Pilot Flying J opened National Truck Driver Appreciation Week by announcing the winners of its fifth annual Road Warrior contest recognizing professional drivers for their hard work, perseverance and passion for driving with cash prizes.
Victoria Andrade of Harlingen TX was named grand champion, Bob Loyd of Ottawa Lake MI secured second place and James Monclair of Marrero LA took third.
To honor Andrade as the grand prize winner, Pilot Flying J surprised her with a celebration Monday, Sept. 9, at the Pilot Travel Center near her hometown and presented Andrade with a $10,000 prize check. Loyd will receive $5,000, Monclair will receive $2,500, and the remaining nine finalists each will receive $1,000.
Additionally, nominators of the first-, second- and third-place finishers will receive $500.
The contest and surprise reveal of the grand-prize winner is one way the company is showing appreciation for professional drivers and raising awareness about the trucking industry during National Driver Appreciation Week. America’s 3.5 million professional drivers are an integral piece of the country’s infrastructure and this year’s Road Warriors are each making strong contributions to the economy, the trucking industry and their communities.
“We are excited to congratulate this year’s Road Warrior winners, recognizing them as inspiring and exceptional representations of the professional driver community,” said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. “These dedicated and hardworking individuals are on the road day in and day out to safely deliver the goods that keep our country moving.
“At a time when the industry is facing an immense driver shortage, we want to celebrate and bring attention to the significant contributions of professional drivers through the Road Warrior program.”
The driver shortage is estimated to reach 174,000 by 2026, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which impacts everything from stocked retail shelves, fuel at the pump and expedited delivery of goods to consumers across the country. In addition to the Road Warrior Contest, Pilot Flying J partnered with the ATA this month on an educational outreach program designed to raise greater awareness of the trucking profession and professional drivers’ tremendous contributions to our nation’s economy. Pilot Flying J also is driving awareness and appreciation of professional drivers by thanking them in-store throughout the month of September with money-saving offers and giveaways.
Road Warriors are nominated by family members, friends and coworkers across the US This year, Pilot Flying J’s social media community voted for the top three winners from 12 selected finalists. Each of this year’s Road Warrior winners are accomplished professional drivers with a passion for their job and for making a difference in their communities:
- Victoria Andrade, grand champion: When her parents passed away more than 30 years ago, Andrade made it her mission to turn her job at UPS into a career so that she could provide for her eight siblings. She began working at UPS as a part-time car washer to help support her family and pay for her college education. She graduated with her degree and remained with UPS, working her way up to be the first female in South Texas to become a feeder driver for UPS. Nominated by her family, Andrade is a true Road Warrior both on the road and at home. Her family is proud of her for being “a fierce woman and an outstanding employee for UPS,” and recognizes Andrade as a hardworking, caring, giving, loyal and strong individual. “With her heart of gold, there are no limits with what she is capable of doing to bring joy, a piece of mind and love to anyone who crosses her path.”
- Bob Loyd, second place: Loyd has been a professional driver for more than 47 years. He is involved in numerous trucking charities and helped found Truckers United for Charities. He also volunteers his time serving on mission trips.
- James Monclair, third place: After achieving over 1 million miles with Melton Truck Lines, Monclair became an Ambassador of the Road for Melton and serves as a mentor to other drivers. Monclair is a veteran and volunteers to drive his wrapped veteran truck in the Tulsa Veterans Day Parade each year. He also makes an annual trip to St. Jude Children’s Hospital to volunteer and spend Survivors Day with his daughter.
To learn more about the Road Warrior program, view exclusive content and read about the winners, visit RoadWarrior.PilotFlyingJ.com.