Photo: Nancy Davis
Nancy Davis Wit He Roes On The Highway

Five good things that happened in trucking this week – Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2020
During a day of remembrance, our country still stands together to recognize its essential workers and first responders and give back to celebrate their hard work.

Today is not just an ordinary day. Nineteen years ago, 2,977 people lost their lives in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Of those, 343 firefighters and 60 law enforcement officers perished on the grounds of the World Trade Center. This global pandemic has reminded us once again that first responders and essential workers risk their lives every day to protect this country and everyone in it. As our nation stands united in grief, here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.

WIT HERoes of the Highway winners revealed

Over 90 participants took part in the HERoes of the Highway photo contest this year and gave Women In Trucking Association their best superhero pose in front of their trucks. From August 24-September 4, more than 8,000 votes were cast for the top three People’s Choice Winners, while a panel of judges selected their top three.

People’s Choice winners:

  • Susie DeRidder, “Hero-like Strength”: Susie DeRidder’s “Hero-like Strength” submission received the most votes coming in first as the People's Choice Winner. Susie is a company driver for Armour Transportation and was a finalist for WIT's 2020 Female Driver of the Year Award.
  • Marcus Thompson, “Six of our truck-building HERoes representing the hundreds of women at Volvo Trucks NRV Plant, Dublin, VA”: “At Volvo Trucks, we are so grateful and proud of every professional driver, the HERoes of the Highway, and of our employees for their time and commitment to the industry during these challenging times," said Thompson. "We are thrilled to feature seven of our professional truck builders in this year’s photo contest. Each of the over 500 women at our NRV manufacturing plant are dedicated to providing premier products to all of the HERoes of the Highway!”
  • Ingrid Brown, "Women on a Mission ‘Rona-19'": Ingrid is an independent Owner Operator for Rollin' B and is part of WIT's Image Team. She is also part of FMCSA's Voices of Safety campaign. 

Judges’ Choice winners:

  • Nancy Davis “Rosie the Riveter”: “Rain or shine or pandemic, people rely on truck drivers to keep our economy moving, and women play an important role in that,” said Davis. “Like the iconic and inspirational symbol Rosie the Riveter, we have the strength and tenacity to keep on truckin’!”
  • Tyler Staggs “Crushing villans, delivering smiles! (pictured is Shunta Price)": Coming in second with the judges was a photo submitted by Tyler Staggs of J.B. Hunt featuring his colleague Shunta Price titled, “Crushing villans, delivering smiles!” 
  • Eileen Dabrowski “Not all HERoes wear capes...or do they?”: Eileen Dabrowski of ReedTMS Logistics locked in third place with her creative entry, “Not all HERoes wear capes...or do they?”

Check out all of the winners below:

Companies celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is next week – Sept. 13-19 – and companies around the country are celebrating its drivers and recognizing them for all of their hard work. According to the American Trucking Associations, this celebration “takes on a special significance considering the crucial role truck drivers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Shell Rotella, for example, is celebrating all month long, stating that “customers who purchase a Shell Rotella diesel engine oil change with: Shell Rotella T4 Triple Protection, Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend or Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic, will receive a free battery test and a $15 Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores gift card.

Pilot Company will also be spending the month of September offering:

  • Free drinks every day
  • Free showers all month with September Shower Power after one 75+ gallon fill
  • Earn up to four points per gallon when activating Push4Points
  • Free JPRO diagnostics test at Pilot Flying J Truck Care service centers

To follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, Schneider National will be providing virtual events like social media chats and other live events, exclusive Schneider Buzz videos, fleet messages and content on the Schneider Compass app as well as gifts waiting for them at Schneider facilities. The company will also be entering its drivers in a drawing for prizes such as:

  • iPads
  • Heated lunch boxes
  • Deluxe truck organizers
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Certificates for Loyalty Points to the company store

“Truck drivers are committed to delivering essentials to Americans each and every day. Their hard work does not go unnoticed, and it deserves our recognition,” says Annie Peter, North American marketing manager at Shell Rotella. “We are so thankful for all that truck drivers do for our country and wanted to give them a little something in return as a small token of our appreciation.”

TCA Scholarship Fund recipients announced

The Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Scholarship Fund will be providing financial assistance to more than 50 undergraduate college students for the 2020-21 academic school year. Each student will receive a scholarship ranging from $2,725 to $6,250 from a total pool of nearly $150,000.

Since 1973, the Fund has been providing scholarships to students associated with the trucking industry. Each scholarship recipient must be a student in good standing attending a four-year college or university and must be associated with a TCA member company as an employee, independent contractor, or the child, grandchild, or spouse of an employee or independent contractor of a TCA member company.

“I love seeing the impact that the TCA Scholarship Fund and the awards make on so many college students each year,” said TCA Scholarship Fund Chairman and Wilson Logistics Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Darrel Wilson. “I always look forward to learning more about the students and following their success due in small part to the help from the TCA Scholarships.”

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients:

  • Graham Baner, Nussbaum Transportation Services, Inc., NAIT Scholarship – $6,250
  • Austin Wagner, McLeod Software Corporation, Inc., John Kaburick Scholarship – $4,500
  • Rae Ballinger, H.O. Wolding, Inc., Robert Low Scholarship – $3,250
  • Aubree Boyd, Daseke, Inc. – Boyd Bros. Transportation, Inc., Kai Norris Scholarship – $3,250
  • Elizabeth Wilhelm, Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc., Stoney Reese Stubbs Scholarship – $3,250
  • Benjamin Giesbrecht, Bison Transport, Darrel Clark Wilson III Scholarship – $3,250
  • Derek Linville, Wabash National Corporation, Thomas Welby Scholarship – $3,250

Flock Freight $200 gas card giveaway

Flock Freight, that uses algorithms to reinvent outdated shipping modes and offer shared truckload service, is giving away a $200 as card through a social media contest on Twitter.

In the tweet, describes the rules as follows:

  1. Like and retweet this post.
  2. Comment on this post: Use “#flockfreightgiveaway” and tag at least two friends. (The more people you tag, the more entries you get!)
  3. Follow @flockfreight

Who doesn’t love free gas?

Former janitor turned trucking CEO: An American dream success 

“I started cleaning floors and toilets and doing those things that most people would never even dream of doing, but I wanted more,” said Steve Hightower.

Hightower started a construction company in 1978 before pivoting into the fuel business. He bought five trailers and began hauling jet fuel in Ohio.

While his company’s growth started slowly, Hightower kept pushing and now, 30 years later, Hightowers Petroleum has delivery contracts across the country. In 2015, the company brought in $350 million in revenue. Five years later, the company has reached nearly $500 million so far.

“I remember when our first $100 bill came in,” Hightower said. “I said, ‘We got our first $100 bill!” and I just remember our excitement for that first $100, and from two people, we grew one contract to being able to manage all over this country.”

CNBC’s video of Hightower’s success story recently went viral on LinkedIn. Watch it below, and you'll be saying, “Let’s go get it!” from now on.

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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