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Christmas came a few days late for David Johnson, a 56-year-old truck driver from Brooklyn, New York.  After spending $5 on lottery tickets, including a $2 Powerball ticket, David Johnson is New York’s newest multi-millionaire after he wins the Powerball lottery!

Truck Driver Wins Powerball Lottery

Image via New York Post

Johnson, won the almost $300 million dollar jackpot on Wednesday, December 26th.  Because he wasn’t feeling well, he didn’t even check his ticket until a few days later.  In a spirited interview, Mr. Johnson happily recounts the story from buying the tickets to realizing he was the big winner.

“A friend of mine, the next driver for the company called me and said, ‘Dave somebody won the Powerball at the gas station,’” he said. “I told him no bro that’s not me man. That’s not my luck.”

“I looked at the board and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, Jesus, oh my God’” he said. “I jumped up and down in the store….  got back in my car, turned the music up and zoomed on home.”

He collected a check for $114,000,000 earlier this month, after stashing the ticket in the pocket of an old jacket for a week.  Mr. Johnson has since retired, and has plans to invest most of the money for the future.  But he will certainly treat himself to a few things: a new house and a brand new red Porsche – something he’s always wanted to own.

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Truckers aid hunger crisis

Truckers Aid Hunger Crisis

the Indy Hunger Network, a charity that dedicates its efforts towards feeding the hungry, has launched a new Food Drop program. The programs helps truckers aid hunger crisis by donating rejected food deliveries to charity.

 Image via Indy Hunger Network

Truckers who make runs to grocery stores to drop off orders of food often are told that the food will not be accepted. Whether there was an ordering error or the delivered food is not up to the store’s standards, the rejected food often ends up directly in a landfill. These items consist primarily of foods that are still edible and packaged with unbroken seals.

Instead, the Food Drop program allows truckers to bring that food to local food banks across Indiana. So far, the charity has documented 90,000 pounds of donated food within the first six months of the program. If the program continues to succeed in Indianapolis, the Indy Food Network wants to expand the program across the country.

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Wreaths Across America donations support drivers who volunteer trucks to deliver wreaths for veterans’ tombstones.

Wreaths Across America Veterans

Image via Overdrive

The Truckload Carriers Association hosted its annual gala to raise money for truckers who haul wreaths for Wreaths Across America. Each December, the WAA provides thousands of wreaths for veteran tombstones at more than 1,400 cemeteries.

More than 230 trucking industry executives, suppliers, and families gathered to raise the money. In addition, National Association of Independent Truckers and IAT Insurance Group donated the biggest donation of $50,000. Pilot Flying J and Freightliner co-sponsored the event, along with TravelCenters of America, Petro, Randall Reilly, and DriverFacts.

The majority of donations go towards drivers’ fuel costs. WAA representative Debbie Sparks told Overdrive, “Our reliance on independent truck owner-operators cannot be understated when talking about the success of National Wreaths Across America Day.”

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Ditch the chips! We’ve got some of the yummiest potato recipes that are sure to keep drivers full and focused.

Image via Pixabay

Deciding what food to take on your route can be a hard choice. Perhaps you’re trying to stick with your diet or cut down on carbs. Or, maybe you struggle just to remember to pack anything at all. Regardless of where your appetite is, celebrate National Potato Day (Aug. 19) by giving you some easy-peasy potato recipes that are sure to please.

Taters: A History

Potatoes have been a popular food for centuries. The fourth most largely farmed crop today, they were originally cultivated by the Inca Indians of Peru. When the Spanish conquered Peru, it was only a matter of time before they brought potatoes back to Europe. Because they’re so easy to grow, they soon caught on as a staple across the continent. After the famous potato blight in the 1840’s, famine forced many families, notably the Irish, to immigrate elsewhere, such as Canada and America. Their migration effectively brought this wonderful starch into our lives. And so, the potato can now be found on the shelves of virtually every home in the U.S.

One of the most versatile foods, any potato — mashed, smashed, chipped, or covered in cheese — can be eaten as a snack or meal. Additionally, the vitamins in potatoes, like iron, potassium, and vitamin C, make spuds the ideal ingredient to bring on the road. Read on to find the perfect recipe for your route.

