When Mario Bulacso began his trucking career 11 years ago, he never imagined he would be recognized and receive two awards for his exceptional performance and commitment.  

After moving to Canada from the Philippines in 2006, he had wanted to become a truck driver. 

“I had friends driving semi but because of my eligibility, I could not go for it, so I waited until the proper time to take the semi-driving course,” he says. 

Bulacso’s father was a driver and small business owner in the Philippines. He says that driving runs in his blood, so it made sense for him to pursue this career.  

He completed the course and received his license in 2013. He began working for HyLife as a semitruck driver.  

Bulacso started his career driving in Steinbach and the surrounding area. As he got more experience, he got to venture out.  

“I started driving from LaBroquerie to Neepawa,” he explains. “Later on, they sent me to Saskatchewan and after five years, they wanted me to start going to the States. Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.” 

Bulacso was presented with two awards, the 2024 MTA-Volvo Trucks Canada Manitoba Driver of the Year Award and the Manitoba Trucking Association Inland Industry Excellence Award.  

Mario Bulacso with his two awards

Aaron Dolyniuk, Executive Director of Manitoba Trucking Association discusses Bulacso’s achievements.  

“It is always a tough choice for Driver of the Year, but Mario is an excellent choice this year. He prioritizes safety and animal care, is a cheerleader for the industry, and a great ambassador,” says Dolyniuk. “His efforts to support other drivers is what trucking is about: helping each other and working together to get the job done safely. He embodies everything we talk about as components of our industry: safety, community, care, and professionalism.”  

Chief Supply Chain Officer at HyLife, Ron Schellenberg shares why Bulasco is deserving of the award.  

“He exemplifies what it means to be a dedicated ambassador for livestock driving, tirelessly advocating for the industry and its potential,” says Schellenberg. “In the past year alone, Mario has referred nine drivers who now work for HyLife. This is unprecedented and highlights his ability to connect with people and share the opportunities available in this field.” 

Bulacso takes pride in truck driving and has worked incredibly hard to win these awards. He shares his advice for new truck drivers. 

“I challenge every driver to experience hauling livestock because livestock is not like hauling cargo,” he says. “So, I challenge them to be part of the animal industry, especially in Manitoba. I also want them to be part of how we deal with these animals carefully.” 

He enjoys working alongside his fellow truck driver’s and sharing his experiences with them. 

“I like being a trainer and guiding them. Helping them to be good truck drivers too.” 


-With files from Carly Koop