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Grand Prize Winners Announced in Truckload Carriers Association/Overdrive/TruckersNews.com Driver of the Year Contests
Owner Operator of the Year: Edward “Mark” Tricco, who is leased to Bison Transport; Company Driver of the Year: Danny Smith of Big G Express, Inc.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada:
At the signature event of the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) annual convention—its annual award banquet—the organization and its partners Overdrive magazine and TruckersNews.com announced the 2015 professional truck drivers of the year.
The Owner Operator of the Year is Edward “Mark” Tricco of Brandon, Manitoba, who is leased to Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Company Driver of the Year is Danny Smith of Shelbyville, Tennessee, who drives for Big G Express, Inc., also of Shelbyville, Tennessee.
To view photos from the event, click here.
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 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 received a $25,000 cash prize for their achievements. The runner-ups—Glen Horack of Elkland, Missouri, who is leased to Prime Inc., of Springfield, Missouri; Guy Broderick of Cambridge, Ontario, who drives for APPS Transport Group of Brampton, Ontario; and David McGowan of Marinette, Wisconsin, who drives for WEL Companies, Inc., of De Pere, Wisconsin—received checks for $2,500.
Brad Holthaus, vice president of trucking media sales at Randall-Reilly, the company that produces Overdrive magazine and TruckersNews.com, said, “Mark and Danny truly embody the ideals of the trucking industry. Without professional truck drivers like them, our industry could not exist. We are pleased to help showcase their hard work and impressive achievements to the world.”
Tricco’s career has spanned nearly 4.4 million, accident-free miles over a span of 35 years. He is known as a humble and kind person who respects and cares deeply about others. He believes that the laws of the road are made for a reason, and that he should help teach the public safe road habits by leading by example.
“Being [a good example] doesn’t just start by getting behind the wheel of your truck, and it doesn’t end when you leave the truck, either,” he said. “It is always being careful, and alert, and helpful at all times. And a good sense of humor helps!”
As a driver, he is well respected, friendly, and professional at all times. He is always willing to help any person who is in need, no matter if they are family, coworkers, or complete strangers.
Rob Penner, president and COO of Bison Transport, said, “Bison is a strong, safe, and healthy organization because of independent businessmen like Mark. He does not hesitate to take opportunities to learn and develop his business. Aside from being a great professional, he is also a great person. We are very proud of Mark.”
Danny Smith, the Company Driver of the Year winner, has driven almost 3 million, accident-free miles driven over the last 35 years. He enjoys mentoring drivers and building relationships with his peers. He is known for his clean-cut appearance and professional approach to the job. Family is extremely important to him, and he wants to be a good role model and make them proud of everything he does.
“No matter how much you have or how much money you make, what is most important is the person you are in your daily life and how you treat others,” he said.
A captain on America’s Road Team and a former captain of the Tennessee Road Team, he has been a finalist in this contest twice before. Danny is constantly looking for ways to improve processes, and his company values his opinion on policies, procedures, and new equipment.
According to Kristi Seibers, vice president of safety for Big G Express, “Danny is the type of driver every safety department dreams of. Not only does he follow the laws and policies put into place, but he also acts as a mentor to other drivers and helps promote safety throughout the fleet. He goes above and beyond to promote safety and a positive image for the trucking industry.”
Keith Tuttle, TCA’s 2015-16 chairman and the founder of Motor Carrier Service, LLC, of Northwood, Ohio, said, “What an incredible milestone it is for Mark and Danny to win this prestigious award. They are truly the best of the best from the truckload segment of the industry, and we are pleased to be able to honor them with our grand prize awards.”
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 #2016TCA.