Having grown up with family in the oil business, John Lasswell was no stranger to driving trucks when he joined Con-way Freight in 1988. For most of his life, John had hauled and moved equipment behind the wheel of a big rig, so when job opportunities in the oil industry became scarce, pursuing a career as a professional driver made sense.
After years behind the wheel, John’s favorite part of the job is being in charge of his daily schedule. “I love the freedom of being my own boss,” he said. “I like that I’m the one in control of my day. I know what is expected of me, and can accomplish everything at my own pace, structuring my schedule in a way that works for me.”
According to John, being aware of your surroundings is the biggest challenge for commercial drivers today. “You can’t rely solely on your driving skills when it’s your job to stay safe,” said John. “There are so many other factors to consider, especially other motorists. You have to be ready to react in any situation.”
John urges drivers to put down cell phones and iPods, and wished more would be done to eliminate their usage on the road. “It’s unbelievable how many accidents and injuries could be prevented if people focused their full attention on driving,” he explained.
He cites his ability to predict the mistakes of other drivers as being his most useful skill—one that has helped him reach two million accident-free miles. He also uses his radio to stay informed of any accidents, traffic or congestion to prepare him for any circumstances that he might be driving into.
John is proud that his hard work has allowed him to accomplish such a feat. “It feels great to know that I am being recognized and rewarded for helping to keep the roads safe,” John said. “I’m so happy I was able to reach this milestone before retiring.”
A resident of Centralia, Ill., John is based out of Con-way Freight’s Salem, Ill., service center. He has been married for 42 years to his wife, Karen, and has three children and five grandchildren. In his spare time, John enjoys traveling, being outdoors and spending time with his grandchildren.