Woodrow Walker Earns Second Place in Truckload Carriers Association’s 2009 Owner Operator of the Year Contest


Las Vegas, Nevada:

Photo:  Kevin Burch, Jeff Jones, Woodrow Walker, and David OrenWoodrow Walker of Memphis, Tennessee, an owner operator leased to Dart Transit Company, of Eagan, Minnesota, has received second place in the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) prestigious Owner Operator of the Year Contest. The announcement was made March 2 during TCA’s Annual Convention at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 23rd annual TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest, sponsored by TCA and Overdrivemagazine, honors the top owner operators in the United States and Canada, based on the drivers’ excellent safety records, unblemished work histories, and community and industry involvement.

Walker, who calls his company Woody’s Trucking, LLC, has driven more than 4 million accident-free truckload miles and has been leased to Dart Transit Company since 1988.  He has received a safety award from Dart every year since becoming affiliated with the company through its Dallas Operating Center and was selected as Dart’s Contractor of the Year in 2005.  He has been the Dallas Operating Center’s Contractor of the Month four times and placed in the top ten for the TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest in 2000.

When not on the road, Walker is very active in his church. He has worked with its prison ministries, serving as a mentor to less experienced, younger men.  Walker has also done his best to spread cheer throughout a local nursing home.  He and his wife are monthly contributing donors to support work on behalf of abused and neglected children through CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates.  On more than one occasion, he has stopped to fix a tire for stranded motorists or bought a meal or gas for someone in trouble.

Joyce Jordan, chief operating officer of Dart’s Dallas Operating Center, stated:  “Woodrow lives by simple, but wise philosophies and values that contribute to his success in transportation and life:  exercise control and discipline in spending, family life and business; be personable; always listen and always respect others.”

Ron Moore, director of operations at Dart’s Dallas Operating Center, said: “Whenever we see Woody in an area we have a problem, I feel a sense of relief knowing that if Woody can help, he will, and will calm the most difficult situations.  He is one of the most dependable and respected contractors among our fleet and within our operation.”

As his reward for receiving second place in the contest, Walker’s employer flew him to Las Vegas and paid for his expenses while at TCA’s convention, where he was awarded a plaque in front of hundreds of the industry’s top leaders.

The overall goal of the TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest is to recognize and pay tribute to outstanding owner operators who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods.

To be eligible for the contest, applicants had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles and being leased to a TCA-member trucking company. After passing the initial phase of the competition, driver applicants were then asked to submit a final application form, from which the top three winners were selected. Final application forms required operating information, verification of work history and safety record, equipment specifications, a business plan, a 300-word essay explaining why the entrant should be a candidate for the grand prize, and a 300-word essay explaining how the entrant is a good “Trucking Citizen.”

“It is always a privilege to operate this contest and get to meet and recognize the most outstanding drivers throughout the U.S. and Canada,” said Chris Burruss, TCA’s president. “Mr. Walker is a shining example of the best that the trucking industry has to offer. He has more than earned the recognition as one of TCA’s top three Owner Operators of the Year!”