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September 12, 2020 8:00 AM, EDT
Kevin Cooper, Centerline Drivers

'Do Something Kind on a Daily Basis'

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Saluting the men and women of the trucking industry who kept America's essential goods flowing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Profiles: Peter Lacoste | Susan Dawson | James Rogers | Cesar Quintana Moreno | Reggie Barrows | Kevin Cooper 

 

At a time when personal protective equipment was scarce, Kevin Cooper, a truck driver for Centerline Drivers, began making face masks to help protect fellow drivers and other frontline workers. Read more of Cooper's story here.

At times I would be driving and I’m like, ‘Is there going to be a vehicle out here?’ I would go to rest areas and they would be closed, and there would be no cars there. So I would just pull over and take a five-minute break, and hope to see somebody but never did. 

Hi, I’m Marissa Gamache of Transport Topics, and this is Trucking’s Frontline Heroes, the series that spotlights the men and women who went above and beyond the call of duty to keep America’s essential goods flowing during the coronavirus pandemic. Today we introduce you to Kevin Cooper, a driver for Centerline Drivers. While on assignment in West Virginia, Cooper and his wife Kimberly saw an urgent need for masks and stepped up. After learning how to make their own, the couple went out and bought enough supplies to make several dozen, and handed out masks to whomever needed them. Take a look at his story. 

I’m a mobile driver for Centerline and what happens is they will call on me and the other drivers to go help a situation — a company, different companies … you know, Hogan, Target, LB&B, the one I’m with now — you know, shortage of drivers. They’ll fly us out or drive us out and we go help them out for a couple weeks on up to a couple of months. This one was set for three weeks in March, and I’ve been here ever since. 

Despite the longer-than-expected stay in West Virginia, Cooper and his wife have kept upbeat. He encouraged others to ground themselves in the spirit of giving. 

My message would be that drivers need to go above and beyond. And it’s only going to take a minute or five minutes out of your day. You know, take the extra time to do that off the grid. I just think that we all have rules to follow in anything that we do, but I think going above and beyond, and really going out of your way to do something kind for others on a daily basis, really makes this life a little bit easier to deal with. 

Kevin Cooper is just one of several industry heroes we're spotlighting in our new special section devoted to Trucking’s Frontline Heroes. Make sure to check out the others at ttn.ws/heroes. I’m Marissa Gamache, we’ll see you next time.