OTA Road Map
What Are the Stories Behind the Association?
In 2017, the Ohio Trucking Association introduced The OTA Road Map, which consists of a blog and a series of podcasts designed to give our members an inside look into the personal stories of the association as well as information about the current trends and solutions in the industry. The blog, written by both OTA staff and OTA members, aims to celebrate the achievements of those in the association and the industry. The podcasts are designed to further support our members by providing them with additional information on how to better practice strategies for increasing the safety and productivity of their organizations. We encourage you to experience both the "OTA experience" in written and spoken form, and hope that you'll contact us with any ideas or stories that you would like to share!
OTA Road Map Podcast
OTA Road Map Blog
Written by Ohio Trucking Association Member CareWorks
For many employers, workers’ compensation is one of the largest cost-centers in their budget. This is where the value of your workers’ compensation managed care organization (MCO) becomes important. The MCO plays a key role in employers’ overall workers’ compensation cost control strategy. Here is an outline of the four key best practices for effective medical management or "The 4 Rs."
It is critical that you report a workplace injury to your managed care organization (MCO) as soon as possible after the incident. Early reporting allows your MCO to become involved with the claim quickly to collect all necessary information and evaluate the injury and overall situation. This early intervention facilitates effective medical management with an eye toward a quicker return-to-work, which helps to minimize medical costs incurred in the claim.
The choice of doctors is a critical piece that determines the quality of treatment your employee receives, as well as the cost for that care. While employees have a choice in medical providers, employers can establish relationships with local doctors who specialize in occupational medicine and are experienced in treating patients with an outcome-based approach of returning the patient to full duty with their employer. Your MCO can help to identify these providers in your area and facilitate a meeting with them and their staff, either at your office or theirs. At times, physicians are willing to attend a meeting in an employer facility to become familiar with your operations and the various job functions. The key is to establish a line of communication with these physicians and set expectations.
Remain in Contact
As the treatment plan progresses, it is vital to maintain an open line of communication with the injured employee, as well as with your MCO. Your MCO and TPA should keep you updated on any developments with the claim, but the employer should also communicate any new information to the MCO, as well. There is no such thing as too much communication!
Of course, the ultimate goal in medical management is for the employee to return to work as quickly and safely as possible. In many cases, that can happen fairly quickly. However, with more significant injuries, this process may take longer. In those cases, your MCO can work with you to identify temporary “modified duty” or transitional work for the employee to do while they are recovering. There are many benefits to this – keeping the employee engaged and connected to the workforce and minimizing costs charged to your workers’ compensation policy just to name two.
Written by Ohio Trucking Association Member Meritize
It’s no surprise the U.S. is experiencing a truck driver shortage; but many people aren’t aware of the country’s significant shortage of diesel technicians, too. Employers are struggling to find trained, qualified employees. While companies are making positions more attractive by increasing pay and providing other incentives like signing bonuses, the shortage persists.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment of diesel technicians is projected to grow by 9% from 2016 to 2026. The agency also estimates more than 140,000 diesel technicians will be needed by 2022 to meet this demand.
Drifting Off Course
One major contributor to the shortage is the demographic makeup of this workforce. With one generation – Baby Boomers – leading the industry, this aging workforce is quickly approaching retirement. The shrinking talent pool is leaving employers struggling to fill positions, and many shops are operating well under capacity.
As the trend toward encouraging students to attend a traditional college and pursue a professional degree persists, what’s left in its wake is an unskilled labor force, as well as job vacancies that employers can’t fill.
Today, many fleets operate vehicles that run primarily on diesel. As the trucking industry continues to boom, consumer demand for home delivery of goods increases, and fleets are relying more on trucks to transport product than ever before. This uptick in freight activity leads to the demand for more high-tech vehicles on the road. And when those vehicles need maintenance or repairs, diesel technicians are the ones who get the job done. It’s no wonder the need for experienced techs is so high.
If the demand is high, and the jobs are there, where’s the disconnect? The answer is in the access.
Hitting a Roadblock
On average, training to become a diesel technician can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000. For prospective technicians, finding the access to funding and the awareness of how to pursue this training can be challenging. Many don’t qualify for traditional funding, and while they may be eager to jump in, they can’t pay for training. In fact, on average, only two out of ten people that need funding for training have access to it. Additionally, most prospective trainees can’t forgo a paycheck while they complete training, thereby making enrolling in a formalized program even more inaccessible. Fortunately for the industry, there are companies opening those doors and expanding access for more people traditionally left on the sidelines.
