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Meet K&J's Four SDTDC Competitors! May 18 2018

Posted by K&J Trucking

Meet K&J's Four SDTDC Competitors! - K&J Trucking

The South Dakota Truck Driving Championships are coming up this weekend and K&J has four, yes FOUR drivers competing this year! We did quick interviews with each competitor to get their story on how they came to K&J and how they feel about the competition on Saturday!

Dan Cameron

How long have you been in trucking?

Since 1982. You know at this point I think I might just make a career out of it. 

How long have you been with K&J?

13 years.

How did you hear about K&J?

It was kind of by accident! The Readers Digest version is I was an owner operator in flatbed, and my truck blew up. I met another owner operator and I was going to hire onto him and his available truck was at K&J. But after talking to K&J staff, I decided to take the leap and lease with K&J as an owner operator instead. I have worked for quite a few companies over the years but K&J has them beat 10 times over. They are hands down the best trucking company out there. 

Is this your first time competing?

This is actually my fourth. My first time I came in third place. My second time I won and went to nationals. And in 2012 at my third, I came in second place.

What made you decide to compete in the SDTDC?

I thought it would be fun to challenge myself. 

What is your favorite part of the Championship?

I like competition so I always enjoy that aspect. These are the A1 drivers, so it is fun to compete with the best of the best.

Which of the events makes you the most nervous?

I guess the written exam. Some of the questions are easy to overthink.


Craig Ellingson

How long have you been in trucking?

5 years, I was doing maintenance at an ethanol plant and was tired of getting laid off, and some of my family did log trucking.

How long have you been with K&J?

All 5 years. It has been awesome to work with K&J for the support in the competition. I have been able to talk to Bob Hoffman and others at K&J who have already been through it! 

How did you hear about K&J?

When I was in school one of the guys that I was training with knew Jennifer through archery and he told me about it.

Is this your first time competing?

This is my second time competing. The first was two years ago.

What made you decide to compete in the SDTDC?

Just to test my knowledge and skill again.

What is your favorite part of the Championship?

I like the driving skills tests the best. I also like that I get to talk to other drivers that have more experience than me and get their expertise.

Which of the events makes you the most nervous?

The written test. There are so many dates to remember. There are also a lot of policy questions.

 

Josh Becker

How long have you been in trucking?

9 years. But I had 3 years of Army experience driving truck in Germany before that.

How long have you been with K&J?

Since September of 2009.

How did you hear about K&J?

I stumbled upon them when I went to the truck driving school at STI. My new boss leases on to K&J. I love the job. K&J is a great company to work with.

Is this your first time competing?

This will be my third time competing. I’ve never placed, but it is stiff competition out there!

What made you decide to compete in the SDTDC?

I like to give myself the extra challenge to see if I can do it.

What is your favorite part of the Championship?

I enjoy seeing all the other drivers compete and see how they compare to me. It is just all around fun really!

Which of the events makes you the most nervous?

The written exam. Driving, we do that all day every day. The written exam is the hardest part. 

 

Jeff Eschen 

How long have you been in trucking?

My entire life basically, I’ve been driving for 16 years. I’m a fourth generation truck driver, so I’ve been around trucks since I was in diapers. It is second nature to me.

How long have you been with K&J?

A little over 7 years.

How did you hear about K&J?

I don’t even remember! I think it was an ad in a newspaper or on the internet. It has been great working for them though. You’re more than just a number and they know you by first name.

Is this your first time competing?

No, this will be my fourth time. The first time I got second place, the second time I got third, and two years ago I got first and went to nationals and placed 22nd there. 

What made you decide to compete in the SDTDC?

You get into such a routine out on the road. Doing something like this helps you practice and hone the skills you use on the road everyday and keep a competitive edge. I like to be competitive and make myself better. It is also a great way to meet new people and meet up with people I don’t normally see regularly.

What is your favorite part of the Championship?

I like to do it for the challenge and to meet new people. It helps me push myself to be better and know that if a situation comes up and you do it right in the competition you have that much more knowledge when out on the road.

Which of the events makes you the most nervous?

The written. There are a lot of numbers to remember and different rules and regulations to keep in your head. Like in hazmat there are so many different numbers for poisonous materials. And I’m not the greatest test taker anyway, I never have been so I’ve always struggled a little bit with this. My goal is to always do a bit better than the year before.

 

A Message from K&J

To each of our competing drivers, know that we are so proud to have you on our team. You exemplify the K&J way of being excellent and doing right by others. Thanks for choosing to work with us and good luck on Saturday! 

 

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