Penske driver named TRALA Driver of Year

user-gravatar

John Merritts of Columbus, Ohio, has logged more than two million accident-free miles driving tractor-trailers durign the past 30 years. For his lifetime performance of safe driving, Merritts was selected as the Truck Renting and Leasing Association’s (TRALA) 2007 Driver of the Year. The award program is sponsored by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Merritts, an employee of Penske Logistics, was recognized at TRALA’s 2007 annual meeting Friday, March 23, in Palm Springs, Calif. In addition to an all-expense-paid trip to the event for himself and his wife, Karen, Merritts received a trophy and a cash prize.

Merritts puts his driving skills to good use as a trainer and orientation leader for new drivers. He is a dispatcher for weekend shifts and is the safety committee chairman, and he has served for seven years as the Truck Rodeo chairman for the Columbus operation. Penske Logistics nominated Merritts for the award.

This year, drivers receiving certificates of merit for their outstanding service are:

  • Laverne Mee, of AIM Dedicated Logistics of Girard, Ohio, nominated by AIM NationaLease;
  • Edward Gozdziak, of TMSI Transport of Cheektowala, N.Y., nominated by DeCarolis Truck Rental;
  • Junior Cotterman, of Alcoa of Sidney, Ohio, nominated by Kirk NationaLease;
  • Chad Van Hoose, of KBT of Sidney, Ohio, nominated by Kirk NationaLease;
  • Randy Henley, of C.N. Brown Co. of South Paris, Maine, nominated by Kris-Way Truck Leasing;
  • Larry Holmquist, of Webber Energy Fuel of Bangor, Maine, nominated by Kris-Way Truck Leasing;
  • Gregory Lorentz, of Dunkin Donuts of Bellingham, Mass., nominated by Kris-Way Truck Leasing;
  • Kenneth Conrad, of RSD Transportation of White River Junction, Vt., nominated by RSD Transportation;
  • Gary McLendon, of Penske Logistics of Dallas, nominated by Penske Logistics;
  • Michael Baity, of Unifi Inc., of Madison, N.C., nominated by Salem NationaLease;
  • Robert Baity, of Unifi Inc., of Madison, N.C., nominated by Salem NationaLease;
  • William Brawley, of Unifi Inc., of Madison, N.C., nominated by Salem NationaLease;
  • Russell Edwards, of Unifi Inc., of Madison, N.C., nominated by Salem NationaLease;
  • Steve Faw, of Unifi Inc., of Madison, N.C., nominated by Salem NationaLease;
  • James Willard, of Unifi Inc., of Madison, N.C., nominated by Salem NationaLease;
  • Johnny Campbell, of Salem Carriers of Winston-Salem, N.C., nominated by Salem NationaLease; and
  • Robert Hannah, of Salem Carriers of Winston-Salem, N.C., nominated by Salem NationaLease.

    TRALA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a voluntary nonprofit national trade association organized in 1978 to provide a unified and focused voice for the truck renting and leasing industry. Its membership includes more than 500 leasing and rental firms and 110 suppliers that make up nearly the entire truck renting and leasing industry. The renting and leasing industry is responsible for about 35 percent of all new Class 3-8 commercial truck registrations.