Driving a Reefer vs Driving a Dry Van Trailer

Driving a Reefer vs Driving a Dry Van Trailer

Feb 19 2018

From a young age, regional truck driver John has been drawn to trucks. “In high school, I worked on trucks at a truck stop and then became an assistant shop manager,” he said. When he moved to Indiana, he couldn’t find a management job in the area, so he decided to become a truck driver. “I wanted to be outside, not in the office. I didn’t want to be cooped up between four walls,” he said. “I like being by myself, being your own boss. If you do something wrong… you can holler at yourself.”

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Initially, he went over the road with a carrier who would keep him out for nine weeks at a time. But being on the road for so long didn’t equate to consistent loads or a steady income. “I was waiting on loads, I didn’t know if I’d have one,” he said. Naturally, the time away from home also put a stress on his marriage. “It took a toll on my wife. I promised not to put her through it again,” he said. “I was about to lose my home, so I called a J.B. Hunt recruiter.”

John was hired on to J.B. Hunt’s Truckload division and routed home every two weeks. “J.B. Hunt is stable. I’ll have a job tomorrow,” he said.  After a few years, he moved into a regional truck driving job that gets him home every weekend to spend time with his wife, step daughter and two chocolate labs. “I’m home on the weekends to do yard work… And we are also remodeling our house,” he said.

John eventually transitioned from pulling a dry van to a refrigerated trailer, also known as a reefer.  He quickly noticed a difference between the two types of equipment. “Dry van doesn’t have anything mechanical, it’s an empty box. The reefer has a motor on the front to keep whatever is inside warm or cold. You have to set the temp,” he explained.

Not long after, he noticed a change in how the trailer responded to his driving. “There’s extra weight on the nose, especially going around a curve or on a ramp. It likes to tilt… If a ramp says 45 miles per hour, with a van, you go 30 to 35. With a reefer, you go 30 or lower,” he said. “I had to retrain myself.”

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John also discovered a significant benefit in pulling a reefer in the winter time. “A reefer makes the load heavy, there’s more weight on the axle,” he said. “It helps in the winter, in snow and ice. It keeps me straighter.”

With over a year of experience driving a reefer, John has become accustom to being attentive to the trailer’s temperature gauge as well as its sounds. “If the motor shuts down, I wake up instantly. I keep it running,” he said. “If the green light isn’t on, there’s a problem.”

The seven-year veteran driver offers advice for drivers planning to pull a reefer. “Learn what you are pulling, don’t act like it’s the same equipment. Different trailers will get you hurt,” he cautioned. “With any new type of unit, take your time and be patient. Get used to it, get comfortable with it. Be safe.”

And with 460,000 accident free miles, safety remains at the forefront of John’s mind when driving with J.B. Hunt. “It’s gotta be done safely, done the J.B. way,” he said. He plans on achieving one million safe miles in the next five years and making J.B. Hunt his final career destination. “My wife says that I’m a lifer, she can see me retiring here,” he said.

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Interested in working with a carrier that offers a variety of driving opportunities? Call 1-877-791-9458 to discuss over the roadregional and local truck driving jobs or contract opportunities or fill out a short form online.

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Driver of The Year Award Presented to Driver by Son

Driver of The Year Award Presented to Driver by Son

Feb 08 2018

 

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Dedicated J.B. Hunt driver Eric (on left) was presented with the Driver of the Year award by his son Lance (on right), also a dedicated J.B. Hunt driver.

At a young age, in the deserts of California, local J.B. Hunt driver Eric became captivated with truck driving. He would eventually be the only one of three sons to become a truck driver like his father. “When I was 10 years old, I went on a trip with my Dad. It was night time in California and dad let me sit in his lap and drive the truck across the desert. That was cool. I was hooked,” he said.

Eric went on to operate a truck in the Army for seven years, transitioned out and earned his CDL A. He drove commercially for over 30 years and for 10 of those years, he managed a multi-unit operation. “I worked for a man who owned a multi-unit operation; he was an owner operator. I was an operations manager and managed three warehouses and 18 drivers,” he said.

