The finalists have been chosen for this year’s Mike O’Connell Trucking’s Top Rookie Award presented by Truckers News.
The winner will be announced during a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 at the Great American Trucking Show at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.
The finalists, where they’re from, the companies they drive for and the driving school they attended include:
Stevensville, Montana; Jim Palmer Trucking; Sage Truck Driving School
Coupland, Texas; TMC Transportation; Roadmaster Drivers School
Deltona, Florida; Celadon Trucking; Sage Truck Driving School
Weedsport, New York; H.O. Wolding; National Tractor Trailer School
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Melton Truck Lines; Allstate Careers
Springfield, Missouri; Tri-State Motor Transit; Midwest Technical Institute
McKinney, Texas; Stevens Transport; Stevens Training Academy
Martinsville, Virginia; Epes Transportation Systems; CDS Tractor Trailer Training
Westville, Florida; Werner Enterprises; U.S Truck Driving School
Truckers News will be running detailed feature profiles on each of the finalists between now and the awards ceremony at GATS.
The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from the trucking industry and truck driver training organizations.
The winner receives $10,000 and numerous prizes. The other finalists receive $1,000 each and a package of prizes.
“Our judges had their work cut out for them this year,” said David Hollis, editor of Truckers News. “We received nominations of numerous talented rookie drivers any carrier would be lucky to have working for them.”
Partnering with Truckers News in the search for Trucking’s Top Rookie are the three national organizations overseeing truck driver training:
- Commercial Vehicle Training Association
- National Association Of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools
- Professional Truck Driver Institute
Sponsors giving prizes to the finalists include:
- RoadPro Family of Brands
- Rand McNally
Recognizing the top rookie driver was the idea of the late Mike O’Connell, who was formerly the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. He believed that honoring a top rookie driver helped show new drivers they are appreciated by the trucking industry.
So, eight years ago, Randall-Reilly, the parent company of Truckers News, pursued that suggestion, and today the Trucking’s Top Rookie contest focuses attention on the professionalism of drivers in the industry for less than a year. It also promotes truck driving as a viable career choice during a time when there is a shortage of drivers.