Driver sales representative Terry Wheeler had never thought to pursue a career as a professional driver, but when he was approached by someone impressed with his strong work ethic and willing to teach him to drive, he jumped at the opportunity. Terry has now been a professional driver for 38 years, 24 of them working for Con-way Freight, and is glad that he was fortunate enough to discover a profession that he loves.
“I had thought about factory work, but I knew a job where I’d be inside all day just wasn’t for me,” said Terry. “There is no comparison to being out on your own while on the road and meeting so many interesting people. Every day is a new adventure and you never know what to expect — I enjoy the challenge.”
With years of driving experience, he believes that the roads would be safer for all drivers if motorists would not use handheld devices that are a major distraction.
“The roads are a lot different today than they were when I started driving,” he said. “Not only is the traffic much heavier, but people are now driving while talking on cell phones, texting and even using their laptops. It’s a tremendous change.”
Terry credits safe and well-maintained equipment, along with always being conscious of other drivers for his success in achieving two million accident-free miles. He says that by not pushing himself too hard or doing more than he is capable of while on the road he has been able to stay both alert and safe.
“If you get in a vehicle and drive every day for your job, eventually defensive driving comes naturally,” he said. “You have to use common sense, and be cautious. Ultimately everyone wants to get to their destination safely and I want to make sure that happens.”
Terry says that it’s great to work for a company that acknowledges the hard work of their drivers. “This is a great accomplishment and I am very happy to have been able to reach two million miles before I retire. It means a lot to be recognized for doing your job to the best of your ability,” he said.
A resident of Brazil, Ind., Terry is based out of Con-way Freight’s Terre Haute, Ind., service center. He has been married for 40 years to his wife, Victoria, and has two children: Greg and Jody; and three grandchildren: Madison, Braden and Adalynn. In his spare time, Terry enjoys spending time outdoors, riding his motorcycle, restoring his 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline and collecting remote control airplanes.