Driver of the Year

The annual Driver of the Year Contests identify and honor the best men and women traveling the roads today. They drive safely, give to their communities, protect the environment, and enhance the image of trucking — in other words, they make us all proud to be a part of this great industry.

The Driver of the Year nomination period will open at 5 p.m. ET September 21, 2018.

Partners

 

 

Thank you to our generous partners and sponsors for making the Driver of the Year Contests possible.

Sponsors

Company Driver of the Year Contest Rules

The overall goal of the contest is to recognize and pay tribute to the company drivers who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods. Several finalists will be chosen from which the grand prize winner will be selected. The grand prize winner will be recognized and honored as the outstanding company driver for 2018 based on his/her ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and positive contributions to the community in which he/she lives.

This contest is open to any company driver employed by an over-the-road carrier who has safely driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles. A company driver must be nominated by the motor carrier by which he/she is currently employed.

A company driver must have been employed by and driving for his/her current trucking company employer for the past three years.

Previous grand prize winners of TCA’s Company Driver of the Year contest are not eligible to enter the contest.

  1. The application must be completed online and submitted through TCA’s online application process which begins September 17, 2018.
  2. When entering as a team, each driver must submit a separate, complete application.
  3. Verification of submitted information will include direct contact with the motor carrier by which the entrant is employed and may include credit reports, motor vehicle reports, and other investigation as required.
  4. Each company may nominate up to five drivers. However, only one driver per company can qualify for placement among the top three finalists.
  5. Please note that the judges will carefully scrutinize claims of an excessive number of miles driven annually. Any claim of more than 125,000 miles driven annually must be accompanied by a statement from the company CEO explaining average length of haul, number of hours on duty, and how the miles were logged legally.
  6. Erroneous or false information provided in the application will result in immediate disqualification.
  7. All prizewinners are responsible for any applicable federal, state, and local taxes.
  8. The Association shall retain all applications for one year; therefore, no applications or pictures will be returned.
  9. Four print-quality photographs (300 dpi) featuring the entrant’s head and shoulders and taken within the last year must be submitted with the application. They may eventually be used for publicity purposes if the driver is selected as one of the top three finalists.
  10. With due respect for privacy, the contents of the finalists’ applications that reflect positively upon the trucking industry may be used for promotional, educational, and training purposes by the Association.
  11. The judges’ decision is final.

The top three finalists will be announced in January 2019.

The grand prize winner will be announced during TCA’s 2019 Annual Convention, March 10-13, 2019 at the Wynn in Las Vegas.

By participating, all contestants agree to share photos and application information with the contest sponsors.

The finalists will be interviewed and photographed for profiles that will appear in industry publications.

The top three finalists will be required to attend the awards ceremony at which the grand prize winner will be announced. The ceremony will be held during TCA’s Annual Convention. Hotel and airfare will be covered by the contest sponsors.

The grand prize winner may need to represent the contest and industry at events during the year following his/her award.

Owner Operator of the Year Contest Rules

The overall goal of the contest is to recognize and pay tribute to the owner operators who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods. Several finalists will be chosen from which the grand prize winner will be selected. The grand prize winner will be recognized and honored as the outstanding owner operator for 2018 based on his/her ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, positive contributions to the community in which he/she lives, and ability to run a successful business.

Fleet operators who own no more than five power units used in five-axle or more tractor-trailer combinations and who drive one of the power units as a full-time occupation are eligible to enter this contest. An owner operator who holds his/her own state or federal operating authority or who is incorporated under the laws of his/her or a trucking company’s domicile is also eligible for the contest.

Entrants must substantiate five years of job history as a commercial truck driver with the last three years as an owner operator.

An owner operator may enter on his/her own behalf, be nominated by his/her spouse, or be nominated by the motor carrier with which he/she has been under a long-term contract continuously for a period of three years or more.

Previous grand prize winners of the TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest or its predecessor, the Independent Contractor of the Year contest, are not eligible to re-enter the contest.

  1. The application must be completed online and submitted through TCA’s online application process which begins September 17, 2018.
  2. When entering as a team, each driver must submit a separate, complete application.
  3. Verification of submitted information will include direct contact with the motor carrier to whom the finalist is under contract and may include credit reports, motor vehicle reports, and other investigation as required.
  4. Each company may nominate up to five drivers. However, only one driver per company can qualify for placement among the top three finalists.
  5. Please note that the judges will carefully scrutinize claims of an excessive number of miles driven annually. Any claim of more than 125,000 miles driven annually must be accompanied by a statement from the company CEO explaining average length of haul, number of hours on duty, and how the miles were logged legally.
  6. Erroneous or false information provided in the application will result in immediate disqualification.
  7. All prizewinners are responsible for any applicable federal, state, and local taxes.
  8. The Association shall retain all applications for one year; therefore, no applications or pictures will be returned.
  9. Four print-quality photographs (300 dpi) featuring the entrant’s head and shoulders and taken within the last year must be submitted with the application. They may eventually be used for publicity purposes if the driver is selected as one of the top three finalists.
  10. With due respect for privacy, the contents of the finalists’ applications that reflect positively upon the trucking industry may be used for promotional, educational, and training purposes by the Association.
  11. The judges’ decision is final.

The top three finalists will be announced in January 2019.

The grand prize winner will be announced during TCA’s 2019 Annual Convention, March 10-13, 2019 at the Wynn in Las Vegas.

By participating, all contestants agree to share photos and application information with the contest sponsors.

The finalists will be interviewed and photographed for profiles that will appear in industry publications.

The top three finalists will be required to attend the awards ceremony at which the grand prize winner will be announced. The ceremony will be held during TCA’s Annual Convention. Hotel and airfare will be covered by the contest sponsors.

The grand prize winner may need to represent the contest and industry at events during the year following his/her award.

Drivers of the Year

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Stephen Richardson
Big G Express, Inc.

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Philip Keith
WEL Companies, Inc.

Truckload Carriers Association/Overdrive Magazine/TruckersNews.com Announce Driver of the Year Contests Grand Prize Winners
3/28/2018
Kissimmee, Florida:
At the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) annual awards banquet on Tuesday evening, the organization and its partners Overdrive Magazine and TruckersNews.com, announced the winners of the 2017 Driver of the Year Contests. The Company Driver of the Year is Stephen Richardson of Decatur, Alabama, who drives for Big G Express, Inc. of Shelbyville, Tennessee. The Owner Operator of the Year is Philip Keith of Long Beach, Mississippi, who is leased to WEL Companies, Inc. of Del Pere, Wisconsin. To view photos from the awards ceremony, visit our Flickr album.
Both drivers received a $25,000 cash prize for their achievements.
The annual contests, sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Cummins Inc. of Columbus, Indiana, recognize the top owner operators and company drivers 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-owner skills are also judged.
Jon Archard, vice president of sales at Love’s Travel Stops, said, “These professional drivers hold themselves to extremely high standards in their trucks, their families, and their communities. They truly represent the best of the best in our industry.”
Safe transportation runs in Stephen Richardson’s blood, as his father was a professional truck driver and his mother was a school bus driver. As a driver himself, Stephen has amassed over 3.4 million accident-free miles during his 27 years of professional truck driving, including 17 with Big G Express. In 2013, he was named Big G’s first-ever Driver of the Year recipient, and he has also been named the Tennessee Trucking Association’s 2014 Tennessee Driver of the Year and a 2017-18 America’s Road Team Captain. In addition to his successes as a driver, Stephen has had major success with his health, having lost 55 pounds by walking three to four miles on the treadmill every day and watching his sugar and carb intake.
Amy Boerger, vice president of sales for Cummins Inc., said of the owner operator finalists, “These owner operators are exemplary drivers, yes, but they are also benefactors to their communities, stewards of the environment, and businessmen who have achieved remarkable success in this difficult industry. Cummins is delighted to be involved yet again with this reward.”
Philip Keith has been involved in trucking for 34 years as a terminal manager, dispatcher, and customer service representative. His honors include the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association Driver of the Year 2016, 19-year Safety Award from WEL Companies, Inc., and three separate Best in Show honors in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy. Along with the other member of his driving team, his wife Eva, Philip participates in the Trucker Buddy Program. A U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, world traveler, and father, Philip believes that giving back to his fellow drivers and citizens helps make his job easier.
Each of the runners-up in both categories received checks for $2,500: company drivers Donald Lewis of Wilson Logistics and Roger Wyble of Maverick Transportation, LLC and owner operators Kevin Kocmich leased to Diamond Transportation System, Inc. and Bryan Smith leased to Art Pape Transfer, Inc.

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Murray Manuliak
Bison Transport

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Gary Buchs
Landstar System, Inc.

