Watch the Interviews of the 2021 Landstar All-Star Truck Giveaway Finalists

Congratulations to the finalists in the 2021 Landstar All-Star Truck Giveaway. You can learn a little more about each finalist by watching their interviews with Landstar Vice President of BCO Retention Gregg Nelson.

 

1 Million Mile Safe Driver Dennis Bramblett from Hannibal, Missouri

1 Million Mile Safe Driver Dale Burke from Strongsville, Ohio

2 Million Mile Safe Driver and Landstar Roadstar® Bill Higgins from Catawba, South Carolina

1 Million Mile Safe Driver and Landstar Roadstar® Lisa Ringelstetter from Plain, Wisconsin

 


Landstar Announces 2021 All-Star Truck Giveaway Finalists

Landstar Announces 2021 All-Star Truck Giveaway Finalists

One of Landstar’s Safest Owner-Operators to Win a 2022 Volvo® VNL64T on July 13

Landstar System, Inc., a worldwide, asset-light provider of integrated transportation management solutions delivering safe, specialized transportation services, has announced the date of the 2021 Landstar All-Star Truck Giveaway, along with the names of the four Landstar owner-operators in the running to win a 2022 Volvo® VNL64T truck. The truck giveaway will take place virtually via Zoom video conferencing on Tuesday, July 13.

“Landstar is pleased to continue the tradition of awarding a new truck to one of our Roadstar or Million Mile Safe Drivers as a way to recognize the safety and service excellence of these elite owner-operators,” said Landstar President and CEO Jim Gattoni.

The giveaway truck, a 2022 Volvo VNL64T, is dark garnet red metallic in color and has features including a 455-horsepower Volvo D13 engine, Volvo 12-speed I-Shift transmission and Volvo Active Driver Assist 2.0 collision-avoidance system.

In no particular order, the four finalists eligible to win this year are:

  • 1 Million Mile Safe Driver Dennis Bramblett from Hannibal, Missouri
  • 2 Million Mile Safe Driver and Landstar Roadstar® Bill Higgins from Catawba, South Carolina
  • 1 Million Mile Safe Driver and Landstar Roadstar® Lisa Ringelstetter from Plain, Wisconsin
  • 1 Million Mile Safe Driver Dale Burke from Strongsville, Ohio

This year’s All-Star Truck Giveaway finalists were randomly drawn from a pool of Landstar’s 1,102 active 1 Million Mile, 2 Million Mile and 3 Million Mile Safe Drivers and Roadstars. The Roadstar designation is the company’s highest honor for truck owner-operators awarded to the “best of the best” based on their high levels of safety, productivity and excellence in customer service.

The truck winner will be determined by each of the four finalists selecting a single box among four boxes, one of which contains the key to the new truck. Whoever guesses the correct box will win the life-changing prize! A recording of the 2021 Landstar All-Star Truck Giveaway will be available on Landstar’s social media channels immediately afterwards on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

Follow Landstar System’s official social media pages to catch the excitement of the first Landstar truck giveaway of the year, including interviews with the four owner-operators waiting to find out if they’ve won a new truck!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LandstarSystem

LinkedIn: www.Linkedin.com/company/Landstar

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/landstar


Heroes On and Off the Highway

Awarding the Star of Quality in March & April 2021

Landstar independent BCO Lloyd Tubbs is being hailed a hero by a local fire department in Wisconsin for his assistance at the scene of an accident this spring.

According to Tubbs’ social media post on April 20, 2021, he had safely delivered a load and was traveling through the City of Wisconsin Rapids, when a car in front of his truck was involved in an accident at an intersection and caught fire.

“This is why I carry three fire extinguishers,” said Tubbs. “On my way home a bad accident occurred and one car was on fire. Some motorists and I helped the people in the car, and I used my fire extinguishers to keep the fire down until the fire department arrived and doused it completely.”

Tubbs’ actions earned him a platinum-level Star of Quality Award, reserved for members of the Landstar network who go above and beyond in representing the freight transportation industry while faced with life or death situations.

The Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department commended Tubbs for his assistance with the fire. According to Battalion Chief Mike Lisitza, because of Tubbs and the actions of other good Samaritans that day, no one was injured in the car fire.

Tubbs is a Roadstar® and Two Million Mile Safe Driver at Landstar. This is the second platinum Star of Quality Award the BCO has received since leasing to Landstar in 2003.

Each month, nominated, deserving independent business capacity owners (BCOs) and freight agents are awarded a bronze, silver, gold or platinum Star of Quality lapel pin, which recognize extra efforts and individual dedication to service.

