Earlier this year, the inspirational nonprofit Women In Trucking broke tradition by naming three talented drivers as the recipients of the coveted Driver of the Year Award.  

 

While historically reserved for one driver out of a long list of nominees, the 2024 ceremony saw an exciting twist when The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) decided to recognize the accomplishments and careers of Carmen Anderson (America’s Service Line), Deb LaBree (Castle Transport, Landstar), and Jodi Edwards (J.B. Hunt).  

 

Recently, Drive My Way had the chance to speak with 2024 award-winner and experienced CDL driver Carmen Anderson about her career, reaction to winning, and advice to young drivers. Keep reading to learn more about this industry veteran, and why she feels that organizations like Women in Trucking are so important.  

 

Meet Carmen Anderson 

With a career spanning over four decades and nearly 3 million safe-driving miles to her name, Carmen Anderson is a true example of WIT’s mission to recognize outstanding female professional drivers leading the industry in safety standards while working to enhance the public image of the trucking industry as a whole.  

 

Although Carmen has been employed as a meat hauler by America’s Service Line, the private fleet for American Foods Group, for the last seven years, she has a wide range of experience both behind the wheel and behind the scenes of the trucking world.  

 

“What’s really great about my company,” said Carmen, “is that they have stood behind me while letting me do all the extracurricular activities that I do.”  

 

In addition to a full-time schedule as an OTR meat hauler averaging 2,500-3,000 miles a week, Carmen is a member of the Wisconsin Road Team, part of WIT’s Image Team, and a lifetime member of the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA).  

 

Carmen also serves on the organizing committee for the South Dakota Special Olympics and has received training to recognize and prevent human trafficking through her work with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT).  

 

Through these opportunities Carmen has been able to present driver safety advice and speak about life on the road to high school driver education classes across Wisconsin, promote Women In Trucking at conferences nationwide, and even meet US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg at a rest area truck parking opening ceremony.  

 

Carmen’s hard work and engagement in the industry haven’t gone unnoticed. In August of 2019, she was recognized by the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association (WMCA) as the Driver of the Month. Later in the same year, Carmen was honored with the title of WMCA Driver of the Year, making her the first woman to be named the sole recipient of the award.  

 

This latter win took on another meaning for Carmen when the American Trucking Associations (ATA) dug into nationwide records and confirmed that Carmen was actually the first and only woman to ever win a Driver of the Year award in any of the state associations.  

 

Carmen believes discoveries like that highlight how important Women In Trucking is as an organization.  

 

“It’s about the camaraderie,” said Carmen. “It’s all about giving the opportunities for people who ordinarily wouldn’t be around trucks and introducing them to the trucking world. When we’re at conferences like the Mid America Trucking Show (MATS), or the WIT Accelerate Conference in Dallas, it’s a good feeling to be around other women in the industry and talk about industry issues.” 

 

For Carmen, this sense of camaraderie was felt strongly when she was able to share the title of 2024 Driver of the Year with two other qualified and experienced drivers.  

 

“I was totally blown away to receive the award,” said Carmen. “Especially with the two other women I received it with. It was an unprecedented year when they gave three of them out, and the other two are simply amazing drivers also. We all have our little niche. It’s nice for all of us to be recognized for that.”  

 

Women in Trucking 2024 Drivers of the Year: Deb LaBree, Jodi Edwards, Carmen Anderson

 

Carmen’s Trucking Advice 

After driving a wide range of vehicles, making runs in all 48 mainland states, and serving as a mentor to many fellow drivers, Carmen has become a great resource for advice to stay ahead in this competitive and evolving industry.  

 

When asked about the best advice for drivers just starting out, Carmen emphasized the importance of safety and focusing on what’s important.  

 

“You have to be aware of your surroundings,” Carmen explained. “You need to slow down and watch where you’re going, especially in construction zones. A lot of people are not paying attention, and a lot of people are not moving over for disabled vehicles. It’s just the attention to detail.” 

 

Carmen has also discovered the power of driving with another passenger, whether they have two legs or four. Now, she’s never seen on the road without her two “co-drivers” and pet dogs, Rodney and Otis.  

 

“A lot of companies don’t realize that it’s lonely out here,” Carmen said. “Pets might not be able to speak back, but we still have their companionship. A lot of drivers also have bigger dogs as guard dogs, since you do get bothered out here at times when you don’t want to be.” 

