Inland Kenworth is back in the fight against human trafficking.
In conjunction with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), the heavy-duty truck dealer put together a special “Everyday Heroes” Kenworth T680 with a distinctive paint scheme and signage that will make several stops en route to Richie Bros in Phoenix AZ, where it will be auctioned May 17 to raise funds for the non-profit organization.
Don Blake, who serves as new truck sales manager at the Inland Kenworth location in Phoenix AZ, is spearheading the effort.
“This started out as an idea in 2017 that got rolling, and it was a great success,” Blake said. “Now, the sponsors we’ve worked with again are so supportive. It shows our industry’s true colors to pull together to raise money for a great cause.
“I’m especially appreciative to Kenworth. When I reached out to see if they would be a sponsor again, they were more than happy to help.”
The Kenworth T680 Everyday Heroes truck was slated to make its first public appearance at TAT’s Everyday Heroes Truck event Jan. 15 at the National Mall in Washington DC. From there, it will be displayed at the TMC 2019 Annual Meeting in Atlanta GA (March 18-21), Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville KY (March 28-30) and Richie Bros.
Proceeds from the sale of the T680, which has a retail value of $162,000, will go directly to TAT, which is devoted to stopping human trafficking by educating, mobilizing and empowering the nation’s truck drivers and rest stop employees. The special truck is loaded with a 76-inch sleeper, 485-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine and PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission.
“Kenworth is a strong supporter of the efforts of Don Blake and Inland Kenworth in this important project,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “Don’s involvement with Truckers Against Trafficking is inspiring, and we look forward to a very successful fund-raising auction in May.”
Providing support for the 2019 Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 are platinum sponsors Kenworth Truck Company, Inland Kenworth and Ritchie Bros; gold sponsors PACCAR Engine, SEG Automotive and Swift Charities; silver sponsors Bendix, Bridgestone, Eaton, FlowBelow, Horton, Jost, Meritor, PACCAR Financial, PACCAR Parts, PeopleNet, Utility Trailer Sales of Arizona and WABCO; and bronze sponsors Alcoa, Arizona Rock Product Association, Arizona Trucking Association, Beaver Stripes and Molding, Chevron, ConMet, Davco, East Penn, Ex-Guard, National Seats, PrePass/Help Inc, Sheppard and Tectran.
Blake’s contributions to TAT’s efforts led to an expanded role with the organization.
“Don became a TAT board member shortly after the 2017 auction,” said Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking. “Not only did we ask him to join the board due to his tremendous work on the Everyday Heroes Truck, but because Don is a true TAT champion. He believes deeply in the mission and enlists his resources and ideas.”
According to Paris, truckers are making a big difference in the fight against human trafficking. In the United States alone, profits from the crime of human trafficking are estimated to be worth $32 billion.
“Each year, more truck drivers and truck stop operators are added to the network of TAT trained and educated members—over 663,000 to date,” Paris said. “They are our eyes and ears out on the road and are relied upon to report suspicious activity.”