|Type of driver||Ride of Pride Driver|
|With Schneider||21 years|
|Miles on the road||1.4 million|
|Can't live without||Woodworking tools|
Randy Twine turned the big 5-0 in 2013, but hitting the half-century mark certainly did not bother this congenial and confident Southern gentleman. A 20-plus-year veteran of both Schneider and the United States military, Randy has already packed a lot of life into his first five decades. Now, as the driver of the newest Ride of Pride truck in the Schneider fleet, Randy has embarked on a brand new mission—one that blends his infectious love of driving with his deep-rooted passion for his country.
Growing up in Elizabeth City, N.C., was both peaceful and picturesque for young Randy Twine and his four siblings. “We’d sleep on the front porch, leave the doors open all day and never worry about a thing,” he recalls.
When his three brothers followed their father into the U.S. Army, Randy’s sense of patriotism flourished and he, too, decided to join the service after graduating from high school in 1981.
“I love this country,” he enthuses. “I could have been born anywhere in this world, but I was born here. Because of that, the sky was the limit. I could have been president, a politician, a carpenter, a mechanic. But someone has to protect those freedoms so we can all pursue our dreams, and I was compelled to be one of those people to protect that freedom. It’s not free.”
During his 12 years as a combat engineer in the active Army, Randy served overseas several times. In fact, he met his wife Maria when they were both stationed in Germany.
In 1993 Randy made two important moves: he transitioned from active duty to the Army National Guard, and he started his civilian career as a professional truck driver with Schneider.
“I wanted to do something where you could spend some time at home but also make a good living,” he says.
He attended a job fair, and it was clear Schneider was the perfect fit.
“While other trucking companies were pushing miles, Schneider talked about family. Other companies said they would try to get me home; Schneider said, ‘We WILL get you home.’”
In the years that followed, Randy gained experience as an Over-the-Road and Dedicated driver. He also gained appreciation for how easy Schneider made it for him to continue serving his country. (He remained with the Army’s National Guard until 1999 before moving into the Air Guard, the Guard branch of the U.S. Air Force, in order to become an air transportation specialist.)
“Because Schneider is such a strong supporter of military service, they never gave me any problems when I had to leave for drills. Plus, from Day One with the company, you are guaranteed to have a job when you come back from military duty. That stability was VERY important to me when I was deployed to Iraq and Saudi Arabia several times in 2002 and 2003. So many people I served with couldn’t believe I had a job actually waiting for me back home. That stress relief is huge when you are in dangerous situations like that. Your focus needs to be on staying alive, and not having to worry about having a job when you get home means you can focus on your current job in the military.”
Randy hung up his military uniform for good when he retired in 2006. But he is nowhere near ready to give up his driving career!
“When it stops being fun, it’ll be time to do something else. After 21 years, I’m still loving the freedom of the road. I love seeing different things. Even if I drive the same road as I did the day before, I’ll notice something different each time. Each trip is an adventure.”
In May, Randy started the grandest adventure of his driving career yet when he was selected to serve as the captain of Schneider’s 2014 Ride of Pride. This is the newest edition of the truck series designed to be rolling tributes to members of the United States military – past and present. Freightliner has now presented seven of the military-themed tractors to Schneider, the most of any truckload carrier.
Between June 2014 and June 2015, Randy and the Ride of Pride will travel around the country to attend military-related events, parades and festivals.
“This truck is a visual reminder of the people who have served and are now serving our country, and taking it around the U.S. gives me the opportunity to talk to those individuals and their families. You have to be a good listener for this job, but I don’t consider it to be a job. It’s just a very special honor.”
When he’s not on the road or with the Ride of Pride at events, Randy spends time at home fueling his other passions. He loves to spend time with his wife, their 23-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son. His eyes light up when he talks about a beloved hobby that he is passing onto his boy.
“I have always loved woodworking, so I did some research and learned how to turn wood to make my own acrylic and wood pens. It’s so relaxing, and the smell is just wonderful!”
After he schooled his son in the art, they began to make and sell pens of all different styles. The money they generate isn’t huge, but the time they spend together makes a huge impact on them both.
“My son is already planning to join the military when he is done with high school, and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Clearly, Randy not only rides with pride, but lives with pride.
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