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Heroism, passion recognized during OTA awards presentations

TORONTO, Ont. - The Ontario Trucking Association held its annual convention Nov. 19, taking the opportunity to issue some of the industry's most prestigious awards.

TORONTO, Ont. –The Ontario Trucking Association held its annual convention Nov. 19, taking the opportunity to issue some of the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Driver of the Year

APPS Transport driver Guy Broderick was named the 2010 OTA/Volvo Trucks Canada Ontario Truck Driver of the Year during the convention luncheon.

Just moments before being named Driver of the Year, Broderick addressed the association about the important and fulfilling role OTA Road Knights play in promoting the industry.

Broderick is a member of the current Road Knights team and as such, visits schools and career events and provides media interviews all to promote the trucking industry and road safety.

Broderick has a clean driving record and takes safety seriously, organizers of the event said. Volvo’s Brent Weary presented the award.

“Safety is always my number one priority,” said Broderick. “I truly enjoy promoting safety initiatives and educating the public on how together, we can improve road safety.”

“Guy is an exemplary professional driver, both on and off the road,” added OTA president David Bradley. “He should be proud of the numerous accomplishments that earned him this prestigious award.”

Broderick has nearly three million accident-free kilometres to his credit. He has been trucking for 25 years and is also active within his Cambridge community, where he’s a softball coach and fundraiser.

Bridgestone Truck Hero

Aggregate hauler Jamie MacFarlane was named the 2010 Bridgestone Canadian Truck Hero during an emotional presentation at the convention’s kick-off breakfast.

MacFarlane, a driver for Top of the Hill Aggregates, came across an accident June 17 when a passenger train plowed into a dump truck that was travelling ahead of him. Mac-Farlane jumped into action, tending to the dump truck driver’s injuries, calling for help and continuing to offer support until help arrived.

Sadly, dump truck driver Rob Douglas succumbed to his injuries. However, the victim’s family was comforted to know their loved one was not alone during his final moments and they attended the presentation to personally thank Mac-Farlane. The late driver’s wife, Kim Douglas, was on-hand as well as other members of her family including her cousin Karen Nancarrow, who said “Kim and I were thrilled Jamie is receiving this award because he is a hero. Nobody likes to be called a hero, because it is usually borne of a difficult situation. But Jamie, you are a hero.”

She went on to say “A hero does what is needed in the moment. You could have said it was too difficult and stepped aside, but you sat by Rob’s side and talked to him until help arrived. For that, you are a hero.” Nobody should have to spend their final moments alone, she added. “We can only hope we don’t have to do it alone, we can only hope we have somebody at our side to hold our hand and tell us it’s going to be okay. If that person can’t be our spouse, parent or loved one, we can only hope a hero comes around and that hero for Rob was you, Jamie.”

Paul Dalcourt, national fleet account executive with Bridgestone’s US and Canada Commercial Tire Sales division presented the award, along with a $3,000 cheque and a trophy. Bridgestone also donated $3,000 to the deceased driver’s family at MacFarlane’s request. For more info, see

Service to industry

George Ledson, founder and president of Cavalier Transportation, was named the 2010 Shaw Tracking-OTA Service to Industry award winner at the convention.

Ledson has more than a half-century of trucking experience under his belt and, according to the OTA, usually begins or ends a conversation with the words “I love trucking.”

Ledson got into the trucking biz as a credit clerk with Intercity Truck Lines about 53 years ago and over the next 20 years filled various roles with the company, including traffic manager, costing manager, terminal manager and vice-president of operations.

He launched Cavalier Transportation in 1978, initially as a consulting company out of his home. Cavalier soon grew to include a load brokerage operation that continues today.

In 1985, Cavalier became a for-hire trucking company providing local cartage and regional service in the Greater Toronto Area and in 1990, Cavalier Logistics was created, including a large warehouse operation.

Today, Cavalier runs 85 trucks, 265 trailers and has 25,000 sq.-ft. of storage space.

Ledson has served on many association boards and committees as well as local charities.

“George exemplifies commitment, contribution, and dedication to the Ontario trucking industry and to OTA; he is a most deserving recipient,” said Shaw Tracking v.p. Mike Ham.

Added OTA chief Bradley: “George is passionate about the trucking industry and is one of the most respected people in the business.”

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