Success personified

Brad Holthaus, Publisher

Our editors have a tough task this time of year: picking a Trucker of the Year from 12 outstanding Truckers of the Month. The safe driving and smart business practices of these candidates set an excellent standard for all owner-operators to aspire to.

Overdrive will give the winner free trips to three trucking shows as well as a personal trip anywhere in the continental United States, plus $1,000. Many of the industry’s leading companies also will give that person equipment or services. Here’s a glimpse at the finalists:

TERRY RINGLER. Hauling generators for a fleet dedicated to Cummins Power Generation, Ringler earns $70,000 to $80,000 a year. He’s meticulous in caring for equipment and knows precisely the costs of certain hauls.

CARL STEPHENS. He’s mixed a lucrative car-hauling career with forays into building custom motorcycles and appearing on ESPN2’s motorcycle build-off show Metric Revolution. Because he earns $80,000 a year, Stephens can afford what would be the envy of many of his peers: a custom 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood.

BRUCE BRYANT. A great example of someone who’s mastered a niche, Bryant earned more than $90,000 in 2006, hauling mostly oversized equipment. He’s leased to Landstar Inway.

CURTIS ANDERSON. He’s the rare owner-operator who’s been able to do well with a small fleet. His seven trucks and six drivers are leased to Greatwide Logistics Services. Anderson’s turnover rate is only 30 percent, well below the triple-digit rates of much larger fleets.

Even if you’re not big on New Year’s resolutions, read about the winning Trucker of the Year in our February issue. I bet you’ll pick up a few tips that will improve your business in 2008.