TORONTO, Ont. -- For his 35 years of highway service and more than four million kilometers without a preventable collision, Barry Elkiw, a truck driver with Meyers Transport in Peterborough, Ont. has been named the 2012 OTA/Volvo Trucks Ontario Driver of the Year.
With his wife Wanda by his side, Elkiw, 56, accepted the award during Friday’s luncheon ceremony at the Ontario Trucking Association’s 86th annual conference. The presentation was made by Peter Currie, Ontario district manager, Volvo Trucks Canada.
A keepsake trophy, a cash prize, and a trip to the OTA convention were all part of the award presented to Elkiw.
“It is a great honour to present Mr. Elkiw with this prestigious award,” says OTA president David Bradley. “His professionalism, his courteousness and his exceptional safety record exemplify the very best qualities of a professional truck driver.”
Elkiw joined Meyers Transport in 1986 after spending time delivering lumber and plywood throughout Ontario. He then began running to and from the US doing irregular route TL and LTL pick-up and delivery with van equipment. For the past several years, he has been working in Ontario and Quebec in a variety of capacities doing both highway and local work. He has amassed several safe driving awards over his career.
“Barry demonstrates what it is to be a professional whether doing deliveries around town with a straight truck or hauling multi axle equipment with loads in excess of 30,000 kg over the highway,” says Joe Ball, vice-president of safety at Meyers. “He has always been a professional in his approach to his work and has kept safety front of mind. He exhibits a high level of skill and has accumulated an enviable record of collision free performance over the years and the miles.”
According to his colleagues, Elkiw exhibits an unmatched level of organization and attention to detail.
“Barry is a fusspot – and I mean that in a good way,” says a fellow Meyers driver, Jeff Fitzsimons. “He makes sure everything is in place and tidy and this is reflected in how he keeps his workplace. The truck doesn’t move until it’s cleaned and his dashboard and windows are Windexed and everything else is adjusted to his satisfaction. The details of the job are important to him and he does everything by the book.”
Now that he’s just about done raising four teenagers, Elkiw has taken a more active role in his community and has been involved with his councillor on local political issues. He has been interviewed several times by local TV news on trucking issues affecting the region.
Eager to provide feedback, Elkiw is frequently used at Meyers as a go-to driver to assist city engineers in testing out infrastructure changes or expansions in Peterborough, such as truck turning radius at a new intersection.
Asked to reflect on his career, Barry says he is proud to have been able to maintain excellent customer relations while working locally in the community and that he has always been able to “complete the job on time and safely.”