April 17, 2001 Jacksonville, Florida (NASDAQ:LSTR) - Landstar business capacity owner (BCO) Ronald Mullins of Maysel, West Virginia outmaneuvered seven other competitors to earn the title "Landstar 2001 Regional Safe Truck Driving Champion." Russ Shelton took home second place, and Richard Irvin came in third. The course, set up in Las Vegas, was the first of six regional competitions to be held nationwide this year. In October, the three regional winners will go on to compete in Landstar's National Safe Truck Driving Championships held in Jacksonville, Florida.
"I'd never done anything like that before," said Mullins, who was persuaded to enter the competition by his wife and another truck operator. "They pretty much grabbed me, twisted my arm and made me do it," he said. "I guess it paid off!" Practicing safe driving on the road is top priority with the conscientious BCO. "There's no time to relax because you've got to keep your mind working. You can't be drifting off into space." Mullins and his wife, Cheryl, who is also his business partner, are eagerly awaiting the October nationals. "I'll be there with bells on," he said.
Landstar Chairman, President and CEO, Jeff Crowe said Mullins and his competitors demonstrate Landstar's commitment to safety. "These professionals practice safe driving every day, " said Crowe. "We're proud to be affiliated with BCOs like Ronald, and we appreciate their safe approach to everything they do."
The championship obstacle course, part of Landstar's extensive safety program, tests precision driving skills, including right turns, alley docking, off-set alley lane changing, scale positioning, distance perception and straight line driving. The competition also includes a pre-trip inspection test. Drivers must also follow standard Landstar safety policy. Contestants can be disqualified for failure to wear a seatbelt or for jumping out of the truck instead of following the three-point stance when exiting.
"Business capacity owners like Ronald are put to the test day after day, under increasingly difficult travel conditions," said Crowe. "Their safe driving skills are a true testament to their professionalism and their devotion to keeping our roads safe."
The term business capacity owner refers to a Landstar independent contractor who operates a small business and provides the equipment necessary to haul freight. Although Mullins has been a professional truck operator for 18 years, he has been a Landstar BCO for just a few weeks. He and Cheryl have been married for 27 years.
Despite his recent victory, Mullins isn't making any predictions about the outcome of the big competition. "However it flows, that's the way it goes, " he said. "Win, lose or draw-just do your job safely, and have fun."
The next regional competition is set for May 19, 2001 in Toledo, Ohio. All regional winners are eligible to enter the national competition, which will be held in conjunction with Landstar Appreciation Days in Jacksonville, Florida on October 20, 2001. The top national winners drive away with laptop computers and trophies.
Landstar System, Inc. is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. The Landstar carrier group, comprised of Landstar Gemini, Inc., Landstar Inway, Inc., Landstar Ligon, Inc. and Landstar Ranger, Inc., delivers excellence in complete over-the-road transportation services. The Landstar multimodal group, comprised of Landstar Express America, Inc. and Landstar Logistics, Inc., delivers excellence in expedited, contract logistics and intermodal transportation services. All Landstar operating companies are certified to ISO 9001:2000 quality management system standards. Landstar System, Inc.'s common stock trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market® under the symbol LSTR.