Owner-operator and OOIDA member Robert De Clue has been named Dart Transit Company's 2001 Contractor of the Year for its Minneapolis Operating Center. De Clue and his wife, Della, were honored by Dart last month with a dinner and reception.
De Clue of Kemp, TX, first contracted with Dart in 1991. He has since racked up a perfect safety and on-time performance record with the company, while logging more than 1.5 million miles.
In 1991, De Clue took advantage of the company's highway sales truck leasing program to become an independent contractor. After buying out the lease on his first truck, he traded for a used Volvo. He said that move turned out to be a big mistake because the dealer misrepresented the truck and he was faced with an unending string of major repair bills, according to a released statement by Dart. Eventually he gave up on the truck and went back to highway sales to lease his current Freightliner.
During his professional driving career, De Clue has driven about 4 million accident-free miles and is a member of the National Safety Council's Three Million Mile Club, Dart's Hall of Fame, and owns Dart's President's Safety Award.
He says his approach to safety is quite simple. "I've done a lot of miles, but none of them are as important than the one mile right in front of me," he says. "All those miles ... I've done them one at a time. That's the only way anyone can do it safely."