Landstar BCO John Villanueva was nominated for his Star of Quality Award for how he helped others during a snowstorm in San Antonio, Texas.

“John was at a truck stop during the storms in February where many didn’t have food, water or diesel during that time. John keeps his truck fully stocked with food and was able to feed some of the drivers who were stranded there. Thank you John for everything you do,” wrote Sonja Latham, an employee in Landstar’s contractor services department, when nominating the BCO.

 


Congratulations to the members of Landstar network who were awarded a Star of Quality Award in March and April 2021:

Platinum:

*Lloyd Tubbs

*Landstar’s Platinum Star of Quality Award is only given in exceptional circumstances, intended for Landstar ”heroes of the highway” who are faced with a life or death situation.

Gold:

Dennis Dale Adams, Charrance Ashay Boyd*, Robert Bruce Boyle*, Stephen J. Campbell, Anthony Chiusolo*, Gregory Michael Gressley*, Ronald C. Haddan*, Robert Kimble, Joseph M. Kren*, David A. Mack, Gene Douglas Tunney*, Larry S. Wheeler*, Warren A. Wylds*

*Recipients have received multiple Gold Star of Quality awards.

Silver:

Vincent Joseph Bascone, Wade Allen Burns Jr., James Edward Cook, Bobby Ray Gilbreath, William Marcus Ireland, Ivan Pavlovich Mikhov, Anthony T. Pennello III, Zbigniew Joseph Rajca, Lorenzo Antonio Reynoso Hernandez, Michael Ross

Bronze:

Fidel Abella, Radica Bascone, Bradley Alan Bergman, Lloyd Henry Breaux Jr., Pierre A. Dakono, Richard Senyo Kwasi Dodor, Jaime Favela, Jared Olatrangi Ford, Abel Gallegos Franco, Daniel A. Gokey, Harland B. Gower Jr., Bryson Lavon Harris, Vernon Hawthorne, Carlos Herrera, Abdi Sheikh Ibrahim Sr., James Edward Jefferson Jr., Mykhaylo Mandzyuk, Pavel P. Mikhov, Yuriy Mikhov, Vitality Paulovich Mikhov, Armando Pagan, Rosa Maria Pagan, Hugo Enrique Reyes, William Howard Rice, Kenny W. Robinson, Kelly Roman, Louis Stephen Salzarulo, Billy Joe Stallard, Gene A. Thigpen Jr., Clifton G. Thompson, Jaime E. Vernier Sr., John A. Villanueva, Branch Kirkland Walton, Stephen Douglas Webb, James Kent Whitt, Rosa Marie Whitt, Gary Wonner

If you would like to nominate a member of the Landstar network for a Star of Quality Award, please email: StarQ@Landstar.com.


Moving Shaba, A Decommissioned F-117 Nighthawk

Landstar Agent Mike Thompson and Business Capacity Owners Brian and Lisa Clevenger made headlines when a certain F-117 Nighthawk was photographed during transport for Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® in 2019.
The Nighthawk’s move to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was even featured as a cover story in The Road to Success® magazine.

So, when the opportunity came to plan the logistics for another Lockheed fighter jet, Thompson, the agency owner of D&M Transportation Inc., felt like he shouldn’t brag about the move. However, his customer Air Zoo thought the arrival of its new F-117 nicknamed Shaba really was something to boast about.

The first operational Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk released for public display east of the RockiesAffectionately called the Kalamazoo Air Zoo by air enthusiasts, the Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum in Michigan had been waiting more than a year to announce the transport of the aircraft.

“I really can’t believe the time has finally come, to sign for and start this exciting journey back to Southwest Michigan with the first operational Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk released for public display east of the Rockies,” Air Zoo President and CEO Troy Thrash announced via press release November 30, 2020. Additionally, Thrash explained he would join the three Landstar BCOs Brian and Lisa Clevenger, and Zach Lindler to document the plane’s transport from Tonopah, Nevada.

By Dec. 2, Air Zoo’s social media channels were buzzing with excitement as Shaba began its 2,000 mile-long haul. The museum shared daily social media updates about the BCO trucks hauling the F-117 fuselage and wings through photos, videos, and live commentary.

With the plane’s wings secured to his trailer, Landstar BCO Zach Lindler was the first truck to arrive at Air Zoo. “We are so excited to welcome the first truck carrying the wings of the F-117 Nighthawk Shaba to Kalamazoo!”

Air Zoo continued to document the project’s progress via social media from the unloading of the wings to the arrival of the 100-foot long, 20-foot wide fuselage.

