Highway Transport’s own Tom Frain was presented with the 2021 – 2022 National Tank Truck Carriers Professional Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion award today, Monday, April 25, 2022, at the NTTC Conference, which was held in San Diego, CA.
Thomas Frain has been in the trucking industry for over 30 years and in the tank truck industry for seven. For those seven years, he has been driving for Highway Transport in Knoxville, Tennessee where he resides. His goal is to inspire someone, just one…to bring one person on and to see them succeed, to make them rise to the top. He wants to be that third person in the relay, the individual who hands the baton to the fastest person on the track who gets the honor and wins the gold. Tom is not looking for the fame and the glory. He knows the success he has had in life has come from watching those he has helped succeed. As a first-generation truck driver, Tom is a huge proponent of the trucking industry. It has meant the world to him and his family to have an opportunity, as a professional driver, to serve as a driver trainer for the past four years. During that time, he has demonstrated great leadership. He has worked mostly with our Safety Department to develop training videos and serve in the role of Instructor. His customers have stated “I recognized his dedication to excellence during our first opportunity to work together. His attention to detail has been a key factor in viability— in helping us maintain product inventory and prevention of potential disruptions. Not only has he dedicated his life to his profession, he also finds time to dedicate his time to Boy Scouts of America, AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization), Little League USA Softball and much more.
The 2020 – 2021 champion presented Tom with a special jacket and then Tom made a speech stating:
Wow. I did not expect that. To the talent that is on this stage, to the NTTC, judges, Great West Capital and the Usher family…Thank you for this distinct honor. This has been 30 years in the making, with the last seven being the most rewarding as a tank truck driver. There are too many people to thank, but first and foremost, many years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a medallion with angel wings, and on the medallion it says ‘Never drive faster that your guardian angel can fly.’ Every day, at the end of my pre-trip, I say a quick prayer, I say ‘Protect my family. Guide me and keep me and those around me safe.’
Just a few short months ago, these champions and I met in Arlington, Virginia for the first time. At that time, the number 300 was mentioned to us, and asked us what that meant. On this stage, with the help of Ron, it was 300 years of driving experience among our group of finalists. Incredible. After a few wrong answers. But what struck me the most, as we went around the room and introduced one another, was the years of marriage. There are nine lovely young ladies out there that belong to this motley crew up here, and they are the heroes. They are the ones. Thank you, ladies. Thank you, Carol.
Driver of the Year Video
View the entire NTTC Ceremony during presentation of the William A. Usher Tanker Driver of the Year Award, which is available via Facebook Watch.
TOM’S SPEECH continued…
It’s appropriate to mention that April is Safe Driving Awareness Month, and the three key factors in that are visual, physical, and cognitive. The fact that those young ladies we know are home, taking care of business that needs to be taken care of, allows us to perform our craft as well as we do. Not enough can be said about those at home.To my Highway Transport team, we are owned and operated by the Watkins family. Their dedication, devotion, and passion for the transportation industry is never-ending, and they are an inspiration. I’m blessed to be part of their team.
Next, he’s so good he wears two hats, Marshall Franklin, our President and CFO. Marshall carries the torch for the Watkins family. He does it well. He guided us through a pandemic and managed to grow us. Marshall, I’m proud you. Thank you, sir. Our service center manager, Steven Hittinger. Steve worked his way up from the tank wash. Doctors and scientists would have you believe the brain can only focus on one thing. I’ve seen that man answer emails, walk down the hall to check on a trailer while carrying on a conversation. His future is as bright as he is. Thank you, Steve. Lastly, please turn off all recording devices. For a driver to thank someone from safety would ruin my reputation. Our Vice President of Safety and Quality is Rick Lusby. Rick’s one of a kind. He drove a truck, he managed the terminal. I thank my team. It’s not just me. It’s all of us. Thank you.
Be sure to check out this recent conversation with Tom Frain in our new Highway Transport video series titled “Cab Chat.” Cab Chat is the idea of Highway’s in-house video talent, Scott Saulnier, who says “It only seemed right for our first Cab Chat session to shine a spotlight on Tom.”