Driver of the Year Finalist - Matt Burkhart
Matt Burkhart was born in the heart of America, in the state of Kansas. His early life was deeply intertwined with the rich agricultural heritage of his family. On his father's side, the Burkhart family operated a dairy in Kinsley, Kansas, while his mother's family owned a farm in Cimarron, Kansas, a place that would ultimately shape his future in more ways than one.
At the tender age of 16, Matt started his journey into the world of transportation and agriculture. He would load up trucks with grain and drive them to town during harvest season, an experience that gave him a solid foundation in the farming and trucking industries. His summers were spent working diligently on the family farm, a legacy that had been nurtured and passed down through generations, spanning an impressive 160 years. Alongside his mother and brothers, Matt bore the responsibility of safeguarding and managing this cherished piece of history. After completing high school in Roswell, New Mexico, Matt pursued higher education in Portales, where he studied Agricultural Business. Throughout his time in college, he continued to nurture his passion for driving, offering his services to local farmers and ranchers. His journey behind the wheel included handling a variety of trailers, from flatbeds to cow trailers and grain trailers. Before his tenure at WDT, Matt had embarked on a remarkable career hauling racehorses across the country. For approximately 15 years, he crisscrossed the nation, accumulating a staggering two million miles while ensuring the safety and well-being of these majestic animals. In 2015, Matt joined the WDT family, and from the moment he arrived, he felt as if he had found his true home. Over the years, he has not only excelled as a driver but also became an integral part of the company as a trainer. One of the greatest joys in Matt's career comes from helping new drivers kickstart their journeys in the transportation industry. He imparts the wisdom and expertise he's gained throughout his career to ensure these newcomers become safe and proficient drivers. During his time with WDT, Matt has garnered numerous accolades and achievements, including the coveted Million Miles Award, the Gold Standard Driver Award, the Phase II Training Certificate, and now, is a finalist for the 2023 Driver of the Year Award. Additionally, he had the honor of hauling the Vietnam Wall That Heals on four separate occasions, a testament to his commitment to important causes and his dedication to his profession. His story is full of professional accomplishments but is also a testament to his deep-rooted commitment to serving his community and giving back to those in need. Matt is a Veteran of the US Marine Corps., and beyond his military service, is an active member of the Honor Guard with the Harley Owners Group. This role allows him to participate in various charitable endeavors, including toy runs that bring joy to children during the holiday season. Furthermore, Matt is a Baptist Children's Home Mentor, demonstrating his commitment to helping and guiding young individuals who may be facing challenges in their lives. Matt's journey is one of hard work, commitment, and an unwavering passion for the trucking and transportation industry. It's a story that weaves together family heritage, agricultural roots, and the pursuit of excellence behind the wheel. Through the miles traveled and the people he's met, Matt Burkhart continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of transportation. Let's congratulate Matt on becoming a well-deserved Driver of the Year finalist representing the category of OTR/Regional Driver for Western Dairy Transport!