LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The grand prize winners of the Truckload Carriers Association’s 2015 Driver of the Year contest were revealed this week at the TCA’s Annual Awards Banquet in Las Vegas.
Earlier this year, finalists of the awards (that are divided into two categories – company drivers and owner/operators) were named. The award recognizes truck
Mark Tricco (centre) of Bison Transport was named TCA’s 2015 O/O of the Year
drivers who are both reliable and safe, make an effort to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and make positive contributions to their communities.
To be eligible, driver applicants must have driven one million consecutive accident-free miles. As well, each drivers’ operating information, work history, and safety record were examined, and each finalist was asked to write an essay on their success. For the owner/operator candidates, equipment specifications, business plans, and financial statements were also reviewed.
The Owner/Operator of the Year Award went to Mark Tricco of Bison Transport. Tricco has driven for more than 35 years and has accumulated more than 4.4 million accident-free miles.
“I’m very humbled to be receiving this award,” said Tricco. “There are so many great professional drivers in our industry so to be recognized as one of the very best is special…I would also like to thank Bison for giving me the opportunity to have a successful career in the industry. I’ve been with Bison for 20 years and I can say I’ve enjoyed every mile with them. It’s very important to understand that even though its us, the drivers, who receive these awards each year these sorts of accomplishments can’t be done alone. So to the dispatchers, fleet managers and safety managers and the whole Bison team, this award is as much a result of your efforts as it is mine.”
Glen Horack od Prime Inc. was the runner up for the Owner/Operator award category.
The Company Driver of the Year Award went to Danny Smith of Big G Express, that is based out of Shelbyville, Tenn.
Smith has driven close to three million accident-free miles over the last 35 years. He enjoys mentoring new and old drivers as a way to give back to the company who he says has helped him over the years. He is a professional through and through, according to Big G Express’ president, Randy Vernon. Smith was also a finalist in the Drive of the Year contest twice before.
Danny Smith (second in the left) of Big G Express was named TCA’s Company Driver of the Year
“Twenty-one years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life – to come work for Big G Express,” he said. “I have many people to thank. First, I want to give thanks to God because I know he has been in the passenger seat for every mile I’ve driven. I want to thank the sponsors…and Big G for believing in me and please know you are family to me. Last, I wanted to thank my wife and two daughters for their continued support I could not be the driver I am today without them.”
Runners up of the Company Driver of the Year Award included Guy Broderick of APPS Transport Group based out of Brampton, Ont. and David McGowan of WEL Companies based out of De Pere, Wisc.
Grand prize winners took home a cheque for $25,000 while runners up received a cheque for $2500.
Sonia Straface is the assistant editor of Truck News and Truck West magazines. She graduated from Ryerson University's journalism program in 2013 and enjoys writing about health and wellness and HR issues surrounding the transportation industry. Follow her on Twitter: @SoniaStraface. All posts by Sonia Straface