 

As for her own future, Carmen looks forward to cutting down on her miles traveled and spending more time at home. However, if this year is any indication of her future successes, Carmen will surely remain an important figure in the trucking industry, pushing the boundaries of what truck drivers can be and how they are perceived in the public eye.  

 

 

 

Looking for more industry news and stories from real truck drivers? Be sure to check out our social media or read more of our  Truck Driver Blog  posts to stay up to date on the latest trends in the world of trucking.  

 

For the last 30 years, the Worcester family of Harrington, Maine, has led a mission to honor fallen veterans each holiday season by laying wreaths on gravestones across the nation. What started as a small family venture, aided by a local trucking company and a handful of members from their community, has now grown into a nationwide event taking place annually on Wreaths Across America Day.  

 

This year, millions of volunteers from across the United States dedicated their time on December 16th to honor over three million veterans under this year’s theme of “Serve and Succeed.” Taking place at local, state, and national cemeteries in all 50 states, with over 4,225 participating locations, Wreaths Across America has become a powerful symbol of this country’s deep respect and appreciation of each and every fallen soldier.  

 

Keep reading to learn all you need to know about Wreaths Across America, how truckers and their loved ones have played an essential role in supporting this growing tradition nationwide, and what you can do to get involved in next year’s ceremony.  

 

A Timeless Mission Becomes Tradition  

Although the Worcester family first began their efforts to honor fallen soldiers in the Arlington National Cemetery in 1992, it wasn’t until over a decade later, in 2005, that this small project of compassion and respect caught on at a national level.  

 

After photos of the wreaths at the Arlington Cemetery went viral in 2005, the Worcester family’s efforts quickly grew until the nonprofit Wreaths Across America was founded in 2007. With the simple mission of “Remember, honor, and teach,” the movement placed over 100,000 wreaths, helped by over 60,000 volunteers, the following year.  

 

Since then, the organization has grown exponentially. Each year, on the Congress-recognized National Wreaths Across America Day, volunteers, donors, and truckers make it possible to honor these brave women and men by carrying out the Worcester family’s original mission. 

 

Drive My Way employee Casey Fletcher’s family spent this year helping out at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at a local veterans home.

The Importance of Truckers  

Truck drivers have been an essential part of the Wreaths Across America mission since the first event in 1992, when the Worcester family was aided by James Prout, owner of local Maine trucking company Blue Bird Ranch, Inc. Prout helped transport all of the wreaths that year to the Arlington cemetery, a role that hundreds of thousands of truckers have now carried on every year since.  

 

These CDL drivers and transportation companies are responsible for carrying millions of wreaths to each participating location across the country as part of Wreaths Across America’s “Honor Fleet.” Truckers also play a large role in the “world’s largest veteran parade” that happens each year to honor the first trip the Worcester family took in 1992 from Harrington, Maine, to the Arlington National Cemetery.  

 

Now, a procession of truck drivers, local law enforcement, WAA staff, and volunteers make the journey annually on Wreaths Across America day, while stopping at schools, monuments, and veterans’ homes and communities along the way to talk about the Wreaths Across America mission and the importance of honoring the sacrifice made by every fallen soldier.  

 

For many truckers, the mission of WAA is also especially personal. With over 25% of veterans pursing a career in truck driving, CDL drivers across the nation go above and beyond to make sure this tradition continues each year.  

 

At many carriers, it’s common to find drivers who are devoted to veteran affairs year round. NFI Industries employee Jason W. has been involved with Wreaths Across America for the past 3 years, and has made it a goal to travel to the Arlington National Cemetery.  

“It’s things like this that I’m humbled and honored to do,” said Jason W. “It reminds me that even with all the chaos that’s going on in our country right, there are truly people that still care, and our service to our country wasn’t done in vain.”  

How To Get Involved 

Does this sound like the sort of mission you’d love to be a part of? There are many ways to be involved with Wreaths Across America, whether as a volunteer, a trucker, or a donor. Mark your calendars if you’d like to participate in next year’s Wreaths Across America Day on Saturday, December 14, 2024. 

The wreath-laying is usually just one part of a moving ceremony of celebration, acknowledgement, and respect.

 

If you’re interested in supporting transportation, WAA makes it easy for you to sign up to haul a truckload of wreaths in next year’s ceremony. For those looking to volunteer by placing wreaths on site, you can simply register in advance to find out the next steps. If volunteering your time or truck isn’t possible, but you still are interested in supporting the Wreaths Across America mission, consider donating to sponsor a wreath or help out with transportation costs.  

