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New Elite Driving Team Rich with Characters, Accomplishments

TORONTO — The seasoned radio reporter looked at truck driver Dale Fearman and asked: “Why are there so many truck accidents?” Fearman looked the reporter in the eye.

“Sir,” he said, “I’d like to take you out in my truck and drive around with you and show you how many truck accidents there aren’t.”

That clever retort, and several others like it, won Fearman, a driver with Kim-Tam Truck Leasing, one of the coveted spots on the Ontario Trucking Association’s Road Knights Team for 2013-2014.

About a dozen finalists, representing fleets from across the province, gathered in a small room Monday of this week to convince a jury of industry insiders why they should be on the team of elite drivers. (One of those judges was the reporter; Toronto’s 680 News’ John Stall.)

The drivers talked about — among other topics — their love of the road; their respect for their equipment, how a driver’s attitude affects safety; and the need to teach four-wheelers more about road etiquette.

Wayne Simpson, who drives for Liquid Cargo Lines, discussed the fact that he was born into a family of truckers: “Diesel runs in my family’s veins,” he said.

Team drivers George and Cynthia Sutherland of Bracebridge drive for Bison. They stunned the panel.

They revealed their own personal story of a battle with weight. You would never know by looking at them that either had weight problems. And you will be seeing a feature story in Today’s Trucking about their accomplishments, so there’ll be no spoilers here.

But when you do read about their accomplishments you’ll want to stand and applaud. (And, probably, laugh, when you get to the part about George exercising by chasing Cynthia around the trailer.)

The Sutherlands are also the first spouses to be named Road Knights.

At the end of the grueling day of interviews, presentations and tough questioning, the jury named the following to the team:

Chris Bender, Steed Standard Transport Ltd.

Barry Elkiw, Meyers Transport

David O’Neill, Kriska Holdings

Dale Fearman, Kim-Tam Truck Leasing

Michael John Paolozzi, Trimac Transportation

Wayne Simpson, Liquid Cargo Lines

Jim Jackman, Thomson Terminals Limited

George Sutherland, Bison Transport

?Cynthia Sutherland, Bison Transport

?Rick Cameron, KBD Transport

Road Knights are trained in media relations and public speaking and then spend two years as ambassadors for the trucking industry at events around the province.

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