TODD A STINE, a driver with Carbon Express Inc, was selected as National Tank Truck Carriers’ 2016-2017 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year. The announcement came May 1 during NTTC’s 69th Annual Conference & Exhibits in Chicago, Illinois.
He is the fourth recipient of the William A Usher Sr trophy, which is sponsored by Baldwin & Lyons Inc. Over the course of a 16-year career as a professional truck driver, Stine has accumulated 1.9 million miles of truck driving—1.6 million of them accident free.
“Congratulations to Todd Stine for this tremendous achievement as our grand champion this year,” said NTTC President Dan Furth. “Todd’s recognition secured his place in trucking history as one of the industry’s most decorated professional drivers. I really look forward to working with him to give voice to the NTTC’s safety mission.”
NTTC Chairman Lee Miller of Miller Transporters said: In just our fourth contest year, Todd stands out as the second grand champion to win on his second try, which really underscores the quality of our driver finalists as a group and his personal commitment to his craft. On behalf of my fellow carriers, I also want to thank our sponsor Baldwin & Lyons for helping us appropriately recognize our industry’s best.”
In his remarks following the presentation, Stine said: “I’m very honored and humbled by this award. This gives me more opportunities to share what it means to be a safe, professional tank truck driver. It is very humbling to be recognized by my industry and my company as an extraordinary driver. All of the champion finalists on the stage with me today represent the best of this industry.
“I’m very excited about what it means to be NTTC’s 2016-2017 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year. I look forward to promoting the safety and professionalism of the tank truck industry and to sharing my experiences as an over-the-road truck driver with the communities and industries that we serve.”
Stine went on to say that family support plays a vital role in helping a driver achieve success as a safe professional truck driver. “Spouses are especially important,” he said. “While we are out there on the road all week, they are at home paying the bills, taking the kids to the doctor, handling car maintenance issues, and so many other issues. My wife Tammy is my biggest supporter and cheerleader when I participated in a program like NTTC’s Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year.”
Key issues for Stine include distracted driving. “This has become the biggest killer of young adults,” he said. “It’s getting worse. Distracted driving doesn’t kill or injure just the distracted driver. Too many innocent motorists also suffer. I believe we can save lives through more effective education and community outreach. Young people do pay attention.”
Stine is a strong advocate for electronic driver logs, and the 10-hoour break is a good rule. “It impacts more than just sleep,” he says. “Drivers have a more relaxed meal schedule and more opportunity for exercise. As an active member of the Healthy Fleet Challenge, I walk an hour and a half every day. I spend so much time behind the wheel of a truck that I need to exercise.
Stine says Carbon Express provides better opportunities for rest, because all of the drivers at the fleet take their breaks at a motel. “We don’t have sleeper tractors,” he says. “Sleeping in motels keeps me at Carbon Express.”
This was the second year Stine was recommended for the award by his employer of the last seven years—Carbon Express. Stine’s achievements include being named a champion finalist for NTTC’s Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year last year and being selected for the America’s Road Team in 2013. He also placed second in the Tank Truck Division of the Pennsylvania Truck Driving Championship in 2016.
Here are the other 2016-17 champion finalists:
• Rayvon Truitt, Eagle Transport Corporation Inc. Years as a professional truck driver: 20. Accumulated miles in career: 2 million. Accident-free miles: 2 million.
• Dennis Lathrom, Foodliner. Years as a professional truck driver: 19. Accumulated miles in career: 2.1 million. Accident-free miles: 2.1 million.
• Brian “Butch” Jennings, Grammer Industries. Years as a professional truck driver: 32. Accumulated miles in career: 3.2 million. Accident-free miles: 3.2 million.
• Robert Black, K-Limited Carrier Ltd. Years as a professional truck driver: 34. Accumulated miles in career: 2.6 million. Accident-free miles: 2.6 million.
• Stephen Sorenson, Quality Carriers Inc. Years as a professional truck driver: 42. Accumulated miles in career: 5.6 million. Accident-free miles: 5.6 million.
• Kelly Lien, Solar Transport. Years as a professional truck driver: 37. Accumulated miles in career: 3 million. Accident-free miles: 3 million.
• Daniel Byars, United Petroleum Transports. Years as a professional truck driver: 37. Accumulated miles in career: 5 million. Accident-free miles: 5 million. ♦