When Eric’s son Lance left the Air Force and earned his CDL A, he came to work for Eric at the multi-unit operation as a regional truck driver. After years of hard labor, long hours and time away from home, it took a toll on Lance and his family. With his father’s blessing, Lance moved on to a local truck driving job with J.B. Hunt. “It was a local position and I knew I could make pretty close, if not equal to my pay. I wouldn’t have to load and unload my trailer. The account has 90% drop and hook and the other deliveries, someone else was loading or unloading,” Lance explained.

A few years later, Eric was burned out from his long hours managing the multi-unit operation and was eager for a local truck driving job too. “I worked 100 hours a week, making $1,200 a week,” he groaned.

His son Lance was enjoying his driving job at J.B. Hunt and connected Eric with management to learn more about driving with the company. Eric was convinced that J.B. Hunt was worth the move. “I could work less hours, make the same, if not more money… I quit my job and came to J.B. Hunt. I was very happy from that day on,” he said.

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Father and son were now company drivers for the same dedicated account. “For a while, it was competitive and then it wasn’t competitive,” Eric explained. “The competitiveness fell off real quick. He’s quicker, younger and does great work… We were both just drivers on the same account.”

“It was easier to work with my dad than for him as my boss,” Lance said with a laugh. “I learned a lot that I know from my dad and over the years, I learned a lot on my own…” The advice continued to be shared years later, even after Lance moved to another dedicated account.

Throughout his 13 years at J.B. Hunt, Eric has been an asset to the dedicated account. He’s known to go above and beyond to coach drivers on how to properly perform pre-trip inspections and search for hard-to-find maintenance issues. He also became a Smith System trainer and enjoys teaching drivers safety standards and practices. “My goal with training is that all drivers are safe drivers,” he said.

Eric’s managers have noticed his strong work ethic and recently awarded him the Southwest Regional Driver of the Month. And with such an accomplishment, he joined a pool of drivers in the running for J.B. Hunt’s DCS Southwest Driver of The Year award. The winner was to be announced at the DCS southwest region’s annual kickoff event in Dallas, Texas.

With his wife and daughter beside him, Eric was among hundreds of excited attendees at the annual kickoff learning what was in store for the DCS division in 2018. Throughout the event, the Driver of the Month recipients were recognized for their hard work and dedication to their jobs and the company. But only one driver could be awarded the Driver of the Year.

“I didn’t know if I’d get it. I was hoping I’d get it. There could be only one winner and I’m sure glad it was me,” Eric explained with amazement still ringing in his voice.

Eric’s name was announced as the crowd roared and confetti fell from the sky. His son Lance presented him with the award and a $5,000 bonus check. “I can’t put one word to it. It was very emotional. To look at my wife, to see her smile and hear her say, ‘Finally’,” Eric said. “This is what a truck driver works for in his career – to be noticed for the work they’ve done by a company like J.B. Hunt. You are the best of the best.”

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The opportunity to present this prestigious award to his father was a privilege Lance will never forget. “It was a really good feeling. The Driver of the Year award is a lot different type of award than winning one million miles. With something like this, other people see your job performance and nominate you. That’s something more special,” he said.

Eric has plans for his future at J.B. Hunt – to put his $5,000 bonus towards retirement and continue to go above and beyond for the company. “It’s been a fantastic career…Thank you to everyone who’s been involved in the past 13 years of it,” he said. “It feels great to work for a company that looks at drivers and gives them a chance for something like this, I thank you for that.”

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Are you ready to drive with J.B. Hunt from hire to retire? Call 1-877-791-9458 to discuss over the roadregional and local truck driving jobs or fill out a short form online.

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J.B. Hunt Named 2018 Military Friendly Employer By G.I. Jobs

J.B. Hunt Named 2018 Military Friendly Employer By G.I. Jobs

Jan 21 2018

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J.B. Hunt was recently recognized for its proven commitment in providing Veterans a smooth transition into civilian truck driving jobs. The carrier was named a 2018 Military Friendly® Employer for the eleventh consecutive year by Victory Media, ranking J.B. Hunt in the top 20% of companies in the industry.

