10 truckers named finalists in Trucking’s Top Rookie contest

2015-11-03 16.50.18-2017-01-30-09-56
trucks, interstate construction

Ten drivers moved a step closer to being named Trucking’s Top Rookie for 2017 and winning
$10,000 and a package of prizes in the contest presented by Truckers News.

The panel of judges from the trucking industry and truck driver education organizations
narrowed the field to 10 finalists who will be recognized at the Great American Trucking Show
in Dallas later this month. The winner will be announced at GATS on Friday, Aug. 25.

This year’s 10 finalists, their employer and the driving school they attended include:
John Casey, TMC Transportation, New England Tractor Trailer Training School

  • Everett Gamble, Averitt Express, Sage Tech at Nash Community College
  • Sean Harding, Stevens Transportation, Stevens Driving Academy at Fort Hood
  • Carl Humphrey, Jim Palmer, DTS (Driver Training & Solutions)
  • Tanner Johnson, Wil-Trans, Apex CDL Institute
  • Quavis Jones, TransAm Trucking, Southern Crescent Technical College
  • Wayne Nottingham Jr., Swift, National Tractor Trailer School
  • Chris Oliver, Werner, Commercial Driving Institute
  • William Root, H.O. Wolding, National Tractor Trailer School
  • Daniel Schonebarger, Melton, Georgia Driving Academy

The award recognizes outstanding professional truck drivers who have been in the industry for
a year or less.

“These 10 drivers represent the future of the American trucking industry,” said Truckers News
Editor David Hollis. “So based on their qualifications, driving records, service to customers, the
recommendations of their employers and their answers to several questions, that future has to
be considered bright. They may be rookie drivers, but they conduct themselves and perform
like seasoned veterans.”

One of the goals of the contest is to recognize talented professional drivers who are new to the
industry so they know their hard work is appreciated. It also is meant to reinforce their decision
to make truck driving their career of choice.

Hollis said the contest also helps focus attention of the innovative work done by those at the
many professional driver training schools and programs across the country. Partnering with
Truckers News in the search are the three national organizations overseeing truck driver
training: Commercial Vehicle Training Association, National Association Of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, Professional Truck Driver Institute.

The winner leaves Dallas with:

  • $10,000 cash
  • Expenses paid trip to the awards presentation in Dallas
  • A custom plaque from Award Company of America
  • Interview on Red Eye Radio Network with Eric Harley
  • $1,000 worth of DAS Products merchandise featuring the RoadPro Getting Started Living
    On-The-Go Package
  • American Trucking Associations “Good Stuff Trucks Bring It” package, which includes a
    logoed polo shirt, baseball cap, model truck and utility knife
  • An IntelliRoute TNDTM 730 LM GPS Unit and a Deluxe Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas from
    Rand McNally
  • A dash cam and CB radio from Cobra
  • Feature story in Truckers News

The other nine finalists receive:

  • $1,000 cash
  • A custom plaque from Award Company of America
  • $100 worth of DAS Products merchandise, featuring the Road Pro MobileSpec Portable Life Package
  • American Trucking Associations‘ “Good Stuff Trucks Bring It” package which includes a
    logoed polo shirt, baseball cap, model truck and utility knife
  • An IntelliRoute TNDTM 730 LM GPS Unit
  • CB radio from Cobra

Sponsors include: The RoadPro Family of Brands, Rand McNally, Cobra Electronics, Progressive, Red-Eye Radio, ATA.

Recognizing the top rookie driver was the idea of the late Mike O’Connell, who was formerly
the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. He believed that
honoring a top rookie driver helps show new drivers they are appreciated the trucking industry.