To the moon and back: NPTC inducts 4 to Driver Hall of Fame

 NPTC inducted four drivers into its Hall of Fame on Monday. Posing on stage after the induction ceremony are, from left, Bradley Wacks, Army and Air Force Exchange Services, Frank Rice Jr., Shaw Transport, and Rob Harmeyer, Batesville, Logistics. Missing from the photo is Larry Thorp, Orscheln Farm and Home, who was unable to attend the conference.

NPTC inducted four drivers into its Hall of Fame on Monday. Posing on stage after the induction ceremony are, from left, Bradley Wacks, Army and Air Force Exchange Services, Frank Rice Jr., Shaw Transport, and Rob Harmeyer, Batesville, Logistics. Missing from the photo is Larry Thorp, Orscheln Farm and Home, who was unable to attend the conference.

Association also hands out fleet safety awards during ceremony

Calling the Hall of Fame honorees a “pretty impressive group,” Tom Moore, senior vice president of the National Private Truck Council (NPTC), ran through their list of accomplishments, including a combined 17.6 million accident- and violation-free miles which amounts to 63,050 days of driving.

“If you want to put that in perspective, that is ….36 round trips to the moon,” Moore said, joking that “unfortunately, the 37th round trip puts them on the moon, so we hope they return.

“You don’t get to the status they have overnight,” he added. “Every minute has to have that [safety] focus.”

Moore, who spent time with each driver prior to the ceremony, said there was a common theme among them. “One of my biggest takeaways is don’t be in a hurry,” Moore said. “That’s what every one of these guys told me.”

This year’s Driver Hall of Fame inductees were honored during a ceremony on Monday at the NPTC 2018 conference in Cincinnati. They are:

  • Rob Harmeyer, Batesville, Logistics
  • Frank Rice Jr., Shaw Transport
  • Larry Thorp, Orscheln Farm and Home
  • Bradley Wacks, Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)

Harmeyer has racked up 3.9 million miles in 31 years of driving without an accident or moving violation. He continues to practice his skills with monthly training courses and is involved in the American Trucking Associations’ Share the Road program, speaks at local schools, and manages Batesville’s Trucker Buddy program.

Rice began his driving career in 1967 with a stint driving for the U.S. Army. After returning from his military duty, Rice joined Salem Carpets which eventually was purchased by Shaw Transport. In his career, Rice has accumulated over 5 million miles of driving without an accident or moving violation.

Thorp has been a professional driver for 52 years, the last 11 with Orscheln Farm and Home. On a weekly basis, Thorp covers about 2,200 miles through nine Midwestern states, covering over 5.2 million miles in his career to date without an accident or moving violation.

Wacks got into trucking thanks to a neighbor, who was an owner-operator. Since his first job with Dunes Transportation in 1981, Wacks has dedicated himself to safety. Some 36 years later and 3.5 million miles of accident- and violation-free driving, Wacks continues to set an example for other AAFES drivers. He joined AAFES in 1987 and now serves as a liaison between the AAFES distribution center in Dayton and the Exchange stores in addition to his driving duties and mentoring of new drivers. He chairs the Dayton Consolidation Center’s Terminal Safety Council.

In addition to the annual Hall of Fame ceremony, NPTC honored the nation’s safest private fleets with its Fleet Safety Awards, sponsored by Lytx.

The Fleet Safety Awards are split into categories and three special awards are also presented to the safest of the safe.

ADM Trucking, Berry Global, Hittman Transport Services/Energy Solutions, and Koch Foods all received Gold Seal Awards (Certificate of Achievement). The Gold Seal Award is given to a company for a terminal that did not experience a single accident during the previous year.

The Silver Seal Award winners (Certificate of Merit), given to a fleet that reduces its accident frequency by 40% or more for a terminal compared to the previous year, are ADM Trucking, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Frito-Lay, Orgill Transportation, and Shaw Industries.

Finally, the Bronze Seal Award winners, given to a fleet that reduces its accident frequency rate by 20% to 39% for a terminal compared to the previous year, are ADM Trucking, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Contract Transportation Systems/The Sherwin-Williams Company, Frito-Lay, and Orgill Transportation.

The Fleet Safety Awards given by category represent safe fleet operations across the entire fleet. This year’s winners are:

Local Operation

First place: Blain Supply Inc.

Second place: Speedway Transport Operations | SWTO LLC

Third place: American Proteins

Regional Operations

First place: Orscheln Farm and Home

Second place: Contract Transportation Systems/The Sherwin-Williams Company

Small Fleet (fewer than 50 vehicles)

Mixed Operation

First Place: Metal Exchange Corporation

Second place: Sugar Foods Corporation

Third place: Moen Incorporated

Large Fleet (50 vehicles or more)

Mixed Operation

First place: New South Express

Second place: Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Third place: Unifi Manufacturing

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