Jim Shaeffer, McKenzie’s president and CEO, presented the award to Cruz, who’s been driving professionally for two years after serving for 20 years in the United States Army.
“We congratulate Antonio on his outstanding performance and safety focus, exemplifying what it means to be a professional truck driver,” said Magnus Koeck, Volvo Trucks North America vice president of marketing and brand management. “We’re very appreciative of the partnership with McKenzie Tank Lines and applaud their safety focus and appreciation for professional drivers.”
As part of the 2017 Driver of the Year award, McKenzie Tank Lines presented Cruz with a 2019 Volvo VNL 740 flat-roof sleeper model that will be his assigned truck.
“I’m proud to be named McKenzie Tank Lines’ 2017 Driver of the Year, but the pressure is on now because I have a standard to keep,” Cruz said. “This job requires a team effort and I always tell myself that I don’t want to ruin it for everyone else by compromising safety just to get from point A to point B faster.
“What I love about being a professional driver is that it gives me the opportunity to explore America, driving around the country and discovering places that I never knew.”
An Army veteran, Antonio was wounded in combat in Afghanistan and lost his right leg below the knee. He received a special permit from the U.S. Department of Transportation that allows him to drive a Class 8 vehicle.
McKenzie Tank Lines regularly celebrates their drivers with a Driver of the Month program, which recognizes professionals for exceptional performance, safety, dedication, community engagement, leadership, mentoring and other areas. Components of the Driver Scorecard include longevity, revenue, miles driven, HOS efficiency, as well as safety event data points such as hard braking, collision mitigation, excessive curve speeds, excessive lane departure and stability control.
Last year, 52 McKenzie Tank Lines drivers received awards for surpassing a million miles driven without a preventable accident.