Fleet insider

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Eddie Zielnik was named the American Moving and Storage Association’s 2007 Super Van Operator Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Zielnik, known as “Poppa” by most people, has worked for the Suddath Companies for more than 20 years and has 35 years of industry experience.

This award is the highest honor a van operator can receive. It recognizes drivers who provide safe, reliable and customer-oriented household goods transportation. Judging criteria include miles driven, accidents, lifetime driving record, time out of service, financial responsibility, community involvement, customer service, driving awards and outside interests and activities.

“Eddie is a leader and is well and dear to everyone’s heart,” says Paul Gleason, Suddath vice president of operations. “He is honest, has integrity and really cares about our customers. Undoubtedly, Eddie is more than deserving of this award.”

After winning the award, Zielnik decided to go out on top and retire from the road to spend more time with his family. He will remain a Suddath employee at one of the company offices.

Averitt Honors Drivers for 20-Year Service
Averitt Express honored 10 drivers for 20 years of service. The honorees were: Mark Blalock, of Lafayette, Ga.; Nate Dowdell, of Auburn, Ala.; David Garrett, of Rainbow City, Ala.; Darrell Greene, of Knoxville, Tenn.; Ronnie Hitt, of LaVergne, Tenn.; James Reid, of London, Ky.; Tony Thompson, of Brooks, Ky.; John Vinyard, of Gadsden, Ala.; Brian Wethington, of Owensboro, Ky.; and Jerry Wood, of Bremen, Ga.

Ruan Transport Million Milers
Ruan Transport Corporation recently honored Jimmie Harris and Richard C. Offhaus III, both of Geneva, Ill. They received the Ruan Million Mile Safety Award in recognition of 1 million miles of accident-free driving for Ruan.

Bolt Introduces Web Recruiting
Bolt Express announced its new F.I.R.S.T. program, which stands for First Interactive Recruiting Service Team. F.I.R.S.T. was created by the Bolt Express recruiting team to make it easier for owner-operators to meet a recruiter face-to-face.

Without having to leave the comfort of their home or truck, drivers can log into a web conference via the Internet and listen to a brief presentation about the benefits of joining the Bolt Express team. “Even if the owner-operator is five states away, he can spend a little time listening to me and getting to know what Bolt Express is all about,” says Mark Heiges, recruiting manager, “and there will even be an opportunity to ask questions if they have them.”

For more information on the program, visit www.boltexpressrecruiting.com.

FFE Launches New Website
Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc., of Dallas, has launched a new company website designed exclusively for easier navigation and improved performance. The site, located at www.ffeinc.com, features an innovative design and an array of artistic images framed in a crisp green and white page layout.

From the home page, visitors can easily access the information most pertinent to them. Investors can view financial highlights, customers can access information on services, and drivers or contractors can research and apply for opportunities within the company.

O&S Fund-raiser Nets $14,000
The second annual O&S Truckers’ Challenge, benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, raised approximately $14,000. The event was held as part of the BBBS signature fund-raising event, Bowl for Kids’ Sake, in March at Battlefield Lanes in Springfield, Mo.

Nineteen teams participated in the challenge. Between participant donations, lane sponsorships, T-shirt sponsorships and giveaway prizes, the Challenge helped in reaching the Bowl for Kids’ Sake record-setting total of more than $100,000.

The highest-scoring team of the event, The Primates from Prime, Inc., won the Truckers Challenge Traveling Trophy for the second year in a row. The Primates also won the 2008 Top Fund-raisers Trophy. M&M Truck Sales won the trophy in the Vendor Division. The Bowling Stones from O&S Trucking brought home the First Aid Kit for being the lowest scoring team.
Randall-Reilly Publishing, publisher of Truckers News, was one of the event’s sponsors.

Ryder 2007 Drivers of the Year
Ryder System Inc. presented its annual “Driver of the Year” awards to three professionals who, combined, have more than 8 million injury-free miles and more than 96 years of professional driving experience.

Robert Parker was named 2007 Driver of the Year for Ryder’s Supply Chain Solutions business segment. Parker has been a Ryder employee for 20 years and serves Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky in Georgetown, Ky. During his 34-year career as a professional driver, Parker has logged more than 3.4 million collision- and violation-free miles. He also serves on the Toyota team’s Safety Committee and has assisted as a trainer for new drivers joining the Toyota account.

Kathy Overbay was named 2007 Driver of the Year for Ryder’s Dedicated Contract Carriage business segment. Overbay, Ryder’s first female Driver of the Year, drives for the CVS/pharmacy account in Orlando, Fla. She has been a driver with CVS/pharmacy for 27 years, and became part of the Ryder team when its business was awarded to Ryder just two years ago. Overbay has driven more than 1.2 million collision- and violation-free miles. She has previously received Ryder’s Team Driver of the Year award and is an authorized Highway Watch driver and a certified Smith System trainer.

Charles Firman was named Ryder’s Fleet Management Solutions 2007 Driver of the Year. Firman is a professional driver for Ryder customer MBM Corporation in Aberdeen, Md., where he has worked for the past 18 years. In his 35 years as a professional driver, he has logged more than 3.5 million safe miles.

Con-way March Drivers of the Month
Con-way Truckload, a full-truckload carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc., has announced its monthly driver award recipients for March 2008:

  • Contractor Driver of the Month: Thomas Rice joined Con-way Truckload in 1987. He lives in Arden, N.C.
  • Contractor Team of the Month: David and Martha Juarez began driving professionally 22 years ago and joined Con-way Truckload in 2002. The Juarezes reside in El Paso, Texas.
  • Company Driver of the Month: New Orleans resident David Proctor began driving professionally 14 years ago and joined Con-way Truckload in 2005.
  • Company Team of the Month: Alfred and Jennifer Sidwell reside in Parkersburg, W.Va. Alfred began driving professionally more than 17 years ago, and Jennifer has been driving for seven years.
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