National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 8-14, 2019, is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. These 3.5 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, but they also keep our highways safe.
That’s why SmartDrive is recognizing drivers who have been nominated by their fleets for the work they do to keep our roads safe, while delivering the goods that drive America. Our first profile is Tim Chelette with Big G Express.
Tim Chelette has been driving since 2002, the last 15 years with Big G Express. He knew he’d found his calling when one day he realized, “when I get tired of being on vacation, I’ll quit my job.”
Tim appreciates all of the efforts Big G puts into promoting safety throughout the company. As a result, he’s become a member of ATA’s America’s Road Team. America’s Road Team is a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway. Big G supports Tim’s efforts in promoting safety and provides him with the time to do so.
Along with promoting general safety practices, America’s Road Team provides Tim with the opportunity to promote the SmartDrive program, which he has in his truck. “I love SmartDrive. It protects me. When I had a near-collision incident with a car on the highway, the camera showed it was the other guy’s fault. If I hadn’t had SmartDrive and hit him, I would have lost my job … and my livelihood as a driver. My feeling is that if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you don’t have anything to worry about. If you aren’t, then you shouldn’t be behind the wheel.”
Tim has driven almost two million safe miles and, in addition to his work on America’s Road Team (2019-2020), Tim has been Big G’s Driver of the Year (2016), a member of the Tennessee Road Team (2017-2018), and Tennessee Driver of the Year (2018).
Tim and his wife, Teresa, enjoy riding motorcycles and are members of the local Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) of which Tim is currently serving as President of his local chapter. Tim participated in many charity motorcycle rides and knew they were a great way to raise money for a charity. Combining his passion for helping others and his love of trucking and motorcycles, Tim was persuasive in his request for Big G’s support of raising money through a motorcycle ride. Even though coordinating a motorcycle ride was not something Big G had done in the past, the leadership group agreed to support the event knowing Tim would be there to lead the cause!
As a result of Tim’s efforts, Big G Express has donated over $30,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over the past four years through donations raised at an annual charity motorcycle ride. “Trucking has provided me with a lot of opportunities. I couldn’t do what I do without the help and support of everyone around me. It’s not just I, it’s we. If I can give back to help someone who can get healed, it’s the least thing I can do. We need to give these kids a fighting chance … and give them hope.”