In high school, young people often look for odd-jobs to make a little money on the side. For Kelly Shaffer, washing tractors for a local truck leasing company in Ansonville, Pennsylvania, turned into something far more substantial; a career as a professional truck driver.
“I’m my own boss out there, and when the job’s done, it’s done,” says Shaffer. He’s been driving for Con-way Freight since January 6, 1995 and this January, he reached 2 million accident-free miles.
Shaffer reflected on the many challenges that exist as a driver, citing the disparity in rules and regulations between trucks and cars. “I suppose you could say we have to babysit other drivers, because they don’t have the strict regulations that we do. Every time there’s an accident, the driver or the trucking company usually takes the blame, so we have to make sure we’re being completely safe one hundred percent of the time.”
When asked what achieving this milestone meant to him, he said that it’s clear to him that the success is not all his. “It’s a big accomplishment, sure,” says Shaffer, “but it’s not just me who did it.”
“I’m driving 10 or 11 hours a day, in all sorts of conditions. One driver like me doesn’t maintain control of his stretch of road. It takes everybody looking out for each other, making sure they keep a safe distance, to ensure that everyone gets from point A to B safely.” Shaffer also attributes his achievement to Con-way Freight, saying that the company maintains his equipment better than any other company.
After 2 million accident-free miles, Shaffer hasn’t forgotten where he first encountered the world of transportation at that truck leasing company in Ansonville, Pennsylvania. He just never knew how far it would take him.
Shaffer has worked for Con-way Freight since 1995 and has been a professional truck driver for 23 years. Shaffer is married to his wife of 27 years, Rebecca, and has two children, Ryan and Kristen. In his free time, he enjoys riding motorcycles and restoring antique trucks.