A leading provider of funding solutions for skills-based education and workforce development, Meritize works to close the skills gap by solving the access gap. With innovative solutions for skills-based education, the program expands the talent pool for employers looking to recruit talent and fill jobs.
The program is being used with facilities like American Diesel Training Centers of Ohio, and it has created a win-win for both employers and employees. Timothy Spurlock, President of American Diesel Training Centers, explains: “For employers who have jobs to fill, it reduces their recruitment and upfront training investment, improves retention, and allows them to create a cost-efficient talent pipeline.” Candidates who are selected for the program:
- Are paid during their training and don’t pay anything toward their education if they complete the program and perform satisfactorily in their employment;
- Have a potential direct path to employment; and
- Gain skills, credentials and a great foundation for their career.
With in-demand jobs like diesel technicians that are integral components in the fabric of today’s economy, finding the right opportunity to attract, train, and employ qualified candidates is more crucial than ever. To learn more about how the Meritize SkillsBuilding™ program can support your company’s efforts in reducing the diesel technician shortage, click here.
Written by Ohio Trucking Association Staff
On September 18, 2018, the Ohio Trucking Association named its 2018 Fleet Safety Awards winners. These organizations have upheld OTA’s mission to enhance the industry’s image through their commitment to safety while their drivers commute on our highways every day. Awards are sponsored by Great West Casualty Company and given on the basis of accident frequency ratios, which include data from the mileage and accidents reported to the Ohio Department of Transportation within a calendar year.
This year, the Small Division President’s Trophy was awarded to GetGo Transportation. GetGo Transportation, founded in 2001, and headquartered in Millbury, Ohio, provides premium regional truckload services and communication to clients in Ohio, Michigan, the larger Midwest, and the southeast and east coastlines. Anthony Tomase, owner of GetGo Transportation, has been a board member of the Ohio Trucking Association since 2017, sits on various committees, and serves on OTA’s Team 88.
The Large Division President’s Trophy was awarded to Walmart Transportation. Walmart Transportation, with its Ohio location in Grove City, delivers products to thousands of locations throughout the country by way of over 6,000 trucks. Since 2007, Walmart Transportation has delivered 830 million more cases of product while driving 300 million fewer miles in comparison to its previous operations, emphasizing the company’s dedication to not only Ohioan communities and workforces, but the wellbeing of our environment and preservation of our roads and bridges. Jonathan Gaupp of Walmart Transportation has served on the Ohio Trucking Association board since 2018.
Other winners include:
- Less than 1 million miles: Taylor Distributing Company
- 1-3 million miles: GetGo Transportation
- 3-5 million miles: Classic Carriers, Inc.
- Over 20 million miles: Walmart Transportation
The Ohio Trucking Association and Great West Casualty Company would like to congratulate all companies on this milestone achievement and thank them for their dedication to safety in the transportation and logistics industries.
Written by Ohio Trucking Association Staff
On August 18, 2018 Ohio’s Scott Woodrome of FedEx Freight was named as the Bendix Grand Champion of the 2018 National Truck Driving Championships, held at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. This is Scott’s first win as the NTDC Grand Champion.
Scott has been driving for FedEx Freight for 12 years and has driven over 25 years with a safety record of over 1.8 million miles. Scott won first place in his class at the Ohio Trucking Association Truck Driving Championships several times, taking home the coveted Ohio TDC Grand Champion eagle award in 2012, 2017, and 2018. Scott was also named OTA’s 2015 Driver of the Year and has served as an America’s Road Team Captain with the American Trucking Associations. Scott lives in Middletown, Ohio, with his wife Lorraine, whom he asked to join him on stage to accept his award.
NTDC participants competed against one another to see whose industry knowledge and skills would take home Grand Champion honors. Scott, along with over 420 competitors, took a written test, performed a pre-trip inspection, and navigated a driving course with six problem areas that drivers face every day while on the road.
The Ohio Trucking Association would like to congratulate Scott on this incredible accomplishment and thank him for his years of service to the industry and dedication to safety.
