For Immediate Release
May 10, 2006
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 15.8 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, May 2, 2006, at NPTC's Annual Education Management Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
The drivers are from NPTC member companies and have met the minimum qualifications of 20 years, two 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, 80 drivers have been installed in the Driver Hall of Fame. This year's Hall of Fame inductees are:
Gene E. Reed
TFE Logistics Group
Gene learned to drive a truck while working nights at a poultry market in Grabill, Indiana when he was 17 years old. Since then, he has driven more than three million accident-free miles over 35 years – 27 of them with TFE. An average day on the job for Gene means 12-14 hours on the road, Monday through Friday, hauling automotive parts. Normally, that means 14 stops and 300 miles in his 2000 Mack CH 600 day cab. While he has driven 44 of the lower 48 states, his usual route takes him through Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. His lengthy safe-driving record does not come without some practice; Gene employs defensive driving techniques every day, teaches an advanced defensive driving course to new TFE employees and recertifies existing employees after a major accident. Gene also spends his free time driving to help others in need including the State of Indianaâs Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, and hauls toys for the âToys for Totsâ program. For his community service, Gene was awarded NPTCâs Dodi Reagan Humanitarian Award in 2003. No matter where he is headed, Gene says itâs important to stay âflexibleâ because everyday is different; just go with the flow. That task is made easier with one of his most treasured possessions. When he started driving over-the-road and away from home, his then-eight year old daughter gave him a pet rock so he wouldnât be lonely. He has carried that rock more than two million miles and still carries it today. Gene and his wife of 20 years, Jane, have four children and eleven grandchildren. When heâs not behind the wheel, he enjoys spending time fishing, boating and is an amateur radio operator.
John R. Tedford, Sr.
BOC entrusts John with hauling its precious cryogenic cargo more than 2,000 miles each week along the Gulf Coast states. His normal route consists of two 260-mile trips per day in his International truck, driving from New Orleans area to the NASA facility in Stennis, Mississippi. He is also responsible for loading and unloading tons of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon. The safe delivery of a product that is -320 degrees below zero is a challenge in of itself. John must put all entries into the onboard computer that keeps track of all deliveries, logs and all aspects of his job. He employs the Smith System in his daily routine. His three million-plus miles on the road have earned him the BOC 5-10-15-20-25-30 and 35-year safe driving awards from BOC. John also has the honor of being chosen to be a Super Driver Trainer for the company. He travels the country and teaches at all company locations. John says his safe-driving record during 40 years on the road is attributed to following the DOT rules and regulations to the letter, getting proper rest, having a positive outlook, being courteous on the road, being proud of what he does for a living and proud of the company he works for. He credits his wife Ada with making the time he gets to spend at home as easy as possible. There, he likes to garden, work in the yard and relax in front of the television. John is also a Baptist deacon in his church, a member of the male chorus and minister to young men.
James H. Tolly
NCI Building Systems
James learned to drive a tractor-trailer in the U.S. Army and hauled military machinery, ammunition and missiles. Now, for NCI, he runs metal building components through all 48 lower states. Most of his 3,200 weekly miles are from Texas to Georgia and Texas to Utah, averaging 635 miles each day, for a total of more than three million miles behind the wheel of his Freightliner. His company says that one of the funniest things that James ever did was walk into the womenâs restroom at a truck stop, and then moments later they got to watch all of the women inside chase him out! One of his most memorable experiences happened, though, when he was traveling I-10 near Flatonia, Texas. James came across a two-year-old girl standing alone on the side of the highway. She had been left behind at an accident scene. James picked her up and took her to the local police. Looking back, some of the problems James encounters now while making his runs did not exist in the early days of being on the job. Most notably are severely congested highways, DOT rules and regulations changes, and more drivers not being courteous and considerate of others. To better deal with those driving challenges, he attends all of the company safety meetings, reads the DOT Safety Regulations book and uses the internet to stay current on all the new information put out by industry associations including National Private Truck Council. James also makes sure that he takes care of his health, gets proper rest and eats a well-balanced diet. When heâs not making his daily runs, James lives the peaceful life and loves to watch NASCAR and fish.
Robert C. Wrenn
Gwaltney Transportation, a division of Smithfield
Robert began his transportation career with Gwaltney Foods in 1957 and has been with the company ever since. His first job was on the shipping dock, but then he got eager to make local runs. Then Robert wanted more. It was not long before he was taking all the loads of fresh and processed pork that he could, learning the companyâs routes and customers. He made deliveries in New York, Boston and Washington, DC. After 40 years of long haul driving, he is once again back to driving locally around the Richmond, Virginia area. During his 49-year career, he has maintained a perfect driving record that spans more than six million miles! He has also seen many changes in the industry. Robert says one of the biggest hurdles he encountered when first on the job was the fact that he had to make deliveries to places he was not even allowed into because he was African American. Even getting something to eat while on the road was a problem. There were times when he took his lunch from home and placed it on the manifold in the tractor to cook it. However, his perseverance in his career paid off. Robert was recently awarded the Virginia Professional Driver of the Year and Smithfield Transportation Companyâs Driver of the Year. Robert credits his longevity in the industry with several things: being reliable, taking care of the companyâs equipment, and having patience that many new drivers do not start out with. Robert also believes in quality time with his family, including wife Myrteen and daughter Shawn, and enjoying a good game of football, basketball or boxing.
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.