ATA Safety Management Council honors trucking’s best

Alfred “Al” LaCombe has been named National Safety Director of the Year by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). LaCombe, the director of safety and training for Dupre Logistics, was presented the award at the 2011 Safety & HR National Conference and Exhibition by the ATA Safety Management Council

Alfred “Al” LaCombe has been named National Safety Director of the Year by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). LaCombe, the director of safety and training for Dupre Logistics, was presented the award at the 2011 Safety & HR National Conference and Exhibition by the ATA Safety Management Council.

The conference was held in Albuquerque, NM. The group also announced its Driver of the Year and a number of other award winners at the event.

LaCombe, based in Lafayette, LA, was honored for his professional qualifications, safety programs and achievements that are “deemed most outstanding among his or her peers,” the organization said.

“Al has been an innovative leader, hands-on safety professional and phenomenal teacher for over 25 years,” said Tom Voelkel, Dupré Logistics president & COO. “He not only expects excellence from our team, but shares his innate ability to solve problems with safety directors nationwide.”

LaCombe is a 26-year veteran of the Dupré management team and leads a support staff, including four field safety representatives who coordinate safety programs for more than 1,000 Dupré employees, including over 800 drivers who traveled nearly 40 million miles in 2010.

Among LaCombe’s accomplishments at Dupre are the implementation of predictive safety modeling, including the use of circadian algorithms to estimate driver fatigue; installation of extensive injury and crash prevention programs; the use of electronic logs in 100% of Dupre’s fleet; accessing and utilizing data modeling to prevent accidents due to driver fatigue, illness or equipment issues; and implementing and creating a “Fit for Duty” work rehabilitation program that uses a post-hire assessment in line with the job description, testing new employees’ ability to perform on-the-job tasks safety and efficiently.

The ATA Safety Management Council also announced that Rickey Oliver, a driver for Walmart Transportation, is its 2011 National Driver of the Year.

Oliver has driven over 3.5 million miles safely with zero preventable accidents in 27 years.

“Rickey Oliver embodies the professional truck driver who delivers America’s goods safely and efficiently every day,” said ATA president & CEO Bill Graves. “His passion for educating the public about safe driving and his commitment to his community are remarkable. We are proud to have Rickey represent the industry as National Driver of the Year.”

Oliver was a charter member of the Walmart Road Team and a member of America’s Road Team in 1997. He is a seven-time state champion at a State Truck Driving Championship. He has been an active Trucker Buddy, Career Day presenter, and currently volunteers at schools, helping – through WalMart’s Foundation – to provide a better learning environment for children.

Oliver is active in the Honor Roll Driver Education Program, which implements a safe driving education program available to new drivers throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. He serves as a safety ambassador for his company, helping to maintain safety standards and good working relationships between the shipper and receiver. He initiated a partnership with Operation Lifesaver to integrate rail-grade safety education into the program. Oliver also organizes annually the local Christmas toy drive for Children’s Hospital and Earth Day events.

“Rickey is an incredible resource for the trucking industry," said Mississippi Trucking Assn. president David Roberts. "We are glad to have him representing professional truck drivers here in Mississippi and around the nation. I congratulate Rickey for receiving this award and thank him for his tireless efforts on behalf of the trucking industry."

The 2011 President’s Trophy winners, recognizing the fleets with the best overall safety programs as judged by Truck & Industrial Safety Contests, were Roehl Transport, Marshfield, WI (large fleet winner – over 100 million miles annually); Pitt Ohio, Pittsburgh, PA (mid-size fleet winner – between 25-100 million miles annually); and GST Transport Systems, Houston, TX (small fleet winner – under 25 million miles annually)/

The Excellence in Safety award was given to the North Carolina Trucking Assn. and the Leadership Award was presented to Brian Stoddard, Old Dominion Freight Line, in Thomasville, NC.

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