Washington County man honored as 2011 Driver of the Year

Paul Eberly, driver for Hahn Transportation, was 'shocked' when his name was announced

April 01, 2012|By JANET HEIM |
  • Paul Eberly has driven trucks for more than 44 years and exceeded 5 million miles. Recently, he was named 2011 Driver of the Year by Maryland Motor Truck Association. He drives for Hahn Transportation Inc.
By Kevin Gilbert/Staff Photographer

In a 45-year career as a truck driver, Paul Eberly has driven more than 5 million miles without an accident.

That record earned the Clear Spring-area man the 2011 Driver of the Year title from the Maryland Motor Truck Association.

MMTA is one of the largest trucking associations in the nation, with more than 900 member companies from across the state, according to news release from the association.

Eberly, 66, has driven for Hahn Transportation Inc. in New Market, Md., for almost 28 years. He was one of 12 drivers recognized for driver-of-the-month awards by MMTA for their safe driving records and professional conduct, with Eberly selected in July 2011.

The 2011 Maryland Driver of the Year announcement was made at the annual banquet at Snyder’s Willow Grove in Linthicum, Md., on Jan. 16.

A committee of MMTA’s Safety Management Council, in conjunction with the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, made the final selection.

“I was shocked. When they announced my name, the people at my table jumped and shouted. I just sat there in shock,” Eberly said.

He was seated at a table with his wife of 47 years, Wilma, and other representatives from Hahn Transportation.

“Now this is the first time Hahn has gotten a driver of the year award. The president of the company, Barbara Windsor, mentioned that at the banquet,” Eberly said.

Eberly returned to his home loaded with six awards. In addition to the driver of the month and driver of the year plaques, he received others from the Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Maryland Department of Transportation.

Eberly, who was born and raised in Lebanon, Pa., said he completed a three-week driver training course in Burlington, N.J., in 1966, after he turned 21.

“Back in those days, truck-driving schools were very limited,” he said.

For the first seven years, Eberly drove for smaller trucking companies, often driving long-distance routes that required him to be gone overnight. He then drove for Roadway Express for 11 years, before joining Hahn.

For the past 38 years, Eberly said he’s been home every night, with most of his driving in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas, often hauling two loads a day.

“I’ve always enjoyed driving, in spite of traffic on the D.C. Beltway. There have been a lot of changes over the years — the attitude of drivers, the highways. Baltimore has always kind of been my favorite,” Eberly said.

As one of the most senior drivers at Hahn, Eberly said he can still pass the physical and has no plans to retire anytime soon.

“I don’t think I’m ready yet, as long as I can keep driving safely. You gotta get up and do something. I guess I’ll keep driving,” Eberly said.

The Eberlys have three children and five grandchildren.

The Herald-Mail Articles