Idaho owner-operator wins Trucker Talent Search

Updated Aug 27, 2018

The 2018 Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search competition wrapped Friday at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas with Mandi Jo Pinheiro of Twin Falls, Idaho taking top honors and winning $1,000.She performed an original song, “Heartbeat,” a song that sprung from a solicitation of the community of drivers asking about their favorite route to truck — and why.

Mandi Jo Pinheiro of Twin Falls, Idaho won the Trucker Talent Search at GATS Friday.Mandi Jo Pinheiro of Twin Falls, Idaho won the Trucker Talent Search at GATS Friday.

“I got an amazing list, learned a lot of geography and put it into a song,” the independent owner-operator — in a team with her husband, William — said. The online community of haulers she engaged was filled, she added, with those who’ve come together over the last year and more speaking up against onerous regulations and proposing solutions to industry problems.

“This is dedicated to the ‘doers,’” she said, those working in any way they can to keep the good in “this industry that we love.”

In introducing her during the competition, longtime Trucker Talent Search emcee and trucker-songwriter Tony Justice said he hadn’t “been able to put my finger exactly on what about [Pinheiro] just seems to captivate you — whether it’s the smile on her face or the words in her songs.”

Trucker Talent Search runners-up were James Nelson and B.J. Williams, of Livingston and LaVergne, Tennessee, respectively, both performing original songs.

Pinheiro also comes away from the event with a recording session courtesy of the AxleOutPro company, longtime partner in the event.