The excitement and joy that spread across J & M Tank Lines’ Professional Driver, Darrien Henderson’s face told J & M Tank Lines’ CEO, Harold Sumerford, Jr. all he needed, to confirm he made the right choice by nominating Henderson for the NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award.

Sumerford informed Henderson he is one of the eight finalists for the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) 2019-2020 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year (PTTDY) award, shortly after its public release. Henderson immediately jumped for joy and could not believe it… he is going to Washington D.C. to stand with some the industries best professional drivers, himself included. Of these top eight finalists, one will be named the Grand Champion and awarded the William A. Usher, Sr. Trophy.

August 2019, the NTTC opened its application for the 2019-2020 PTTDY award. It takes a special kind of professional driver to qualify for this award and Sumerford wanted to be sure to nominate one of his drivers for this opportunity.

“It takes an elite driver to make it in the tank world,” said Sumerford. “I believe J & M has the best drivers in the industry and I want to make sure they are recognized for it through programs like the NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award.”

About the NTTC PTTDY Award

The NTTC created the Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award to recognize, pay tribute and promote professional tank truck drivers who provide reliable and safe transportation of all dry-bulk and liquid commodities.

The NTTC Safety Committee selects a driver based on his/her ability to operate safely and professionally, demonstrate leadership abilities within his/her company and the candidate’s contributions to the industry and community.

To be eligible for this award, a professional driver must be employed full-time with an NTTC carrier member or fleet associate member for three consecutive years. All applications are reviewed for their accuracy by the NTTC as well as signed by the member company’s CEO, Director of Safety and applicant.

Any NTTC carrier member or fleet associate member is eligible to nominate up to 2 candidates for review. The application consists of questions about the candidate regarding his/her personal and professional experiences, a written statement from the applicant and three letters of recommendation; one from the company and two non-company related. A copy of the applicant’s MVR is also mandatory to ensure a clean and safe driving history.

Of the submitted applicants, eight driver champion finalists are selected, and one grand champion driver is selected from these finalists as the NTTC Driver of the Year Award recipient.

The grand champion receives a tank truck trophy, an honorary jacket, a commemorative ring and two golf shirts. Also, the NTTC will make a $2,500 donation to a safety-related organization in the grand champion’s name.

Henderson posing with a 2019 Kenworth T680 day cab

About J & M Tank Lines’ Candidate:

Upon deciding J & M Tank Lines would submit a candidate for this year’s competition; Sumerford paired with J & M’s Vice President of Safety and Compliance, Dave Edmondson, Jr. to find the right candidate.

Not only did the candidate need to meet the technical qualifications set by the NTTC, but J & M wanted to take it a step further to find a candidate that would represent not only the company, but also someone who sets the example for professional drivers everywhere.

After weeks of an internal review, Henderson was one of five J & M drivers being considered. Following several phone-call interviews, Henderson was excited and eager to be the one to represent J & M Tank Lines on what could turn into a national scale.

“Darrien has earned the right and the privilege to stand among the best tank truck drivers in the country through his desire to be the best, his dedication to safety and his professional character,” said J & M Tank Lines’ President, Peter Sumerford. “He represents himself and our company with the kind of integrity and respect that can be rare to come by.”

Henderson and Edmondson will attend the PTTDY Finalist Interview portion in Washington D.C. on February 17 – 18. Following those interviews, Henderson will be invited back to D.C., with Sumerford and Edmondson to attend the NTTC Annual Conference May 3 -5 where the grand champion will be announced.

“I am just so honored that J & M recognizes the hard work I have put into my job,” said Henderson. “I have been with J & M for almost 10 years and a professional driver for 23. Opportunities like this don’t come often. I am so blessed to be considered for this award.”

Congratulations Darrien on becoming a finalist in this year’s NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year competition. Your dedication to the industry, your customers and J & M are profound. Good luck in D.C.!