ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Today, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) officially opened nominations for the 2017 Driver of the Year Contests, sponsored by Cummins Inc. and Love’s Travel Stops.
Nominations will be accepted until November 10.
The competition is divided into two categories: the Company Driver of the Year Contest (now in its 27th year) and the Owner-Operator of the Year Contest (now in its 29th year). Company drivers must be nominated by the motor carriers that employ them, while owner-operators may be nominated by themselves, spouses, or by carriers they have been leased to for a period of three or more years. The two overall winners will receive $25,000 each and the two runners-up in each division will win $2,500.
Nominees must demonstrate a safe driving record with a minimum of one million consecutive accident-free miles, a strong work ethic, and a desire to improve their community and the image of the trucking industry. In addition to providing proof of operating information, work history, and safety record, nominees are asked to write a 300-word essay explaining why they are good “trucking citizens” and should be a candidate for the grand prize. Owner-operator nominees are also required to provide documentation such as equipment specifications, business plans, and financial statements.
To nominate a company driver or owner operator, visit truckload.org/driver-of-the-year.
The 2016 company driver grand prize winner, Murray Manuliak, has been a professional truck driver for over 25 years, accruing more than 3.1 million accident-free miles. He currently drives for Bison Transport, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and attributes his successes to his dedication to safety: “I keep safety at the forefront of everything I do—I drive safe, I teach safety to new Bison drivers. Safety is at the foundation of my success, and it is what has kept me on the road all these years.”
Last year’s owner-operator grand prize winner was Gary Buchs, who is leased to Landstar System, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida. A professional truck driver for over 27 years, who has driven more than 2.3 million consecutive accident-free miles, Buchs dedicates his time while not on the road to helping others and staying active. He completed the Chicago marathon in 2015, 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.
Jim Gattoni, president and CEO of Landstar said, “Gary’s commitment to the safety and education of others speaks to his ability to represent our industry in a positive light. He [is] 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.”
A panel of judges will select the top three finalists for each contest, to be announced in December. Each of the six finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to attend TCA’s Annual Convention, scheduled for March 25-28, 2018, at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, where one grand prizewinner will be selected for each contest.
For more information about TCA and its activities, follow the organization on Facebook—truckload.org/Facebook — and Twitter — truckload.org/Twitter.
TCA is the only national trade association whose collective sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry. The association represents dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, and intermodal container carriers operating in the 48 contiguous states, as well as Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Representing operators of nearly 200,000 trucks, which collectively produce annual revenue of more than $38 billion, TCA is an organization tailored to specific truckload carrier needs.