Friday, May 01, 2020

ATA celebrates safest fleet and individuals with ‘Virtual’ awards program

Faced with ongoing social distancing orders from the state with further restrictions on large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Alabama Trucking Association took to the Internet to host its 2019 “Virtual” Fleet Safety Awards live on Facebook last night, Thursday, April 30.

Hosted by ATA Vice President of Safety and Compliance Tim Frazier, dozens of Alabama’s top fleets, managers and employees were tapped for awards and recognition celebrating the industry’s dedication to highway and workplace safety and best practices.

Award sponsors include Carrier Transicold South, McGriff Tire Co., Nextran Truck Centers, Southland Transportation Group and Vertical Alliance Group.

“I want to express our Association’s gratitude to those sponsors,” said Frazier. “They stuck with us during this stressful time. This Association is so blessed to have an engaged and supportive allied sector.  These business leaders understand the importance of recognizing those who invest time, finances and effort in fleet and driver safety measures. Safety investments make our industry stronger and present a better public image, which places us in the best possible position to serve Alabama’s economy safely and efficiently.”

ATA President Mark Colson praised the winners’ commitment to operating professionally, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

“What a time to honor excellence in the trucking industry,” Colson said. “The men and women in our business are shinning during very challenging circumstances. From the White House to the farmhouse, there is an acute awareness of the important role trucking plays in our daily lives. We are so proud of these individuals and the companies recognized in this year’s Fleet Safety Awards. Through crisis or Christmas, truckers keep America moving forward!”

Held each spring, ATA’s awards follow the American Trucking Associations’ criteria for fleet safety recognition and are judged by an independent panel of experts from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency who pore over complex safety stats and parameters based on miles operated within the state. All safety information is pulled from the previous calendar year, in this case, 2018-2019 — which is why ATA refers to the “2019 awards”. Also, ATA officials note that nominees’ names and locations are kept from judges.

Driver of the Year

Several individuals from ATA members fleets received awards for their experience and work in trucking. The highlight of those awards was the presentation of the Driver of the Year Award which went to Silas, Ala.’s Rosko Craig of Montgomery Transportation, LLC. The Driver of the Year award is sponsored by Nextran Truck Centers.

Rosko Craig

Craig has logged 3 million accident-free miles in a career spanning two decades. In the seven years that he’s worked at Montgomery Transport, he’s earned many awards from his company, including Driver of the Month honors and Driver of the Year in 2018. 

According to his supervisors, Craig is an “old school” trucker respected by his peers, customers and company managers, who’s always willing to help. Tapping into his leadership skills, Montgomery Transport managers picked him to serve on its Driver Advisory Board, which researches and writes company policy. He was recently selected by the company to test a new camera system that replaces a truck’s outside mirrors.

His supervisors add that he readily shares wisdom, takes accountability for his actions, and performs his job at the highest level no matter the circumstance. He’s also a great spokesperson for the industry. He regularly shares the role the trucking industry plays in the economy, and its daily impact on our lives. He says passing along his knowledge and passion for trucking is a very rewarding part of his life, and he hopes to create a spark for someone to consider trucking as a career choice.

“We’re only as good as our people, and our drivers are the absolute background of this business,” said Montgomery Transport CEO Rollins Montgomery. “Rosko consistently proves he is in an elite status of professional drivers. His willingness to be part of any operation or project that comes his way makes him an integral part of our company family.”

Outside of work, Craig is a dedicated family man. He lives with his wife Christella in Birmingham. The couple has two adult children, Rachelle and Maurice, and several grandchildren.

The Driver of the Year Runner Up was Lawrence Twitty of Blair Logistics, who has been a professional driver for more than 13 years logging nearly 2-million safe miles with no accidents or claims. He has been with his current company for more than a decade.

Safety Professional

Matt Frazier

Another big winner was Safety Professional of the Year Matt Frazier, Vice President of Safety for Montgomery Transport. Matt, a third-generation trucker who also is the son of ATA’s Tim Frazier, has been a fixture in the state’s trucking industry for more than 20 years. The award’s sponsor is Southland Transportation Group.