Grand Prize Winners Announced in Truckload Carriers Association/Overdrive Magazine/TruckersNews.com Driver of the Year Contests
3/28/2017
Nashville, Tennessee:
At the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) annual awards banquet tonight, the organization and its partners Overdrive Magazine and TruckersNews.com, announced the winners of the 2016 Driver of the Year Contests.
The Owner Operator of the Year is Gary Buchs of Colfax, Illinois, who is leased to Landstar System, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida. The Company Driver of the Year is Murray Manuliak of Brandon, Manitoba, who drives for Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Both drivers received a $25,000 cash prize for their achievements.
View the driver introductory videos which were played before each finalist appeared on stage during TCA’s Annual Awards banquet.
The prestigious annual contests, sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Cummins Inc. of Columbus, Indiana, recognize the top owner operators and company drivers 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-owner skills are also judged.
Russell Stubbs, TCA’s 2016-17 Chairman, said, “The lifeblood of the trucking industry is its drivers. They work tirelessly day in and day out, but often only get noticed when something goes wrong. In recognizing safe, dedicated drivers like Murray and Gary, we hope to shine a light on the great things our drivers do every single mile.”
Manuliak has been a professional truck driver for 25 years, accruing over 3.1 million consecutive accident-free miles. He serves as an in-cab instructor in Bison’s Driver Finishing Program, which has allowed him to share his experience with the next generation of truck drivers.
“Murray is well-spoken and has a strong voice within our organization, making sure our business is a leader in safety,” said Rob Penner, president and CEO of Bison Transport. “He is a role model for all professional drivers to follow.”
Manuliak has also had success in truck driving competitions. In his first year driving in the Provincial Truck Driving Championships, he won Rookie of the Year honors and helped Bison to win Team of the Year, and he has earned 1st place in the Super B category as well as represented Team Manitoba in the National Truck Driving Championship, where he earned 3rd place.
Gary Buchs, the Owner Operator of the Year winner, has driven 2.3 million consecutive accident-free miles over the last 27 years, earning him numerous awards including Landstar’s 10-year Safe Driving Award, 10 Landstar Star of Quality Awards, and the 2015 TravelCenters of America Citizen Driver Award.
“Gary’s commitment to the safety and education of others speaks to his ability to represent our industry in a positive light,” said Jim Gattoni, president and CEO of Landstar. “He would make an outstanding ambassador to the public, projecting an image that is worthy of the industry’s safe, honorable, customer-driven professionals who deliver the goods that touch our lives every day.”
In addition to his work behind the wheel, Buchs dedicates his time to helping others and staying active. He spends at least one week per year assisting victims of major wind or flood damage, and donates produce from his farmstead to local food pantries. Buchs is an avid runner who completed the Chicago Marathon in 2015.
He attributes his good health to maintaining a balanced life. “When I make balance a priority, when I get home, I can park the truck and fully turn my mind and body to those other important aspects of my life,” he said.
Brad Holthaus, vice president of trucking media sales at Randall-Reilly, the company that produces Overdrive Magazineand TruckersNews.com, said, “Gary and Murray represent professional truck drivers who are skilled at moving an 18-wheeler from point A to point B—their safety records are in the top 2% of all truck drivers—but beyond their driving skills, they represent kind, caring citizens who are dedicated to helping others. As deft as they are at driving, they are even better men.”
Each of the runner-ups in both categories received checks for $2,500: Philip Keith of Long Beach, Mississippi, who is leased to WEL Companies, Inc. of De Pere, Wisconsin; Kevin Kocmich of Litchfield, Minnesota, who is leased to Diamond Transportation System, Inc. of Racine, Wisconsin; David McGowan of Marinette, Wisconsin, who drives for WEL Companies; and William Poteet of Lakeland, Florida, who drives for Saddle Creek Transportation, Inc. of Lakeland, Florida.
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 #2017TCA.

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Danny Smith
Big G Express, Inc.

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Edward “Mark” Tricco
Bison Transport

Grand Prize Winners Announced in Truckload Carriers Association/Overdrive/TruckersNews.com Driver of the Year Contests
3/9/2016

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.

[/vc_row_inner]

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Gary Teel
Weinrich Truck Line

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Thomas Miller
Prime, Inc.

Truckload Carriers Association/Randall-Reilly Announce Winners of Prestigious Driver of the Year Contests
3/11/2015

Kissimmee, Florida:

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.

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Jack Felding
Bison Transport

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Terrance Smith
SLH Transport, Inc.

Terrance Smith and Jack Fielding Awarded Grand Prizes in TCA/Randall-Reilly Driver of the Year Contests
3/27/2014

Grapevine, Texas:

Two professional truck drivers have demonstrated such impressive safety and service records that they have been named the grand prizewinners in the 2013 Driver of the Year competition by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and its partner, Randall-Reilly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The announcement was made March 25th during TCA’s Annual Convention in Grapevine, Texas.

Terrance Smith of Miramichi, New Brunswick, who is leased to SLH Transport, Inc., of Kingston, Ontario, was honored as the Owner Operator of the Year, while Jack Fielding of McKellar, Ontario, who drives for Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was honored as the Company Driver of the Year.

The Driver of the Year contests, sponsored by Cummins of Columbus, Indiana, and Chevron Delo® of San Ramon, California, recognize the top company drivers and owner operators in the U.S. and Canada, who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving North America’s goods. Amy Boerger, general manager – field sales and support for Cummins, came to the stage to announce that Smith won in the owner operator category, while Randy Brillhart, Chevron Lubricants’ heavy duty commercial channel manager, North America, announced Fielding had been chosen for the company driver category.

Both men were selected for their ability to operate safely, efforts to enhance trucking’s image, and positive contributions to their communities. Since he is an owner operator, Smith’s skills as a businessperson were also judged.

“It’s every driver’s dream to be named Driver of the Year,” said Brad Holthaus, Randall-Reilly’s executive associate producer. “To reach this level of trucking excellence requires much dedication, loyalty and effort, which these two men have clearly shown. Their records prove that they deserve this honor.”

Smith, who has been driving for more than 42 years, has travelled more than 4.7 million miles without an accident. He is a life member of the Owner-Operator’s Business Association of Canada and past recipient of Canada’s “Highway Star of the Year” by highwaySTAR magazine. In 2008, he was named a TCA Highway Angel for helping a woman at a truck stop who was lost and disoriented.

When not on the road, Smith is busy with community and charity work. A Mason and a Shriner, he participates in an Adopt-A-Family program, Convoy for a Cure, and Big Daddy Show and Shine. He is also a former Trucker Buddy to a fifth-grade class in New York.

When asked to describe Smith, Paul Cooper, president of SLH Transport, said, “From the beginning, it was clear Terry was a different breed. He’s a solid individual, a difference maker… someone who adds value beyond being a trusted trucking partner.”

Jack Fielding, the Company Driver of the Year winner, has driven more than 4.5 million, accident-free miles during his nearly 37-year career. At Bison, he has won several safe driving and Driver of the Month awards and sits on the Driver Advisory Board, where he shares his knowledge and experience for the betterment of the company.

Fielding is also an in-cab instructor, which allows him to mentor new truck drivers. He recently finished serving as a member of the Ontario Trucking Association’s Road Knights, professional drivers who speak to the public about road safety and the vital role trucking plays in the transportation of goods.

According to Donald Streuber, Bison’s president and CEO, “To be a professional driver is a life choice, and Jack has incorporated his home and work life as one large family. He has dedicated his life to this industry and has become a leader within our organization.”

As the Drivers of the Year, Smith and Fielding have won 2013 Ram 2500 pickup trucks powered by Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel. Both trucks were provided Cummins and Chevron Delo®. In addition, Chevron Delo® is giving the winners a year’s supply of Delo® oil for their new vehicles.

“TCA is proud to offer these contests as a way to spotlight the career accomplishments of amazing drivers,” said Tom Kretsinger, Jr., TCA’s 2013-14 chairman and the president of American Central Transport, Inc., of Liberty, Missouri. “The general public may not realize how much skill it takes to successfully blend a personal life with many hours out on the road. Both Terry and Jack have managed to make it work, and we’re pleased to be able to honor them accordingly.”

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 #2014TCA.

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Dan Poorman
Gordon Trucking

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Brad Chapdelaine
Dart Transit Company

TCA and Randall-Reilly Announce Grand Prizewinners of 2012 Driver of the Year Contests
3/6/2013

Las Vegas, Nevada:

At its annual convention at the Wynn Las Vegas, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and its partner Randall-Reilly unveiled the names of the grand prizewinners of the 2012 Driver of the Year competition. Brad Chapdelaine of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who is leased to Dart Transit Co., of Eagan, Minnesota, was honored as the Owner Operator of the Year, while Dan Poorman of Maple Valley, Washington, who drives for Gordon Trucking, Inc., of Pacific, Washington, was honored as the Company Driver of the Year.

The Driver of the Year contests, sponsored by Cummins Inc. and Chevron Delo, 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. Chapdelaine and Poorman were selected for their ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, their efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and the positive contributions they’ve made to their communities. For the owner operator category, Chapdelaine was also judged based on his skills as a businessperson.

“It’s clear that these individuals love being truckers,” said Brad Holthaus, Randall-Reilly’s vice president, sales, Trucking Media. “Their commitment to the trucking industry is outstanding. Plus, they make it look easy — but we all know how hard they’ve worked.”

Chapdelaine runs a profitable business consisting of two trucks – one that he personally drives and another that he hires someone else to drive. Over a 26-year career, he has driven more than 3.5 million truckload miles without an accident. He is a recipient of the 3-Million Mile Safety Award from the National Safety Council, as well as the Contractor of the Year Award and the President’s Safety Award from Dart Transit Company.

Chapdelaine is a long-time volunteer for Special Olympics and is very active in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy, an event that raises funds and visibility for the organization. He also donates time annually to make deliveries for the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots program.

When asked to describe Chapdelaine, David Oren, president of Dart Transit Company, said, “He has a heart of gold, and his generosity has touched hundreds of people. He is a wonderful representative of the trucking industry.”

