Man. driver named Canada’s driver of the year

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WINNIPEG, Man. — Robert Ozouf, 55, a driver with Penner International Inc. of Steinbach, Man., is the 2001 Canadian Trucking Alliance/Volvo Trucks Canada National Driver of the Year.

Ozouf earned the awarded by driving over 3.2 million accident-free kilometres in 32 years of trucking. He takes home a weekend for two at a Canadian destination of his choice, a trophy and a $1,000 cheque, all courtesy of Volvo Trucks Canada Inc.

The award was presented over the weekend at the annual Safety Luncheon at the Manitoba Trucking Association’s 70th Annual Convention.

This is the sixth time the national driver of the year has hailed from Manitoba since1984.

Ozouf, who transports freight within Manitoba but has done long-distance driving in the past, has an “outstanding record of service to the industry,” says David Bradley, chief executive officer of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

“The trucking industry is proud to count Robert as one of our own,” Bradley says.

Ozouf is married with three children, and is involved in community events such as local theatre, as both a performer and a producer of children’s shows.

He has earned numerous company and industry awards during his career, including the Manitoba Driver of the Year award and also the Custom Truck Sales Inc./Canadian Kenworth Driver of the Month award (for Manitoba).

A keen competitor at truck driving championships, Ozouf has placed in the top three several times and earned a place on the 1996 championship team.

The driver of the year is selected from a short-list of transport drivers who have been pre-selected as their province’s “driver of the year.”

The award has been presented annually for the past 26 years to a Canadian professional transport driver who holds a collision-free driving record, demonstrates a high-level of professionalism both on an off the road and demonstrates courtesy – and sometimes bravery – at roadside.

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