Mordaunt “Platt” Brabner, a 58-year-old Texan, was recognized as Trucking’s Top Rookie during ceremonies at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Chosen from a field of nine finalists, Brabner won $10,000 and a variety of prizes. He attended Roadmaster Drivers School of San Antonio and got into trucking after serving first in the Marines and then joining the Navy to become a pilot. He expects to eventually become an owner-operator.

He says the cash prize will go into the maintenance fund for when he gets his own truck and goes OTR. As a man who has already seen 91 countries as a Marine and Navy aviator, Brabner says he wants to see even more of the U.S. “I love being out on the road,” Brabner said. “Seeing the country, I just, I love it. It gives me the freedom to get out there and just see things that most people don’t ever see.”

Platt sees each day as a challenge to be better and more efficient as a driver, because he feels he can make a difference in the industry. Striving to put the professionalism back in trucking, Platt recognizes that the trucking industry is continuously evolving, and looks forward to guiding that evolution in the right direction.

When asked what advice he would give to new truck drivers, Platt says it is important to know your industry. It is vital to know what the expectations are of you from your new employer. You will need to manage time and resources effectively while keeping safety first. He says you need to know what you want to get out of your new career and look past just the dollar figures to make sure that you are going to be happy and productive in your new job.

Mr. Brabner says he enjoys talking with the customers he interacts with daily. He wants to represent the industry and “put professionalism back in to trucking.” When he graduated, Platt took up his employers offer of an apprenticeship program. It allowed Platt to drive over 120,000 miles and 422 loads accident free while gaining valuable wisdom from a more experienced driver. Platt recommends this for all new truck drivers if one is available. The skills he learned helped make him a safer, more productive driver and avoid potential down time and excess burning of resources.

Congratulations to Mr. Brabner and thank you for your service as well as being a role model for aspiring professional truck drivers everywhere.