RJ Taylor receives Lifetime Achievement Award from TWNA

| 4/5/2005

Whether it’s a seasoned trucker or a group of first-graders, one man is committed to answering the tough questions about the trucking industry. He’s got the right answer to everything thing from “Where does a truck driver use the bathroom?” to “How do I log it when I stop to go to the bathroom?”

Truck Writers of North America member RJ Taylor was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the organization. This prestigious award, presented and sponsored by Peterbilt Motors, recognizes a TWNA member who has made outstanding contributions to the improvement of communications in the trucking industry throughout his or her career.

Taylor took a trucking career that started when he was in his teens and transformed it into one of the most recognizable safety and education programs on the road today – Ol’ Blue, USA, according to a TWNA press release.

Founded in 1986, Ol’ Blue, USA (United Safety Alliance Inc.) is dedicated to educating the nation on highway safety and to improving relations between law enforcement, commercial drivers and the motoring public.

Truckers have come to count on finding Taylor and Ol’ Blue – a 1951 working truck and its 53-foot “Rolling Billboard” trailer – at the major trucking shows every year. With a contingent of approachable and knowledgeable representatives from the law-enforcement community present, truckers know they’ll get a straight answer on just about anything at Ol’ Blue.

And it’s not much different at one of Ol’ Blue’s school visits. After the obligatory honks of the air horn, Taylor launches into a fun and informative presentation about the “big trucks” on the road, the release said.

Taylor’s journey into the trucking industry limelight started in 1957 when he got his chauffeur’s license. Less than four years later, he became an owner-operator and eventually worked his way into heavy haul.

Taylor bought his flagship Kenworth in 1964 and eventually gained media attention by hauling some pretty spectacular loads – like the Apollo in 1973. By 1985, Ol’ Blue had gained quite the high profile, with more than 150 media appearances, according to TWNA.

TWNA credited Taylor’s ability to create an open forum of communication as the reason he was a natural choice for the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award.