Dan Poorman, the Company Driver of the Year winner, has spent 20 years logging an impressive 2.7-million, accident-free miles behind the wheel. He never misses a day of work, has never caused a load to be late, and always volunteers to take on extra work when needed. A driver with Gordon Trucking since 1992, Poorman says that his passion for trucking stems from his father, who also drove for the company for many years. Both father and son are past recipients of the Washington Trucking Association’s Driver of the Year award.

Poorman has completed the Washington State Highway Watch training program (now defunct) and frequently conducts driving tests for potential company drivers. When not at the wheel, he holds fundraisers for a local music school and has organized community garage sales for charity.

Steve Gordon, the company’s COO, said: “If you were going to start a fleet, Dan would be the person you would want to start with as your model!”

As the 2012 Drivers of the Year, Chapdelaine and Poorman have won Cummins-powered RAM 2500 pickup trucks. In addition, both men were flown to TCA’s convention, where they were awarded plaques and the keys to their new vehicles in front of hundreds of the industry’s top leaders.

The contest selection procedure began in the spring of 2012, when drivers applied based on the minimum criteria of having driven at least one million consecutive, accident-free miles. The applicant pool was then culled down to three finalists per contest. The judges examined the finalists’ operating information, work history, safety record, and personal statements and selected Chapdelaine and Poorman as the grand prizewinners.

“Being named Driver of the Year is a prestigious title that many professional drivers seek, but very few can claim on their resumes,” said Robert Low, TCA’s 2012-13 chairman and the president and founder of Prime, Inc., of Springfield, Missouri. “We only pick the best, and you really have to show your dedication to safety and the industry to be selected. Congratulations to both winners!”

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

John Moeller
Roehl Transport, Inc.

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Larry Severson
Dart Transit Company

TCA and Randall-Reilly Announce 2011 Company Driver of the Year is John Moeller
3/7/2012

Kissimmee, Florida:

Photo: Emily Larson, John Moeller, Debbie Moeller, Rick Roehl, and Jeff JonesLast night, during the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida, TCA and partner Randall-Reilly Business Media & Information Company (Randall-Reilly) announced that John Moeller of Marshfield, Wisconsin, is the grand prizewinner of the prestigious 2011 Company Driver of the Year competition. Moeller drives for Roehl Transport Inc., also of Marshfield, Wisconsin.

Sponsored by Cummins Inc. and Ram, the Company Driver of the Year contest recognizes and pays tribute to the top company drivers in the United States and Canada who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods. Moeller was selected based on his ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and positive contributions to his community.

Moeller has been a truck driver for 31 years, all of them with Roehl Transport Inc. He has driven more than 4.1 million accident-free miles and was the first Roehl driver to reach such a milestone. He has been selected as the Roehl Driver of the Year several times and has earned numerous company awards for outstanding performance. In addition, he has been a member of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association’s President’s Safe Driving Club for several years.

Moeller describes himself as having a “strong sense of dedication” to his job as a driver. Always safety-conscious, his primary goal is to protect others with whom he shares the road. He frequently helps newer drivers by answering their questions, showing them the proper ways to do things, and passing on the values of respect and courtesy that he believes are critical to the success of any professional driver.

“John is the standard bearer for what it means to be a professional driver,” said John Spiros, vice president of safety and claims management for Roehl Transport Inc. “John’s service to our industry enhances the image of trucking in a profound way. His performance charts the course for all drivers, and all trucking professionals, to follow.”

As the 2011 Company Driver of the Year, Moeller has won a Cummins-powered Ram truck. In addition, he was flown to TCA’s convention, where he was awarded a plaque and the keys to the pick-up truck in front of hundreds of the industry’s top leaders.

To be eligible for the contest, Moeller had to meet certain criteria. At a minimum, he had to prove he has driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles. His operating information, work history, and safety record were closely examined by the contest judges. He also had to write two personal statements: One outlining why he should be a candidate for the grand prize and another describing what makes him a good “trucking citizen.” Based on these materials, Moeller was selected as the 2011 grand prizewinner.

“I was pleased to play a role in recognizing this particular truck driver. He is clearly a tremendous asset to his family, company, and community,” said Gary Salisbury, TCA’s 2011-12 chairman and the president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., of Hope, Arkansas.

Jeff Mason, senior vice president of trucking for Randall-Reilly, said, “I read somewhere that driving four million, accident-free miles is equivalent to safely traveling from the earth to the moon and back eight times, or driving around the world almost 161 times! I’d say that definitely puts him in Driver of the Year status.”

Two other truck drivers were honored along with Moeller in the 2011 competition. James Coles of Hillsburgh, Ontario, who drives for MacKinnon Transport, Inc., of Guelph, Ontario, and Ronald Round of Enfield, Maine, who drives for Pottle’s Transportation, Inc., of Bangor, Maine, received Honorable Mentions. Coles has driven more than 1.5 million accident-free miles over a 32-year career, while Round has driven 1.3 million accident-free miles over a 21-year career.

Larry Severson Named 2011 Owner Operator of the Year by Truckload Carriers Association and Randall-Reilly
3/7/2012

Kissimmee, Florida:

Photo: Emily Larson, David Oren, Larry Severson, Linda Severson, and Jeff JonesThe Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and partner Randall Business Media & Information Company (Randall-Reilly) are pleased to announce the grand prizewinner of the much anticipated 2011 Owner Operator of the Year competition: Larry Severson of Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, who is leased to Dart Transit Company, of Eagan, Minnesota. Severson’s name was revealed last night at TCA’s Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida.

Sponsored by Cummins Inc. and Ram, the Owner Operator of the Year contest recognizes and pays tribute to the top independent contractors in the United States and Canada who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods. Severson was selected based on his ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, positive contributions to his community, and skills as a businessperson.

A truck driver for 49 years, Severson has driven more than 5.1 million accident-free miles. He is a past Driver of the Year for the Minnesota Trucking Association and has earned countless safety awards from Dart Transit.

With a strong skill base that has been continuously refined since his pre-driving days as a truck washer and a mechanic, Severson takes his job very seriously. He has helped many new and inexperienced owner operators learn the business and has even recruited a few into the profession. He is known to be courteous, loyal, pleasant, and dedicated – both on and off the road – and has been chosen to represent Dart to new clients when the company wants to make the best possible first impression. All of these things have earned him the nickname “Larry the Legend” by his peers.

“To me, I’m just doing a job I love, but if others have felt my efforts are worthy of that title, I’m honored and humbled by the name,” said Severson.

When not on the road, Severson is active in his church, often organizing youth group fundraisers such as car washes and drives to recycle aluminum cans. He has spoken at his local high school’s career day. For several years, he has driven in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics. He is also known for performing random acts of kindness for neighbors and acquaintances, such as plowing driveways in the snow or lending a tool when someone needs it.

“When we think of professional, safe representatives for our industry, Severson’s name comes to the top of the list,” said Gary Volkman, vice president of Safety Compliance for Dart Transit Co. “We are grateful that he represents us.”

As the 2011 Owner Operator of the Year, Severson has won a Cummins-powered Ram truck. In addition, he was flown to TCA’s convention, where he was awarded a plaque and the keys to the pick-up truck in front of hundreds of the industry’s top leaders.

To be eligible for the contest, Severson had to meet certain criteria. At a minimum, he had to prove he has driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles. His operating information, equipment specifications, business plans, financial statements, work history, and safety record were closely examined by the contest judges. He also had to write two personal statements: One outlining why he should be a candidate for the grand prize and another describing what makes him a good “trucking citizen.” Based on these materials, Severson was selected as the 2011 grand prizewinner.

“Having experience as a driver myself, I know how tough it would be to drive one million miles, let alone five million,” said Gary Salisbury, TCA’s 2011-12 chairman and the president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., of Hope, Arkansas. “In fact, ‘tough’ is an understatement. This is an achievement that very few individuals can claim.”

Jeff Mason, senior vice president of trucking for Randall-Reilly, said, “One of the reasons I love this contest so much is that it shines a spotlight on drivers who are truly the best in their field. I am amazed by Mr. Severson’s driving record and all that he has accomplished.”

Two other owner operators were honored along with Severson in the 2011 competition. Kirby Killgore of Mountain View, Missouri., who drives for O & S Trucking, Inc., of Springfield, Missouri, and Bryan Smith of Dubuque, Iowa, who drives for Art Pape Transfer, Inc., also of Dubuque, received Honorable Mentions. Killgore has driven 2.7 million accident-free miles over a 24-year career, while Smith has driven 2.1 million accident-free miles over a 17-year career.

No award given.

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Gordon “Butch” Colvin
Con-way Truckload

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Steven Recker
Warren Transport

Udall Resident Butch Colvin Named Truckload Carriers Association’s 2009 Company Equipment Driver of the Year
3/5/2010

Las Vegas, Nevada:

Photo: Kevin Burch, Jeff Jones, Butch Colvin, & Randy CornellGordon “Butch” Colvin of Udall, Kansas, a truck driver for Con-way Truckload of Joplin, Missouri, has been named 2009 Company Equipment Driver of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). The announcement was made March 2 during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 21st annual Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest, sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and Truckers News, honors the top company drivers in the United States and Canada, based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work histories, and involvement in their communities and industry.