 

Wreaths Across America also continues to grow each year. If you know a fallen soldier you’d like recognized, or there’s a memorial cemetery that still hasn’t made the WAA list, please reach out to someone on the sponsorship team 

 

 

If there’s one job that deserves a week of recognition, celebration, and appreciation, it’s commercial truck driving. With drivers throughout the country responsible for transporting over 70% of the United States freight, it’s fair to say our world wouldn’t be the same without each and every driver across the nation.  

 

Each year, Driver Appreciation Week provides the perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate the tireless commitment of commercial drivers around the country. Here at Drive My Way, we’ve noticed that many of our customers have found creative and thoughtful ways to uplift their drivers with gifts, fun games, and heartfelt messages. 

 

Keep reading to find out how our customers are shining the spotlight on their drivers this appreciation week, and how they keep the recognition going year round.  

 

Goody bags, prizes, and more! 

Presents don’t have to be limited to birthdays or the holiday season any more! This September 10-16, many companies will provide their drivers with unique merchandise, useful tools, or fun spirit wearto show their appreciation. A personalized gift is a thoughtful way for carriers to recognize your hard work and show how much they care.  

 

Company merchandise is a great way to show drivers how important they are to the mission, such as Go-To Transport’s tumbler.

This year, drivers at Go-To Transport can look forward to receiving a fun collection of company merchandise from display tables set up at their locations throughout the country. A Go-To tumbler, pen, and personal thank you card will be available to every company driver that stops by throughout the week. Drivers will also be able to choose between either a baseball cap, beanie, or a hoodie, depending on supplies.  

 

Drivers for NFI Industries are sure to enjoy choosing from a wide range of fun gear this appreciation week too. With locations across the country and over 4,500 team members, NFI has stepped up by offering company hats, shirts, duffle bags, lunch boxes and more!  

 

Meanwhile, Schwend, Inc. is utilizing its four locations across the South to set up stations for drivers to receive goody bags and door prizes this appreciation week. Prizes will range from Schwend merchandise to tickets for a weekend vacation!  

At each location, Schwend will also be setting up a breakfast and lunch serving station, where drivers can receive a home cooked meal each day of appreciation week. But for any driver that isn’t able to make it to a company terminal, there’s no need to worry! Schwend will offer to cover a few meals throughout the week for any driver out on the road.  

 

Do Something Nice 

At each location, Schwend will also be setting up a breakfast and lunch serving station, where drivers can receive a home cooked meal each day of appreciation week. But for any driver that isn’t able to make it to a company terminal, there’s no need to worry! Schwend will offer to cover a few meals throughout the week for any driver out on the road.  

 

Words of Appreciation  

You can never hear ‘thank you’ too often. For many commercial truck drivers, they aren’t told it enough. This Driver Appreciation Week, many carriers will be sending out a thoughtful message or organizing an exciting event to make sure their drivers know their hard work never goes unnoticed.   

 

The management team at Go-To Transport has been busy working with their marketing division to create a video of thank you messages for drivers to go on company social media pages. Hearing words of appreciation directly from management helps keep drivers invested in the company mission by highlighting the direct impact they have through their hard work.  

 

At NFI, it’s clear they know food is the way to everyone’s heart. Besides offering catered breakfast and lunch throughout the week, the company will be holding BBQ cookouts and picnics with food trucks, snow cone trucks, and raffle giveaways to celebrate their hardworking drivers across the country. 

 

At Schwend, their late summer employee appreciation picnics act as an extension of Driver Appreciation Week each year with cash prizes, CB radio giveaways, games, and more. Held at their Jasper, TN, and Dade City, FL, terminals, the picnics are open for all Schwend employees but focus on drivers and their families.  

 

Driver Appreciation Week is an annual reminder of the dedication, sacrifice, and commitment of commercial drivers across the nation. It’s a time to recognize and celebrate drivers, and to highlight the incredible contributions they make each day to the economy and our way of life. This is something to be celebrated and appreocaited every day of the year! 

 

If your company celebrates Driver Appreciation Week in a unique way or you’d like to shout out how your company demonstates their appreiation throughout the year, be sure to reach out to us on social media!  

 

Do you have what it takes to compete with the best of the best?  