The Easiest

Image via Getty Images

Baked potatoes are about as basic as you can get in terms of food-prep. It’s a sure fire way of guaranteeing yourself a delicious, edible meal every single time. If you’re planning on cooking them ahead of time, simply pick out your favorite tater (we recommend Russets for this method), and rub it down with some oil, salt, and pepper. Throw the potato on a baking sheet and let it roast in the oven for about an hour on 425°F. The result? A crispy on the outside, soft and steamy on the inside baked potato.

Can’t make it ahead of time? Many grocery stores supply potatoes pre-wrapped. Throw that sucker in the microwave, per package instructions, of course, and you’ll have the same delicious outcome.

Looking to amp up your tater-game? Add toppings! Some simple, nutritious combinations include adding broccoli and cheddar cheese, or even just the usual sour cream, bacon, and chives. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try using sweet potatoes, and topping them off with some BBQ chicken? Plain or decked out, you’re looking at an easy, satisfying meal.

The Snackiest

Image via Getty Images

Ever wish you had an equally crunchy, perfectly salted substitute for your favorite potato chips? Well, now you do. Enter baked potato chips. By making your own, you can control exactly how much oil and salt you add, cutting down on some serious calories. You can find a recipe for your own chips anywhere, but we recommend this one by Kimberly Eggleston. She’s a registered dietitian who has been cooking up her own recipes for decades. The trick to her recipe is to slice the potatoes as thinly as possible for that extra crunch.

No time to make your own? Not a problem. Many brands are now offering their chips in a baked form, including the ever-popular Lays. Even buying a bag of baked chips over fried cuts down on cholesterol and trans fat, and you’ll feel less weighed down, too!

The Healthiest

Image via Garlic & Zest

Time to hop on the cauliflower bandwagon. Though this recipe isn’t actually made of potatoes, it’s perfect for the more health-conscious trucker. Cauliflower mashed potatoes has become something of a fad in recent months. Doctors everywhere are recommending low-carb diets, and beaming about the health benefits that come with them. One of the main substitutes that they recommend is using cauliflower as a replacement for more carb-heavy recipes, such as pizza crust, buffalo wings, and, now, even mashed potatoes.

Simply prepare a head of cauliflower by trimming any excess leaves, and chop the whole head into bigger chunks. Add to a boiling pot of water until soft, and drain. In batches, add the cauliflower to a food processor with a tablespoon of butter, a couple cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and pulse until smooth.

No time to make your own? Birds Eye offers an exceptional frozen version of their cauliflower mash. Simply throw their dish in the microwave per box instructions, and you’ve got a perfect, creamy mash to indulge in.

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Music On The Road

Spending hours on the road every day leaves many truckers eager for a way to pass the time.

The radio is the most obvious solution, and music can make the drive far more enjoyable. However, changing the channels as you drive from state to state can get annoying.

But, with the increasing amount of streamable devices available, it has become easier and easier to find the best way to listen to your favorite artists.

Apps are easier to use than ever before, making them the obvious choice for music listeners on the go. This Tech Thursday, Drive My Way has compiled a list of the top three best music streaming applications to use on the road.

  1.  Spotify

    Image via Spotify

    Spotify has become one of the most popular music streaming devices in recent years. Boasting 70 million subscribers in January 2018 and climbing, They also have some of the most unique curated playlists of any music application, such as the ever popular “#ThrowbackThursday” featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bruce Springsteen, as well as “Feelin’ Good” featuring Al Green and The Supremes. With music to match your every mood, its hard to not fall in love with this streaming service.

    Spotify offers both paid and free subscriptions. The free subscription offers full access to all their music with limited commercial interruption, and five song “skips” per hour. Spotify Premium, their paid version, offers a higher quality of music, no ads, and as many skips as you’d like. After a free 30-day trial, Premium is $9.99/month for an individual account, $14.99/month for a family account featuring up to 6 lines, or $4.99/month for students. Even better, Spotify is currently offering a deal featuring 3 months free for $0.99.

    Other features that Spotify offers include the ability to connect to family and friends through Facebook. This way, you can share what you’re listening to, see what your friends are into, and even get song suggestions based on who you follow. If you ever want to listen to your music in private, though, you can always use their “Private Session” feature to jam to your tunes in peace.

