Calvin Stevenson and Ed Miller: The Journey of a Million Miles
Truck drivers for Davis Transfer Company, Inc. received special recognition at their safety meeting Saturday. Of the awards presented were rings for drivers who had reached at least one million miles of safe, incident free driving. This entails no accidents, no private property damages, etc.; this incredible achievement marks a completely clean slate. The four drivers who received the rings included two Valdosta locals, Calvin Stevenson and Ed Miller.
Calvin Stevenson, born in Valdosta, grew up working on, and being around, vehicles and began driving as a profession at age nineteen. Stevenson says he began driving “by accident,” when the warehouse at which he was employed discovered a shortage of drivers. His employer asked him to deliver a load, Stevenson agreed to do so, and, thus, began his work as a commercial truck driver. Advice that Stevenson would offer to new drivers is, “Be patient. The world isn’t like it used to be. You just have to be patient and use common sense.” Believing that the way he made it to one million safe miles by simply paying attention, Stevenson is also a very strong advocate for anti-cellphone use in vehicles. He says that in all of his time driving, he has not touched his phone. “I get in my truck and lay [the phone] down and don’t even look at it. I have my bluetooth device that allows me to speak to it and make any necessary calls.” Stevenson says that using any distracting device is not worth the risk of lives that it poses. He is married to wife, Trena, with whom he shares several children, some of which are stepchildren, as well as grandchildren. One child is in the Navy Reserve, and the rest are getting online educations.
The other local recipient of the award, Ed Miller, born Big Rapids, Michigan, also received the Driver of the Year Award. Miller began trucking in 1993, here in Valdosta, after his time in the Air Force. He says that he decided to pursue a profession in commercial truck driving to achieve freedom, as well as travel, saying that he “just liked to go” and never fancied staying idle. Ed is married to wife Sandra; together, they have two kids, as well as four grandchildren. He says that the job takes a lot of work and discipline, and, with major time away from home, it requires strong family bonds and understanding. As far as his personal life, Miller says that he is very active in his church, New Life Ministry of Lakeland, and strives to “try to live for the Lord as best [he] can.” When asked what advice he would give to new drivers, or individuals looking into the profession, Miller joked, exclaiming, “Run!” He laughed, and proceeding with, “I’m only kidding; it really is an honest job if you do it right. Take it one day at a time, because you can’t do everything in a day. Just do the best you can do each and every day, because it adds up. Forget about yesterday, don’t worry about tomorrow; invest in today. Be prepared not to be at home, but when you do get to be home, make sure you use your time well.”
Both Stevenson and Miller wanted to recognize their wives, saying that they would not have made it as far, and accomplished as much, as they have. “I absolutely could not have made it without my wife, Trena,” says Miller, “She has always been such a tremendous help to me in my work.” Stevenson shares this view, saying, “She isn’t a truck driver, but, boy, has she kept it all going. She’s been alone just as much as I have, and is amazingly strong. Trucking is a job that comes at a great cost to life, and she has been wonderful through the entire journey. She really keeps the family going.”
The men share a positive view of their employment at Davis Transfer. “The best part of working for Davis? Everything,” says Stevenson, “Just everything. They’re good people to work with. ” Miller agrees, saying that he has always been happy with the job and that he always feels that his input and feedback are taken seriously. “Davis is really the best [company] to work for. They’re a good, family focused business, and I’m glad I came to work for the company.”
From Left to Right: Calvin Stevenson, Gary Davis, and Ed Miller
Kaytlin L. Bailey, Davis Transfer Company, Inc.