Next week, one of three rookie truck drivers with a military background will be the owner of a new Kenworth T680.
The winner of the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award will be revealed during a ceremony on Dec. 14 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. The third annual award recognizes America’s top rookie driver with ties to the military.
Finalists for the 2018 award are:
- Mordaunt “Platt” Brabner, a veteran of the U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy and a driver for TMC Transportation.
- Summar Hanks, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a driver for U.S. Xpress.
- Quinton Ward, a veteran of the U.S. Army and a driver for Werner Enterprises.
- Christopher Young, a veteran of the U.S. Army and a driver for Stevens Transport.
Brabner served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was later commissioned as a naval flight officer in EA-6B aircraft.
Hanks joined the U.S. Air Force in 2008 and performed assignments in Kuwait and Seoul, South Korea. She transitioned to the Louisiana Air National Guard in 2016.
Ward enlisted in the U.S. Army after he graduated high school, but he was medically retired in 2010 after being injured during active duty.
Young served 15 years of active duty in the U.S. Army with four combat deployments and now remains active as an Army Reservist.
Detailed videos of the four finalists can be found here.
The award aims to encourage military veterans to make the transition into the trucking industry. To be nominated for the award, the driver must be a military veteran, a current CDL holder, an employee of a carrier that has pledged to hire veterans through TruckingTrack.org, and he or she must have been first employed as a truck driver between Jan. 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.
After nominations were received, the list was narrowed to 10 finalists in July. At GATS, the list was narrowed again to four.
The winner will receive a Kenworth T660 Advantage with a 76-inch sleeper that is valued at $155,000. The runner-ups will receive $10,000 each.
Previous winners were Gregg Softy in 2017 and Troy Davidson in 2016.
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