Company Driver of the Year winner’s focus is safety

A veteran driver for one of North America’s largest trucking companies is the Company Driver of the Year for 2016.

Murray Manuliak, who drives for Bison Transport, was honored Tuesday night, March 28, during the awards banquet of the Truckload Carriers Association convention held in Nashville, Tennessee. The award is presented by the TCA and Truckers News.

Company Driver of the Year Murray Manuliak, who drives for Bison TransportCompany Driver of the Year Murray Manuliak, who drives for Bison Transport

Also Tuesday, Landstar Systems’ Gary Buchs was named 2016 Owner/Operator of the Year. That award is presented by TCA and Overdrive. Manuliak and Buchs each receive $25,000.

Both Driver of the Year awards are sponsored by Cummins and Love’s Travel Stops.

Manuliak has been a driver for 24 years — including 14 with Bison — and clocked more than 3 million safe miles. Throughout his career, Manuliak has always focused on safety, both as a driver and a trainer.

Accepting his award, he said, “If I had to name one factor that’s brought me to today’s achievement, it’s certainly safety. As professional drivers, we have a responsibility to be sure we are keeping ourselves and people around us on the road safe.

“I keep safety in the forefront of everything I do. I drive safe. I teach safety to new Bison drivers. Safety is at the foundation of my success.”

The other company driver finalists were William Poteet of Saddle Creek Transportation and David McGowan of WEL Companies. The other owner-operator finalists were Philip Keith, leased to WEL Companies, and Kevin Kocmich, leased to Diamond Transportation System. The four runners-up receive $2,500 each.

Manuliak’s win was one of several trips to the podium made by Bison personnel during the TCA convention. The Manitoba, Canada-based company won the Best Fleets To Drive For award for large fleets and Bison Transport President and CEO Rob Penner was named TCA’s chairman for 2017-2018.