WINNIPEG — There might be something in the water in Manitoba, or it might just be a coincidence, but Canada’s best driver and dispatcher both call our country’s middle province home.
Burton “Bud” Rush from Oakbank, Man. was recently named the 2008 Canadian Trucking Alliance/Volvo Trucks Canada National Driver of the Year. At the same banquet, Janet Murray of Warren, Man. was named Canada’s 2008 Dispatcher of the Year by Shaw Tracking and the CTA.
Rush is a transport driver with Armstrong Moving and Storage — a division of United Van Lines Canada — and has driven 6.6 million collision free kilometres in 40 years of commercial truck driving.
“Bud Rush exemplifies the outstanding truck drivers with whom Canadians share the road,” says David Bradley, CEO of the CTA. “It is a great honor to recognize him with this highly coveted award.”
Each year the award goes to a professional transport driver who has a collision-free driving record and is an exemplary truck driver both on and off the road. The winner is selected from provincial Drivers of the Year award winners in their own province.
Rush had an interesting start to his career. He played hockey throughout his school years and started driving truck for a local company when he was old enough. While playing for the St. James Canadians, he was named Most Valuable Player in the Turnbull Cup championship and was subsequently drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1969. He played one season before team doctors diagnosed a heart condition, which sidelined his dream and saw him return to Winnipeg.
After a stint at the University of Winnipeg Rush decided he liked truck driving so much he would pursue it as a full-time career. He bought a tractor-trailer and contracted his services to United Van Lines. Rush transports household goods to destinations all over Canada. In his own words: “wherever there are roads, I go.”
When not on the road, Rush is active in his community, where he serves as a volunteer firefighter and previously coached boys’ hockey for many years.
Canada’s 2008 Dispatcher of the Year Janet Murray is a dispatcher with Payne Transportation.
Murray got her start in the transportation industry 13 years ago when she obtained her truck driving license so she could join her long-distance truck driver husband on the road as a team driver. After a period of time as a truck driver, the one-time nurses’ aide and administrative assistant moved into the operations side of the trucking industry to become a dispatcher.
The Shaw Tracking/CTA National Dispatcher of the Year award is bestowed annually to a dispatcher who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to customer service, safety, driver well being, courtesy, team work, problem solving and community service/volunteer work. The winner is selected from dispatchers who have won the award at the provincial level in each of Canada’s provinces.
Murray credits her job satisfaction to the people she works with and to the time she spent on the road as a truck driver.
“I’m glad I drove for a while because I know what the drivers are going through,” says the newly minted dispatcher of the year. “I understand where they are coming from. I like the challenge in making things work, making the drivers and customers happy.”
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