Four professional drivers honored earlier this week by the National Private Truck Council have together covered more than 18 million miles over a combined 166 years, operating a variety of equipment safely and reliably, yet each finds time for community involvement, NPTC said in its annual Hall of Fame presentations.
While emceeing the presentations, the group’s senior vice president, Tom Moore, likened the sheer travel distance to multiple round trips to the moon. The drivers’ wives accompanied them to the ceremony at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza hotel.
The drivers serve private and dedicated fleets supporting operations by manufacturing companies in central and eastern states. All have won previous safe driving awards from employers, state associations or NPTC. They are:
• Lewis Eaton, Ross Transportation, Wellington, Ohio – A professional driver for 52 years , Eaton learned to operate equipment on a family farm. Two million of his 5 million accident-free miles have been with Ross, where he now drives 2,000 miles a week hauling a variety of goods ranging from milk to hazardous waste. While home he helps serve dinners to the needy and cleans highways of litter.
• Charles M. Hartley, Kraft Private Fleet, Lafayette, Minn. – Hartley began driving 33 years ago, in 1980, and has accrued 4 million miles without a preventable accident. He now drives about 500 miles a day hauling products for Kraft Foods. After a few deer strikes, he researched the causes of deer collisions and wrote an article on how to avoid them for the company’s newsletter. He’s a runner and bycyclist, and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, the Boy Scouts and his church.
• Steve Muncey, Batesville Logistics, Morrison, Tenn. – Muncey’s career began in 1972 when he hauled chicken feed for an egg producer. Over 40 years he has driven 5 million miles in 48 states with no preventable accidents; 2.5 million have been with Batesville Casket’s private fleet where he now runs 2,500 miles per week. He’s in the Trucker Buddy program, where he corresponds with school children, and has partnered with the Tennessee Highway Patrol in educating motorists on how to act around large trucks.
• Kenneth Wasiewicz, CPC Logistics, assigned to Benjamin Moore Co., Glenwood, N.J. -- Wasiewicz began driving trucks at age 17 while in high school, and in the 41 years since then has logged 4 million miles hauling cars, concrete, construction equipment and now paint. Half those miles have been with CPC Logistics and some in the New York City metro area, but he’s had no preventable accidents. He instructs new employees in defensive driving tactics, and has volunteered with military veterans groups, the Special Olympics and for Super Storm Sandy relief.
NPTC honors private-fleet drivers and executives in several awards categories at its annual Conference and Exposition, which in recent years has been in Cincinnati.
We spoke at length with Lane Kidd, managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (a.k.a. the Trucking Alliance) about which issues the carrier-driven and safety-focused lobbying group is most engaged with this year.