The Truckload Carriers Association has announced the finalists for its 2009 Company Equipment Driver of the Year contest and the Owner Operator Driver of the Year contest.

The finalists for its Owner Operator contest include Steven Recker or Warren Transport, Larry Severson of Dart Transit Co. and Woodrow Walker, who's also at Dart.

Within the Company Equipment category, the contenders will be Gordon Colvin of Con-way Truckload, Richard Gassman of Greatwide Dedicated Transfer and Brian Rhodes of Con-way Truckload.

Both contests are co-sponsored by TCA.

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 for at least three years. 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 rankings of which finalists will receive the Grand Prize, second place and third place for each contest will be announced at TCA's Annual Convention on Feb. 28 through March 3, 2010, at the Wynn Las Vegas.