Blooming Prairie, MN, March 2014 – Jerry Thrift, who passed away in May 2013, was awarded Commercial Carrier Journal‘s 38th Annual Technology & Maintenance Career Leadership Award sponsored, in part, by Minimizer. Thrift was the first-ever recipient to receive the award posthumously.
For more than 100 years, the Commercial Carrier Journal has profiled the North American trucking industry’s hard-working men and women. Thrift began his career in the trucking industry 35 years ago in 1978 with Yellow Freight, where he worked in fleet development. He always harbored a desire to work for Ryder Systems, though, and in 1993 he had the opportunity. Tom Herquist of Ryder recruited him and Thrift immediately made his mark at the company working on a variety of projects in the vehicle engineering and specification tracks.
Craig Kruckeberg, Minimizer’s CEO and Chief Visionary, said, “It’s people like Jerry, dedicated to professionalism and excellence in fleet maintenance and management, that make our industry so strong. They are the backbone, the leaders, and Minimizer is proud to be a part of this recognition, support and validation of people like Jerry.”
Thrift’s many achievements include the Silver Spark Plug award for his work on behalf of the Technology & Maintenance Council and his rise to chairman in the organization in 2010. Thrift also conducted SAE fuel economy tests and wrote a white paper that gave Ryder Systems a scientific baseline for real-world truck efficiency parameters based on specific models, specs, and applications.
Mike Dennis, Group Director of Maintenance Operations for Ryder Systems said, “Ryder could not have gotten that test done without Jerry. He literally coordinated and managed every aspect of the program from inception to completion. Jerry’s white paper is our standing baseline for calculating those costs to this day.”
Unfortunately, the SAE Fuel Test was one of Thrift’s last projects. In 2012 doctors discovered he had developed a brain tumor. Despite his strength and dignity during his fight to tackle the tumor, sadly, Jerry Thrift passed away in 2013.
“Not every industry would celebrate a man who humbly and consistently dedicated himself to his work like Jerry did. But his kind of devotion, passion, and persistence are the characteristics that people in a tough industry must have,” said Kruckeberg. “And any chance Minimizer gets to be a part of recognizing someone like him, we are honored and happy to do so.
Click here to find out more about the Commercial Carrier Journal Career Leadership Award.
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