The West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA) announced that Eugene Collins, of Cowen, Keith R. Miller, of Marlinton, and James R. Bailes, of Leivasy, all drivers for Burns Motor Freight in Marlinton, were honored at the association’s annual awards banquet June 20 at the Charleston Civic Center.
Collins earned the West Virginia Professional Driver of the Year Award. He has driven for 44 years and accumulated 2.2 million safe miles. He has participated in three West Virginia Truck Driving Championships (TDC) and earned two WVTA Outstanding Driver Awards and one Driver of the Month Award. Collins has also received the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) One and Two Million Mile Awards.
Miller earned the State Police Safety Award. He has driven for 36 years and accumulated 3.3 million miles with no accidents. He has also earned six Driver of the Month Awards and five Outstanding Driver Awards. He is a past recipient of the State Police Safety Award.
Bailes earned the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s Driver of the Year Award. He has been a driver for 29 years and has two-million accident-free miles while earning six WVTA Outstanding Driver Awards and two Driver of the Month Awards. Bailes has also received the ATA’s One and Two Million Mile Awards.
“It’s a significant accomplishment for three of these major annual awards to go to drivers from the same trucking company,” said Ryan Thorn of the West Virginia Trucking Association.
The banquet followed the 60th Annual Truck Driving Championship competition. The competition was also at the Civic Center. Forty-four West Virginia-based professional drivers, from eight companies, displayed their driving skills and knowledge of the trucking industry during the daylong event. The competition is designed to promote safety in the trucking industry. During this event, drivers are given a written examination, pre-trip inspection test and finally the most visible – the field test.
“The TDC and awards banquet are great ways to showcase the talented and hardworking truck drivers in our state,” said Jan Vineyard, president of the WVTA. “They are true professionals who are dedicated to the highest level of safety and set the bar for others in our industry. Trucking keeps our state moving by not only hauling the goods and groceries that we all use every day, but also by being a significant employer of our residents and contributor to our state’s economy, so it’s a pleasure to recognize the “best of the best” in the industry.”