    Spotify is available for download on any smartphone, laptop, or other tablet via iTunes Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store.

  2.  Pandora

    Image via Pandora

    Another popular app available for download is Pandora. This streaming service has been around for years, and has only recently become popular once again. Much like Spotify, Pandora offers immediate access to over 30 million songs in both a free and “Premium” format. However, unlike other music players, Pandora curates music to play for you on their “radio” based on which songs you “like” or “dislike”. Though it does not have more specific playlists like Spotify does, Pandora allows you to create your own custom playlists based on songs you like.

    Much like its musical counterparts, Pandora’s free subscription offers limited commercial listening with 6 “skips” per hour. “Pandora Premium” permits ad-free listening, as well as the ability to search and play any song they offer, create your own playlists, download and listen to music offline, and much more. Though they do not offer any student discounts, their music streaming is $9.99/month for an individual account, and $14.99/month for up to 6 lines in a family plan.

    Pandora is also available for download on any smartphone, laptop, or other tablet via iTunes Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store.

  3. iHeart Radio

    Image via iHeart Radio

    Finally, iHeart Radio is an app that offers the best of custom music streaming alongside your favorite radio channels. Its main focus is free, live radio streams.

    For example, let’s say you really like listening to one of your local radio stations throughout your entire route. The problem is, some spots get patchy, making it hard to hear your station. iHeart Radio fixes that. This app allows you to listen to your favorite local stations, as well as stations all over the country. What’s more, you can even create your own stations based on a favorite artist or song.

    iHeart Radio boasts a 30-day free trial, and a low-cost $4.99/month subscription for iHeart Radio Plus after that. This includes unlimited “skips” and on-demand access to all your favorite channels. Their higher subscription, iHeart Radio All Access, goes for $9.99/month. This package includes everything that their Plus subscription does, along with offline playback and unlimited access to their millions of songs.

    iHeart Radio is available for download on any smartphone, laptop, or other tablet via iTunes Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store.

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Image via Shell

Truckers showed off their best equipment in June to claim the coveted best in show.

Raphine, Va., hosted hundreds for the 36th annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs® show. This three-day is a gathering of truckers from far and wide.

Contestants compete in multiple events for over $25,000 in cash and other prizes.

Various “beauty contests” are held for trucks in two categories — working or retired.  “Working trucks” must have logged a minimum of 85,000 miles annually. Other awards for Best Lights, Best Theme, People’s Choice and more are given out to the most outstanding trucks. The owner of the overall Best In Show truck receives a whopping $10,000 prize.

Image via Truck News

Wisconsin resident Bill Rethwisch won Best In Show for the third time in five years with his yellow 2016 Peterbilt 389. Additionally, his truck received top awards for Best Interior and Best Engine.

Other winners included Brad Garetson, who took first in the tractor-trailer division for his 2016 Peterbilt 389 and 2017 MAC flatbed Conestoga trailer, and Jayme and Whitney Snow in the classic division for their 1999 Classic XL Freightliner. Hills Construction of Hempstead, Texas, took home the Most Hardworking Trucker Award for its 2007 Freightliner Coronado.

Image via Overdrive

This year’s SuperRigs show also featured a “Tribute to Toughness”.

Drivers also showed off trucks featuring newly redone engines, cabs built from scratch, and tributes to loved ones. Mike Manuel’s 2015 Peterbilt 389,”Autism: One of Many,” was designed to raise awareness.

 

 

To read more about the 2018 SuperRigs show, click here.

To learn how Drive My Way can match you with your ideal job, visit our site to create a profile today!

In a column he wrote for The News-Gazette (Champaign, Ill.), Ray Elliott reflects on moments spent with his father.

A father’s life on the road leaves a lasting impression on his son. An Illinois author, Elliott shares his story in The News-Gazette.

Image via Pexels

A man of simple means, Ray Elliott’s father was a dedicated, hardworking trucker and farmer who taught him lessons on the road that have made his son into the man he is today.

Elliott, who also is a retired high school teacher, penned his story of his father, which was published in (Champaign, Ill.) The News-Gazette.

