Heritage Transport’s Shirar honored as TRALA Driver of Year

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Dennis R. Shirar of Indianapolis, who has logged more than 3 million accident-free miles driving tractor-trailers over the past 31 years, was selected as the Truck Renting and Leasing Association’s 2009 Driver of the Year. This award program is sponsored by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Shirar, an employee of Heritage Transport, was recognized at TRALA’s 2009 Annual Meeting on March 12 in Carlsbad, Calif. In addition to an all-expense paid trip to the event for himself and his wife, Patty, Shirar received a trophy and cash prize.

“This is a distinct honor that our industry bestows each year upon only one driver possessing the highest excellence in driving and safety standards, as demonstrated throughout their careers,” says Peter J. Vroom, TRALA president and chief executive officer. “Dennis Shirar was chosen 2009 Driver of the Year because of his outstanding driving and safety record. He has driven without an accident and maintained a perfect driver’s log for 31 consecutive years.”

Shirar’s accomplishments speak for themselves: He previously was named 2008 Indiana Motor Trucking Association’s Master Truck Driver; was named 2008 Grand Champion at the American Trucking Associations Truck Driving Championships; has received multiple first- and second-place victories at IMTA and ATA Truck Driving Championships over the past 12 years; and has been awarded the Safe Driving Award from Vanguard for the past 17 years. In addition, he also is a member of the Irvington United Methodist Church and a board member of the 379th WWII Bomb Group.

“Heritage prides itself in hiring safe, courteous and dependable drivers, and Dennis has personified what we have stood for during his five years with the company,” says Heritage Transport President Dean DeSantis. “Dennis is a professional driver who prides himself in on-time pickup/delivery and attention to compliance detail, and Heritage is fortunate to have such a dedicated employee. Dennis is well-deserving of this honor, and we are extremely proud that he has been recognized for his accomplishments by TRALA.”

This year, four drivers received certificates of merit for their outstanding service:

  • Kevin Berke, Rochester Welding Supply Co., Rochester, N.Y., nominated by DeCarolis Truck Rental;
  • Jerry Dancy, Cargo Transporters Inc., Rochester, nominated by Catawba Rental Co.;
  • Steven Erickson, Aim Dedicated Logistics, Pittsburgh, nominated by Aim NationaLease; and
  • John Sheppard Jr., JHE Production Group, Iron Station, N.C., nominated by Southeastern Leasing and Rental Co.
  • 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. TRALA’s membership includes more than 600 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.