Written by Thomas A. Balzer, President & CEO of the Ohio Trucking Association
The Ohio Trucking Association turns 100 years old in 2018. This is no small accomplishment for an association that represents an industry that has seen so many changes in its brief history. The growth of the association coincides with the growth of the automotive industry in general; Henry Ford introduced the Model T just ten years before the Ohio Trucking Association’s (the “Ohio Association of Commercial Haulers”) founding in Toledo. The transformations that this association and the industry have seen since then are amazing.
The Ohio Trucking Association has a very storied history and has made great strides through some of the industry’s most turbulent times. These include: construction of an interstate highway system; increases in capacity; and deregulation. Before his passing, I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Don Smith, who served as the Ohio Trucking Association’s Executive Vice President from 1961-1992. He talked about the changes he saw while running this organization. I realized that, while in the throes of these issues, it may not have seemed impactful, his career was extremely meaningful to the members of the industry. Tom King and Larry Davis’s tenures have had the same impact. I am sure that when I look back on my time here at the Ohio Trucking Association I will find pride in the impactful work that my team and I are working to accomplish on behalf of the industry and our members.
To make sure that we have given this milestone the attention it so deserves, we established a Centennial Commission. This commission has facilitated an active discussion on just how to celebrate our 100th anniversary. One of the first things that this group discussed was the following: how do you focus on this landmark? Do you look back, or do you look towards the future? This is a difficult distinction. Our association always wants to respect the legacy of the past 100 years. But losing sight of what is yet to come can prove to be significantly detrimental. This centennial is an excellent opportunity to practice situational awareness of where we are now, as well as look at the past and the transformations we have seen as an association. This exercise allows us the opportunity to write the next 100 years of our history.
Here, we see an opportunity to build on the successes we have had, and an opportunity to take advantage of new opportunities that will help us better serve the industry and prepare for the future. The leadership of the Ohio Trucking Association is firmly focused on making sure that every interaction in which we engage demonstrates distinct value to our members.
Every transaction (whether an association membership, purchase of equipment, or onboarding of new personnel) needs to show value; this is no truer today than it was previously. I take this responsibility very personally. When we lose a member, I am saddened to see that an organization did not utilize the obvious aspects of a valuable membership with the association. However, I also see an opportunity to strengthen the great work we do. We hear all too often that being a member of the Ohio Trucking Association is not worth what we charge in membership dues. To that I say: prove it. I can tell you with 100% confidence that I can provide the return on your membership investment. That is not ego talking; that is confidence in the work we are doing. We are creating a difference in your business. We wish to highlight the positive impact that we have had on the industry during the last century, as well as grow our impact as we move forward.
If interested in discussing the impact of the industry, association work, or speaking with me on another topic, call me at 614-225-1026 or schedule a meeting.
Written by Ohio Trucking Association Staff
In our society, there seems to be a day that recognizes anything and everything. April 20, 2018 marks Volunteer Recognition Day. Just as we celebrate Truck Driver Appreciation Week by recognizing our outstanding drivers, we celebrate Volunteer Recognition Day by recognizing our outstanding volunteers.
If you Google “What is a trade association?” you will receive various definitions from multiple results. To put it simply, an association is a collaboration of people or organizations in a specific business or trade that have come together to promote common interests. Most often, these trade associations are governed by a board of volunteer members of the association. Not only is the Ohio Trucking Association governed by the membership, but we are fueled by the thoughts, concerns, ideas, and issues brought forth by our volunteer leaders, as well as each and every member. OTA would like to take Volunteer Recognition Day to thank our members and volunteers who engage actively with our association.
Our Board of Trustees is made up of 25 OTA member representatives, who volunteer their time to the association by giving strategic foresight and vision and serve as the association’s leadership team. They give their time to attend board meetings, board retreats, meet with legislative leaders, testify on legislation at the Ohio Statehouse, and more. If you are interested in the process of serving on the Board of Trustees, please contact President & CEO Thomas A. Balzer for more information.