Upon completing a degree in criminal justice, he worked for a safety compliance consulting firm where he cut his teeth in fleet safety compliance with regard to FMCSA regulations. He followed that with a stint at American Proteins of Hanceville working in its safety department and eventually becoming the safety director there. He successfully led the company to become one of the state’s safest carriers.

He joined Montgomery Transport in 2011 as one of three founding employees. Under his guidance and supervision, the company has grown from ten trucks to more than several hundred, and the organization has spun off various other company entities that Matt helps manage. During this tremendous growth, the company has won more than 20 fleet safety awards from ATA and other organizations.

Outside of his duties with his company, Matt has been involved with ATA’s Safety and Maintenance Management Council (SMMC) extensively for years, serving in several official roles, including Chairman of the SMMC Birmingham Chapter. He received his CDS certification from the North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI) in 2009 and maintains current status. He also serves on the SMMC steering committee and on the group’s Alabama Truck Driving Championship Committee, specifically tasked with course creation.

Safety Pro Runner Up is Trussville, Ala. resident Scott Hackleman of P&S Transportation. Company officials say Hackleman is a valuable asset to his company. “(Scott) seamlessly navigated a number of large milestones and acquisitions in the growth of our company during the past few years,” said P&S Vice President of Safety Johnathan Marshall. “He was invaluable and instrumental as we navigated a company-wide transition from paper logs to an electronic logging system.”

Maintenance Professional

E.J. Waters

ATA’s Maintenance Professional of the Year E.J. Waters of Evergreen Forest Products in Evergreen, Ala. is a legend among heavy-duty equipment maintenance circles. With nearly 50 years of experience, he’s known as one of the industry’s most technically trained maintenance professionals. The award is sponsored by Carrier Transicold South.

Waters has received various certifications in many areas to include, brake inspection and rebuilds, transmission and driveline, hazard communication, injury prevention, and forklift operation, to name a few. He won Freightliner’s national skills competition three of the four years he competed.

According to his company managers, Waters has dedicated his entire career to ensuring every piece of equipment in his charge is maintained to the safest operational standards possible. They add that he shepherds his shop employees as if they are part of his family. He teaches safety issues and concerns to each associate in a manner that they understand and respect.

Fleet Manager

P&S Transportation driver manager supervisor Andy Overstreet was named ATA’s Fleet Manager of the Year sponsored by Vertical Alliance Group.

Andy Overstreet

Overstreet manages eight driver supervisors and the daily activities of 235 drivers. These duties include yard checks for securement quality, orientation participation, retention maintenance, productivity and on-time delivery. While managing these daily functions, he is continually monitoring to make sure the employees and company are protected and successful.

“He has a great relationship with all his management team, drivers, and peers, and he’s a great asset to our company,” said P&S’s Marshall. “He manages his group with the message that safety is and will always remain the number one priority. He understands the role safety has in making employees, the company, and the industry successful.”

President’s Award

LB3, LLC of Wedowee, Ala. earned the 2019 ATA President’s Award as ATA’s safest overall fleet for miles driven by a company’s drivers within the state of Alabama. The award is sponsored by McGriff Tire & Service. Owned and operated by Brad and Valerie Lindley, LB3 hauls general freight, meat, refrigerated food and paper products. The company operated in 2019 with no accidents across 477,586 in-state miles.

Fleet Safety Winners

The following companies are ATA’s safest fleet for miles operated in Alabama in 2019. Congratulations to each of them.

Hazardous Materials
1st Place – Georgia Tank Lines, LLC

Tank Truck
1st Place – J & M Tank Lines, Inc. 

Miscellaneous Category 1 to 3 Million Miles
1st Place – Massey Hauling Company, Inc.

Household Goods
1st Place – Changing Spaces Moving, Inc.
2nd Place – Motivated Movers

Heavy Haulers Category
1st Place – RM Logistics, Inc.