“J.B. Hunt is proud to show our ongoing support of Veterans and their families by maintaining our Military Friendly® Employer designation for more than a decade,” said John Roberts, president and chief executive officer at J.B. Hunt. “We are committed to doing our part for our nation’s military members, including working towards our goal of hiring 10,000 Veterans by 2020.”

According to MilitaryFriendly.com, the designation was determined using data sources from federal agencies, veteran employees, and proprietary survey information from participating organizations. The list was featured in the December issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and the January issue of Military Spouse magazine.

J.B. Hunt’s military hiring program, Hunt’s Heroes, continues to grow and offer more assistance and opportunities to Veterans every year. Since its inception in 2014, the program has expanded its local and regional driving opportunities to Veterans of any military profession and developed an extensive Department of Labor apprenticeship which offers Monthly Housing Allowance payments from the VA to qualified Veterans.

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Interested in driving with a military friendly company? Learn more about our regional and local truck driving jobs for Veterans by visiting DriveJBHunt.com or filling out our short form online.

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A New Year, A New Truck Driving Job

A New Year, A New Truck Driving Job

Jan 08 2018

This New Year, are you ready to shift gears in your driving career, and find a truck driving job that better accommodates your life? J.B. Hunt offers numerous career paths that give you a competitive wage and a work-life balance – whether that means being home daily, weekly, or monthly – you choose.

Cruise our various career paths below and click on one to begin your journey towards a new truck driving job at J.B. Hunt.

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Drive locally and be home daily to spend time with those who matter most.

 

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With plenty of freight to move all over the country you can admire the hillside, the mountains or the ocean from your cab window when driving over the road.

 

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With weekly or bi-weekly home time, regional driving offers a balance of driving duties and time off.

 

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Delivery installation specialists drive a straight truck to deliver and then install appliances, furniture and more at customer locations.

 

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Choose from over 400 locations around the country! Some of our job opportunities offer relocation packages too.

 

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While you gain 3 months of experience driving with a CDL A, sign up for Job Alerts to stay in the know regarding openings in your area.

 

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Interested in driving with J.B. Hunt? Visit DriveJBHunt.com or call 1-877-791-9458 to discuss our OTR, regional and local truck driving jobs or fill out a short form online.

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Final Mile Driver Finds Pride in a Hard Day’s Work

Final Mile Driver Finds Pride in a Hard Day’s Work

Dec 29 2017

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“At the end of the day, it makes you feel good. It’s a job well done. You hook something up in somebody’s house that took a little bit of skill. You got your hands dirty doing something. It gives you a sense of pride that you’re doing something that’s not always easy,” said Final Mile driver John.

For the past three years, John has been delivering and installing appliances, electronics and more into customer homes and businesses for J.B. Hunt’s Final Mile Services division. He finds it to be rewarding work that helps him provide for his family and gets him home every day.

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While looking for a local truck driving job three years ago, it was J.B. Hunt’s Final Mile opportunity that caught his eye – it was more challenging and different than the over the road driving he was doing. “I didn’t like being over the road because it’s really unpredictable. It really caused me a lot of anxiety to be away from home and be away from them [his three daughters] and not know what’s going on with them. I feel a lot better now,” he explained.

With only a year of over the road driving under his wheels and no installation experience, John braced for a learning curve. “I learned more about how to operate the vehicle in my first month here than in almost a year of being over the road and trucking school,” he said. “This job, when I started, I couldn’t really put a hammer and nail into a wall and now I have developed this kind of mechanical aptitude with some things that I didn’t have before in life when it comes to working with my hands and that sort of thing. That’s kind of cool.”

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After a few years of driving into tight locations and installing various products into customer homes, businesses and builder sites, his confidence continues to grow. “I’m not afraid to do some of the things that we do on this job, whether it’s going to a construction site, or bringing a massive piece of furniture into somebody’s house, or going into somebody’s house and installing something that is difficult,” he said. “It’s challenging because you have to change your mindset, to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. You treat that house like it’s your house, and to be honest, that’s hard.”

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Although his day’s work can be demanding, John has no plans to change his company driving job. “There’s definitely a negative stigma about drivers. I don’t really let that bother me. I feel like I’m doing my part. I know that I’m doing something that maybe a lot of other people don’t want to do. That’s okay. You can’t handle it, I’ll take the work,” John said.

