Meet TMC's Driver of Quarter One, Richard Collins!
At TMC, often the most successful drivers are the ones who make the least noise. That is the case with Richard Collins, who is representing the Black and Chrome as the newest Driver of the Quarter.
With consistency in his routine and a steady hand on the wheel, Rick has kept quiet while performing as a top-level driver for almost 20 years. Even so, trucking wasn’t Rick’s first means of making a living. Before becoming a professional truck driver, Rick spent nearly two decades in the restaurant and retail industries.
“I decided it was time to venture down new career path, so I went to truck driving school. TMC recruited me right away,” says Rick. “I saw my income quadruple. It was a big move forward for me and I never looked back.”
A Pennsylvania native, Rick began on TMC’s since absorbed ‘Jamesport’ division in 1998. Nowadays, he currently runs primarily in the northeast as a company driver.
“My personal goal upon joining TMC was to accomplish one million safe miles,” Rick says. “Now I’m approaching two million safe miles and I’m being recognized as a Driver of the Quarter. I didn’t take this job to get accolades, but I guess I’m doing something right.”
Rick (center) with Fleet Manager Pat Barr (left) and VP Safety Todd Bunting (right) receiving his Million Mile award in June 2016.
Rick says that there isn’t anything special about the way he does his job. Every morning when he hits the road, he operates with the same principles he’s used since his first day of new driver orientation almost 20 years ago; the ones TMC instilled in him.
“TMC teaches the right way to do things,” Rick explains. “Apply yourself, follow the rules, and you’ll be a safe, successful driver. TMC has a good system. Stick to it and you can’t go wrong.”
Additionally, Rick reminds drivers that it is important to drive defensively. In his 20 years, Rick is accident and claim free. His secret? “Keep your head on a swivel,” he says. “Pay close attention to what is going on around you, and don’t get in a big hurry.”
Although Rick is a tenured driver in the flatbed trucking industry, he continues to sharpen his skills as a successful, professional driver. Rick recently chose to continue his education as a driver by taking Advanced Total Quality Management (TQM), the next-level rendition of TMC’s signature TQM class. This class provides drivers with the tools to further their success in the company.
“TQM gives you different perspectives on advancing your skills as a driver,” he says. “There are always new things to learn in this industry, and it is important to not get complacent. I think it is really great that TMC provides continuing education programs because the success of their drivers is of utmost importance.”
After all of his accomplishments at TMC, Rick shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. He hopes to get several more years of safe driving under his belt, and as an employee-owner with TMC’s Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), Rick says that it has just “sweetened the pot.”
“Being an employee-owner of TMC is such an advantage,” Rick remarks. “I was blown away when I saw the value of what our ESOP offers us. If all these new drivers stay here 20 plus years, the amount of money they’ll have when they retire is mind-boggling. For the owner of a company to turn around and give it back to his employees is something very special.”
Criteria for Driver of the Quarter recognition includes years of service with the company, safe driving record, excellent customer service, professionalism and overall quality performance. Once a driver is recognized as a Driver of the Quarter they are eligible to receive the prestigious Wheel Master Award.
Congratulations, Rick, on such an honorable distinction!