Ruan recently named our 2018 Driver and Operation of the Year winners. David Bailey was named the 2018 Driver of the Year, and our Terre Haute, IN, operation, led by Dedicated Fleet Manager Matt Mathias, was named the 2018 Operation of the Year.
Each year, one professional driver is selected from a pool of more than 4,600 truck drivers based on length of service, safety performance, and exceptional customer service. Bailey, who operates out of T358 in Monroe, WI, has been with Ruan since 2012, logging more than 2.5 million miles during his 28 years as a professional truck driver. He serves on Ruan’s metals flex fleet and has had zero accidents in his career.
“It is so much more than just driving a truck. Driving the truck is the easiest part. It’s planning, dealing with traffic and delays, and much more. Having a safe mentality and making your trip as safe as possible is the hardest part,” Bailey said.
Ruan began the search for our Driver of the Year when 181 drivers from Ruan’s 300 operations were named finalists. Our vice presidents of operations then narrowed the field further to 15 Winners’ Circle honorees, who traveled to Des Moines with a guest in July for an award ceremony and other festivities. Out of the Winners’ Circle, Ruan’s leadership team selected Bailey.
"Recognizing our drivers and their contributions is the most important thing we can do at Ruan. Our Driver of the Year celebration is our way of honoring your dedication, professionalism, and ongoing commitment to Ruan," said CEO Ben McLean at the award ceremony. "To date, we’ve recognized more than 160 drivers in our Winners’ Circle. You join a distinguished group of our safest, most dedicated professional drivers.”
When asked about his reaction to learning he was Driver of the Year, Bailey said, “It felt amazing. It was quite an honor. I’m very humbled and proud. I was very happy my wife was there because she deserves it just as much as I do, because without her I wouldn’t be where I am.”
Each Winners’ Circle honoree was awarded a trophy and cash prize at the Driver and Operation of the Year award ceremony at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. Bailey was honored with a trophy, a cash prize, and the 2018 Driver of the Year title.
Operation of the Year
Our Terre Haute operation, which serves dedicated customer Hydrite, was selected based on the operation’s demonstration of Ruan’s Guiding Principles of Safety Focus, People First, Customer Satisfaction, Exceptional Performance, and Continuous Improvement. Drivers at this operation haul hazmat finished products for Hydrite, as well as bring in raw materials to make the chemicals. The team averages 18 loads per day at 380 miles round trip. Products hauled include bisulfites, acids, fertilizers, soda ash, and anhydrous ammonia.
To select the Operation of the Year, each of our vice presidents of operations selected an operation in their business unit that performs at the highest level. That performance was based on criteria including safety, team member retention, customer satisfaction, and overall performance. Our executive leadership team then narrowed the list of finalists to three Winners’ Circle honorees—and from the honorees, the team picked the 2018 Operation of the Year.
The 2018 Operation of the Year received a trophy, awards for all winning team members, and a corporate-hosted celebration in Terre Haute, which will take place later this summer.