PTDI presents Crittenden Memorial Award to Oklahoma educator

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The Professional Truck Driver Institute presented the ninth annual Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award to Robert W. McClanahan — director of transportation and safety education at Central Tech in Drumright, Okla. — during the General Session on Tuesday, March 13, at the Truckload Carriers Association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nev.

The award is given to the person who has done the most to advance the ideals and goals of the Professional Truck Driver Institute, of which Crittenden was a staunch supporter until his death in April 1998. McClanahan’s 37 years of experience in the transportation industry has included being a driver, owner-operator, vice president of a family trucking company, operations and dispatch, recruiting and vocational education. He has been a superb advocate of truck driver training standards throughout his career, and was instrumental in the development of PTDI standards from the beginning.

McClanahan has served on the PTDI board of directors for many years, as well as the certification committee, and is chairman of the standards review committee. He was president of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools from 2002 to 2004, and is the chairperson for the legislative issues committee of that organization as well as their representative member of TCA’s image committee. McClanahan also belongs to the Oklahoma Motor Carriers Association, and he also is a reviewer for one of the industry’s main truck driver training manuals.

Throughout his tenure and participation in these organizations, McClanahan listens attentively to other points of view, he weighs all options before making a decision, and he exhibits common sense when determining a plan of action. McClanahan is most knowledgeable in the truck driver training field because of his passion for safety, and he takes the time and makes the effort to become informed. His actions reflect a practical, realistic approach to change, and he is respected nationwide.

According to Chuck Collins, executive director of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, “When Robert was president of NAPFTDS, his leadership took that young association a giant step forward. At the heart of his philosophy is safety, and at the core of his concern is the student’s welfare as well as the employer’s needs.”

In presenting the award, PTDI Chairman Ray Haight, who also is executive director of MacKinnon Transport, said “Robert has been instrumental in helping to keep PTDI moving forward, he has labored and reviewed the standards, and he has worked diligently with his committee to keep these standards at their highest quality.”

PTDI currently has certified entry-level training courses at 61 schools in 28 states and Canada.