Bigger and better
Holtzman’s widow, Judy Holtzman, and their son, Russell, received the plaque on Doug’s behalf in a ceremony conducted by Ellen Voie of Trucker Buddy International and Todd Bates of J&B Services.
The award was created to honor Terry Tart, who died in 2004 of lung cancer, after years of being a Trucker Buddy to Rebecca Nedeu’s special-needs students in Colchester, Conn.
Doug Holtzman, a driver for Wal-Mart in Menomonie, Wis., corresponded with Susan Epple’s third-grade class in Houston. He died this March of a heart attack.
“He insisted on staying beside the students no matter what,” his widow said.
J&B Services paid Judy Holtzman’s travel expenses to GATS and gave her $500. The company also gave $500 apiece to Susan Epple’s class, to Rebecca Nedeu’s class and to Trucker Buddy International.
New information on the eighth annual show in Dallas, Aug. 24-26, 2006 will be available soon at this site.
-Kristin L. Walters
Male Driver Wins Second Annual Gender Battle
The eternal war between the sexes reached a fever pitch Aug. 27 at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas.
It wasn’t high noon, but it was at least 100 degrees when owner-operator Melinda “Stormy” Nunley of Springdale, Ark., leased to Contract Freighters, Inc., and Rider Integrated Logistics driver Ed “Big” Hutchison of Edmond, Okla., squared off to decide, for this year anyway, who better drives big trucks, man or woman.
But both drivers and most observers had bigger concerns: the Special Olympians who would benefit from the fund-raising event, the second annual Truck Challenge of the Genders. Karla Alfaro, Special Olympics Development Director for Dallas, says the exact donation amount this year had yet to be tallied, “but if all our pledges come through it’s going to blow our minds away.”
Last year’s competition at GATS raised $11,500 for Special Olympics. The event raises money from $1 (or more) votes from GATS attendees and mail-in donation-votes.
This contest between male and female truckers started as a friendly rivalry on Steve Sommers’ trucking radio show, when Garry Thomas expressed his opinion of female truck drivers and received a challenge from Ingrid Bell. Bell beat Thomas in last year’s contest.
Contest equipment included a CFI trailer and Nunley’s Kenworth 900. The course was simple but not easy: bobtail 100 yards between cones with six inches of clearance on either side, hook to the trailer and back it into a designated spot, coming as close as possible to, but not hitting, a marker behind the trailer. Then drop the trailer and go back to the starting line, but in reverse, without hitting cones on either side of or behind the truck.
Hutchison won this year’s event with an overall time of 10 minutes, 52 seconds, beating Nunley’s 15-minute, 12-second score by more than four and a half minutes.
2005 Pride & Polish Winners
Tim Thornhill’s 1986 Peterbilt 359 was named Best of Show Bobtail at the 2005 Overdrive Pride & Polish truck beauty contest. Thomas and Kim Turner’s 1995 Peterbilt 379 captured the Best of Show Combination honor.