Safe driving pays off for two OOIDA members

| 4/10/2007

“Playing it safe” has paid off for two OOIDA members who have won new trucks for safe driving.

When Mark Panzik of Penn Yan, NY, got a call from Landstar System in January 2007 asking him to fly to Jacksonville, FL, because he was one of five finalists selected to compete in a drawing for a 2007 Peterbilt 387, he declined their first two offers to go.

“I didn’t want to lose a week’s worth of wages and then not win,” Panzik said. “My odds didn’t look too good, so I told them, ‘No, I wasn’t going.’ ”

He credits his wife, Tammy, for convincing him to take the chance and fly down for the grand-prize drawing.

“Every time I don’t have to make a truck payment I thank my wife, who reminds me she was right,” Panzik said. “I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before.”

He said winning the new truck couldn’t have happened at a better time for him – his 1996 Peterbilt 379 had more than 1.2 million miles. His new truck has all the “bells and whistles and more,” he said.

Panzik said his name was selected from more than 147,000 entries. To enter, drivers had to be accident-free and have no claims against them.

OOIDA senior member Gary Reinbold of Oak Grove, MO, received the news he had won a new 2008 Western Star after making his dedicated run in Windsor, CT.

“I had just unloaded and was on my way to Texas to get a return load when Landstar called,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

In April 2007, Reinbold said the company flew him and his wife, Karen, to Marcos Island, FL, where they presented him with the new truck as part of the Western Star Safe Truck Giveaway program. His new truck arrived a few days ago.

“I was just dang lucky,” he said. “This truck has everything you could ask for.”

Reinbold said his name was picked from more than three, 55-gallon trash barrels full of entries.

The key to safe driving, he said, is to remain calm, no matter what.

“Don’t be aggressive when you are driving,” Reinbold said.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer