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Army vet Mike Wester reclaims ‘Semi Showdown’ championship title

The winning Semi Showdown photo of a Schneider truck parked in front of the 9/11 memorial lights is displayed next to text that says "Semi Showdown truck photo faceoff, 2021 champion.

For the last three years, Schneider has held a “Semi Showdown: Truck Photo Faceoff.” During this competition, contestants submit their best Schneider truck photo for a chance to enter the championship bracket and win a Schneider prize package.

After nearly 100 photo submissions and three weeks of voting, the Schneider drivers and social media followers selected their 2021 Semi Showdown victor.

2019 Semi Showdown champion, Mike Wester, has once again earned the Semi Showdown championship title and prize package. Mike’s photo, featuring the 9/11 Memorial lights, won the competition after earning 246 votes in the championship match-up.

Meet the two-time champion

Mike Wester, a U.S. Army veteran and an avid woodworker, started his driving career as a Dedicated driver with Schneider in 2015 and has driven with us ever since. Now, Mike works as an Intermodal driver in Kearny, New Jersey.

When asked why he’s stuck with Schneider all these years, Mike said it’s because of the people he works with.

“Everyone is great, especially in the office in Kearney,”Mike said. “Our district manager right now is awesome. It’s also very close knit.”

Semi Showdown winner, Mike Wester stands in front of his Schneider truck with his daughter.

Mike said that he owes his Semi Showdown victory to the support of his friends and community. He went into this year’s contest thinking his chance of winning again was low, but his friends’ votes made all the difference.

“I have a very loyal fan base I guess,” Mike said. “I have quite a few followers on my Instagram and Facebook because I run a woodworking shop.”

The story behind the winning photo

Mike’s photo was taken at the local railyard in Kearny, New Jersey, a location where he often stops while making intermodal deliveries.

“The railyard has a skyline view of New York City, so we get the beautiful view of the Empire State Building when it’s lit up for special events,”Mike said. “For the Fourth of July, it’s red, white and blue, Valentine’s Day it’s red, etc. and you can also see the World Trade Center Memorial.”

Mike Wester's white Schneider truck is parked in front of an evening display of the 9/11 Memorial lights.

One evening, Mike decided to take a photo of his new Schneider truck with the memorial lights glowing in the background. He said that as a veteran, this photo has significant meaning to him.

“It’s very important,” Mike said. “It shows a time where our country came together as one. And just, never forget, you know?”

What’s next for Mike?

Mike says he isn’t sure what is next for his photography career, but he hopes to get more time to experiment with his photography.

“I haven’t taken any really good photos in a while, so hopefully this year I can get something good,” Mike said. “Something outside the box … not just a sunrise or sunset.”

Maybe we’ll even see Mike’s photos in future Schneider Semi Showdown competitions.

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