CINCINNATI -- Four drivers honored Monday by the National Private Truck Council have together spent 135 years covering 12 million miles hauling beverages, dairy and processed food products, junk cars and tires, all with no chargeable accidents or traffic violations.
NPTC inducted the four – Roger J. Herron, Robert A. Purcell, Raymond G. Sanderson and Nathan Tandal – into its Driver Hall of Fame and thanked them for their dedication in a ceremony during the group’s 2014 annual meeting in Cincinnati.
Also honored were the drivers’ spouses, “four wonderful wives who support them,” said NPTC executive Tom Moore. They are Tina Herron, Janet Purcell, Deb Sanderson and Maizelette Tandal. Each mounted a stage with her husband and received a bouquet of flowers as part of the awards recognitions.
Moore said that in talking to the drivers, he noted that each expressed a “love of family, devotion to wife, children and in some cases grandchildren, a love of God, and the Golden Rule.” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a good rule to drive by, he commented.
Then he summarized the drivers’ careers:
- Roger Herron, who’s driven for Upstate Niagara Cooperative in New York for the past 30 years, started driving tractors, implements and trucks at age 12 on a neighbor’s farm. He worked for a tire servicing firm, then Interstate Brands and now the agricultural cooperative. Over a 37-year career, he’s covered 3 million miles.
- Bob Purcell has driven for Contract Transportation Systems/Sherwin-Williams Co. throughout the Midwest for 25 years and has accumulated 2.5 million miles. In the previous 11 years he covered another 1 million miles for beverage distributors. He is a certified Smith Systems safety instructor and trains other drivers in the fleet.
- Ray Sanderson has spent his entire 35-year career with Kraft Foods, and was the youngest man to drive a Kraft Private Fleet truck when he came out of warehouse position in 1978. He began driving a tow truck for a Shell station at age 18. He founded a high school drivers education program called Safe Motorists Always Respect Trucks, or SMART, in Illinois.
- Nathan Tandal learned to drive while working at his father’s auto recycling business on Oahu, Hawaii, then went in the U.S. Army where he worked on and drove transport trucks and heavy equipment and earned numerous awards and citations. Upon returning to civilian life, he worked in Washington state as a fueler and repairman for Penske Leasing, and for the last 15 years has been with CPC Logistics. His career totals 38 years and more than 3 million miles.
Tandal spoke for his colleagues when he went to the microphone and described how professional drivers go through rain, snow, tornadoes, traffic and other hazards, and how “the roadways and highways are like blood (of commerce) being carried by veins” that are the roads.
Later, he commented that he is never in a hurry while driving because “when you’re in a hurry, that’s when trouble starts.”