The Ohio Trucking Association has five committees and two councils comprised of individuals representing various carriers and allied partners for the trucking and transportation industry. Our committees include: Governance Committee; the Finance Committee; the Strategic Planning Committee; Legislative Committee, and; the Member Services Committee. Our councils include: Ohio Trucking Safety Council, and; Ohio Trucking Maintenance Council. Each of these committees and councils are comprised of volunteer leaders who give their time to participant in calls and in-person meetings in an effort to promote the mission and vision of the association and the industry. The committees and councils both assist the association in its knowledge of current industry trends and address any issues by giving their input and assistance in the organization of education/ development materials. If you would like to volunteer for one of these committees or councils, please contact our Executive Assistant, Becky Calvin, for more information.
Last year, the Ohio Trucking Association introduced one of its most successful programs to date: Team 88. Team 88 is a micro-advocacy effort that allows for OTA to have members in each of Ohio’s 88 counties who are expected to engage in professional conversation on trucking issues with their local legislators. Virtually, our Team 88 members, who are now over 175 strong, are the “boots-on-the ground” in advocacy and legislative efforts in the state of Ohio and beyond. If you have an issue you would like to learn about how to engage with your local legislators, or already have a strong relationship with your local legislators, contact Becky Calvin for more information on how to become involved with Team 88.
Last, but certainly not least, we want to recognize the various volunteers that assist in our largest events: the Truck Driving Championship and Technician Competition. Without the judges, score-keepers, committees, volunteers, and those involved in Pre-Trip and Written Test stations, we could not make an event like TDC/ Tech-Comp, with over 900 in attendance, the success that it has grown to become.
In closing, the Ohio Trucking Association knows that there are various other individuals who make it possible for our volunteers to give the time that they do to give back to the OTA and to the industry as a whole. Therefore, we take this time to thank not only our volunteer leaders, but their staff members and families who support their efforts to become the industry leaders that they are. We are nothing without the OTA membership, and we look forward to our continued service of the trucking industry.
Written by Evan Newman, Ohio Trucking Association
On February 6, 2018, the Ohio Trucking Association’s Director of Membership, Evan Newman, participated in a ride along with K-Limited Carrier, Ltd.’s Scott Harrison. The following story is a recap of some of the many lessons learned that day.
On February 6, 2018, I took my first ride in a tractor trailer, and had the time of my life. By the end of the day, I was on information overload and to be honest, I am still trying to decompress. Our drivers have a lot to keep in mind for the safety of themselves and those around them. As you can imagine, after one day in the cab of a 2015 International Lonestar, I am far from an expert. Though, I had an excellent teacher: America’s Road Team Captain and K-Limited Carrier, Ltd.’s Scott Harrison. The day was a testament to the dedication, perseverance, and attitude that it requires to be one of America’s professional drivers. I look forward to the next opportunity I receive to live a day in the life of one of America’s finest: a truck driver.
Patience Is the Key to Safety
Prior stepping in to Scott’s pristine 2015 International Lonestar, he emphasized the necessary patience required to complete a pre-trip inspection. Scott explained to me that various parts of the pre-trip might be rushed, but for every portion that is rushed, a bigger problem is created further down in line. Patience is the key to safety in a truck driver’s workplace. Not only during the pre-trip inspection are our drivers exhibiting patience as a virtue, but they are doing it at every turn, stoplight, highway on-ramp, and during every minute that their clock runs. As I said in my introduction, our professional drivers have a lot to keep in mind during their day to day work. They must not only focus on safety for themselves, but for the safety of all passenger vehicles driving around them.
Professionalism Is the Key to Changing Our Narrative
A safe driving record is required if one wishes to become one of America’s Road Team Captains. In addition to a perfect driving record, one must highlight their professionalism to a panelist of interviewers. Scott exemplifies this professionalism every single day. Scott and I were transporting a load of aluminum sulfate from Middletown, Ohio to Chillicothe, Ohio on my shadow day. In order to get the aluminum sulfate from one plant to the next, Scott had to maneuver through some small towns. For an everyday American with no insider knowledge of the trucking industry, a truck driving in your neighborhood is an annoyance. Scott was sure to acknowledge people in the community; waving to them as they backed up to give him more room to turn safely, or even just waving to them from his seat at a stop sign. Further, he knew the names and stories of the facility managers and security teams at each of the plants we visited on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. These nonverbal and verbal cues are a sign of the relationships made between professional drivers and civilians. These relationships exhibit the professionalism that is necessary to change the misconception of who are drivers really are.
