TORONTO -- Jeffrey MacLean, a
professional driver with SLH Transport in Vaughan, Ont., has been named
the 2007 OTA/Volvo Trucks Canada Driver of the Year.
MacLean has driven two million collision-free kilometres during a career that has spanned 35 years on the road.
“Jeff is vigilant in protecting the well being of the motoring public
through his defensive driving techniques,” noted Gord Gillespie,
president of SLH Transport. “He has a strong, professional work ethic
and is a great ambassador not only for SLH, but our entire industry.
His knowledge, skills and experience are second to none and we are
extremely proud of his accomplishments over his 35 year career on our
team.” read more
Each year the award goes to a professional transport driver who has a
collision-free driving record and is an exemplary truck driver both on
and off the road. MacLean was presented with his award at a luncheon on
the opening day of the 81st annual convention of the Ontario Trucking
MacLean is an active participant in truck driving championships – he
has earned ten first place finishes at provincial competitions – and at
the 2006 National Truck Driving Championships he was presented with the
Grand Champion trophy. He also served as media spokesperson at both
national and provincial level competitions.
MacLean has also been recognized for safe driving with awards from the
Transportation Health and Safety Association of Ontario (THSAO). He is
committed to the Fuel Economy Challenge, a program designed to promote
excellence in saving fuel through the use of good driving habits. The
program rewards fuel savings earned as a result of skilled use of
progressive shifting, proper speed management and gentle acceleration
“Mr. MacLean exemplifies the qualities of a professional truck driver
both on and off the road,” said OTA president David Bradley. “It is a
great honour to present him with this prestigious award in recognition
of his achievement.”
Shaw Tracking in partnership with the OTA named Tandet Dedicated
dispatcher Dan Risebrough as Ontario’s 2007 OTA/Shaw Tracking
Dispatcher of the Year.
The award is presented to a dispatcher who has demonstrated outstanding
commitment to customer service, safety, driver well being, courtesy,
team work, problem solving and community service/volunteer work.
Risebrough has been with Tandet for 18 years – 11 of them spent working
as a dispatcher – and he honed his exceptional driver relation skills
during the time he spent behind the wheel of a truck. This experience
contributed to his outstanding ability to understand the challenges on
the road and balance those with the customers’ need for on-time
delivery of freight.
“Dan was selected for this award not by the management team, but by his
peers,” said Scott Tilley, president of Tandet. “It was Dan’s peers
that solicited management’s approval for the nomination. It was this
group that requested letters from customers, drivers and associates.
Upon reading the letters of support for Dan’s nomination that came in,
they did not surprise me as to the nature and respect for the
individual. Dan is one of a kind.”
Dan and his wife Joan reside in Little Britain, Ont. The couple is a
member of the Camara Club of Ontario and participates in rallies and
competitions which direct proceeds to the Spina Bifida and
Doug Smith, founder and chairman of the Manitoulin Group of Companies
in Gore Bay, Ont. was presented the 2007 OTA-Trailmobile Service to
Industry Award during a ceremony held at the convention.
The award is the highest honour bestowed on an executive in the Ontario
trucking industry and honours an individual who, by their commitment,
vision, leadership and unstinting service, has made an outstanding
contribution to the development and success of the truck transportation
industry in Ontario.
The selection was made by a panel of Smith's peers, most of who are
previous winners themselves, and recognizes Smith’s role as one of the
industry’s major innovators, particularly in developing special truck
configurations, which maximized the productivity of shipments of
various products to and from Northern Ontario.
The Manitoulin Group of Companies is a single source transportation
provider with services ranging from LTL and truckload to customs
brokerages, warehousing, air and ocean freight forwarding, a truck
driving school, fuel distribution and logistics services.
For over 50 years, Smith grew the business through strategic
acquisitions and the company now has a terminal network of more than 60
terminals throughout Canada.
Since the beginning, the head office has always been and continues to
be located in the small town of Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island. Smith
began his career in trucking in 1957 when the family business, Smith's
Wholesale purchased its first truck and trailer to service produce
moving from the Ontario Food Terminal to Manitoulin Island for
distribution. By 1960, with the sale of Smith's Wholesale to National
Grocers, Doug acquired Hill's Transport and renamed the company
In the early days, Smith loaded furniture, drove, and worked on the
trucks. He was determined to make the business work and he did. That
strong work ethic and in-depth knowledge of all facets of the business
has carried the company forward.
Smith’s quiet and unassuming demeanour belies a creativity and
inventiveness that is at the root of his success. Nowhere is this more
evident in the “Supertrucks” for which Smith has become famous.
In 1980, the first eight Supertrucks were put into service and
consisted of a cabover tractor with a 13-foot dromedary box. This box
allowed temperature controlled freight to be moved to Northern Ontario
while pulling a stake and rack trailer, and heavier product such as
lumber or steel to be pulled south while putting general freight into
the Supertruck box. This combination was a perfect fit for Northern
Smith lives and works in Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island with his wife,
Phyllis. Their two sons, Gordon and Jeffrey, have both been working at
Manitoulin Transport for more than 20 years.
In conjunction with OTA’s 81st annual convention, long-time trucking
industry participants were inducted into the OTA Pioneer and Half
Century clubs. The Pioneer Club honours individuals who have 25 or more
years of service in the industry, and the Half-Century Club honours
members with 50 or more years involvement in the industry.
“When people think about our industry the first thing that comes to
mind is equipment, trucks and trailers. But what makes this industry
special is not its equipment but its people,” said Bradley. “This is an
industry that offers opportunity from the ground up and this year’s
inductees to the Pioneer and Half-Century clubs exemplify how a new
entrant to our industry can start at an entry level position and work
his or her way to the top.”
Pioneer Club: Dave MacDonald, regional manager signature service with
Markel Insurance, started in the industry in 1980 with Canada Transport
as a claims manager. Rick Morgan, operations and safety manager with
Steed Standard Transport, started in the industry in 1982 with Student
Movers as a driver. Kim Richardson, president of KRTS Transportation
Specialists, started in the industry with Richardson Commercial Driver
Training Services in the administration department. Bob Smith, manager
of safety with Mackie Moving Systems, started in the industry in 1980
with Ault Dairies as a driver. Donald Tait, fleet manager of Natrel,
started in the industry in 1965 with Toronto Peterborugh Transport as a
Half Century Club: George Ledson, president of Cavalier Transportation
Services, started in the industry in 1957 with Inter-City Truck Lines
in the Credit Department. Kenneth Nixon, manager of national accounts
with the Rosedale Group, started in the industry in 1948 with Kingsway
Transport as a dockhand. Courtesy of Today's Trucking