ATHS Golden Achievement Award goes to OOIDA Life Member John Taylor

June 1, 2015

Sandi Soendker


The American Truck Historical Society claimed trucking’s blockbuster nostalgia event of the year with its annual convention, awards banquet and show this past weekend. This year’s occasion drew thousands of truckers and 1,200 antique trucks and trailers to York, Pa.

All weekend, attendees shot selfies and swapped phone pics of favorite trucks on social media. Facebook and Twitter were alive with nameplates of past and present and photos of favorite moments – including highlights of the awards banquet.

As part of its mission to preserve the history of the trucking industry, the ATHS recognizes men and women who have been involved in trucking for 50 or more consecutive years with the ATHS Golden Achievement Award. This year, one of those prestigious awards went to OOIDA Life Member John C. Taylor, Cross Junction, Va.

Taylor has been trucking for 66 years and is now approaching 7 million road miles. He’s mostly hauled produce and goods coast-to-coast, but for the last couple of years he’s been pulling a dry bulk tank for H.H. Omps, a family-owned company out of Winchester.

During the ’70s, John was one of the first OOIDA members.

He was president of the Shenandoah Valley Truckers Association and was convinced that truckers had to become proactive in order to survive. He believed OOIDA was the glue that could get truckers to stick together.

His trucking career includes more than 20 years as a member of the OOIDA Board of Directors, a job he reluctantly resigned in the fall of 2014.

“OOIDA is like a family to me and it’s hard for me, but I think I need to make way for young people who are keen on communications and technology,” Taylor told OOIDA Board members in October of last year.

OOIDA regards John and his wife Martha as family, too. When Taylor was awarded the Golden Achievement Award Friday in York, Pa., he was surprised by a dozen OOIDA friends who had arranged to be there. OOIDA Director of Security Operations Doug Morris from the Association’s D.C. office; Steve and Doris Bixler, Valley View, Pa.; Terry Button, Rushville, N.Y.; Lewie Pugh, Freeport, Ohio; Ken and Elisabeth Becker, Montgomery City, Texas, and Mark and Margo Elrod, Peru, Ind., joined the Taylors at the ATHS event. Bixler, Button, Pugh, Becker and Elrod all serve on the OOIDA Board of Directors.

John and his wife Martha live in Cross Junction, Va., close to the log cabin where he was born. The Taylors have two daughters, Carol and Christine, and a son, James, who is also a trucker. The Taylors have one granddaughter and two great-grandchildren. They’ve been married more than 60 years. He’s never drawn a paycheck for work other than trucking. LL