Heinz Alvin (John) Beeler, Canadian Freightways Ltd. company driver, has been voted the 2010 Canadian Trucking Alliance/Volvo Trucks Canada Driver of the Year. Beeler reaped this honor for his dedication to safety and arresting collision-free driving career for over 36 years and almost 3 million miles.
In his 36 years of driving big rigs in the industry, he has seen a lot of blacktop Ãƒ‚Ã¢€“ in fact, he saw five million kilometers of it. The Maple Ridge long-haul trucker received his Canadian Trucking Alliance Driver of the Year award last week.
"John Beeler is an outstanding truck driver and a true professional, both on and off the road," said David Bradley, CEO of Canadian Trucking Alliance. "Canada's highways are made safer by the efforts of John and other drivers like him. He is very deserving of this prestigious award."
According to him training young drivers lets him experience a degree of job satisfaction. Beeler said of the award, "It's based on your safety record, contributions to the trucking industry, training of fellow drivers when they start."
Beeler completed many safety and operational course, which gives him the right to train company drivers, and he does. Not only that, John also shares his knowledge to other carriers, and consults on safety issues, and helps with collision investigations.
"I started a program here, where any new trainees off our dock make trips over the mountains -- to Kamloops and back -- to give them an eyeful and see what trucking's about," he said.
"Give them a little respect for what a mountain is, and grades and weight."
Beeler shared one close call he had eight years ago in a brutal snowstorm on the Coquihalla Pass. He recalled that the perilous circumstance he had was coming down from the brake check Ãƒ‚Ã¢€“ near the top of the pass Ãƒ‚Ã¢€“ to the snowshed on the Coquihalla.
There was a 70-centimeter dump of snow and you could literally see the snow building up on your hood. He was surrounded by a lot of amateurs, and somebody even blocked the road. To make things worse, Beeler, who had secured his rig with chains, was being tailgated by another trucker. And changing lanes wasn't good enough to throw the tailgater off. When it seemed like he was going to be hit by the tailgater, he sped just a whisker, and his tractor turned totally sideways on him. It turned out that a chain had busted, which caused his rig to jackknife. It's a good thing that he maintained control and brought his eighteen-wheeler back with no damage other than broken tire chain.
Beeler also received with the British Columbia Driver of the Year award at the BC Trucking Association's annual Management Conference held in June 2010.
Including in his award, John was given a trophy, cash prize, and a weekend getaway for two. The award was handed out at the BCTA's annual Christmas Party on December 2, 2010.
John spent the last 30 years with Canadian Freightways and makes his home in Maple Ridge, BC, with his wife, Charmaine. His admirable driving record has earned him many recognitions of achievement from organizations including the National Safety Council, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Canadian Freightways Ltd.