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Military veteran rookie drivers compete for Kenworth T680 Next Gen

Sept. 6, 2022
The Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence program has named its 12 finalists, all new truck drivers who are also military veterans. An expert panel of judges will select the winner to be awarded a Kenworth T680 Next Gen truck.

Software company Fastport has named its Top 12 finalists for Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence, a program dedicated to finding America’s top rookie military veteran driver. The program recognizes professional drivers who have made the successful transition from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.

Fastport’s partner Kenworth will award the top driver a Kenworth T680 Next Generation. The T680 Next Gen is equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and the complete Paccar Powertrain featuring the Paccar MX-13 engine, Paccar TX-12 automated transmission, and Paccar DX-40 tandem rear axles. The final winner will be announced on Dec. 16 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington, D.C.

See also: MATS salutes veterans: Red, white, and blue truck tribute

Fastport has teamed with KenworthAmerican Trucking Associations (ATA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Program to support Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence.

The 12 finalist veteran drivers for Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence

“This year’s competition in the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence program produced an outstanding group of 12 finalists. We appreciate their dedication on the road to excel as truck drivers in their new profession, and we are grateful for their military service to the country,” said Genevieve Bekkerus, Kenworth's director of marketing.

See also: Research shows best practices to recruit, retain young workers

Drivers were nominated by trucking companies that made a pledge to hire veterans, members of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools (NAPFTDS), and Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) member schools. 

“It is always a challenge to select the most deserving drivers from the list of our talented nominees. This year’s finalists represent a variety of military branches and are outstanding examples of the over-the-road service that veterans can offer the trucking industry,” Fastport president Brad Bentley said. “We urge organizations in the United States to make a special effort to reach out to our veterans and help them smoothly transition into civilian life.”

The top driver will be determined by an expert panel of judges. To qualify, drivers had to meet three eligibility requirements:

  • Must have been active military personnel or a member of the National Guard or Reserve.

  • Graduated from PTDI-certified, NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school with a valid CDL.

  • First hired in a trucking position between Jan. 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022.

The top 12 will receive recognition for both their military and civilian accomplishments at the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” dinner Sept. 22 in the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio. On Sept. 23, the finalists will tour the Kenworth Chillicothe manufacturing plant. The top-three announcement will follow at the nearby MHC RoadReady Center in Chillicothe. The final winner will be announced on Dec. 16 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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