LEXINGTON, S.C. (Oct. 11, 2018) – Southeastern Freight Lines, the leading provider of regional less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services, recognized Malcom Bryant for 50 years driving with no accidents during the company’s annual Safety and Service Awards celebration at its Columbia, South Carolina, Service Center. Bryant’s safety record is an accomplishment that puts him in an elite class.
“According to the American Trucking Association, there are 3.5 million Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers today,” says Phillip Enlow, Southeastern Freight Lines service center manager in Columbia. “Because only a handful of drivers in the United States have been recognized for 50 years of accident-free driving, this is a prestigious honor and we’re proud to recognize Malcom’s contributions to Southeastern.”
Following in his father’s footsteps, Bryant started his career in the trucking industry at Southeastern when he was 17 years old. He drove the 1965 B-Model, one of 26 produced that year, with no power steering, no air conditioning and twin stick shifters.
While the industry has evolved and traffic and congestion have made safe driving more challenging than when Bryant began his career, he remains diligent in his focus to maintain his 50-year impeccable driving record. Bryant’s reputation for quality service even extends to the town of Newberry, South Carolina, where he earned the nickname “Mayor.”
When asked about the secret to his success, Bryant states, “I thank the Lord that He blessed me with good health, the ability, and the alertness. I love Southeastern and that drives the desire to always do well.”
“We’re so proud to recognize Malcom for his many years of loyal and faithful service,” says Southeastern President W.T. “Tobin” Cassels. “He’s created a safety record that speaks to Southeastern’s safety culture, setting the bar high for others by letting them know it can be done.”
Bryant is the first Southeastern driver to reach this threshold of safety.
“Because Malcom is the first within our company to accomplish 50 years of safe driving, we as a company were tasked with thinking through how we could best honor this highly regarded professional milestone,” said Cassels. “Through conversations, Malcom mentioned he’d like to have a truck. While we thought he was referring to a crystal model truck for display in his home, that was far from his mind.”
Bryant, who lives on a farm and occasionally hauls hay, wanted a truck. Apart from using it on the farm, he also wanted to take his extended family for rides from time to time. To honor his career, Southeastern surprised Malcom with a customized and refurbished 2012 Volvo. He was also honored with a shadow box of safety pins from Year One to Year Fifty, a one and only custom-made miniature replica of the 1965 B-Model Mack and a $5,000 check.
“Achieving 50 years of safe driving in a linehaul capacity is difficult,” said Cassels. “But it’s almost impossible to achieve this as a pickup and delivery driver with all of the tight turns and backing required. Malcom has accomplished the impossible.”
Word has gotten out in the industry about Malcom’s accomplishment, including Rick Todd, President and CEO of the South Carolina Trucking Association.
“By all accounts, Mr. Bryant has likely exceeded all expectations and really set the bar high for others. The recognition and gifts he’s received are certainly generous and wonderful, but they can’t be as rewarding as the satisfaction and pride of owning a truly remarkable career and track record like his,” said Todd. “Bryant is a genuine ‘Knight of the Road,’ and for aspiring young professional drivers, what a great role model to look to. All drivers should marvel at the thought of what he’s accomplished and how much discipline he’s developed.”
About Southeastern Freight Lines
Southeastern Freight Lines, a privately-owned regional less-than-truckload transportation services provider founded in 1950, specializes in next-day service in the Southeast and Southwest and operates 89 service centers in 13 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Southeastern has a network of service partners to ensure transportation services in the remaining 36 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Mexico. Southeastern Freight Lines provides more than 99.35% on-time service in next day lanes. A dedication to service quality and a continuous quality improvement process that began in 1985 has been recognized by more than 400 quality awards received from customers and associations. For more information, please visit www.sefl.com and www.facebook.com/SoutheasternFreight.