The search is on: Returning initiative to reward military veteran driver with Kenworth T680

The search is on: Returning initiative to reward military veteran driver with Kenworth T680

The competition is searching for America's top rookie military veteran driver, who transitioned into trucking after military service.

Kenworth, Fastport and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative announced that they 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. Kenworth tells us this year’s award is a T680 equipped with a 76-in. 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 transportation industry goes beyond a military-friendly attitude to embody veteran-ready actions where the valuable skills and career experience obtained during active duty are a natural fit,” said Brad Bentley, Fastport president. “We are excited to be at the Mid-America Trucking Show with this year’s Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence grand prize, the Kenworth T680, and hope participating in the largest gathering of heavy-duty trucking professionals will help us surpass last year’s record number of nominations.”

“Every year, I am inspired by the caliber of nominees and look forward to reading about the 2024 applicants,” said Kyle Kimball, Kenworth director of marketing. “Through this program, I have seen how well the transportation industry and veterans can be successful together. We, at Kenworth, are proud to participate in this life-changing initiative to award The World’s Best Truck to a deserving veteran.”

“Military service promotes a sense of mission, teamwork and loyalty while providing opportunities to develop leadership and self-discipline within a culture of safety – all highly coveted attributes in commercial trucking, which is why we have seen veterans transition so successfully into this industry,” said Eric Eversole, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president and Hiring Our Heroes president. “Hiring Our Heroes is proud to partner with FASTPORT and Kenworth to promote the recruitment of service members into the trucking industry.”

The top driver will be determined by an expert panel of judges. To qualify, drivers must meet eligibility requirements as specified in the official Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award rules, 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; and
  • Have been employed by any for-hire carrier or private fleet that has pledged to hire veterans and hired as a CDL driver after January 1, 2023.

Nominations opened on March 20 and will close on June 20. Award semi-finalists will be announced on Aug. 1. Kenworth will invite finalists 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 through 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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