CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Georges Leblanc isn't just an ordinary guy anymore, says Brent Weary, regional vice-president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks. And Weary should know - after all, he presented Leblanc with the 2004 National Driver of...
AWARD WINNER: Driver Georges Leblanc (centre) has 33 years of experience.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Georges Leblanc isn’t just an ordinary guy anymore, says Brent Weary, regional vice-president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks. And Weary should know – after all, he presented Leblanc with the 2004 National Driver of the Year Award at the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association annual convention in P.E.I. Oct. 29
“The guy who is considered the best driver in the country is not your average guy anymore,” Weary said.
Leblanc is no stranger to such praise. He won last year’s Driver of the Year award for the Atlantic Provinces region and this year he has the national award to back it up.
“I’m not one to look for the limelight, but it’s not every day that you get to apply for such a prestigious award,” Leblanc said humbly. “It was such a wonderful surprise when I found out I won and it is such an honour to be awarded this title.”
The National Truck Driver of the Year Award is presented to a Canadian driver who demonstrates a high level of professionalism both on and off the road, courtesy and sometimes bravery at roadside. Leblanc and his wife Jocelyne made the trek from their home in Memramcook, N.B., across the Confederation Bridge to Charlottetown P.E.I. to attend the APTA convention and accept the award. Leblanc was chosen from among Canada’s 2003 provincial drivers of the year. The selection committee included representatives from Transport Canada, Canada Safety Council, Traffic Injury Research Foundation and the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
Leblanc, who works for Armour Transportation Systems, has driven 5.2 million collision-free miles over his 33-year driving career. And he puts his years of experience to use by helping out at Armour safety meetings and assisting with training and evaluation of new drivers.
“Georges is exactly what we want in our industry for the perfect highway professional operator. He is extremely good at his job, smart and has a positive attitude, very caring for others, excellent with customers, an outstanding safe driver, understands all safety and highway regulations and complies with them without being managed. Most of all, he is just an outstanding individual,” said Wesley Armour, president of Armour Transportation Systems.
Be that as it may, at 52, Georges has decided to cut back a little bit on driving and take some additional vacation away from the highways and his 2002 Volvo. “I want to put in a few more years but my plan is to take on a sort of semi-retirement schedule,” said Georges. As winner of the 2004 National Driver of the Year Award, Georges was presented with a $1,000 cash prize, his national plaque, that will hang along side his provincial plaque, and a trip for two to any destination in Canada. He thinks he and his wife will use it towards a vacation in Alberta because they have never been there before and would like to explore Western Canada.