Kim Richardson Receives PTDI’s Highest Honor, the Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award


Recipient has been relentless in promoting quality truck driver training for the trucking industry

Kissimmee, Florida:

Kim Richardson, president of KRTS Transportation Specialists, Inc. (KRTS), of Caledonia, Ontario, is the 2015 recipient of the Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award, presented by the Professional Truck Driver Institute, Inc. (PTDI). The honor was bestowed March 10, 2015, at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida, during the annual convention of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), the organization that manages PTDI.
The Crittenden Award, sponsored by Cengage Learning of Clifton Park, New York, is given to a person who exemplifies the overall mission of PTDI, for which Lee Crittenden was a staunch supporter until his death in April 1998. PTDI raises the quality of truck driver training courses by establishing and promoting minimum training standards, and by certifying courses that meet those standards.
“Cengage Learning is pleased that PTDI’s highest honor will be going to someone who is known far and wide as a passionate advocate for the training and development of truck drivers,” said Erin Brennan, product team manager for Cengage Learning. “Kim’s dedication to the industry is unmatched. Cengage Learning can think of no more worthy recipient of this award.”
Richardson grew up around the trucking industry because his father was a professional truck driver. Working from a card table in his basement, he launched a family business in 1989 that would grow into the award-winning company that it is today. Offering specialized training for the transportation and construction industries, KRTS now services more than 400 corporate clients and has helped more than 9,000 people obtain their commercial drivers’ licenses.
He first got involved with PTDI in 1996, when the organization was known as the Professional Truck Driver Institute of America. Being from Canada, one of his early achievements was convincing the organization to drop the last two words of its title to more inclusively represent the whole North American perspective. He was involved with PTDI’s Board of Directors as both an advisor and a full board member, and has remained on the Board for an impressive 19 years. He has served on PTDI’s Standards Review, Nominating, and Image committees as well as its Driver Finishing Task Force, and has served on TCA’s School Committee since 2011.
Over the years, Richardson has participated in the development, implementation, and revisions of PTDI’s standards, and he has been relentless in his promotion of quality truck driver training.
“Wherever he goes, he is constantly talking of quality and professional training within our industry,” said Robert McClanahan, the executive director of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, and the 2007 recipient of the Crittenden Award. “As publisher of the Rear View Mirror, Kim’s articles raise the bar by informing readers of best practices and the need to offer students proper training. I am inspired by his leadership and enthusiasm.”
His colleagues on the Board note that Richardson has always had a willingness to serve and promote the value of PTDI. At his own school, he has maintained a PTDI-certified course since 1998. In addition, he is a founding member of the Transport Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO). When he learned that Canada’s Minister of Transportation is considering adopting mandatory entry-level driver training in Ontario, he proactively lobbied for PTDI’s standards to be adopted as the minimum requirements.
One of Richardson’s lesser-known accomplishments is the creation of an Ontario apprenticeship program for entry-level drivers called “Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver.” According to Ray Haight, the 2008 Crittenden Award recipient, who is a past chairman of PTDI and a partner with TransRep of Caledonia, Ontario: “Kim dreamt up this one-year program, which follows a PTDI curriculum. He laid it out in simple language, recruited all the players to the table, and called upon his many contacts. We were told it would take a minimum of five years to implement. I still remember discussing it with Kim at the time, and we agreed that we would give it two years maximum – and it got done, largely through Kim’s efforts.”
The presentation of the annual Lee J. Crittenden award keeps Crittenden’s memory alive and serves as inspiration to others who get involved with truck driver issues. Crittenden helped many important industry activities get their start. He was passionate about promoting a positive image of the nation’s professional truck drivers, and was largely responsible for the creation of America’s Road Team. He also initiated a scholarship program for drivers who participate in the National Truck Driving Championships. His greatest industry achievement is largely believed to be his part in founding the Professional Truck Driver Institute, where he served on the board of directors and also as the finance chairman during the Institute’s infancy. Crittenden worked for Associates Commercial (which later became CitiCapital), the company that was instrumental in creating this award along with the Truckload Carriers Association.
PTDI currently has certified entry-level training courses at 57 schools in 19 states and Canada.