Friday, August 7, 2015

Winning an International truck at MATS a ‘life-changing’ experience for member

James Wright went to the Navistar booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show looking for some free swag from the company. He came away with a lot more than he bargained for.

“I went up there looking for a T-shirt or a cap,” he said in a phone interview with Land Line on Friday. “They didn’t have anything like that, but the woman asked if I’d like to have my own truck. I said ‘sure.’”
Photo courtesy of Navistar

OOIDA member James Wright and his wife Katrina, of West
Helena, Ark., are the proud owners of a 2012 International
ProStar tractor. James won a drawing for the tractor at MATS
this spring. The drawing was to promote the company's
Diamond Renewed line of refurbished power units.

Wright, an OOIDA member from West Helena, Ark., said he filled out an entry slip for a chance to win an International tractor, part of the company’s effort to promote its Diamond Renewed program. The truck he ended up with was a 2012 International ProStar, with a MaxxForce 13 engine and a 9-speed manual Eaton Fuller Transmission.

When he got a phone call two weeks after show, Wright said he thought the whole thing was a put-on at first.

“My first thought was ‘yeah right,’” he said. “I was waiting for them to say ‘Now all we need is your credit card number and life history, and we can make this possible.’”

Thursday, August 6, 2015

#TBT: That time we gave a ‘rose’ to the National Enquirer

(Editor’s note: It’s “Throwback Thursday,” and we’re dusting another one from our Land Line digital archive. Today’s installment is a 2009 column from Editor-in-Chief Sandi Soendker, who sent plaudits to The National Enquirer tabloid for their story about former Highway Hero winner Jorge Orozco Sanchez.)

In late July 2009, a story about an OOIDA member shared headlines with Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Paula Abdul and other celebrities.

I got a tip from a friend in the know that the Goodyear Highway Hero and our OOIDA Member Jorge Orozco Sanchez might be featured in the July 20 edition of The National Enquirer. I picked up a copy while cruising my grocery store and flipped through. There it was on the inside back cover: “Hero Trucker Hits Road to Recovery.”

It was clearly the best story in that issue. Half the page is a photo of the Oct. 28, 2008, crash when Jorge’s tractor-trailer was hit head-on by an SUV. Then there’s a photo of Jorge being checked out by paramedics on the crash scene, after he rescued two small children from the back of the burning SUV. There’s also one of Jorge, his wife and three kids, and one of Jorge with his recently purchased red Peterbilt.

Enquirer Reporter James McCandlish does a nice job telling the story and how the wreck left the 31-year-old owner-operator from Firestone, Colo., “nearly destitute.” The story tells how bills piled up and creditors hounded him and that he worked in his brother’s restaurant while his wife worked as a school clerk. Then the good part – how he was chosen as the 2008 Goodyear Highway Hero and how the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association “decided it was time to do the right thing for a guy who had himself done the right thing” and how we helped get Jorge back on the road. Plenty of people jumped on that train and all for a deserving guy.

A rose to The National Enquirer.