Pilot Company surprises driver with custom-built semitruck

Regional News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A longtime semitruck driver got a big surprise Wednesday. Daniel Abshire of Roanoke, Virginia, was surprised by Pilot Company with a new, custom-built Peterbilt truck to celebrate his more than 40 years with the company.

Daniel joined Pilot in 1980 and took on the role of the lead driver when his father Jim Abshire retired from the position in 2013 after 42 years with the company. Jim was the second driver ever hired by the company.

Daniel’s new truck features a design reminiscent of the truck his father drove for the company in the 1970s. The truck is based off the 389 model and has updated Pilot Flying J graphics.

“I’m still in shock,” Daniel Abshire said. “I wasn’t expecting to be recognized, let alone get a new truck to drive that also celebrates my dad’s time with Pilot. I remember him driving a Peterbilt like this one, and this is my dream truck.

“We’ve always been part of the Pilot family, and the team here, especially the other drivers, always have been part of the Abshire family. That’s not lip service; it’s how we operate. This just illustrates how true it is.”

Daniel oversees trucks based in Staunton and Roanoke. The company says he has driven 2.5 million miles, equivalent to 1,650 trips from Knoxville to New York and back, and delivered more than 200 million gallons of fuel during his tenure with the company.

“The Abshire family and Pilot transportation are synonymous,” said Jim Haslam, founder and chairman emeritus of Pilot Company. “Daniel is the best. And that’s because he learned from the best – his father, Jim.

“This job requires patience, endurance, and a deep regard for everyone on the road. We are very proud of these two long and legendary careers and it’s an honor to recognize Daniel for his 40 years at Pilot with this specially designed Peterbilt truck.”

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