Colvin has been a truck driver for 50 years, and has worked for Con-way Truckload since 1996. Over the course of his truck driving career, he has logged more than 5 million miles; 1.6 million of these were driven while employed with Con-way.

Colvin is part of a driver team called “Team Colvin” along with his wife, Dora, who won first place in the 2005 Company Equipment Driver of the Year competition.  Together, they have been recognized twice as Con-way’s Company Team of the Year and five times as Company Team of the Month.  They have also been recognized for safely achieving a million miles while driving for their company.

Colvin is one of 12 drivers selected nationwide for an advisory board for Kenworth that helps make decisions that will affect the future of truck design and equipment specifications for the company.  In the past, he has tested new engines and made recommendations for components for Con-way to purchase.  He currently drives a Kenworth 660 truck equipped with an experimental Cummins engine that burns DEF (urea) in the exhaust, thereby putting clean air back into the environment.

When not on the road, Colvin is active with his children’s school.  He helped sponsor its first successful all-night, alcohol-free graduation party, which has now become a school-sponsored event.  He is also very active in his church, where he has served as a Sunday school teacher, Sunday school president, mission leader and Elders’ president.

For 15 years, he has participated in a letter-writing activity for shut-ins and less active members of the church, mailing them messages from different states as he travels.

“Butch is a joy to work with.  The standards he sets for himself are among the highest I’ve seen,” said Randy Cornell, Con-way’s vice president of safety.  “He continually guides other drivers in practices that are safe and edifying to the trucking industry.  If he sees someone abusing the latitude of a policy, he’s not afraid to gently and diplomatically share with another driver how their actions affect the industry reputation as well as the company’s.  As a result, the roads are safer, and the next generation of truck drivers will better understand their personal responsibility in making it all work.”

As the 2009 Company Equipment Driver of the Year, Colvin will receive a prize package consisting of cash, gift cards, products, and services worth $25,000.  In addition, his employer flew him to Las Vegas and paid for his expenses while attending TCA’s convention, where he was awarded a plaque in front of hundreds of the industry’s top leaders.

To be eligible for the contest, Colvin had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive, accident free miles.  He also had to drive for 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 form that 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 how he is a good “Trucking Citizen.  ” Based on these materials, Colvin was selected as the 2009 Grand Prize winner.

“I am very impressed with Mr. Colvin’s credentials,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president.  “His lengthy career and superior driving record, combined with his commitment to bettering his industry and community, make him more than worthy of the title, ‘Company Equipment Driver of the Year.”

New Hampton Resident Steven Recker Named Truckload Carriers Association’s 2009 Owner Operator of the Year
3/5/2010

Las Vegas, Nevada:Photo: Kevin Burch, Jeff Jones, Steven Recker, and Clayton FiskSteven J. Recker of New Hampton, Iowa, an owner operator leased to Warren Transport, Inc., of Waterloo, Iowa, has been named the TCA Owner Operator of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). The announcement was made March 2 during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 23rd annual TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest, sponsored by TCA and Overdrivemagazine, honors the top owner operators in the United States and Canada, based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work histories, and community and industry involvement.

Recker has been affiliated with Warren Transport, Inc., since 1985 and has driven more than 2.8 million accident-free truckload miles.  Prior to winning the grand prize this year, he had placed as a top ten finalist in the contest four times.

In 2006, he was selected as the Iowa Motor Truck Association’s (IMTA) Driver of the Year. He also served a year on the IMTA Road Team, an elite group of professional truck drivers who represent the trucking industry at community events, helping to educate the general public about the role of trucks in delivering North America’s freight.  In 2007, Recker participated in the Iowa Commercial Enforcement’s Ride Along Program, and he also became a member of Highway Watch, a national safety and security program that utilizes truck drivers’ skills and “road smarts” to help protect the nation’s critical infrastructure and the transportation of goods, services, and people.

For 24 consecutive years, Recker has received Warren Transport’s “Protector Award” for having no cargo claims. He has also received Warren Transport’s Safe Driving Award, and has been selected as the company’s Driver of the Month twice and as Runner-Up for Driver of the Year in 2006.  Two of his customers, John Deere and E.P.C. Corporation, have recognized him with service commendations. Warren Transport’s president and CEO, Robert Molinaro, said:  “It takes a very special individual to stay the course in this profession. The balance of being a bread winner and a successful family man is achieved through individual character. … Steve’s work ethic, ‘Let’s do it and do it right,’ is a trait of Steve’s, whose large frame of over 6’3″ is matched by the size and goodness of his heart.”

When not on the road, Recker contributes money to and attends functions for the Boy Scouts, Camp Courageous of Iowa (a respite care and recreational facility for individuals with disabilities), and the Special Olympics.  He has also volunteered hundreds of hours to help those in need, such as hurricane and flood victims.  A few years ago, when many Iowans were adversely impacted by a serious electricity outage, Recker was one of the first to volunteer to drive water and other necessities to the victims.

As the TCA Owner Operator of the Year, Recker will receive a prize package consisting of cash, gift cards, products, and services worth $25,000.  In addition, his employer flew him to Las Vegas and paid for his expenses while attending TCA’s convention, where he was awarded a plaque in front of hundreds of the industry’s top leaders.

The overall goal of the TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest is to recognize and pay tribute to outstanding owner operators who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods.

To be eligible for the contest, applicants had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles and being leased to a TCA-member trucking company.  After passing the initial phase of the competition, driver applicants were then asked to submit a final application form, from which the top three winners were selected.  Final application forms required operating information, verification of work history and safety record, equipment specifications, a business plan, a 300-word essay explaining why the entrant should be a candidate for the grand prize, and a 300-word essay explaining how the entrant is a good “Trucking Citizen.”

“It is always a privilege to operate this contest and get to meet and recognize the most outstanding drivers throughout the U.S. and Canada,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president.  “In Mr. Recker’s case, he has done it all – driven millions of safe miles, represented the trucking industry in an outstanding manner, and given back to his community, both within trucking and in the local arena.  There can be no doubt he has truly earned the title, ‘TCA Owner Operator of the Year.’”

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

James Loveland
Willis Shaw Express

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Wayne Lowe
FFE Transportation Services

TCA Honors 2008 Company Equipment Driver of the Year Contest Winners
3/11/2009

Orlando, Florida:In the 20th annual Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest, sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and Truckers News, three TCA-member company drivers were honored as the nation’s best. The awards, presented March 10th during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Florida, were based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work histories, and involvement in the community and industry.

The top three winners and their prizes are:
Grand Prize Winner
James Loveland
Willis Shaw Express, Elm Springs, Arkansas
James Loveland has been a truck driver for Willis Shaw Express since 1998. In that time, he has logged more than 1.6 million accident-free, truckload miles. Over the course of his truck driving career, he has accumulated numerous awards, including being inducted into the 1½ million Mile Club, receiving a 10-year Safe Driving Award, and being selected as Company Driver of the Year and Company Driver of the Month.
When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asked Willis Shaw Express to provide drivers and equipment to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Loveland was the first driver to volunteer. He spent six months as part of a FEMA task force assigned to Region IV and was the last Willis Shaw Express driver to be released from his duties, because FEMA found Loveland’s flexibility and willingness to help to be extremely useful to the operation. Later, in 2008, Loveland volunteered in a similar capacity when Hurricane Ike bore down on the state of Louisiana.
In the contest application presented to TCA on Loveland’s behalf, Chris Kozak, president of Willis Shaw Express, wrote, “[James] is an ambassador of the roadways. He’s the type of individual that customers always rave about. ‘What a nice and courteous driver’ is the typical feedback we would hear all over the country. . . . His technical expertise, performance of his duties and sense of citizenship are without equal in the rich 70-year history of our company…”
As the Grand Prize winner, Loveland will receive the following prizes:
· A Cummins engine-powered Dodge Ram pick-up truck
· $3,950 in truck stop gift cards
· $2,750 cash
· A TagHeuer Swiss Avant-Gard men’s watch, valued at $1,500
· Two roundtrip airplane tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S.
Second Place Winner
Robert Harmeyer
Batesville Casket Company, Batesville, Indiana
Robert Harmeyer has worked for the Batesville Casket Company since 1988 hauling caskets outbound and miscellaneous freight on the backhaul. Over the course of his career, he 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
Third Place Winner
Ralph Boles
Bison Transport, Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba
Ralph Boles 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 to 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, applicants had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive accident-free miles and must have driven for a TCA-member trucking company for at least the past three years.After passing the initial phase of the competition, driver applicants were then asked to submit a final application form, from which the top three winners were selected. Final application forms required verification of work history and safety record, a 300-word essay explaining why the entrant should be a candidate for the grand prize, and a 300-word essay explaining how the entrant 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.”
TCA Announces 2008 Owner Operator of the Year Contest Winners
3/11/2009

Orlando, Florida:In the 22nd annual TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest, sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), Navistar, Inc., and Overdrive magazine, three owner operators were honored as the nation’s best. The awards, presented March 10th during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Gaylord Palms Resort, were based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work histories, and community and industry involvement.

