BARBARA Herman, a driver with K-Limited Carrier Ltd, was named the National Tank Truck Carriers’ 2018-2019 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year. The announcement came April 24 during NTTC’s 71st Annual Conference & Exhibits in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Toledo, Ohio native, who’s been driving trucks for 34 years--the last 10 of them with K-Limited Carrier—becomes the first female recipient of the award, which is sponsored by Great West Casualty Company of Sioux City, Iowa.
Herman boasts two million accident free miles in her career, and 750,000 safe miles of driving with K-Limited. She’s also a six-time winner of K-Limited’s certificate of excellence.
NTTC President Dan Furth said “Congratulations to Barb and the whole team at K-Limited Carrier. Our industry is extremely proud of the many career opportunities for women in the workplace and K-Limited serves as a fine example given that it’s owned and managed by its indefatigable chief operating officer and president Kim Kaplan.”
It’s a dream come true,” Herman said during the award ceremony. “I’ve wanted to be a truck driver since I was six years old, and this award validates a lot of hard miles on the road.”
In her video application, Herman recounted the moment that she knew she wanted to be a truck driver. She had just finished a ride-along with her father hauling produce in his truck. She told him as much, but he responded, saying: “Women just don’t do that.”
Decades later, Herman’s father told her how proud she made him by following in his footsteps.
Herman added that she became a tank truck driver because she believes they are the elite among professional truck drivers, and she shares their passion for safety.
“The most important responsibility that I carry with me each and every day is safety,” she said. “With me, safety isn’t just a word, it’s a way of life.”
Candi Coate, vice-president of safety and regulatory compliance at K-Limited Carrier, praised Herman’s dedication and professionalism, saying: “Barbara’s commitment to safety is just one of the many reasons we’re happy to have her as a part of the K-Limited family. Her ongoing work as a certified driver trainer is invaluable to us, and we’re thrilled that she’s been recognized for her outstanding accomplishments in our industry.
“I have worked with Barb for over six years and in all that time Barb has always had an unparalleled passion for what she does. Having grown up in trucking, she has a deep appreciation and respect for her peers and others in the industry. Barb is a consummate professional. It’s an exciting time for all women in trucking. It’s an awesome career path for men and woman alike, and Barb is a perfect example of how successful and satisfying that path can be.”
Dean Kaplan, K-Limited chief executive officer and a leader in spearheading NTTC’s development of the Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award program, said: “I’m thrilled that a K-Limited driver has been named NTTC Grand Champion. The purpose in developing this award was to recognize the dedicated drivers who do the hard work every day. Congratulations to our 2018-19 Grand Champion, Barbara and the seven Champion drivers.”
The Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Award recognizes an exemplary tank truck company driver or independent contractor with the most reliable and safe transportation of liquid and dry bulk commodities. The winner represents the best the tank truck industry has to offer, with a demonstrated record of safety and a tireless involvement in community and charity organizations.
This year’s contest marked the sixth anniversary of the driver recognition program that includes the William A Usher Sr trophy. For the first time, all five of the previous recipients of the award were present for the presentation.
Previous winners of the NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award are:
2013-14—James Starr, Groendyke Transport, Enid, Oklahoma
2014-15—Bobby Weller, Hahn Transportation, New Market, Maryland
2015-16—Darryl Nowell, Eagle Transport, Rocky Mountain, North Carolina
2016-17—Todd Stine, Carbon Express, Wharton, New Jersey
2017-18—Paul Emerson, Foodliner, Dubuque, Iowa
As the 2018-19 grand champion, Herman will attend NTTC’s events to speak on the importance and value of safety. She will also serve as a spokesperson for NTTC, offering the perspective of the drivers, whose hard work is the backbone of the tank truck industry.
In addition to Herman, the 2018-19 Professional Tank Trucks Driver of the Year finalists included:
• Ronald Baird, Hoffman Transportation/G&D Trucking, Channahon IL. Years as a professional truck driver: 55. Accident-free miles: 6.9 million.
• Mark A Dorrance, Dixon Bros, Newcastle WY. Years as a professional truck driver: 47. Accident-free miles: 3 million.
• James Ellis Sr, Grammer Industries, Columbus IN. Years as a professional truck driver: 12. Accident-free miles: 1.2 million.
• Tony T Stinnett, Usher Transport, Louisville KY. Years as a professional truck driver: 45. Accident-free miles: 4.73 million.
• Tim Howerton, Groendyke Transport Inc, Enid OK. Years as a professional truck driver: 37. Accident-free miles: 2 million.
• Michael Hunter, Atlas Oil Company, Taylor MI. Years as a professional truck driver: 33. Accident-free miles: 3.2 million.
• William McNamee, Carbon Express, Wharton NJ. Years as a professional truck driver: 27. Accident-free miles: 2.84 million.