A trucker in his 41st year in the profession was named National Driver of the Year by the American Trucking Associations’ Safety Management Council.
Gary Plant, who drives for Walmart Transportation, was honored Wednesday at the ATA’s Safety, Security and Human Resources National Conference and Exhibition in Memphis, Tennessee.
Plant, has driven 4.4 million safe miles and has not been involved in a preventable or non-preventable accident and has never been cited for a moving or traffic violation.
A 27-year veteran of Walmart Transportation, Plant has worked at a total of four trucking companies during his time in the industry. He typically operates a 5-axle sleeper berth tractor-trailer, averaging 125,000 miles per year.
As a frequent truck driving championships competitor at the state and national levels, Plant has won 11 state titles and six top 10 finishes at nationals, including two second place trophies at the National Truck Driving Championships.
ATA’s National Driver of the Year Award recognizes one exceptional driver for significant and career-long professional achievements, and a stellar safety record. The driver is selected from a pool of Drivers of the Year submitted by the organization’s affiliated state trucking associations. Each candidates’ qualifications are reviewed by a group of industry safety professionals. These judges then narrow the field of nominees to a group of finalists who are judged by a panel of Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and law enforcement representatives, who select the award winner.
The ATA also handed out several other awards.
The ATA President’s Award was given to three companies that exhibited safety excellence in their daily operations including:
- Fortune Transportation, a for-hire, general commodities truckload operation headquartered in Windom, Minnesota, for fleets under 25 million miles
- A. Duie Pyle, a for-hire, general commodities, less than truckload motor carrier headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, for fleets between 25 million and 100 million miles
- Ruan Transportation, a for-hire, general commodities truckload, flatbed and tank truck carrier located in Des Moines, Iowa, for fleets with more than 100 million miles.
Old Dominion Freight Line was presented the Excellence in Security Award and ABF Freight System Inc. was honored with the Excellence in Claims and Loss Prevention Award.
The Arkansas Trucking Association was honored with the ATA State Excellence in Safety Award, given annually to a state trucking association.