'Transition Trucking' award program nominations open

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, March 21, 2024:

Kenworth again donates truck for ‘Transition Trucking’ award

Kenworth, Fastport and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative are again partnering in the search for America’s top rookie military veteran driver who successfully transitioned to the trucking industry following military service.

Under the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program, Kenworth will provide the grand prize for the ninth consecutive year. This year’s award is a T680 equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and the Paccar Powertrain featuring the Paccar MX-13 engine rated at 455 horsepower, Paccar TX-12 automated transmission and Paccar DX-40 tandem rear axles.

The truck will be shown this week at the Mid-America Trucking Show at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Fastport booth, #65024. The truck features a Diamond VIT interior in slate gray with madrona accents and includes the latest in driver amenities. Both the driver and passenger seats are GT703 leather seats that are fully heated and cooled. The 76-inch sleeper includes space for a microwave and TV, a factory-installed fridge, and a rotating work table.

The T680 also includes the latest in driver assistance systems, including Kenworth's Digital Mirrors, Bendix Fusion Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop and Auto Go, and Lane Keeping Assist with Torque Assisted Steering.

The top driver will be determined by an expert panel of judges. To qualify, drivers must meet eligibility requirements, including:

  • Be a legal resident of the continental United States and military veteran or current/former member of the National Guard or Reserves
  • Graduated from PTDI-certified, NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school, with a valid CDL
  • Have been employed by any for-hire carrier or private fleet that has pledged to hire veterans and hired as a CDL driver after Jan. 1, 2023

The nomination period is now open, and the final deadline to submit applications is June 20. Award semi-finalists will be announced on Aug. 1. Finalists will be invited to Columbus, Ohio to tour the National Veterans Memorial and Museum and attend a reception, followed by a tour of the Kenworth Chillicothe manufacturing plant, where the finalists will be announced. Public voting on the finalists will occur from Nov. 1-11. On Dec. 13, finalists will gather at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where the final award announcement will be made, and the winner will drive home in the Kenworth T680.

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[Related: Slay Transportation driver named top military vet rookie trucker]

St. Christopher fundraising efforts taking place at MATS

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) will host a silent auction, and a number of other fundraising activities, at the upcoming Mid-American Trucking Show (MATS), taking place March 21–23 Louisville, Kentucky.

The silent auction, which includes more than 30 prizes donated from MATS vendors and SCF supporters, will take place during the Opening Ceremony on Thursday, March 21, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the South Wing Lobby.

“MATS is the biggest gathering of the trucking industry and one of our biggest fundraising events of the year,” said Shannon Currier, Director of Philanthropy at St. Christopher. “We are very grateful for the support that comes from this event, especially from our sponsors, the show management and participating vendors who donate products for the auction.”

In addition to the silent auction, prize wheels benefiting St. Christopher will be in action at the TravelCenters of America and Shell Rotella booths, as well as the St. Christopher booth (#40648) in the North Wing Lobby.

The SCF is a nationwide nonprofit that provides short-term relief to Class A OTR drivers suffering from an illness or injury that took them out of work within the last year. The SCF also provides several free preventative health and wellness programs for OTR drivers in an effort to keep them on the road, including tobacco cessation, diabetes prevention, chronic disease management, at-home cancer screenings, and vaccine vouchers.