One of these top rookie drivers wins $10,000

The finalists have been chosen for this year’s Mike O’Connell Trucking’s Top Rookie Award presented by Truckers News.

The winner will be announced during a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 at the Great American Trucking Show at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

The finalists, where they’re from, the companies they drive for and the driving school they attended include:

James Bell

Stevensville, Montana; Jim Palmer Trucking; Sage Truck Driving School

Platt Brabner

Coupland, Texas; TMC Transportation; Roadmaster Drivers School

Adam Cobb

Deltona, Florida; Celadon Trucking; Sage Truck Driving School

Matthew Donahue

Weedsport, New York; H.O. Wolding; National Tractor Trailer School

David Drummond

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Melton Truck Lines; Allstate Careers

Terrence Goodau

Springfield, Missouri; Tri-State Motor Transit; Midwest Technical Institute

Larry Maser

McKinney, Texas; Stevens Transport; Stevens Training Academy

Darrell Philpott

Martinsville, Virginia; Epes Transportation Systems; CDS Tractor Trailer Training

Quinton Ward

Westville, Florida; Werner Enterprises; U.S Truck Driving School

Truckers News will be running detailed feature profiles on each of the finalists between now and the awards ceremony at GATS.

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from the trucking industry and truck driver training organizations.

The winner receives $10,000 and numerous prizes. The other finalists receive $1,000 each and a package of prizes.

“Our judges had their work cut out for them this year,” said David Hollis, editor of Truckers News. “We received nominations of numerous talented rookie drivers any carrier would be lucky to have working for them.”

Partnering with Truckers News in the search for Trucking’s Top Rookie are the three national organizations overseeing truck driver training:

  • Commercial Vehicle Training Association
  • National Association Of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools
  • Professional Truck Driver Institute

Sponsors giving prizes to the finalists include:

  • RoadPro Family of Brands
  • Cobra
  • Rand McNally

Recognizing the top rookie driver was the idea of the late Mike O’Connell, who was formerly the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. He believed that honoring a top rookie driver helped show new drivers they are appreciated by the trucking industry.

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So, eight years ago, Randall-Reilly, the parent company of Truckers News, pursued that suggestion, and today the Trucking’s Top Rookie contest focuses attention on the professionalism of drivers in the industry for less than a year. It also promotes truck driving as a viable career choice during a time when there is a shortage of drivers.