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Ralph Boles of Bison Transport Wins 3rd Place in TCA’s 2008 Company Equipment Driver of the Year Contest
Orlando, Florida:

Ralph Boles, a company driver for Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been named the third 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 Winnipeg resident on March 10th during TCA's Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Boles received the award based on his excellent safety record, unblemished work history, and involvement in the community and industry. He has been a truck driver with Bison Transport, Inc., since 1974. During his career, he has logged more than 4.5 million accident-free truckload miles. His awards include seven safe driving awards and two Driver of the Month awards from the Manitoba Trucking Association.

Boles sits on his company’s Driver Advisory Board and its Accident Appeal Board. Through these boards, he is able to advise, review and discuss policies that need to be changed, accidents and how they should be handled, and the concerns of Bison’s drivers and/or the general public. Recently, he has undertaken a new challenge: serving as an in-cab instructor. Boles uses his extensive experience in mountain driving to help all of Bison’s new drivers who are participating in the new driver training program.

In the contest application presented to TCA on Boles’ behalf, Garth Pitzel, director of safety and driver development for Bison Transport, wrote, “[Ralph] has had the biggest impact on our safety program and has been actively involved in many safety committees, from equipment spec'ing, accident prevention and driver training, just to name a few. I have personally relied on [his] knowledge and expertise as a professional driver, whether it was assisting us in shaping one of our programs or just better understanding the potential impact on one of our many policies or procedures. You call Ralph on the phone and ask for his opinion; he always says ‘let me think about this’ and you know he will be in our office in a couple of days to discuss the matter.”

As his prize package, Boles will receive the following prizes:
  • $1,200 in truck stop gift cards
  • $750 cash
  • A $250 Best Buy gift card

To be eligible for the contest, Boles 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 third place winner. Boles’ 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 second place winner was Robert Harmeyer of Batesville Casket Company, Batesville, Indiana.