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24-year veteran of two military branches awarded Kenworth T680 as Top Military Veteran Rookie Driver 

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24-year veteran of two military branches awarded kenworth t680 as top military veteran rookie driver 
Joseph H. Campbell, Jr., of Roehl Transportation accepts the keys to a new Kenworth T680 from Kenworth marketing director Lisa Berreth. Cambell was named the industry's top military veteran turned rookie driver.

WASHINGTON – A distinguished veteran with 24 years of combined service in the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army received the annual “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” award during a special ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Kenworth presented winning professional truck driver Joseph H. Campbell Jr. of Roehl Transport with The Driver’s Truck™ – a Kenworth T680 equipped with a comfortable 76-inch sleeper – as the recognition program’s award. Campbell’s special T680 features the complete PACCAR Powertrain with a PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission, and PACCAR 40K tandem axles.

For the fifth consecutive year, Kenworth teamed with the FASTPORT Trucking Track Mentoring Program and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Program to find America’s top rookie driver who made the successful transition from active military duty to driving for a commercial fleet.

Campbell comes from a family of military veterans and achieved multiple accolades for successes while serving stateside and abroad in combat zones. Campbell now drives for Roehl Transport’s Flatbed Division. He achieved an accident-free record in his first year of employment and completed the initial year of a two-year apprenticeship program. He is preparing to become a certified trainer and is a member of the company’s Driver Advisory Group.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award. This Kenworth T680 will provide some exciting new opportunities for my future career in the trucking industry. Thanks to Roehl Transport, Hiring our Heroes, FASTPORT and Kenworth for supporting and encouraging veterans to make the transition into the trucking industry,” said Campbell.

Featured speakers at the special recognition event were Thomas J. Donahue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer; Joe Shamess, Flags of Valor co-founder, Eric Eversole, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president and Hiring Our Heroes president; and Brad Bentley, FASTPORT president. Lisa Berreth, Kenworth marketing director, presented the keys to Campbell.

“We appreciate Joseph Campbell’s service to this country and his dedication to achieve growth and success in his trucking industry career. The Kenworth T680 will serve him well,” said Berreth.

“Joseph Campbell is a very deserving, 24-year veteran, and we commend Kenworth’s partnership and commitment by once again providing a Kenworth T680 to help service members make these transitions into industry,” said Eric Eversole of Hiring Our Heroes.

Runner-up award winners included Christopher Bacon (U.S. Marines) of TMC Transportation, Wade Bumgarner (U.S. Navy) of Veriha Trucking and Steve Harris (U.S. Marines) of Stevens Transport. Harris received $10,000 as the first runner-up, while Bumgarner and Bacon each received $5,000.

According to Brad Bentley of FASTPORT, the four finalists were determined by tallying scores from a Selection Committee. The four advanced to an online vote on the Transition Trucking website https://www.transitiontrucking.org, where people could view a video of each driver and submit votes for the top military rookie driver. In the closest competition in the contest’s history, Campbell received the highest overall tally.

Drivers were nominated by trucking companies that made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on www.truckingtrack.org and by members of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools and Commercial Vehicle Training Association-member schools.

“Joseph Campbell separated himself by serving in two branches of the military, then translating those skills as an apprentice in Roehl’s Flatbed Division. He understands that his first responsibility is protecting the motoring public and then picking up and delivering cargo on-time and undamaged. Joseph demonstrated that by completing his first year of employment accident free,” said Bentley. “These military service members who transitioned into careers as professional drivers are hard-working, dependable, motivated, ethical and disciplined team players – an asset to the trucking industry and their companies.”

Other truck drivers who achieved Top 10 finalist status include:

–Thomas Blitch/U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves/Werner Enterprises

–Keso Going/U.S. Army/Epes Transport

–Kevin Lassing/ U.S. Army/U.S. Xpress

–Maliq Melton/U.S. Army, Melton Truck Lines

–Monte Morrone/U.S. Army and U.S. Marines/Prime Inc.

–Timothy Raub/ U.S. Navy/Averitt Express

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The Nation

Minnesota Trucking Association names Scott Post as 2019 driver of the year

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Minnesota trucking association names 2019 driver of the year
Scott Post, a contract truck driver for FedEx Ground, has been selected as the Minnesota Driver of the Year by the Minnesota Trucking Association. Post has been driving a truck for 41 years and has more than 2.5 million safe miles. (Courtesy: Minnesota Trucking Association)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Minnesota Trucking Association named Maplewood, Minnesota resident, Scott Post, a professional truck driver contracted for FedEx Ground in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the 2019 Minnesota Driver of the.

“This award is a great way to honor the best in our industry. Driving safe is no easy task, especially when you take into consideration his daily driving conditions like congestion, driver distractions and Minnesota winters. Having 2.5 million safe driving miles is an outstanding accomplishment,” said John Hausladen, MTA president. “We’re proud to award Scott for this achievement.”

Post is employed by Spartan Logistics in Newport, Minnesota which is a contracted service provider for FedEx Ground. FedEx Ground provides 1-5-day delivery of small packages to all 50 states, plus Canada. Scott has been driving a truck for 41 years and has driven more than 2.5 million safe miles.

