Drivers, trainers, companies receive yearly recognition awards

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Ten trucking companies — FFE Transportation Services, TMC Transportation, Transport America, Fairfield Trucking, Aarow Trucking, Merit Transportation, Warren Transport, the Evans Network, Epes Transport and Southern Cal Transport — announced that their drivers and trainers have been recognized with yearly achievement awards for various accomplishments.

FFE driver honored with TMTA award

Texas Motor Transportation Association named Wayne Lowe of FFE Transportation Services 2007 Driver of the Year. Lowe was one of 27 drivers nominated. TMTA’s Driver of the Year award is an annual program with a 20-year history.

“Wayne was the obvious choice as this year’s award recipient,” says John Esparza, president of TMTA. “With over 4 million accident-free miles and a partnership of 37 years with FFE Transportation Services, it’s not often that you see a true professional driver behind the wheel that has longevity with one company.”

Lowe, who has driven a truck for more than 39 years, began driving a grain truck to Shreveport, La., while he was still in high school. During the Vietnam War, Lowe was drafted into the Army at the age of 21, bringing his transportation experience to his assigned duty station in Anchorage, Alaska.

Ten days after being discharged, Lowe took a driving test to work for FFE Transportation Services and was hired on the spot. Four decades and four million miles later, Lowe is still driving for FEE at the age of 63.

“Lowe is one of the industry’s most dedicated and professional drivers,” says David Hedgpeth, vice president of corporate compliance and safety for Dallas-based FFE. “But he is also compassionate. Wayne recently aided a family involved in a winter accident about 100 miles outside of Denver – going above and beyond what would normally be expected. He is what I call the ‘salt of the earth.’ ”

TMC Transportation crowns 2006 Wheel Master

TMC Transportation recognized driver Bill Copenhaver with the company’s highest driver honor, the 2006 Wheel Master Award. Copenhaver, who has been with TMC since November 1998, also was recognized with the Des Moines, Iowa-based company’s Driver of the Quarter Award for the fourth quarter in 2005.

The Wheel Master program was created as a way of recognizing TMC’s best drivers. Each year, a driver is honored with the Wheel Master distinction based on years of service, safe driving record and overall quality performance.

TMC also recently honored driver Dan Erickson with the Driver of the First Quarter award for 2007. Erickson, a 34-year road veteran, has been with TMC since 1986. Criteria for Driver of the Quarter recognition includes years of service with the company, safe driving record, excellent customer service, professionalism and overall quality performance. Once a driver is recognized as a Driver of the Quarter, they are eligible to receive the Wheel Master Award.

Transport America instructors receive 2006 Top Gun Award

Transport America recently recognized the recipients of its 2006 Top Gun Award, which is presented to the three top-performing driver instructors who have gone above and beyond what is expected for the Eagan, Minn.-based company.

The recipients were Dan Walsh, based out of Pennsylvania and with Transport America for three years; Mike Zerkle, based out of Ohio and with Transport America for nine years; and Steve Stearns, based out of Wisconsin and with Transport America for 14 years, with his last 10 years as a driver instructor.

To be considered for the award, each instructor had to have successfully trained at least six students and had no accidents, tickets or service failures. In addition, each driver instructor’s performance was reviewed in areas such as student retention rate and student performance, as well as how much positive impact the instructor had on his trainees. Finally, the director of safety, driver instructor managers and the director of fleet operations reviewed the instructors’ qualifications for approval.

Scott Arves, president and chief executive officer of Transport America, presented the three Top Gun winners with their awards during a presentation held at Transport America’s headquarters, which was followed by a dinner with the executive staff.

Peggy Farra, vice pesident of recruiting and safety, acknowledged that each of the three winners is a huge asset to the training program and the success of the company as a whole. “Dan, Mike and Steve have set the standards high with their exceptional performance as instructors,” Peggy says. “We sincerely appreciate what they continue to do for the success of this program.”

