Owner-operator Mark Tricco of Bison Transport is a hero. He’s an instructor and leader to other drivers. He’s an inspiration to his family. Over the years, he’s overcome the most extreme challenges and even crisis to deliver your freight. And for his dedication and service throughout his amazing 33-year career, Tricco is now the Canadian National Driver of the Year.
The award, established by the Canadian Trucking Alliance and sponsored by Volvo Trucks Canada, is the highest honour bestowed upon a truck driver in Canada who has maintained a collision-free driving record and demonstrated exemplary professionalism both on and off the road.
With over 3 million miles under his belt, Tricco, who calls Brandon, Man. home, has driven various types of equipment and has hauled lumber, heavy machinery, reefer and general freight – all collision free.
“He is a professional driver who can drive anything you put him in and do it perfectly,” says Don Strueber, president of Bison Transport. “His knowledge and experience as well as his compassion for others is what makes him truly a top professional driver.”
Over the years this driver has received numerous commendations for his outstanding driving skills and courtesy to other motorists. As an owner-op, he can perform most of the truck maintenance and repairs himself. He is a trainer and mentor to other drivers at Bison.
He learned early on in his career about safety vigilance and the price that can be paid for negligence. As a new driver, he once came across the scene of a horrific accident where fatalities were involved. Being one of the first on scene, he immediately jumped in and started administering aid. He remained there for seven hours assisting the OPP. He says that these unfortunate incidents do occur and makes it his mission to ensure he is never the cause of one.
Co-workers describe him as easy-going and always chatty and someone you can always go to for advice. Dispatchers, fellow drivers or even company managers frequently seek him out for his views on a situation.
Tricco has given much of himself to the industry, but never at the cost of family. While on the road, he is always in communication with his wife Melody and three adult children – evidenced by his cell phone bill.
In the last few years a close family member has faced some health issues – a situation that is difficult enough for anybody to deal with, but especially for someone who works on the open road away from home for days at a time. Still, he has continued to work through this tough time and manages to be there for appointments and to provide emotional support.
He says that fortunately for him, he still has the love of his wife Melody, who is his biggest cheerleader. Together they have overcome long distances, tough family situations and varying life crises.
“There are countless professional truck drivers in Canada, but few who have achieved what Mark has under such trying circumstances,” says CTA President Bradley. “On behalf of CTA and the other provincial trucking associations, I am proud to honour such as courageous, dedicated professional as Canada’s top truck driver.”
The CTA-Volvo Trucks Canada National Truck Driver of the Year is selected among all of the year’s provincial Driver of the Year recipients by a panel of judges made up of representatives from Transport Canada, the Traffic Industry Research Foundation and the Canada Safety Council.