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Grand champion tank truck driver earns star treatment

April 20, 2015

It's not often in the trucking business that the term “star struck” is used, but this past week National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC), Groendyke Transport Inc, and Peterbilt Motors Company had the opportunity to honor a driver whose name is befitting of his national title. James Starr, current NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion and a driver for Groendyke Transport was presented with a brand new Peterbilt 579 sleeper straight off the production line in Peterbilt’s Denton TX plant.

The original idea came to David James, Groendyke’s chief operating officer, during the company’s annual management meetings. “Mr Starr attended our Groendyke Leadership Summit and we had one of the new 579 Peterbilt trucks displayed,” he said. “He remarked that he liked the truck, and I thought it would be a great way to celebrate Jim’s career accomplishments and his status as the NTTC’s reigning Grand Champion.”

Starr, a 42-year trucking veteran was presented the NTTC Professional Driver of the Year award in 2014 at the association’s 66th Annual Conference in Las Vegas NV. The award, which is sponsored by Baldwin & Lyons, celebrates the excellence in safety and professionalism that is embodied in tank truck drivers across the nation.

These men and women serve as ambassadors for an industry which is tasked with transporting liquid and sometimes hazardous bulk cargo in order to provide essential services to the general public. Starr was the first recipient of the award.

“What a tremendous thrill to see James and Gwen Starr receive the well-deserved praise and respect of the entire Peterbilt production crew,” said NTTC Chairman Dean E Kaplan. “It was a special day for all of us to be there in support of James and our thanks are due to both Groendyke and Peterbilt for including NTTC’s leadership.”

The second Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion will be named at NTTC's 67th Annual Conference & Exhibits in Boston MA on Monday, April 27. Other highlights of the conference, to be held at the Boston Marriott Copley Place April 26-28, include a keynote from Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, timely and relevant updates from government and industry experts, and outstanding networking opportunities.