Truck driver Mike Sheeds, of Bandera, Texas, has been named the grand prize winner in Pilot Flying J’s fourth annual Road Warrior program, which recognizes drivers who go the extra mile in their jobs.
For winning the contest, Sheeds will receive a $10,000 cash prize. Terry Lee of Robert, La., and Desiree Ridley of Davenport, Fla., were also recognized as second- and third-place winners in the program, earning $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.
Sheeds has been a trucker for 27 years and has more than 3.5 million safe driving miles. He has trained more than 300 student drivers throughout his career. He and his wife have also adopted four daughters, each born drug- or alcohol-exposed and surviving trauma, abuse and neglect.
“I am so humbled to be chosen as a Road Warrior winner,” Sheeds said. “Driving has been part of my life for almost 30 years, and teaching aspiring professional drivers to prioritize safety above all else is what has remained most important to me throughout my career. Experience will never trump physics, and I encourage all drivers to remember this on the road. I’d like to thank my wife for nominating me and always believing in me, and all of the inspiring pro drivers I’ve met throughout my journey.”
Lee began driving professionally 34 years ago while in the Army serving in the Middle East. He has overcome adversity throughout his career, including a chronic lymphocytic leukemia stage two blood cancer diagnosis and rebuilding his family’s home after a flood.
Ridley is an advocate for millennial women in the trucking industry. During her recent pregnancy, she drove until she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. She now drivers locally six days a week while taking care of her family.