 

This year, truck drivers from across the nation will be headed to Columbus, OH, to battle it out for the title of 2023 Grand Champion in the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck and Step Van Driving Championships.  

 

Every competitor must have first qualified at a state level championship, competing in one of nine classes of competition. In addition to winning at the state level, each contender must have been accident free for a year, inspiring safe driving practices among the tens of thousands of drivers vying for a spot annually.  

 

Over 500 attendees will crowd the Greater Columbus Convention Center from August 16-19 this year to watch the three-part championships. The competitors will undergo a written examination, a pre-trip inspection test, and, ultimately, a skills test. Although the 2023 Grand Champion is the most coveted title of the championship, there will also be awards for Professional Excellence, Vehicle Condition, and Rookie of the Year.  

 

A Long History of Roadeo 

Originally called the National Truck Roadeo, the championships have been held since 1937. The first competition came just four years after the founding of the American Trucking Association in 1933. 

 

There have been many memorable moments over the years, and a long list of talented drivers who have competed, won, and logged millions of safe driving miles. Over the years, the National Truck and Step Van Driving Championships have provided an opportunity for countless truckers with diverse backgrounds and experience to display the skills, patience, and bravery necessary to succeed in this field.  

 

The 2022 Bendix Grand Champion, Roland Bolduc, is no exception to this great history of impressive drivers. With the 2017 Bendix Grand Champion title already under his belt, the FedEx Express driver aced all the tests last year competing in the Sleeper Berth Division.. 

 

Bolduc, who has more than 2.5 million safe driving miles in a career extending over four decades, was also one of four FedEx drivers that won four out of the nine classes of competition. This included Step Van Division (Gregory Long, FedEx Express), Tank Truck Division (Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight), and Straight Truck Division (Christopher Shaw, FedEx Express). 

 

Winners from the other five classes hailed from employers across the country, including Three-Axle Division (Wilbert Vano, XPO Logistics Inc.), Four-Axle Division (Martin McMahon, RIST Transport), Five-Axle Division (David Guinn, Publix Super Markets Inc.), Flatbed Division (Eric Ramsdell, Walmart Transportation LLC), and Twins Division (Damien Hebert, XPO Logistics Inc).  

 

 

The annual National Truck and Step Van Driving Championships aren’t called the “Olympics of Trucking” for nothing. These competitions offer an opportunity for top talent from across the country to highlight the extensive knowledge and talent required to be a truck driver while entertaining hundreds of spectators.  

 

From winning state level competitions to competing nationally this year in Columbus, OH, every competitor taking part in the National Championships will help shed light on the hard work being achieved by every truck driver in America.  

 

What are your favorite memories of past championships? Will you be attending this year’s? Be sure to connect with us on social media to share your stories and learn more about the National Truck and Step Van Driving Championships.  

There’s a reason there are blogs, social media pages, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to the safety of female truck drivers. While safety should be every driver’s top priority, women in the trucking industry face unique discrimination and threats to their safety that are serious and continuing to evolve.  

 

Although women have been pioneers in the commercial driving industry since its origins in the early 1900s, they have had to fight for progress and recognition, as well as for support against safety threats. Modern times have seen improvements in equality behind the wheel, but many female truck drivers still feel like they’re on their own to protect themselves at truck stops and in other industry settings. Keep reading if you’re looking for necessary tips to avoid dangerous situations as a woman in the trucking business.  

 

Modern Times Means Modern Threats 

Unfortunately, as technology and ideas continue to develop over time, so do the people who abuse them. One threat that is increasingly dangerous for women in the trucking industry is human trafficking 

 

Truck stops are often safe, relaxing places that give all members of the trucking community a much needed recharge and refuel point. However, they can also be used as points to mark and target solo truck drivers as potential victims, and as stopping points for traffickers already transporting kidnapped women and children.  

 

Many veteran female truck drivers have potentially life saving tips to avoid dangerous situations that they use no matter where they are.

A solo female truck driver found this zip tie on her air line at a truck stop in the eastern US, a known signal for human traffickers marking a potential victim.

One driver, who will not be identified for her safety, was recently at a truck stop and noticed a zip tie had been put on her emergency air line while she was sleeping. This is a known signal for traffickers, along with tissues, paper, and other small, intentionally placed markers.  

 

If you encounter something like this, do not attempt to remove the marker on your own. Traffickers sometimes use drugs that can be absorbed through skin contact alone. In a situation like this, it is recommended to get to a safe location immediately and call the police. If this seems dramatic, consider that making a decision like this could be the difference between life or death.  

