Michelin North America
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Five Good Things: Trucking honors military, freight heroes

July 7, 2023
This week in good trucking news: Veterans are thanked for their service with a trip to France and one driver is honored for saving a man's life.

In many ways, trucking represents the American dream. Americans can develop a skill, secure employment in the truck driving field, provide for their families, and ultimately own their own trucking, fleet, or freight company without overwhelming student loan debt.  Truck drivers play a vital role in the national economy as freight is hauled across the vast American continent. In this week's blog of Five Good Things in trucking, the industry recognizes this and the importance of those who have given their all.

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Michelin sponsors veterans on trip through Normandy, France

Michelin North America, in partnership with the Best Defense Foundation and Delta Air Lines, enabled 44 World War II veterans to return to a turning point of the conflict: Normandy, France.

Departing May 31 and returning June 8, the Return to Normandy trip allowed veterans from all military branches to travel back to the site of the largest seaborne invasion in history that led to the liberation of France and, ultimately the end of the war in Europe.

See also: Michelin adds new low-rolling resistance steer tire, announces Utility Trailer partnership

“June 6, 1944, is a day that will always be remembered, not only for the people of France but the entire world, as it signaled the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe,” said Alexis Garcin, president and CEO of Michelin North America. “Michelin is humbled to participate once again in this opportunity to say, ‘thank you’ to the Veterans who made it possible to celebrate freedom across not only Europe but the world.”

“The reception of the people of Normandy is something that I am amazed by every year,” said Jake Larson, U.S. Army D-Day veteran. “I was excited to return with my fellow veterans to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It is up to us to remember.”

See also: Five Good Things: Trucking honors U.S. heroes

This is the second year that Michelin and Delta Air Lines have supported the Best Defense Foundation in this endeavor. Michelin and Delta’s corporate partnership will continue in 2024 as they work together to return World War II veterans back to Normandy for the upcoming 80th anniversary.

More photos are available on Michelin's website.

CPC Logistics driver saves choking man

Juan Vazquez, a CPC Logistics truck driver assigned to Toyota Quality Parts Express (TQPE) in Torrance, California, recently saved a man's life by using the Heimlich maneuver. This earned him CPC’s President’s Award, given to employees who do something outstanding outside their regular job duties.

Vazquez was making a pickup when he noticed several TQPE employees huddled around a man having trouble breathing. Realizing the man was choking, Vazquez ran over and administered the Heimlich maneuver. After successfully clearing his upper airway, Vazquez remained by the man’s side until paramedics arrived.

“Juan saved this gentleman’s life,” said CPC Regional Manager David Flores. “TQPE made it known that Juan is a hero and is deserving of an award of some kind, so I nominated him for the President’s Award. We hope everyone sees and recognizes Juan for this heroic save.”

Fleet Advantage COO named to 40 Under 40 list

The South Florida Business Journal has selected Fleet Advantage’s Chief Operating Officer Matt de Aguiar to its 40 Under 40 list.

Promoted as Fleet Advantage’s COO in January,  de Aguiar has implemented cross-departmental internal controls to promote a collaborative work environment. According to a company release, he saw an opportunity to align various departments with internal and external processes, thereby improving teamwork. 

In the community, de Aguiar has been a committee member of Fleet Advantage’s Kids Around The Corner Foundation, which provides donations and volunteer services to child-focused nonprofits. He was involved in the foundation’s charitable donations to Tri-County Animal Rescue and Women In Distress. De Aguiar has personally donated to Women-In-Distress since 2012. 

"On behalf of our entire team, we are thrilled that Matt was honored with this recognition as one of South Florida’s best and brightest individuals impacting our local community,” said Brian Holland, president and CEO of Fleet Advantage. Since joining Fleet Advantage nearly three years ago, Matt has implemented many tangible enhancements to the company.”

Women in Trucking Association names Member of the Month for July 2023

The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has announced Liana Castro as its July 2023 Member of the Month. Castro is a driver trainer at LGT Transport, a transportation company in the cryogenic industry.

Castro began her career pulling reefers, followed by going local to deliver food service. She then transitioned to linehaul and pulled doubles and triples. Later, when Castro was interested in hauling fuel, the company she applied to needed cryo drivers. That was the moment she was introduced to the cryogenic industry.

"I found it absolutely fascinating and was glad I got into that division instead," said Castro. "It opened more doors for me and ultimately led me to LGT Transport."

See also: ATA establishes Women in Motion Mentorship Program

With 14 years of experience in truck driving, Castro is meticulous about her equipment, follows the customer's requirements, and consistently goes above and beyond, according to WIT. After six years at LGT, she was promoted to driver trainer in February 2023. She is the first woman to hold this position at the company.

Today, Castro trains drivers to transport cryogenic materials such as carbon dioxide, liquid oxygen, nitrogen, and argon. Her role is crucial, as she ensures that new drivers learn to follow all safety protocols. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience to help others thrive in the industry.

"Don't be intimidated or put off by the industry just because it's male-populated," Castro said. "Trucking is a great opportunity for anyone willing to put in the effort. Keep at it."

TA Petro gives free meals to active military members and veterans

TA Petro on July 4 invited all active military members and veterans to eat free at the truck stop chain's participating restaurants. Those eligible were able to eat a free meal up to $18 at participating full-service restaurants or up to $15 at participating quick-service restaurants.

About the Author

Scott Keith

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