Justin Martin, a thoughtful, overtly friendly truck driver for International Truckload Services in Belleville was named the 2016 Volvo Trucks Canada-Ontario Trucking Association Driver of the Year at the OTA’s 90th anniversary executive conference in Toronto.
Before becoming a truck driver, Martin served in the Canadian Armed Forces and was a member of the UNPROFOR during the Bosnian civil war. His actions overseas earned him the Prime Minister’s Commendation for going above and beyond the call of duty. This award has only been given out four times since the Korean war to a ranked non-commission officer with less than 10 years of service.
After retiring from the military in the late 1990’s Justin was looking for a new adventure when he was asked by a friend to drive team across North America. He liked the experience so much that he decided to do it on his own, joining Challenger Motor Freight and, later, International Truckload Services, where he continues to work today.
“I think Justin’s military career served him extremely well as a truck driver and I’m convinced that’s what makes up his character,” says Rob Haggarty, president of ITS. “His achievements, his alertness and attention to detail and safety; as well as his ability to teach younger drivers and show them the right way, are serving this industry extremely well.”
No stranger to emergencies, Justin is the first in line to help anyone in need. In 2009, he pulled a woman from a burning car in Virginia. This past year, he demanded that his company make him the point man in delivering goods to the people of Ft. McMurray devastated by the wild fires.
When he isn’t trucking, Justin donates his time at community events, playing at music festivals or pulling trailers for charitable fundraisers. He proudly served on the most recent OTA Road Knights Team, promoting the trucking industry and careers to school kids.
Newly appointed OTA president Stephen Laskowski says it’s an honour to be able to hand this award to someone as deserving as Justin.