Guinness World Records
Archer was recently named a million mile safe driver with Coomes Inc.

Five Good Things: Truck driver role models

May 31, 2024
Two truck drivers save the day, Guinness World Records honors oldest truck driver, ATA rewards Trucking Moves America Forward leaders, and Bendix celebrates employee achievements in this week’s Five Good Things.

I’m always amazed by the things truck drivers do on a daily basis, but this week, a few drivers pulled off brave, extraordinary feats. Read more about these accomplishments in this week’s Five Good Things.

Please pass along good news for our weekly Five Good Things blog by email or through our LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter accounts.

World’s oldest truck driver keeps trucking

Doyle Archer, who has worked for Coomes Inc. in Phillipsburg, Kansas, for 20 years, was recently certified as the world's oldest truck driver at the age of 90 years and 55 days.

Archer has been driving trucks for more than 60 years and has logged 5.5 million miles behind the wheel.

"I do not plan to retire anytime soon," Archer told Guinness World Records. "As long as my health holds, I will keep driving. I do not have the word 'retire' in my vocabulary."

The great-grandfather of 26 said his career has taken him across the country, hauling all sorts of different cargo.

"Anything you can haul in a truck, I have hauled it," he said.

Truck driver named TCA Highway Angel for stopping to help with a car fire

The Truckload Carriers Association has named truck driver Andrew Hastie from Bryan, Texas, a TCA Highway Angel for stopping to help victims involved in a wreck and for trying to put out a car fire. Hastie works for Decker Truck Line out of Ft. Dodge, Montana.

Around 2:30 p.m. on April 29 in Kennesaw, Georgia, Hastie was driving southbound on Interstate 75 when he came upon a car on fire about 25 yards off the freeway in the woods. There were already people who stopped and tried to extinguish the fire, but he saw someone pointing to a fire extinguisher indicating they needed more.

“My thought process at that point was ‘I’ve gotta stop. I just can’t keep going,’” Hastie said. He pulled over, grabbed his fire extinguisher, and ran up to the engulfed car. He tried to open the driver’s door to get the driver out.

“It was one of the worst [accidents] I’ve seen,” Hastie said. The bystanders were able to get an injured female passenger out of the vehicle. She was eventually life-flighted to receive medical attention. Her condition is unknown. Hastie suspects the driver did not survive the wreck.

Paramedics, fire crews, and numerous other responders arrived shortly after Hastie stopped to help. The former volunteer police and firefighter helped lay out the fire hoses to extinguish the flames. Looking back, he is glad he stopped.

“They needed a fire extinguisher; I had a fire extinguisher,” he said. “If I had just kept going, I would have felt like crap.”

Fellow truck driver rescues driver from burning truck

On May 29, a witness helped a truck driver escape from her rig after a crash on I-41 in Grand Chute, Wisconsin. 

The truck struck a concrete barrier and lost an axle, causing sparks that set the load of paper bales in the trailer on fire. The commercial vehicle went up in flames.

Another truck driver, Randall D’Addenzio, witnessed the crash and came to the driver’s aid, helping her out of the cab.

See also: PGT Trucking celebrates safe drivers

ATA honors TMAF leaders with Dove Award

The American Trucking Associations recently recognized four industry leaders for their efforts to burnish and improve trucking’s image as founding members of the Trucking Moves America Forward campaign.

“Ten years ago, the American Trucking Associations launched Trucking Moves America Forward—a groundbreaking campaign that brought our industry together to tell the uplifting story of trucking and enhance our image in the eyes of the American people we serve each and every day,” said American Trucking Associations COO Sarah Rajtik. “Because of the success of this campaign in improving the image of trucking, we are presenting each of the founding members of Trucking Moves America Forward with the S. Earl Dove Highway Award.”

ATA’s highest honor, the S. Earl Dove Highway Award recognizes individuals whose contributions of time, energy, and intelligence have advanced the interests of the trucking industry and the ATA Federation. The award is named for the former ATA chairman and former owner of AAA Cooper Transportation.

For their efforts with TMAF, ATA presented the Dove Award to:

“We are thrilled to recognize these four impressive individuals for contributing their time, energy, and vision to promote the interests of trucking and the ATA Federation,” Rajtik said.

Bendix honors employees for improvement, safety, quality, and productivity

Recently, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems employees from across its North American locations came together to recognize teams and individuals who are helping improve workplace safety, environmental conditions, production quality, and manufacturing efficiency. The honorees gathered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, home of the company’s wheel-end manufacturing operation.

Winners in the annual award program represented Bendix facilities in Acuña, Mexico; Avon, Ohio; Bowling Green; Hanover, Pennsylvania; Huntington, Indiana; and Monterrey, Mexico. Bendix honored three groups and 22 individuals for their commitment to continuous improvement in 2023 as part of the company’s Knorr Production System (KPS). In addition to their dedication to continuous improvement, these team members personify Bendix’s all-encompassing drive to help improve commercial vehicle and highway safety.

KPS award categories consisted of Safety STARS, Environmental, Best Quick Kaizen, Most Quick Kaizens, and KPS Outstanding Contributor. Award winners were:

  • Safety STARS Teams: Machining P1, Acuña; FDB Assembly Benches, 1st Shift, Bowling Green; Shipping Fast Break, 2nd Shift, Huntington
  • Environmental: Jorge Moreno, Raul Ramirez, and Enrique Chavez, Acuña; Himanshu Pandya, Bowling Green; Randy Brown, Huntington; Mark Matko, Avon
  • Best Quick Kaizen: Sergio Segura, Acuña; Paulo Leal, Monterrey; Himanshu Pandya, Bowling Green; Rob Snow, Huntington; David Leatherman, R.H. Sheppard; Phillip Kasper and Justin Turner, Avon
  • Most Quick Kaizens: Yolanda Flota, Acuña; Carlos Zavala, Monterrey; Lisa Eldridge, Bowling Green; Linda Bowman, Huntington; Trudy Mays, R.H. Sheppard; Stephen Mitchell, Avon
  • KPS Outstanding Contributor: Oscar Llano, Acuña; Mitchell Bratcher, Bowling Green; Ben Maylin, Huntington; Christy Racine, R.H. Sheppard

“The accomplishments celebrated in the KPS awards bring Bendix closer to major company safety goals such as zero injuries, climate goals like zero waste, and operational goals on quality and productivity,” said Fabio Nakai, Bendix director of operations excellence. “Day after day, our people and our teams bring their best selves to the job in the name of continuous improvement and operational excellence.”

About the Author

Jenna Hume | Digital Editor

Digital Editor Jenna Hume previously worked as a writer in the gaming industry. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree in creative writing from Truman State University and a master of fine arts degree in writing from Lindenwood University. She is currently based in Missouri. 

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