One of three driver finalists in each contest - the Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest and the TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest - will be awarded the Grand Prize during TCA's Annual Convention, March 8-11, at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla.
The overall goal of both contests is to recognize and pay tribute to the outstanding company equipment and owner operator truck drivers who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation's goods. The finalists and subsequent grand prize winners will be recognized and honored based on their performance record, ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and positive contributions to the community in which they live.
To be eligible for the contests, driver applicants had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles and being employed by or leased to a TCA-member trucking company. Trucking companies were limited to nominating only five drivers for each contest.
Each of the three driver finalists for each contest was judged on his final application form, which includes operating information, verification of work history, safety record, equipment specifications (pertains to the Owner Operator contest only), a 300-word essay explaining why the entrant should be a candidate for the grand prize, and a 300-word essay explaining how the entrant is a good "Trucking Citizen."
The grand prize winner of the Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest will receive a Cummins engine-powered Dodge Ram pick-up truck. The TCA Owner Operator of the Year grand prize winner will receive a new International LoneStar tractor (prize includes payment of the Federal excise tax), with a Cummins ISX-550-horsepower engine, an Eaton transmission, and Goodyear G300 series Fuel Max tires.
The second and third place winners in each contest will also receive a variety of prizes.
Company Equipment Driver of the Year Contest Finalists (listed in alphabetical order):
* Ralph Boles, Bison Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Boles has driven more than 4.5 million accident-free truckload miles over the past 34 years.
* Robert Harmeyer, Batesville Casket Company, Batesville, Ind. Harmeyer has driven more than 2.4 million accident-free truckload miles since 1988.
* James Loveland, WSE Transportation, Elm Springs, Ark. Loveland has driven 1.6 million accident-free truckload miles over the past decade.
TCA Owner Operator Driver of the Year Contest Finalists (listed in alphabetical order)
* Gerald Clouse, Dart Transit Company, Eagan, Minn. Clouse has driven 3.4 million accident-free truckload miles and has been leased to Dart Transit Co. for the past 22 years.
* Clark Lett, Dart Transit Company, Eagan, Minn. Lett has driven 3+ million accident-free truckload miles over the past decade.
* Wayne Lowe, FFE Transportation Services, Lancaster, Texas. Lowe has driven 4.5 million accident-free truckload miles and has been associated with FFE since 1967.