President & CEO Jim Gattoni with Landstar BCO Frankie Hill in Jacksonville, Florida.
The first giveaway truck winner of 2016 was Landstar BCO and Million Mile Safe Driver Frankie Hill. He laughed when he was asked how many trucks he had driven since he became a professional driver.
He counted on his fingers, “Seven, and none of them were as nice as this one here. I’ve never had a new truck,” he grinned as he ran his hands over the steering wheel.
When Hill arrived at Landstar headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, he couldn’t wait to drive his new truck – and the galaxy silver 2017 Peterbilt 579 sat in the back lot waiting for its new owner.
“Does it have a refrigerator, do you know?” Hill peppered Landstar employees with questions as he anxiously completed all the paperwork to make the giveaway truck officially his. “I just can’t wait to drive it. Have you been inside? Is the sleeper nice?”
Hill wasn’t able to attend this year’s All-Star Celebration in Orlando, Florida – but Million Milers and Roadstars don’t have to attend the event to be eligible to win this truck giveaway, which is exclusively for BCOs who have earned their Million Mile or Roadstar status. Each Landstar Million Miler is automatically eligible for the drawing. Roadstars got an extra entry and anyone attending the exclusive event received yet another entry.
So, when it came time to randomly draw BCO names for the finalists in the first truck giveaway of 2016, Hill got lucky. He got even luckier when it came down to the final selection. Landstar Field Safety Manager Jared Fritts stood in for Hill when it was time to turn the keys in the mock trucks on stage at the All-Star event. Hill waited patiently on the phone from Galax, Virginia to hear who had won. Hill’s wife of 16 years, Mary, recounted the moments before Fritts tested the key on stage at the celebration.
“Frankie said, ‘I don’t know why we’re doing this. I’m not going to win. I never win anything,’ and I said, 'you’re going to win Frankie, you’re going to win',” remembered Mary. A few days later, as Hill sat in his new Peterbilt 579, Landstar employees lined up to congratulate him, and comment on the beautiful truck.
“This truck looks better than the driver, that’s for sure,” joked Hill, who leased on to Landstar in 1996 and was named a Million Mile Safe Driver in 2006.
As he sat in his new truck and reminisced about all the trucks he’s driven during his 35 year career, Hill couldn’t take his eyes off the interior of the new Peterbilt. And he couldn’t resist pointing out all the features it has.
“This truck has a clock,” he shouted out to his wife. “And the transmission is smooth – it changes gears really nice. Yep, there’s the refrigerator.”
Hill’s win couldn’t have come at a better time for him and his family. Just days before the All-Star Celebration, the air conditioning unit on his 2007 Freightliner stopped working. Hill was just gearing up to fix the AC in the summer heat when he got a call that his name was selected as a finalist in the truck giveaway.
“I really can’t thank everyone enough for this. This truck is going to change our lives. It’s beautiful and we really appreciate everything. I’m never this lucky,” said Hill.
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