Enid, Oklahoma-based Groendyke's Texas division clinched first place in the intercity 10-20-million-miles division of the Truck Safety Contest during TXTA’s Safety and Maintenance Awards Luncheon, Houston-headquartered GulfMark was first for local 5-10-million-miles operations, and Chalk Mountain secured grand-champion honors after winning the local over-10-million-miles category.
“The drivers and technicians recognized for their accomplishments are the best of the best,” said John D. Esparza, TXTA president and CEO. “These men and women have worked tirelessly to promote safety within the industry and to ensure trucks are operating safely day after day. They are an essential piece of the supply chain, and we owe them a great bit of gratitude for their commitment to the industry and safety.”
Fort Worth-based Chalk Mountain also recently received the 2022 Samsara Connected Operations Award for Safest Operator after created a safety program that “positively engages drivers and delivers powerful results for their business,” Samsara said.
This year’s TXTA award recipients are as follows:
Driver of the Year
- Thes Freeney, Brookshire Grocery Company
The TXTA Driver of the Year Award is selected from the best truck drivers operating in the state of Texas, the association said. After being nominated by their companies, drivers are rated in categories such as number of miles traveled without a chargeable accident, consistency, politeness on the road, and tenure. The Driver of the Year represents TXTA in the American Trucking Associations’ competition for the National Driver of the Year title.
Truck Driving Championships
- Grand champion and straight truck winner: Dennis Mace, FedEx Freight
- Step van class: Luis Tarin, FedEx Ground
- Three-axle van: David Urrea IV, HEB
- Four-axle van: Eduardo Camacho, HEB
- Five-axle van: Mario Gonzales, Jr., HEB
- Tanker: Randy Gamez, Jr., HEB
- Flatbed: Noe Gomez, HEB
- Twins: Ronald Ramon, HEB
- Truckload/sleeper: Robert Gonzalez, FedEx Freight
The Truck Driving Championships are a project of the TXTA Safety Management Council, local Safety Councils, and the TXTA Fleet Maintenance Council aimed at promoting safety and professionalism among commercial drivers. Three regional championships and one state-wide championship are held in the spring, with drivers qualifying for national competition. Drivers are tested on their ability to maneuver and control their vehicles under a number of difficult test situations.
Distinguished Safety Award
- Van Trimble, Brookshire Grocery Company
This award honors an individual that exemplifies dedication to motor fleet safety and demonstrates interest, enthusiasm, and leadership in achieving the goals of protecting lives and property in the motor traffic environment.
Truck Safety Contest
- Grand champion: Chalk Mountain Services of Texas
- First place in intercity under 2.5 million: Jetco DFW
- First place in intercity 2.5-5 million: CVS Transportation
- First place in intercity 5-10 million: Double Diamond Transport
- First place in intercity 10-20 million: Groendyke Transport
- First place in intercity over 20 million: Walmart Transportation
- First place in local under 1 million: McRay Crane & Rigging
- First place in local 1 to 5 million: Excargo Services
- First place in local 5 to 10 million: GulfMark Energy
- First place in local Over 10 million: Chalk Mountain Services of Texas
Truck Safety Contest awards recognize fleets of TXTA member companies that display dignified professional driving performance in the trucking industry. These state winners, judged by the company’s lowest overall accident frequency experience rates, are presented trophies and plaques in recognition of their achievements.
2022 Technician of the Year
- First place: Corey Tegeler, Old Dominion
- Second place: Michael Kerfoot, Dickinson Fleet Services
- Third place: Bart Prescher, Walmart
- Fourth place: Christopher Gerrald, Travel Centers of America
- Fifth place: Beau Hanly, Southwest International
The Technician of the Year Contest was initiated in 1982 by TXTA and the Fleet Maintenance Council to recognize the contributions of outstanding mechanics of the heavy vehicle fleet maintenance industry. This contest evaluates mechanics’ knowledge of their trade and ability to utilize that knowledge on basic mechanical problems.