Trucking Santas serves a reversed blessing

For the second year, Randall-Reilly’s Digital Services and Recruiting Media departments have joined forces with Trucking Santas to help others. In fact, “to help others” is the pure and simple mission statement of Trucking Santas, a community project by members of the trucking industry to share kindness and support with those less fortunate. Dozens of families and patients have been adopted for Christmas under the strong, organizing eye of Heather Pontruff, a true trucking advocate.

Heather partnered our offices with Becca and Mack Allison, a wonderful couple who are veterans of both the military and the trucking life. Both of them are on the road in their own trucks, and they still found the time to spearhead a cookie party for Three Hots and A Cot, a veterans’ shelter in Birmingham, AL. The Allisons baked dozens of cookies in six or seven different varieties for a sweet feast to spread. A few of us from Randall-Reilly trickled in with more cookies and cider to share, all of it serving as sugary offerings of gratitude to these vets who have already sacrificed so much for us.

I separated from the party to deliver bedding and towels to the office about 10 miles away. It turns out that Director J.D. Simpson’s office is actually his personal home sandwiched between a couple of neighboring houses that are also serving as veterans’ homes for the organization. J.D. invited my brother and me into his dining room for an introductory chat. He’s an imposing figure, but he’s a man who wears his heart on his sleeve with one of the kindest faces you’ll ever see. He shared stories of how he started Three Hots and A Cot, of some of the impressive characters he calls friends, and tried to slide in that he himself used to be a truck driver. But he talked, and the more he talked about his desire to help every veteran, his purpose to assist them in any way he can, the heavier the tears on my eyelids grew. Rarely are you handed the opportunity to meet someone so genuine and passionate about what they do, but when you are, hold tight to it.

We talked about upcoming plans to stay in touch and continue our involvement to help the shelter, but selfishly, I can’t wait to absorb more of J.D. and his family’s love and enthusiasm. As it usually happens any time you find yourself trying to bless someone, you find that they are blessing you more, and, in good old Southern fashion, it is a blessing of your heart.

Focus on… Dallas

Big. It is a word generally used to describe Texas and everything about it. Dallas is the 9th largest US city and the 3rd largest Texan city, covering nearly 12 counties. The Dallas-area’s population tops six million; that leaves a lot of people who need goods and thousands of miles of roadways on which to transport them.

Rising up out of the Texas prairie, Dallas is centrally located to other major cities by a net of interstates crisscrossing and winding around it, but this hasn’t always been the case. Starting as a courthouse square surrounded by 20 streets on 640 acres, the city began at a slow start, but it didn’t last long. Cattle were moved, railroads grew, and oil boomed. Within 100 years of the city’s growth, the 1973 completion of Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport solidified Dallas’ legacy as an inland port.

The city continues to grow and expand in all areas of technology and business; though cattle may no longer block the markets, trucks are moving everything in, out, and around the Dallas metro area and beyond. The proximity to the Gulf of Mexico makes for plenty of intermodal trucking jobs, and the number of interstates that knot around the city connect the heart of Texas with the rest of the country. Truck drivers from all across the nation find themselves pulling through Dallas on their way to oil fields, computer companies, and stockyards. For those who call the city their home, there is plenty of freight to keep everybody moving.

From the cowboys of the Old West to the modern day cowboys of the road, Dallas is a lively city with opportunity for any and all who have already made it their home or who are looking for a new homestead.

Crete, Shaffer, and Hunt: A Trucking Trifecta

Crete Carrier Corporation, with partner companies Shaffer Trucking and Hunt Transportation, forms one of America’s largest private trucking companies. Together, these three divisions are able to offer a full range of services to their customers with Crete Carrier specializing in dry van transportation, Hunt in specialized flatbed services, and Shaffer running temperature controlled loads. These trucks run all over the United States with terminals spread across the map to provide more resources and service to their drivers as well as their customers.

With more than 4,200 professional truck drivers in their ranks, Crete Carrier Corp has earned the right to boast about their low turnover rate in an industry that is highly competitive for drivers. The benefits and pay packages that are offered to company drivers and owner operators are constantly growing to meet employees’ needs.

In keeping with their patriotic spirit and a desire to assist their employees, Crete Carrier Corp offers a new specialized programs for military veterans. A new site has recently launched,, that provides information about Crete Carrier’s Military Transition Program to recruit veterans into the trucking industry. Also, they have recently initiated their own Patriot Fleet that employs only veterans to continue the camaraderie of service and retain truckers.

Hunt Transportation, the smallest division of the Crete Carrier Corp family, joined Crete in 1999 and has been rolling strong as their flatbed division ever since. Hunt continues to stick close to their agricultural roots; from the days of cattle hauls, they now will move any agricultural equipment that fits a flatbed trailer.

Shaffer Trucking, the temperature controlled division of the Crete Carrier companies, was founded in 1937 and based in Pennsylvania and Nebraska. As one of America’s largest refrigerated transportation companies, Shaffer delivers more candy than any other carrier, running from coast to coast to bring America’s food commodities home.

Cornering the market on the three largest divisions of the trucking industry, and doing it well, Crete Carrier Corp is working hard to hold their position as a top competitor among companies. Providing programs, benefits, and cream of the crop jobs to employees, Crete is good place to start when looking for a trucking company that is doing things right.


From Armored Trucks to Big Rigs


On October 19th, the Military Commercial Drivers’ License Act of 2012 was signed into law by President Obama, making it easier for military personnel to transition into civilian employment at the end of their service. The law allows states to issue CDL’s to military veterans who received their training, or are domiciled, in another state. This change will allow many vets an easier time in finding truck driving jobs wherever they wind up.

There is a lot of discussion swirling around the law; citizens are questioning whether returning vets are qualified to handle trucks on America’s roads. Reading the comments left at the end of articles or that follow Facebook posts, it seems that most members of the general population are in favor of the law. But what is a discussion without the other side? Opponents to the law, a few vets among them, worry that military vehicles and conditions do not provide enough experience to equip veterans for the road.

Whatever your opinion of the government’s ability to see a job through, it should be noted that they are not planning to turn inexperienced, non-trained drivers loose in big rigs to wipe out everybody else on America’s roadways. What kind of Homeland Security program would that be? Rather, each CDL candidate completes a driver training course in the process of their military. What the law does allow is that states can (read: they do not have to) honor driver training and CDL’s earned in other states. That’s it; a simple residency waiver that makes for an easier transition into civilian life for soldiers who are moved around on deployments and reassignments frequently.

If you have ever been associated with the military, you are aware of how necessary, even comforting, routine and schedule are. Despite some unpredictability in trucking, being able to have employment at the ready can be the most grounding assistance that a state can provide for a returning vet. Search Trucker Classifieds to see what we have to offer. Type in the city and state you live in at the top in the search field to find truck driving job postings in your area.