If you’re one of the many people who has meet Evan “Buddy” Haston throughout his 51-year driving career, at church or in his neighborhood in North Richland Hills, Texas, it will likely come as no surprise that he was named by TA-Petro as a 2017 Citizen Driver Honoree.
In 2013, TA-Petro launched the Citizen Driver Program to honor exceptional drivers who exhibit strong citizenship, community involvement, leadership, health and wellness, and safety. To date, 26 Citizen Driver Honorees have been named as the best of the best. Buddy is one of five members of the 2017 class.
“Knowing his business and being one of the best in his profession is one thing, but Buddy is an outstanding person as well,” said Lex Mendenhall, Director of Operations, National Carriers, Inc. “Buddy is active in his church, a doting husband, a father, and a grandfather. He never comes in without a smile in his voice and a joke to tell. I’ve known a lot of good men who drove for a living, but Buddy is truly one of the best of the best.”
Buddy started driving part-time over 50 years ago at age 25, and quickly made it his full-time career. To date he has logged more than 6 million miles on the road, all of them accident free. He is involved in his community, church, and workplace and is known for taking the constant changes of the profession in stride. Whether it’s dealing with difficult customers, congested traffic, or the day-to-day struggles associated with physical and mental health, Buddy has established a standard of excellence and integrity.
“Over the years in Operations, we came to know that if Buddy had that load on, you could sleep easy. It was a done deal. In a fleet of 700 drivers, Buddy, after over 25 years of service to this company, is still one of our top hands. Year after year, load after load, Buddy just keeps delivering the groceries on time every time. He just doesn’t know any other way,” added Mendenhall.
Among Buddy’s many accomplishments are being named Driver of the Month three times while driving with Harris Corp. and #1 Driver of the Year at Arthur Heavy Equipment. He joined National Carriers, Inc. (NCI) in 1989 and his 4 million safe miles there give him the highest total of the fleet. Buddy has been nominated several times for the Driver of the Month award by NCI’s Safety and Operations group, and achieved the award three times, most recently this past September.
Wellness is also of keen interest to Buddy and he is happy to share his personal experiences with other drivers on the pitfalls of poor diet and lack of exercise. He has appeared in several social media posts explaining NCI’s Better Choices initiative, and encourages drivers industry-wide to participate.
“He has established a bar of excellence for many and still strives to raise it for himself, all while doing so with dignity and humility and never seeking recognition. All of these accomplishments and many more have been achieved all the while with God, country and family as priorities. He has also helped me raise the bar in my own endeavors, as well as others in theirs,” said Ron Hibler, retired driver.
Do you know someone who should be a Citizen Driver? TA-Petro is currently accepting nominations for our next class of Citizen Driver Honorees. You have until September 30, 2017 to submit your entry The 2018 Citizen Drivers will be announced at a ceremony at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum.