During Black History Month, Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF) is recognizing the achievements of professional truck drivers for their modern-day successes in the trucking industry.
Charlton Paul, a driver for UPS Freight, is recognized as one of this year’s Black History Month Leaders who are helping to move America forward every day.
Paul has been a professional truck driver for more than 25 years, and has worked for UPS Freight for the past 23 years. During that quarter-century of driving, he has accumulated more than 2.2 million accident-free miles.
Paul became fascinated with trucking at age 7, while on a trip to the store with his father. While there, Paul says, he stopped to look at the “beautiful” truck unloading goods. Since then, Paul was hooked, and could not wait to become a professional truck driver.
“It is the most fantastic job,” said Paul when reflecting on his career as a professional truck driver. “When I sit down and actually think about what I am contributing to society, it is a huge honor for me.”
Paul also discussed delivering medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as delivering equipment and textbooks that will be used to educate future engineers and leaders. Understanding the impact, he is having on someone else’s life through the goods he delivers makes his job even more important, he says.
Paul’s family says they are very proud of his accomplishments and recognitions, from being honored at the White House by former President Donald Trump to being featured in UPS Magazine. As his family gains more of an understanding for what he does, he said, they have is a lot more appreciation for the entire trucking industry.
“There is a reason behind everything,” Paul said while discussing the importance of educating the public on the trucking industry. Through the Share the Road program, Paul has seen students and adults recognize ways to drive differently after being educated about blind spots and the amount of distance it takes for a big truck to come to a complete stop.
In his efforts to educate the public about sharing the road with big rigs, Paul gives a lot of praise to the advanced technologies in trucks today, noting, “Technology will never replace us, but (it) will continue to make us better drivers.”
When he’s not educating the public about safe driving, Paul is teaching his peers at UPS Freight. During new-hire orientations, Paul writes this important piece of advice on the board: “Do the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
“It is not just about me; it’s about my peers and pulling people up,” he explained, adding that he is honored and humbled to be at this stage of his career, and he hopes to use his platform and success to encourage others to be like him.