Nominations sought for top rookie truck driver

Last year’s top rookie Julie Matulle of Oshkosh, Wisc. joined on stage at the Great American Trucking Show by Rob Behnke (left) of Fox Valley Technical and Brad Bentley, president of the Truckload Carriers Association (right).

Four years ago, Randall-Reilly (parent company of Truckers News) launched a Trucking’s Top Rookie contest to increase pride and professionalism among new drivers, and promote the truck driving career choice during a severe shortage of drivers. Through its many trucking periodicals and industry partners, like Shell ROTELLA, Progressive Insurance, Pilot Flying J and Rand McNally, Randall-Reilly has been able to promote the contest and to recognize 155 nominees thus far.

“Support from these sponsors and association partnerships with Truckload Carriers Association, American Trucking Association, Commercial Vehicle Training Association, and National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools have been the key to the program’s success,” Scott Miller, senior vice president, sales for Randall-Reilly, said. “We have built a lot of momentum and hope to have 60 nominees compete for more than $25,000 in cash and prizes in 2015.”

Any CDL holder who has graduated from a PTDI certified or NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school within the past year and has been employed by a trucking company for less than one year, is eligible for the Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie award.

Nominations may be made by motor carrier employers, training organizations, and/or other interested parties. There is a standardized nomination form, which can be completed online at between May 15 and June 26.

An expert panel of judges, which includes representatives from motor carriers, suppliers, trade associations and driver training schools, will identify 10 finalists. The winner will be interviewed by Eric Harley on RedEye Radio Network and will be recognized during a press conference at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas.

The winner will also receive:

  • $10,000 check;
  • a custom plaque from Award Company of America;
  • a RoadPro Getting Started Living On-The-Go Package;
  • $1,000 cash and 100,000 MyRewards points from Pilot Flying J;
  • a GPS unit from Rand McNally;
  • an American Trucking Associations “Trucking Moves America Forward” package;
  • and a dash camera from Cobra Electronics.

The other nine finalists will receive $1,000 and a similar prize pack.