Warehouse worker becomes trucker, Top Rookie finalist

Quavis JonesQuavis Jones

Before Quavis Jones became a truck driver, he was working in warehouses living paycheck to paycheck and he wanted something more for himself and his family.

His uncle, a truck driver, told Jones trucking was a good career choice and encouraged him to get a CDL.

“I did that and haven’t looked back since,” Jones said.

Jones pulls a reefer for TransAm Trucking, and was recently announced as a finalist for Truckers News‘ 2017 Trucking’s Top Rookie award.

His previous career shaped how he interacts with warehouse workers when he’s dropping off and picking up his loads. He says he never knows how someone’s day is going, but giving them a hello could turn their day around.

“Any time I go to the shipper or receiver, I make it my business to always speak to people and ask them how they’re doing and how their day is going,” Jones said.

Before Jones started trucking, he’d never left his home state of Georgia. Since becoming a trucker, he’s traveled to about 15-20 states. 

“I love the thrill of driving and seeing the United States,” Jones said. “I really never left Georgia before I started driving trucks. I’d never really been to another state. I love just seeing new things, meeting new people.”

Jones ultimately wants to become an owner-operator and haul cars, so he can have more control over his schedule.

“I like the idea of being able to work my own hours and be home as much as I want to spend time with my family,” he said.

During his home time, Jones spends all his time with his kids. He has a 2-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. They love to explore the truck and hang out inside of it with him.

“Since I’m usually out a month or two months at a time, when I get home I really take time to spend with my kids,” Jones said. 

The winner of the 2017 Trucking’s Top Rookie award will be announced during a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. 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.