 

Tips and Tricks from Women in the Field  

Human trafficking is not the only safety threat that female truckers face. Here at Drive My Way, we have compiled advice that real women in the trucking industry have shared on social media and blogs for how they remain safe and comfortable while still getting the job done.  

 

Some of the most important and widely shared tips explain how a woman driving solo can make it appear as if she isn’t alone. Making it appear as if you have a driving partner, husband, or even dog can be an easy and effective way to protect yourself at truck stops or in other uncomfortable situations.  

 

  • If someone asks, say your partner (or dog!) is sleeping in the cab. For this to be the most effective, keep the curtain drawn on your sleeper so no one looking in can tell. If you’re feeling especially uncomfortable in a setting, you might want to pretend to have a conversation with whoever is “behind the curtain.” 
  • Wear a wedding ring. 
  • Order two plates of food/drinks to bring back to the cab.  
  • When entering your cab, knock on the door as if someone is inside, then discreetly open the door yourself.  

 

Many women have also shared tips that they practice at all times to maintain their safety.  

 

  • Always check your trailer when you come back for anything out of the ordinary, and lock it before you leave, even if just fueling.  
  • Park as close to the truck stop as you can, and only in well lit areas.  
  • Limit your distractions when outside of your truck, so you can always be aware of your surroundings. This might mean staying off your phone and always being alert.  
  • Consider protection for yourself, such as bear/wasp spray, mace, or a dog (if your company allows it!) 
  • Wear baggy clothing if you are especially uncomfortable in a setting.  

 

 

It is a sad reality that female truck drivers face threats to their safety across the country. However, it is important to be aware of this disparity to continue the fight for increased safety regulations and improvements to truck stop security. Women are a fast growing minority in the trucking industry, but there is still a long way to go.  

 

Are there any safety tips we missed? Which truck stops make you feel the most comfortable and safe? Please let us know on our social media so we can continue to share information that helps make the trucking industry equal for every driver.  

Operation Safe Driver Week takes place every year to create awareness around safe driving habits for both passenger and commercial motorists. In honor of Operation Safe Driver Week taking place July 9-15, 2023, the team at Drive My Way compiled this list of essential tips for truck driver safety from pre-trip planning to post-trip inspections.   

When it comes to protecting yourself on the road, there are several factors to consider before you leave, while you are traveling, and once you reach your destination.  

Prior to Hitting the Road  

Truck driver safety starts before you even turn your rig on and get out on the road. By following these tips before you leave, you can help set yourself up for a successful haul.  

  1. Prioritize Your Health: Regardless of what happens on the road, you will be better prepared to handle whatever comes your way by ensuring you get enough rest prior to leaving. By taking good care of yourself, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, you will be physically and mentally ready for your next trip. 
  2. Have a Game Plan: It is important to take time before your trip to plan your route, check weather forecasts and road conditions, make note of any areas with construction or low bridges, and plan for any alternate routes should adverse conditions occur. If you are traveling a route that is known to have high winds for example, it is important to remember to stay close to the shoulder and reduce your speed. It is also important to know when to wait out poor conditions rather than pushing through and putting yourself and others in danger. Now is also the time to make sure your rig is up to date for maintenance, and you have an emergency kit on board.
  3. Create a Comfortable Environment: No matter the distance, you want to make sure you are comfortable for the trip. We recommend having good music/podcast to listen to, plenty of water and healthy snacks, and making adjustments to your seat to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Mapping out locations for your breaks will also help you stay on track and avoid being behind the wheel for too long at once. 

 

Truck Driver Safety on the Road  

Once you have begun your trip, there are several ways to ensure that your drive is as pleasant as possible, with few complications.  

