Driver contest has deep roots in trucking advocacy

August 30, 2011  | by: Lucinda Coulter

From Overdrive‘s first few issues in fall 1961, contests have helped mirror the best qualities among drivers, promoted professionalism and, generally, given metaphoric pats on the back for outstanding service.

A fairly new contest — a joint effort of the Truckload Carriers Association and Overdrive — is accepting nominations now through Sept. 15 for the nation’s top owner-operator. Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 15. Finalists will be featured in Overdrive during 2012, and the 2012 Owner-operator of the Year will be announced in 2013. The competition is open to drivers who log the majority of their miles in the truckload segment. Nominees should have strong records in safety, professional accomplishment and contributions to the industry and their communities. TCA and Overdrive‘s sister publication, Truckers News, are holding a comparable contest for company drivers.

TCA originated in 1938 as the Contract Carrier Conference, and in 1941 the Common Carrier Conference – Irregular Route became identified with the group. The two merged in 1983 as the Interstate Carriers Conference and changed its name five years later to the Interstate Truckload Carriers Conference. In March 1997, the group’s title became the Truckload Carriers Association.

In 1983, the same year that TCA merged two groups into one, Overdrive was doing its part to honor deserving truckers. The June 1983 issue ran a two-page spread advertisement for Goodyear’s First Annual Highway Hero Awards. In the same issue, a feature described a new comic book hero, Ulysses Solomon Archer, who drove a truck. The Marvel Comics Group hero was touted on the comic book as “High Adventure Trucking Down The Highway,” Overdrive wrote.

For those truckers — relatives and spouses — who know a real-life owner-operator who may be near hero status, send your nomination by Sept. 15 to TCA. Overdrive looks forward to featuring all the finalists.

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