EDMONTON, Alta. - Eldon Bruce Johnson is a local legend among truck drivers.He has 45 years behind the wheel without a single accident. In fact, he hasn't even received a traffic ticket in those years...
SUPER TRUCKER: A modest Eldon Johnson shies away from publicity as he is presented with his award by AMTA's Lane Kranenburg.(Photo by James Menzies)
EDMONTON, Alta. – Eldon Bruce Johnson is a local legend among truck drivers.
He has 45 years behind the wheel without a single accident. In fact, he hasn’t even received a traffic ticket in those years.
He has been known to mend a broken alternator belt with a needle and thread.
While many truck drivers become squeamish at the thoughts of taking on a long haul into northern Canada during winter, he sought after those jobs with eager anticipation.
And during this year’s Alberta Trucking Industry Safety Association (ATISA) Truck Safety Conference in Edmonton, he was rewarded for his heroics by being named the 2000 Driver of the Year.
Johnson, currently a city driver for Harv Wilkening Transport in Edmonton, was honored as the ATISA Trucker of the Year.
“This is wonderful,” says an elated Johnson, while flanked by his wife Cecilia and two children. “It’s really nice to be recognized.”
Lane Kranenburg, executive director of the newly formed Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) made the presentation in front of more than 100 industry representatives.
“Eldon has hauled heavy equipment, steel, gravel and general freight. Basically anything that could be carried on, or in, a trailer,” says Kranenburg. “And he did his job in a professional and courteous manner.”
Johnson inherited that driving style from his mentor, Eldon Sr.
“He told me that if I left on time and used my head during the trip, I’d get to my destination safe and sound and on time,” Johnson recalls.
He says the elder Johnson would shake his head at drivers who dilly-dallied in coffee shops and then drove recklessly to make up time.
Kranenburg says that Johnson’s enthusiasm for the job contributed to his success.
“Put simply, Eldon Bruce Johnson loves to drive,” says Kranenburg. “He feels the occupation has given him much more than he has given to it.” n