  1. Pay Attention to the Little Things: While there are basic practices that every trucker knows like the back of their hand, it is also a good reminder to pay attention to the routine behaviors such as doing your pre-trip inspection, wearing your seatbelt, turning headlights on at appropriate times of day, using turn signals, and checking your mirrors. Some of them items seem so routine that they may get missed, especially if you are feeling fatigue, but they are something police officers are heightened to checking during Operation Safe Driver Week, and during summer travel in general, so it always good to be take note.Rookie drivers are especially susceptible to these types of errors, so whether you are mentoring a new driver, or working a team driving job, it is always helpful to remind your partner. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has several tips like these to help truckers stay safe on the road.
  2. Stay Alert: It is vital to stay alert during your drive to ensure you are able to handle changes as they come on the road. Whether it is safely changing lanes, watching blind spots, driving in construction zones, or practicing defensive driving, you will want to make sure you are alert and ready to handle evolving conditions. Defensive driving equips you with the tools needed to stay as safe as possible, reducing the risk of an incident by taking control of how you show up to the day’s drive. Unlike offensive driving, defensive driving allows you to let others adjust their driving based on your actions, rather than you reacting to them. This can reduce road rage, as well as reduce questionable liability in accidents with four wheels.

Staying alert also applies to stops just as much as it does while driving. Single drivers, especially women, are often targets on the road, so it is important to take note of your environment, report strange people or incidents to the proper authorities, and avoid truck stops that are not well-traveled.  

  1. Maintain Speed and Distance: The foundation of safe driving is consistency, so maintaining your speed and distance will go a long way in creating a safe drive for not only yourself, but for all the other drivers on the road with you. According to the FMCSA, two significant factors in large truck crashes include drivers traveling too fast for the conditions and drivers following too closely. Other common moving violations include:
  • Improper lane changes 
  • Improper turns 
  • Failure to yield to right of way 
  • Reckless driving 
  • Failure to obey a traffic control device  
  • Railroad grade crossing violations  

Safety Doesn’t Stop at Your Destination  

Even after you reach your destination, there are several truck driver safety tips to consider. 

  1. Check for Safe Parking: Once you get to your destination, make sure you have a safe spot to pull into before parking your truck. A previous truck may have even left a path that you can follow to safely park your rig. Once you have parked, make sure that your headlights are turned off and that you have locked everything up. 
  2. Take Care Unloading Freight: Your cargo may have shifted during the drive, so it’s important to take care when opening the door. If you are lifting any items, make sure to bend and lift with your knees to avoid throwing your back out. It is also vital to remember to check for workers and other drivers before closing doors or moving your truck away from the dock. 
  3. Inspect Your Truck and Call It a Day: Every company requires post-trip inspections, so it is important to complete these before retiring for the day. Items on these inspections may include checking for flat tires, checking fluid levels, ensuring all headlights are working, etc. You may also need to record any damage that your rig sustained during the trip, especially if you encountered poor weather conditions, such as hail or high winds. For new truck drivers, these steps are especially important as you familiarize yourself with your truck and completing hauls. 

Operation Safe Driver Week is an opportunity to remember these truck driver safety tips to ensure safe hauls every time you get out on the road.  

 NFI Industries is one of the largest and most diverse supply chain solutions providers in North America, offering end-to-end logistics services across a range of industries. But beyond its impressive portfolio of services and customers, NFI is also a company that values and respects its employees, offering equal access to opportunities for all. As a company, NFI is committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace and culture. This commitment benefits not only its employees, but also its customers and communities. 

NFI’s Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion 

NFI has taken action to ensure that its pledge to diversity and inclusion is more than just words. Instead, it is a promise to make a difference in the lives of its people and the world around them. In 2022, NFI’s CEO Sid Brown, signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge. This pledge is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and it outlines four key actions that signatories agree to take: 

  • Cultivate a workplace that supports open dialogue on complex and sometimes difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion.
  •  Implement and expand unconscious bias education
  • Share best practices and successful actions with other companies
  • Create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with their board of directors 

By signing this pledge, NFI demonstrates its dedication to fostering an environment that values and respects all individuals, offers equal access to opportunities, and embraces their individuality. 

NFI’s Focus Areas for Diversity and Inclusion

NFI’s diversity and inclusion strategy is led by the Vice President of D&I and the D&I Council. They oversee various initiatives and programs to enhance NFI’s culture and workforce. The strategy has five pillars: representation, advancement, inclusive culture, leadership commitment, and sustainability & accountability. To foster a sense of representation and inclusive culture among its employees, NFI offers seven Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that celebrate and support the unique characteristics and interests of NFI’s team members. To ensure diversity in talent, NFI strives to attract, develop, retain, and advance a diverse talent pool that reflects the communities it serves. NFI also invests in the growth and development of its employees through mentorship programs, training courses, leadership workshops, and recognition awards. To create a positive community impact, NFI supports various causes and organizations that align with its values. 

