Checking in with Jazzy Jordan — and a rig named in her honor
When we quizzed Overdrive Facebook fans on their rigs’ nomenclature, i.e. not just the make and model but the names they used to give voice to that most personal of relationships — the on-highway operator and his or her machine — one in particular stood out for me.
“I named mine ‘Jasmine,’ to honor Jazzy Jordan,” wrote driver Jim Beine, whose Central Point, Ore.-based Oldland Distributing, 272-inch wheelbase 2001 Peterbilt 379 extended hood is here pictured. “Any young person who is willing to sacrifice so much to help the American truck driver deserves to be recognized.”
It’s been quite a while since this blog saw mention of the runner who, in 2010, finished her cross-country journey to raise money for the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund and bring attention to the health-care and -insurance needs of American truck drivers. It’s long been one of my favorites among the many stories I’ve written for Overdrive and Truckers News, seen last on the blog here (after a chance encounter with owner-operator Lee Jordan) and as a cover feature in Truckers News here.
Since the run, Jordan (pictured) tells me, she’s had two surgeries, one on each of her feet, to combat bunions that arose as a direct result of the stress the run from Los Angeles to New York City put on her feet. She now has “two screws” in her right foot as well as “three screws and a wire in the left one,” the latter a result of her latest, March 2 surgery, from which she’s just now recovering fully.
“For two weeks I couldn’t walk and had to be carried everywhere,” she says.
In spite of the problems the physical stress of the long-haul run has caused her, “I would never regret what I did,” she says, “the memories of the whole experience. I’ll never forget it. It was a great experience.”
If anything, she only regrets not raising a million or more in funds to help drivers combat their own health-insurance/health-care problems. “The $200,000 I raised helped 200 people or so,” she says. “If it would have been a million, two million, there wouldn’t be a shred of regret.”
After graduating high school last year, Jordan made moves toward enlisting in the Air Force as a linguist, she says. Once she recovers from surgery, she may yet move in that direction, or possibly go to college.
Beine’s rig being named in her honor comes as a welcome surprise, she says.
Says Beine, “I don’t have ‘Jasmine’ painted or decaled on her, as my company owner is really particular as to how he wants his fleet to look.” All the same, Beine feels it’s the least he could do to show his appreciation and honor Jordan’s supreme effort.
The rig is powered by a 550-hp Caterpilarr C15 with an Eaton Fuller 13-speed transmission. It has 3:42 rears. Beine lives in West Linn, Ore., running primarily the I-5 corridor between Los Angeles and Seattle, and occasionally to the Midwest and back.
The truck was formerly the personal truck of Ernest Ladner, owner of Ladner Trucking of Tustin, Calif., Beine says. Following find it rendered on the Ladner company shirt of the time. “Oldland Distributing, my employer, purchased the truck in 2011,” Beine says.