UPS Foundation
Ups Helps Ida

Five good things that happened in trucking this week—Sept. 10

Sept. 10, 2021
Sneak peek: Transflo sponsors former trucker’s motorcycle lap around U.S. benefiting MS, Texas Trucking Association Foundation pledges $10,000 a year to TMAF, GM donates two million face masks to Michigan public schools, and more.

As we enter the halfway point into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world continues to turn, and the trucking industry continues to make a difference in the community. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.

Transflo sponsors former trucker’s motorcycle lap around U.S. benefiting MS

Transflo has joined the annual MS 5000 fundraiser as the co-title sponsor with Geotab of participant Shawn Kitchen, an endurance motorcyclist and former truck driver, who will attempt to ride more than 10,000 miles in a lap around the continental U.S. in a 16-day period this month.

With his 2016 Honda Goldwing, Kitchen won the competition last year, earning the most points and raising the most money. Transflo’s title sponsorship, in conjunction with Geotab, of Kitchen’s 2021 ride will fund expenses like fuel and lodging for Kitchen’s 16-day trip, and individual donations raised by Shawn will be given directly to MS 5000. Kitchen drove a truck professionally for 16 years, operating across various segments—long-haul and regional dry van, tanker, flatbed, and local pickup and delivery. 

“Transflo is proud to sponsor Shawn’s attempt to visit the four corners of the U.S. as part of his fundraising ride for MS,” said Don Mitchell, director of marketing for Transflo. “MS Views and News provides direct service and support for those who have been diagnosed with MS, with a special emphasis on those in rural parts of the country. We wish Shawn a safe, fun, and successful journey. Likewise, in honor of Driver Appreciation Week, we’d like to express our sincere and deep gratitude for the truckers that keep our society moving by offering a free version of Transflo Mobile+ and making our suite of tools available to every driver and owner-operator on the continent.”

Kitchen’s tour will be tracked live on Transflo’s website

“I owe a huge amount of thanks to Transflo and Geotab,” said Kitchen. “Without their involvement, I wouldn’t even be able to attempt this endurance ride and the fundraising opportunity it presents for MS 5000 and MS Views and News. The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize that our lives are best lived in service of other people. Riding my motorcycle reached a new level of enjoyment when I started doing it to benefit others.” 

Pilot Flying J opens nominations for 2021 Road Warrior

Pilot Flying J is accepting nominations from Sept. 1-Sept. 30 as the top professional truck driver in the United States with the title of 2021 Road Warrior. As part of its 2021 Driver Appreciation Month celebration, the annual Road Warrior contest will honor professional truck drivers who have gone above and beyond to keep America moving through challenging times. These hardworking haulers will be awarded a grand prize of $10,000, $5,000 for second place, and $2,500 for third place.

“Our annual Road Warrior contest shines a well-deserved spotlight on the enormous impact professional drivers have on our economy and our communities,” said Jason Nordin, chief operator for Pilot Flying J. “Every day, we have the privilege of serving professional truck drivers in our travel centers, and we hear incredible stories of their heroism on the highways. Help us recognize these Road Warriors by nominating them and get them the recognition they deserve.”

New to this year’s contest, nominations will be accepted directly on the Pilot Flying J Facebook page to make the submission process easier. To enter, simply comment on the pinned Road Warrior post with a story recognizing a professional truck driver for going above and beyond.

Road Warrior winners will be announced in mid-October and are selected based upon the story submission, including contributions to the trucking industry, safe driving history, miles driven, and community involvement.

GM donates two million face masks to Michigan public schools

General Motors (GM) will donate two million face masks to Michigan public schools as part of the State of Michigan’s MI Mask Aid partnership. GM’s contribution includes 750,000 child-size masks for elementary students, which will be ready for delivery by Sept. 14, and 1.25 million adult-size masks for high school students, faculty, and staff, which will be ready for delivery by Sept. 28.

“This is great news for our students, educators, and support staff who need access to face masks to protect themselves and their families. Until there is a vaccine, it’s crucial that all Michiganders continue to mask up, and we are working around the clock to ensure everyone has access to a mask,” said Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “I am grateful for GM’s partnership and dedication to protecting our students and educators during this time, and I look forward to working with everyone who wants to help us provide masks to our most vulnerable populations.”

