For Immediate Release
May 12, 2023
For Information Contact:
Gary Petty, NPTC
Four Inducted into NPTC Driver Hall of Fame
ARLINGTON, VA – Four drivers, who collectively have driven for more than 172 years while racking up nearly 12.5 million miles of service without a chargeable accident or a moving violation, have been inducted into the NPTC Driver Hall of Fame sponsored by International Truck. The recognition took place in conjunction with the NPTC Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition, which was held May 7-9 in Orlando, Fla.
The drivers are from NPTC member companies and have met the minimum qualifications of 20 years, three million miles or 50,000 hours of driving without a preventable accident. Many of the drivers have far exceeded these qualifications and are known for having made significant contributions to their industry and their communities. Since its inception, 116 drivers have been installed in the Driver Hall of Fame. This year’s Driver Hall of Fame inductees are:
Claude Ricky Cook, Shaw Industries Group
Ricky started driving professionally in 1979 and in 41 years behind the wheel (the last 38 of which have come with Shaw Industries), he has racked up 4.4 million miles (4.1 million with Shaw) without a preventable accident or a moving violation. Ricky learned to drive at Watts Dairy Farm driving a single-axle tractor pulling soybeans in a grain trailer. While at Watts he obtained his chauffer’s license. Watts Dairy also owned Southern Amusements where Ricky worked from 1979-84 driving a service truck hauling arcade games. Ricky started driving for Shaw as an Interplant driver, moving raw and finished goods between various Shaw plants. Today, Ricky works 11 hours per day, four days a week operating in the north Georgia area. His main route is moving product from the rail yard to the Shaw facility in Chickamauga, while also servicing other Shaw facilities throughout the Dalton area.
Ronald Mahar, Walgreen Oshkosh, assigned by CPC Logistics
In 54 years behind of driving, Ron has driven four million miles without an preventable accident, injury or moving violation. He learned to drive on the farm driving the old farm tractors. When he enlisted in the U.S. Army, he was trained as a mechanic and was able to drive all kinds of different equipment. He started driving trucks in the Army because there were no other drivers qualified to operate heavy equipment. When he returned from active duty, he worked for a several companies as a driver before moving to Texas and going to work for CPC Logistics, assigned to the Walgreen’s account. In 33 years there, he has racked up more than 3 million safe driving miles. 8-10 hours a day driving- about 2200-2300 miles a week. He used to peddle freight delivering to Walgreen’s stores throughout Texas, Today he is running relays between warehouse locations in Houston and Dallas, 8-10 hours a day or about 2,200-2,300 miles a week.
Christopher Nelson, Baxter Healthcare Corp.
Chris joined Baxter in 1978 and served as a mail clerk before he became a driver, delivering medical supplies. Today he hauls dialysis solution to customers or rather patients throughout the St. Louis area. His routes vary day-to-day, however, a typical run is 4-5 hours driving covering around 200 miles. In 35 years behind the wheel, he has racked up 1 million miles with an accident, injury or moving violation. Chris is responsible for delivering life sustaining medical supplies to patients’ residence. Routes can range from 6,000 pounds up to 15,000 pounds. It is estimated Chris has delivered over 40 million pounds of product to patients over the years. He has become so adept at his job that he serves as the primary trainer for the St. Louis team. Chris leads by example on training of new hires. Chris has championed many safety and training programs that include the installation and proper use of liftgates; proper loading and unloading techniques; and driving in inclement weather.
Billy Steele, UNIFI Manufacturing
Billy started his driving career 42 years ago with Burlington Industries operating a straight truck and delivering product to the plants. Now in his second stint with Unifi, he has accumulated 3.1 million miles without a chargeable accident or a moving violation. He currently works 50 hours a week, driving 300-400 miles per day throughout North Carolina and Virginia, moving product between plants and delivering to customers. His attitude along with his defensive driving skill helps him to be a safe driver. He has earned 17 Years of Unifi Safe Driving Awards and was named the Driver of Month by the North Carolina Trucking Association in 2019.
NPTC Chair Chuck Amen, CTP, Manager of Transportation Operations, Hillyard, Inc. (left) and award sponsor Bob Mann, Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Vocational Business, International Truck/Navistar, Inc. (right) congratulate the 2023 Driver Hall of Fame inductees (from right), William Steele, UNIFI Manufacturing; Ronald Mahar, Walgreen Oshkosh, assigned by CPC Logistics; Chris Nelson, Baxter Healthcare Corp; and Claude Ricky Cook, Shaw Industries Group.
Founded in 1939, the National Private Truck Council is the only national trade association exclusively representing the interests of the private truck industry and corporate/business private truck fleet management. With an actively engaged leadership team of Board representatives, member volunteers and staff, NPTC in the past decade has grown significantly to serve a rising professional class of private fleet practitioners meeting the challenges of modern corporate transportation. NPTC is the leading learning resource center, government affairs advocate, and business networking culture for America’s top private fleet and supplier member companies. The Council produces benchmarking, best practices, and economic data reports on the private fleet market; administers the highly regarded Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) training program, and conducts some of the most successful events in the trucking industry including the Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition, the Private Fleet Management Institute, and the National Safety Conference. For more information about the Council’s activities and programs, visit our website at www.nptc.org.
Navistar, Inc. (“Navistar”) is a purpose-driven company, reimagining how to deliver what matters to create more cohesive relationships, build higher-performing teams and find solutions where others don’t. Based in Lisle, Illinois, Navistar or its subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial trucks and engines, IC Bus® brand school and commercial buses, all-makes OnCommand® Connection advanced connectivity services, and Fleetrite®, ReNEWeD® and Diamond Advantage® brand aftermarket parts. With a history of innovation dating back to 1831, Navistar has more than 14,500 employees worldwide and is part of TRATON SE, a global champion of the truck and transport services industry. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com.