WINNIPEG, Man. - Participating in both the provincial and national truck driving championships could be considered a good year for a professional driver. Ken Wiebe added to those two accomplishments b...
TOP DRIVER: Ken Wiebe is honoured as Manitoba's Driver of the Year.
WINNIPEG, Man. – Participating in both the provincial and national truck driving championships could be considered a good year for a professional driver. Ken Wiebe added to those two accomplishments by accepting the award for the 2006 Volvo Trucks Canada Manitoba Driver of the Year.
The Manitoba Trucking Association honoured a number of elite members of the province’s trucking community during a special evening celebration for the second annual MTA Awards Dinner on Nov. 3.
Wiebe, a driver with Winnipeg Motor Express, was recognized for his more than 26 years of safe driving, as well as his dedication to providing excellent customer service and assistance to other drivers.
Throughout Wiebe’s career he has operated tractor-trailer units on the highway and in rural Manitoba, keeping safety at the forefront of his mind. He is constantly aware of other vehicles and drivers on the roads, as he maneuvers his rig through heavy traffic on a daily basis.
His commitment to his profession is exemplified by the service and loyalty he provides to customers.
As well, Wiebe is known amongst his co-workers as someone who is always willing to help others.
His employer, customers and peers recognize Wiebe as a specialist with his particular tractor-trailer combination. He is also prone to helping motorists on the road, whether they are stranded due to mechanical breakdowns or even floods.
Away from work, Wiebe’s activities include repairing motorcycles.
The Manitoba Driver of the Year is selected from among the 12 Driver of the Month Award winners from the previous year. The selection committee consists of senior officers of the Winnipeg Police Service, the RCMP, and the chairman of the MTA Associated Trades Division.
To qualify, drivers must have spotless driving records, often accumulating several million kilometres of accident-free driving over many years. In addition, they must demonstrate a strong dedication to safety, customer service, equipment care, and more.
Cancom Tracking in partnership with the MTA named Dean Omoto, a fleet manager with Big Freight Systems, Manitoba’s 2006 Dispatcher of the Year.
The award is presented to a dispatcher who has demonstrated a commitment to customer service, safety, driver well-being, courtesy, teamwork, problem solving and community service/volunteer work.
Omoto has been employed in the trucking industry for more than 16 years. He began his career as a longhaul driver travelling throughout North America. After seven and a half years Omoto advanced to become a dispatcher and after six years in that position he again advanced and became a fleet manager. Dean was selected to receive the award because of his outstanding ability to look after his company’s customers and drivers.
His operations manager reports that, “his attention to detail and commitment to customer service are second to none. He is quite often the first to arrive and one of the last to leave on any given day in order to ensure all issues are dealt with effectively.”
During the evening, George Williams of Warren/Stonewall Freight became the recipient of the 2006 Manitoba Trailmobile Service to Industry Award.
Williams, who has long been a strong and loyal supporter of the MTA, was recognized by his peers for his conduct and his contributions to the trucking industry. Williams exemplifies the conduct that has garnered the esteem of his peers.
Williams has been involved in the trucking industry since the very early age of six, when he first started helping his father. Over the decades he would go on to own his own company and then eventually amalgamate it with his father’s company after purchasing it. Throughout his career he has maintained a philosophy of building business based on knowing his customers and their needs.
Not only committed to his company, he has given of his time to his industry. Through the industry’s transition to a deregulated industry, Williams became actively involved in the MTA and participated in any and every meeting, discussion and committee that focused on this issue.
Honour by association
The MTA presented Cameron Mayor of Goodyear Tire with the 2006 Maxim Associate of the Year Award. While Mayor has had a relatively short career serving the trucking industry, he has been an active member of the MTA as an Associated Trades Division member from the beginning. Since his introduction to the association, he has demonstrated his energy, vitality and strong desire to participate and contribute to trucking. Shortly after becoming a member, Mayor was nominated and elected to the executive committee of the Associated Trades Division and has been serving in that capacity since.
Additionally, he has become involved in other facets of the organization including the Vehicle Maintenance Council, the Professional Driver Championship Committee, the Associated Trades Division Annual Golf Tournament Committee, the MTA Career Committee, and the organizing committees for the 2006 Derby Dinner and the 2006 Awards Dinner.
Within a short timeframe Mayor has demonstrated his belief in the association concept, its associated benefits, volunteerism, and participation; and all while he has made some very positive contributions to the association’s efforts and its development.
Good ol’ boys
Six new members were inducted into the MTA’s Pioneer Club. To be inducted into this exclusive club inductees must be continually employed in the trucking industry for at least 25 years and be actively and directly engaged in the formulation, direction or execution of policy in a managerial capacity of an MTA member company at the time of nomination. These individuals are the foundation of the trucking industry in Manitoba today.
The 2006 inductees are:
Ron Bouchard, general manager of Redline Transport. His journey in trucking began in April 1976 as a driver with TransX.
Joe Gillis, general manager of Thermo King of Mid Canada, whose career began in December 1971 as a sales representative with Emil’s Transport Refrigeration.
Al Lepp began as a lease operator for Arnold Bros. Transport in 1980. Today he is the terminal manager for Redline Transport.
Back in 1966, John Martin took employment with Virden Freightways. Currently he works as the executive vice-president, corporate, with Bison Transport.
Bob Moffatt, owner and president of RTM Transport. Moffatt started out as a truck driver in 1973 with T.P. Moffatt and Sons.
Dan Simcock, general manager of Prairie International Container and Dray Services, began his career in 1978 as a city owner/operator for Motor Express Terminals.