Flatbed Haul - Wings of Shaba Decommissioned Nighthawk F-117Nine days after leaving Nevada, the Clevengers made the final turn toward the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. In parade-like fashion, the truck was greeted by eager onlookers, waiting to catch a glimpse of the well-traveled stealth fighter jet.

“Because of the professionalism and experience of Landstar BCOs, customers like Air Zoo have enough confidence in our services that they invited the community to watch as the Nighthawk arrived,” said Landstar Agent Mike Thompson. “I know I said that I didn’t want to brag too much, but yes, transporting Shaba was something to brag about.”

The restoration of Shaba, the decommissioned Nighthawk F-117 (tail No. 817), is expected to take a year. The public is invited to view is the restoration while at the Air Zoo Discovery Center. To learn more about Shaba’s journey and watch the video footage of the Landstar BCOs’ trek to Michigan visit www.AirZoo.org.

Watch Shaba’s journey to the Air Zoo, and the ongoing restoration of the F-117 Nighthawk:


Past Careers Lead to Owner-Operators’ Present Success

When asked about becoming an entrepreneur, business owners often say that being their own boss and running a business is exciting and freeing, and above all, challenging. Entrepreneurship takes both skill and determination.

For professional owner-operators like those leased to Landstar, it’s not always the most obvious expertise that makes them successful. As they tell it, it’s more of the drive to be a small-business owner than the driving that has put them on a long and winding road to a successful career. For many Landstar business capacity owners (BCOs), it is the journey that brought them to Landstar that best prepared them to be independent owner-operators.

John Babine
Roadstar and Two Million Mile Safe Driver
J&J Trans-Truck LLC
Leased to Landstar in 1998

At 19 years old, John Babine’s first job was being a small-business owner. After high school graduation, Babine bought a fishing boat, then invested time and money into the equipment and tools he would need like fuel, bait, lobster barrels, rope and traps. Then, Babine says, he set sail on his first business adventure, intending to bring some mouthwatering lobster from Maine to market.

The problem? Well, there were many. Babine says he was too young and he didn’t know enough about the business. After all of the necessary expenses to keep his small lobster fishing boat running, he wasn’t making a profit. Eventually, Babine decided to keep the boat just for personal fishing adventures and ended his stint as Captain John. As the Landstar Roadstar® Honoree and Two Million Mile Safe Driver explains, the failure was a great lesson that taught him exactly how to run a business.

What made you decide to change lanes and become a professional truck driver?

“After the lobster boat failed, I started working at Tom’s of Maine® – in its factory. That’s when I started driving a truck to move materials and products for the company. I liked it, so I went to trucking school and got my CDL while I was working there. I never wanted to be cooped up and not be on the move. After I got my CDL, I wanted to be an owner-operator and run my own business – that was something I always knew I wanted to do.”

Why did you want to become an entrepreneur and own your own business? 

“I always wanted to be my own boss. I like things my way. Being a business owner would provide a better life than what I had growing up. We weren’t wealthy and couldn’t afford college. I was motivated to work hard for a better and more productive life than I had back then.”

How did your previous career prepare you to own your own business as a Landstar BCO?

“I learned on the lobster boat how to run a business  and what needs to be done to be a successful business owner. You have to think about overhead in business, and there were too many expenses on the lobster boat. I didn’t pay attention to my bottom line. One of the first things to determine when you are running a business is the lowest level you can operate – find the margin that is acceptable for you. Then, think about all of the expenses, your budget, include maintenance, and make sure you can make a profit.”

Steve Grillo
BCO Fleet Owner
SNL Transport LLC
Leased to Landstar 2014

A BCO fleet owner with four trucks leased to Landstar, Steve Grillo says he wanted to be a truck driver, but promised his parents he would go to college and spend five years working in the field he studied. After earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, Grillo kept his promise by spending the next eight years working in his field – three years as the controller for a wholesale sports apparel company, then five more as an executive vice president for a construction company. His experience in managing budgets, payroll functions and daily cash/credit transactions pays off now in managing his small fleet of trucks.

What made you decide to change lanes and become a professional truck driver?

“I’m aware of the line most drivers give when asked this question – and it’s true for me. As a kid I always wanted to drive a truck. I didn’t grow up in a traditional trucking family. We lived in downtown Chicago, but my uncle from Mississippi drove a truck. He gave me a tour of his cab, and I absolutely loved it. My parents knew my passion for trucking but urged me to go to college.
After graduation, I made it eight years before I finally decided to hang up my suit and climb into the cab of a truck to get my license. I earned my CDL in 2005, started as a company lease-operator, and ultimately became an owner-operator.”

Why did you want to become an entrepreneur and own your own business? 

“I knew early in my career as a professional truck driver that I wanted to own a small fleet of trucks.
I wasn’t exactly sure how to achieve that, but I knew my end goal included owning and managing a fleet. I fantasized about all the freedom I would have as a business owner, though I was also very aware of the responsibility that would come with owning my own business.”

How did your previous career prepare you to own your own business as a Landstar BCO?

“The extensive amount of accounting and management earlier in my finance career has played an integral role in my transition to becoming a successful business owner. Some of the most important metrics in trucking are rooted in numbers and the analytics that go with them. I think having a strong background in accounting helped me to be better equipped to understand the numerous data points of fleet ownership and to quickly make the necessary adjustments in the ever-changing dynamics of trucking. Being able to create a budget, track the variances between the budget and actual expenditures, and make changes according to results is very important.”

Sara Pingel
Roadstar and Million Mile Safe Driver
Pinklin Express LLC
Team Driver, Leased to Landstar in 2007

Vic Pinkston
Million Mile Safe Driver
Pinklin Express LLC
Team Driver, Leased to Landstar in 2007

Before she became an independent owner-operator, Sara Pingel was a self-professed “jack of all trades, master of none.” After high school, Pingel worked as a crew member aboard a ship turned museum, spent time working in accounting, ran a unit at an autism care facility, was a security guard, a florist, and, finally, a company driver. That’s when the Roadstar Honoree and Million Mile Safe Driver met her business partner, Vic Pinkston, also a Million Mile Safe Driver leased to Landstar.

Pingel says she never intended to own a truck or a business. But after working with Pinkston as company drivers, and learning from his previous business experience as the general manager of a car dealership, Pingel decided it was time to be at the helm of a new business adventure, owning and operating a truck.

What made you decide to change lanes and become a professional truck driver?

“Vic and I both came into the industry to travel and see the country. We met as drivers and ran as a team at another company before we decided to lease to Landstar. I wasn’t looking to own my own business, but I had a desire to travel and see the country. And, Vic wanted to live and work on his own terms and manage a business at his own pace.”

Why did you want to become an entrepreneur and own your own business? 

“We both have the motivation and drive that makes us successful business owners. In Vic’s case, his daily responsibilities at the car dealership were to overcome obstacles, customer service and business growth. While working with Vic as a team driver, he taught me a lot and I liked working with him, so I decided to join him on this new adventure of owning our truck and starting a business partnership.”

How did your previous career prepare you to own your own business as a Landstar BCO?

“Our combined experiences have made us successful team drivers and helped us thrive in the transportation industry. Vic has a strong background when it comes to ‘Business 101,’ a lot of experience working with budgets, managing overhead and negotiating prices from his days at the car dealership. My experience in customer service and overall patience with difficult situations, coupled with my observation and navigation skills, are an asset to our business. We are looking forward to many more successful miles down the road together.”


Awarding Exceptional Service

January & February 2021 Star of Quality Recipients

The impact of storms across North America this winter put millions of people, including members of the Landstar network, in dangerous weather-related situations. For helping fellow motorists and supporting each other in the wake of severe storms, the exceptional actions of several members of the Landstar network earned them each Landstar Star of Quality awards.

Each month, deserving independent business capacity owners (BCOs) and independent freight agents earn Star of Quality awards which recognize extra efforts and individual dedication to service.

When Landstar BCO Dwayne Walker saw a woman and her two young children stranded in bitter cold temperatures at a truck stop in North Dakota, he didn’t hesitate to offer help. Walker’s actions earned the BCO the Platinum Star of Quality, awarded in exceptional circumstances, intended for those who are faced with a life and death situation.

Without knowing Walker’s name, the motorist emailed Landstar about the independent owner-operator who saved her family on a freezing night in February 2021 when her car wouldn’t start. The female motorist wrote, “It was -37 degrees. I had my two daughters with me – 3 years old and 18 months – and we were more or less freezing. The driver offered for me and my daughters to sit in his truck so we could warm up while he tried to get my car to start. He fed us dinner and let us sleep in his bed to stay warm while he slept in the driver seat.”

Walker, who realized the fuel in the woman’s car had jelled up with the cold temperatures, bought an additive from the truck stop the next morning and poured it into the fuel tank. He made breakfast for the family, then worked on the fuel filter until the car started.

“I tried to pay him,” she wrote, “but he looked at me and said ‘No ma’am – that’s not how this industry works.’”

