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Truckers bring home the bacon … and more

By Staff | Aug 30, 2008

Sgt. Joel Sivinski and Officer Brad Nelson of the Iowa Department of Transportation explained how they conducted truck safety checks to Holiday Express drivers. Vendors, such as Holcomb Trucks, displayed their products at the Holiday Express Driver Appreciation Day Friday. EDN photos by Michael Tidemann

“Today we see an awful lot of people here who impact our community financially.”

That was what Northstar Bank President Scott Taylor had to say of the drivers at Holiday Express Friday. The occasion was the annual Driver Appreciation Day at Holiday Express.

“The drivers are the nuts and bolts of not only the industry but the country,” Taylor said, noting that 3.5 million people are being honored this week, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

Not only do they bring home the bread and butter, and bacon for the Midwest, truck drivers are honored for their courtesy and courage on the road.

“They feel truck drivers are the best drivers on the road,” Taylor said.

Taylor thanked Holiday Express and its subsidiaries for what they’ve done for Estherville.

“We appreciate what you do for the community and we appreciate what you do for the county,” Taylor said.

Sgt. Joel Sivinski, enforcement officer with the Iowa Department of Transportation, who gave a safety inspection earlier Friday, also thanked the drivers and Holiday Express for their professionalism.

“One thing I’ve noted here is pride,” Sivinski said. “It wasn’t that they were trying to win us over. They were proud of the facility they had here.”

Officer Sivinski said truck drivers are held to a higher standard than other drivers.

“You hold a higher class of license,” he said.

Merle ‘Bubs’ Johnson, who co-owns the company with Basil ‘Sonny’ Roberts, recognized drivers, customers, and suppliers of Holiday Express. His thanks were extended to Dakota Pack, Estherville Foods, GKN, Dr. Nick Helmich, Stylecraft, Merrill Wheel, Sleep Inn, Utility Trailer, Holcomb Trucks, Albert Lea Thermo King, Graham Tire, Sieverson’s of Albert Lea, Minn., and Westman Freightliner.

Drivers recognized included:

n Dave Carrico, 29 years.

n Jeff Schichtl, 28 years.

n Charles Gehr, 25++++++ years.

n Scott Clayton, 24 years.

n Mike Juchem, 24 years.

n Paul Petersen, 22 years.

n Dennis Curtis, 20 years.

n Kenny Biship, 20 years.

n John Reno, 19 years.

n Al Paplow, 18 years.

n Laura Clayton, 17 years.

n Basil Roberts, 15 years.

n Steve Planting, 14 years.

n Jerry Schichtl, 14 years.

n Charles Henningsen, 13 years.

n Rick Gruhlke, 11 years.

n Dan Bleckwenn, 10 years.

n Denny Lastine, 10 years.

n Larry Hubbard, seven years.

n Robert Wiebrand, seven years.

n Rex Anderson, six years.

n Chris Blass, six years.

n Spencer Novak, five years.

n Rick Wilson, five years.

n Steve Dietrick, two years.

n Trent Rowley, two years.

n Doug Bleckwenn, one year.

n Jerry Hansen, one year.

n Tim Schutz, one year.

n Chris Drinovsky, one year.