Rick Gassman Wins Second Place in Truckload Carriers Association’s 2009 Company Equipment Driver of the Year Contest


Las Vegas, Nevada:

Photo:  Kevin Burch, Jeff Jones, Rick Gassman, and John SimoneRichard P. Gassman of Dubuque, Iowa, a truck driver for Greatwide Logistics Services, LLC, of Dallas, Texas, has been named the second 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.

Gassman has worked for Greatwide Logistics Services, LLC, since 2001, but has been driving trucks for more than 51 years. “Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a truck driver,” he said, noting that after graduating from high school, he took his first job driving cement trucks.

Over the course of his lengthy career, he has logged more than 4.5 million accident-free truckload miles and hauled everything from concrete to butter to clothing.

In December 2008, Gassman was selected as Greatwide’s Driver of the Month for its Dubuque Operations Center, and in April 2009 he was chosen as the 2008 Driver of the Year from among thousands of Greatwide drivers at all locations.  He has received numerous safe driving awards from the American Trucking Associations and the National Safety Council, and has also received the Safe Mileage Milestone Award from his company.

“In addition to his outstanding safety performance, Rick continually demonstrates his integrity and willingness to operate safely while doing everything possible to consistently meet or exceed his customers’ service expectations,” said John Simone, Greatwide’s president and chief operating officer.

Mark Sorine, Greatwide’s director of safety and security, added: “Rick exemplifies the values I hold most dear: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all one does.  It is my distinct honor and pleasure to work with a driver that holds safety first and prides himself in all he does.”

As his reward for receiving second place in the contest, Gassman’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, Gassman 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, Gassman was selected as the 2009 second place winner.

“Mr. Gassman holds a very impressive truck driving record and is highly respected by his company’s management and peers,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president.  “He is more than worthy of the recognition as one of TCA’s top three Company Equipment Drivers of the Year.”