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OOIDA Recognizes Truck Driver for Safety Milestone

Chuck R. Paar of Mount Jewett, PA, has been recognized by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) for 16 years of safe, accident-free driving of a commercial tractor trailer.

Trucking is definitely a family affair for the Paars. After returning home from service in WWII, Chuck’s father supported his family as a carrier. Both of Paar’s brother went into trucking, and his sister married a trucker. Chuck met his wife, Ona, while she was driving a truck, and their son drives truck now as well.

Not all children know what they want to be when they grow up, but for Chuck, he knew without a doubt what he wanted to do for a living from a young age. The first time he sat behind the wheel of a big rig to drive, he was just 9 years old, and it turned out to be a bit of a defining moment for him.

“I was riding with my brother, Kory. He was moving trucks from one area to another for my dad,” Chuck said. “Kory had just gotten his draft notification. He was going to leave for boot camp soon. He pulled over on a gravel work road leading to the site, got out, and motioned for me to slide into the driver’s seat. I was kind of confused. I mean, I had been watching my dad and brothers drive my whole life, but they’d never let me drive. My brother said, ‘I’m going to see you drive a truck before I go into the Army,’ and so I drove.”

After his brother returned from the service, the pair took over their father’s business. Chuck started driving trucks in 1971 at the age of 16 when it was legal to do so with a simple driver’s license. He bought his first truck, a 1970 Brockway cabover, in 1974 and has continued to learn and grow within the industry.

“I have hauled several types of freight,” he mused. “Van, reefer, flatbed, heavy haul to Alaska, electronics and trade shows. Since 2005, I have focused on dry bulk tank commodities, such as cement and sand.”

“I’ve had a good life in trucking, I’ve been coast to coast with my wife, seen and done things I don’t think I’d have seen or done without trucking,” Chuck said. “I’m not wealthy by any means, but I’m rich with the experiences I’ve had and continue to have in this industry.”

Chuck joined OOIDA in 1988 because he believed it to be an organization making a positive impact in the industry for people like himself.

The OOIDA Safe Driving Award Program is designed to recognize and reward OOIDA members for their safe, accident-free years while operating a commercial vehicle. Safe driving awards are available to all eligible OOIDA members who qualify based upon the number of years for which the member has operated a commercial vehicle without being involved in a preventable accident.