The “Everyday Heroes” Kenworth T680 was auctioned off at Ritchie Bros. in Phoenix. The winning bid was submitted by Mike Jimenez, owner of Phoenix-based J&L Transportation, which resulted in $89,000 netted in support of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a non-profit organization devoted to stopping human trafficking by educating, mobilizing, and empowering the nation’s truck drivers and rest stop employees.
“This culminated an eight-month project that had a tremendous finish,” said Don Blake, Inland Kenworth’s new truck sales manager in the Phoenix area, who spearheaded the program. “I was on pins and needles as the auction and bidding took place, and was so happy that the truck was going to a local company that demonstrated its commitment to such a worthy cause.”
According to Kendis Paris, TAT’s executive director, the $89,000 donation is the largest one-time gift in the organization’s history. She also stressed that human trafficking is an industry estimated to be worth $32 billion in the United States alone, and $150 billion globally.
Jimenez, who was traveling at the time, produced the winning bid by proxy. “Though I have not encountered human trafficking, it does exist in our world,” he said. “It’s been my experience that when our industry gets behind a cause, it is a worthwhile cause.”
The Kenworth T680, spec’d with a 76-inch sleeper, 485-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine, and Eaton Fuller Advantage 10-speed automated transmission, joins 35 other trucks in the J&L Transportation fleet. The truck will be placed in J&L’s dedicated fleet and utilized in Arizona, California and Nevada.
“When people hear about the horrific realities of human trafficking, they often make promises to get involved, but not everyone follows through. That is not true of Don Blake, George Cravens (with Utility Trailers), and all of the amazing sponsors of the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680,” said TAT’s Paris. “This money will enable us to continue to expand our work within the trucking industry, and also allow us to further our partnerships with law enforcement, additional modes of transportation, and multiple countries, in the fight against human trafficking.”