Hiring Our Heroes

Slay driver wins ‘Transition Trucking’ award

Dec. 18, 2023
U.S. Army Special Operations veteran Brandon Meredith claims top military veteran rookie driver honor for 2023 after a successful candidacy aided by a popular online vote

Take a bow tank truckers.

Slay Transportation’s Brandon Meredith, who served in the U.S. Army’s Special Operations, recently emerged as this year’s top military veteran rookie driver after a successful candidacy aided by a popular online vote that ran Nov. 1 through Veteran’s Day.

Fastport and Hiring Our Heroes crowned Meredith as the 2023 “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” award winner Friday, Dec. 15, during the Veterans Ready Summit in Washington D.C., a prestigious honor that earned him a fully loaded new Kenworth T680 Signature Edition truck—and a full scholarship to pursue a degree in business.

“This experience has been life-changing for my family and I,” Meredith told Bulk Transporter. “I am so excited to begin this next chapter and be an ambassador for transitioning service members.

“I cannot sufficiently express the gratitude I have for everyone who helped me get where I am today.”

See also: Slay driver takes aim at ‘Transition Trucking’ title 

Meredith is the second consecutive tank trucker to win the award.

Army veteran Ashley Leiva, a South Texas owner-operator who hauls crude oil for Draco Energy, secured the title for 2022.

Meredith still was as a civil affairs specialist in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in January. Ten months later, he’s not only a successful truck driver, he’s an elite chemical hauler for Slay with two driver of the month awards who already is training drivers in Fayetteville, North Carolina—and the premier veteran driver in the country.

“This contest could help me become an independent contractor,” Meredith said in a blog post from Fayetteville Technical Community College, where he completed a Transition Tech CDL training course for transitioning military service members. “That’s where I see myself going—becoming an owner-operator, and then, reluctantly maybe, eventually settling into a desk job.”

Bulk Transporter profiled Meredith in November in a story that helped him garner nearly half of the 50,000 online votes. He chose bulk transportation for the challenge, and Slay terminal manager Sherry Fulton chose him after an “impressive” interview. “I’ve been with Slay almost 18 years, so I’ve had interviews with all kinds—and very few produced people like Brandon,” she said. “He’s a good guy, and he gives it his all.

“He did it for the military, and he’s doing it for us.”

And he said he plans to continue hauling resins for Slay, even after winning his own truck.

“[Winning] would be an incredible honor,” Meredith said last month. “It’d highlight a field that’s not as recognizable as other truck-driving avenues. I tell people all the time how interested I am in this segment, especially now that I’m in it—and it isn’t Groundhog Day to me. I’m always out doing different things, going to different places, and unloading different products, and you need to be very attentive safety-wise.

“So I feel like I have an important mission when I’m out here.”

About the Author

Jason McDaniel

Jason McDaniel, based in the Houston TX area, has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning journalist. He spent 15 writing and editing for daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, and began covering the commercial vehicle industry in 2018. He was named editor of Bulk Transporter and Refrigerated Transporter magazines in July 2020.