Friday, April 13, 2007

Meet 'Mac' Driver Extraordinaire (Daily Bulletin) 1 million accident-free miles qualify man to promote safety

Meet 'Mack,' safe truck driver extraordinaire
1 million accident-free miles qualify man to promote safety
By Jason Pesick, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 04/02/2007 12:00:00 AM PDT

Dellonzo 'Mack' McAdory, 39, of Rialto, who has been driving big trucks since 1989, stands in front of the truck he drives for FedEx on Monday March 26, 2007. McAdory recently joined an elite group of American Trucking Association drivers who have driven over a million miles without an accident.
(Brett Snow/Staff photographer) RIALTO - Driving on local freeways can be like playing a game of "Frogger," with irritated drivers darting between all the trucks.
But that's not how Dellonzo McAdory, or "Mack," views the trucks on the road. The 39-year-old trucker was recently named to an elite national group of 16 drivers who travel the country representing truck drivers and promoting safety.

"Can you imagine if we didn't have any trucks? Man, we'd be lost," McAdory said at the FedEx distribution center in Rialto, where he is based. Trucks bring us 89 percent of the goods we use, he said.

After driving 1 million miles without getting into an accident, McAdory was named to America's Road Team, an outreach group for the American Trucking Associations, in January.

Rialto may be known as a bedroom community, but south of the 10 Freeway is a growing cluster of transportation centers. The FedEx center McAdory runs his operation out of - he owns three trucks and is a contractor with FedEx - employs at least 1,000 people, said Jim Fleming, a senior manager at the facility. The parking lot was packed with white FedEx Ground trucks on a recent Monday morning.

McAdory said he has worked with FedEx for more than four years. Every

Wednesday morning, he and another driver, Craig Manigo, head out to Atlanta and return on Sunday by way of Sacramento.
They take turns driving for 11 hours and take 10-hour breaks. McAdory's truck has some basic creature comforts: a bunk bed and a refrigerator.

McAdory, who lives in Highland, doesn't get to see his two children, two stepchildren and his wife, Lamonica, as much as he'd like.

"Unfortunately, we just have to work," he said.

But his job has taken Mc-

Adory to all 48 contiguous states, he said.

"For me, it is like a road trip."

Even though he enjoys all the driving, McAdory did not make it 1 million accident-free miles without being incredibly safety- conscious.

During his first few months of the two-year stint with America's Road Team, he has already been to Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas, touting safety to anyone who will listen.

"We're speaking about sharing the road with big truckers," he said.

Among his recommendations to drivers:

Pay attention to blind spots. If you cannot see a driver in his mirror, he cannot see you.

When passing a truck, make sure you can see its headlights in your rear-view mirror before moving back over.

Don't linger around the side of a big truck.

Stay at least 20 car lengths behind a big truck.

A truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when full and take the length of a football field to stop, he said.

McAdory is the fourth person from the FedEx hub in Rialto to make it on America's Road Team, said Fleming. That's a high honor considering Mc-

Adory is the only driver on the West Coast to be on the team right now.

After meeting McAdory, it's clear he has an unusual amount of enthusiasm for the art of driving. He said he studies different driving habits as he drives across the country every week.

When he retires, McAdory said he wants to buy an RV. He recommends that everyone take a road trip.

"We have some beautiful country," he said.

During his travels, he's made friends with people he meets along his route at different truck stops and by stopping at some of the same places on each trip.

McAdory enjoys driving, but he also sees trucking as important work.

"If there was no trucking, America would virtually come to a stop."

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BS Ranch Perspective:

"Mac" is a great guy in my eyes, one of the guys that takes it easy and lays back on the freeway, when there is a large cog of traffic commonly known as a traffic jam, and the truck drivers lay back, and get a hug 500' gap between the front of their rigs and the rear of the car or truck in front of them. Comedians make fun of them because they say that they cannot figure out what or way they leave all that room there. But when you travel like a whole bunch of cattle in a cattle chute, you are going to rear end the Cow, in this case the car or truck, in front of you that stops short! So, having that 500 or so feet is not that bad of an idea. In fact it is pretty smart and It was learned and practiced by this typist often!

BS Ranch

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