Long before electronic logging devices started making it impossible for drivers to wait until their 34-hour restart to fill out their hours of service, Kenneth Jarrell made it a habit to always meticulously recap his hours of service at the end of the day.

It’s a lesson Kenneth’s son-in-law, Gary Morgan, never forgot.

“He’s always had the attitude of being a professional,” Gary said. “He’s always taken pride in the work he does by keeping himself and his truck neat and tidy. And his logbook up to date at all times. Whenever he gets pulled over for a random inspection, he always gets done in practically no time. The enforcement officers take one look at his log book and when they can’t find a hair out of place, they usually tell him to get back out on the road.

“That’s something I learned from him early on in my career,” Gary said.

Contest Winner Chosen from Field of Six Nominees

It’s also part of the reason Gary nominated his 75-year-old father-in-law for recognition from Drivewyze during its National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Contest. The company chose six finalists and asked web site and Facebook page visitors to choose which of the six they thought most deserved the recognition based on their nominations. Kenneth was recently announced as the winner as part of Drivewyze’s celebration of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week – Sept. 11-17.

In his nomination, Gary wrote about how Kenneth, his father-in-law, has helped him raise his daughter after his wife died suddenly from a brain aneurism caused by Marfan Syndrome in August of 1995. Gary said for years his father and Kenneth drove as team drivers for a car hauler and for a textile mill based in North Carolina.

“That’s how Christine and I met was through our fathers,” Gary said.

Gary said Kenneth now works for him driving under the authority of TWA Trucking, hauling furniture and other truckload freight.

Contest Winner Pays Close Attention to Tracking HOS

Kenneth is the humblest and most honest person he’s ever known, Gary said in his nomination to the Drivewyze contest. “He’s been accident free for many years. I would love to recognize all the safe year(s) he put in to the (t)rucking industry.”

While he hasn’t kept track of the number of miles he’s driven without an accident, Kenneth said he knows it must be up to a few million. Besides minor dings from inattentive drivers in truckstop parking lots and rest areas, Kenneth said the only accident in which he was involved in his 51-year career was a head-on collision with a drunk driver driving westbound in the eastbound lane. Miraculously, both Kenneth and the drunk driver were not injured.

“Early on in my career, I was a haz-mat hauler and I hauled a variety of loads, some were dangerous,” Kenneth said. “Through that experience, I learned how important it is to pay attention to details and to keep my log books straight.”

75-Year-Old Driver Averages 2,500 Miles Per Week

Even though he’s 75, when Kenneth hits the road, he averages about 2,500 miles a week hauling loads of furniture from factories in North Carolina to Chicago and from North Carolina to the Northeast. He also back hauls a variety of loads. However, because of his age, Kenneth said he only hauls freight that he doesn’t have to touch.

“I continue to drive because it gives me something to do and because I enjoy being out on the road,” he said.

Kenneth, who drives a 2006 Freightliner Columbia that was once leased by the Dallas Cowboys, said he can remember the first truck he drove in 1964. It was a 6-wheel straight truck with a body covered by a canvas top that could be retracted or removed to fit oversized loads.

Comfort Meant Sleeping with Open Doors and Burning PIC Mosquito Coils

“If you would have told me back then that I’d be driving a truck with a Garmin GPS navigation unit telling me where to go, I would have thought, ‘What planet are you from,’” he said with a laugh. “It’s amazing the changes in technology from when I first started driving trucks. I can remember the first air-conditioned truck I drove for Kaufmann Mills (a textile mill) in 1972. It was a Mack and it was nice not to have to sleep at night with the doors wide open and two PIC mosquito repellant coils burning to keep the mosquitoes away.”

While he appreciates the technological advances offering drivers greater comfort and a more productive work environment, Kenneth says the coming birth of his first great granddaughter to Gary and Christine’s daughter, Breanna, in late February may be the reason he decides to hang it up and retire for good. “At 75, I don’t have a lot of time left and I am thinking that I may want to spend it enjoying our great grand daughter with my wife, Brenda, and not out on the road.”

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