Elwin Hines has been on the road since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. He has logged an average of 3,000 miles a week, bringing food products, paper goods and water to the hardest hit areas.
The Portsmouth resident who graduated from TCC’s trucking program more than a decade ago was selected as Driver of the Year (For-Hire Trucking) by Lytx, a global leader in video telematics committed to improving safety and efficiency behind the wheel.
Hines has driven more than a million miles for TransAm Trucking in his freightliner, living life on the road.
Since he started with the company 13 years ago, he has maintained a spotless driving record – zero preventable accidents, zero claims charged against him and zero moving violations.
“TCC is the driving force behind my achievement,” Hines said. “A school that may be considered just a community college got me where I am today.”
Hines acknowledges trucking instructors Wallace Miller and Matt Isaac for teaching him the skills that transformed him from a brick mason struggling in a recession to a successful truck driver who loves going to work every day.
“Both of them were my mentors. Those were the two men who inspired me and encouraged me that I could do this and really achieve it,” he said. “I knew the trucking industry offered stability. Nothing moves in this country without a truck.”
The Booker T. Washington High School graduate regularly gives presentations to budding drivers nationwide and stresses the value of the TCC curriculum. He even recruits drivers for TransAm Trucking during TCC events.
“There’s no such thing as a dumb truck driver,” he said. “We as professional drivers have to get out of that mindset of just shifting gears and going down the highway. The technology has changed so much. You have to have an education to be a truck driver.”
TCC’s Career Studies Certificate in Trucking prepares graduates to obtain their Class A Commercial Driver’s License. The 16-week program offered during the day, evening and on weekends teaches students Department of Transportation rules, defensive driving, maintenance, hazardous material and highway and city driving.
TCC trucking grads have a 98% pass rate on DMV exams.
“It’s a stern program, but it works,” Hines said. “TCC turns out the best drivers in the country.”
Hines is among them.
When Hines comes off the road, he plans to take a teaching post in TCC’s Truck Driver training program.