The driver selected as America’s top rookie military veteran truck driver will receive a Kenworth T680. - Photo: Kenworth

The driver selected as America’s top rookie military veteran truck driver will receive a Kenworth T680.

Photo: Kenworth

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. The winner will receive a Kenworth T680.

“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.

Under the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program, Kenworth will provide the grand prize for the ninth consecutive year. This year’s award, the T680, is equipped with:

  • A 76-inch sleeper
  • Paccar Powertrain featuring the Paccar MX-13 engine rated at 455 horsepower
  • Paccar TX-12 automated transmission
  • Paccar DX-40 tandem rear axles

The truck was on display at the Mid-America Trucking Show at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

“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.

The Kenworth T680 Is Fully Equipped for Comfort and Safety

The Kenworth T680 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.

How the Driver Finalists Will Be Selected

The top drivers 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, which mandate that an entrant must:

  • Be a legal resident of the continental United States and military veteran or current/former member of the National Guard or Reserves.
  • Have 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.

“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.”

The final deadline to submit applications will be June 20. Award semi-finalists will be announced on Aug. 1. Full criteria and online nomination forms are available now on the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” website.

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 Can Vote on Finalists in November

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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