WASHINGTON – American Trucking Associations has chosen Groendyke Transport driver Rodney McNew among its new team of 24 professional truck drivers for the 2024-2025 America's Road Team. The drivers will serve as trucking industry ambassadors, traveling the country to spread the message of safe driving, while teaching about the trucking industry and its opportunities.
“We are extremely proud of Rodney for putting in the hard work necessary to earn trucking’s highest honor,” said Greg Hodgen, CEO of Groendyke Transport. “He exemplifies everything we look for in a driver at Groendyke Transport from his exceptional safety record to his mentorship of his fellow drivers.”
McNew drives for Groendyke’s Lubbock, Texas, terminal. He has more than 1.2 million miles without an accident in more than 11 years with Groendyke Transport, and he was named the company’s Western Region Driver of the Year for 2022.
In his 35-year trucking career, McNew has driven more than 3 million miles without an accident. Those numbers fit right in with the other drivers on this year’s team. They hail from 14 states, represent 14 motor carriers and have a total of 61.6 million accident-free driving miles.
"This elite group of professionals rose to the top of their field through years of hard work, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to safety that is measured in millions of miles," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "These exceptional individuals embody an essential segment of the American workforce whose contributions are seen and felt by virtually everyone in this country. As these captains now head over the road with a new mission and a vital message to share, we take extreme pride in their achievements and know that our nation will learn many valuable lessons from them and the example they set for our entire industry."
Founded in 1986, America's Road Team is an elite group of professional truck drivers with superior safety records that represents the trucking industry. Captains, with support from their companies, dedicate time each month to attending industry events, speaking at schools or meeting with policymakers on behalf of the trucking industry.
America's Road Team is sponsored by Volvo Trucks. The new Captains will tour the country in ATA's Interstate One Image Truck, a Volvo VNL 760, towing an American flag-emblazoned trailer that contains a state-of-the-art truck driving simulator and mobile classroom.
"Volvo Trucks is honored to continue our sponsorship of America's Road Team and take part in this week's selection of the 2024-2025 Captains," said Volvo Trucks North America President Peter Voorhoeve. "America's Road Team is one of the most visible groups of professional truck drivers in the country, and we believe their hard work and dedication pays dividends for our industry. We thank the Captains for their engagement and passion as ambassadors for this great profession. We congratulate the 2024-2025 America's Road Team Captains and wish them the best of luck as they carry out their mission over the next two years."
ATA held its final round of selections from January 14-16 at ATA Headquarters in Washington. The drivers were judged on their ability to express their knowledge of the industry, their skills in effective communication about safety and transportation and their overall safe-driving record. The panel of judges included trucking executives and trade press.
"America's Road Team Captains embody the professionalism of our industry, helping to promote a positive image by sharing their stories," said ATA Chief Operating Officer Sarah Rajtik. "They are leaders in their communities and role models in their companies. This new class represents everything we strive to promote about our industry and its professionals."
After receiving their signature navy blue America's Road Team blazers, the 2024-2025 Captains will immediately begin their work improving public perception of the trucking industry. Trucking industry professionals can support America's Road Team's mission by following the team's two-year journey on Facebook and Twitter and interacting with the Captains at major industry events, conferences and community visits.
"I'm thrilled to start off 2024 by welcoming these top-tier professional drivers to America's Road Team," said ATA Chairman Andrew Boyle, co-president of Boyle Transportation. "This program is essential to our industry – Captains serve as ambassadors communicating our message of safety, professionalism and opportunity. I wish the new Captains a warm congratulations and thank them for their hard work and dedication to trucking."
The 2024-2025 America's Road Team Captains are:
Ben Atkinson, ABF Freight System Inc., Florida
Willie Baylor, FedEx Freight, Indiana
Terry Bennett, ABF Freight System Inc., Florida
Perry Carter, Cargo Transporters Inc., North Carolina
Damon Evans, United Parcel Service, California
Dennis Hall, Tyson Foods Inc., Texas
David Hedicker, ABF Freight System Inc., Ohio
Lloyd Howell, TCW, Alabama
John Lemmons, United Parcel Service, Tennessee
Rodney McNew, Groendyke Transport Inc., Texas
Michael Middleton, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., Tennessee
Peter Palczynski, Walmart Transportation, Illinois
Emily Plummer, Prime Inc., Missouri
Wayne Ponschke, United Parcel Service, California
Scott Post, FedEx Ground – Spartan Logistics, Minnesota
John Antoine Sadler, Walmart Transportation, North Carolina
Brian Sheehan, CRST The Transportation Solution Inc., Indiana
Molly Shultz, TransLand, Missouri
Anthony Tirone, Walmart Transportation, Florida
Chevelle Walker, Werner Enterprises, Florida
Bernard Wanyo, United Parcel Service, Pennsylvania
Michael Whitehead, FedEx Freight, South Dakota
James "Gragg" Wilson, United Parcel Service, Nevada
David Young, FedEx Freight, North Carolina
To learn more about the 2024-2025 America's Road Team, visit the official America's Road Team webpage.