Driver of the Year winners revealed at TCA convention

by Sonia Straface

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The winners of the coveted Driver of the Year contest were revealed during the 80th annual Truckload Carriers Association’s convention.

Stephen Richardson (center) wins Driver of the Year contest. 

The awards, given to one owner-operator and one company driver each year, recognize professional drivers who are safe, enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and make influential contributions to their communities. The winners of the award represent the most professional drivers in the industry.

This year, taking home the grand prize in the company driver category was Stephen Richardson who drives for Big G Express. Richardson has accumulated more than 3.4 million accident-free miles over the span of his 27-year career so far. He was named the Tennessee Trucking Association’s Driver of the Year in 2014 and is a current America’s Road Team Captain.

“I have to thank my wife for supporting me during almost 17 years of marriage,” he said while accepting the award. “I have to thank Big G for giving me all the opportunities. I mean they have been supportive and everything they put me up for…everything I’ve done, I’ve tried to do my best to make myself look good…and especially my company. It just means the world to me.”

Runners up of the Company Driver of the Year Award included Donald Lewis of Wilson Logistics and Roger Wyble of Maverick Transportation.

Philip Keith, an owner-operator who drives for WEL Companies, was named the Owner Operator of the Year.

Philip Keith (second in from right) wins Owner Operator of the Year contest.

Keith has been in the trucking space for 34 years. In 2016 he was the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association Driver of the Year. He also has three separate best in show wins at the World’s Largest Truck Convoy.

“I want to thank the TCA and all its members for all you do for this industry,” he said upon accepting the award. “There’s only 24,000 miles around the equator, so keeping that in mind, (myself and the finalists) have been in orbit for a long time. I’m proud to share the road with my fellow professional drivers and I hope to inspire others to be more like us.”

Runners up of the Owner Operator Driver of the Year Award included Kevin Kocmich of Diamond Transportation System and Bryan Smith of Art Pape Transfer.

The grand prize winners took home a US$25,000 check as part of the award.

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