NFI’s Employee Resource Groups 

One of the ways that NFI fosters a sense of belonging among its employees is through its Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These are voluntary, employee-led, and NFI sponsored groups that are formed around common interests, backgrounds, or pursuits. Each group is open to all employees and helps to increase the inclusion and retention of our diverse workforce, drive employee engagement, and educate through programs.

 NFI currently has seven ERGs that employees can join: 

  • Women’s Initiative Network, Young Professionals Network, Veterans Engagement Team, Black Organization for Leadership and Development (BOLD), APIDA Shared Identity Affinity Network (ASIAN), People Recognizing Our Unique Diversity (PROUD), and their newest addition, Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement (HOLA).

 NFI’s ERGs have been active in advancing NFI’s D&I goals and initiatives. They have hosted virtual events on various D&I topics and organized celebrations and campaigns for various cultural and historical events and months. The groups also participated in community service and fundraisers for various causes and organizations.  Newsletters are created to share D&I information and stories. The groups also collaborate with NFI’s talent acquisition team to attract and recruit diverse candidates.

NFI’s Recognition for Diversity and Inclusion

 NFI has received several awards and accolades for its D&I efforts. These include: One of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity 2023 by Newsweek, which recognizes companies that have made diversity a priority; One of the Best Employers for Women in the U.S. by Forbes, which ranks companies based on their treatment of women employees; and A Delaware Valley Top Workplace by The Philadelphia Inquirer, which honors employers that have a strong culture of engagement. 

NFI’s Vision for Diversity and Inclusion 

NFI is proud of its achievements in diversity and inclusion so far, but it is ongoing. The company recognizes that there is always room for improvement and innovation and that diversity and inclusion is a journey that requires constant learning and adaptation. 

NFI’s vision is to be a leader in diversity and inclusion in the supply chain industry and beyond and to create a workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to reach their full potential. 

If you are interested in joining NFI’s diverse and inclusive team, visit their careers page to learn more about their opportunities and benefits at https://careers.nfiindustries.com/us/en/search-results

 truck driving jobs for veterans

The Benefits of Truck Driving Jobs for Military Veterans

Trucking jobs offer flexibility for veterans to spend time with family and explore the country. CDL jobs provide good salaries, job security, and career advancement. They also play a crucial role in our economy by transporting goods across the country.

Why Veterans Should Consider a Truck Driving Career

Military veterans have a natural edge when it comes to truck driving careers. The skills learned in the military, across various branches and roles, can be effortlessly applied to truck driving. With a successful military career, you most likely already have the traits that make for a great commercial truck driver. Don’t be surprised to realize how much potential you have in this line of work.

Work Environment

Truck driving careers offer a unique blend of independence and camaraderie. Drivers enjoy the freedom to choose their own hours and income while also being supported by their carrier and a tight-knit community of fellow drivers. With the potential for high earnings, a career in truck driving is an attractive option for veterans seeking a fulfilling and flexible career path.

Skills and Requirements

Truck driving demands a thorough understanding and adherence to rigid government safety regulations and company policies, which include mandatory rest periods and defensive driving practices. Adhering to these guidelines is essential for truck drivers to enjoy a long, prosperous career. Most veterans already possess the fundamental skills that trucking companies seek during intensive training and field experience, such as situational awareness, dependability, leadership, management, and teamwork. Furthermore, disciplined and committed military veterans won’t have any trouble acquiring specific driving skills through CDL training and driver orientation.

Waive the skills test!

Veterans with significant military driving experience may be eligible for a skills test waiver, and those with a CDL from their time in the military can start their driving career with a higher pay rate.

Job Security

Veterans seeking job security, a steady income, and retirement options should consider a truck driving career. Your talents are in high demand. It’s an excellent career transition option for retired veterans with the added benefit of company benefits.

The trucking industry needs skilled and dedicated drivers. Fortunately, military veterans possess the qualities and capabilities that make them ideal candidates for a successful career in truck driving. With the added benefits and support available to veterans, this path offers a promising and fulfilling option for those seeking a new direction.

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

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Truckers Against Trafficking

What is Truckers Against Trafficking?

