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Truckload Carriers Association/Randall-Reilly Announce Winners of Prestigious Driver of the Year Contests
Thomas Miller of Prime, Inc. is Owner Operator of the Year;Gary Teel of Weinrich Truck Line is Company Driver of the Year
Last night at its annual convention, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and its partner Randall-Reilly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, announced the names of the two professional truck drivers who have earned grand prizes in the 2014 Driver of the Year competition. The Owner Operator of the Year is Thomas Miller of Bunker Hill, Illinois, who is leased to Prime, Inc., of Springfield, Missouri. The Company Driver of the Year is Gary Teel of Whiting, Iowa, who drives for Weinrich Truck Line of Hinton, Iowa.
The prestigious annual contests, sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, along with Cummins Inc. of Columbus, Indiana, recognize the top company drivers and owner operators in the U.S. and Canada who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation's goods. The overall winners are selected from the six finalists based on safe driving, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and positive contributions to the winners’ local communities. For the owner operator candidates, business skills are also judged.
Both men will receive a $25,000 cash prize for their achievements. Jon Archard, vice president of sales for Love’s Travel Stops, said, “This is a unique opportunity to give back to professional truck drivers and show them how much we, as an industry, value them. Love’s is honored to show our appreciation for the hard work they do day in and day out by being the platinum sponsor of the cash prize.”
Miller, who has been leased to Prime, Inc., for more than 15 years, has traveled 2.7 million miles without an accident. He is a former captain of America’s Road Team, a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records, and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway. Other notable achievements have included being selected as the Missouri Trucking Association’s Driver of the Month and earning several safety awards from that organization as well as from Prime, Inc.
Miller is an avid participant in the Missouri Trucking Association’s Truck Driving Championships, where he has competed for 15 years in a row. He has also competed twice at the National Truck Driving Championships. In his spare time, he likes to volunteer with his daughter’s little league softball teams and a church youth group.
When asked to describe Miller, Robert Low, president and founder of Prime Inc., said: “We can always count on Thomas to deliver on-time and safely each and every time. He exemplifies the attributes that I value in our associates.”
Gary Teel, the Company Driver of the Year winner, has driven more than 3.6 million, accident-free miles during his 26 years with Weinrich Truck Line. His supervisors note that he is loyal, detail-oriented, and very knowledgeable about the equipment he operates. The ability to form positive relationships with others comes easily to Teel, who he is known for going above and beyond when it comes to performing his job to the best of his ability. In 2014, he was named the Iowa Motor Truck Association’s Driver of the Year.
He has the most longevity of any professional truck driver at that company and was recently awarded a brand new tractor to drive as a reward for his many years of safe motoring.
According to Donna Weinrich-Lucht, company president and CEO, “Gary is on time with his loads, pleasant with our customers, and helpful with our other drivers. Safety is always his goal, as you can tell by his safe driving record. He takes pride in taking care of our equipment and especially the tractor he is assigned. Witnessing Gary’s excitement and pride when he received [our] truck will certainly go down as one of the highlights in the 54-year history of our company.”
“It has been such a pleasure meeting these outstanding professional drivers,” said Shepard Dunn, TCA’s 2014-15 chairman and the president and CEO of Bestway Express, Inc., of Vincennes, Indiana. “They showcase the very best that trucking has to offer.”
For further information on the competition, please visit www.truckload.org/Driver-of-the-Year and follow TCA on Facebook—www.truckload.org/Facebook—and Twitter—www.truckload.org/Twitter. You can also learn about this year’s Annual Convention on both social media sites with the hashtag #2015TCA.
To view photos from the event, click here. We will add additional ones as soon as we're able.