American Bulk Commodities Honors Drivers

Steve Pollock
July 2023

BOARDMAN, OH…. American Bulk Commodities, parent company of R&J Trucking, John Brown Trucking, Southern Haulers, and DSI Transport held Safety and Awards Banquets on April 29th to recognize and honor their drivers for their safety and longevity at the company.

A breakfast banquet was held at the Holiday Inn in Boardman, Ohio to honor the Safe Drivers of R&J Trucking with cash awards being distributed to deserving Professional Truck Drivers.  President Mark Carrocce addressed the attendees, stating that while the economy and rates had softened, there is still plenty of work available.  Former U.S. President Trump’s commitment to America brining back manufacturing and creating jobs has really helped.  In the past 5-10 years, the investment in America’s steel industry has been good for the country, as well as the trucking industry.  Costs have continued to rise on all fronts, from diesel fuel to the price of new equipment.  Presently a new Triaxle is around $192,000 and an End Dump is around $300,000, however, the company continues to invest in new equipment.

Safety Director Andrew “Andy” Strayley presented a video that was a collection of actual incidents showing close calls with inattentive and reckless drivers (mostly 4-wheelers) that were captured on R&J Trucking dash mounted cameras.  He reminded drivers that the safety dash cams helps both the driver and company avoid unnecessary and costly litigation.  Many of the videos were shocking, to say the least.  Andy reminded drivers to take their time and be aware so they “don’t ever have to look back say – what if.”

The following R&J Drivers were recognized for their safe driving achievements and longevity at the company:

1 Year: Robert Hudson, Jr.; Pedro Salinas; Travis Barr; Gregory Woak; James Soker

2 Years:  Joshua Dominick; Travis Stewart; Leonard Platt

3 Years: Anthony Geraci, Jr.; Richard Johnson; Nicholas D’Amico; Nicholas Osborne; Paul Hilbig

4 Years: Gary Chick; Jurgen Starr

5 Years: Ceaonnie Hones; Paul Smith; James Morrow

6 Years: James Burney, Sr.; Donald Kimble; David Salinski

7 Years: Robert Cashman; Michael Manse

8 Years: Jarrett Quarles; John Miller

9 Years: Shawn Byers; Bryan Hicks

10 Years: Carey Lapushansky; Scott Hart; Steven Sturges; Charles Jones

11 Years: William Fialkowski; James Trube

12 Years: Roy Weamer

14 Years: John McMillion

15 Years:  Matthew Desellem; Charles Phillips; David Packard

19 Years: Brad Drushel

22 Years: James Tulip; David York, Jr.; Leonard Pieri

24 Years: Chad Krenn; Robert Weikart

25 Years: Kenneth Cappitti

27 Years: James Niddel

1 Million Miles – William Fialkowski

2 Million Miles – Terry Gregory

Simultaneously, John Brown Trucking of Portersville, Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of American Bulk Commodities, held their Safety and Awards Banquet at the Country Kitchen Restaurant in Portersville, PA.  Terminal Manager Harry Frelin addressed drivers, stating “John Brown drivers are doing a great job with not only safety, but with newly implemented electronic dispatch application.  John Brown drivers logged 1,667,202 miles in 2022 with 0 at fault accidents.  With the national average at 2.0 per million miles, John Brown drivers were only .455.”

Harry reminded drivers that DOT inspectors were going over trucks with a fine tooth comb, and to be sure to do a thorough pre and post trip inspection.  He told the assembled drivers, “Keep doing what you are doing, it’s making a difference Also ,communication is key when it comes to maintenance, don’t just write up your maintenance issues but take time to speak to maintenance as well.”

A video showing close calls from dash cams was shown and door prizes were awarded.  

Drivers were recognized and awards distributed. 

Lewis Werling was recognized as John Brown’s Top Gun with 18 years of Safe Driving at the company.

Drivers receiving awards were:

2 Years: Jon Reed; Ron Weinzierl

5 Years: Jacob Barto; Art Miller

6 Years: Kent Sturgeon

7 Years: Ron Yockey

8 Years: Rick Schaefer; Frank Carnahan

13 Years: Mark Pacai

18 Years: Lewis Werling

19 Years: Drew Deck

Mark Pacai was also recognized for 1 Million Safe Miles

Congratulations to all the Safe Drivers at American Bulk Commodities.  Be proud of your achievements, it is an honor and a pleasure to share the road with all of you.


The Safe Drivers at John Brown Trucking.

L to R:  Dispatcher Chase Rodgers, Mark Pacai – Million Miler,  and John Brown Trucking Terminal Manager Harry Frelin.

The 2022  John Brown Trucking Award Winners.

Dispatcher Chase Rodgers, Lewis Werling (center),  John Brown’s Top Gun with 18 years at the company,  and John Brown Trucking Terminal Manager Harry Frelin.