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Don’t have a CDL or driving experience? No problem. J.B. Hunt’s Final Mile delivery installation specialist positions don’t require either. Learn more by visiting DriveJBHunt.com or calling 1-877-791-9458 to discuss local truck driving jobs in our Final Mile Services division. Or feel free to fill out a short form online.

Are you a military Veteran ready for a new civilian career? Find out more about our DOL Apprenticeship that places Veterans in the front seat of local and regional truck driving jobs.

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J.B. Hunt Drivers Deliver Wreaths Across America

J.B. Hunt Drivers Deliver Wreaths Across America

Dec 19 2017

J.B. Hunt proudly participated in this year’s Wreaths Across America (WAA) event and carried out the organization’s mission to Remember, Honor and Teach by delivering a total of eight loads of wreaths.

The wreaths were transported from the WAA headquarters in Harrington, Maine to national cemeteries and facilities throughout the country. Volunteers placed thousands of wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers at national cemeteries.

WAA truck arriving
J.B. Hunt’s delivery destinations this year were the following:

  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
  • Fayetteville National Cemetery, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
  • Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Fort Snelling, Minn.
  • Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Fort Rosecrans, Calif.
  • Miramar National Cemetery, Miramar, Calif.
  • Saint Louis Cross-dock, Saint Louis, Mo.

Numerous military Veteran J.B. Hunt drivers, who were nominated by their managers, participated in delivering wreaths this year. DCS driver and military Veteran Robert Freeman found participating in WAA to be beyond rewarding. “I’m humbled, can’t keep my mouth shut. Awestruck, and the feeling is still going on,” he said.

See photos below of key exchange ceremonies between drivers transporting the wreaths across the country and of the national cemeteries where volunteers honored the graves of the fallen Veterans.

Wreath Ceremonies and Key Exchanges Along the Way: 

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Wreath Ceremony at J.B. Hunt Corporate Location:

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Wreaths Delivered to National Cemeteries:

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A big thank you to all our J.B. Hunt military Veteran drivers and staff as well as the volunteers who made this year’s Wreaths Across America event possible!

Are you a military Veteran interested in beginning a driving career at J.B. Hunt? Call 1-800-207-6097 to learn more about our military hiring program or fill out out short form online.

 

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J.B. Hunt Ready to Deliver Wreaths Across America

J.B. Hunt Ready to Deliver Wreaths Across America

Dec 04 2017

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J.B. Hunt is proud to participate in the annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) event for a fourth year. Each December, WAA carries out its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach by placing wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers at over 1,000 locations in all 50 states, at sea and abroad.

Beginning Sunday, December 10th, J.B. Hunt military Veteran drivers will begin delivering a total of eight loads of wreaths from Wreaths Across America’s headquarters in Harrington, Maine to national cemeteries and facilities throughout the country.

The delivery destinations this year are the following:

  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
  • Fayetteville National Cemetery, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
  • Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Fort Snelling, Minn.
  • Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Fort Rosecrans, Calif.
  • Miramar National Cemetery, Miramar, Calif.
  • Saint Louis Cross-dock, Saint Louis, Mo.

We invite you to follow this week long journey on our J.B. Hunt Drivers FacebookInstagram and Twitter pages. Share your Wreaths Across America experience with us by using #JBHWAA and #WAA2017.

There will be numerous military Veteran J.B. Hunt drivers, who were nominated by their managers, participating in wreath deliveries this year.

