Celadon Trucking Services Inc.
It might be clichéd to say that professional driver Howard Blair is on a roll, but the statement is apt. Howard is earning a good income with Indianapolis-based Celadon Trucking Services, he is losing excess weight as part of a new, healthier lifestyle and he’s closing in on 40 years of marriage with his wife, Maggie. It’s safe to say, he’s living well these days.
In the early 1990s, Howard was beginning to wrestle with career burnout. He’d been a baker for 20 years, and he watched with concern as his profits shrank and the headaches of running his business grew. “I remember truckers coming in to check out my doughnuts, and I’d be looking out the window to check out the chrome on their tractors,” he says. “Eventually, I got up the nerve to give driving a try.”
Howard started out delivering eggs in a straight truck, then drove a school bus for a year before settling on a career as a professional, over-the-road driver in 1992. Through the years that followed, he concentrated on dry van freight, with a brief at-tempt at refrigerated loads. “The trailer was so noisy that I couldn’t sleep,” he says with a laugh.
Howard was comfortable running with smaller carriers, so he was a little apprehensive when industry-leading Celadon bought his company this February. The 15-year trucking veteran was pleasantly surprised, however, by the personalized attention he received during his initial meetings with company management, especially regarding his health.
“I had been struggling with weight gain, diabetes and high blood pressure for many years, but I never made much headway in turning things around,” says Howard. “Celadon helped me get on track.”
The company features their Highway 2 Health program, dedicated to improving the health of all of its employees. High-way 2 Health gives employees the opportunity to participate in a thorough health screening that measures blood pressure, body mass, glucose and lipid profiles. Participating employees receive a confidential report on the state of their health, along with a plan of action to control problems. They also have access to an on-site medical team that can provide immediate care, medical consultations, prescriptions, individual health coaching and health education classes.
Thanks to the Highway 2 Health program, Howard has al-ready lost 40 pounds, and his goal is to lose 100 pounds safely and permanently. He is quick to thank Sean Canfield, the wellness coordinator at Celadon, for his ongoing advice and support throughout the process that involves healthier foods, moderate exercise and medicine for the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure. Howard also uses a journal to track his progress.
“I used to live on truck stop food, but no more,” says Howard. “Now I park my truck in the Wal-Mart lot and cook my own healthier, leaner foods. This also gives me plenty of room to walk around and stretch my legs. I already feel a lot better, and my wife, Maggie, couldn’t be happier with the results!”
The staff of Over the Road and Pro Trucker magazines would like to wish Howard continued success with Celadon. If you’d like to learn more about driving opportunities at Celadon and the Highway 2 Health program, visit www.DriveCeladon.com or see their ad on page 31.