Private Carrier Under 1 Million Miles
1st Place – Golden Flake Snack Foods, Inc.

Private Carrier 3 to 5 Million Miles
1st Place – Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Private Carrier Over 5 Million Miles
1st Place – River Valley Ingredients

General Commodities Local Under 100,000 Miles
1st Place – Blair Logistics, LLC

General Commodities Local under 1 Million Miles
1st Place – BR Williams Trucking, Inc.
2nd Place – New South Express, Inc.
3rd Place – Church Transportation and Logistics, Inc.

General Commodities Local 3 to 5 Million Miles
1st Place – Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc.
2nd Place – Greenbush Logistics, Inc.
3rd Place – AAA Cooper Transportation, Inc.

General Commodities Local 5-10 Million Miles
1st Place – Billy Barnes Enterprises, Inc.
2nd Place – FedEx Freight, Inc.

General Commodities Linehaul Under 1 Million Miles
1st Place – LB3, LLC
2nd Place – Greenbush Logistics, Inc.
3rd Place – Church Transportation and Logistics, Inc.

General Commodities Linehaul 1 to 3 Million Miles
1st Place – DT Freight, LLC
2nd Place – Benny Whitehead, Inc.
3rd Place – Billy Barnes Enterprises, Inc.

General Commodities Linehaul 3 to 5 Million Miles
1st Place  – Wright Transportation, Inc.
2nd Place – Brown Trucking, Co.
3rd Place – Shelton Trucking, LLC

General Commodities Linehaul 5 to 10 Million Miles
1st Place – P&S Transportation, Inc.
2nd Place – Blair Logistics, LLC
3rd Place – BR Williams Trucking, Inc.

General Commodities Linehaul over 10 Million Miles
1st Place – Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc.
2nd Place – Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC.
3rd Place – AAA Cooper Transportation, Inc.

General Commodities Combined Under 1 Million Miles
1st Place – Church Transportation and Logistics, Inc.
2nd Place – New South Express, Inc.

General Commodities Combined 3 to 5 Million Miles
1st Place  – Greenbush Logistics, Inc.
2nd Place – Montgomery Transport, LLC

General Commodities Combined 5 to 10 Million Miles
1st Place – Billy Barnes Enterprises, Inc.
2nd Place – P&S Transportation, Inc.
3rd Place – Wright Transportation, Inc.

General Commodities Combined over 10 Million Miles
1st Place – Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc.
2nd Place – AAA Cooper Transportation, Inc.
3rd Place – FedEx Freight, Inc.

Safety Improvement Awards

The following companies each improved their overall safety ratio in 2019. Congratulations to all.

AAA Cooper Transportation, Inc.
Benny Whitehead, Inc.
Billy Barnes Enterprises, Inc.
Blair Logistics, LLC
Boyd Bros. Transportation, Inc.
BR Williams Trucking, Inc.
Changing Spaces Moving, Inc.
Church Transportation and Logistics, Inc.
DT Freight, LLC
FedEx Freight, Inc.
Georgia Tank Lines, LLC
Greenbush Logistics, Inc.
J&M Tank Lines, Inc.
LB3, LLC
Montgomery Transport, LLC
P&S Transportation, Inc.
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Red Mountain Transportation, LLC
River Valley Ingredients
Shelton Trucking, LLC
Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc.
TCW, Inc.

ATA Comp Fund Awards

The ATA Comp Fund also announced during the program. The Fund’s winners were selected based on “a willingness to instill a culture of safety, a commitment to implement the group’s Risk Management model and overall loss ratio.” Fund Director of Risk Management Don Anchors announced the awards.

Safety Excellence Award – Heritage Freight Warehousing & Logistics
Small Fleet Safety Award – John Ray Enterprises
Medium Fleet Safety Award – Grace Logistics
Large Fleet Safety Award – Wilmar Trucking
Allied Services Safety Award – Transport Trailer Center
Moving & Storage Services Safety Award – Changing Spaces Moving