Learn more about our drivers:

  • Donald L. is a one-year Army Veteran and Dedicated Contract Services (DCS) driver. He has recently taken on the role of lead driver trainer and has been a great resource for new drivers looking for advice.
  • Chris D. is an eight-year Marine Veteran who served in Iraq. He is an Intermodal driver, a trainer and a Smith System instructor and has driven nearly two million safe miles with J.B. Hunt.
  • Michael “Snake” R. is a six-year Air Force Veteran and DCS He is eager to drive in the convoy and show respect and appreciation for his fallen fellow comrades.
  • Robert F. is a three-year Airforce Veteran who served in Vietnam. He is a DCS driver and has been said to be a reliable asset to J.B. Hunt for the past four years.
  • Edward S. is an Army Veteran who served for 31 years in operations such as Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He is a DCS driver who has driven with J.B. Hunt for over two years.
  • Sean D. is an Airforce Veteran who served for four years. He is a DCS driver who is also a trainer and continues to be an incredible resource for other drivers. He’s known to be willing to go outside his comfort zone and assist wherever needed.
  • Mark G. is a four-year Navy Veteran and an Intermodal driver. He’s looking forward to delivering wreaths and giving back to the military.
  • Daniel G. is a four-year Army Veteran and Intermodal driver. He says that driving for J.B. Hunt has helped him reach more of his dreams and this is his way of helping give back to the company and the military.
  • Cheryl S. is a five-year Army Veteran and served in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is an Intermodal driver and ready to represent J.B. Hunt during WAA.
  • Roland P. is an Army Veteran who served for two years and feels honored to drive for WAA and serve once again for his fallen brothers. He is a Truckload driver who is a mentor to other drivers and always looking for ways to improve the driver experience.
  • Burt B. is an Air Force Veteran of four years and an Intermodal driver. He frequently joins his motorcycle group in welcoming Veterans home from overseas and escorts fallen heroes.
  • Paul P. is an Army Veteran who joined J.B. Hunt over a year ago through the Hunt’s Heroes military hiring program. His manager calls him an outstanding employee with a positive attitude and an impressive safety record.
  • James P.is a Marine Veteran who served for 30 years and retired as a Sergeant Major. He received honors such as the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Silver Star with gold cluster. He is a DCS driver and has been with J.B. Hunt for 17 years.
  • Mario R. is a seven-year Army Veteran who is still active in the Reserves. He is an Intermodal driver and despite driving with J.B. Hunt for only eight months, he has an impressive service and safety record and has been elected Driver of the Month and Driver of the Region.
  • Cole R. is a 16-year National Guard Veteran and currently trains soldiers in the military. He is also an Intermodal driver and trainer who is known to go above and beyond for J.B. Hunt.
  • Mike M. is an eight-year Marine Veteran and is described by his manager as the embodiment of selfless service. He is a DCS driver and trainer who is known for taking on difficult loads on a regular basis to ensure the success of J.B. Hunt’s customer. He was named the Northeast Driver of the Month in October 2017.
  • Claude E. is a Navy and National Guard Veteran who served for 23 years. He is also a Truckload driver who his manager calls a top driver.
  • Henry C. is an Army Veteran who served for over 12 years. He is a 2 million mile driver, drives on a DCS account and is known for practicing safety and communicating well with managers.
  • Cliff K. served for over seven years in the Army and participated in two tours in Vietnam. He is an Intermodal driver who has driven with J.B. Hunt for the past 30 years and feels honored to deliver wreaths for the heroes who didn’t make it back.
  • Richard D. served in the Navy as an aviation structural mechanic for three years. He is currently an Intermodal driver and trainer who has driven with J.B. Hunt for the last 15 years. He’s received the August 2016 Driver of the Month and the 2016 Driver of the Year awards.
  • Travis R. has driven for J.B. Hunt intermodal for four years. He was active duty in the Navy from 2000-2004 and served in the Naval Reserve from 2004-2007. He was awarded three Sea Service Deployment ribbons, two Battle “E” medals, a National Defense medal, and a Good Conduct medal.

Are you a Veteran interested in working for a company dedicated to honoring and hiring Veterans? Contact our Hunt’s Heroes military hiring team at 1-800-207-6097 to learn more about a driving career at J.B. Hunt or fill out a short form online.

 

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J.B. Hunt Driver Witnesses Accident and Saves Life

J.B. Hunt Driver Witnesses Accident and Saves Life

Sep 21 2017

On Saturday, September 2, 2017, Intermodal driver Brian was traveling to one of his regular customers when he witnessed a single vehicle accident. The vehicle had crossed the highway and run into a light pole on the shoulder.

