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Gerald Clouse Receives 3rd Place in Truckload Carriers Association’s 2008 Owner Operator of the Year Contest
In the 22nd annual TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest, sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), Navistar, Inc., and Overdrive magazine, Gerald Clouse, an owner operator contracted to Dart Transit Company of Eagan, Minnesota, was honored as the third place winner for the 2008 contest.
The award was presented to the Rockford, Tennessee resident on March 10th during TCA's Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Clouse was selected as the third place winner of the contest based on his excellent safety record, unblemished work history, and community and industry involvement.
Clouse has driven 3.4 million accident-free truckload miles and has been leased to Dart Transit Co. for the past 22 years. He has received the National Safety Council’s Three Million Mile Safety Award and Dart Transit’s 20-Year Truck Trophy Safety Award. In addition, he has been named a Dart Contractor of the Month and has received Dart’s President’s Safety Award and a Hall of Fame Safety Award.
In the contest application presented to TCA on Clouse’s behalf, Dave Oren, chief executive officer of Dart Transit Company, wrote, “Our Operations Department never questions whether Gerald will deliver his loads safely and on time because they know he will. He is a wise businessman who understands that being an owner operator isn’t a job – it’s a career. He runs a successful business because he knows it takes dedication, responsibility, and hard work.”
As his prize package, Clouse will receive $1,200 in truck stop gift cards, $500 cash, and a $250 gift card for Best Buy.
To be eligible for the contest, Clouse had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive accident-free miles and being leased to a TCA-member trucking company.Once he passed the initial phase of the contest, Clouse had to submit a final application form, from which the judges selected him as the third place winner. Clouse’s final application included, among other things, operating information, verification of work history and safety record, equipment specifications, a 300-word essay explaining why Clouse should be a candidate for the grand prize, and a 300-word essay explaining how Clouse is a good “Trucking Citizen.”
“TCA’s Owner Operator of the Year contest pays tribute to owner operators who can do three things better than others: run a successful business, maintain an outstanding safety record on the highways, and aid the trucking industry’s efforts to enhance the public image of trucks and truck driving.This year’s winners demonstrate all of these things and much more. They are role models that every truck driver should strive to emulate,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president.
The grand prize went to Wayne Lowe, an owner operator affiliated with FFE Transportation Services, Inc., of Dallas, Texas. Second place went to Clark Lett, who, like Clouse, is an owner operator affiliated with Dart Transit Company of Eagan, Minnesota.