NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — Truck drivers rarely, if ever, get recognition for their work.
But such was not the case for the drivers recently inducted into the Private Motor Truck Council’s Hall of Fame for professional drivers.
The ceremony, held at the council’s annual meeting and conference held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, highlighted the careers of the following four drivers, whose dedication to safety and service earned them a permanent place of honour:
Jim Packard, a driver for Canadian Liquid Air, out of Medicine Hat, Alta. Packard joined the company in 1995 and drives a Super B-tanker delivering carbon dioxide in four western provinces. Jim, who works with little supervision, demonstrates leadership and a keen interest in safety. He was appointed lead hand in 2002, and conducts on-road evaluations of prospective drivers, training for new drivers and co-chairs monthly driver meetings.
Packard has accumulated over 25,000 hours of driving without a preventable accident and his record is spotless. James Patterson, a driver for 35 years is currently a driver for Advantage Personnel, which he joined in 1997. He is currently assigned to the company’s Sunbury Transport account.
Over his career, “Jim” has already received a number of safety awards, included one for 21 years of safe driving. Patterson’s employer describes him as a person with consistently high safety standards, a sense of professionalism and a positive attitude.
Driver Jean-Louis Lavoie, whose nomination was submitted by Gord McLean, recently appointed VP of operations for Unique Personnel, has been assigned to the company’s Hbc Logistics account since 1984.
He has been a professional driver since 1970 and has logged over three million miles without a preventable accident.
Lavoie has also competed in the Quebec Driver Skills Day for the past four years and has consistently finished in the top 10 in the five-axle category. His peers have elected him as their driver rep for the past six years.
Robert McLam’s employers at Praxair describe him as professional and courteous, and always willing to go the extra mile.
McLam operates tractor-trailer combos in tandem tri-axle, quad-axle and B-train configurations. He loads, transports and delivers liquid carbon dioxide from Sarnia to the Greater Toronto area.
McLam has amassed 18 years of driving without a preventable accident. He is a certified driver trainer, he is on the Praxair accident review committee and the Praxair Safety Improvement Team, and he has completed product driver training and accident investigation and evidence collection courses.
Fleet Safety Awards
The PMTCD also presented awards to two fleets with outstanding safety records:
Schneider Foods won in the medium-sized fleet category. In operation for 53 years, the company currently employs 24 drivers, and operates 17 power units and 102 trailers.
Schneider Foods covers some 1.5 million kms per year and uses an extensive safety management system. All driver applicants undergo rigorous background and medical checks, and must submit their driver abstracts. They must also interview with both human resources and the traffic and safety supervisors. Applicants must also perform written and road tests.
Once hired, drivers spend two days in-class and then train in a shunt tractor for up to three weeks.
The company’s safety policies and rules are reviewed regularly at quarterly driver meetings, attended by the safety and compliance supervisor. The latter also attends meetings of the Council of Driver Trainers.
All accidents are reported and reviewed by the Accident Committee, which includes drivers, supervisors and managers.
Safety results are posted each month, and include information on accident type, MTO vehicle inspections and results, work-related injuries and vehicle damage costs.
Hensall District Co-operative took home the award in the large fleet category.
A first-time nominee, the agriculture based farm co-op specializes in processing seeds and edible beans. The fleet has operated for 22 years and employs 92 company drivers and one owner/operator.
The company runs 82 power units (including 51 straight trucks) and over 3.5 million kms annually.
Driver applicants undergo an interview, an abstract check and a road test.
Once hired they participate in training on company policies, hours of service, trip inspections, accident reporting procedure and their role in maintaining the company’s CVOR.
Accidents are reported and reviewed by an accident review committee. Drivers are notified of the committee’s decisions and an appeal process is available to them.
The company’s fleet safety committee includes drivers. There is also a monthly driver newsletter to inform drivers of problems as well as positive news, and the company has an internal points system to en sure accountability and fair treatment of drivers.
3M vehicle graphics awards
The following are the award winners in the PMTC/3M vehicle graphics awards:
Tractor-trailer combination: Kraft Canada (Turbo Images) and Markel Professional Transport Training (Twin City Graphics) Hon. mention: DTF Trucking (Signature Graphics)
Straight Truck: Advanced Tent (Twin City Graphics) and Schneider Foods (Twin City Graphics) Hon. mention: Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL Marketing and Arco Graphics)
Special Events/Promotional: Haldimand County and KRTS (TIANA Design and Online Design), and Molson Breweries (Toronto Digital Imaging)https://www.trucknews.com/dnadmin/add_new.asp Hon. mention: RCMP (Industrial Graphics)
Nighttime safety: A&P Canada (Turbo Images) and Pizza Pizza (Avery Dennison) Hon. mention: Twin City Graphics
Light duty commercial truck: Harper Detroit Diesel Allison (Navy Blue design Studio and Toronto Digital Imaging) and Aluminum Associates (Artcal Graphics) Hon. mention: Sun Magic (Twin City Graphics) Identity fleet graphics: Erb Transport (Twin City Graphics) and Conestoga Cold Storage (Twin City Graphics) Hon. mention: Praxair Canada (Cowan Graphics)
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