GM will distribute masks to Michigan’s intermediate school districts in coordination with the State of Michigan’s Community Service Commission. When the public school contribution is complete, GM will have donated more than 6 million face masks produced at its Warren, Michigan facility to communities across the state affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know many teachers, parents and students are focused on the challenges of returning to school this fall,” said Gerald Johnson, EVP of global manufacturing at GM. “At GM, we are proud to play a small part in making the transition easier by providing face masks to the Michigan schools that need them most.”

Texas Trucking Association Foundation pledges $10,000 a year to TMAF

Texas Trucking Association Foundation (TXTA) is continuing its support of Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF) and has pledged $10,000 each year over the next three years to support TMAF’s mission of promoting the economic contributions of the trucking industry.

“The Texas Trucking Association has been a steadfast ally of TMAF since our industry movement’s inception seven years ago,” said Elisabeth Barna, TMAF executive committee member, EVP of industry affairs, and senior advisor to the president and CEO of ATA, said. “We are grateful for their generous donation and their continued partnership with TMAF to educate the motoring public on the important role that the industry has in the country’s economy. With the support of donors like TXTA, we are able to broaden our reach and continue to shift the public’s perception of trucking in the right direction.”

TXTA has partnered with TMAF on many educational activities over the years to help demonstrate the good works of trucking and the stories of the dedicated drivers and workforce that support the industry. In December 2014, the Texas Trucking Association Foundation and TMAF announced that TXTA committed a $50,000 financial contribution to support TMAF’s growth over five years. The TXTA has provided support each subsequent year. The donation followed TMAF’s official launch at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March 2014.

“One of the core goals of the TXTA Foundation is to contribute to educational programs that enhance the understanding and image of the trucking industry—and no group does this better than TMAF,” John Esparza, president and CEO of TXTA, said. “They have assembled an impressive group of leaders and educators and this campaign is absolutely essential to the successful future of the trucking industry. TXTA Foundation applauds TMAF for the meaningful contributions they’ve made to trucking. We are proud to be a supporter.”

UPSers help rebuild after Ida’s devastation in Louisiana

Amidst devastation and personal loss from Hurricane Ida, UPS employees are coming together to rebuild their communities. But as Baton Rouge, Louisiana resident and UPS driver James Joseph urged, they can’t do it alone.

“We need your help,” Joseph said. “I’m working with The UPS Foundation and traveling to some of the most impacted places figuring out what people need. Right now is the perfect time to donate to a specific agency, like the St. Bernard Project, Operation Hope, or CARE.”

UPS and The UPS Foundation positioned materials and volunteers to assist with logistics for the American Red Cross prior to Ida making landfall. The UPS Foundation has donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross to help feed and shelter disaster survivors during hurricane season and provided an additional $50,000 to SBP to assist with home repair and recovery.

“In advance of Ida, we positioned supplies and funded response and recovery partners to expedite resources and aid,” said Joe Ruiz, VP of social impact and The UPS Foundation. “Families in Louisiana and elsewhere in the South have endured so much over the past year, and we’re committed to helping them in their time of need.”  

The UPS Foundation is also partnering with CARE, The Salvation Army, Disaster Action AllianceReach Out America, Good360 and the American Logistics Aid Network to provide relief supplies and cleaning materials for families. The UPS Foundation is providing in-kind transportation for ToolbankUSA delivering thousands of tools to volunteers ready to help families clean up and dig out. In addition, four truckloads of water were routed to UPS facilities for UPSers and their families impacted by the storm.

“The UPS Foundation connected immediately with Cher Porties, UPS Mid South president, to assess the needs of our people and our communities,” said Nikki Clifton, president of social impact and The UPS Foundation. “We’ve also established a United Way disaster relief fund that allows our employees to help areas hit the hardest.” 

Have you seen good things happening in the trucking industry? Let me know by email or on Twitter with #FiveGoodThings.

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. 

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...