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Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc. Publishers
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The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations


Mike Byrnes & Assoc. , Inc. Names Joe Sowers as Bumper To Bumperô Instructor of the Month for December, 2008



Joe Sowers

The year 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of Bumper To Bumperô, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations, the textbook that Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc. first published in 1988, now in its fourth edition. To mark that anniversary, we want to recognize the people who use that book on a daily basis: the instructors of the finest truck driving programs around.

Our Instructor of the Month for December, 2008, Joe Sowers teaches for Alliance Tractor Trailer Center in Wytheville, Virginia, and has been for over 24 years. Joe started his career in the industry as a passenger, riding in a tractor-trailer as a child with his uncle. Joe has logged over 2,000,000 miles accident-free, most of them while teaching students. In his spare time, he hunts, fishes, golfs and looks after his mother.

 Joe Sowers

Describe your biggest challenge in educating entry- level drivers.

It's not teaching someone the necessary skills they need for a trade, but building their self-esteem. Our students come from a background where they have been told that they may not accomplish anything with their life.


What do you enjoy about being a truck driving school educator?


I enjoy taking individuals who know very little about truck driving and developing them into  professional drivers.


What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment is not just one simple achievement. It is combining the total number of students and lives that we have affected by teaching people a trade and a profession. I am also proud of our safety record at Alliance Tractor Trailer Training Center and feel that we have made our roads safer by focusing on training.


What advice do you like to give your students to be successful in the trucking industry?

I always tell our students to be successful in the trucking industry, you must maintain a positive attitude, stay motivated and regardless of the situation conduct yourselves like a true professional.