Trucker with 50 years on the road named Virginia's Driver of the Year

Updated May 19, 2024
John Lebnick
Virginia Trucking Association

The Virginia Trucking Association presented its 2024 Safety Awards during its recent Safety and Human Resources Conference, held at Wintergreen Resort in Nellysford, Virginia. The VTA safety awards are sponsored by Nansemond Insurance Agency of Suffolk, Virginia.

The award winners were:

John LebnickJohn Lebnick, Driver of the YearVirginia Trucking AssociationJohn Lebnick of Waynesboro, Virginia, and a driver for Walmart Transportation in Mount Crawford, VA was named the 2024 Virginia Truck Driver of the Year. Lebnick has logged over 4.3 million consecutive safe driving miles without a DOT reportable or preventable accident in his 50-year driving career. He was awarded the Ohio Gentleman's Driver of the Year in 1989 and recently received the Golden Achievement Award by Wheels of Time Magazine for 50 years of service to the industry.  Lebnick recently announced his retirement and plans to spend his time touring the country with his red 1958 B Model Sleeper Cab that he as restored to mint condition. The association said Lebnik "represents the best of the hard-working men and women who safely and efficiently deliver the goods and materials vital to our national economy."

CLI Transport, LP of Altoona, Pennsylvania was presented the 2024 Grand Trophy for Fleet Safety in Virginia. This award is presented to the company that was judged to have had the state's most effective motor carrier safety program during 2023. CLI Transport's fleet traveled over 5 million miles in Virginia in 2023 and had zero accidents.

Erik JosephsonErik Josephson, Safety Professional of the YearVirginia Trucking AssociationErik Josephson with Atlantic Bulk Carrier in Providence Forge, Virginia was named the Safety Professional of the Year. This award is presented to a person responsible for directing or supervising safety activities of a VTA member trucking fleet and be of high moral character and devoted their career to the field of highway and industrial safety. As the lead trainer at Atlantic Bulk, Josephson is actively engaged in delivering loads and providing on-site training for new hires. He collaborates with the safety department to review crashes and violations, addresses dispatch issues and serves as his company's primary contact for recruiting.

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Ashley NortonAshley Norton, HR Professional of the YearVirginia Trucking AssociationAshley Norton of IDM Trucking in Weyers Cave, Virginia was named the Human Resources Professional of the year. This award recognizes an outstanding HR professional’s achievements and contributions to the advancement of HR in the trucking industry. A few aspects of positive change that Norton has spear-headed with IDM Trucking include: a structured disciplinary policy for drivers, competitive pay for employees, and elevated the Human Resources department to a level never before seen in her organization.

Fleet Safety Awards were presented to the following companies that had the lowest 2023 Virginia accident frequency rate in their class of competition:

  • ABF Freight, Inc. – Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • CLI Transport, LP – Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Englander Transportation, Inc. – Roanoke, Virginia
  • Interchange Express, Inc. – Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • J.D. Newman, Inc. – Elkwood, Virginia
  • JK Moving Services – Sterling, Virginia
  • Old Dominion Freight Line – Mooresville, North Carolina
  • PITT OHIO – Pittsburgh,

Improvement Awards for the fleets which had the greatest percentage of improvement in their accident frequency over the previous contest year were won by the following:

  • CLI Transport, LP – Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Interchange Express, Inc. – Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • J.D. Newman, Inc. – Elkwood, Virginia

Fleet Safety Certificates were awarded to the following companies who had an improved safety record over the previous year:

  • ABF Freight, Inc. – Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Associated Asphalt – Roanoke, Virginia
  • CLI Transport, LP – Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Fleetmaster Express, Inc. – Roanoke, Virginia
  • Howell's Motor Freight – Cloverdale, Virginia
  • Interchange Express, Inc. – Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Interstate Van Lines, Inc. – Springdale, Virginia
  • J.D. Newman, Inc. – Elkwood, Virginia
  • PITT OHIO – Pittsburgh