The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual International Driver Excellence Award winner Charles Endorf, a Nebraska native today with Werner Enterprises, was recognized in Atlanta at the annual CVSA Workshop. Endorf, nominated by Werner Safety Vice President Jaime Maus, earns the award with 5.5 million miles and more than 40 years with Werner behind him.
Endorf, also a past recipent of TA Petro’s Citizen Driver Award (the York, Neb., Petro is named in his honor), was surprised, he said, but viewed this most recent accolade as a meaningful milestone and “a total honor that CVSA thought that highly of my experience over the years on the highway to pick me.”
CVSA’s IDEA program recognizes individuals who go above and beyond the performance of their duties as a commercial motor vehicle driver, distinguishing themselves conspicuously and beyond the normal call of duty through the achievement of safe operation and compliance carried out with evident distinction for an extended period of time.
Among a variety of others, Endorf singled out Werner Enterprises Found C.L. Werner in his acceptance remarks, who gave the then-first-time owner-operator a chance to lease on. Endorf bought his first truck then in 1976.
In accepting the award, Endorf issued a challenge to his fellow drivers around the nation. “There was a time when this profession was revered like that of a pilot or a train engineer,” he said. That’s changed, he added, with a news media hyper-focused on anything negative that happens and social media that amplifies the same. “Most of us in this industry take this job seriously, and we want to do the right thing.”
While CVSA and other rules-and-regs committees of industry and enforcement reps can “draw up all these plans and promote safety” it’s the driver who’s first and foremost in the public eye, Endorf pointed out. “Regardless of what you all do, it means nothing if the driver doesn’t deliver the goods. I challenge all drivers, let’s get our act together, and let’s show the world we are who we are, on and off the highway.”