Photo: Seaside Topsail Photography
FedEx driver Joe Engel delivers wedding bands to couple during the ceremony.

Five good things that happened in trucking this week – Friday, April 24

April 24, 2020
The trucking community continues to come together to recognize those on the front lines of COVID-19 relief.

As the country stares down the barrel to May, the future of America’s economy is looking less and less encouraging. Phrases like “uncertain times” and “once-in-a-generation pandemic” are heard every time the news is turned on, but once a week, we take the time to recognize some of the good prevailing in the nation. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week. 

FedEx driver delivers wedding bands

FedEx driver Joe Engel played a special role of ring bearer at a beachside wedding in Surf City, N.C., where a ceremony photographed by Seaside Topsail Photography was underway. As he arrived at the couple’s residence with their package, there was a sign on the door that said, “FedEx guy, please come down to the beach. You have our wedding bands.” With the help of some neighbors, he successfully delivered the package.

“I do this every day,” said Engel in a selfie video explaining the special moment. “I didn’t think I was going out of my way. I was just trying to help out. You know, I love my job. I love my customers. I knew how much it meant to them that I got down there. And, it’s really awesome.”

Watch Engel’s video below.

Taco Bell HQ turns into giant drive-thru for truckers

Taco Bell Headquarters in Irvine, Calif., has transformed into its first-ever Truck-Thru at HQ. The kitchen will be serving up a custom Cravings Box complete with a Crunchwrap Supreme, Bean Burrito, Cinnamon Twists, and a Baja Blast, all completely FREE for heroes of the highway who drive large essential service vehicles: truckers, EMTs, firefighters, police force, etc., as they cannot fit in typical restaurant drive-thrus.

Truck-thru dates and times:

  • Friday, April 24, 2020 11 AM - 2 PM PST
  • Friday, May 1, 2020 11 AM - 2 PM PST

Address: 1 Glen Bell Way, Irvine CA 92618

On Taco Bell’s Facebook event, the directions indicate for drivers to “enter through Glen Bell Way and follow signage.”

Southern Tide waves to truckers

Southern Tide, a coastal-style apparel brand, expanded its efforts to show appreciation to front line workers during the health crisis by joining forces with the South Carolina Trucking Association (SCTA) in their “Thank A Trucker” campaign.

By partnering with the trucking association, Southern Tide will provide aid through the sales of the brand’s performance hats and trucker hats from their spring/summer collection, including a limited-edition Mini Skipjack hat alongside a special-edition t-shirt. The t-shirt will feature an original design showcasing gratitude and recognition for truck drivers, technicians and logisticians. The seasonal hat and t-shirt will be available on Southern Tide’s website.

“These individuals and fleets ensure essential goods and groceries are stocked, and medicines and emergency equipment get delivered,” said Rick Todd, SCTA president. “This army of transportation professionals are working tirelessly behind the scenes each day and night, assisting in relief efforts and meeting our basic needs.”

Southern Tide’s CEO Christopher Heyn shared that partnering with like-minded organizations with shared missions and values has always been part of its DNA.

“We look to leverage our best-sellers and assist men and women who continue to keep our supply chains up and running as we add additional support to the national #ThankATrucker campaign started by the American Trucking Association,” said Heyn.

Convoy of Hope transportation team supply the front lines

As a faith-based, nonprofit organization, Convoy of Hope helps empower others to live with greater independence and freedom from poverty, disease and hunger. To support their mission, Convoy of Hope transportation team is on the front lines of the COVID-19 relief effort by delivering food, water, hygiene kits, baby items and relief supplies and more to communities in need during times of disaster, hunger and crisis.

“Our experienced transportation team is focused on quickly and efficiently moving millions of pounds of urgently needed supplies annually,” said Mike Coble, transportation safety and compliance manager for Convoy of Hope at its headquarters in Springfield, Mo. “Our truck drivers are critical to making this happen. Accomplishing this major undertaking requires dedication, skill and a heart to serve people in need. That is the reason why we drive.”

Boosting the organization’s vital efforts in the United States are four Kenworth T680s with 76-inch sleepers purchased from MHC Kenworth – Springfield to help serve increasing needs.

“It’s important to provide our drivers with comfortable trucks that they can depend on in this crucial mission,” Coble said. “Our driving team consists primarily of volunteers who help us deliver hope and goods around the country.”

Pilot Flying J donates to local charities

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot Company is surrounded by organizations that are providing much-needed relief and services to people affected by COVID-19. To support them, Pilot Company is committing $225,000 to four nonprofits and hopes that it will help the immediate needs of East Tennesseans and professional drivers across the country.

The four nonprofit organizations receiving support from Pilot Company are:

  • St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF): SCF assists professional truck drivers and their families when an illness or injury has recently caused them to be out of work. Recognizing that more drivers may experience these hardships as they set out each day to help keep the economy moving, SCF is committed to being there for them when they need it most. Assistance from SCF may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, vehicle payments and insurance.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley: Boys & Girls Clubs has been working tirelessly to maintain and expand services during this critical time, keeping seven clubs open for 10-plus hours a day to care for the children of essential workers. Each day, more than 300 youth enjoy fun activities and receive academic support daily, utilizing resources from the local school systems to help them keep on track academically while shifting to an online learning format. They also provide daily breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks to the kids.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee: The region’s largest hunger-relief charity and operates programs in 18 counties. The agency has increased their efforts to fight hunger as an unprecedented number of people find themselves needing assistance during this health crisis. Every $35 donation helps Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee provide enough food to feed one person for two weeks.
  • United Way of Greater Knoxville: The organization recently opened the COVID-19 Response Fund to assist local nonprofit agencies that are staying open, expanding services and putting themselves on the line to ensure that no Knoxvillian goes without during this difficult time.

“During this time of uncertainty one thing has remained the same, support from the Knoxville community,” said Bart McFadden, president and CEO of The Boys & Girls Clubs. “We are incredibly thankful for the work Pilot Company is doing to support Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley as we continue to keep our doors open for the families of essential workers.”

About the Author

Catharine Conway | Digital Editor

Catharine Conway previously wrote for FleetOwner with a Master of Science in Publishing degree and more than seven years’ experience in the publishing and editorial industries. Based in Stamford, Conn., she was critical to the coordination of any and all digital content organization and distribution through various FleetOwner and American Trucker channels, including website, newsletters, and social media. 

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