Know Your Board

OOIDA's Chuck Paar has a love for trucking

March-April 2020

Wendy Parker


It’s safe to say the Paar family has been deeply entrenched in trucking for quite some time. After returning from service in World War II, Chuck’s father supported his family as a common carrier with his own authority. Both of Paar’s brothers eventually went into trucking, and his sister married a trucker. He met his wife, Ona, while she was driving a truck, and now his son drives a truck.

Chuck knew he wanted to own and drive trucks since he was a child. Chuck recalled the first time he sat behind the wheel to drive – at the tender age of 9 years old.

“I was riding with my brother, Kory. He was moving trucks from one area to another for my dad,” Chuck said. “Kory had just gotten his draft notification. He was going to leave for boot camp soon. He pulled over on a gravel work road leading to the site, got out, and motioned for me to slide into the driver’s seat. I was kind of confused. I mean, I had been watching my dad and brothers drive my whole life, but they’d never let me drive. My brother said, ‘I’m going to see you drive a truck before I go into the Army,’ and so I drove.”

This turned out to be a bit of a defining moment in Paar’s life.

“I knew without a doubt I wanted to do this for a living,” he said.

And so he did.

Chuck’s brother returned from service, and they eventually took over his father’s business. Chuck bought his first truck in 1974 – a 1970 Brockway cabover. He has owned and operated trucks for the majority of his life and still loves to truck.

“I’ve had a good life in trucking, I’ve been coast to coast with my wife, seen and done things I don’t think I’d have seen or done without trucking,” Chuck said. “I’m not wealthy by any means, but I’m rich with the experiences I’ve had and continue to have in this industry.”

These positive experiences are the kind Chuck would like other drivers to have. His intention to “pay it forward” in the industry was one of the reasons he chose to join OOIDA.

When did you get your commercial driver’s license?

“I started driving tractor-trailer intrastate Pennsylvania at age 16 in 1971, legally. At the time, Pennsylvania had no designation for commercial vehicles. A driver’s license was all you needed. When Pennsylvania introduced a chauffeur’s license, I was grandfathered in, as was the case when the CDL was implemented.”

What kind of freight do you specialize in?

“I have hauled several types of freight in nearly 49 years. Van, reefer, flatbed, heavy haul to Alaska, electronics and trade shows. Since 2005, I have focused on dry bulk tank commodities, such as cement and sand.”

Why did you join OOIDA?

“I joined OOIDA in 1988, because I believed it to be the one trucking organization making a positive difference for people like me. I took advantage of the many products and services offered and wanted to be part of the solution and not the problem.”

If you could make one significant change in the industry with a snap of your fingers, what would it be?

“I would eliminate the bureaucrats who know nothing about trucking. Veiled by legalistic gibberish, they try to pass off safety and compliance as being completely synonymous. I would replace them with people from the everyday world of trucking who know what needs to be done and how to do it.”

What legacy do you hope to leave?

“I hope to be remembered as a man of faith that put God first and tried to live a life of integrity, truth and commitment to his Lord, family and profession.” LL

Get to know other OOIDA Board Members like Tilden Curl.