Brian quickly sprang into action and pulled over to help the driver. The vehicle was badly damaged; it was leaking fuel and smoking. Thinking fast, Brian used a sledge hammer stored in his truck to break the window of the damaged vehicle while on the phone with a 911 emergency dispatcher. Moments before the vehicle erupted into flames, he was able to pull the driver out.

After getting the young woman a safe distance away from the wreck, Brian noticed that she had no pulse. Without hesitation, he began performing CPR while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Soon, the young woman regained her pulse and began to breathe again. Brian had saved her life.

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Since the accident, Brian has gone above and beyond by visiting the young woman in the hospital several times and calling her mother daily to check in.

Thank you, Brian, for being an outstanding representative of J.B. Hunt. You’re a real hero!

 

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Woman Driver Shows Perseverance On and Off the Road

Woman Driver Shows Perseverance On and Off the Road

Sep 18 2017

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Regional driver Andrea’s 10-year career with J.B. Hunt has been filled with a number of impressive achievements – receiving the Driver of the Month award, being an Arkansas Truck Driving Championship contestant and becoming a one million mile safe driver. However, her successful career in trucking hardly compares to her long-standing achievements off the road.

After joining the workforce at the age of 10, Andrea grew up juggling multiple jobs to help provide for her family. Her father, who drove trucks after retiring from the Navy, always encouraged her to get her CDL A. It wasn’t until he passed away from cancer that she decided to pursue a single, long-term career in trucking. Unfortunately, it proved to be a harder transition than she expected.

Upon receiving her commercial license, Andrea was hired by a large trucking company. It was a rocky start, however, and almost ended Andrea’s career before it began. She decided to give driving another chance at a smaller company based out of Virginia, where she grew to love driving. She eventually joined J.B. Hunt in 2007 and recently celebrated her 10th anniversary with the company this past August.

In 2008, Andrea faced another set of challenges when a stroke left her sister Cathy unable to care for her three children – Dmitri, Davena and Dreana. Andrea and her mother soon began raising the three children full time – no easy feat with the youngest being only nine months old and the oldest having Asperger syndrome, a form of autism.

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For several years, Andrea worked to financially provide for her family and adjusted her work schedule to spend more time at home. Sadly, her sister passed away in 2012, leaving Andrea and her mother to share custody of the kids.

Despite their struggles and with their grandmother’s support, Andrea and her spouse have maintained a happy home life where the kids are growing and thriving. Each child is currently forming dreams of their own – Dmitri wants to teach other kids with Asperger’s, Davena hopes to become a singer, and Dreana aims to be a writer and photographer.

Although her life may not look like how she imagined, Andrea has no regrets. “I am happy with where I am and am thankful through it all, regardless,” she said.

Andrea’s positive attitude and kindness toward others make her stand out at J.B. Hunt. Her former fleet manager Jennifer speaks highly of the veteran woman driver. “I just love her attitude…. she truly loves what she does. I couldn’t think of a better person to not only represent J.B. Hunt but also women in the trucking industry. She’s the whole package!” she said.

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Ready to work with a company that appreciates your perseverance on and off the road? Call 1-877-791-9458 or visit DriveJBHunt.com to learn about over the roadregional or local truck driving jobs and contract opportunities or fill out our short form online.

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September Is Truck Driver Appreciation Month!

September Is Truck Driver Appreciation Month!

Sep 11 2017

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This month, we’re celebrating J.B. Hunt drivers across the country with numerous special events and gifts. Drivers and their families are being treated to warm breakfasts, tasty cookouts, BBQs, catered lunches and delicious dinners. Family activities include playing volleyball, racquetball, softball, soccer and bowling as well as enjoying a Dodger’s baseball game, a day at an amusement park, tubing down the river and swimming at the beach. And there’s been plenty of gifts and prizes to go around – gift cards, goodie bags, J.B. Hunt jackets and hats, raffles and carnival games!

Check out a number of photos from different account celebrations from across the country!

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Ready to work with a company that appreciates drivers? Call 1-877-791-9458 or visit DriveJBHunt.com to learn about over the roadregional or local truck driving jobs and contract opportunities  at J.B. Hunt or fill out our short form online.

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