Minnesota association names its Driver of the Year


With driver turnover rates at near-record highs, John Pate, Jr. is a rarity. He joined Daggett Truck Line 19 years ago — his first and only truck driving job — and remains with the Frazee, Minnesota company, logging more than 2.8 million safe miles.

Minnesota Driver of the Year Jack Pate, Jr.Minnesota Driver of the Year Jack Pate, Jr.

Not surprisingly, Pate has been Daggett’s Man of the Month four times, and was named the Minnesota Trucking Association’s Driver of the Year for 2017 recently.

“From his flawless on-time performance to his personal pride and care for his tractor and dedication to customer service, Jack is the example for all striving for true truck driving professionalism,” said Scott Boyer, director of safety at Daggett Truck Line.

“This award is a great way to honor the best in our industry,” said MTA President John Hausladen. “Driving safe is no easy task, especially when you take into consideration his daily driving conditions like congestion, driver distractions and Minnesota winters. Having more than 2.8 million safe driving miles is an accomplishment that few truck drivers are able to reach and we’re proud to award Jack for this outstanding achievement,” says John Hausladen, MTA president.

For his part, Pate said he enjoys his job because “I love the freedom and flexibility I have, and I love to the travel.”

Throughout 2017, drivers are nominated by their companies and one driver is chosen each month to be the Driver of the Month. In January, MTA hosts the Driver of the Year banquet and one of the 12 nominees is selected as Driver of the Year by a panel of judges including Matthew Marin, Division Administrator for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Deb Ledvina, Assistant Office Director of Commercial Vehicle Operations, Minnesota Department of Transportation; and Captain Jon Olsen, Minnesota State Patrol.