It was a fellow independent business capacity owner who needed Landstar BCO Cliff Thompson’s help after a breakdown during a storm in Texas. Landstar BCO Jeff Forb’s truck wouldn’t start at a receiver site in February when inclement weather and record low temperatures caused power outages in the area.

With Forb in danger of freezing in his truck, Thompson offered his fellow BCO a place in his truck to stay warm for the night. After learning about Thompson’s kindness, a Landstar employee in the night operations department nominated him to receive a Star of Quality Award.

“When it was safe, Cliff even delivered the other BCO’s load. This type of humanity and empathy is something we are so short on in this world. His offer showed true compassion and caring for his fellow man/driver, and for this act of generosity I nominate him for a Star of Quality Award. If I could give him more, I would. I am truly humbled by his kindness.”

  • Lysa Hannum, Night Operations Coordinator

Congratulations to all of the Star of Quality Award recipients during January and February 2021.

Platinum:

Dewayne Walker*

*Landstar’s Platinum Star of Quality Award is only given in exceptional circumstances, intended for Landstar Heroes of the Highway who are faced with a life or death situation.

Gold:

Robert Francis Barnard*, Paul E. Davis*, Renette Diede, Michael Erb, Lisa Evan*, Stephanie Garnhart*, Ronnie Haddan*, Wendy Hull, Rob Johnson*, Linda Kennedy*, Murray Kennedy, Cathy Kieger, Lloyd Edward Lampman, Beverly Ledgerwood, Gary Medley*, Anthony T. Mitchell*, Ray Russell Parker, Jeremiah Powers, Linda Scheel*, Zenoviu O. Sirbu, Jim Smith, Kjerstyn Thomas*, Rod J. Timmer*, Mike Thompson, Lewis B. Walker Jr., Donald H. Wood*

*Recipients have received multiple Gold Star of Quality awards.

Silver:

Korey Dion Allen, Cletus Dwayne Byler, Stephen J. Campbell, Tammy Clark, Tim Devoe, Frank Leonard Domako, James Duke, Brandon L. Estep, Daniel Gaudrea, Gustavo E. Gonzalez-Quiroz, Kathy Hoke, Normand L. LaPointe, Jackie Magee, Carrie Mann, Samuel A. Montoya, Thomas Mowry, Lyon Newsom III, Dave Nixon, Tony Pennello, Steven David Pestor, Georgiane Ann Plummer, Michael D. Slagle, Judy Steiner, Becky Stoball, Joshua D. Whitecloud

Bronze:

Mike Anderson, Jeffrey S. Arthur, Steven Barrett, Vincent Bascone, Brian Beach, Maria Been, Lyman R. Bernard, Humberto Mojica Cano, William Andrew Capps, Michael F. Card, Lindsi Childers, Chad Collins, Michael Daniel, Dennis Lee Davidson, Michael David, Rasheam D. Davis, Jim Dolan, Brandon L. Estep, Jon Fairbanks, Robert McNeely Fulcher, Luis Bautista Gil, Tobias Goodwin Sr., Michael Glynn Greer, Bradley A. Haga, Shawn Brian Hall, Paul Hegarty, Brian Heistand, Jared Lowell Herl, Marc Horton, Heather Marie Hutchens, Jason Allen Hutchens, Linda Janzen, Joseph Demetrius Johnson, Jeremy P. Julian, Robert B. Kasye, Mark Lambert, Jean Louise LeBlanc, Donnie Ledgerwood, Dietrich Letkeman, Carroll L. Lipper, Guy Lovan, Ricky L. Mann, John J. Mather, Douglas G. Miller, Sabra Odom, Dora Overend, Jonathon David Patterson, Jenn Peterson, Adam Reagan, Kerwin Miles Reed, Jimmy Reese, Robert Leland Reid, Joe Rinehart, Nicolas Roderic, Mark Christopher Rowland, John Sabol, Rosa Hilda Santos, Dino Saracevic, Bobby Schlieske, Brian James Schnipke, Russell Lee Shannon, Julie Shollenberger, Patty Short, Shawn Snedden, Gregory Scott Spitzer, Judy Steiner, Jess Steward, Michael Swift, Clifton G. Thompson, Ralph Edward Tickle, Victor German Trejo, Jody Valvo, Rebecca Vasquez, Joshua D. Whitecloud, Reginald Paul Wilson, Bil Wright

*Business Capacity Owner (BCO) is Landstar’s term for independent truck owner-operators with exclusive lease agreements.


If you would like to nominate a member of the Landstar network for a Landstar Star of Quality Award, send an email to StarQ@Landstar.com.