Former cop now a trucker and Top Rookie finalist

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Everett GambleEverett Gamble

Averitt Express driver Everett Gamble, from Atlanta, has always served his community.

He joined the military in 1986 and was in the National Guard on Sept. 11, 2001. He was in North Carolina at the time and was called to duty at Raleigh-Durham International Airport for homeland security duty after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

While there, Gamble, a finalist for Truckers News‘ 2017 Trucking’s Top Rookie award, was impressed by the law enforcement officers he spoke with.

“Talking to the officers up there in Raleigh at the airport kind of gave me another direction,” Gamble said.

He retired from the National Guard and applied to the police academy in Greenville, North Carolina. He graduated as president of his class and received an award for being the fittest recruit.

“I just had a passion for law enforcement. I enjoy meeting people. I enjoy interacting and helping people,” Gamble said.

During his law enforcement career, Gamble spent time as a school resource officer. He says he enjoys helping young men and women to be the best they can be. As a school resource officer, he was a mentor for the kids as well as a mediator between parents and the administration. 

“It was a great opportunity to work with a lot of different children to impact their life and help them be successful,” Gamble said.

Gamble left law enforcement for trucking for better pay, and drives a dedicated route for a Petco account. He spent his military career working in logistics and supply, and that combined with his law enforcement background prepared him for a trucking career.

“I’ve been giving back to my community as much as I possibly can,” Gamble said.

Gamble knew he wanted to be a driver trainer before he’d even finished his orientation. He made that his goal and he’s now a trainer for Averitt Express. In all the jobs he’s ever had, he’s held a supervisor role and says he loves training others.

“One thing that I like about training is that it helps another person to understand that he’s not by himself. That you can do this job by your work ethic. You can do things in a way that you’re able to make a difference,” Gamble said.

The winner of the 2017 Trucking’s Top Rookie award will be announced during a ceremony Friday, Aug. 25 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, and will receive $10,000 and a package of prizes.

The winner receives:

  • $10,000 cash 
  • Expenses paid trip to the awards presentation in Dallas
  • A custom plaque from Award Company of America
  • Interview on Red Eye Radio Network with Eric Harley
  • $1,000 worth of DAS Products merchandise featuring the RoadPro Getting Started Living On-The-Go Package
  • American Trucking Associations “Good Stuff Trucks Bring It” package, which includes a logoed polo shirt, baseball cap, model truck and utility knife
  • An IntelliRoute TNDTM 730 LM GPS Unit and a Deluxe Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas from Rand McNally
  • A dash cam and CB radio from Cobra
  • Feature story in Truckers News

The other nine finalists receive:

  • $1,000 cash
  • A custom plaque from Award Company of America
  • $100 worth of DAS Products merchandise, featuring the Road Pro MobileSpec Portable Life Package
  • American Trucking Associations‘ “Good Stuff Trucks Bring It” package which includes a logoed polo shirt, baseball cap, model truck and utility knife
  • An IntelliRoute TNDTM 730 LM GPS Unit
  • CB radio from Cobra

Sponsors include:

  • The RoadPro Family of Brands
  • Rand McNally
  • Cobra Electronics
  • Progressive
  • RedEye Radio
  • ATA

Partnering with Truckers News in the search are the three national organizations overseeing truck driver training:

  • Commercial Vehicle Training Association
  • National Association Of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools
  • Professional Truck Driver Institute

Recognizing the top rookie driver was the idea of the late Mike O’Connell, who was formerly the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. He believed that honoring a top rookie driver helps show new drivers they are appreciated by the trucking industry.