Dave Wolford named American Trucking Association 2023 National Driver of the Year

In late April, the American Trucking Association named long-time Continental Express driver David Wolford their 2023 National Driver of the Year. The award was presented at the association’s annual Safety, Security, and Human Resources Conference & Exhibition in Phoenix, Arizona.

National Driver of the Year nominations come from the American Trucking Association (ATA)’s affiliated state trucking associations. Wolford was nominated by the Ohio Trucking Association, which named Wolford the Ohio Driver of the Year in 2022.

After reducing the field to 5 finalists, the ATA’s Safety Management Council Awards & Recognition Committee selected a winner based on a professional driver’s career-long achievements, commitment to safety on the road, dedication to the industry, and excellence.

Wolford accepted the award on April 26th with his wife, Colleen.

Dave pictured with his wife, Colleen, and CE Vice President Bradley Gottemoeller at the Safety, Security, and Human Resources Conference & Exhibition awards ceremony.
Photo courtesy of the American Trucking Association

“It’s still hard to believe,” Dave admitted upon receiving the award. “I feel like I am just doing my job. This is an unbelievably huge honor, a huge blessing.”

Wolford has 21 years of experience in the trucking industry, with 20 of those years spent at Continental Express. His passion for the industry extends beyond safe driving, although Wolford has accumulated an impressive 2.5 million accident-free miles with Continental.

“Dave is constantly thinking about ways he can improve processes and procedures for Continental, other drivers, and the industry at large,” noted Kiera Sullivan, Continental Express Vice President and General Counsel. “From helping host an informative podcast about trucking to mentoring new drivers, Dave is the perfect example of a great industry ambassador, leader, and friend. We are very proud of him.”

In 2022, Wolford and Continental Express launched the Driving the Future podcast, where Dave examines topics relating to the trucking industry and safety each month. He regularly makes appearances on Continental’s social media channels too, leveraging his experience and safety record to share tips and connect with the next generation of truckers. 

“I always wanted to do more than just drive, and Continental’s given me the platform to do that. It doesn’t feel like extra work; giving back is what I should be doing,” said Wolford.

Wolford accepting the Nation Driver of the Year award
Photo courtesy of the American Trucking Association

“The positive impact he has had on our company and our safety culture is immeasurable,” said Continental Vice President Bradley Gottemoeller. “Dave is the safe driver and leader that every company wants. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the National Driver of the Year.”  

Dave will receive further recognition for his National Driver of the Year win at the ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition in Nashville this October.

For more information on Continental Express or to view Wolford’s recent video projects—including his nomination video for the National Driver of the Year award—visit continentalexpressinc.com.