The search is about to begin for the best company driver and the best owner-operator in North America.
Nominations open Saturday, Aug. 1 for the Truckload Carrier Association’s contests to recognize the best drivers. Truckers News joins TCA in the Company Driver of the Year Contest and our sister publication Overdrive is TCA’s partner in the search for the top owner-operator.
Contest sponsors are Cummins and Love’s. The winner of each contest receives $25,000. The two runners up in each contest receive $2,500.
Winners will be announced at TCA’s annual convention, which will be held Jan. 23-26, 2021 in Nashville.
Previous Company Drivers of the Year have included:
- 2019: Don Lewis, Wilson Logistics
- 2018: Ester Nemeth of Bison Transport
- 2017: Stephen Richardson of Big G Express, Inc.
- 2016: Murray Manuliak of Bison Transport
- 2015: Danny Smith of Big G Express, Inc.
- 2014: Gary Teel of Weinrich Truck Line
According to the TCA, the goal of the contest is to pay tribute to the company drivers who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods. The grand prize winner will be recognized based on their ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and positive contributions to the community in which they live.
The contest is open to any company driver employed by an over-the-road carrier who has safely driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles. A company driver must be nominated by the motor carrier by which they are currently employed, and must have been employed by and driving for their current trucking company employer for the past three years.
The rest of the rules include:
- The application must be completed online and submitted through TCA’s online application process.
- NEW! When entering a team, please add both of the drivers’ names in the application. No need to complete two separate applications.
- Verification of submitted information will include direct contact with the motor carrier by which the entrant is employed and may include credit reports, motor vehicle reports, and other investigation as required.
- Each company may nominate up to five drivers. However, only one driver per company can qualify for placement among the top three finalists.
- Please note that the judges will scrutinize claims of an excessive number of miles driven annually. Any claim of more than 125,000 miles driven annually must be accompanied by a statement from the company CEO explaining the average length of haul, number of hours on duty, and how the miles were logged legally.
- Erroneous or false information provided in the application will result in immediate disqualification.
- All prize winners are responsible for any applicable federal, state, and local taxes.
- The Association shall retain all applications for one year; therefore, no applications or pictures will be returned.
- Four print-quality photographs (300 dpi) featuring the entrant’s head and shoulders and taken within the last year must be submitted with the application. They may eventually be used for publicity purposes if the driver is selected as one of the top three finalists.
- With due respect for privacy, the contents of the finalists’ applications that reflect positively upon the trucking industry may be used for promotional, educational, and training purposes by the Association.
- The judges’ decision is final.