Bison Transport’s Jack Fielding is a man of modest words. Instead he lets a stellar 40-year career in collision-free driving do all the talking.
Fielding, a truckload operator for Bison the last 17 years, was named the 2015 Volvo Trucks Canada-OTA Driver of the Year last evening during an awards ceremony at the Association’s annual conference in Toronto.
The presentation of the award – which is given every year to an Ontario commercial truck driver who exhibits an exemplary safety record and dedication to the profession as well as his or her community – was made by Peter Currie, Ontario district manager, Volvo Trucks Canada.
“Jack is a modest guy. But it’s his actions – both on and off the road – that speaks volumes,” said Currie. “He’s passionate about safety and leads by example. We couldn’t be more proud to recognize outstanding truck drivers like Jack who make this industry great. It is with pleasure to present him with this prestigious award.”
Over his impressive driving career, Jack has amassed about 3 million collision-free kilometres. As a driver and in-house driver-trainer/mentor to new drivers at Bison, he has received countless fleet safety accolades. He’s also no stranger to other Driver of the Year awards. 2013, he was given that title by the U.S.-based Truckload Carriers Association. But perhaps the most memorable checkpoint in his career was when he was an integral member of the 2011-2012 OTA Road Knights team where he travelled the province, visiting schools and community events to help promote safe driving, environmental responsibility and enhance the image of the trucking industry. Jack says he wishes his stint as a Road Knight didn’t have to end and recommends the program to all OTA fleets and their drivers.
“Jack is the kind of driver we’d like to clone,” says Norm Sneyd, Bison’s VP of Business Development. “He’s our go-to guy. When we have a special situation that requires immediate attention – something that requires the Fielding touch – we bring Jack in and he gets it done every time.”
Added Rob Penner, COO and executive vice-president: “Jack is a pleasure to have work for us. He’s always happy and has a joke to tell and is very professional. He’s very active in making our business better, whether it’s his attention to safety, training new drivers or promoting our business to potential new customers while out on the road.”
Jack got his start in trucking at the young age of 17 when his father – a driver for a department store chain – would take him out on the road on weekends. It wasn’t long after Jack finished school that he bought his own truck. He eventually signed with Bison Transport and has never looked back.
“Safety is the number one priority for me,” he says. “I take pride in my safety record and I’m going to try to everything I can to keep it that way.”
Jack also enjoys the time he spends mentoring new drivers. His top three pieces of advice on becoming good truck drivers: “You need to have patience. You need to constantly be thinking about what you are doing at all times .. and you need a good night’s rest.”
OTA president David Bradley was honoured to meet Jack and present the award on behalf of OTA.
“It’s drivers like Jack that are backbone of our industry and help make Ontario roads the safest in North America,” he said. “I want to thank him for his overwhelming support of the trucking industry and specifically the OTA Road Knights program. Whatever the role he’s taking on, he always does it with professionalism and class.”