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Grady Galloway Puppy

Five good things that happened in trucking this week—Jan. 28

Jan. 28, 2022
Sneak peek: KLLM Transport Services boosts driver pay by 33%, TXTA Foundation scholarship applications now open, Alabama UPS driver receives four-legged surprise from community, and more.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trucking industry went above and beyond to help those in the community who needed it most to get through the shock of those times. As we approach the two-year mark of the first lockdown, this same community continues its fervor for giving back to those in need. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.

KLLM Transport Services boosts driver pay by 33%

KLLM Transport Services is boosting compensation up to 33% for its over-the-road truckers and for trainees coming out of its academy, while regional company drivers and independent contractors will see a hike of 10% to 16% starting next month.

According to KLLM CEO Jim Richards, it comes down to drawing in good talent and recognizing their drivers for a job that is incredibly taxing. "Historically, it's always been hard finding good, qualified drivers, and as of the last year or so, it's become increasingly more difficult," Richards told FOX Business.

Richards added that with the new pay structure, drivers trained by KLLM will hit the job with the opportunity to make around $70,000, with no cost to trainees for the education provided by the company. Prior to the hike, new drivers could expect to make around $48,000. For rookie drivers who are willing to really hit the pavement, literally, they could now be looking at anywhere from $120,000 to $150,000 in their first year out of the gate.

Richards says that over-the-road trucking is "one of the toughest occupations in the country from a standpoint of just the conditions that you deal with along with being away from your family and away from home, so it's a difficult job." He compared it to offshore oil field workers who make a lot of money, but the trade-off is living away from home for a period of time.

KLLM was able to provide the pay boost, Richards says, because it has been able to charge more to "shippers at levels we've never seen before," and the company wants to pass that along to its drivers. The CEO says KLLM is catching up now after "a long time that we've not been able to pay drivers what they're worth."

Pilot Flying J, GNC partner to provide supplements for truckers

Pilot Flying J is partnering with the global health and wellness brand, GNC, to provide five convenient, on-the-go GNC essential supplements at participating locations across the country. 

The partnership will provide travelers and professional truck drivers with GNC Mega Men Gummy Multivitamin, GNC Men's Staminol Daily Male Performance Formula, GNC Melatonin 5 mg, GNC Immune Defense Gummy, and GNC Women's Multivitamin Energy & Metabolism at 645 participating Pilot Flying J Travel Centers. 

"With the availability of these GNC products in Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, we're able to provide more convenient and accessible ways for our customers to prioritize wellness," said Josh Burris, CEO of GNC. "Pilot Flying J is all about on-the-go convenience and with the introduction of our essential products, guests will have additional options to meet their wellness needs. We look forward to a longstanding partnership that will help support the trucking industry, professional drivers, local communities, and travelers to Live Well." 

Pilot Flying J is offering guests an exclusive discount from now until Feb. 27 for 25% off GNC products through its myRewards Plus app. To redeem this deal, save the limited-time offer in the myRewards Plus app and scan the app or myRewards card at the time of purchase.

TCA names four Highway Angels

The Truckload Carriers Association has named Greg Rupp, Matthew Lawson, Tony Doughty, and Thomas Glass as Highway Angels for their heroic acts on the road. 

Rupp, who is from Leechburg, Pennsylvania, and is a professional truck driver with Ward Trucking based in Altoona, Pennsylvania, was named a Highway Angel for stopping to assist at the scene of a motorist struck while pushing his stalled vehicle. Read his full story here.

Lawson, from Kernersville, North Carolina, and a professional truck driver with Little Rock, Arkansas-based CalArk International Inc., was named a Highway Angel for rushing to pull a man out of his vehicle after it veered down an embankment next to a river. Read his full story here.

Doughty, from Greenville, Tennessee, and Glass, from Maryville, Tennessee, both professional truck drivers with Bay & Bay based in Eagan, Minnesota, were named Highway Angels for stopping when they came upon a stalled vehicle with smoke coming from underneath the hood. Read their full story here.

TXTA Foundation scholarship applications now open

The Texas Trucking Association (TXTA) Foundation 2022-23 Scholarship is now accepting applications. 

Drivers, dockworkers, mechanics, office personnel—there are thousands of people each day who contribute to a strong, efficient motor transportation industry in Texas. Many of these workers are or have dependents pursuing higher education, whether in technical or trade schools as well as universities or colleges. TXTA Foundation eases the financial burden of their efforts by providing scholarships to current TXTA member employees, their dependents, and grandchildren.

Scholarship criteria includes:

  • Employee and employee dependents, children, spouses and/or grandchildren of current TXTA carrier or allied member companies in good standing.
  • High school seniors (graduate or equivalent), current university, college, and trade and technical school students.
  • Applicants must complete the online application by the published deadline and include personal narrative, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

The application deadline for the TXTA Foundation Scholarship is April 1. Apply here today.

Alabama UPS driver receives four-legged surprise

After losing his 7-month-old puppy in a tragic accident on Jan. 22, UPS driver Grady Galloway was speechless after Big Springs Veterinary Clinic and the people of Springville, Alabama, raised money for a new puppy.

After finding out about Galloway’s tragic story, Hannah Nolen immediately started a fundraiser to give her favorite UPS man a new best friend. Within three hours, enough money was raised for a puppy. Nolan traveled to Mississippi to pick up the pup from Beth’s Chow Chows. When Nolan arrived, Beth gave Nolan the new puppy for practically free, so the money raised from donors went toward a care package from the Springville community.

“Vaccines, whatever [he] needs, there’s over $500 in there for him,” Nolan told WBRC“He makes everybody else smile, about time we make him smile,”

Laughing through tears, Galloway said his new companion “needs to be able to ride on the truck with me for the rest of the day. My kids say my dogs get treated better than them. They’re probably right, so he’ll have a good one.”

Watch Galloway get the surprise of his life in the video below.

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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