Trucking community salutes Vernon Erb

Erb Convoy

WILMOT TOWNSHIP, Ont. – Hundreds of vehicles descended on Wilmot, Ont., on Friday to honor its most famous resident, Vernon Erb.

Erb, 84, founder of the Erb Group of Companies, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. The convoy was organized by Erb’s family and friends to pay tribute to him.

Erb Convoy

Photo by Julia Maier/Erb Group

“Oh my gosh, it was incredible,” Erb’s granddaughter Katie Erb told Today’s Trucking.

She said he was “overwhelmed” by the convoy of some 300 vehicles.

“He is so modest and humble that he just didn’t expect anything of that magnitude.”

Erb Convoy
Photo by Julia Maier/Erb Group

Katie Erb also said that her grandfather chose to leave the hospital so he could be with his friends and family.

“(Otherwise) he wouldn’t be able to have visitors in the hospital due to Covid-19. “

She said less than 24 hours after the event was created, it brought out the whole community, with people lining the streets and watching from their driveways.

Town Councillor Angie Hallman, who was among the participants, said the event was filled with emotions.

“The trucking community is tightly knit and they showed up to show their appreciation for Mr. Erb and offer their respect,” she said.

“Mr. Erb’s legacy is a profound one. My heartfelt thanks to him for his generosity and commitment to our community throughout his life.”

Erb Convoy
Photo by Julia Maier/Erb Group

Erb started out with one dump truck in 1959. Erb Transport has since grown to become one of Canada’s biggest trucking companies employing some 1,500 people, including owner-operators.

His son, Wendell, has led the fleet since 1999.

Erb Convoy
Photo by Julia Maier/Erb Group

In an interview with Today’s Trucking in August, when the company celebrated its 60th anniversary, the senior Erb said he was quite happy the way things were going.

“It doesn’t seem like 60 years. It sorts of went way beyond what I had anticipated back 60 years ago.”

He said the industry had changed “an awful lot” in that time.

“Hard to say what is it going to do in the next 60 years.”

Erb Convoy
Photo by Julia Maier/Erb Group

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  • One of the best persons I ever knew. Many other people think that also. He will be missed but his family are also good people. In trucking or anything else that they do. Erb is a example of how to do things the right way.

  • I can say that Mr. Erb is one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked for. He is so humble and a kind person. I have met him a few times well working out of the Toronto yard. He is a very soft spoken man and the trucking industry is going to miss one of the nicest people it has ever had. He has helped so many people over the years, and not only by the charity work he has done, but by giving so many people a chance at a career in the trucking industry and I’m one of the people he and his family and company gave a chance. And for giving this kid at the time the chance to provide for his young family is something I will never forget. Thank you Mr. Vernon Erb. You are one of the best in this industry.

  • I was sorry to not be able to be part of this. Being in this industry and, living in Wilmot Township has given me great respect for Vernon as a businessman and as a great person in this community. Glad to hear that it went well.

  • Vernon Erb was a wonderful man to work for in my 30 years career with Erb Traansport. He was always a fine example of how hard work can be rewarding. He was kind & caring to all his employees. I want wish him well and let him know I am thinking of him.

  • I met Vernon Erb in 1971 he was a awesome man to work for then. He is the same person today. Hasn’t changed a bit.. Going to be miss you Vernon..

  • I was lucky enough to Attend – The Wonderful ‘Tribute’ – ‘Drive – By For Vernon and His Family! Bruce & I have known Vernon for 60years! I was lucky enough to go on ‘Ski Days’ with Vernon – to Ellacottville. . As well as Beaver Valley! Both Bruce & Vernon started out with ONE Truck – Bruce ended up with around 35 Trucks – While – Vernon got up to well over 800! Vernon was ONE of Bruce’s Very Best Friends! He was So pleased to ‘chat’ with Vernon – this week! Vernon & Viola have a Wonderful Family! He is a ‘Kind/Gentle’ Man!

    • Bless you Vern and Viola. Thank you for your friendship in Florida and the visit to your home In Canada thanks for your Christ like spirit. Your love for Jesus is so precious our prayer are with you yours