Supply Chain News / Risk & Compliance / Ground

Ryder Names Top Driver of the Year Award Winners

The three drivers were honored at a recent awards ceremony held in Orlando, Fla.

Ryder System Inc., a commercial transportation and supply chain management company, recognized the tradition of driver excellence by presenting its annual “Driver of the Year” awards to three professionals who, combined, have 82 years and more than 10 million miles of safe, professional driving experience. 

“Our Driver of the Year winners don’t just deliver excellent performance in the year they are selected. These drivers have a long track record of being hard working, safety-conscious, customer-focused and community-minded over the course of their entire careers,” said Robert Sanchez, Ryder chairman and CEO. “This year’s winners are excellent ambassadors of Ryder’s safety culture and have distinguished themselves as leaders in one of the most challenging and demanding occupations---professional truck driving.”

One of the company’s longest running and most prestigious recognition programs, the “Driver of the Year” award honors drivers who have demonstrated exemplary safety performance, customer service and citizenship throughout their careers. Honorees are selected after a rigorous review process by a committee that includes Ryder customers, executives, safety experts and professional drivers. The top awards this year were presented to two drivers employed by Ryder’s Supply Chain Solutions division and a driver employed by one of Ryder’s Fleet Management Solutions customers. Recipients received a five-day Caribbean cruise, cash award, specially designed ring and watch, and are inducted into the Ryder “Driver Hall of Fame.”

David Hopper is the Driver of the Year winner for Ryder’s Supply Chain Solutions business. Drivers are an important part of Ryder’s Supply Chain Solutions, ensuring that customers get their products to stores or raw materials to manufacturing plants, safely and on time, every time. Mr. Hopper drives for Ryder’s Xerox account based in Monroe, Ohio. He has driven 1.3 million preventable, collision-free miles during his nine years with Ryder and a total of 2.5 million preventable collision-free miles over the course of his impressive 19-year professional driving career. Mr. Hopper is a U.S. Army veteran who proudly served in the Vietnam War.

John Armstrong is the Driver of the Year winner for Ryder Dedicated, part of the company’s Supply Chain Solutions business. Ryder Dedicated drivers are responsible for operating specialized equipment, unique product handling, running complex routes, and meeting rigorous service level requirements. The drivers have a special responsibility when they represent Ryder customers, as they often wear uniforms with Ryder customer logos and drive vehicles emblazoned with customer brands. Mr. Armstrong drives for the Do it Best Corp. account based out of their Medina, Ohio hardware distribution center and is a frontline representative for the co-op as he makes product deliveries to their retail stores throughout the region. He has been with Ryder 30 years, and during his tenure he has driven more than 3.3 million preventable, collision-free miles without an injury. Mr. Armstrong’s multiple “Driver of the Month” and safe driving awards are a testament to his commitment to safety and professionalism.

Melton Atkinson is the Driver of the Year winner for Ryder’s Fleet Management Solutions business. Mr. Atkinson works for Ryder lease customer A&D Environmental Services out of Lexington, South Carolina and relies on Ryder to provide the well maintained, safe vehicles that he drives each and every day. He has been employed by A&D Environmental Services for eight years and has driven 4.3 million collision-free miles over his 33-year professional driving career. In addition to receiving a number of safety accolades from Ryder, Mr. Atkinson has served as a mentor and trainer to younger drivers.

The three drivers were honored at a recent awards ceremony held in Orlando, Fla. Ryder Chairman and CEO Robert Sanchez, accompanied by key Ryder executives and the drivers’ local managers, personally congratulated the honorees. 

To learn about how to become a professional driver for Ryder visit or  

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