Winner Receives a new Blue Kenworth T680
- Valued at $155,000
- 76-inch sleeper
- Featuring a PACCAR Powertrain with PACCAR MX-13 engine
- PACCAR TX-12 automated transmission
- PACCAR DX-40 tandem rear axles
The runner-ups to the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award will each receive $10,000. Watch their moving testimonials here, and then vote below!
Voting is between October 28th and November 11th.
FASTPORT, Hiring Our Heroes, and Kenworth are sending the top three finalists to Washington D.C. to recognize their service to the country as a veteran and truck driver. The winner will be announced December 17th.
Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award
Top Three Finalists
FASTPORT • Hiring Our Heroes • Kenworth
James Rose with PRIME Inc.: US Marines
Lt. Col James C. Rose enlisted in the Marine Corps and honorably served 30.5 years (10 years enlisted and 20 years as an Officer). After serving in the military, his heart remained as big as his body, his devotion and dedication to serve has continued just as he did while on active duty serving and giving back to the community and to assist anyone in need.
“I have a motto I created many years ago while still on active duty “ In Order To Stay In The Fight…You Have To First Be In It” it fits perfectly and culminates with my new career, it presents a great opportunity to invest in myself and prayerfully build a fleet of my own leased on through Prime helping create jobs so that hard working people can support their families and assist in the logistical movement of products, goods and services to the consumer.”
Jimmy Reddell with Stevens Transport: US Army, Army Reserves
A native of Little Rock, AR, Jimmy knew from a young age he wanted to serve his country. Shortly after his 17th birthday, a conversation he had with an Army recruiter would “shape his future.” Impressed with what his recruiter had to offer, he soon enlisted in the Army for what would be a long, 22-year career. Jimmy was assigned to a variety of mission critical positions. Prior to his retirement, Jimmy played a key role in the Hurricane Katrina rescue and cleanup missions. In his final assignment, Jimmy’s career came full cycle when he retired as an Army recruiter.
James continues to honor his service: “Although retired, I am committed to recruiting men and women interested in answering the call to serve. I often engage in extended discussions with people looking to understand how to service our country. Joining the Army was one of the most critical decisions I ever made, and I will continue to help anyone considering a similar commitment to our nation. Additionally, as a way to express my gratitude and thanks to others in the service of our country, I will always offer to buy a meal for anyone I see eating in uniform. I have experienced similar acts of kindness toward me during my time in uniform, and I am keenly aware of the appreciation associated with it. I think the public underestimates the impact such small gestures of kindness can mean to our men and women who serve. It would be my hope that others, through my example, would do the same for others in uniform.”
Christopher Slindee with Knight Transportation: US Army
Chris Slindee is from Medford, Minnesota. He enlisted in the military when he was 17, and started officially at the age of 18. He served for 21 and a half years before retiring in February of last year. Chris drives as a way to honor his late father, as well as continue to serve those around him. One of his goals as a driver is to make it to all 48 states as a way to pay homage to his dad, who was just one state short of his goal of driving to 48.
“(Trucking) has helped me to cope with the loss of my dad. I have his bracelet and one of his pendants that used to hang from the center of his overhead while he drove… it is like he is with me here all of the time. I get a lot of time to be able to think things through and remember to be positive and still remember that yes it’s hard, but he would be proud of who I am- he always was proud of who I am, but now I feel like I can continue to make him proud and get to all 48 states. My next goal is to get that pin that says that I got to all 48 and put it on his gravestone.”
FASTPORT, Hiring our Heroes, and Kenworth have partnered to highlight exemplary veteran drivers and honor them for both their military careers and time on the road.
FASTPORT: President, Brad Bentley says the program inspires companies to hire veterans for their high performance. It was developed in part to help address the growing, pressing driver shortage. As the industry continues to face this shortage, Mr. Bentley knows that attracting veteran talent is a key talent pool to reach, “Trucking is better with America’s best and brightest.” Mr. Bentley also says that trucking is also a great fit for vets themselves, “I don’t think you could come up with an industry that’s more patriotic,” than trucking.
Hiring our Heroes: The program’s marketing reaches transitioning veterans from every branch, including those overseas. “One of our goals is to help veterans enter the workforce at equal pay and equal benefits, commensurate with their military occupational levels,” says Col. Adam Rocke, Senior Director for Events and Programs. Col. Rocke says that veterans have all illustrated the incredible skill sets that our veterans gain, while serving in the military– in their transition to trucking, they have all demonstrated the skills of Leadership, Perseverance, and Dedication.
Kenworth: Director Of Marketing at Kenworth, Genevieve Bekkerus says that Kenworth is proud that their American roots are traced back to their Parent company Paccar’s partnership with the US government during WWII. “We created an introduction into the trucking industry through our experience with the military,” says Ms. Bekkerus. Today, their partnership in this program helps continue that honorable legacy. Ultimately, Kenworth operates on the basis of teamwork. They seek out veterans because they understand that mentality and function in that mindset. She summarizes that “Veterans are heroes on and off the highway.”
Troy Davidson, the 2016 winner says that he gets recognized out on the road:
“I’ll be getting fuel and someone will see the truck—everyone recognizes the truck—and (they’ll) say ‘I voted for you!’ and I’ll shake this person’s hand and say thanks for voting for me. Now we bump elbows, but still it touches my heart to think of all those people that voted for me,” Davidson said.
Be sure to be on the lookout for this year’s winner in his new truck! Give them a handshake (or elbow bump) and thank them for their dedication!
If you want to nominate a deserving driver in the future, see full contest criteria, or to learn more about veterans’ trucking opportunities, visit the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” website.