Owner Operator of the Month
Harvest of safety
Farm equipment hauler with 4 million accident-free miles finds best yield in helping others.
Larry McCann, of Altona, Ill., grew up on a farm in Illinois, where he learned how to drive a truck. At 16, he began hauling feed and produce for his dad. Five decades later, he’s hauling farm products again.
Since he got his start, McCann, 69, says he’s found trucking more rewarding when he’s able to help others and willing to endure delays.
McCann started hauling reefer freight in 1959, and in 1996, bought his first truck, a 1993 Peterbilt 377B. He’s been leased to Tennant Truck Lines for the last five years, and earned a net income of around $30,000 in 2011.
McCann hauls John Deere equipment, mostly parts and small tractors, across the country. “It’s my favorite haul yet, because I love being around the tractors and the dealers,” he says. “Tennant treats you like a family.”
McCann, in turn, tries to relate to others in the same way. He often stops to help truckers in trouble, friends say. “Treat others how you would want to be treated,” he says. “I try to help someone out whenever I can.”
One night during an ice storm, for example, McCann spotted a vehicle that had left the roadway. He offered the driver blankets and let him sit in his truck until help arrived.
“I’ve changed many a tire for elderly people and women, and it helps me just as much as it helps them,” he says. “By getting them back on the road, I feel a little better, too.” Instead of accepting any offered payment, McCann asks them to show kindness to someone else.
He was on the receiving end when an oil filter collapsed and stranded him in Nevada. A driver took him to the nearest truck stop, and then drove him back to his truck.
Rod Gust, a broker who worked with McCann through Ator Brothers Trucking, has long been impressed by McCann’s professional appearance. “He doesn’t run around with a stringy beard and dirty clothes, like a lot of drivers you see,” Gust says. “He always looks clean and put-together.”
Gust says McCann always delivers safely and efficiently: “I’ve been in trucking for 37 years. Most drivers, you have to stay on them to make sure they get the job done. Larry, though, when you put a load on him, you know he will take care of it.”