Truckload Carriers Association and Randall-Reilly Announce Grand Prizewinners of 2012 Driver of the Year Contests

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Brad Chapdelaine and Dan Poorman prove they have what it takes to be named trucking’s best.

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Being named Driver of the Year is a prestigious title that many professional drivers seek, but very few can claim on their resumes.

At its annual convention at the Wynn Las Vegas, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and its partner Randall-Reilly unveiled the names of the grand prizewinners of the 2012 Driver of the Year competition. Brad Chapdelaine of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who is leased to Dart Transit Co., of Eagan, Minnesota, was honored as the Owner Operator of the Year, while Dan Poorman of Maple Valley, Washington, who drives for Gordon Trucking, Inc., of Pacific, Washington, was honored as the Company Driver of the Year.

The Driver of the Year contests, sponsored by Cummins Inc. and Chevron Delo, recognize the top company drivers and owner operators in the U.S. and Canada who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation's goods. Chapdelaine and Poorman were selected for their ability to operate in a safe manner on the public highways, their efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and the positive contributions they’ve made to their communities. For the owner operator category, Chapdelaine was also judged based on his skills as a businessperson.

“It’s clear that these individuals love being truckers,” said Brad Holthaus, Randall-Reilly’s vice president, sales, Trucking Media. “Their commitment to the trucking industry is outstanding. Plus, they make it look easy — but we all know how hard they’ve worked.”

Chapdelaine runs a profitable business consisting of two trucks – one that he personally drives and another that he hires someone else to drive. Over a 26-year career, he has driven more than 3.5 million truckload miles without an accident. He is a recipient of the 3-Million Mile Safety Award from the National Safety Council, as well as the Contractor of the Year Award and the President’s Safety Award from Dart Transit Company.

Chapdelaine is a long-time volunteer for Special Olympics and is very active in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy, an event that raises funds and visibility for the organization. He also donates time annually to make deliveries for the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots program.

When asked to describe Chapdelaine, David Oren, president of Dart Transit Company, said, “He has a heart of gold, and his generosity has touched hundreds of people. He is a wonderful representative of the trucking industry.”

Dan Poorman, the Company Driver of the Year winner, has spent 20 years logging an impressive 2.7-million, accident-free miles behind the wheel. He never misses a day of work, has never caused a load to be late, and always volunteers to take on extra work when needed. A driver with Gordon Trucking since 1992, Poorman says that his passion for trucking stems from his father, who also drove for the company for many years. Both father and son are past recipients of the Washington Trucking Association’s Driver of the Year award.

Poorman has completed the Washington State Highway Watch training program (now defunct) and frequently conducts driving tests for potential company drivers. When not at the wheel, he holds fundraisers for a local music school and has organized community garage sales for charity.

Steve Gordon, the company’s COO, said: “If you were going to start a fleet, Dan would be the person you would want to start with as your model!”

As the 2012 Drivers of the Year, Chapdelaine and Poorman have won Cummins-powered RAM 2500 pickup trucks. In addition, both men were flown to TCA’s convention, where they were awarded plaques and the keys to their new vehicles in front of hundreds of the industry’s top leaders.

The contest selection procedure began in the spring of 2012, when drivers applied based on the minimum criteria of having driven at least one million consecutive, accident-free miles. The applicant pool was then culled down to three finalists per contest. The judges examined the finalists’ operating information, work history, safety record, and personal statements and selected Chapdelaine and Poorman as the grand prizewinners.

“Being named Driver of the Year is a prestigious title that many professional drivers seek, but very few can claim on their resumes,” said Robert Low, TCA’s 2012-13 chairman and the president and founder of Prime, Inc., of Springfield, Missouri. “We only pick the best, and you really have to show your dedication to safety and the industry to be selected. Congratulations to both winners!”

For further information on the Driver of the Year competition, please visit

Photo of the Company Driver of the Year: click here.
Photo of the Owner Operator of the Year: click here.

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TCA is the only national trade association whose collective sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry. The association represents dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, and intermodal container carriers operating in the 48 contiguous states as well as Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Representing operators of more than 200,000 trucks, which collectively produce annual revenue of more than $20 billion, TCA is an organization tailored to specific truckload carrier needs.

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Michael Nellenbach
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