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) was founded in 2009 and has since become a powerful force in the fight against human trafficking. Working alongside trucking industry associations, motor carriers, government transportation agencies, law enforcement agencies like the FBI, as well as truck stops and travel plazas, TAT has trained over 730,351 drivers and personnel to identify and report instances of human trafficking. Their efforts have resulted in over 2,250 calls to the national trafficking hotline by truck drivers, leading to the identification of 612 human trafficking cases and the rescue of 1,133 victims. By partnering with TAT, trucking and busing professionals become an invaluable asset in the fight against this atrocious crime, as they possess a unique vantage point to root out traffickers who exploit our transportation infrastructure for their own selfish purposes.

Truckers Against Trafficking has spread its wings and taught members of state trucking associations to be vigilant in identifying and reporting cases of human trafficking. Today, all 50 state associations have received training, making the powerful network of truckers, bus lines, and major airlines provide a watchful eye to ensure that human traffickers have nowhere to hide. Additionally, some bus lines and airlines now offer travel vouchers to survivors of human trafficking to ensure their safe return home. This growing network of eyes and ears makes our roads safer for everyone. TAT has formed partnerships with numerous companies in the transportation industry to raise awareness about the signs of human trafficking. By working together, these companies and TAT are making a tangible difference in the fight against this heinous crime.

There is a Hotline For Reporting Human Trafficking

Before the establishment of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), truckers only reported sporadic tips about human trafficking. However, with TAT’s efforts, there has been a significant increase in calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888, text 233733. In 2017, TAT reported that nearly half of the cases generated by truckers’ calls involved minors. TAT’s collaboration with the trucking industry and law enforcement agencies has made a difference in the fight against human trafficking.

Available Resources for Education/Training about Human Trafficking

Get free training materials from Truckers Against Trafficking, including a DVD, wallet cards, and window decals, to educate and train individuals and organizations on identifying and reporting human trafficking. Once trained, register with TAT and help fight against human trafficking. Contact truckers@gmail.com for your materials today.

Other Ways to Help

Stay alert for suspicious activity and report any signs of trafficking. This includes young people around truck stops and code words like “lot lizard” or “Commercial Company.” Report any indicators, no matter how insignificant they may seem, to the tip lines. Educate yourself about the issue by ordering Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children, a gripping account that exposes the dark underworld of the trafficking industry through the stories of those who live there. Available in paperback, e-book, and audio book formats, so you can listen on the road.

Together, we can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking. No industry is exempt, and it’s up to all of us to take action. We can’t rely solely on our police departments. It’s time for companies and individuals to step up and do their part. We all travel on our nation’s roads, and with that comes a responsibility to educate ourselves on this national epidemic. Let’s work together to put an end to it.

Sources:

“How Truckers Can Stop Human Trafficking”, American Trucker, Nov.1, 2017.

“More States Signing on to Enlist Truckers Against Human Trafficking”, Trucking Truth, June 24, 2019.

Drive My Way announced that David Gottsman has joined the team as a Senior Account Executive. Drive My Way matches CDL truck drivers and owner operators with jobs based on their professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences. 

David has been an account executive for over a decade, helping fleets of all sizes navigate various technology purchases. His knowledge of the industry spans his entire lifetime, as his father held many roles in the transportation industry from shipping manager, company driver and eventually, owner-operator before retiring.

David joins Drive My Way as a Senior Account Executive to help some of the nation’s most established fleets achieve their recruiting goals, while helping drivers find fulfilling, long-lasting careers they can be proud of.

David holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. He now resides in his home state of Florida with his wife and small dog. He is an avid fisherman and may be spotted from time to time on the cover of Kayak Angler magazine.

Beth Potratz, Drive My Way President and CEO

“David is a great addition to the Drive My Way team. His lifetime of experience in and around the transportation industry, coupled with his passion for helping carriers of all sizes meet their recruiting goals will help take Drive My Way to the next level. Welcome to the team, David.”

About Drive My Way

Drive My Way is disrupting truck driver recruiting by treating the driver as a consumer in the employment relationship. Drive My Way is a next-generation recruiting marketplace powered by a patented and proprietary platform that matches CDL truck drivers and owner operators with jobs based on their qualifications and personal preferences.

Drive My Way’s driver-centric technology lets both the driver and hiring manager know how well they match to each job before entering the hiring process. Drive My Way is making truck driver recruiting personal again by creating meaningful connections for employers to turn into lasting relationships. Employers partner with Drive My Way to start recruiting for retention.

Comprehensive CDL Recruitment Solutions

Ready to start recruiting the right drivers? Our solutions experts are happy to answer any questions and show you how Drive My Way uniquely approaches CDL driver recruitment.

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