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Western groups dole out the hardware

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. - The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) took a few moments at the management conference in Lake Louise Oct. 26-28 to recognize some of the industry's finest.Among them was ...


FLATTERED: Alberta Driver of the Year, Victor Lachance, accepts his award as Volvo Truck Canada's Robin Ross looks on.Photo by James Menzies
FLATTERED: Alberta Driver of the Year, Victor Lachance, accepts his award as Volvo Truck Canada's Robin Ross looks on.Photo by James Menzies

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. – The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) took a few moments at the management conference in Lake Louise Oct. 26-28 to recognize some of the industry’s finest.

Among them was this year’s Driver of the Year, Victor Lachance, who drives for Petrohaul Ltd. out of Red Deer, and has enjoyed a lengthy accident-free career hauling just about anything that can be hauled.

Robin Ross, western regional manager with Volvo Truck Canada – sponsor of the award – made the presentation and Lachance was overwhelmed to receive the honors.

“Vic still can’t believe he is the recipient of the honor we are bestowing upon him this evening,” says Ross.

“He doesn’t think of it as a big deal to have almost 50 years of professional driving behind him without a single accident.”

Lachance began his career hauling logs through rural Manitoba, where he was born.

After serving some time overseas with the Canadian Armed Forces, he moved to Alberta so he could work in the oil patch.

“I wanted to get some experience and learn the language of the oil patch,” says Lachance. “Every industry has its own lingo and the oil industry was no different. After my swamping days, I felt much more comfortable with the operation and the equipment.”

That comfort level never wavered, even when he was hauling dangerous goods such as propane, diesel fuel and crude oil.

His manager, Don Heisler, says that he wishes he had more drivers of Lachance’s capabilities.

“We can send him out with any piece of equipment to do any type of job and know it will get done,” says Heisler.

“The trucking industry needs a couple thousand more drivers like Vic who take pride in their accomplishments.”

For his part, Lachance says the secret to enjoying a long and safe career on the road is to take on each load with the same care and attention to detail as the last one and appreciate each and every load.

“Focus and take your time,” he stresses. “That will get you and your load to your destination safe and sound.”

He says that he never developed favorite runs or loads, because each one was special and none were more important than the others.

He adds that it bothers him when people complain about not wanting to deliver this load or that.

“There are no bad loads,” he says. “Every load is important, so you just take the load you are given.”

Other winners at the AMTA conference included Jurgen Mantei, who was honored with the Service to the Industry Award. Mantei received a portrait of himself for his contributions.

The AMTA’s Associate Trades Award was presented to Bob Warawa from Finning Power Systems.

An emotional Warawa thanked his wife for her patience and help through the years.

The AMTA wasn’t the only association doling out the awards over the course of the Oct. 26-28 weekend.

Meanwhile a little further east, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association made one award presentation at its convention – the Trailmobile Service to the Industry Award – and this year’s winner was Russell Marcoux.


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