Long time running
HWC driver contemplates retirement after nearly four decades hauling
HWC Transportation driver George Dito, 62, of Bensalem, Pa., did not realize it at the time, but a stint in the army in his early 20s would set the framework for the rest of his life.
The U.S. Army drafted Dito at age 20, and there he got his first experience driving in a dump truck. After a stint in Vietnam, he returned to the United States and married Barbara, now his wife of 40 years, in 1970. Dito found himself in need of a job, and with experience driving in the Army, he turned to truck driving.
Now with 39 years of experience, Dito says he likes driving a truck because of the freedom that comes with the job. “I get to travel. … I like to travel,” Dito says. “I’m being more independent that way, rather than being tied to a desk or working in a shop.”
While Dito enjoys this independence, it comes at a cost: he can’t be with his wife during the week.
“It’s just a way life, though,” Dito says. “I come home on weekends. It’s all part of the job. It takes a certain woman to put up with it. To me, trucking … you either like it or not. I still like what I do.”
For the past five years, Dito has run the New England area for HWC in a Freightliner, hauling lumber, shingles and anything else “that will fit on a flatbed.” Strapping and tarping keeps Dito active. “I’ve worked with a flatbed for 18 years, and I get some exercise,” he says.
Dito also tries to watch what he eats on the road.
“Some of these truckstops are getting rid of [sit-down] restaurants and getting in fast food restaurants, so it’s hard,” Dito says. “I found that if I could find a restaurant I like, I’d sit and relax.”
This attitude may just help in Dito’s driving, too, because during his time with HWC Transportation, he has been accident, injury and ticket free. The key to his success? “I just do my job every day, that’s all,” he says.
HWC Transportation recognizes Dito is a quality employee. “He’s a phenomenal employee,” says Human Resource Manager/Safety Director Arleen Wells. “His driving record is impeccable. He is respected by coworkers and supervisors. He’s a war veteran, a family man and a friend to all who meet him. It’s an honor and privilege that he’s an employee.” Wells says Dito always keeps his truck clean and takes time to do things right, while always driving safely.
With 39 years behind the wheel, Dito plans to retire in the next few years. He says he’d enjoy the time to visit railroads, a keen interest. “I like reading on railroads,” Dito says. “I’ve been into railroads for quite awhile.”
Dito also enjoys bowling, something he and his wife once did with regularity. “We used to roller-skate, too,” Dito says. Though he’d love to pick up all his old hobbies once retired, he isn’t sure about putting the skates back on all these years later.
Q & A
Q: What is your favorite meal?
Q: What is one thing you always take with you?
A: My children gave me a DVD player, so I like to read or watch a movie on it.
Q: What is your favorite city you have traveled to?
A: Richmond, Va. Just something about it. Unique. I like down South. They are more relaxed and honest.
Q: My advice to other drivers is …
A: Pay attention to your surroundings. Even truckstops aren’t safe. Watch where you park.
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