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Robert Harmeyer of Batesville Casket Company Wins 2nd Place in TCA’s 2008 Company Equipment Driver of the Year Contest
Orlando, Florida:

Robert Harmeyer, a company driver for Batesville Casket Company of Batesville, Indiana, has been named the second place winner in the 20th annual Company Equipment Driver of the Year Contest, sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and Truckers News. The 2008 awards were presented to the Batesville, Indiana resident on March 10th during TCA's Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Harmeyer received the award based on his excellent safety record, unblemished work history, and involvement in the community and industry. He has driven for the Batesville Casket Company since 1988, hauling caskets outbound and miscellaneous freight on the backhaul.

Over the course of his career, Harmeyer has logged more than 2.4 million accident-free truckload miles. His company has presented him with both 1 and 2 Million Safe Mile awards and has recognized him for 17 years of driving with no preventable accidents and no moving violations. He is also a past Driver of the Year and Driver of the Month for the Indiana Motor Truck Association.

When not out on the road, Harmeyer brings his truck to the local high school’s driver education classes and speaks about safety around tractor-trailers. He allows the students to sit in the driver’s seat to get a sense of what truck drivers can and cannot see around their vehicles. Harmeyer is also a Trucker Buddy to a second grade classroom, exchanging letters and postcards with the class and allowing them to tour his truck. This past summer, he participated in the Indiana State Truck Driving Championships, where, although he didn’t win, he enjoyed the competition immensely.

In the contest application presented to TCA on Harmeyer’s behalf, Marge Davis, safety director for Batesville Casket Company, wrote, “Rob is always quick with a smile and kind word. He has a sparkle in his eyes and a laugh that is contagious. He has a natural curiosity and desire to learn about the industry, in spite of his years behind the wheel. . . . We are fortunate to have him in our company and look forward to a bright future in his regard.”

As his prize package, Harmeyer will receive the following prizes:

  • $2,000 in truck stop gift cards
  • $1,500 cash
  • A $250 Best Buy gift card

To be eligible for the contest, Harmeyer had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive accident-free miles and being employed by a TCA-member trucking company for at least the past three years.After passing the initial phase of the competition, he was then asked to submit a final application, from which he was selected as the second place winner. Harmeyer’s final application required verification of work history and safety record, a 300-word essay explaining why he should be a candidate for the grand prize, and a 300-word essay explaining why he is a good “Trucking Citizen.”

"TCA’s Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest recognizes the best of the best,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president. “We are very pleased with the caliber of the trucking professionals who have been selected as the 2008 winners. We hold them in the highest regard as a shining example to other truck drivers.”
The first place winner of the contest was James Loveland of Willis Shaw Express, Elm Springs, Arkansas. The third place winner was Ralph Boles of Bison Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba.