LOUISVILLE. Truck driver and U.S. Air Force veteran Dennis Lott won Arrow Truck Sales’ second annual “Back on the Road” contest, receiving a 2006 Volvo VNL 670 powered by a D-12 465 hp engine from Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA), along with a one-year work agreement with truckload carrier Heartland Express.

Lott spent 33 years in the U.S. Air Force, both on active duty and as a reservist, and came to love driving a truck as his “second career.” However, he was forced to stop driving trucks in 2000 following a severe back injury from a survival school parachute training exercise. Instead, he began flying full-time for the Air Force Reserve and was one of the many called up after the September 11 attacks, flying supply missions as well as medical evacuations for service personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet he missed driving a truck, a profession he truly loved, and is overjoyed to be getting a fresh start behind the wheel of a big rig again. “What a dream come true this is for me,” he told FleetOwner. “I’ve been off the road for several years and it’ll be good to get back.”

Carl Heikel, president& CEO of Arrow Truck Sales, said the “Back on the Road” contest is an important part of the company’s strategy to reach out and support its owner-operator customers. “We do our primary business with them – we sell 10,000 trucks a year to them,” he told FleetOwner. “They are our core customers and we felt what better way to show our support for them than to give a deserving owner-operator that’s fallen on tough times a way to get back on the road. Helping them is the best thing we can do.”

Now that his back is healed and he is retired from the Air Force, Lott is ready to get back on the road full-time. “Driving is my career, not just a job, and I take great pride in my work,” he said. “Each load delivered is important. I enjoy being a part of the many team players that get the people of America what they need and want.”

Along with the tractor and work contract, Lott garnered other products and services, including:

  • A custom truck paint job and graphics, courtesy of Dickinson Fleet Services
  • X One wide-base tires, courtesy of Michelin
  • A TriPac auxiliary power unit, courtesy of Thermo King
  • Monthly $500 fuel cards courtesy, of Pilot Travel Centers
  • One year’s worth of filter products, courtesy of Genuine Volvo Parts
  • One year’s worth of oil changes, courtesy of Chevron
  • Business consulting tools, courtesy of ATBS
  • Insurance provided by the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)
  • A 3-year / 300K mile warranty from National Truck Protection, Inc.
  • Truck accessories and fenders, courtesy of Minimizer Products

Country music singer Aaron Tippin anchored the award ceremony, helping present the keys to Lott’s new truck. “When I was a driver, we had nothing like this contest,” Tippin said. “Dennis is a genuine person, whose commitment to his country and the trucking profession is inspiring. This is the start of a great journey for him and I know he’ll represent the trucking industry with great pride.”