The Truckload Carriers Association honored a number of individuals during its annual convention this week, held at the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas.

Its prestigious Past Chairman's Award was given posthumously to Richard "Buck" Jenkins, co-owner of Diamond Transportation System, Racine, Wis. Jenkins, a TCA member for 36 years, served as a TCA officer and treasurer from 2000-2004 and also served as chairman of the Bylaws Committee from 1992-1993 and 1997-1998. He was heavily involved in the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association (WMCA) and served numerous positions, including chairman.
In the 21st Annual TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest, the grand prize went to John Gill, who has contracted with Eagan, Minn.-based Dart Transit Company for more than 25 years and has logged more than 3 million accident-free truckload miles. He has earned the National Safety Council's Three Million Mile Safety Award and is a past recipient of Dart Transit's Contractor of the Year award. Gill volunteers as a Trucker Buddy, as well as for the Boy Scouts, the Gallia County Senior Center, the 4H, and the Red Cross. The second place winner was another Dart contractor, Billy Smith, who has been driving for more than 20 years and has contracted with Dart Transit Company since 1995. He has logged more than 4 million accident-free truckload miles during his career. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Smith volunteered for F.E.M.A.'s hurricane relief efforts. The third place winner was Jimmy McSwain, who has contracted with Lakeland, Fla.-based Sunco Carriers for more than 16 years and has logged more than 3 million accident-free truckload miles. He was recently nominated for the 2008 Florida Road Team. In 2006, he was named the Florida Trucking Association's Driver of the Year; in 1995 he was named Sunco Carriers' Contractor of the Year.
In the 19th Annual Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest, the grand prize winner was Doug Ladds, a truck driver for 24 years, working for MacKinnon Transport, Guelph, Ontario, since 1994. During his career, he has logged more than 3.6 million accident-free truckload kilometers. The company's head driver trainer, Ladds is the first driver to attain the President level of MacKinnon's Road Masters Program, an initiative designed to recognize both a driver's safety-first attitude and his general knowledge of the trucking industry. Ladds is currently serving a two-year term on the Ontario Trucking Association's Road Knight Team, and in 2001 received TCA's Highway Angel Award for assisting three young motorists in a burning vehicle.
Second place winner was John Pipes, a driver for Con-way Truckload since 1988 who has logged more than 2.9 million accident-free truckload miles. He is a past winner of the Missouri Motor Carriers Association's Roland Clark Award, a certified driving instructor, and has completed basic firefighter and auto rescue classes so he can be better equipped to help stranded motorists if necessary. Third place went to Steven French, a driver with Anderson Trucking Service, Saint Cloud, Minn., since 1995. During his career, he has logged more than 1.2 million accident-free truckload miles. French is a member of Highway Watch, and takes great pride in stopping to help stranded motorists, particularly when he is traveling the Alcan Highway back and forth to Alaska.