Pilot Company recently honored one of its tanker drivers for doing his job about the way his father before him did.
Daniel Abshire has driven for Pilot for more than 40 years and was honored for his contributions during a luncheon on July 7 at the company’s Sales and Support Center headquarters in Knoxville. Pilot and Peterbilt surprised Abshire by presenting him with a custom Peterbilt reminiscent of the rig his father, Jim, drove during his tenure at Pilot.
In 1971, Jim Abshire became just the second driver ever hired by Pilot. Based in Virginia, Jim became the company’s first lead driver and drove for Pilot for 42 years. Following in his father’s footsteps, Daniel joined Pilot in 1980 at the age of 21, and eventually assumed the role of the lead driver when Jim retired from the position in 2013.
“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. We are family.”
“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 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.”
Both Jim and Daniel are fans of Peterbilt trucks. Inspired by a photo of Jim from the 1970s with his Pilot truck, Peterbilt designed the truck that Daniel will drive as a throwback to the 389 models with updated red and yellow Pilot Flying J graphics.
“Everyone at Peterbilt would like to congratulate Daniel Abshire and the whole Abshire family for the millions of miles they have spent on the road delivering fuel for the Pilot Company,” said Jason Skoog Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. “To be a part of this celebration is a privilege and we look forward to seeing Daniel on the road behind the wheel of his Peterbilt Model 389 outfitted with a throwback design honoring the legacy of his father,”