Driver of the Third Quarter Awarded to Richard Torres!
At TMC, ‘Driver of the Quarter’ is a distinction reserved for professional drivers that best represent the company’s sentiment, ‘Destination: Excellence’. Our most recent recipient, Richard Torres, illustrates this not only with his extensive tenure and safe driving record, but more so with his altruistic attitude and commitment to representing himself and TMC in the highest regard.
A South Carolina native, Richard’s ultimate objective was to provide sufficient support for his family to live a comfortable life. This goal was becoming increasingly important as a new father of twins. Richard saw the trucking industry as a respectable career with great financial potential, so he joined the Black and Chrome family in the Summer of 1999.
Not long into his time with TMC, one of his twins, Rachael, now five-years-old, suffered a stroke. Rachael had open-heart surgery at only nine days old, so Richard was experienced in managing her medical matters out on the road. However, this medical emergency came as a shock to the Torres family. He was off the road caring for his daughter for nearly two months, and was fearful that he would be forced to hang up the keys permanently.
The TMC Family Assistance Fund (FAF), a program designed to aid employees in times of hardship, and encouragement from those working behind the scenes, provided support to the Torres family during these challenging times. With this extra help, Richard was able to get back behind the wheel with a renewed faith in his choice of career and employer.
“I am forever grateful for the support I received from my TMC family,” expresses Richard. “After everything, I knew this is where I needed to stay. It’s not just a job, it’s a home.”
With the wheels turning and a newly acquired title of “Driver Trainer”, Richard was back to racking up accolades in safety and offering his expertise to fellow drivers. He surpassed his five-year safe driving award, then clocked in at one million safe miles before collecting his ten-year milestone ring. It was just a matter of time when Torres reached TWO MILLION safe driving miles.
What’s Richard’s secret to success? “Surround yourself with positivity,” he says. “Be willing to continue learning. Help other drivers and listen to their stories. Attend as many classes and meetings as you can and apply what you learn. Don’t take anything for granted.”
“In my opinion, Rich is a true reflection of who we hope to put in front of our customers,” says Tom Rubbo, Richard’s former dispatcher. “He is an excellent ambassador for existing, new, and future drivers.”
Just over 15 years into his driving career, Richard decided to trade in the cab for the classroom. Continuing to impart his knowledge on new drivers, he signed on to manage the new driver orientation operations at the facility in Columbia, S.C.
Though he enjoyed his time teaching, Richard's heart belonged on the open road. He has been back in the drivers seat for a few years now and has since resumed his role as a Driver Trainer. His future goals include retiring after accomplishing four million safe driving miles, and with the title of “TMC Wheel Master”.
“The grass truly is greener at TMC,” says Richard. “Now that we are an employee-owned company, I’m excited for the future. It’s amazing to have a CEO who genuinely cares for his employees, and shows it by giving the company to us. It has made my job that much more enjoyable and the way I do it even more important.”
His current Fleet Manager, Sam Bricker, sees that reflected in Richard’s performance and attitude.
“Rich has been fantastic to work with. As soon as he came on my board, he was one of the top drivers on my team. He has been there ever since,” Sam explains. “Rich works very hard and is always giving his best. He is positive, runs hard, and will take any load and deliver it safely and on-time. Rich has been with TMC for over 20 years now and I am surprised he has not won Driver of the Quarter already!”
Richard currently resides in Lexington, S.C., and enjoys spending time with his three children. His twins, Richie and Rachael are now 23, and his youngest, Christian, is 18.
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, Richard, on this well-deserved distinction!