September 11, 2020 – The South Dakota Trucking Association (SDTA) held their 85th Annual Convention in Deadwood, SD, on September 9-11, 2020. Each month the SDTA Safety Management Council selects a Driver of the Month to honor their safe driving accomplishments.
On Friday afternoon, the twelve monthly winners between the 2019 and 2020 SDTA Conventions were invited to interview with a panel of three judges. Each were given six minute to interview. The drivers were asked the same three questions. The one who receives the highest accumulated score is then named the 2020 Driver of the Year.
It is very diﬃcult to select one driver, especially when each driver has to their credit so many miles of safe driving. The 12 monthly winners have a combined total of nearly 22,475,000 safe driving miles and over 309 years of experience. Each monthly winner was presented a plaque and an embroidered jacket for their accomplishments.
During the Chairman’s Banquet on Friday evening, Claude Raschke, Cliﬀ Viessman, Inc., Gary, SD, December 2019 Driver of the Month was honored with the title of 2020 Driver of the Year. He was presented a plaque from SDTA and $1000. (picture attached) Claude has been a professional truck driver for 26 years. He has 18 years over the road (semi-tractor + trailer), 5 1/2 years local (light duty). He has over two million accident-free miles logged in his career.
He has been active in the SD Truck Driving Championships, both a participant and a volunteer when working in the oﬃce. He placed third in the 5-axle class in 2019. The Truck Driving Championships is where drivers with no less than 12 months of accident-free driving can compete in a three part competition: 1) Written Exam; 2) Pre-trip Inspection; and 3) Driving Course.
The top winner from each class (Straight, 3-Axle,!4-Axle, 5-Axle Van, Sleeper Berth, Tank, Twins Trailers, Flatbed and Step-Van) then goes to a national competition, sponsored by the American Trucking Associations, where they compete against winners from the states.!
Claude is a US Army Veteran. We are proud of him and thank him for his service!! Claude and his wife Destine are a blended family with ﬁve children: Danyelle Raschke (28), Denver Raschke (26), Zach Reilly (22), Alexis Reilly (19) and Kacie Reilly (16). They reside in Woonsocket, SD.