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4-year-old tractor-trailer fan visits D.M. Bowman terminal

J.T. Hausman's interest impresses senior vice president of company

August 11, 2011|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Jonathan "J.T." Hausman, 4, of Hagerstown, gets a closer look at a new Volvo truck with his mother, Jessica Fonferek, Thursday afternoon at D.M. Bowman Inc. in Williamsport.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

A 4-year-old boy who waves at tractor trailers every morning and evening actually got to ride in one of the big rigs Thursday afternoon.

"I liked the beep horn," an excited Jonathan Travis Patrick (J.T.) Hausman said.

J.T. was at the terminal in Williamsport for D.M. Bowman Inc., a full-service transportation firm. He visited with truck drivers from the company and checked out the inside of the trucks and trailers.

Gary Kelley, senior vice president of the company, said he read a story in The Herald-Mail two weeks ago about J.T.'s interest in tractor trailers and wrote him a letter inviting him and his mother, Jessica Fonferek, to visit the terminal.

"Seeing a little 4-year old boy excited about the trucking industry is just tremendous," Kelley said. "That's something you don't see much out of 4-year-olds."

J.T. runs outside of is home every morning and evening to watch the tractor-trailers pass by. He pumps his fist at them trying to get the drivers to honk their horns.

Despite being scheduled to show up at 3 p.m., J.T. and his mother arrived at 2:30 p.m.

"He was just so eager to come," Fonferek said. "But he got tired by the end of the day."

Kelley allowed J.T. to meet dispatchers in the terminal, speak with drivers in their lounge and visit the maintenance department, where J.T. saw how the trucks were worked on.  J.T. then was allowed inside one of the trailers and to sit in the tractor's driver's seat.

J.T. said he was surprised by what he saw inside the truck.

"It had a bed in the back, and the horn was really loud," he said. "I liked walking inside the trailer."

Fonferek said that even she enjoyed what she saw.

"I learned a lot out here today, and it was a lot of fun," she said.

Driving tractor-trailers runs in J.T.'s family, according to Fonferek. Her father, John Fonferek, and J.T.'s father, Kevin Hausman, both drive tractor-trailers. Also, J.T.'s late great-grandfather, John Ritter, drove a tractor-trailer.

Kelley, who said he has been recruiting truck drivers for more than 35 years, said that he hoped J.T. will continue his interest in trucks as he gets older.

"Hopefully, he'll become a driver when he grows up, and maybe he could work for D.M. Bowman," he said.

However, beginning Monday, J.T. won't be able to wave at the trucks going by in the morning because he starts prekindergarten at Salem Avenue Elementary School, Fonferek said. But he will still be outside watching in the evenings, she said.

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