Owner-Operator of the Month

Katharine Martin | November 01, 2011

In 1998, Channing and his wife helped a neighbor who needed to replace her rundown house. He set up a bank account and asked churches, neighbors and businesses for donations. The community not only purchased a manufactured housing unit but supplied furnishings and spending money for the homeowner. A Toledo television station covered the opening of the new home.

“I never want to be in the spotlight, so I just walk away and keep a low profile,” Channing says. “I was taught that if I had plenty, that I should help people in need.”

Diane Channing calls her husband a jack of all trades, because in his spare time he is always tinkering around with something. Richard Channing enjoys growing food in the family garden, landscaping, woodworking, hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.

After many years on the job, he says he still enjoys meeting people and seeing friends on the road.

“I also like making my own decisions and the freedom of being out, not stuck in a factory,” he says. “I guess I’m just answering the call of the highway.”


1941: Born in Willand, Ohio

1962-1966: Worked for Ford dealerships and Ford Motor Co.

1966: Began driving for Brada Miller Freight Systems

1968: Bought first truck and leased to Brada Miller

1978: Leased to Long Transportation

1980-1984: Worked for Hartley Farms as a driver and shop manager

1985-1991: Leased to Acro Trucking

1991: Married Diane Kessler

1992-present: Leased to Universal Am-Can on a dedicated run

2008: Universal Am-Can Driver of the Year

Richard Channing is a finalist in the 2011 Owner-Operator of the Year contest sponsored by Cummins Engines and RAM Truck, and produced by Overdrive and the Truckload Carriers Association. The winner will be announced at TCA’s annual convention March 4-7, 2012, in Orlando, Fla., and will win a Cummins-powered RAM pickup.

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