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Local trucker hits the road to deliver safety messages



Published: Sun, September 2, 2007 @ 2:00 a.m.

It took a lot of work to become a member of the elite team.

By ANDREW GAUG

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BERLIN CENTER — A local truck driver has been traveling the nation, but he hasn’t just been delivering loads.

Albert Adams, 59, of 12245 Leffingwell Road, is one of 16 drivers nationwide that have been selected to deliver safety messages all across the country. They are part of America’s Road Team, an elite team of drivers chosen by American Trucking Associations.

Adams was chosen earlier this year based on his commitment to safety, knowledge of trucks and communication abilities.

“It was really exciting,” he said. “It was one of the highlights of my life.”

America’s Road Team, created in 1986 and supported by Volvo Trucks North America, represents all truck drivers in the U.S.

Background

Adams, a Roadway Express driver with 38 years’ experience, said he’s enjoyed his opportunities to educate people about safe driving.

He has been interviewed on K100 FM in Toledo, spoke at the Buffalo Bills’ football stadium and talked at the state capitol building in Charleston, W.V.

“I got to be on a podcast and national TV,” he said. “It was really cool.”

His latest appearance was at the National Truck Driving championship in Minneapolis, Minn., two weeks ago. Drivers from all states competed in a variety of categories.

Even though Adams was named Truck Driver of the Year in 2003 by the Ohio Trucking Association, he couldn’t contain his excitement when he got called to Washington, D.C., to be interviewed for the safety team.

The 35 finalists were put through a thorough test, including interviews, a five-minute speech and a mock interview with a reporter from USA Today.

Making sure he knew what he was talking about was key, Adams said.

“It was a lot of research, a lot of studying and a lot of practice,” he said.

His longtime goal

Ever since Adams got behind the wheel of truck as an independent owner-operator in 1969, he knew this was what he wanted to do.

“I liked the independence, the idea of making my own hours and not punching the clock,” he said.

Vocal about the importance of road safety, Adams practices what he now preaches as part of America’s Road Team. In July, he traveled his four-millionth mile without an accident.

Adams said people need to be educated about the differences between driving a car and a tractor-trailer rig and allow for a cushion between the two.

“A little common sense goes a long way,” he said. “The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot.”

As part of America’s Road Team, he hopes to get people of all ages driving safer, especially young drivers.

“It’s important to reach young people before they develop bad habits,” he said.

Until his tenure as road captain expires in December 2008, Adams said he hopes to make the roads safe for all drivers.

“The highway is our workplace. Just like everybody’s workplace, [truck drivers] want to make it as safe as possible,” he said.

agaug@vindy.com


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