Atlantic Bulk Carrier
Abc Driver Vta Award 642c49de56424

VTA names ABC trucker its Driver of the Year

April 4, 2023
Atlantic Bulk Carrier’s Rodney Haskins, who boasts 1.87 million accident-free miles, is the Virginia Trucking Association’s top driver for 2023

Atlantic Bulk Carrier boasts the best driver in Virginia.

The Virginia Trucking Association (VTA) recently named longtime ABC driver Rodney Haskins as the 2023 Virginia Truck Driver of the Year during a safety awards luncheon at its Safety and Human Resources Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia.

“I was very surprised—and very honored—to win that award,” Haskins told Bulk Transporter.

Haskins, 57, of Richmond, Virginia, has been a professional truck driver for 18 years—all with Providence Forge, Virginia-based ABC. He has racked up 1.87 million miles of accident-free driving, with zero traffic violations or citations. “Mr. Haskins represents the best of the hard-working men and women who safely and efficiently deliver the goods and materials vital to our national economy,” VTA said in a news release.

The hazardous materials hauler is an Army veteran. He spent more than 10 years in the military, including serving in Operation Desert Storm, before going to work as a machine operator. After he was laid off from that job, he turned to trucking as a second career—like so many other hard-working Americans.

“When I was younger, I always wanted to drive trucks,” Haskins explained. “But after high school, I didn’t go that route. I went to the service, and then when I came back, I went into a production job. But after I got laid off, I said, ‘Well, why not go drive trucks now?’”

That decision led him to ABC, where today he pilots a 2020 Peterbilt sleeper. ABC trades in trucks before they reach 500,000 miles, so drivers always are in new equipment. “ABC is a good place to work,” Haskins said. “They work with you if you need to handle some personal business, and they’ve always kept me busy.

“That’s what has kept me here.”

Now he’s celebrating a career highlight—an honor Haskins insists so many of his fellow truckers also deserve.

“I don’t think enough drivers are appreciated and rewarded for the things they do,” he said. “Out here driving trucks isn’t easy. You’re dealing with the motoring public and other truck drivers. Everybody wants their products right now, and everybody’s pulling on you, but you still need to deliver every load safely.

“So, you’re dealing with a lot—and most truck drivers don’t get enough recogntion for that.”

However, Zach Callaway, ABC safety director, says no one is more deserving of special recognition than Haskins.

“I started here eight years ago dispatching Rodney,” Callaway said. “He’s always been somebody I can rely on. He’s very skilled at what he does, he knows how to operate his vehicle, he understands the mechanics of the truck, and he can navigate the road.

“But one of the best things about Rodney is he’s very adaptable, with the changing situations that go on here, and he’s always very patient.”

Other superlative award winners included Houff Transfer, of Weyers Cave, Virginia, which won the Grand Trophy for Fleet Safety; Kevin Callahan of Paxton Van Lines in Springfield, Virginia, who snared the Safety Professional of the Year award; and Freya Donald of Walmart Transportation in Mount Crawford, Virginia, who was named Human Resources Professional of the Year.

Fleet Safety Awards were presented to these companies with the lowest 2022 Virginia accident frequency rate in their class of competition:

  • IDM Trucking, Weyers Cave, Virginia
  • Hatchett Transportation, Bassett, Virginia
  • Englander Transportation, Rustburg, Virginia
  • Houff Transfer, Weyers Cave, Virginia
  • Howell's Motor Freight, Roanoke, Virginia
  • CLI Transport, Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • J.D. Newman, Elkwood, Virginia
  • Interstate Van Lines, Springfield, Virginia

Improvement Awards for fleets with the greatest percentage of improvement in their accident frequency over the previous contest year went to:

  • CLI Transport, Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • IDM Trucking, Weyers Cave, Virginia
  • Old Dominion Freight Line, Thomasville, North Carolina

Fleet Safety Certificates were awarded to the following companies with improved safety records over the previous year:

  • CLI Transport, Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Englander Transportation, Rustburg, Virginia
  • IDM Trucking, Weyers Cave, Virginia
  • Old Dominion Freight Line, Thomasville, North Carolina
  • Paxton Van Lines, Springfield, Virginia
About the Author

Jason McDaniel

Jason McDaniel, based in the Houston TX area, has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning journalist. He spent 15 writing and editing for daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, and began covering the commercial vehicle industry in 2018. He was named editor of Bulk Transporter and Refrigerated Transporter magazines in July 2020.