On any given business day, there may be over 120,000 vehicles traveling the section of 240 between I-40 and I-55. Regardless of the destination, all equipment leaving our Wilson Street home location must enter and travel that highway.
Since joining the companies in March 2007, Bradford Kelley has been making those trips safely. That would be 11 straight construction seasons, hauling up to 180,000 lbs. of machinery, without one incident.
He came to us as an experienced truck driver, but only started hauling heavy equipment after beginning employment here. “Peco trained me then he rode with me for two days,” Kelley said. “After he saw me load and unload the equipment, he turned me loose.”
The Peco he mentioned is Willie “Peco” Martin, our trucking manager responsible for the equipment transport. “Kelley’s very particular about safety,” said Peco. “He’s not going to put himself, other drivers or our equipment in the position of anything going wrong. I respect that about him. If he tells me he’s uncomfortable with something, I trust him.”
These gentlemen had to make a judgment call recently to bring in a subcontractor to haul a piece of equipment. “I could have done it, but something would have been messed up,” Kelley explained. “Lehman-Roberts is on the side of the truck, but I treat everything like it’s my own.”
When asked what procedures he goes by daily, he quickly noted the following:
- When loading equipment, make sure everything is strapped down.
- Walk around your load and check every detail at least twice. Three times is better.
- Never get in a hurry. Don’t get big-headed.
Our lowboy drivers make 5 – 10 trips each day. In Kelley’s case, he pulls two different trailers, adding further room for error. Add to that, the service our drivers provide to our paving crews and our customer’s time restraints. “Sometimes they need the equipment quickly. I get it there when I can,” said the father of five between ages 4 and 16. “Technology has taken over our lives. People don’t pay attention to the road when they’re driving. Every day, my goal is to treat everyone with respect and make it home safely.”
Harold Edwards, Safety Officer for the companies, stated, “Eleven years without one incident is very, very difficult to do. Paying close attention to details is what makes Kelley so successful. I have extreme confidence in his ability to do the job safely, and I trust him to make the correct decisions. He is well-trained, but even more than that, he’s a great person. We were very blessed when he came to work here.”