The top three winners and their prizes are:
Grand Prize Winner
Wayne Lowe
FFE Transportation Services, Inc., Dallas, TX
Wayne Lowe has been associated with FFE Transportation Services, Inc., since 1967 and has logged more than 4.5 million accident-free truckload miles throughout his career. In 2007, he was selected as the Texas Motor Transportation Association Driver of the Year. He has also received many honors from his company, including 1, 2, 3, and 4 Million Mile Safe Driving awards and first place in FFE’s Truck Rodeo.
“Lowe is one of the industry’s most dedicated and professional drivers,” said David Hedgpeth, FFE’s vice president of corporate compliance and safety, “but he is also compassionate. Two years ago, he aided a family involved in a winter accident about 100 miles outside of Denver – going above and beyond what would normally be expected. He is what I call ‘salt of the earth.’”
As the Owner Operator of the Year, Lowe will receive a SmartWay-compliant LoneStar tractor, donated by Navistar, Inc. (this prize includes payment of the federal excise tax). The tractor will be loaded with a Cummins ISX-550 HP engine, an 18-speed manual Fuller Eaton Roadranger transmission, and Goodyear G305 Fuel Max radial truck tires. He will also receive $3,950 in truck stop gift cards, $1,250 cash, and a TagHeuer Swiss Avant-Gard men’s watch, valued at $1,500.
Second Place Winner
Clark Lett
Dart Transit Company, Eagan, MN
Mr. Lett has been a truck driver for 55 years. He has been affiliated with Dart Transit Company since 1991 and drove for North American Van Lines for 17 years before that. Over the course of his career, he has driven 3+ million accident-free truckload miles. His awards include 17 consecutive safety awards from Dart Transit and 18 consecutive safety awards from North American Van Lines.
When not on the road, Lett is actively involved in youth baseball and basketball teams; serves as a Deacon, choir member, and trustee of his church; and is also a Master Mason Pilgrim.
In the contest application presented to TCA on Lett’s behalf, Joyce Jordan, chief operating officer for Dart’s Dallas Operating Center, wrote, “Clark Lett is the type of human being that most of us strive to be: family focused, church guided, and community minded. He is all of those things, and yet he still finds time to be a safe, professional truck driver.”
As his prize package, Lett will receive $2,000 in truck stop gift cards, $750 cash, and a $250 gift card for Best Buy.
Third Place Winner
Gerald Clouse
Dart Transit Company, Eagan, MN
Mr. Clouse has driven 3.4 million accident-free truckload miles and has been leased to Dart Transit Co. for the past 22 years. He has received the National Safety Council’s Three Million Mile Safety Award and Dart Transit’s 20-Year Truck Trophy Safety Award. In addition, he has been named a Dart Contractor of the Month and has received Dart’s President’s Safety Award and a Hall of Fame Safety Award.
In the contest application presented to TCA on Clouse’s behalf, Dave Oren, chief executive officer of Dart Transit Company, wrote, “Our Operations Department never questions whether Gerald will deliver his loads safely and on time because they know he will. He is a wise businessman who understands that being an owner operator isn’t a job – it’s a career. He runs a successful business because he knows it takes dedication, responsibility, and hard work.”
As his prize package, Clouse will receive $1,200 in truck stop gift cards, $500 cash, and a $250 gift card for Best Buy.
To be eligible for the contest, applicants had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive accident-free miles and being leased to a TCA-member trucking company.After passing the initial phase of the competition, driver applicants were then asked to submit a final application form, from which the top three winners were selected. Final application forms required operating information, verification of work history and safety record, equipment specifications, a 300-word essay explaining why the entrant should be a candidate for the grand prize, and a 300-word essay explaining how the entrant is a good “Trucking Citizen.”
“TCA’s Owner Operator of the Year contest pays tribute to owner operators who can do three things better than others: run a successful business, maintain an outstanding safety record on the highways, and aid the trucking industry’s efforts to enhance the public image of trucks and truck driving.This year’s winner, Wayne Lowe, as well as his fellow second and third place winners, demonstrate all of these things and much more. They are role models that every truck driver should strive to emulate,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president.

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Doug Ladds
MacKinnon Transport

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

John Gill
Dart Transit Company

Doug Ladds of Guelph, Ontario, Named TCA’s 2007 Company Equipment Driver of the Year
3/4/2008

Paradise Island, The Bahamas:

Doug Ladds of Guelph, Ontario, a company driver for MacKinnon Transport, Inc., also of Guelph, Ontario, has been named the grand prize winner in the 2007 Company Equipment Driver of the Year Contest sponsored by Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), Detroit Diesel and Truckers News. The announcement was made March 3rd during TCA’s Annual Convention at The Atlantis Resort.

The Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest honors the top company drivers based on their excellent safety records, unblemished work histories, and community and industry involvement.

Ladds has been a truck driver for 24 years, working for MacKinnon Transport since 1994. During his career, he has logged more than 3.6 million accident-free truckload kilometers. A member of his company’s Driver-trainer Team for 14 years, Ladds is now the Head Driver Trainer. He has attained certification as a Certified Professional Driver and is a member of the executive board for the MacKinnon Transport Drivers Association. Ladds is also the first driver to attain the President level of MacKinnon’s Road Masters Program, an initiative designed to recognize both a driver’s safety-first attitude and his general knowledge of the trucking industry.

Ladds is currently serving a two-year term on the Ontario Trucking Association’s Road Knight Team, a select group of ten truck drivers who speak to the media, students, civic groups, driving schools and other interested parties about the trucking industry, safety and sharing the road with trucks.

In 2001, Ladds received TCA’s Highway Angel Award for assisting three young motorists in a burning vehicle.

When not driving a truck, Ladds is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, with many kilometers logged with the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers. As the senior road captain, he provides safety training for group rides and explains emergency procedures and maneuvers. He also volunteers for the annual Santa Claus parade held in his community.

In the contest application presented to TCA on Ladds’ behalf, Jeff Lehmann, safety and compliance manager for MacKinnon Transport, writes: “Doug Ladds is genuinely concerned about the Transportation Industry. He portrays the image of a tractor-trailer driver with a courteous, professional attitude. This is reflected by his continued efforts to enhance and elevate his personal knowledge and also to share his experience within the industry.”

As the Grand Prize winner, Ladds will receive the following prizes:

  • A Cummins engine-powered Dodge Ram pick-up truck
  • All-expense paid trip for two to the Grand Ole Opry
  • Roundtrip airfare for two to anywhere in the continental U.S.
  • A GPS navigation system
  • $10,000 in cash
  • $5,750 in truckstop gift cards
  • $500 truck parts gift certificate
John Gill of Patriot, Ohio Named 2007 TCA Owner Operator of the Year
3/4/2008

Paradise Island, The Bahamas:John Gill of Patriot, Ohio, an independent contractor leased to Dart Transit Company of Eagan, Minnesota, has been named Owner Operator of the Year by Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). The announcement was made March 3rd during TCA’s Annual Convention at The Atlantis Resort.

The 21st Annual Owner Operator of the Year contest, sponsored by TCA, International Truck and Engine, and Overdrivemagazine, honors the top independent contractors based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work histories, and community and industry involvement.

Gill has contracted with Dart Transit Company for more than 25 years and has logged more than 3 million accident-free truckload miles. He has earned the National Safety Council’s prestigious Three Million Mile Safety Award and has won every safety award that Dart Transit offers. He is also a part recipient of Dart Transit’s Contractor of the Year award.

When not on the road, Gill finds time to volunteer as a Trucker Buddy for a second grade class at Southwestern Elementary School in Patriot, Ohio. He also volunteers for the Boy Scouts, the Gallia County Senior Center, the 4H, and the Red Cross. He is a member of Highway Watch, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and the American Legion.

In the contest application presented to TCA on Gill’s behalf, Dave Oren, chief executive officer of Dart Transit Company, writes: “John’s work ethic is a reflection of his strong connection to his family and the community. When he’s not in the truck, John fills his time by volunteering and spending time with his kids. We at Dart are extremely proud to have John as part of our team and think he is an excellent example of what this contest is all about – professionalism, dependability and safe driving.”

As the Owner Operator of the Year, Gill will receive a new International 9000i Model tractor (prize includes payment of the Federal excise tax), with a Cummins ISX-500 HP engine, an Eaton transmission of Gill’s choice, and G300 series radial truck tires. He will also receive the following prizes:

  • GPS navigation system
  • Four passenger vehicle tires
  • $1,000 business consulting gift certificate
  • $4,500 cash
  • $5,750 in truckstop gift cards
  • $1,500 truck parts gift certificate

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Steve Udelhoven
Art Pape Transfer

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Charles Maly
Shaffer Trucking

TCA Honors 2006 Company Equipment Drivers of the Year
3/22/2007

Las Vegas, Nevada:In the 18th Annual “Company Equipment Driver of the Year” contest sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association, Detroit Diesel, and Truckers News, five TCA-member company drivers were honored as the nation’s best. The awards, presented March 13th during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas, were based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work history, and involvement in the community and industry.

The top five winners and their prizes are:

Grand Prize Winner, Steve Udelhoven

Steve Udelhoven began his 17-year truck-driving career with Art Pape Transfer at the age of 25. A former Marine and dedicated father, Steve places his three children as his #1 priority in his life. His discipline and attention to detail have served him well in his profession, in which he can boast an unblemished, accident-free driving record. A hard worker, Steve lives on an 80-acre farm in Mt. Hope, Wisconsin, where he spends weekends with his children.

