The Truckload Carriers Association is preparing to accept nominations for one of the association’s most prestigious awards — driver of the year.
There are two categories — Company Driver of the Year and Owner-Operator of the Year.
Nominations will be accepted beginning Aug.1 and can be made online at truckload.org.
The overall goal of the contest is to recognize and pay tribute to the company drivers and owner-operators who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods.
Three finalists will be chosen in each category. A grand-prize winner will be selected from each group of finalists.
The grand-prize winners will be recognized and honored as the outstanding company driver and owner-operator for 2020 based on his or 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 or she lives.
The Company Driver of the Year 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 or she is currently employed, and must have been employed by and driving for that company for the past three years.
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 the Owner-Operator of the Year contest.
An owner-operator who holds his or 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 or her own behalf, be nominated by his or her spouse, or be nominated by a motor carrier with which he or she has been under a long-term contract continuously for three years or more.
Previous grand-prize winners of the two divisions are not eligible to reenter the competition.
The application must be completed online and submitted through TCA’s online application process.
When entering as a team, both drivers’ names should be entered into application. It is not necessary to complete two separate applications.
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.
Each company may nominate up to five drivers. However, only one driver per company can qualify for placement among the top three finalists.
Contest judges will 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.
Erroneous or false information provided in the application will result in immediate disqualification.
The top three finalists were announced in January 2021.
The grand-prize winners will be announced during TCA’s 2020 Annual Convention, Truckload 2021, scheduled for Jan. 23-26, 2021 at Nashville, Tennessee.
Don Lewis of Wilson Logistics, Inc. was named the 2019 Company Driver of the Year.
The 2019 Owner-Operator of the Year was Kevin Kocmich of Diamond Transportation System, Inc.
TCA’s partners in the contests are Trucker News and Overdrive magazine. Sponsors are Cummins and Love’s.