JOPLIN, Mo. — After more than 37 years on the road, Jon “Smitty” Smith, a driver for CFI, has achieved an elite status: He is now among the less than 1% of all professional drivers who have surpassed the 5 million mile mark.
Smith is the first CFI driver to achieve this milestone, leading the company’s 560 other drivers who are currently working toward the 1, 2, 3 or 4 million mile mark. According to a statement from CFI, Smith achieved this milestone while also maintaining an outstanding safety record during his nearly four decades of driving. He has driven accident-free for 3,216,515 miles, an enviable record by any measure, and his safe driving streak continues today.
“Safety is the cornerstone of CFI’s operations and is our No. 1 core value,” said Greg Orr, president of CFI, an operating company of TFI International Inc.
“The amount of focus and attention, day in and day out, that it takes to operate a tractor-trailer, though all kinds of road conditions, weather and congestion is perhaps the most difficult challenge a driver faces,” Orr added. “Jon Smith’s sustained excellence epitomizes what it truly means to be a professional in this industry.”
CFI honored Smith during a special ceremony on Sept. 17, during this year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
To put the accomplishment into perspective, 5 million miles is roughly equivalent to 1,723 trips from New York to San Francisco, or 10 round trips to the moon. For the average American, who drives about 14,500 miles each year, it would take some 345 years to complete the 5 million miles Smith has driven in less than 40 years.
Smith’s first experience driving a truck was helping a friend over a winter. He turned that initial interest in a full-time job when he joined CFI in 1984, launching a professional driving career spanning more than three decade and covering 5 million miles … and counting.