Meet TMC Transportation's 2016 Wheel Master - George Calore

on Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Awards & Recognition

TMC Transportation has named George Calore of Willoughby, Ohio as the recipient of the 2016 Wheel Master Award. This award is the highest driver honor given by TMC.

George has been driving flatbed with TMC Transportation for over 20 years. He is the epitome of an industry veteran, having had 17 years of experience as an owner-operator before joining our Black & Chrome fleet. Though it’s not your typical nine to five job, George describes the flatbed trucking industry as his “bread and butter”.

“I am so humbled. When I first started at TMC, I heard about the Wheel Master title, but I never imagined it would be achievable for me. I’m just a regular driver, out there doing my own thing,” expressed George.

Making the transition from an owner-operator to a company driver was surprisingly simple for George. He was trying to raise a family, and it was getting difficult to afford fuel and breakdowns. In 1992, he sold his trucks and began driving for fellow owner-operators. He found himself missing the the top-notch equipment that he was used to when driving his own trucks. Contemplating making a career change to a company driver, one flatbed company in particular caught his attention. 

“I used to load right beside these clean, new trucks in Cleveland, Ohio that said ‘The Mickow Corporation’ on the side of them,” George says. In the early eighties, TMC was still very small and operating under ‘The Mickow Corporation’. “I told myself that if I ever sold my trucks, I would go to TMC.”

George stood by his word and quickly made a name for himself at TMC. He’s driven over 1.5 million safe miles and has received multiple Safety awards. In the Summer of 2015, George was named Driver of the Quarter, and is currently a valued asset on our Worthington-Dedicated account.

TMC Transportation has grown immensely since George first started here—but the one constant has been the hard work and dedication that it takes to be a successful driver. “To be a successful driver, you have to have the mindset that you’re going to get the job done right,” he says. “Trucking is a lifestyle. You have to not only enjoy it, but adjust your life to it.”

“George gives 100 percent effort every day and is a true professional,” says Jeff Bleadorn, George’s Fleet Manager. "We often have customers comment on the job George does. If they haven’t seen him for a while, they will ask where he has been. George takes a lot of pride in his work and I don’t think you will find a cleaner truck inside or out in the TMC fleet. His latest-model Peterbilt looks like he just pulled it off the showroom floor.”

Early in his career with TMC, George had the opportunity to come off the road and into the office to be a Fleet Manager. Just a few months prior to this transition, George attended a quarterly ‘Driver Issues Meeting’ at the company headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Also in attendance were Chairman and CEO, Harrold Annett, and his late brother, Walt Annett, who was the former VP of Maintenance and a beloved member of the TMC family.

“Walt had only met me that one time so briefly, but when I came to be a Fleet Manager months later, he remembered me and without hesitating said ‘Hey George! Congratulations!’ It really meant a lot," George recalls.

Not long after, George’s enthusiasm for adventure got the best of him and he was back out on the road in his Black & Chrome truck that he loved so much. “It was a great opportunity. I embraced it, but I’ve found that I am a working kind of guy that isn’t made for the office. Nonetheless, the experience was so inspiring, and meeting Harrold, Walt, and Glen McCravy (TMC’s Executive VP of Human Resources and Risk Management) is something that will always stick with me.”

George will be honored at the annual Wheel Master Meeting that will take place at TMC Transportation’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa in April. Each Spring, former Wheel Masters (some retired, many still active drivers) gather for a luncheon to catch up and induct the newest Wheel Master.

Congratulations, George - Thank you for all your hard work & dedication!