Owner-operator bags Victory Vegas Jackpot bike

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Steve Wright On His Prize BikeThe bike Long Haul Trucking-leased owner-operator Steve Wright is sitting on is a 2012 Victory Vegas Jackpot cycle that was the grand prize in a contest begun by the Albertville, Minn.-based carrier at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., last year. This year, after Wright joined two other finalists — owner-operator Jeff Christenson and team Evan and Shannon Jones — for the grand prize in the safety contest, he came out on top for his yearlong performance. The Joneses walked away with $1,000 for 2nd, Christenson $500 for 3rd.

The three finalists met the following criteria: accident-free and DOT-violation-free driving; on-time pickup and delivery with no customer complaints; and referral of at least one owner-operator or company driver that came to work for Long Haul in 2011.

Steve Wright On His Prize Bike 2

You may recall my interview with Long Haul Safety Director Mark Thies in the features on the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program I wrote last year, in part detailing the lengths to which the company has gone to record evidence to remove unwarranted speeding warnings from troopers in probable cause states looking for a reason to pull over and inspect a truck. Clearly they take both safety and justice for their operators seriously — the award program is of a piece with that, as the company put it after owner-operator Wright’s big win. “The contest proved to be a successful campaign,” the company noted in a press release. In the one year it was under way, “Long Haul Trucking has increased the size of our fleet by 8 percent and, most importantly, reduced our DOT SafeStat Rating by 31 percent.”

Any Long Haul Trucking leased owner-operators or drivers out there: Watch for another one of these efforts in 2012.