The lead driver of the Pilot Company fleet was gifted a custom semi truck on Wednesday as a ‘thank you’ for all of his years of hard work during a company party in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Daniel Abshire has been with Pilot since 1980, and inherited the role of ‘lead driver’ from his father, Jim Abshire, when Jim retired in 2013. Jim was the second driver ever hired by Pilot. 

Daniel’s special new rig closely resembles the truck his dad drove for Pilot in the 1970s, but with updated Pilot Flying J graphics. 

“I’m still in shock,” Daniel Abshire said. “I wasn’t expecting to be recognized, let alone get a new truck to drive that also celebrates my dad’s time with Pilot. I remember him driving a Peterbilt like this one, and this is my dream truck. We’ve always been part of the Pilot family, and the team here, especially the other drivers, always have been part of the Abshire family. That’s not lip service; it’s how we operate. This just illustrates how true it is,” Daniel said to ABC 6.

As the ‘lead driver,’ Daniel supervises trucks based out of Staunton and Roanoke, and has driven over 2.5 million miles in his time with Pilot. 

“The Abshire family and Pilot transportation are synonymous,” said Jim Haslam, founder and chairman emeritus of Pilot Company. “Daniel is the best. And that’s because he learned from the best – his father, Jim. This job requires patience, endurance, and a deep regard for everyone on the road. We are very proud of these two long and legendary careers and it’s an honor to recognize Daniel for his 40 years at Pilot with this specially designed Peterbilt truck.”

Great job, driver!