‘T-Bone’ feted by Arkansas Trucking Association

Fairfield Trucking Inc. driver Charlie “T-Bone” Blake recently was named 2006 Driver of the Year by the Arkansas Trucking Assocation. Blake was presented the honor at the Arkansas Trucking Association Safety Award luncheon.

A trucking veteran of 44 years, Blake has been an owner-operator at Fairfield for 24 years. He has more than five million safe miles, two million of those with Fairfield. “Safe driving all those years sure wasn’t easy,” Blake says. “But you just have to do your best to stay alert, and the rest just comes down to being lucky.”

Arrow Trucking recognizes driver, trainer

Arrow Trucking Inc. recently recognized Lou Bradley as Driver of the Year for 2006 and Dan Sibert as Trainer of the Year for 2006.

Bradley, who has been with Arrow for nearly 16 years, was recognized as both Trainer of the Month and as A Million-Mile Driver. Bradley has trained many drivers who now are operating their own units.

Sibert, who has been with Arrow for more than four years and has trained several students, also makes suggestions for improving the company’s training methods.

Merit merits civic award

Merit Transportation of Omaha, Neb., recently was a winner of the city’s 2007 Excellence in Business Award in the 126-plus employees category. The Omaha 25 Excellence in Business Award is given each year to recognize an individual or a small business from the Greater Omaha area for their contributions to the positive growth of the business community.

Merit has expanded from a fleet of 15 trucks when President Gary Wills started the operation in 1999 to 325 power units and 505 trailers today.

Warren Transport tops in safety contest

Warren Transport recently placed first in its division of competition in the 2006 North Dakota Truck Fleet Safety Contest. The award is based on Warren’s safety record in North Dakota as compared with the other safest carriers that operate in the state. Warren operated nearly half a million miles in North Dakota without an accident.

Warren representative Ernie Bailey accepted the award from Dave Tooley, representative of Great West Casualty, at the annual N.D.M.C.A. convention.

Evans Network names driver safety prize winner

The Evans Network of Companies recently announced its annual driver safety grand prize recipient, Luis Uribe of Pennsauken, N.J., who was awarded a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Uribe has been employed with the company for seven years, working out of the Philadelphia terminal.

The Evans Network provides trucking and logistics services worldwide. Drivers for the program are eligible if they follow all government rules and regulations, such as completing daily logs and inspections, along with maintaining zero accidents or incidents.

Epes fetes top drivers at awards banquet

Truckload carrier Epes Transport System recently held an awards banquet at the Embassy Suites in Greensboro, N.C., to honor the company’s Top Achievers. The award recognizes Epes drivers who provided flawless service and remained accident-free throughout the past year.

EPES honors its Top Achievers annually, and more than 300 drivers were recognized at the banquet. Also recognized was a group of drivers who have received the honor for 10 or more consecutive years: James Shaver, Hoyt Whitmore, William Wilbourne, Myron Leath, Keith Spurgeon, Joseph White and Edward Schnell (10 years); Jimmy Earlywine, Rodgers Mitchell, Marvin Tillman, Charlie Valentine, Dennis McGheeney and Anthony Feener (11 years); and Bobby Fowler, Bradley Parrish and Wayne Prewer (12 years).

“I love people who do an outstanding job in such a professional manner,” says Al Bodford, owner of Epes. “Thanks also to all the spouses who attended. A Top Achiever needs family support to excel”.

Southern Cal Transport a repeat winner

Southern Cal Transport once again was named Landstar Global Logistics Truckload Carrier of the Year at their recent national meeting held in Nashville, Tenn.

The honor is given to the carrier that continually shows excellent performance, including on-time service, communication and flexibility in hauling a mixture of expedited and other time-sensitive loads for their national clients. All carriers with fleets less than 1,000 power units are eligible for the award.

Landstar Global Logistics chose the winner, and independent agents who handle intermodal shipments were surveyed to assist in the decision-making process to decide the recipient.