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TCA, Overdrive, and Truckers News Seek Outstanding Professional Truck Drivers for 2016 Driver of the Year Competition

Nominations open tomorrow for the prestigious title of Company Driver of the Year and the Owner Operator of the Year; grand prize is $25,000.

Alexandria, Virginia:

Tomorrow, September 21, 2016, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and partners Overdrive and Truckers News will officially open nominations for the 2016 Driver of the Year competition. To nominate an owner operator or company driver, please visit Nominations will be accepted until November 6th. 

Contestants must demonstrate a safe driving record, strong work ethic, and desire to improve his/her community and the image of the trucking industry. The competition is sponsored by Cummins Inc. and Love’s Travel Stops and is divided into two categories: the Company Driver of the Year contest (now in its 26th year) and the Owner Operator of the Year contest (now in its 28th year). The two overall winners will receive $25,000 each, while the two runners-up in each division will win $2,500.

Danny Smith, a professional truck driver for Big G Express, Inc., of Shelbyville, Tenn., was a grand-prize winner in last year’s contest.

“Having the title of Company Driver of the Year has impacted my life in many ways,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to be a part of national discussion panels to represent drivers. I have been honored at my state legislature with a Proclamation for my award. It validated what I do every day, which is drive safe and promote the industry. Last but not least, the money has provided a safety net and opportunity for a family trip of a lifetime. I am grateful beyond words!”

Last year’s Owner Operator of the Year, Edward “Mark” Tricco, who is leased to Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, said, “It’s been a great honor and a great experience… from a full banner at my company’s home terminal, to having a decal on my truck recognizing this accomplishment.  I’ve had many conversations about that decal and what it means, from customs agents to people in truck stops. I am proud to explain what it means!”

To qualify for the contests, nominees must have driven a minimum of one million consecutive, accident-free miles. Company drivers must be nominated by the motor carrier that employs them. Owner operators may be nominated by a carrier they have been leased to for a period of three or more years, or they can nominate themselves or be nominated by a spouse. Previous grand prizewinners are not eligible to enter either contest again, and other requirements can be found in the official contest rules, available on TCA’s website.

In addition to the basics listed above, nominees must provide proof of operating information, work history, and safety record. They are also asked to write a 300-word essay explaining why they are good “trucking citizens” and should be a candidate for the grand prize. For the owner operators, additional documentation is required, such as equipment specifications, business plans, and financial statements.

The competition judges will examine these materials and select the top three finalists for each contest, to be announced in December. Each of the six finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to attend TCA’s Annual Convention, scheduled for March 26-29, 2017, at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tenn. There, one grand prizewinner will be selected for each contest.

For more information about TCA and its activities, please visit and follow the organization on Facebook——and Twitter—