president, said. “I showed up here the day after Labor Day in 1984 and have been here ever since.” It certainly wasn’t his first foray at the carrier, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. “I started working here back in the...

Diabetes prevention-maintenance programs specialize their services for truckers

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Kay Pfeiffer of TrueLifeCare conducted her first Mid-American Trucking Show seminar this year. She’s becoming a regular at high-profile trucking industry events, spreading the word about the growing problem diabetes poses to the trucking industry. At MATS, she opened her presentation by listing several celebrities who have diabetes: Mariah Carey, Drew Carey, Billie Jean King, Larry King, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and others. The subtext was that diabetes can be found in every walk of life and it doesn’t need to be a debilitating illness. Once she had the audience’s attention, she explained how TrueLifeCare helps truckers fight the disease. Representatives...

Georgia driver wins Best of Show in Shell Rotella SuperRigs

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RAPHINE, Va. — Eric Turner Sr. of Ellenwood, Georgia, won Best of Show honors with his 2015 Peterbilt 389 with a 2018 Wally-Mo 8 car hauler at the 36th Annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition held June 14-16 at White’s Travel Center in Raphine. He was awarded $10,000 from Shell Rotella and $5,000 from MAC trailer. Turner also won for Best Interior. “It feels so good to win the best of show,” Turner said. “Like I said earlier when I was in the judging lane, when I was growing up, all my dad ever had on his tool box was a Shell Rotella...

Feature on women in trucking topic of Mack TV series

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — “Breaking the Mold,” the fourth episode of Mack Trucks’ RoadLife series released on roadlife.tv and Amazon Prime Video, shares the stories of two women blazing trails in the trucking industry, in which women make up just 12 percent of the workforce. “I never thought my life would be with trucks,” said Raquel Renda, vice president of Fort Worth, Texas-based Renda Environmental, a wastewater residuals management company. “But I fell into it here in Texas, and I’ve been in love ever since.” Starting her day around 4 a.m. each morning, Renda’s responsibilities include keeping the 24/7 operation running smoothly...

Trucking’s Top Rookie for 2018 found new career after 27 years in Navy, Marine...

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Which is better, youthful drive or age and experience? Clearly, the best case would be for someone to have both qualities – someone who has left a trail of accomplishments in his wake and still takes on new challenges with persistent discipline, confidence and a personal commitment to excellence. Qualities like that would be appreciated anywhere, but in an industry like trucking that is facing an acute labor shortage, they need to be celebrated when they come along. That was the idea back in 2010 when Mike O’Connell, the former executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA), came up...

Werner Enterprises drivers Quinton Ward named top military veteran rookie

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WASHINGTON — As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Program, a former U.S. Army mechanic, instructor and career counselor was selected as the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” top military veteran rookie driver during a ceremony Friday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation here. Winning driver Quinton Ward of Werner Enterprises received a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 Advantage, equipped with a fuel-efficient PACCAR MX-13 engine and top of the line 76-inch sleeper, from Kenworth Truck Company. Ward comes from a family of military veterans and joined the Army after graduating from high school. He received the Kenworth T680...

Trucker Don Copeland turns Christmas parade ‘blue’ to honor fallen law enforcement

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BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — Twenty-five-year OTR driver Donald Copeland, 54, has long had a warm place in his heart for the “boys in blue.” And like many others in his hometown of Brookhaven, Mississippi, located 60 miles south of Jackson, he was tired of law enforcement getting killed in the line of duty. Brookhaven has lost three officers in the past 18 months: William Durr, with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office; Corp. Zach Moak, with the Brookhaven Police Department; and Brookhaven Patrol Officer James White. Durr was a good friend of Copeland’s, and was a church youth worker and a fellow Mason,...

Minnesota Trucking Association names Art Stoen as driver of the year

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Trucking Association has named Arthur “Art” Stoen, a professional truck driver for Kane Transport in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota as the 2018 Minnesota Driver of the Year. The award was presented to Stoen, a resident of Austin, Minnesota, at the association’s Driver of the Year Banquet recently. Stoen, a resident of Austin, Minnesota, has been driving a truck for 55 years and has driven more than 4.4 million safe miles. Kane Transport is a leading transporter of petroleum, asphalt, biodiesel and ethanol in the Midwest. “This award is a great way to honor the best in our industry,” said...

Dan Johnson tries to give 4-wheelers benefit of doubt, but says they don’t pay...

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Dan Johnson of Milton, Florida, northeast of Pensacola, can tell you what destruction looks like. One kind is caused by the hurricanes that routinely pummel his home state of Florida. The other kind occurs on the nation’s highways, mostly caused by unthinking four-wheelers but sometimes by truck drivers. A 22-year career driver and retired Navy man, Johnson has seen a lot of changes on the road, but said the most dangerous one is that “everyone is in a hurry and no one is paying attention.” Mainly, he said, the drivers not paying attention are four-wheelers, like the woman he saw recently...

