Each year, U.S. Xpress hosts a ‘Drivers & Trainer of the Year’ celebration, honoring those who went above and beyond in the last 12 months. This year, the celebrations had to be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the drivers who were nominated are as worthy as ever!
This year, military veterans Karen and Richard Black were named “Dedicated Team Drivers of the Year” thanks to their “outstanding achievements in safety and leadership.”
Karen and Richard have been together for nearly nine years and have been driving as a team for five of those. Both military veterans, they credit their hard work and dedication to their time spent in the military. Karen served in the US Navy for five years and was even one of the first females on an aircraft carrier. Richard served in the US Air Force for nine years working as an in-flight refueler.
Apart from their everyday exceptionalism, U.S. Xpress cites one particular instance as a reason for their award.
“They rented a vehicle out of their own pocket, drove all night, and jumped into a tractor that wasn’t theirs to ensure a shipment was completed [after another driver had a medical emergency,]” said fleet manager Mike Deleon.
“These outstanding drivers show their incredible work ethic day in and day out by making our customers’ freight their priority.”
In addition to being honored in a virtual ceremony and featured on the U.S. Xpress Facebook page, the couple were guests of President Donald Trump at the July 4th “Salute to America” Independence Day celebration, where they were honored along with other front-line workers.
When asked about their success, the couple cited strategy and respect for your partner as the keys to a successful driving partnership.
“I enjoy the work because we can spend so much time together,” said Karen.
“I just like the freedom of it,” added Richard.
“The last few months have been really nice,” Karen added.
“With everyone quarantined the roads are wide open. I’ve been able to drive so many more miles during the day, but traffic is starting to come back.”
The couple also says that a nice rug in the truck, a good mattress topper, and stops at their favorite locations across the country make life OTR feel more like home sweet home.
Eight other drivers were also recognized during the U.S. Xpress virtual ceremony: Steve Allen, Willis Carswell, Jimmy Lewis, Scott Hatchett, Richard McFarland Jr., Paul Baskin, Larry Wright, and Larry Ransom.