Brian Rhodes Wins Third Place in Truckload Carriers Association’s 2009 Company Equipment Driver of the Year Contest


Las Vegas, Nevada:

Photo:  Kevin Burch, Jeff Jones, Brian Rhodes, and Troy RobertsonBrian D. Rhodes of Sparta, Missouri, a truck driver for Con-way Truckload of Joplin, Missouri, has been named the third place winner in the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) prestigious Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest. 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.

Rhodes has been a truck driver with Con-way Truckload since 1995. During this time, he has logged more than 1.5 million accident-free truckload miles.

“With very few exceptions, I’ve always driven with my [twin] brother,” said Rhodes. “We’re always watching out for each other.  Our parents raised us to do the best we could, tell the truth, and do what we say.”

Together, the Rhodes brothers have been recognized as Company Team of the Month four times.  They have also received their company’s Million Mile Award.

Con-way Truckload’s management is very proud of their driver, and with good reason.  Rhodes is known for his integrity and professionalism in all aspects of his job. “One example of Brian’s commitment became evident when he developed a severe illness, ultimately requiring hospitalization and surgery,” recalls Herb Schmidt, president of Con-way.  “Prior to his hospitalization, he actually kept the load moving until it could be repowered, in order to ensure on-time delivery.”

Randy Cornell, Con-way’s vice president of safety, also speaks very highly of Rhodes.  “While Brian’s quiet nature and ability to problem solve on-the-go might go unnoticed, no one can overlook his high degree of professionalism that follows wherever he goes.  Brian simply goes about his work with the highest degree of effort and follows through,” he said.

As his reward for receiving third place in the contest, Rhode’s employer flew him to Las Vegas and paid for his expenses while at 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, Rhodes 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, Rhodes was selected as the 2009 third place winner.

“Placing as one of TCA’s top three Company Equipment Drivers of the Year is an amazing accomplishment,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president. “From what I’ve learned about Mr. Rhodes, he definitely deserves this honor.”