For the first half of his career, Elliott’s father was a CDL livestock driver. Each day he would rise in the wee hours of the morning to make his rounds around the local farms. A cow here, a lamb there, he’d toss each animal into the back of his truck and drive on.

He never saw his father much. When he did, Eliott writes, “… he didn’t talk much. And when he did, it was about being honest or always paying his bills.” He often would be gone days at a time on various jobs. It was his father’s work ethic, though, Elliott writes, that impressed upon him the idea that a full life is one of hard work and dedication to one’s craft — hauling livestock or teaching school

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Photo via NPR.org

Step aside, Uber and Google, a career trucker is making history for self-driving tractor trailers.

Jeff Runions, autonomous-truck test driver, prepares the future of the trucking industry. As he told NPR, Runions works for Starsky Robotics. They are a small company developing fully autonomous trucks for the highway. The trucks are driven by professionals once the trucks got off at the exit.

As truck drivers continue to decrease in numbers, Runions hopes autonomous trucks will be a huge opportunity for the industry to keep up with demand. In his interview with NPR, he says automated vehicles would allow drivers to spend less time on the road and more time at home with their families.

This would be a drastic change from the three weeks of on-road time he remembers from working on his own and with a commercial trucking company. In fact, Runions would like to see drivers having a “regular life” with a 40-hour work week. By making drivers’ lives more enjoyable, he hopes to spike interest in the industry from potential drivers.

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“I’m trained to deal with any type of situation. I thought about it the rest of the day, but it didn’t affect my job. I don’t feel like it was anything special. It was just a natural instinct for me. I try to be a good person.”

A Dupré Logistics driver is being named nothing short of a hero after saving a family of seven. In June of 2017, Fernandez Garner was traveling down I-45 N. He witnessed a large SUV cut off by a tanker, and consequentially, tumble off the road.

Garner saw one of the passengers, a little girl, had been thrown from the car to the middle of the highway. He instantly braked and blocked the road to protect her from incoming cars. Then, after examining her for any wounds, he ran down the side of the road to help the rest of the family.

Inside the vehicle, he found a boy, two girls, and their mother, frantically reaching for her baby. In addition, the driver, presumably the father, seemed to be injured. Garner moved the children back towards the road. He then calmed the mother down, assuring the safety of her children.

For this act of heroism, the Truckload Carriers Association named Garner a Highway Angel. In addition, Dupré Logistics expressed gratitude and pride in Garner for taking such steps to ensure the safety of all drivers.

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Image from RestaurantNews.com.

Working as a truck driver sometimes means spending holidays on the road.  Don’t miss out on a traditional Thanksgiving meal while away from home. Here are a few restaurants where you can get traditional holiday fare on Thanksgiving Day.

Applebee’s

Select Applebee’s nationwide offers a special Thanksgiving Day meal featuring turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, and garlicky green beans. However, not all restaurants remain open, so call ahead for holiday hours and availability.

Boston Market

Boston Market remains open Thanksgiving Day for a traditional, delicious plated meal.  Individual meals are $12.99, offering Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast or Half Signature Rotisserie Chicken, served with 2 sides, a dinner roll and a slice of apple or pumpkin pie.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Cracker Barrel serves a special in-store Thanksgiving meal from 11 am until close. This traditional Homestyle Turkey n’ Dressing Meal comes complete with gravy, a sampling of sugar cured ham, sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, and a choice of a country side. In addition, receive a beverage, buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins, and a slice of pumpkin pie. The Homestyle Turkey n’ Dressing Meal is available for $12.99 per adult.

Golden Corral

Golden Corral offers a Thanksgiving Day Buffet at participating locations. The buffet includes carved turkey, carved ham, fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, pot roast, meat loaf, sirloin steak, fried shrimp and much more. Call ahead for special holiday hours.

Marie Callender’s

Adults enjoy a Thanksgiving meal for $21.99. Starters include fresh baked golden cornbread, a cup of potato cheese or hearty vegetable soup or a crisp house salad. Also, entrees include choice of Freshly Roasted Turkey Dinner or Oven-Baked Ham. In addition, it includes seasonal vegetables, fire-roasted yams with cranberry streusel topping and potatoes.

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