ALEXANDRIA, VA – Dennis Shirar of Indianapolis has logged more than 3 million accident-free miles driving tractor trailers over the past 31 years.  For that lifetime performance of safe driving, Shirar was selected as the Truck Renting and Leasing Association's (TRALA) 2009 Driver of the Year, sponsored by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Shirar, an employee of Heritage Transport, LLC, was recognized at TRALA's 2009 Annual Meeting on March 12 in Carlsbad, Calif. In addition to an all-expense paid trip to the event for himself and his wife, Patty, he received a trophy and cash prize.

"This is a distinct honor that our industry bestows each year upon only one driver possessing the highest excellence in driving and safety standards, as demonstrated throughout their careers," said Peter Vroom, president and CEO of TRALA. "Dennis Shirar was chosen 2009 Driver of the Year because of his outstanding driving and safety record. He has driven without an accident and maintained a perfect driver's log for 31 consecutive years."

Shirar was previously named 2008 Indiana Motor Trucking Association's (IMTA) Master Truck Driver; 2008 Grand Champion at ATA Truck Driving Championships; has received multiple first and second place victories at IMTA and ATA Truck Driving Championships over the past 12 years, and has been awarded the Safe Driving Award from Vanguard for the past 17 years.  In addition, he is also a member of the Irvington United Methodist Church and a board member of the 379th WWII Bomb Group.

"Heritage prides itself in hiring safe, courteous, and dependable drivers and Dennis has personified what we have stood for during his five years with the company. Dennis is a professional driver who prides himself in on-time pickup/delivery and attention to compliance detail and Heritage is fortunate to have such a dedicated employee," said Heritage Transport President Dean DeSantis. 

This year, four drivers received certificates of merit for their outstanding service. These drivers with outstanding service are:

  • Kevin Berke, Rochester Welding Supply Co. of Rochester, N.Y., nominated by DeCarolis Truck Rental.
  • Jerry Dancy, Cargo Transporters Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., nominated by Catawba Rental Company.
  • Steven Erickson, of Aim Dedicated Logistics of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, nominated by Aim NationaLease.
  • John Sheppard Jr., JHE Production Group of Iron Station, N.C., nominated by Southeastern Leasing and Rental Co.

Heritage Transport is a small environmental waste transportation company based in Indianapolis. The company currently operates 199 trucks within 46 states, and 2 provinces in Canada.