For Immediate Release
May 6, 2005
For Information Contact:
Gary Petty, NPTC
NPTC Inducts Four Drivers Into Hall of Fame
Alexandria, VA – Four truck drivers who have logged more than a combined 13.9 million miles of safe driving were honored by the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) and inducted into the NPTC – Bridgestone/Firestone Driver Hall of Fame, April 26, 2005, at NPTC's Annual Education Management Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The drivers are from NPTC member companies and have met the minimum qualifications of 20 years, 2 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 seventy-four drivers have been installed in the Driver Hall of Fame. This year's Hall of Fame inductees are:
Erwin L. Deelsnyder
Erwin started driving rigs without any formal training when he was just 16 years old. He hauled fertilizer and livestock for his father until the family sold the Fulton, Illinois business in 1961 to Van Dyke Trucking. Erwin continued to drive for Van Dyke until 1975 when BOC hired him as a driver. During his long career with BOC, Erwin has logged more than four million miles over five decades without a preventable accident! He attends monthly safety meetings, practices Smith driving awareness and stays current with IMSS. His 12-hour days are spent on various routes in the Midwest, including busy areas such as Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis. Erwin says he pays attention to his health and gets adequate rest so he can be alert and observant while on the road. He believes yielding to other vehicles prevents accidents. âMuch like the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race,â he says. Besides driving full time, Erwin was a volunteer fireman, a member of BOCâs Accident Review Committee, and a tank inspector. He was BOCâs Driver of the Year in 1998. He and his wife Sandy have been married for 47 years and have two children and one grandchild. Up next for Erwinâ¦fulfilling his dream of buying and restoring a classic car!
Tarry M. Dougherty
The Schwan Food Company
Tarryâs work week is seven days long and spans over 3,200 miles in his 2001 Columbia Freightliner. He worked for Branson Truck Lines before taking his current job with The Schwan Food Company in 1973. His routes from Salinas, Kansas take him all over the lower 48 states where he encounters many different driving challenges and traffic conditions. Tarry says he gives himself extra time to wake up and have a hearty breakfast before setting out on his 650-mile route-of-the-day. Heâs most proud of his 32-year accident-free record. The Mayor of Salinas even wrote to Tarry, calling his decades of service âexemplaryâ and âimpressive.â One of the scariest days on the job was when he was driving around St. Louis on the 270-bypass. A mattress flew out of the bed of a pick-up truck in front of him and got caught in the front axle of his truck. His tractor burst into flames. He managed to stop and get out safely just as the fire department arrived. But his truck was totaled. Tarry says his wife Connie has always supported his career choice. She was raised by her father, an over-the-road driver, so she knew what she was getting into. Tarry says heâd like everyone to âdrive defensively and act like every car on the road has your family in it.â
When Jimmie hits the road, he knows how to handle his load. Heâs carrying hazardous materials like cryogenics and gaseous helium in tube trailers in his 2005 International 9200i. His formal training came from his work in the U.S. Army during the 1960âs. Jimmieâs runs generally take him through the southern states of Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky. He says highly populated cities like Charlotte and Knoxville make maneuvering tricky. âMost people donât understand how hard it is to stop an 80,000 pound piece of machinery in just seconds.â Not to mention that ice and 18-wheelers just donât mix. Jimmieâs schedule keeps him busy – drivers must log 70 hours in eight days to serve Logexâs customers. Heâs involved in the companyâs incentive program from which he gets a âshareâ of the money divided among drivers that havenât had a preventable accident. Jimmieâs advice to new drivers: âItâs not about you. Itâs about everybody else. You have to give the job time to work out and time for you to learn a routine and flow with it. Give it time.â He shares his stories about life on the road with local schools and vacation bible schools. Jimmie says his family plays a huge role in helping him get his job done – his daughter is his dispatcher! – and they, along with church members, pray for his safe travels everyday.
Randy C. Yeager
MI Transportation, Inc.
Randy has driven more than two million miles without an accident. His employer says that he has built strong customer relations with their customers on each route heâs been assigned. He averages about 2,800 miles a week in his Freightliner and pulls freight such as storm doors and windows, patio and window screens and raw materials through California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. He started out operating a B-61 Mack hauling frozen foods, and then graduated to a Cracker Box GMC when he needed to drive a tractor trailer. At the time, there was no special license required to drive a tractor trailer. Randy recalls, âMy supervisor explained that the trailer follows the tractor around turns, so just steer a bit wider to accommodate the space!â Randy has received a Safe Driving Award every year for 18 years. He reads safety bulletins put out by the company and attends driver awareness meetings. When heâs not guiding his rig on the road for work, he and his wife Cynthia are taking trips to flea markets and public sales where he buys old hunting and fishing gear. They spend a lot of time at their campground trailer site in the mountains where they plan their next adventure.
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. NPTC is the premier marketplace of information, networking and skill building for private fleet professionals as it leads in shaping the future of corporate transportation.