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Five Good Things: Recognizing exemplary drivers

June 16, 2023
This week in good trucking news: The industry does its best to recognize drivers who go above and beyond to keep the supply chain moving. Plus, one major private fleet scores a win for youth sports.

Truck driving is an isolating job, so the industry does everything it can to recognize the hard work of those who keep America moving. These are a few of the many drivers who deserve accolades.

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TCA Highway Angel uses CPR to save man crashed in desert 

The Truckload Carriers Association named truck driver Anthony Robles, from Buckeye, Arizona, a Highway Angel for rescuing a man whose pickup truck crashed in front of him. Robles works for Hickman’s Family Farms out of Buckeye.

Robles was driving northbound on State Route 85 when he was struck by another vehicle. The vehicle went off the road into the center, traveled 100 yards, and crossed back over the highway and into the desert, where it stopped.

Robles stopped and ran from his truck, approximately 25 yards into the desert, to check on the other driver. The man was unconscious, and Robles was unable to open the pickup’s doors.

“He was out,” Robles said. “Me and two other guys busted out his window and helped get him out of the truck.”

When he pulled the driver out of the vehicle, he realized the driver was not breathing and had no pulse.

“I saw him not breathing and knew what had to be done,” he said. “I was a little worked up but kept my head on straight.”

Robles opened his airway and started CPR and chest compressions on the driver. He continued this until EMS arrived and they took over care of the injured man. Robles, who has been driving a truck for almost six years, said the last update he had about the injured driver was that the man had experienced a medical emergency while driving and is now in stable condition.

IFDA honors 2023 Hall of Fame class

The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) recently inducted 87 drivers into its Truck Driver Hall of Fame—the largest in association history.

“It’s an honor to recognize these hardworking professionals who play a vital role in our economy and way of life,” Mark S. Allen, IFDA president and CEO, said in a news release. “Our drivers have dedicated their careers to ensure the safe delivery of food and products to the kitchens, shelves, and pantries of our nation’s restaurants, schools, hotels, hospitals, entertainment venues, military bases, and other public service institutions.”

Click here for the complete list of 2023 inductees.

This year’s class will be honored Sept. 11-13 during IFDA’s Solutions Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

PepsiCo commits $1M to youth soccer

Entering the third and final year, PepsiCo has added 16 new organizations to its Team of Champions—a campaign to improve access to soccer in underserved communities across the U.S. The $1 million commitment made over the past three years has made investments on and off the field, including helping Team of Champions member organizations with apparel and equipment costs, field access, mentoring, coaching and education, and fan experiences.

Since 2021, the Team of Champions has invested in 43 organizations. It has provided more than 30,000 players with new equipment and apparel.

This year’s campaign includes the Access to Champions program, an opportunity for players to connect with ambassadors from the Union of European Football Associations. Participants will be able to engage with athletes and leaders from both PepsiCo (No. 2 on the FleetOwner 500: Top Private Fleets of 2023) and the soccer industry to discuss various topics ranging from creating a growth mindset to exploring soccer as an industry. In addition, for the second year in a row, PepsiCo is partnering with ACCESS U, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mentoring players and their families throughout the college recruiting process, to help guide students seeking athletic scholarships.

TCA names Safety Professional of the Year

TransPro Freight Systems safety compliance director Michael Frolick took home the Truckload Carriers Association's 2023 Safety Professional of the Year Award.

"We at KTG, and specifically TransPro, are extremely proud of Mike and for his accomplishment," Kriska Transportation Group's President and CEO Mark Seymour said in a TCA statement released during the trucking association's 42nd-annual Safety & Security Meeting here.

See also: TransPro’s Frolick named Safety Professional of the Year

Frolick began working on the docks part-time while in high school in his teenage years. When he turned 19, he obtained his Class A CDL and drove for 22 years in both Canada and the U.S., amassing 1.5 million collision-free, over-the-road miles. Near the end of his driving career, he started helping maintain logbooks and do road evaluations and forklift training with his company. Before he left, Frolick became the Toronto Regional Truck Driving Grand Champion.

From there, Frolick became the safety manager for a local cartage company before moving on to TransPro Freight Systems, where he has been director of safety and compliance for the last 16 years. He has played critical roles in numerous councils and committees over the years and is on the board of directors executive committee for the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association.

TransPro is a subsidiary of Kriska, or KTG, No. 434 on the FleetOwner 500: Top For-Hire Fleets of 2023.

NPTC inducts four into Driver Hall of Fame

For more than 40 years, the National Private Truck Council has hosted a Driver Hall of Fame program honoring four drivers from the private fleet industry each year. This recognition was held at a special induction ceremony during the Council's Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.

See also: Four amazing drivers join NPTC Hall of Fame

To qualify for the Hall of Fame competition, a driver must have a minimum of 3 million miles, 20 years, or 50,000 hours of consecutive driving experience without a preventable accident. Nearly 150 drivers have been inducted into the Driver Hall of Fame since the program began. The 2023 winners are among the best drivers on the road today.

This year's winners include Claude "Ricky" Cook of Shaw Industries; Ronald Mahar, who drives for Walgreens via CPC Logistics; William Steele of Unifi Manufacturing; and Christopher Nelson of Baxter Healthcare.

“What makes me feel good is helping others, ending the day knowing I put in a good day's work, and going home to my family," Nelson said.

About the Author

Scott Keith

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