Each of TCA's 5 Professional Drivers of the Year receives $20,000

Updated Apr 2, 2024
Professional Drivers of the Year
Truckload Carriers Association

Five truckers were recently named the 2024 Truckload Carriers Association's Professional Drivers of the Year.

The announcement was made Tuesday evening March 26, during the annual closing banquet at the TCA's annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. The contest is sponsored by Cummins Inc. and Love’s Travel Stops.

TCA’s 2024 Professional Drivers of the Year are:

  • Tim Chelette, Big G Express
  • Rosalinda Tejada, Knight Transportation 
  • Howard Robinson, NFI Industries 
  • Clark Reed, Nussbaum Transportation 
  • James White, P&S Transportation

 Each driver received $20,000. 

Tim Chelette

Tim CheletteTim Chelette​Chelette has driven 1.9 million safe miles over his 22-year driving career, the last 18 of which were with Big G Express. He has been recognized as the Tennessee Trucking Association’s 2018 Tennessee Driver of the Year, Big G Express Driver of the Year and Pilot Truck Stops’ Driver of the Year. 

​“Each and every time I sit behind the wheel of that semi-truck, I feel like it’s my job not just to make sure I get home safely to my family, but it’s my job to make sure you get home to your family,” he says. “If we could all consider that mindset to put safety first, maybe we can get that fatality rate down to zero.”

Chalette lost 130 pounds this past year to better his personal health and actively advocates healthy habits by sharing his story and the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

Rosalinda Tejada

Rosalinda TejadaRosalinda TejadaTejada exemplifies the image of a consummate professional driver, according to Knight Transportation.

She was selected as the first member of the Fleet of Miracles for the Children’s Miracle Network. 

According to a statement on the TCA website, Tejada faced numerous challenges, including an abusive relationship and several family emergencies. Nonetheless, she got her CDL, pursued a career in trucking, thrived as a professional truck driver, and overcame financial hurdles.

“Trucking opened up my horizon,” Rosalinda says. “A lot of my students see me as a mother, or big sister, I’m glad that I’m able to be that voice for them.”

Howard Robinson

Howard RobinsonHoward RobinsonColleagues at NFI say the 81-year-old Robinson is a joy to work with. He is always ready to share advice, expressing that if he can conquer his own challenges, anyone can accomplish whatever they set their hearts and minds to. Howard is a 2023 Million Mile Award-winner and has driven 29 years for NFI.

In his earlier years, Howard served in the Army and at one point, he grappled with addiction to drugs, alcohol, and gambling, according to the TCA website. However, his life took a turn when he crossed paths with Judy, his future wife.

Together, Howard and Judy started a prison ministry to serve the state prison and county jail. 

Clark Reed

Clark ReedClark ReedReed is a nine-year professional truck driver with Nussbaum Transportation and is an outspoken evangelist for safety, efficiency, and patience.  Clark regularly engages fellow drivers and the public at events like the Iowa-80 Truck Stop Jamboree or Mid-America Trucking Show to discuss topics like road safety, fuel economy and efficiency-boosting technologies. 

Clark is the only driver in the history of Nussbaum with a perfect record of Platinum on the monthly driver scorecard and he also completed the company’s Certified RED professional driving certification w hich requires even more additional safe miles driven.

He participated in a fireside chat with U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm in 2021. Reed is a Team Run Smart Pro with Freightliner and contributed 25 informational videos last year. He is also very active on social media advocating for drivers, roadway safety, and all things trucking.

James White

James WhiteJames WhiteWhite, a professional driver with P&S Transportation, has made a tremendous impact on his fellow drivers and the trucking industry for 27 years, according to the company. He encourages other drivers in a recruiting capacity and has brought many qualified drivers on board.

His demeanor and work ethic have led to numerous awards including P&S Transportation 2 Million Mile Safe Driver Club, P&S Transportation 2022 Independent Contractor of the Year, P&S Transportation Legends Club and P&S Transportation Driver of the Month.

White grew up in poverty and has worked hard to be a successful professional driver and when he hears of someone in need, he freely offers help.

He and his wife, Ruby, hold yearly community cookouts at their home and James has also been a deacon at his church for 26 years. He is also a dedicated driver for church events, serves on the church financial committee, and funds a college education for a student at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas.

​In 2015, Clark suffered a massive blood clot in his leg which he believes was caused by a lack of exercise. He adjusted his lifestyle on the road to include more physical activity and he continues today to share his story and encourage other drivers to stop, take breaks, and be active.

 “To be selected for this top honor, each of these professional drivers have truly set an example when it comes to safety, work ethic and making a difference in their communities,” said Jon Archard, Love’s vice president of sales. “These drivers represent a lot of the same core values we aspire to here at Love’s, and we’re excited to see what they’ll continue to accomplish.”

Cummins Inc. Vice President and GM North America On-Highway, José Samperio, added. “At Cummins we are incredibly proud to sponsor this competition to help highlight the drivers that are the heartbeat of this great industry. These drivers represent the impact that they’ve had not only in their workspace but also to our economy and in our communities.”

 Nominations for next year’s TCA Professional Drivers of the Year will open this fall and additional information can be found at www.TCAProfessionalDriversoftheYear.com.