Robert Wells – dedicated Albertan truck driver, family man, community leader, and superhero to those who know him – was recently named the 2013 national Volvo Canada/Canadian Trucking Alliance Driver of the Year.
Wells, a driver for Bison Transport who lives in Calgary, was officially handed the award and honored with the title at the recent Alberta Motor Transport Association’s annual general meeting.
The winner of the national award is selected from existing recipients of the Volvo Truck Driver of the Year in each of the Canadian provinces. The award is presented annually to a Canadian professional transport driver who holds a collision-free driving record, demonstrates a high level of professionalism both on and off the road and demonstrates courtesy within the industry and the public arena.
Wells, 63, is a 40-year veteran of the trucking industry, spending his last 15 years with Bison as both a company driver and lease operator. He has logged about 6-million collision-free miles in his career.
During that time he has racked up several safe driving awards at the companies he’s worked for. More recently at Bison, Wells has trained and mentored new drivers as an in-cab instructor and has served on Bison’s driver advisory board, where he makes recommendations to the company on driver issues, equipment and safety. He also served on the 2011-2012 AMTA Road Knights team, where he travelled the province educating students about traffic safety and careers in the trucking industry.
Although he loves trucking, Wells’ greatest passion is his family – his wife Marlene, his five children, 13 grandkids and five great-grandkids – who see first-hand Wells’ strength and dedication. Several years ago Wells was diagnosed with cancer. Instead of taking a break and giving up his seat, he continued to work throughout his chemo treatments and other therapies and eventually beat the disease.
“He is a man made of steel and accomplished what few other men could,” says Bison’s Garth Pitzel, director of safety and driver development. “Diligent, ethical, moral and valiant are just a few words to describe Rob. I never met a driver with more commitment than this man.”
Throughout his life, Wells has been extremely active in the community. He’s been involved with his local Cub Scouts and is a long-time member of the Lion’s Club in Calgary, where he has received many accolades. He has also assisted several charities, including raising funds to supply villages in South Africa.
“Through his actions both on and off the road, Robert personifies what this highly coveted award represents and it is an honour to recognize him as the nation’s professional Driver of the Year,” says CTA president David Bradley. “It is drivers like Robert that make this industry proud and show Canadians just how great trucking is.”