Hernandez wins 2020 Transition Trucking award

December 4, 2020

Land Line Staff

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Like so many events in 2020, the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award presentation was moved from its original Washington, D.C., location. But that likely felt insignificant as Ivan Hernandez was handed the keys to a new, a fully loaded T680 Kenworth truck, valued at $155,000, by Kenworth Trucking Co. Marketing Director Lisa Berreth.

The Transition Trucking award is the culmination of a year-long search for the top veteran who has made a switch from the military to a career in trucking. It was presented Dec. 4 at the Kenworth manufacturing plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, during a small, socially distanced ceremony.

A driver for Werner Enterprises in Omaha, Neb., Hernandez, is a U.S. Army veteran who spent 20 years as an infantryman before earning his CDL through the Roadmasters Drivers School. Hernandez has driven for Werner Enterprises since 2019.

Transition Trucking award winner Ivan Hernandez
Ivan Hernandez, a driver for Werner Enterprises, is the 2020 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner. Chosen as the top military veteran who has transitioned to a career driving truck, Hernandez won a new Kenworth T680 truck.

During his military career, Hernandez, a native of El Paso, Texas, completed four deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan where he earned two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. The same dedication and passion remains evident as Hernandez begins his career as a professional truck driver. Hernandez has traveled more than 35,000 collision-free miles and is working toward a personal goal of 1 million safe miles.

“We are pleased to recognize Ivan Hernandez for his 20 years of military service and continued service to his community,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We are grateful for Kenworth’s ongoing commitment to veteran owner-operators in the industry as the T680 will greatly support Ivan’s success.”

Prior to the December announcement, a final four was named from a field of 10 semifinalists.

Ray Miller, a 26-year Army veteran and driver for Stevens Transport, was named runner-up and presented with a check for $10,000. Fellow Stevens Transport driver and 20-year Army veteran Gail Losee and Prime Inc. driver Shaun Mason, who served 25 years in the Army and Marine Corps, tied for third place and received $5,000 each.

The other top 10 Transition Trucking semifinalists:

  • Patrick Blevins, Air Force, Melton Truck Lines.
  • Matthew Fowler, Marines, EPES Transportation.
  • Marcia Luchenbill, Army, Knight Transportation.
  • John Shepard, Army, Roehl Transport.
  • Kyle Smith, Air Force, Averitt Express.
  • Wade Wanner, Navy, US Xpress.

The award is designed as a springboard for America’s top military rookie driver as they embark on a professional driving career. This was the fifth time the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, Kenworth Trucking and Fastport have partnered to present the honor. LL

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