As the Grand Prize Winner, Mr. Udelhoven will receive the following prizes:

All-expense paid trip for two to the Grand Ole Opry donated by Detroit Diesel Corporation
CoPilot Truck Laptop donated by ALK Technologies, Inc.
$2,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Truckers News – Randall-Reilly Trucking Media Group
$1,500 reward card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
$1,000 cash donated by Ahern & Associates
$1,000 Frequent Fueler MoneyCard donated by Flying J
$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
$1,000 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
$1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Company
$750 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton & Dana Corporation
$500 for award catalog donated by C. A. Short Company
$500 gift card donated by Pilot Corporation
$500 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America
$500 cash donated by TMW Systems, Inc.
$200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
$200 cash donated by DNV Certification
$100 cash card & duffle bag donated by Petro Stopping Centers
DA 34100 Purest Air Dryer donated by Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems
62120 Dieselmatic NVT Kit with Cylinder donated by KBI/Kold Ban International
30 TripPak Overnite Envelopes donated by TripPak Services, Inc.

Second Place Winner, Eugene Hubbard

Eugene Hubbard has acquired an impeccable safety record in his 25-year career, having driven 3.6 million miles with no accidents or violations. He is committed to his profession, customers, and community, evidenced by his 30-year service to volunteer fire companies and his active participation in fundraising for his Boy Scout Troop and the Share a Dream organization. Eugene learned the “ins and outs” of the trucking industry from his parents, who owned a small trucking company until they retired in 1977. It is this experience that instilled in him the importance of establishing excellent relationships with shippers and receivers, treating everyone with respect, and maintaining a record of on-time deliveries and pickups. Eugene lives in Ripley, New York.

Mr. Hubard will receive the following prizes:

All-expense paid trip for two to the Grand Ole Opry donated by Detroit Diesel Corporation
$1,000 Frequent Fueler MoneyCard donated by Flying J
$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
$1,000 reward card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
$1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Company
$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Truckers News – Randall-Reilly Trucking Media Group
$700 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton & Dana Corporation
$350 gift card donated by Pilot Corporation
$350 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America
$250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
$200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
$200 cash donated by DNV Certification

Third Place Winner, Bruce Pfeffer

Bruce Pfeffer has spent 20 of his 28 years in the industry with Smithway Motor Xpress, receiving the company’s 1 Million and 2 Million Mile awards for safe driving. As a driver trainer with an outstanding reputation for on-time deliveries, Bruce has inspired many new drivers to go on to a tenured, conscientious, and safe driving career. His strong work ethic began on his family farm in Iowa and continued as he worked his way through school with determination and a professional attitude. Among his many traits, Bruce has a passion for service, leads by example, believes in team work, and always puts safety first by being mindful of others’ driving habits as well as his own. Bruce lives in Wesley, Iowa.

Mr. Pfeffer will receive the following prizes:

All-expense paid trip for two to the Grand Ole Opry donated by Detroit Diesel Corporation $1,000 Frequent Fueler MoneyCard donated by Flying J $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc. $1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Company $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Truckers News – Randall-Reilly Trucking Media Group $500 reward card donated by Love’s Travel Stops $500 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton & Dana Corporation $350 gift card donated by Pilot Corporation $350 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America $250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc. $200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc. $200 cash donated by DNV Certification

Fourth Place Winner, Jean-Charles Huard

Jean-Charles Huard has a passion for trucking, evident in the care and maintenance he provides for his truck and in the amount of time he spends on the road. He credits his long-term success to his wife, who raised their three children while he was traveling. Today his eldest son is following in his footsteps—a third-generation trucker. Selected as Transport Robert’s 2006 Driver of the Year, Jean-Charles has exemplified the qualities of an accomplished professional with his record of zero chargeable accidents, customer service, personal attitude, and no driving violations. Jean-Charles lives in Hopetown, Quebec, with his wife Nicole.

Mr. Huard will receive the following prizes:

$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc. $1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Company $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Truckers News – Randall-Reilly Trucking Media Group $350 gift card donated by Pilot Corporation $350 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America $275 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton & Dana Corporation $250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc. $200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc. $200 cash donated by DNV Certification

Fifth Place Winner, Denis Sansoucy

Denis Sansoucy, a resident of Beloeil, Quebec, proudly shares his knowledge and safe-driving expertise with newly hired drivers as a driver trainer for Transport Robert. In his 36 years of driving more than 3 million miles without accidents or service violations, Denis has always been above average in his concern for safety and customers’ demands and commitments. He is highly respected by his colleagues and is considered a natural leader who always seeks corrective solutions to problems.

Mr. Sansoucy will receive the following prizes:

$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc. $1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Company $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Truckers News – Randall-Reilly Trucking Media Group $350 gift card donated by Pilot Corporation $350 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America $275 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton & Dana Corporation $250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc. $200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc. $200 cash donated by DNV Certification

TCA Honors 2006 Independent Contractors of the Year
3/22/2007

Las Vegas, Nevada:

In the 20th annual “Independent Contractor of the Year” contest sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association, International Truck and Engine, and Overdrive magazine, five independent contractors were honored as the nation’s best. The awards, presented March 13th during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Bellagio Resort, were based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work history, and involvement in the community and industry.

The top five winners and their prizes are:

Grand Prize Winner, Charles Maly

Congratulations to Charles Maly of Shaffer Trucking, Inc., York, Nebraska, TCA’s 2006 Independent Contractor of the Year. Growing up on a farm, Charles learned to drive a truck at age 14, and it was in that environment that he acquired his father’s value for establishing relationships of mutual trust and respect—-a trait he has brought into his business relationships as well as into his community service. Throughout his career, Charles has made safety his paramount objective and he has received numerous accolades from the carrier, state, and trucking associations. He is known for his flawless, 25-year driving and service record and his commitment to balancing his responsibilities to his family and community. Charles and his wife Joy live on a 320-acre farm in Davey, Nebraska.

Mr. Maly is the proud winner of a new International 9000i Model tractor donated by International Truck and Engine Corporation (who will also cover the Federal excise tax) and powered by a Signature ISX 500 HP engine donated by Cummins Engine Company and equipped with the following items:

An Eaton transmission of Mr. Maly’s choice donated by Roadranger – Eaton and Dana Corporation
10 G300 series radial truck tires donated by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
A pair of National Premium cloth seats donated by National Seating Company
A pair of Aero Bell TriPod hood mounted mirrors donated by Velvac, Inc.

In addition to the fully loaded tractor, Mr. Maly will receive:

$2,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Overdrive magazine
$1,500 reward card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
$1,000 cash donated by Ahern & Associates
$1,000 Frequent Fueler MoneyCard donated by Flying J
$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
$1,000 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
$1,000 gift card donated by Pilot Corporation
$500 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America
$500 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
$200 cash donated by Specialty Risk, Inc.
$100 cash card & duffle bag donated by Petro Stopping Centers
CoPilot Truck Laptop donated by ALK Technologies, Inc.
DA 34100 Purest Air Dryer donated by Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems
62120 Dieselmatic NVT Kit with Cylinder donated by KBI/Kold Ban International
30 TripPak Overnite Envelopes donated by TripPak Services, Inc.
4 passenger tires donated by Michelin North America
Gauges software and tax preparation donated by the Rutherford Group

Second Place Winner, Robert McCray

Robert McCray is one of those truckers who is always ready to step in and volunteer whenever help is needed, be it on the national or local level. A consummate professional, both on the job and off, Robert has made safety, service, and family his priorities. He began driving a truck at 16 years old, and since then has logged nearly 3 million accident-free miles while traveling the entire continental United States and six provinces of Canada. Robert and and his wife Donna are actively involved in their community in Chatham, Illinois, supporting organizations from the American Cancer Society to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, from the Boy Scouts of America to the Special Olympics.

Mr. McCray will receive the following prizes:

$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Overdrive magazine
$1,000 reward card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
$1,000 Frequent Fueler MoneyCard donated by Flying J
$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
$1,000 gift card donated by Pilot Corporation
$375 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America
$250 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
$250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
$200 cash donated by Specialty Risk, Inc.
CoPilot Truck Laptop donated by ALK Technologies, Inc.
A pair of Aero Bell TriPod hood mounted mirrors donated by Velvac, Inc.

Third Place Winner, Albert Beck

Albert Beck has spent 21 years with Dart Transit Company achieving a remarkable career in trucking due to his impeccable attention to detail and safety, his preparation, and his willingness to serve. During his career he has amassed numerous safety awards and contributed countless hours to local and national fundraising and relief efforts. A true farm boy, Albert learned to drive a truck by transporting animals and cattle feed to and from his small town in North Dakota. He later joined the U.S. Army, where he earned two college degrees and received many military awards, including seven Bronze Stars. Albert currently lives in Big Lake, Minnesota.

Mr. Beck will receive the following prizes:

$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Overdrive magazine
$1,000 Frequent Fueler MoneyCard donated by Flying J
$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
$1,000 gift card donated by Pilot Corporation
$500 reward card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
$375 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America
$250 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
$250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
$200 cash donated by Specialty Risk, Inc.

Fourth Place Winner, Charles Boyles

Charles Boyles has an exemplary safety record, evidenced in his receiving safety awards for 21 consecutive years from Landstar Ranger and receiving the company’s two highest honors for an independent business capacity owner. His love of trucks began as a young man when his grandfather taught him to drive a single axle dump truck and showed him how to build his first motor on a 1962 Ford pickup. Charles always dreamed of being a truck driver and today he takes pride in his profession and in the image that he presents to the motoring public. Charles is dedicated to his work, church, and family, and he lives in Billingsly, Alabama.