“Scott Post is one of the safest, most attentive, detail-oriented drivers I’ve ever had,” said Randy Kurek, Owner of Spartan Logistics. “He’s always ready to learn and at the same time, is a sponge for industry knowledge. He lives and breathes trucking.”  In addition to being an outstanding professional truck driver, Post is involved with many community organizations, including Operation Lifesaver, the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics and the Minnesota Trucking Association’s Trucks for Toys program.

Throughout 2019, drivers are nominated by their companies and one driver is chosen each month to be the Driver of the Month. The drivers who are chosen meet a high standard of requirements including an outstanding driving and work record; contribution to industry and highway safety; and involvement in the community.

In January, MTA hosts the Driver of the Year Banquet and one of the twelve nominees is selected as Driver of the Year by a panel of judges including Matthew Marin, division administrator for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Deb Ledvina, director of commercial vehicle operations at MnDOT; and Captain Jon Olsen, Minnesota State Patrol.

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The Nation

Transportation Secretary calls on industry to ‘Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking’

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The Department of Transportation wants to train the transportation workforce, including professional truck drivers, on the issue of human trafficking. The DOT anticipates over 1 million employees across all modes of transportation will be trained because of this program. (iStock.com/WendellandCarolyn)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has announced a series of efforts to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector. Secretary Chao was joined by leaders from Congress, state governments and the transportation industry responding to this call to action.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with our public and private partners to fight human trafficking on America’s transportation system,” Chao said.

Among the initiatives announced by Secretary Chao is a renewed focus on the “Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking” pledge to train the transportation workforce and raise public awareness on the issue of human trafficking across all modes of transportation.  Secretary Chao is challenging the transportation industry to commit to “100 Pledges in 100 Days.” The Department anticipates over 1 million employees across all modes of transportation will be trained because of this initiative.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, affecting millions of adults and children in the United States and worldwide. Victims are of every age, race, gender, background, citizenship, and immigration status. Some are trafficked within their own communities on various forms of transportation, while others are transported to new locations.

To amplify counter-trafficking efforts, Secretary Chao established an annual $50,000 award to incentivize individuals and entities, including non-governmental organizations, transportation industry associations, research institutions, and state and local government organizations, to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry. The Department will review applications and determine the individual or entity that will most effectively utilize these funds to combat human trafficking.

Secretary Chao also announced $5.4 million in grant selections through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative. Twenty-four organizations across the country will each receive funding for projects to help prevent human trafficking and other crimes on public transportation. A list of the selected projects is available online.

To support the Department’s counter-trafficking efforts, the DOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking completed a report in July 2019 that recommends actions the Department can take to help combat human trafficking and best practices for states and local transportation stakeholders.

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The Nation

Former NASCAR driver and Talladega’s iconic trucker John Ray dies at 82

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Former nascar driver and talladega superspeedway’s iconic trucker john ray dies at 82
John Ray whose diesel big rig sporting the giant American flag became iconic during the track’s national anthem performances, has died. (Courtesy: Talladega Superspeedway)

TALLADEGA, Ala. —John Ray, whose big rig sporting a giant American flag became iconic during Talladega Superspeedway’s national anthem performances, has died, according to a news release. The former NASCAR driver was 82 years old.

Since 2001, Ray had driven his gold, brown and chrome Peterbilt with a large American flag down the Talladega frontstretch prior to the start of races.

“National anthems at Talladega Superspeedway are the most iconic, and it’s because of our great friend John Ray,” said Speedway President Brian Crichton. “What he brought to our fans can’t be duplicated. He was an incredible, passionate man who supported the track and all of motorsports with everything he had. His spirit will live here forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ray family.”

For more than 40 years, Ray was a member of the White Flag Club, a dedicated service group of local businessmen from surrounding communities that assist during race weekends.

In 2001, after the 9/11 terror attacks and the tragic passing of his longtime friend Dale Earnhardt Sr., Ray, along with then Talladega Superspeedway Track Chairman Grant Lynch, looked to boost the morale of a country, and a fan base that had gone through tough times.

“I had a crazy idea to run my rig out on the track with an American flag attached to the back,” said Ray, who lived down the street from the track in Eastaboga, three years ago. “It started off as a tribute to the country and to Dale.

“I never thought it would become the heart-felt moment that it has over the past some-odd years, but I’m glad it has become a tradition that means so much to the fans and the Talladega family. It represents such a sense of pride that we all share together as a nation and as a community. It is my honor and privilege to do it,” added Ray, who eventually gave up the driving duties of his big rig and handed them off to his late friend Roger Haynes, and last year to his son Johnny.

That wasn’t Ray’s first time at the 2.66-mile track. Ray, who owned “John Ray Trucking Company” since the early 70s, actually set the world speed record for a semi-truck and trailer around the mammoth track at 92.083 mph in 1975 — in a powerful Kenworth.

“We were testing brakes for a company out at the track,” Ray said. “One thing led to another — and there I was truck, trailer, and all — making my way around the track, trying to set a speed record. It was something else.”

Ray drove in the NASCAR Cup Series from 1974-1976. He competed in eight races, four at Talladega (where his best career finish was 22nd in 1974), but an accident at Daytona in 1976 ended his driving career. He continued as a car owner and essentially gave one of the sport’s greatest legends one of his first opportunities: 10-time Talladega winner Earnhardt. It would be Earnhardt’s third career start.

To read the full release, visit Talladega Superspeedway’s website.

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