La. Man Keeps on Truckin’ – Safely

March 13, 2007

Truck driver Bobby Wright of Searcy, La., recently surpassed the two million mile mark behind the wheel without a preventable accident.

Wright, a driver for USA Truck since 1988, said a skill developed as a child has helped along the way.

“I was good at dodge ball when I was a kid,” Wright said. “You have to watch out, you have to dodge.”

Wright took time out on a recent work day and answered questions via pay phone from Nashville, Tenn.

Attentiveness is the key to staying out of trouble on the road, he said.

“Pay attention to everybody around you,” Wright said. “Watch out for the other guy, mainly, and allow for somebody else messing up.”

While training, experience and attitude are important, part of being accident free is being at the right place at the right time.

“Part of it’s luck,” Wright said. “There’s some skill there, but part of it is luck.”

Safe drivers are able to read what other people are going to do.

“You need to start every day by saying, ‘I’m going to drive today the best I can,’ and you go out every day and drive the best you can, and it just happens,” Wright said.

He’s had his share of near misses.

“Oh, they happen every other day,” Wright said. “Last week in Texas I got within 10 feet of a street and an old man pulled right out in front of me. I looked to see what was beside me and pulled over. That’s the kind of stuff you look at every day. He was elderly and must have had cataract surgery because he had some big glasses on like they do.”

Wright’s International tractor pulls a 53-foot tandem trailer loaded with “everything from paper to computers,” he said, with Wal-Mart as one of his biggest customers.

Being safe is its own reward, the 1972 graduate of Griffithville High School said, but USA will recognize Wright at a banquet at the end of the month and present him with a leather jacket with “Two Million Miles” on it, as well as a plaque.

“I have worked with Bobby for 19 years and during this time he has always conducted himself as a professional,” Garry Lewis, senior vice president of operations, said. “We are fortunate that for the past several years Bobby has shared his knowledge with many of our young drivers as a driver trainer. I know of no one more qualified to teach than Bobby.”

Other achievements for Wright while employed with USA Truck include being named to the Driver’s Advisory Board, Safety Road Team and a Top Gun Driver

“Drivers of Bobby’s caliber help put the pride back in the industry,” Lewis said.

Wright enjoys hunting when he is not driving. He has one son and two grandchildren.

“Bobby is a true professional, in every sense of the word,” Tim Hicks, Wright’s fleet manager, said. “His dedication to servicing our customers in the safest possible manner is second to none.”

USA Truck is a dry van truckload carrier transporting general commodities throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico.

Information from: The Daily Citizen,

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