Whether you want to call it perseverance or strategic agility, drivers have to have it. Scott and I arrived in Chillicothe on a cold, damp, and windy day. We prepped the tanker that was to be drained of aluminum sulfate. We learned quickly that something was wrong with either Scott’s pump or the plants pump. I watched for nearly two hours as Scott tampered with the pump, made phone calls, requested tools, and retrieved a rubber mallet. Finally, with a few bolts turned and a rubber mallet put into place, the internal bypass preload spring housing part of the pump began working. Scott could have shouted and complained about the mishap. I may have easily given up and taken the load back to Middletown to sit until the pump or the facility pump was fixed by someone else. Nonetheless, Scott persevered and used patience to get the job done.
Attitude Rules the Day
As a truck driver, you are spending countless hours on the road away from family, friends, and loved ones. Drivers miss important anniversaries, birthday parties, little league games, and more. They could easily let this negatively affect their disposition. Though, from my experience with professional drivers, they love their job and do not take the work they do lightly. They are the knights of the road, ensuring that highways are safe and the goods that we have become accustomed to seeing at the grocery store, department store, gas station, and more are well stocked. Though it could be easy to complain, especially about a malfunctioning pump or something similar, drivers are some of the most positive and dedicated workers that I have had the pleasure of knowing.
Patience, professionalism, perseverance, and attitude are the keys to a driver’s success, safety, and happiness on the road. There are a lot of factors that go in to the driver recruitment and retention problems that our industry faces, but if leadership can provide an understanding of these key factors it may lead to better retention rates.
I would like to give a special thanks to Scott Harrison and K-Limited Carrier, Ltd. for giving me the opportunity to live A Day in the Life of a Professional Driver.
Written by Ohio Trucking Association Staff
Let’s be frank; being an influential leader is not easy. The likes of an Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, or Vince Lombardi do not come around often. These leaders are all cool, calm, and collected, but vocal, meaningful, and perhaps a bit obsessive when promoting their team. We too should exhibit these attributes when promoting our trade or company. While we know that winning isn’t everything, it is important to stay driven and passionate about what you wish to accomplish within your field to achieve your career goals andensure your organization’s success. It is necessary to put in the extra effort to get ahead in the workforce. That is why we have come up with the following five tips to help you become a better leader as we gear up for 2018.
- Lead by Example
Leaders don’t talk about their successes; they show them. If you want your employees to be on time, make sure that you are punctual, or even early! If professionalism is a priority, make sure that you are dressed for success and set the standard for what you want to see in your staff. Model the way, and your employees will follow.
- Communicate Clearly
Authentic and honest communication is imperative in the office and in life. Influential leaders make sure they are both heard and understood, but realize that it is just as important to listen. As the old saying goes, “the phone works both ways;” it is imperative to make sure that communication works both ways so that your business stays on the straight and narrow, and ahead of the competition.
- Know Your Limits
Almost equally as important as authentic and honest communication is self-awareness and consistency of attitude. Be sure to know your limits; take a deep breathe or take a walk when you need to, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a co-worker or fellow employee when you need to. Each company is only as strong as their weakest link.
- Be Aware of Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Coinciding with point number three is the importance of knowing your strengths and weaknesses. The reason a coach like Urban Meyer is as successful as he is, is because he surrounds himself with the right coaches and players. It is pivotal to realize your strengths and weaknesses so that you can make the proper hiring decisions and hire the right management and personnel to assist in driving your success.
- Never Stop Growing
Growing,learning, improving, cultivating… it does not matter what adjective you want to use. It only matters that you keep growing. It is definitely a hard thing to do: attending elementary school, middle school, high school, trade school, and/ or college; continuing education is an investment in both time and money, but it is key to personal and professional success. Continuing education can be as simple as taking advantage of that webinar or seminar you saw advertised for in the Ohio Trucking Weekly last week, or reading one more article than you usually do during breakfast. No matter what, don’t stop working to grow, learn, and improve yourself because your organization will benefit also.
“The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vince Lombardi
Written by Ohio Trucking Association Staff
This week the Ohio Trucking Association will be celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week by recognizing our 12 finalist for 2016 Driver of the Year.
Mark Spencer, 2016 Driver of the Year
Our 2016 Driver of the Year, Mark Spencer, has not only been an exemplary employee for over 34 years for both Roadway and YRC Freight, but he has worked his way up the ladder, from a dock worker, to a yardman, to a city P&D driver. His passion is safety, and he wants to ensure that everyone returns home to their families at the end of the day. His safety involvement has been focused on three main areas:
Mark has volunteered and participated in safety demonstrations at the Akron terminal. He sat on safety committees, conducted pre-shift presentations, and participated in extensive training in various areas. He is most proud of assisting new drivers obtain their CDLs, as well as working with new drivers in a finishing school setting, helping them to polish their driving, sharpen their computer skills, and perfect their customer service skills.
For over 20 years, Mark has worked in partnership with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, presenting No-Zone demonstrations to the Ohio motoring public at various fairs and festivals. Mark and his wife, Cathy, have led the No-Zone team that has ultimately planted seeds in the minds of thousands of people about driving safely in and around commercial vehicles in order to avoid accidents. In recent years, he has expanded his safety message to include points about the importance of wearing your seatbelt and how to avoid distracted driving.
Mark has been fortunate to have been hand selected to participate in a very unique program – possibly the only one of its kind in the country – that involves training law enforcement officers, from numerous agencies, concerning commercial vehicles. Some of this training has been conducted at the Patrol Academy, but most police academies do not have sufficient equipment or time to demonstrate the proper safety protocol on the basics of a semi-tractor trailer. The training involves everything from the proper way to approach a semi-tractor trailer to crash investigation education.
At the 2017 Driver of the Year Banquet, YRC said that they feel honored to have Mark Spencer as a part of the team and as the 2016 OTA Driver of the Year. Mark has driven truck for 32 years and has 1,500,000 safe miles on the treads of his tires. As America kicks off National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, the Ohio Trucking Association proudly recognizes Mark Spencer.
Terry Fout, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Terry Fout drives for R + L Carriers and has done so for over 4,000,000 safe miles. He conducts business in a professional manner, and safety is his number one priority.
R+L commented on Terry, saying that “our industry moves America, and every day Terry reminds us of the difference between moving America and moving America safely.” The latter is indicative of Terry, as shown in the number of miles under the treads of his tires.
Terry won the Three Million Safe Mile Award, an internal award for R+L drivers. He understands the challenges that today’s drivers face, and better yet, he does all this while being a dedicated family man. He would like to thank his wife Cindy, of 22 years, for being by his side during his time with R+L.
Jason Imhoff, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Jason Imhoff drives for Walmart Transportation, Grove City, Ohio and has done so for over 2,100,000 safe miles. A 21-year employee of Walmart, we are proud to recognize Jason’s professional accomplishments. He has also been recognized four different times as an Ohio Trucking Association Driver of the Year Finalist through Walmart Transportation, and he is a four-time State Truck Driving Champion, winning in three different classes, Step Van, Flat Bed and 5 Axle.
Jonathan Gaupp, Transportation Manager at the Grove City transportation office, says that Jason always goes above and beyond the call of duty. He has a “family first” focus, both with the support of his wife, Sunshine, and his children, to his leadership within the company. Jason is proud member of the Walmart Road Team and advocates for a safer trucking industry by participating in the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy and the “No Zone” display at the Ohio State Fair. Jason is a current spokesperson for Truckers against Trafficking. Jonathan Gaupp says “Through all this, Jason embodies the quote: ‘it’s not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of life you have lived.’ We are lucky to have Jason.”
Richard Maschino, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Richard “Rick” Maschino has been driving for the Subler family for over 27 years, with the last 13 as a driver for Classic Carriers. He has amassed over three million accident-free miles, and has achieved numerous Driver of the Month and Driver of the Year honors at each Subler company he has been employed.
Rick’s friendly demeanor, positive attitude, and attention to every detail of driving make him a great role model within the Classic Carriers company and across our industry. Rick goes about his job with the utmost professionalism, and is sure to be mindful of safe practices.
Rick and his wife of 39 years, Tina, reside in Bradford, Ohio. They are the parents of two children, Craig and Brandy who have blessed them with eight grandchildren. One of Rick’s favorite things to do is to watch his grandchildren play sports. When he is not driving for Classic Carriers, he enjoys gardening and landscaping at his home.
Dennis Mauder, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Dennis Mauder recalls at a very young age that he knew exactly what he wanted to be. His friends all talked of being a police officer or firefighter but he had his sights on being a professional truck driver. Growing up near the Ohio Turnpike in Berea, Ohio, he would lay in bed and listen to the semis rolling up and down the turnpike, imagining himself running team to all parts of the country. When he couldn’t find enough kids to get a ballgame together, Dennis would sit on the hillside along the turnpike and identify every make and model of truck that ran east and west.
Dennis truly feels blessed in his chosen career; this is exemplified every day as he drives for Pitt Ohio Express, where he has been given the opportunity to drive in 49 states and every Canadian province. He also cherishes the time he has with his wife, Vanessa. One thing is for sure; Dennis does not take any of this for granted.
Dennis’s international travels have taken him outside of Canada. He has competed in the Australian Truck Driving Championship. Though there may have been a language or cultural barrier, one thing he has not forgotten is the importance of safety when driving truck.
Dennis has been a driver trainer throughout his whole career with Pitt Ohio, and has even taken his talent to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he taught a course on skid recovery. One driver thanked Dennis for teaching him the basics that earned him a Two Million Safe Miles Driven Award.
The Ohio Trucking Association is happy to celebrate Dennis on National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
Nardip Mavi is a driver for TRANSInternational System and has driven over 2,142,000 during his 28 years on the road. Nardip is a loyal member of the TRANSInternational Team and delights fellow workers with his friendly personality and inspiring customer service.
Whether it is one of his own or another company’s drivers, Nadip is always happy to assist fellow drivers with the challenges they face at the rail yards. This is just one example of Nadip’s focus on safety and routine maintenance, which keep our roads safe.
Nadip is involved in his church and his community. A father of two, Nadip credits his success to his loving wife who helps at home. TRANSInternational Safety Director, Steve Zsulya, says, “We are blessed to have such a driver in our daily schedule. His kindness and his sense of humor brings all of the drivers closer as a team. He is a dedicated family man and a dedicated owner/operator for our company.”
The Ohio Trucking Association is proud to recognize Nardip’s efforts on National Driver Appreciation Week.
Brian Morgan, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Brian Morgan is one of A.J. Weigand’s finest drivers. Brian has been married to his lovely wife Christy for 34 years. He is a father of two, and grandfather of two. When away from his truck, he is an active member of the First United Methodist Church, OOIDA, Steamship Historical Society, and serves on the Board of Directors at the Ashtabula Marine Museum.
Brian has been behind the wheel for 42 years, and has logged 4,000,000 safe miles! As of May 2017, Brian has been with A.J. Weigand for 21 years. A.J. Weigand’s General Manager, Mark Kadlec, says, “He has always been a leader, and brings safety issues and suggestions to the forefront as soon as he notices them. His character traits are evident both in and out of the truck. He is loyal, determined, and has great perseverance.”
Brian personally attributes his success as a driver and in his life to always being aware of his surroundings. He always tries to find a way out of any potential incident or accident.
The Ohio Trucking Association is happy to celebrate Brian Morgan as a part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
Dean Quellhorst, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Clopay Transportation Company Driver, Dean Quellhorst, has been with the company for 35 years and has logged over 2,925,000 safe miles. 24 out of Dean’s 35 years have been with Clopay Transportation. There, he is required to help unload garage door sections and parts from trucks to dealers, and he never complains about the extra work.
In the 24 years, Dean has had over 15,600 stops and pickups, and has delivered over 400 doors to Clopay customers. In that time, Dean has earned the Clopay Safe Driving Award 19 times! He has also been recognized by the Ohio Trucking Association four different times as a Driver of the Year Finalist (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015).
Dean knows that, without family support, none of his career successes would have been possible. He has been married for 37 years to his wife, Susan. The two have three sons and five grandchildren. He knows that it would not be possible to do his job well without the continued support of his friends and fellow drivers.
Eric Six, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Eric Six is a driver for AWL Transport DBA TXL. Eric’s driving career has spanned a period of almost five decades. During his 48 year driving career, Eric has driven a total of over 4,522,211 safe miles! He has earned two separate One Million Mile Safe Driving Awards.
Eric started his driving career in the Marine Corps in the Moto Transport Pool, where he served three years of active duty and three years in the reserves. Upon his discharge, he started driving professionally for Brada Miller, where he spent seven years before deciding to become a fleet owner. Eric had five trucks signed on with Daily Express for over seven years. Eric then sold all of his trucks and went to work for Anchor Motor Freight as a company driver for six years. He then drove for Hattendorf for 17 years before he moved to AWL Transport DBA TXL, where he has been for the past eight years.
Eric has earned numerous safe driving awards for the various carriers he has worked for, including AWL/TXL. In fact, Eric is one of three drivers at AWL/TXL who have achieved the Yearly Safe Driving Award since its inception. Eric attributes his safety success to always driving defensively, adjusting his speed to the weather conditions as necessary, and always expecting the unexpected.
Eric is a US Marine Corps veteran. He is a member of the Mantua Masonic Lodge, and the Royal Arts Masons. He is a Masonic Scottish Rite Thirty Second Degree, and a Knights Templer. He belongs to the Portage County 4H Club, The American Legion, and the First Christian Church.
Eric, like all others recognized during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, has dedicated his life to the trucking industry. Further, he has proven that safety is key to a successful career. We are happy to recognize Eric Six as a part of the Ohio Trucking Association’s promotion of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
David Walsh, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
David Walsh drives for Garner Trucking Inc. He has been behind the wheel for over 38 years, 25 of those years with Garner. Since beginning his career, he has logged over 2,600,000 safe miles.
David has received many accolades during his time on the road. He has won Garner’s Driver of the Month, Driver of the Quarter, and Driver of the Year awards. He has also been recognized by Garner as a member of the Million Safe Miles and Two Million Safe Miles clubs. Furthermore, he has been named an Ohio Trucking Association Driver of the Year Finalist many times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016).
David attends his church regularly and is involved on the Greeter Team and Usher Team. He is also a Sunday School teacher. He is a father of five, and a grandfather of seven.
At the annual Driver of the Year Banquet, David gave us his keys to success:
“The key to being a successful driver is to slow down and think as you go about each day. However, no matter how much skill and concentration you have, there is still an element of God’s watchful eye over you that makes the difference.”
David Walsh, the Ohio Trucking Association is happy to recognize you as a part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
Steve Brand, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Steve Brand is a member of the FedEx Freight team. For over 28 years, Steve has delivered freight to FedEx customers safely, logging over 3,840,000 safe miles.
For many years, Steve has worked diligently to increase his knowledge and skills. Steve works with and sets an example for many of the young drivers at FedEx Freight. His work ethic and his commitment to safety makes him a perfect role model for all new drivers walking through the door.
Steve is a member of the President’s Safety Team at FedEx Freight. To be on the President’s Safety Team, you need to be accident and injury free for ten consecutive years. Steve currently has 19 years of safe driving under FedEx Freight.
Steve Brand has a history of participating in “driving for a cause” efforts. He has participated in the Make a Wish fun drive, and the pediatric brain tumor research TDC. He was recently added as a captain on Americas Road Team. Steve was awarded the 2016 Chairman Award and Sportsmanship Award at the Ohio TDC for helping the USA military.
The Ohio Trucking Association is proud to recognize Steven Brand as a part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
Don Fisher, 2016 Driver of the Year Finalist
Don Fisher has been a member of the Wooster Motor Ways team since 2000. He has been on the road for 39 years. Behind the wheel of his truck, Don has racked up 3,000,000 safe miles.
Don has been recognized by Wooster Motor Ways as a constant professional. He does his best to perform his job flawlessly each and every day, and is not afraid to share his successes and areas of growth with the young drivers in the fleet.
In March 2015, Don saved lives with his selfless driving experience and technique. As he drove down Route 250, about ten miles from the Wooster terminal, an unexpected snow storm hit. Little did Don know that a sheet of black ice lay ahead and one gust of wind would soon blind him from seeing anything less than a few feet in front of his truck. Don was also unaware that there had been an accident ahead and there was a seven-car pile-up; drivers were out of their cars not too far up the road. With quick reaction speed, Don saw the pile up in front of him and steered right into a deep ditch to avoid disaster. This selfless and quick action saved many lives. This event and Don’s overall safe driving record is why Wooster Motor Ways is proud to call him one of their own.