As I’ve said and written before, the highlight of my job is notifying our annual Owner/Operator of the Year that they’ve been selected as our winner.

The trucking business can be a thankless one, especially for an O/O. Especially for an O/O who’s had the bad luck Heiko Lichtenberger has endured through. He came to Canada from Germany after being approached by a recruiter when vacationing in Canada more than a decade ago.

Heiko's burnt-out T660. He named his second truck Second Chance.
Heiko’s burnt-out T660. He named his second truck Second Chance.

He came over and joined D.J. Knoll, initially as a company driver, eventually buying his own truck. It was a used Kenworth T660 and it gave him a lot of problems, including a $12,000 head gasket repair bill right before Christmas. That truck met its fiery demise on the side of a Saskatchewan highway one cold winter day – and no, it wasn’t intentional!

Heiko replaced it with a brand new Volvo and has been doing much better with a full warranty and no big repair bills. He hauls Super-Bs loaded with grain much of the time but will take any kind of load D.J. Knoll dishes out. He says he’s always happy as long as there’s a load in the wagon.

We had a great time with Heiko, recognizing his achievement over a nice dinner in Toronto. You can read his full profile here. Thanks to our sponsors Castrol and Goodyear for making this award possible.

Heiko Lichtenberger, O/O of the year
Heiko Lichtenberger, O/O of the year
James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

Have your say

We won't publish or share your data