Newbie ‘trucker’ Charlie enjoys the smells, sights of open road in owners’ green Volvo

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The 2-year-old golden doodle (golden retriever and poodle mix) gets to ride around in style in a spring green 2017 Volvo, peering down at other dogs and motorists below while the scenery outside the window goes whooshing past. And the truck stops are full of enticing smells and people who pay attention to Charlie. In fact, Charlie couldn’t wait to be petted by a passing reporter, who was immediately taken in by his big brown eyes and happy face. Charlie “loves trucking,” said his owners, Brenda and Jim Harris of Mountain Home in north central Arkansas. Brenda and Jim raised two daughters and...

A driver for 45 years, a husband for 44, Tim Plubell’s life is cruising...

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One of the most accurate measures of how much a fellow’s age has distilled into wisdom is the degree to which he has learned to make life easy on himself. It can be in the way he does his job, knowing the best routes to take, the best places to stop. And it can show itself in the way he takes in the world. At the age of 63 and with 45 years on the road, Tim Plubell has a personality as mellow as if it had been aged in an oak cask. On January 2, he was having breakfast...

Driver Ronald Feimster hopes to take the freedom of the road to the next...

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You don’t head out on the road without an intended destination, and the vast majority of the time you have a route planned out. And it’s not a bad idea to approach life goals the same way. Ronald Feimster has begun 2019 with a clear idea of where he wants to get to within the next year. “My goal is to be an owner-operator and to drive for Oakley Trucking,” he said. Feimster was finishing breakfast at the Iron Skillet at the TravelCenters of America/Petro truck stop at I-40, exit 161, just outside Little Rock, Arkansas. He’d struck up a conversation with...

After 55 years of trucking, MTA Driver of Year Art Stoen retired but not...

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Art Stoen, 74, only takes one medication. It’s for cholesterol, and he had to be talked into that. To hear him tell it, sounds like the doctor may have had to twist his arm a little. After all, said the 55-year career truck driver, “I feel fine, energetic.” When The Trucker caught up with him, Stoen had just shoveled snow in front of his home in Austin, where a couple of days before the wind chill had been 60 below. By the way, that’s Austin, Minnesota, not Texas. Just about cold enough to go ice fishing, now, said Stoen, who January...

After a year on the open road, Gabriel Valdez says trucking suits his tastes...

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Gabriel Valdez found himself an empty table at the Petro Stopping Center off Exit 161, Interstate 40, just east of Little Rock Arkansas, where he could eat his breakfast. So, what are we having this fine morning? Sausage and eggs? Biscuits and gravy? Maybe some Texas-style French toast buried in powdered sugar and whipped cream? Nope. Valdez was starting his day with fish, vegetables and brown rice. “I do that every day,” he said. “My wife cooks fish for me, I wrap it up in foil. At Walmart they have little cups of rice, different styles of brown rice. And then I...

Rachel Bothwell named WIT March Member of the Month

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PLOVER, Wis. —  Rachel Bothwell, a professional city driver for FedEx Freight in Rapid City, South Dakota, has been chosen Women In Trucking’s 2019 March Member of the Month. Bothwell’s trucking career began while growing up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. Trucking was a way of life on the farm, whether they were hauling grain to the elevator or hauling livestock to and from the pastures and sale barn. Being behind the wheel of a semi truck became natural for her. So natural in fact that before she graduated high school, she took a job working for a local farmer helping...

Werner’s Timothy Dean winner of CVSA’s International Driver Excellence Award

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GREENBELT, Md. — The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has named professional truck driver Timothy Dean of Werner Enterprises winner of the 2019 International Driver Excellence Award (IDEA). Dean has been with Werner for more than 30 years and safely driven more than 4 million miles without incident. When he found out he’d been selected as this year’s winner, Dean said he was “shocked, honored and humbled.” Launched in 2015, IDEA recognizes commercial motor vehicle drivers who distinguish themselves conspicuously and beyond the normal call of duty through the achievement of safe operation and compliance carried out with evident distinction for an extended...

Bonnie Neal, 76, named WIT April 2019 member of the month

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PLOVER, Wis. — Bonnie Neal has been chosen as the Women In Trucking Association April 2019 Member of the Month. The 76-year-old is currently driving part time in Oregon. Neal has been in trucks since she was 10 years old, riding with her dad in a log truck in the Oregon Mountains. She had to quit riding with him when she was old enough to drive as girls were not allowed to drive trucks at that time. At the age of 18, Bonnie married a logger’s son who also wanted to drive. He eventually began hauling produce on the West coast for...