Mr. Boyles will receive the following prizes:

$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Overdrive magazine
$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
$375 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America
$250 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
$250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
$200 cash donated by Specialty Risk, Inc.

Fifth Place Winner, Bruce Barnes

Bruce Barnes is an excellent representative of the trucking industry, with his positive attitude, exemplary safety record, and impeccable attention to customer service. Bruce hails from a rich family tradition in the trucking industry, having both a father and grandfather who drove professionally. During his 20-year career, Bruce has driven more than 3 million accident-free miles by making safety one of his most important priorities. In addition to his outstanding driving career, Bruce has a tremendously supportive family, which he believes has contributed to his success. Bruce and his wife Marilyn reside in Troy, Missouri, where they raised two sons.

Mr. Barnes will receive the following prizes:

$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Overdrive magazine
$1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
$375 gift certificate donated by TravelCenters of America
$250 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
$250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
$200 cash donated by Specialty Risk, Inc.

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Dora Colvin
CFI

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Henry Shriver
Smithway Motor Xpress

TCA Announces Driver of the Year Contest Finalists
7/14/2006

Alexandria, Virginia:

The Truckload Carriers Association, along with contest co-sponsors, Truckers News and Overdrive Magazine, is pleased to announce the top finalists for the Independent Contractor of the Year and Company Equipment Driver of the Year contests. The competition for these contests becomes more intense each year as we try to honor the best drivers throughout the United States and Canada.

The thirty finalists were chosen on the basis of miles driven without accidents as well as a review of their driving records, moving, and Hours of Service violations. The contest is open to TCA carrier member drivers who have logged over a million miles while adhering to the strictest safety standards. This exceptional group of finalists represents sixteen states and Canada.

The outstanding drivers listed below will now complete the second part of the application (due December 15, 2006) and official judges will choose the top five winners in each contest. The top three prizewinners for both contests will be announced at the TCA 2007 Annual Convention at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 11-14. Congratulations and best wishes to all the finalists and their companies:

Company Driver of the Year Contest Finalists

Jay Banick, Lawrence Transportation Services (Eric Lawrence, President) (Dawn Cole, Safety Director)
Brett Campbell, O&S Trucking (Jim O’Neal, President) (Mike Tettamble, Jr. CDS, VP, Driver Resources)
James Conner, Team Transport (J. Keith Sherman, CEO) (Mike Cieri CDS, Safety Manager)
Robert Deal, Cargo Transporters, Inc. (John Pope, CEO) (Jerry Waddell CDS, Safety Director)
Steven Eckhoff, Hogan Transporters, Inc. (David Hogan, President) (Don Lewis, Safety Manager)
Robert Hess, Jr., D.M. Bowman, Inc. (Donald Bowman, Chairman) (Scott Bowen, Director of Safety & Risk Management)
Edward Hosier, O&S Trucking (Jim O’Neal, President) (Mike Tettamble, Jr. CDS, VP, Driver Resources)
Jean-Charles Huard, Robert Transport (Michel Robert, Executive Vice President) (Jean-Yues Letarte, VP Safety)
Eugene Hubbard, Regal Service Company (Howard Benningfield, General Manager)
Kenneth Luther, S.B., Inc. dba Sherman Bros. Heavy Trucking (Bart Sherman, President) (Jason Muggy, VP Safety/Risk Management)
Vernon Mosher, S.B., Inc. dba Sherman Bros. Heavy Trucking (Bart Sherman, President) (Jason Muggy, VP Safety/Risk Management)
Bruce Pfeffer, Smithway Motor Xpress, Inc. (Larry Owens, President & CEO) (Jim Kwakenat, Safety Manager)
Dwight Phoenix, Martini, Inc. (Jack Martini, President) (Gary Potter, Safety Director)
Denis Sansoucy, Robert Transport (Michel Robert, Executive Vice President) (Jean-Yues Letarte, VP Safety)
Steven Udelhoven, Art Pape Transfer, Inc. (Loras Pape, President) (Tom Cloos, Safety Director)

Independent Contractor of the Year Contest Finalists

Bruce Barnes, Witte Brothers Exchange (Brent Witte, President) (Marilyn Barnes, Director, Safety & Recruiting)
Albert Beck, Dart Transit Company (Donald G. Oren, President) (Gary Volkman, Vice President, Safety & Compliance)
Constance and Lanny Beyer, MCT Transportation, LLC (Matt Staniszweski, President) (Greg K. Beckman, Director of Safety)
Charles Boyles, Landstar Ranger, Inc. (Jeff Pundit, President Carrier Group) (Tina McGovern, Lost Prevention Coordinator)
Joe Chitwood, O&S Trucking (Jim O’Neal, President) (Mike Tettamble, Jr. CDS, VP, Driver Resources)
Steven Recker, Warren Transport, Inc. (Robert J. Molinaro, President & CEO) (Clayton W. Fisk CDS, Vice President/Director of Safety)
Jack Laughlin, Regal Service Company (Howard Benningfield, General Manager)
Charles Maly, Shaffer Trucking, Inc. (Ray Dunn, President) (Thomas Irving, Director of Safety)
Kerry Marvin, Cornhusker Motor Lines, Inc. (Ed Trout, President) (Greg Novacek, Safety Director)
Robert McCray, Warren Transport, Inc. (Robert J. Molinaro, President & CEO) (Clayton W. Fisk CDS, Vice President/Director of Safety)
Stacy Moran, Contract Freighters, Inc. (Glenn F. Brown, Chairman) (Randall Cornell CSS, Vice President, Safety)
Gary Nelson, Robert Transport. (Michel Robert, Executive Vice President) (Jean-Yues Letarte, VP Safety)
Paul Tetrault, Robert Transport. (Michel Robert, Executive Vice President) (Jean-Yues Letarte, VP Safety)
Gibert Wolf, Bradway Trucking, Inc. (Andrew J. Bradway, Sr. President) (Geoff Warren, Safety Director)

TCA’s Driver of the Year Contests are made possible by generous industry sponsors. Once again this year the grand prize winner of the Independent Contractor of the Year Contest will receive a brand new fully-loaded International tractor. The top five winners in both contests will receive numerous prizes including cash, savings bonds, trucking supplies and gift cards donated by supplier companies.

Company Driver
Grand Prize Winner

Ronald Johnson
Witte Bros. Exchange

Owner Operator
Grand Prize Winner

Ezra Carroll Benn
Dart Transit Company

TCA Honors 2004 Company Equipment Drivers of the Year
3/8/2005

Las Vegas, NV:

In the 16th Annual “Company Equipment Driver of the Year” contest sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association, Detroit Diesel and Truckers News, five TCA-member company drivers were honored as the nation’s best. The awards, presented March 8th during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort Hotel, were based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work history, and involvement in the community and industry.

The top five winners and their prizes are:

Grand Prize Winner, Brian O’Leary

Brian O’Leary has taken old school truck teachings and merged them with the 21st century trucking industry. Brian’s trucking career includes over three and a half million accident free miles and nineteen and a half years with Western Distributing. In 1994 he was asked to work with Caterpillar to field test new electronic field follow engines. For the next eight years he learned about computers and the new generation engines and provided vital driver feedback. Brian followed his father into a career in trucking at age 20 and has never looked back. He presents himself and his company as a positive example of the trucking industry and often stops to help motorists on the side of the road. Brian and his wife Claudia live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

As the Grand Prize Winner, Brian will receive the following prizes:

  • $2,000 U.S. Savings Bond, a personalized jacket and a recognition plaque donated by Truckers News – Randall Trucking Media Group
  • $1,500 Rewards Card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
  • $1,000 in Frequent Fueler gift certificates donated by Flying J
  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
  • $1,000 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
  • $1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Co.
  • $750 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton and Dana Corporation
  • $500 in gift certificates donated by Pilot Corporation
  • $500 cash donated by TravelCenters of America
  • $200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
  • $200 cash donated by DNV Certification
  • A KBI Dieselmatic System Fuel Cylinder from KBI/Kold Ban International
  • A Purest Air Dryer from Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems
  • 40 TripPak Overnight envelopes donated by Truckload Management, Inc.
  • The XM Roady2 XM Pro, plus XM Radio satellite service for one year donated by XM Satellite Radio Inc., Pana-Pacific and Delphi

Second Place Winner, Richard Downin

Richard Downin is a man who appreciates what he has and where he came from. Born on a small farm in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania he accepted the challenge of helping run the farm at a young age and retains that work ethic today. After serving time in Vietnam, he started a career as a professional truck driver and in the twenty-five years since he has driven over two million safe miles. When he is not working Richard enjoys carpentry and NASCAR and currently has enjoyed helping his daughter build her first home. He lives with his wife Debbie in Mont Alto, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Downin will receive the following prizes:

  • $1,000 in Frequent Fueler gift certificates donated by Flying J
  • $1,000 U. S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
  • $1,000 Rewards Card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
  • $1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Co.
  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and recognition plaque donated by Truckers News – Randall Trucking Media Group
  • $700 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton and Dana Corporation
  • $350 in gift certificates donated by Pilot Corporation
  • $350 cash donated by TravelCenters of America
  • $250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
  • $200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
  • $200 in cash donated by DNV Certification

Third Place Winner, Darrell Hand

Darrell Hand started driving at the tender age of eighteen and has seen the industry change. Despite this change he says trucking is still trucking and his goal as a professional is to pick-up and deliver freight safely and on-time. Since 1998 Darrell has driven for O & S Trucking. He has driven an impressive four point nine million lifetime miles and is thrilled to be honored just for doing his job. For Darrell life off the road is full of family time with his wife of 38 years. He enjoys working their 50-acre farm and restoring cars, his current project is a 1941 Plymouth Convertible. He and his wife Sharon live in Ava, Missouri.

