The Minnesota Trucking Association recently named Jerry Stephens, a professional truck driver for Autumn Transport, a bulk commodities carrier in Woodbury, Minnesota, as the 2021 Minnesota Driver of the Year during an Award ceremony Jan. 25.
“This award is a great way to honor the best in our industry," said John Hausladen, MTA president. "Driving safe is no easy task, especially when you take into consideration his daily driving conditions like congestion, driver distractions, and the added challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Having over 3.6 million safe driving miles is an outstanding accomplishment. We're proud to award Jerry for this achievement.”
Since he began driving for Autumn Transport, Jerry has run a dedicated route from Marble Hill, Georgia to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, in his 2015 Peterbilt 389, hauling a pneumatic tanker of ground limestone used to produce caulk.
“Jerry has been driving with Autumn Transport for 16 years. He comes from a family of truck drivers, and cares about the image of the industry and the responsibility he has been given to drive a truck,” said Chris Senty, safety director for Autumn Transport."
“Being a truck driver means the world to me,” said Stephens. “Not only do I get to do the job I love, but I get to carry on the family tradition.”
Throughout 2021, exceptional drivers were nominated by their companies and one driver is chosen each month to be the Driver of the Month. The drivers who are chosen meet a high standard of requirements including an outstanding driving and work record; contribution to industry and highway safety; and involvement in the community.
One of the 12 monthly nominees is then selected as Driver of the Year by a panel of judges including Matthew Marin, Division Administrator for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Shelly Meyer, MnDOT and Captain Jon Olsen, Minnesota State Patrol.