I’m often asked, as editor of Truck News, what is my favourite part of my job? Is it getting the opportunity to travel and to visit sometimes-glamorous locations for glitzy product launches? Is it driving the newest trucks before they even reach dealer lots? Is it having the opportunity to break free from my desk basically anytime I want and to get out and spend the day kicking tires or visiting with fleets?
All of the above are right up there, but without a doubt, my favourite part of this job is being able to recognize one of Canada’s top owner/operators every year. Our Owner/Operator of the Year award is in its 22nd year and we’ve had some great ones.
Being a professional driver can be a thankless job – the long hours, dealing with four-wheelers, delays, constantly adjusting to ever-changing rules and regulations, did I mention delays? – but being an owner/operator requires all that and more. You also have to put in a full day behind the wheel and yet still find the time to manage your business. Balance your books. Seek out the best places to buy new tires or fuel or whatever piece of equipment has crapped out on you at the worst possible time.
When freight volumes slow or the economy tanks, you’ve got to worry about not only maintaining your income, but also making those truck payments. The stakes are higher, but so too are the rewards. More independence. The pride of ownership that goes with having your name on the door.
With all that said, I’m inviting – no, urging – all you fleet managers, friends, spouses, whomever…to nominate the most deserving owner/operators you know for this prestigious award. We’re looking for someone who’s an industry ambassador. Someone who takes pride in their profession, runs safe and legal, meticulously maintains their equipment – the type of guy or gal who will stop and help when they see someone who needs a hand.
With the help of our sponsors Goodyear and Castrol, we have $6,000 to give the winner, as well as a diamond ring fit for a champion and a trip for two to Toronto, where we’ll make the award presentation over a nice dinner and drinks later this year. The winner will also be profiled in Truck News and Truck West.
To get the ball rolling, just send your nomination to associate publisher Kathy Koras at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your nominee’s: name, address, home and business phone numbers, number of years in the trucking industry and the type of trucking they do. Also include a description as to why you are nominating them and what makes them deserving of the award. Give us as much detail as you like. We’ll take it from there.
Keep in mind, they must have a clean driving record, as we’ll be requesting an abstract.
I’m looking forward, as always, to sifting through the nominations. And I’m especially looking forward to making that call to the winner.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies