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Three Lessons from the Titans in the Trucking Industry

2017 DOY Finalists

The Ohio Trucking Association honored Ohio's 12 best drivers at the Driver of the Year Awards in Columbus last week, and announced driver Kenneth Mulgrew of Robert M. Neff, Inc. as this year's winner. We want to extend our congratulations to Kenneth and all of the nominees for the award, as their hard work and attention to safety surely hasn't gone unnoticed.

Similar to last year's event, we wanted to dig a little deeper into what makes these drivers such top performers. So we handed them the microphone and let them do the talking. Below are three lessons we took away from our talks with the 12 finalists.

1. Slow Down and Enjoy the Ride



"Slow down. [Starting off], I was over-anxious. I was so excited and so overjoyed to be driving a semi - because that's all I ever wanted to do. I had a great start, great trainers and didn't have any issues, but I needed to slow down and take a breath."


Steve Brand, FedEx Freight 

"Slow down a little bit and smell the roses and not try to make a million dollars a year. Relax and enjoy it, because [this job] is for the long haul." 

Brian Petrovcic, ABF Freight 

"I would slow down and enjoy the moment and take pictures. Because right now, that's all I have is pictures of my trucks when I had them, and I wish I would have taken more, and there's a lot of neat things that I hauled that I wish I had pictures of that I wish I did."


Jason Imhoff, Walmart Transportation

2. Learn, Improve and Commit



"Learn and glean from others the best that I can. I can always learn something from [other drivers] and take something home from it."

Paul Brickey, Walmart Transportation

"The most important thing [younger drivers] need to focus on is attitude. More than driving skills, more than anything else, you need to have the right attitude. That carries out with how you deal with the company, how you deal with the customer, how you deal with other drivers."

Kenneth Mulgrew, Robert M. Neff, Inc., 2017 OTA Driver of the Year

"It takes that commitment as a lifestyle as to what we're doing. Be open and willing to learn. There is plenty of success [in this industry] for someone who puts themselves in that place."

Paul Brickey, Walmart Transportation

3. Great Companies = Great Drivers



"At Kenan, we're like a family. We know each other really well, we get along with the drivers, the mechanics and everyone."

Daniel Smith, Kenan Advantage Group

"It takes good equipment, good mechanics, good dispatchers a good HR Deparment - it takes the whole team [to succeed]."

Kenneth Mulgrew, Robert M. Neff, Inc.

"The best thing about ABF Freight is the people I've had the good fortune to work with. I've been able to work with a lot of very knowledgeable and experienced people that I've been able to learn a lot from."

David Hedicker, ABF Freight

Building the Next Generation of Professional Drivers

You have world class drivers at your fleet. Make sure you nominate your deserving drivers next year for the Driver of The Year awards. Show them the appreciation they deserve and utilize their passion, knowledge, and professionalism. Take the advice from all of the skilled drivers in Ohio and the country to help build a fleet full of professional, safe drivers.

Congratulations to all 12 finalists!

2017 DOY Finalists

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