Mr. Hand will receive the following prizes:

  • $1,000 in gift certificates donated by Flying J
  • $1,000 U. S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
  • $1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Co.
  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and recognition plaque donated by Truckers News– Randall Trucking Media Group
  • $500 Rewards Card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
  • $500 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton and Dana Corporation
  • $350 in gift certificates donated by Pilot Corporation
  • $350 cash donated by TravelCenters of America
  • $250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
  • $200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
  • $200 in cash donated by DNV Certification

Fourth Place Winner, Robert Hagen

Bob Hagen’s career in the trucking industry began at birth when he would travel on summer road trips with his father who was an over the road driver. He remembers looking forward to the annual trips and kept the tradition alive by taking his three sons on the road with him over the summers. Little did his sons know they were traveling with one of the best professionals on the road. Bob has driven three million accident free miles in his thirty-five years on the road and has been driving for Challenger Motor Freight for the last nineteen years. In his spare time he enjoys serving as president of a softball organization in the summer and as an ice hockey trainer in the winter. He and his wife Ann reside in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

Fifth Place Winner, Ruppert “Rudy” Stevens

Rudy Stevens feels immense pride in his career as a truck driver. He understands that drivers and their companies play a vital role in the economy of this country. Rudy has driven for 44 years, 34 of them for Epes, and logged over four million miles. He is one of the most respected drivers at Epes and has made numerous suggestions for improvement in equipment, pay packages, and safety programs over the years. His company values his input and expertise. Rudy is known as a mentor to young drivers and works to pass on his belief that a job worth doing is worth doing right. Rudy and his wife Judy live in Burlington, North Carolina.

Mr. Hagen and Mr. Stevens will receive the following prizes:

  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
  • $1,000 cash donated by Peterbilt Motors Co.
  • $1,000 U. S. Savings Bond and a recognition plaque donated by Truckers News – Randall Trucking Media Group
  • $350 in gift certificates donated by Pilot Corporation
  • $350 cash donated by TravelCenters of America
  • $275 cash donated by Roadranger – Eaton & Dana Corporation
  • $250 cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.
  • $200 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
  • $200 cash donated by DNV Certification
TCA Honors 2004 Independent Contractors of the Year
3/8/2005

Las Vegas, NV:

In the 18th Annual “Independent Contractor of the Year” contest sponsored by the Truckload Carriers Association, International Truck and Engine Corporation and Overdrive Magazine, five independent contractors were honored as the nation’s best. The awards, presented March 8th during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Bellagio Resort, were based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work history, and involvement in the community and industry. The top five winners and their prizes are:

Grand Prize Winner, Jerry Johnson

Congratulations to Jerry Johnson of O & S Trucking, Inc., Springfield, Missouri. Winning the Independent Contractor of the Year Grand Prize is the culmination of Jerry’s efforts to be a successful businessman and driver. Jerry has been contracted to O & S Trucking since 1987 and has a 100% on-time rate. He has driven over 4 million miles in his 40 years on the road. Jerry is thankful to the trucking industry for allowing him and his wife to put their children through school, and to purchase their home and work their farm on 200 acres in Southern Missouri. When he is not driving Jerry enjoys watching his grandchildren play, participating in church activities and hunting. Jerry and his wife, Patricia live in West Plains, Missouri.

Mr. Johnson is the proud winner of a new International® 9000 tractor. He has selected an International 9900ix Eagle® with SkyRise sleeper and optional double bunk. This grand prize includes:

  • International® Ride-Optimized Suspension (IROS) system which delivers excellent stability and handling, less road noise and a smoother ride
  • Ultra-rigid cab floor offers a smoother, more comfortable and quiet ride
  • Eagle interior trim
  • Cummins Signature ISX 565 HP

Additional items from International partners include:

  • An Eaton transmission of Mr. Johnson’s choice donated by Roadranger – Eaton and Dana Corporation
  • 10 G300 series radial truck tires donated by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
  • A pair of National Premium Cloth Seats donated by National Seating Company
  • An Aero Bell TriPod Mirror Head and Bracket Kit donated by Velvac, Inc.

In addition to the fully loaded tractor, Mr. Johnson will also receive:

  • $2,000 U.S. Savings Bond, personalized jacket and recognition plaque donated by Overdrive Magazine – Randall Trucking Media Group
  • $1,500 Rewards Card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
  • $1,000 in Frequent Fueler gift certificates donated by Flying J
  • $1,000 U. S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
  • $1,000 cash donated by Mack Trucks
  • $1,000 IRA Account established with Putnam Funds donated by Marsh USA, Inc.
  • $1,000 in gift certificates donated by Pilot Corporation
  • $500 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
  • $500 cash donated by TravelCenters of America
  • A 2005 Platinum Bookkeeping and Tax Return Plan from The Alliance
  • A Credit Service Package one-year subscription to Gold Book of Transportation Brokers Online, plus 12 credit reports donated by CompuNet Credit Services.
  • A DA 34100 Purest Air Dryer from Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems
  • A Dieselmatic NVT Kit with Cylinder donated by KBI/Kold Ban International
  • A set of Steering Tires donated by Michelin North America
  • 40 TripPak Overnight envelopes donated by Truckload Management, Inc.
  • The XM Roady2 XM Pro, plus XM Radio satellite service for one year donated by XM Satellite Radio Inc., Pana-Pacific and Delphi

Second Place Winner, Dennis SilerFor Dennis Siler everyday on the road with his own truck is a dream come true. After growing up on a farm and idolizing his Uncle Roy, a truck driver, Dennis began his career as an independent contractor with Dart in 1985. Today his career spans 29 years and 3.5 million accident free miles. Being on the highways everyday gives Dennis a unique perspective on life and how much responsibility we all have for one another. He appreciates the opportunity to travel to interesting places and be his own boss and he respects the role of truck drivers to transport the goods that keep factories running and citizens working. Dennis and Sandy Siler live in Okeechobee, Florida.

Mr. Siler will receive the following prizes:

  • $1,000 in Frequent Fueler Gift Certificates donated by Flying J
  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
  • $1,000 Rewards Card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and recognition plaque donated by Overdrive Magazine – Randall Trucking Media Group
  • $1,000 in gift certificates donated by Pilot Corporation
  • $375 in cash donated by TravelCenters of America
  • $250 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
  • $250 cash donated by Mack Trucks
  • An Aero Bell TriPod Mirror Head and Bracket Kit donated by Velvac, Inc.

Third Place Winner, Jimmy McSwainOne of the first things other drivers and coworkers notice about Jimmy McSwain is his immaculate equipment. Maintaining his truck to maximize performance and keeping detailed financial records have allowed him to consistently operate at a profit. These business skills allow him to provide a comfortable life for his family and himself, which, to Jimmy, is the truest form of success. Jimmy has spent more than 25 years as an independent contractor, the past 12 with Sunco Carriers, and has logged over 2.8 million accident free miles. He extends a polite and courteous attitude all those he comes in contact with especially general public since he understands the importance of presenting the trucking industry in a professional light. Jimmy lives in Lakeland, Florida.

Jimmy will receive the following prizes:

  • $1,000 in Frequent Fueler gift certificates donated by Flying J
  • $1,000 U. S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and recognition plaque donated by Overdrive Magazine – Randall Trucking Media Group
  • $1,000 in gift certificates donated by Pilot Corporation
  • $500 Rewards Card donated by Love’s Travel Stops
  • $375 in cash donated by TravelCenters of America
  • $250 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
  • $250 in cash donated by Mack Trucks

Fourth Place Winner, Debra and Robert JurashenThe husband and wife team of Debra and Robert Jurashen have the unique experience of getting to work together and share their life on the road. They are proud of the life they have created as independent contractors and of the freedom and financial success that truck driving has given them. The Jurashens strive everyday to do the best job possible and treat people as they would like to be treated, their number one goal is safety at all times. The Jurashens hope to drive as a husband and wife team for a long time to come. They want their son and two granddaughters to know they have done the best job they could. Debra and Robert Jurashen live in Bedford, Indiana.

Fifth Place Winner, Robert McCray

Robert McCray puts customers first and often takes load other drivers decline. He began driving at age 16, has operated as an independent contractor since 1982, and has been leased to Warren Transport since 1991. Bob has driven over two and a half million accident free miles and spends almost 300 days a year on the road. When he is home he enjoys fishing, visiting with friends and family, horseracing, and cooking. He has two daughters and two grandchildren and travels the country with his dog, Kricket, a Yorkshire terrier. Bob and his wife Donna live in Chatham, Illinois.

The Jurashens and Mr. McCray will receive:

  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Great Dane Trailers, Inc.
  • $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and recognition plaque Overdrive Magazine – Randall Trucking Media Group
  • $375 in cash donated by TravelCenters of America
  • $250 cash donated by ArvinMeritor, Inc.
  • $250 in cash donated by Mack Trucks, Inc.